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Perl Programming

Boston Perl Monger Plays With the Big Leagues 71

babbage writes "Chris Nandor tried to help out the Red Sox by stuffing the MLB All Star Ballot. Baseball says they were on to him all along. He says he'll be back next year. " Ah, yes, that wonderful point where sports and computer connect, probably sans changing IPs, but with the mis-use of "hacker".
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Boston Perl Monger Plays With the Big Leagues

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  • All of you who don't have to sit through a season watching the Twins play budget-ball should consider yourselves lucky, regardless of who's representing who in the All-Star game... I'd be overjoyed if our Twinkie's owner wasn't such a total tight-wad and decided to allow us be just a little more competitive with the rest of the league. So enjoy your high-priced baseball for all it's worth, baseball could be much much worse for those of you in the Northeast.
  • A much better way to stuff the ballot box would have been to get the perl script posted to slashdot. ;-) That way every slashddot reader could easily and legitimately "stuff" the box 22 times.

    This is assuming, of course, that the ballot stuffing detection software is looking at IP addresses. I wonder what they do about proxies, though. Obviously, they must have some support for proxies, otherwise ALL of the AOL users could only vote 22 times the number of AOL web proxies.

    I wonder if we simply mined one of the on-line phone books for valid name/address/phone #s if that would be enough to spoof the system.

    How much time is left to vote?

  • Of course not.

    All true geeks (and their perl scripts) should be voting for Weird Al's "The Saga Begins"!

  • See? This is why I love slashdot so much. A seeminly innocuous post like mine can turn into a learning experience for me and others. I had no idea that the NY Times bought the Boston Globe or for what reason. Now I know, and that's damn cool. Thanks, babbage, and thanks, Rob.
  • You can do anything with Perl . . .

    I made a sandwich.

  • Im going out on a shaky limb here, being as my programming skills are lightweight to say the least... but.

    What would happen if someone used a "Melissa" like delivery system to utilize perl installed on other systems?

    Wouldn't that bypass the normal logging procedures at contest sites? As I said before, I have absolutely no idea if this is even possible, but it's an interesting concept, eh?

    And yes, I realize that at this point, Outlook using (MS) systems aren't likely to have Perl installed, but look at the MS/Activesoft deal, could be something to look for? (I dunno :)

    I apologize in advance for any holes in my idea that you could drive a truck through, I only mention it out of curiousity.

  • And what if the guy purposefully used easily identifiable addresses to throw the authorities off his trail? The sysadmins think they have caught the hacker while his second program steathily filled out the form with random but apparently valid data and racked up even higher votes? You know, the old "watch my left hand while I reach into my pocket with my right hand:" trick.
  • Heh heh heh ... of course, what *you* are suggesting is totally mature, and something that people with something better to do would.
  • i got that on videotape. how can i turn it into a quicktime movie or the like?
    ..................................@ @
  • Come on, Boston Globe. Before going to press, you would think that you could at least check and see if all the URLs in your stories are correct. If you did so, you would realize that the web site for Major League Baseball is not [], as stated in your article:

    The computer police entrusted with sniffing out corruption did their job, according to Alex Tam, director of Major League Baseball's web site (

    It is, in fact, []. I could maybe expect something like this from the NY Times [], but not from an organization as good as the Boston Globe :)

  • Nevertheless, his mistakes were quite apparent. to use the same e-mail one time, and use the same phone number & zip code another time? Even *I* could see the stupidity in that. And I haven't figured out my signature yet, gimme time.
    ..................................@ @
  • Doesn't the NYTimes own the Globe? Or is that the gag I'm not picking up on from the depths of extreme all-nighter sleep dep...

    Hrm. Ok.

  • So was that guy. But he could have made it work *right*, then ran off to do some BBQing like he did.
    ..................................@ @
  • In the NBA, its possible for the team coming from the smallest market (that would be San Antonio) to go and win it all. In MLB, the teams with the biggest payrolls tend to win it all.

    Eh, just words from a basketball fan. Basketballs faster paced than baseball, and therefore better to watch for those of us with short attention spans.
    ..................................@ @
  • Oh, the irony. Who's "that guy" again? :)
  • # Oh, the irony. Who's "that guy" again? :)

    I wish I knew.
  • Does anyone know of any similar scripts that one may use for voting on MTV's Total Request live. I believe that it is our god-given duty to dislodge crap pop bands such as Backstreet boys and 98 degree's from #1? If there are any perl hackers out there willing to help e-mail me, and we'll get something going...
  • I love it....although I still think that Derek Jeter deserved the start at SS over Nomar...but hey, I'm biased being a lifelong Yankee fan from NY.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    "SMITH&WESSON: The Original Point-N-Click Interface"
  • Jeter will be the one starting in the World Series this year; who cares who starts the All Star game? :)

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • Ps. The Yankees are the Microsoft of Baseball.

    ? They got where they are using legally questionable tactics ?

    I'd say that the recent editions are more like the Linux of baseball: without any really big superstars (yeah, they're all good, but not like a Bonds or a McGwire) they had a near-record breaking year and won the World Series through hard work and teamwork.

    If you want a Microsoft of baseball, check out the departed Florida Marlins championship team. They won through superior spending power.

    from someone who's a hockey fan, anyhow

  • Well, I've given up on my quest to restore 'hacker' to the clever man, 'cracker' to the clever user breaking in to systems or software, and 'moron' to script kids.

    However, This poor misguided soul is what even crackers hate... a person who isn't breaking in to show it can be done, but to mess with the results of a vote that was put on the web in a wonderful show of internet trust. The league didn't have to put the ballots on the web... they could have made me go to wall-mart. But, in recognizing that the internet is a global community that counts, they made it so I don't have to work off those last two Ho-Ho's to vote for some stupid player.

    So, when Joe BuisnessOwner hears about this, and then is faced with the decision to web or not to web, what do you think he'll do?

    Oh, and not changing the data sent in the form? was that just lazyness or what? (not that I can talk... I used the web to vote)
  • With all the fighting and flamming an these and other pages about relatively 'unimportant ' matters such as KDE v. Gnome, Debian v. Redhat, MS v. Linux, lets not get into depths of true hatred and real life matters such as the Red Sox v the Yankees.
    Ps. The Yankees are the Microsoft of Baseball.
  • # We just needed a better scripter, some MIT geek who wouldn't get caught.

    I could have done it without being caught, but I was hungry.
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    If you can't figure it out yourself, maybe you deserve to listen to Backstreet Boys...

    Besides, what are you going to vote for: Pearl Jam?

    Put Hemos through English 101!
  • For his next exploit, he'll rig the 'rate it' votes on Deja!

    Oh, wait... hrm.

    (Really, putting in the same e-mail address for each vote? Duplicate information such as phone number, zip code, etc? Must not have put too much effort into it.)

  • The only way Jeter can start in the World Series this year is if the Yankees trade him to the Indians... Except that he'd be riding the pines since there's no way he'd be able to make a team with Vizquel on it...
  • My girlfriend (and a henchman) entered about 500 requests between the two of them for New Kids on the Block a few months ago as a protest to the "crap pop bands" you mentioned....NKotB made 2nd place on TRL...

    Of course, they did it manually....
  • A script kiddie is born...

    If you want to become a perl hacker:

    1. Get the camel book
    2. Read other peoples scripts
    3. Find something that needs doing
    4. Write a script and try it
    5. Ask for help
    6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the script does what you want
    7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 often
    8. Always use your power for good, never evil

    If you do turn to the dark side, at least try not to be as incompetent as this guy was.
  • Besides, what are you going to vote for: Pearl Jam?

    Pun intended?

  • Nah... It's not a "show of trust." Major League Baseball is responsible for the integrity of the balloting, and they caught the guy.

    Besides, in the context of the Red Sox and Yankess, this kind of stuff is fair game.

    We just needed a better scripter, some MIT geek who wouldn't get caught.

    Come to think of it, maybe we had one and just don't know about it.
  • I was referring to their spending power. They Yankees have the money and the will to buy what every they want, and would cripple other franchises without a second thought.
    As for the talent, it is a great, likable team,
    its the fans that are arrogant asses.
  • I hardly think mucking with something as arbitrary as the democratick of baseball can be considered "evil." It's clear that he wasn't even trying very hard.
  • Yay! i'm "officially" a hacker!
    ..................................@ @
  • I've always wondered what those "programming languages" were good for anyways.

    Other highlights were the "average high-end hacker" . Hrm. How many self contradictions can you get into one sentence?

    I lurve sports writing. Makes me smile every time.


    seen on a house in north cambridge:
    "the center for high-energy meta-physics"
  • So what does that make the Cubs? (besides the 1908 World Champions Baby!)

    loyal Cub fan
  • Easy steps:

    1) Pick a song. Maybe Linus or JWZ or Larry Wall or (insert /. deity here) would get the honor.
    2) Post it as an article on /.
    3) Watch as MTV VJ with impossibly perfect hair tries to explain to zillions of tennyboppers why, say, Sisters of Mercy is the #1 video.
  • # I Wish I knew.

    I wish i DIDN'T.

  • Nobody hates the Cubs, and everyone hopes they will win it again someday, they just haven't.

    Plus they're not cursed...

    The curse of the Bambino=The curse of Steve Jobs?
  • hey mr. potato-head....

    the perl script was on HIS side... he could have done the same exact thing with a C++ program. Perl had 100% NOTHING to do with the piss poor security of the MLB site.
  • # I wish i DIDN'T.

    Oh, bite me.
  • I was, still am, and always will be a Yankees fan. And I don't think you should generalize!!! Every team has their collection of loonies and boozers. Bahston is no exception.


    I am one to discourage such use of computers. What if I "stuffed the ballots" to vote in Bernie rather tha Junior? Sure I can do it but it'd be wrong.

    Today's English Lesson: Oxymorons

  • No, I was not aware that he is an author, porter, etc. That makes what he did that much worse. The important thing is, whatever skills we have, we must choose how to use them. That choice, more than anything else, defines who we are. Someone may be better at perl than I, ( and most are.. ), but if they use that skill to jerk people around, that makes them an asshole, plain and simple. Now, I'm willing him the benefit of the doubt -- maybe he's a good guy who had a moment of immaturity -- it happens to everyone... whatever. What bothers me is that other people see this and think its something to aspire to.
  • I'd say that their use of hacker in this article is alot closer to the normal use in the media to describe every little script weenie or port scanner. At least this guy wrote some code to try to accomplish his goal.

    It was pretty dumb not to randomize the information and at least lookup real zipcodes from a database.

    As for checking for perl scripts, it probably looks for the browser type in the header. I'd be he and alot of others will have success at hacking this voting system next year.

    They are idiots if they use online voting to make any real decisions anyway!
  • In somewhat related All-star voting news:

    While this guy's scam didn't work, the Indians' method did -- they got four players in the starting lineup! And it seems to be due to more than just a good team and sellout crowds. When they handed out the ballots in person at the ballpark, they apparently made no attempt at all to make sure people didn't vote multiple times. To quote, "the ushers came to pick up the All-Star ballots handed out earlier and immediately passed out fresh ones." One guy says he voted 25 times in one game! There aren't many "votes" that allow that kind of abuse.

    For more, check out this page [] on ESPN. You have to scroll down to Monday's entry, but it's very interesting.
  • i.e. they never win but their fans are rabid

    I'm one of them btw
  • #try not to be as incompetent as this guy was

    i asked him why he left it so lame?
    His answer "I was hungry and went to go eat."

    Which, AFAICT, still got him more votes than anyone else.
  • Vizquel bats .375?
  • You know, I had no idea about anything like that, but if the Globe is really owned by NY Times, well then, I'll take any credit for that joke. :) But it's nothing that I intended.
  • My mail address is right here, so you could try, I suppose. But I can think of a lot of people who wouldn't appreciate it.
  • You've never heard the story of Silas and his goat? The Cubs most certainly are cursed.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • So, is this a game between two baseball teams composed of top players (All-Stars) as voted by the fans?

    How often does this happen?
  • Posted by rederick:

    He made it to ESPN [] and had an article posted about him - baseball claims they will be ready next year, more the reason to prove them wrong and vote someone like Corey Koskie or Todd Pratt in as a starter.
  • Or hell, why stop there? I wanna see Bart Simpson picked for catcher. Elvis Presley as pitcher. Cheech & Chong in deep left field; Pat Buchanan way out in right.

    Or how about a team of Linux penguins?

    Heh heh heh

  • Yeah, if I remember right the NYTimes bought the BGlobe a couple years ago, mainly because they wanted access to the Globe's color printing presses. Notice that the Times isn't always all black & white anymore? The purchase of the Globe was a big factor in that.

  • open source it and we'll make it perfect.
  • from the Globe
    "But what apparently did in Nandor was a certain amount of laziness uncharacteristic of his hero, Garciaparra."

    Clearly, They understand niether "Laziness"
    or his "Hero". Hunger is a different thing though. Next they'll accuse him of Hubris...

  • Posted by My_Favorite_Anonymous_Coward:

    If you keep playing the rate you do, you will meet Bosox in the first round and get what you did to them last year. And the yanks will beat the tomahawk chopper again, which will probably cause some complaint in baseball and a legitamate soft salary -cap. Yankees fans, the time is NOW, let's do it again! Geroge, do you hear me.

    CY, who think Jeter should be casted as the next Anakin, you tell me he can't whip Darth Maul in a lightsaber fight?
  • The comment "Always use your power for good, never evil." was made by a prof. of mine in the first lecture of his OS course. Its a bit of hyperbolie (sp?), but makes a point. Learning how to muck with stuff gives a sense of power -- usually exagerated -- and any power can be used for good or evil. Mucking with the democratick of baseball may not be evil in some absolute sense, but it _is_ being a dick.
  • Is in this "internet world" article. s.html []

    The author basically calls people who lie on web-forms "hackers." Truly astonishing. :]

  • Hm. Do I like the Red Sox because I like Macs, or vice versa?
  • It's not actually the author of the article who misuses "hacker." The word is present in a quotation. The author of the quotation is the clueless one :]
  • Oddjob wrote:A script kiddie is born... least try not to be as incompetent as this guy was.

    Oddjob also has a list of suggestions, like getting the camel book and such.

    Clearly, Oddjob isn't aware "this guy" is the author of a Perl book [], a perl5-porter, author in The Perl Journal, and speaker on Perl conferences.

    --- Abigail

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.