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Journal Journal: How do they know I use Paypal?

Like most people, I have several email accounts that I keep track of, and I've noticed a disturbing trend. I have used the paypal service to do online billing and to make purchases over the internet for a variety of goods and services (nothing exotic; we're talking online games, web hosting, real's superpass service.). So far, nothing unusual there.

What's truly bizarre, in my mind, is that over the course of the last year I have consistently been targetted for phishing emails in the email account that I use with paypal. On a slow month I'll get four letters to that account, on approximate average, however, I get no less than 10 emails a week (all of which I forward to

In my other email accounts, including one that I have used in articles I've had published? Na-da. Zip.

That's right, I get none. Not a single attempt.

On my other email accounts I regularly get spam, particularly the drive-by type spam where they're going down a list alphabetically of email addresses, and sometimes I just get random spam.

I have never once gotten a phishing email in any of my other email addresses. This leads me to one conclusion; somehow the phishers have access to a widely-available (the fact my mailbox is hit so frequently makes me suspect that) list of paypal users and their email addresses.

Where would they get that list?
Who would give out the email addresses of their paypal using clients?

I'm throwing this out there to the slashdot audience to see wether or not I'm alone in getting deluged by phishers on a regular basis and also to see what insights Slashdotters would have on why this is happening only (or at least predominantly) to people who use Paypal.

If this is happening as widespreadly as I suspect, isn't it time we geeks started asking some questions and figure why this is happening?


Journal Journal: ...I did not know that... (short entry)

Why do I keep coming back? Apart from habit it's the fact that amidst the stupidity you occasionally get (genuinely) insightful comments and still learn how to do shit here. Like this comment for example.

I had no idea of how to do the windows equivalent of chmod -x; now I do.


Journal Journal: Is there room for ameteurs in this field? 3

Given the combination of outsourcing, and the fact that modern languages such as perl and java are too advanced to offer hand holding for, I have to ask: is there room for ameteurs or self-taught hobbyists in the programming field?

At first glance, one would think 'no'. As stated; the languages are too complex to learn without a CS degree and also the economic realities are such that if you aren't making your living coding you need to GFTO and make room for someone who is.

This makes recent industry moves a bit inexplicable, however. While it's natural that companies such as IBM and Novell would take over hobbyist projects such as Linux, and that the 'desktop battle' would be fought by the corporate sponsors of GNOME, that's not exclusively what is going on. There are major sites which offer no-cost hosting and support services for hobbyist projects (freshmeat and sourceforge are two such sites) and there is also an upswing in development tools which are distributed free to encourage hobbyist development (the GNU compiler for one, there's also Microsoft's latest Visual Studio offerings).

Given the conflicting nature of the facts as they are one has to look deeper for an explaination. A proliferation of freely available development tools encourages the formation of a gift culture which the industry can turn to who will work for little more than food-stamps. Currently, IT professionals are a financial liability, but by courting the hobbyists market, corporate america has a built-in development force which is second to none in the first world for cost.

So, the next time that you fire up that "free" copy of Visual Studio or run GCC on your "Free" OS, remember this - you're using tools designed and written to put honest, hard-working Professionals out of a job.

Ask yourself how you can manage to sleep at night knowing whose paying the price of your tools.


Journal Journal: "10th Planet" 68 Miles Larger Than Pluto

Yahoo News has an interesting story on the latest findings on the ice ball discovered last year, that some people are calling our 10th planet (which was previously reported here on slashdot). The article states that according to Hubble, the diameter of UB313 measures 1,490 miles; making it marginally larger than Pluto (which is about 1,422 miles across.). This, in part, is refueling the debate as to what should or should not be considered a planet.

The article also mentions that Michael Brown (a California Institute of technology researcher who happens to be studying UB313) has nicknamed the planet "Xena".


Journal Journal: bleah, porgramming

Over the years I've found myself using the GUI (usually GNOME) a lot more. Even so, there are a few apps I prefer to use the CLI versions of; mostly ftp, irc (bitchx) and ...bittorrent.

However, typing out "btdownloadcurses blah" gets to be tedious; so I thought about shortening it to just 'bt', through an alias or something. Then I realised this would be a perfect thing to break out my (amazingly) meager porgramming skills for.

So, I figured it shouldn't be too hard to write a simple program which checks to see if there's at least two arguments (the name of the program, and an additional argument) and if there is, start an instance of btdownloadcurses out on the argument.

It took me 3 hours to figure out which exec to use (execl, execvp, execlp, etc), including discovering that I need to set a path and figuring out how to set one. I was finally able to spawn an instance of btdownloadcurses with the following code:

#include stdio.h>
#include unistd.h>
#include string.h> //slashcode freaks out on the includes, so I deliberately typo'd for readability

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
char torr[4096];
int lenny;
const char *p_envp[] = {"PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin","TERM=vt220",0};
lenny=strlen(argv[1]+1); //room for NULL
                if(argc > 1)
                                printf("%s\n",torr); //debugging, lol
                                execle("/usr/bin/btdownloadcurses", "btdownloadcurses ",torr,0,p_envp);
                return 0;

However, though it would run the bittorrent client, it would still crash for reasons which are largely unknown to me.

So, in the end I said "fuck it" and went with a shell script:

btdownloadcurses $1

lol C.

On the uphand, I think I've just popped my struct cherry on this program, even though the p_envp struct is a direct ripoff of a program on page 354 of Linux Programming 2nd Edition.


Journal Journal: Ha Ha Ha Ha! Bookmarks Don't work!

Bookmarks, "from the nice in theory suck in practice department"

I like the bookmarks idea (as you can see from the journal below this one); but having just tried to use doesn't work!

Since I can't save these to my bookmarks, I guess I'll save them to my journal instead. This is basically just stuff I'm reading ATM and I'll want to look back at after I've ripped my computer apart again (and lost my bookmarks).

A NetBSD kernel documentation overview (circa 2002)

C, Assembly, Perl, Lisp, Python, & PHP Programming Links

NetBSD Device Driver Writing Guide
  I wish I was that 1337!

Porting device drivers to the 2.6 kernel

America Online

Journal Journal: /. Bookmarks. Cool, but...?

Way back in the days of yore, you could make a PIF file for windows 3.x with a "?" in a certain place (memory fails me on where, probably "command arguments", under the advanced part of the pif editor) and this would throw up a neat little dialog box where you could type in a line to use as the arguments to a command.

I know there's an easy way to do that with XUL/java; fuck if I can be bothered to figure out what it is, though. Which is a shame because then I could add bookmarks right from my firefox bookmark bar (yes, I can add the url and then fill out the information on /.; it's not the same).

Anyway, I like the /. bookmarks idea, now when I half-read a news item and think "wow, /. would love this" I no longer have to stop to read the article; just ^v&^c the url and submit.

Actually, this is neat, simply because I regularly see stories and articles on here I would like to go back to later. I can see myself amassing a collection of links on this thing. I wonder what the limit is?

It's a neat feature (unlike the tagging, which is wtf?), it's a shame that Taco, et al have waited so long to revisit the slashcode and add interesting feature and inter-activity (shit, k5 beat them by 6 years on that one!). Think for a minute what /. would be like if we had this in 2000.

Sorry for the wank and lack of substance, but at least I didn't post any dogdy links!


Journal Journal: Well I'll be god-damned

Out of curiosity I did a quick scan back through the archives to take a stab at when I joined. Judging by my UID it must have been around 10/2000. Five years ago.

It feels really weird to be reading and posting on the same site for that long, unnatural, really. I don't feel so much sentimental as much...odd.

No real insights, sorry. Anyways, from time to time a good story comes up with comments that justify hanging around here.

Still...five years....eeeewwwwwwww


Journal Journal: I'm going to want to remember this:

Quoth the Net:

code such as:

#include int main()
        cout << "Hello world!" << endl;

        results in errors such as: error: 'cout' was not declared in this scope

        This is becuase C++ 1998 requires cout and endl be called 'std::cout' and 'std::endl', or that a proper using directives such as 'using namespace std;' be used.

Other than that, not much going on. I have found and played with gambas, which is sort of like visual basic; but missing a few important (eg: "mesgbox") functions. I've also tried my hand at using ProjectBuilder and Gorm from the GNUStep guys; both are pretty impressive for those who know what they are doing.

That would not happen to be me, however. I like to 'talk the talk', but in all honesty I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing.

On another front, I'm slowly succumbing to the siren song of gvim. To me, there's (usually) no reason to use vi except for those rare times when you're using a rescue floppy and it's all there is, period. It's saving grace is that it's small and fast - which means that tacking GTK2 and a slew of functions (syntax highlighting, multiple windows, etc) onto it rather defeats the point, in my mind. But today I actually was curious (having seen so many people advocate for it as an IDE here on /.) so I pulled up gvim to enter and run that snippet of code up there and it wasn't bad.

To me, however, it and emacs both fail in terms of being an IDE because neither one (to the best of my knowelge) provide any mechanisms for handling projects or even automatically creating your own makefiles.

On the other hand, though, for small one or two file projects, gvim might not be so bad. I do like the automatic syntax highlighting and how easy it is to make (^Wn) and delete(^Wc) new windows.

I want try out python, and gvim may end up being ideal for that.

Links for today:
Non-programmers tutorial for Python

flat assembler which has a great list of OS Development-related links in their forum.

That's about it for today.


Journal Journal: Finally got 2.6 to work

I am finally running Linux 2.6(.12). I may have been wrong about what the culprit was all along, too.

As I mentioned in this thread I am very disgruntled with Linux 2.6, and have been since I tried it in slackware (I want to say in slackware 9; but I'm not sure). I've tried it on three computers and finally I have it working on my new one.

The problem was twofold. One, Linux keeps choking on apic, so I had to add these two entries into the boot parameters:

noapic nolapi

The 'nolapic' is the signifigant one, I hadn't tried that previously. The following the boot parameters I'm using to get ubuntu 5.1 to boot:

noinotify noapic nolapic pci=noacpi noagp noagpgart

The other half of the problem surprised me, to be honest: it was hotplug. After I hammered out the above boot line I noticed that Linux mysteriously hung (with no errors) after loading hotplug. So I booted an old knoppix cd, mounted the linux install and made the /etc/init.d/hotplug* files non-executable.

I'd like to say it's worked like a charm, but this being Linux life is not so simple. Networking mysteriously failed to work, so I had to add a dhclient command to /etc/init.d/networking.

Also X failed to configure itself on my ubuntu install so after trying different things (including finding out that the x-window-system package is broken on ubuntu) I found a guide on how to set up the NVidia graphics driver.

All of that and I'm still not done. Because of licensing issues (which, ironically, don't seem to bother other software distributions) Ubuntu doesn't ship support for playing mp3s, so I have to fuck around with reading preachy guides and trying to puzzle out where to grab codecs from. Bleah, BSD is, imho, far simply (pkg_add -v xmms beats reading guides and going on a mad scavenger hunt).

Been up since 4am I'm going to try to make sense of the guide and if the words dance too much I'll fuck with it later.

[Update 9/27/12:31mst]
I added ac_97=yes to the boot parameters (I suspect it's superfluous, though) and after fucking around with searching I -on a whim- did a 'MAKEDEV audio' in /dev and now I have sound.

Bleah bleah bleah.

Journal Journal: Mod Points? For my account?

It's more likely than I had thought!

I thought I had been rtbl'd for one thing or another since it's been four years since I have had them. I've spent three out of five of my points on this thread, where eno2001 has single-handedly brought back the venerable tradition of Troll Tuesday.

If there's a list of classic threads, that should be on it. I'd encourage everyone to mod it up (remember, under-rated cannot be m2'd).

Myself? I'm ip banned (have been for a while now) because of flaming about bittorrent. Of course, that makes my recieveing mod points a bit on the odd and ironic side; but oh well.

Anyways; bye for now, journal; see ya next year!


Journal Journal: YABIDV (yet another bsd-is-dying variation)

It is official - Netcraft now confirms: Humanity is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Human community when IDC confirmed that Human market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all things on the net. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Humans has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Humanity is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [] to predict Humanity's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Humanity faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Humanity because Humanity is dying. Things are looking very bad for Humans. As many of us are already aware, Humanity continues to lose market share. Blood flows like a river of red ink.

"Smart People"(tm) are the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core reproducers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time people Stephen King and Feynman only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Humanity is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.
Human watchdog organisation BBC states that there are around 42,140 nuclear warheads poised to annihilate Humanity . How many People are there? Let's see. The number 6,382,978,111 was given by Therefore there are about 6,383,000,000 humans. Therefore there are about 6,400,000,000 people. A recent article put China's population at about 20 percent of the world population. Therefore there are about 1,261,832,482 chinese people. This is consistent with the number of people in china.

Due to the troubles of world politics, abysmal birth rates in Japan and Italy, germ warfare, natural plauges, famine, and so on, people are largely screwed. Now more people are dead, and with the death rate holding at a steady 100% there's little hope.

All major surveys show that Humans are pretty damn stupid. Humanity is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Humanity is to survive at all it will be through space travel. Earth continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Humanity is dead.

Fact: Humanity is dying

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