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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 12 declined, 1 accepted (13 total, 7.69% accepted)

+ - How to deal with spam 1

Submitted by
cdn-programmer
cdn-programmer writes "Pull the plug.

I intend to bill $1.00 per month per spammer. I will see my Telco in court within 90 days. This is my letter to Telus:

        I am checking the implied contracts with your company. I do not do direct
  business because of the way your company treated me in the past. Over the last
  two days I have received more than 4500 spams. I'm sure some of these originate on your system. On the basis of an implied contract I will plan on billing your company for the spam. The charge will be $1.00 per spammer per month. I will
  track the IP addresses and provide detailed accounting. Your options are: 1)
  Your company pays the bill. 2) Your company pulls the plug on your spammers. 3) Your company pulls my plug but that will end up in court since I already have fully paid for service plans in place. 4) Your company argues with my legal
  team that your spammers have a right to send this crap my way. Govern yourselves accordingly"
Technology (Apple)

+ - Please don't fondle the fruit 1

Submitted by
cdn-programmer
cdn-programmer writes "Recently I wandered through the fruit and vegetable section of my favorite grocery store. On display were all sorts of fresh fruit and vegetables. Many were not packaged. I watched as a number of customers fondled the food and then put it back on the shelf for someone else to buy. It struck me that apparently I'm suppose to buy the food other shoppers have fondled and rejected. I wonder how many different customers have fondled the food I'm expected to buy. I wonder where they had their hands since they were last washed. It also struck me that the common fruit and vegetable displays are designed to encourage people to fondle the food which others are then expected to buy. I would like to ask slashdot how stores might design displays and what marketing techniques might be used so that the food we buy is not fondled as much as it is at present. I will note that most people would object if their server in their favorite restaurant were to fondle their food as it sits on their plate. Yet these same people seem to think it is perfectly fine to go to their favorite grocery store and fondle the food others are expected to buy."
Privacy

+ - Security leak or professional incompetance?

Submitted by
cdn-programmer
cdn-programmer writes "Yesterday I purchased a DLT7000 drive in a Pawn Shop. A piece of media was in the drive. They have a 48 hour return if it doesn't work policy... so I immediately hooked it to my Linux desktop and tried to read the tape that came with it to see if (a) there is something on it that indicates who it came from in case it was stolen (the drive was really cheap — cheaper than the media) and (b) to see if the drive actually works.

Well — it does work. The 1st file was an HTML file — basically the backup of a website. I have now called the police to see if the organisation behind the website is missing a tape drive and I have calls into the organisation as well.

But something seemed funny. There seemed to be other stuff that said organisation would not have. So I ran strings on the file — huge — and there are many files on the tape and now I see a pattern.

This appears to be a backup tape from an accountant and the tape is full of her client's tax returns and other private data. It looks like her son was affiliated with the organisation and that the lady in question did the tax returns for the organisation. I now know who the person is. I have her phone number. Thing is I called her asking for her son because I thought I should get a hold of the organisation in charge of the website. Now I find she lives about 3-4 blocks from here and this tape drive must have been her's. What a dork she was on the phone! I don't enjoy rudeness and being hung up on when I'm trying to be honest and a nice guy and maybe do someone a favor.

What should I do? Erase the tape and forget it or call the local accountants regulatory body and advise them that one of their accountant members has so little concern for her client's private tax data that she totes her backup system containing all their tax data down to a pawn shop and sells it?

What do slashdot people advise? Blow the whistle or forget it?

Oh — strings furnished me a list of many of her clients complete with names, addresses, telephone numbers and their Social Security numbers too. I guess I could call them and ask them what they think about their accountant publishing their tax data via a pawn shop. How do I know how many pieces of media she had?

Note: this is NOT the first time confidential data has found its way into my hands. Several years ago I was hired to recover a backup tape. After finding the proper version of the backup program and after reading the tape I found the tape was full of a company's source code. So I called the company. They were shocked.

The tape was part of the disclosures for a discovery for a Court of Queen's Bench trail. It has been disclosed under seal. They and their lawyers definately wanted to meet with me and by then I had fired the tape off to my lawyer's offices. I found out the opposing counsel handed the tape to his client and the client sent it down to one of the devloper's competitors and the competitor handed it to one of their employees who chucked it into her back pack and peddled it across town and handed it to me to read.

So much for a legal undertaking of non-disclosure of confidential source code! That code put ME in a conflict of interest situation. In the end I was thanked by the developer's. The opposing counsel didn't get the tape back. I never got paid for the work I did because I couldn't give the tape back to the people who hired me. Of course I was out of pocket for having purchased about 3 versions of some backup software that I had no use for other than to read the tape I was handed.

How to read the DLT7000 tape?

mt -f /dev/st1 setblk 0
dd if=/dev/nst1 of=file1 bs=1024k count=
strings file1 | less

I don't think this contravenes any DMCA legislation and besides I bought the tape and I own it so it is perfectly legal for me to look on a tape I own. How is this any different than buying an unlabeled CD and playing it to see if it contains some music you like? Besides which I have not actually looked at these people's tax returns and strings won't show me anything more confidential than their names, addresses and social security and phone numbers. To actually recover the data I'd have to install the backup software and read it on my NT machine.

BTW — there is a bug in dd and when you do a setblk 0 dd then tries to allocate a buffer of zero (0) bytes and barfs. Its too bad we can't improve the code base... I have reported this before."
Programming

+ - why doesn't slashdot work?

Submitted by
cdn-programmer
cdn-programmer writes "The main screen shows me logged in. Some stories show me logged in. Other stories show me logged out. If I try to log in all that happens is (1) it doesn't work or (2) it takes me back to the main screen where I am logged in. An example is the story about US Gasoline Prices Spur Telework I tried to post a comment. I see: Login for "cdn-programmer" has failed. Please try again. Submit"

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