Have Satellite Truck, Will Travel

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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Spam with a toxic link twist!

Columbia, SC - From today's e-mail was this plain Jane missive with the subject "You've received a greeting card from a friend!":
Good day.

Your friend has sent you a greeting card from postcardsfrom.com.

Send free ecards from postcardsfrom.com with your choice of colors, words and music.

Your ecard will be available with us for the next 30 days. If you wish to keep the ecard longer, you may save it on your computer or take a print.

To view your ecard, choose from any of the following options:


Click on the following Internet address or
copy & paste it into your browser's address box.



Copy & paste the ecard number in the "View Your Card" box at http://69.132.108.x/

Your ecard number is

Best wishes,

*last portion of the URL is an 8. I changed it to an 'x' to avoid anyone accidentally clicking on it and getting a case of the computer clap. If you want to see what it does, replace the 'x' with an '8' and you're in. I also changed the last 11 digits in the identifier so the harvesting web site would not validate my e-mail address for spam purposes.

If you follow the link in option 2 you get a web page with text that reads, "We are currently testing a new browser feature. If you are not able to view this ecard, please click here to view in its original format." The 'click here" links to an executable named ecard.exe.

Okay, so I know that most of you reading this are computer savvy enough to at most, check to see where the link leads and then delete this spam untouched. However we all know someone that would download and run that program so they could see their e-card.

With that in mind I started digging. There is in fact a postcardsfrom.com on the net. But they do not provide an e-cards service. Their IP address does not come anywhere near the numbers in the url. The WhoIs listing for that number comes back to Road Runner.

With that thought in mind, I set out to contact the fine folks at Road Runner so that they might shut this amateur script kiddie down before too much damage is done.

What a joke. I sent three e-mails to Road Runner's abuse address. They were all returned by an automated system demanding more information like the e-mail headers. After the third attempt it finally became clear to me that the system was designed to keep people from contacting the abuse department.

So I went to Road Runner's tech support page and did some on-line chatting with a tech support person named Cassandra. After explaining the entire situation to them, She referred me to their fraud department e-mail address.

I asked if she had anyway of of contacting their security department before the damage became wide spread. Her response was, "Cassandra D: If you have no further issues that we can assist you with, you may end the chat session by clicking on the X or End Session button and a chat transcript will be displayed for you. Once again thank you for choosing Time Warner Cable Road Runner!"

The e-mail to their fraud address just came back for the second time demanding more information. You gotta love it!

This garbage about corporations going out of their way to isolate themselves from their customers and the public at large has gone way too far. Do you think Road Runner bears any liability for any damage that occurs after my chat with Cassandra? That would be an interesting legal challenge.

I post this as a warning to be freely passed along, especially to anyone you know that would cheerfully click that link, download and run that program so they can see their e-card.

- 30 -

I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
- Stephen Hawking

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

University of New Mexico thumps RIAA mass suppoena

The RIAA dropped one of their John Doe subpoenas on the University of New Mexico demanding the identities of 16 students in Capitol v. Does 1-16. Unlike several other large universities The University of New Mexico did not roll over and cough up the student's personal information. Instead the sent the matter to their own legal department.

Their attorney went to United States District Court and pointed out the numerous legal flaws in the RIAA's paper work. Check this out:

As the Plaintiffs do not presently know the identity of the Defendants, there is no reasonable way to ensure that those prospective Defendants are given notice or even an opportunity to respond in opposition to the request for disclosure. Rather, Plaintiffs seek to obtain information directly from the University of New Mexico. Plaintiffs propose that the University will be able to notify subscribers that a subpoena was served. However, the Court needs to ensure that subscribers actually receive notification and are given a reasonable opportunity to intervene in order to stop the disclosure of sensitive information.

In any event, the Court[...] sees no need to act on an ex parte application. Rather, it would appear appropriate that Plaintiffs and the University of New Mexico confer on an appropriate process to ensure that, if a subpoena is served, the University not turn over information until it has given notice to individual subscribers that a subpoena has been issued and allow those subscribers to intervene in this proceeding to protect disclosure of sensitive information. Moreover, ex parte proceedings should be the exception, not the rule. Accordingly, the Court declines to grant Plaintiffs’ request for ex parte application.

Further, the federal rules prohibit discovery until the parties have met and conferred, formulated an appropriate discovery plan, and made arrangements for disclosure of information. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26. Here, of course, the individual subscribers are unknown, have not been sued and cannot “meet and confer” with Plaintiffs. However, the University of New Mexico, the entity from which discovery is sought, has a right to be heard on this matter.

- From RIAA battling lawyer Ray Beckman's blog, Recording Industry vs. People

The students that were stealing the music are not our of the woods yet. The judge's ruling goes on to order the university and RIAA legal counsel to meet and "attempt to agree on a fair and reasonable process that would allow Plaintiffs to identify limited information about the subscribers."

But the good news is that the RIAA's wholesale fishing expeditions have just been ruled out. This ruling could effect the entire RIAA game plan of lumping many defendants in to one action.

A tip of the hat to the legal staff at the University of New Mexico.

- 30 -

The court is like a palace of marble; it's composed of people very hard and very polished.
- Jean de la Bruyere

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Friday, June 15, 2007


While doing a job for a religious television network, part of a sermon caught my ear. The topic was "forgiveness." The speaker was very articulate and entertaining. Alas, I failed to get his name.

If you filter out all the religious "judge not lest ye be judged" stuff, his message made sense from from a psychological stand point. To forgive those that wrong you, betray you or hurt you is a good thing. Carrying a bunch of anger around is a lot of work. Anger and hate can keep you awake at night, keep you stressed during the day and even cloud your judgment. Deep set old burning anger and pain can effect those around you by leaving you in a very dark mood.

So forgiveness is the thing to do. Let it go, unburden your mind and get on with your life.

But in some cases that is a darn sight easier said then done.

The trivial things are easy. Getting cut off in traffic, your spouse spills something on your good clothes, a friend forgets a lunch date, an employee's one time late arrival at work, a coworker's bad joke, etc. All of these things are no problem. The are forgiven and after a very short time, forgotten.

Then there are the events that take some time to forgive and maybe should not be forgotten. Those transgressions can only be defined by each individual. In my book, these are along the lines of having a trusted friend steal from you, a loved one that lies to you about something really important to you, a sibling that gets drunk while using your car and wrecks it. All of these things can be forgiven after time, but the life lesson should probably be filed away for future reference.

You see, the preacher and I disagree on this point. He was talking forgive and forget. My thought is that to forgive is fine, but that should not mean forget in all cases. It has something to do with that "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" thing.

But how does one forgive the the major transgressions that cross everyone's life to one degree or another? We are talking life changing, sometimes soul wrenching crimes against you. I am talking about things I have witnessed like:

  • A mate and lover that lies to you and cheats with others.
  • A coworker that takes credit for your work, stabs you in the back and costs you your job.
  • Someone that, after an argument, goes behind your back to your circle of common friends making sure that you look as bad as possible.
  • A real estate agent that cons you into buying damaged or badly zoned property.
  • Someone who deceives you about becoming your mate and coming to live with you. So you change your life and your plans toward beginning that new life with that someone you love only to find out later that was at best a fantasy on their part or, at worse, nothing more then a ploy to keep your attention.
  • A spouse that through no fault of their own is suddenly afflicted with the affection quotient of a pet rock leaving you trapped in a cold marriage.
  • Being furious with the Gods themselves for taking your one true soul mate from this life.

It's all well and good to have someone tell you to forgive everyone in the name of saving your soul. Or even someone like me that says forgiveness relieves you of mental baggage and stress.

But when the betrayal hurts so bad that it scars your soul, the deceit has you so angry that it consumes all your thoughts, the loss has has you so wracked with grief that you cannot function, how do you forgive and move on. How does any Human that is not Gandhi ever completely forgive these major transgressions?

If anyone has the answer to that question, I would sure like to hear it.

- 30 -

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
- William Blake

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris is back in the can!

A thoroughly pissed off Judge Michael T. Sauer ordered Paris Hilton and her attorneys back into court. It would appear Paris Hilton's transfer from a traditional lock up to house arrest in her multi-million home vexed him beyond belief. In his original order Judge Sauer specified no furlough, no work release, no house arrest and no electronic monitoring.

In fact he was so vexed with the situation that he took the remarkable step (for a judge) of issuing a press release stating he had not approved the change in her custody status. The city attorney was less then impressed. He filed this petition asking the judge to find the sheriff in contempt of court.

But it gets better. Hilton's attorneys decided she could appear by telephone. The judge, hearing about the telephone appearance on the radio while driving into work, had a different idea. He ordered the Sheriff's office to fetch her to the court house. After a bit of arguing as to whether or not the sheriff was going to comply with that court order, sheriff's deputies went to Hilton's home in the Hollywood Hills collected her.

A crying Paris Hilton was taken to court in a police car Friday for a hearing on her early release from jail, heightening the struggle between the judge who sentenced Hilton and the sheriff who sent her home under house arrest.

Hilton appeared to be in handcuffs when she was placed into a black-and-white patrol car, which sped away from her Hollywood Hills home with lights flashing. Paparazzi sprinted in pursuit and news helicopters pursued overhead, broadcasting live TV coverage.

The police car arrived at the courthouse and disappeared into the underground parking lot. Inside, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was to listen to the city attorney's complaint that Sheriff Lee Baca did not have the right to reassign Hilton to electronically monitored home detention after only three days in jail for violating probation in a reckless driving case.

Forbes: Crying Paris Hilton Returned to LA Court

Once she was delivered to the court room, people in the room say she cried and shook throughout the entire proceeding.

Judge Sauer said that he found no evidence of any medical condition and ordered her back into the lock up.

Screaming and crying, Paris Hilton was escorted out of a courtroom and back to jail Friday after a judge ruled that she must serve out her entire 45-day sentence behind bars rather than in her Hollywood Hills home.

"It's not right!" shouted the weeping Hilton, who violated her parole in a reckless driving case. "Mom!" she called out to her mother in the audience.

Forbes: Screaming Paris Hilton Sent Back to Jail

Well now, isn't that special. I'm certain that everyone in the court room was impressed. I know just hearing about it made an impression on me.

Paris Hilton thought she was going to have her "people" solve this for. She is probably completely oblivious to the threat her driving presents to the rest of us. If she does know, that just makes her sins all the worse.

I think she is now becoming aware there are some things money cannot buy. Like when you get sentenced to jail for thumbing your nose at the legal system. Maybe this will give her a clue about other things money can't fix. Like getting drunk, getting behind the wheel and killing someone's mother, father, daughter and/or son. Nor can money fix crippling and disfiguring injuries.

Perhaps after this traumatic life lesson, she will find it in herself to stop endangering the rest of society.


The most valuable life lessons are also the hardest.
- Anonymous

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Get out of jail free

Lets see now...
  • Last September Paris Hilton got DUI arrest. She was convicted
  • She got stopped for driving under suspension three months later. She had to sign a piece of paper acknowledging the license suspension at that time.
  • 30 days later she was arrested for driving under suspension again.
  • Another trip to court with a cocky attitude and the judge gives her 45 days in the lock up.

Now if this were myself, or just about anyone else reading this blog, we would have been carted off to the county lock up to serve our sentence minus time off for good behavior.

But Paris Hilton managed to make a mockery of the justice system. It was negotiated through attorneys that she be placed in a special needs unit.The county sheriff spent days going through lists of potential cell mates. The Sheriff personally issued a sermon from the book of threats to the jail staff with regard to Ms. Hilton's treatment and protecting her privacy. So the hundred thousand dollar cell-phone pictures of Ms. Hilton lounging around in a jail house jump suit were pretty much ruled out.

So all these concessions, that if anyone of us would have suggested would have got us laughed onto permanent toilet cleaning duty during our stay, were made to accommodate the Heiress's needs. Talk about justice.

But that slap in the face to justice wasn't enough.

With all that in put place just for Ms. Hilton, it seems jail still did not set well her. It was reported she spent all her time crying, was not eating and was nearing a breakdown. She had several visitors, two of which were her psychiatrist and her personal physician. After some consultation with jail medical personnel, it was decided that Ms. Hilton be sent home around 2:00 a.m. this morning. She is to serve the full 40 days remaining on her sentence at home. That would be a multi-million dollar mansion in the Hollywood Hills.

What a crock of shit! If Ms. Hilton was in a bad way, the sheriff should have moved her to the jail ward in the county hospital. This has made a joke out of the justice system.

I'm not the only one upset. The judge and prosecutor are not real happy either.

The judge who sentenced Paris Hilton to jail and the city's top prosecutor objected Thursday to her early release for an unspecified medical condition after only three days behind bars.

"The judicial process may have been improperly circumvented in this case," said City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. "This explanation is puzzling. Los Angeles County jail medical facilities are well-equipped to deal with medical situations involving inmates."

Sheriff Lee Baca released Hilton to serve 40 days at her Hollywood Hills home after she served three days of what was expected to be a three week stay for violating probation in a reckless driving case.

While Baca's spokesman said the judge who sentenced her had been consulted, he didn't mention that Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer objected to her release. When Sauer sentenced her last month he specifically said she could not do her time at home.

"He did not agree to the terms of release that the sheriff proposed," said Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini.

USA Today: Prosecutor, judge object to Hilton's early release

Tomorrow Ms. Hilton is back in court for a hearing. The prosecution filed a motion show cause contempt motion against the sheriff's office for letting her go home under house arrest. The judge's original sentence stated very clearly house arrest was not an option.

I don't see a gray area here. Either Ms. Hilton goes back in, or the rest of the DUI/DUS convicts need to get the same deal.

What a travesty!

- 30 -

In jail I was just like everybody else, I was sitting there praying, feeling caged.
- Dennis Rodman

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