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User Journal

Journal Journal: centurytel loses new mexico

My housemate is from New Mexico and tried to call there recently on our landline. And he can't reach his parents because they recently added a new area code in NM (575) which seems to be the same as a local exchange (in Washington State). So when you dial you get as far as 1-575 and the system tells you that it can't complete the call unless you dial 1-509 - but thats in Washington. The nice(?) people at centurytel told him to "unplug all the phones in the house and plug then back in". Right. For more fun (and information) try : his livejournal entry and this followup where they toss out the trouble ticket.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Patent weirdness

Here's a fun patent worth reading. I think it shows just how bizarre the patent granting process has become. It might also help you if you are inclined toward the kind of vague psychological help you find in cheap self-help books. Also, perhaps, if you're a fan of the Madam Blavatsky school of philosophy.

Here are the two (thats all) claims, which seem to me to cover almost anything as long as it has 81 things grouped in threes:

1. A psychological development system comprising triangulation, categorization and interpretation.
2. A psychological development system comprising evaluating at least three things in at least three ways in at least three levels that is repeated at least three times.

And a description that reads rather like Madame Blavatsky and achieves impressive levels of buzzwordy, symbolist vagueness. Just one sample :

The Triangle symbolizes the Personal Realm and relates to the Qualitative Research approach...pointing upwards it stands for ascent to heaven, fire, and the active male principle: reversed, it symbolizes grace descending from heaven, water, the receptive female element.

User Journal

Journal Journal: spam 2

In a followup to the previous entry, I went to the web site listed and found this page where you can report "certain parties" that send out spam advertising their product. This page is great fun, it uses the standard kinds of javascript junk (unescape) to obfuscate a function (named, "o" so nicely) o which actually builds the page. Now why they need to do this escapes (so to speak) me, as it took all of about five minutes to write a bit of python that decodes the page. If you take the following (you'll need to replace the "_"s with spaces and watch the long quoted string in the second line) and use this function o in place of theirs, you'll easily see the text of their web page - it makes interesting reading.

Even more interesting, the decoded web page does not work in mozilla. Sigh.

b="a6=mDbFJfS|c&%iPY;!-3?R#Wq.rCgl+dyE 4wMU/j)Tz:"

def iii() :
_global g

def o(s) :
_ global g
_ res = ""
_ k=''
_ for n in range(len(s)) :
__ f=s[n]
__ e=b.find(f)
__ if e>-1 :
___ y=((e+1)%l-1)
___ if y ____ y+=l
___ k+=b[y-1]
__ else :
___ k+=f
_ g +=k

User Journal

Journal Journal: spam

Just wanted to make public this wonderful spam. Note that it claims to be legal under the can spam act - so I guess we have our elected (and probably well paid off) representatives to blame.

As usual it has all the typical signatures of spam including the (hidden) random crap wordlist, the image load to check to see if it was read, the email addresses on a machine that wont respond to anything on port 25.

I've changed my email in thisto their whois email just because. I've also disabled the html.

From - Mon Apr 19 11:45:29 2004
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Return-Path: <Effie@online-pmktg.com>
Received: from ([])
by previa-mktg (8.12.8/8.12.8) with SMTP id i3JIburB017625
for <previa-mktg@yahoo.com>; Mon, 19 Apr 2004 13:37:56 -0500
Received: from ([]) by ([]); Tue, 20 Apr 2004 14:25:03 +0600
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 03:33:03 -0500
From: "Millard" <Millard@online-pmktg.com>
Reply-To: "Millard" <Millard@online-pmktg.com>
Message-Id: <632824102935.4441845087896572311@online-pmktg.com>
To: previa-mktg@yahoo.com
Subject: At last, smart filtering technology that works
Mime-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: Jspooky Version 0.6
Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Important Info</TITLE>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1276" name=GENERATOR></HEAD>
<BODY text=#000000 bgColor=#ffffff>
<P><FONT face="Courier New, Courier, mono">Hey, how are you doing?</FONT> </P>

<P><B><font color="#ff0000" size="+1">Better than all other Spam filters -</font></B></P>
<P><B>Only Delivers The Email You Want!</B></P>
<P>This is the ultimate solution that is guaranteed to stop all spam<BR>
losing any of your important email! This system protects you 100%.
<P>We didn't believe it either until we actually tried it. So you be the judge
and see for yourself.<BR>
<P><BR><B>You owe it to yourself to try this program,</B> and forward this email
to all of your friends<BR>
who hate Spam or as many people as possible. </P>

<P><FONT face="Courier New, Courier, mono"><A
size=+1>Get rid of unwanted emails now.</FONT></A></FONT></P>
<P><A href="http://epmktg.com/mbfr.htm">If you want to stop receiving this </A></P>
<P><font size="-1">P.revia Marketing, Inc.<br>
14781 Memorial Dr. / Suite 966<br>
Houston, TX 77079</font></P>

<P><font size="-1">Conforms to legal requirements of 2003 US Can-Spam Act.</font></P>


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<img src="http://mailcheckisp.biz/load_image.asp?image=previa-mktg@yahoo.com" width="1" height="0">


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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell