TECH: Blue Frog’s legacy? Users are fed up and ready to fight. Just give’m a target!

From the Ashes of Blue Frog

May 26, 2006
From the Ashes of Blue Frog
the LOOSE wire blog
technology: usage and abusage. By WSJ columnist Jeremy Wagstaff 

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The Blue Frog may be no more,  but the vigilantes are. Seems that despite the death of Blue Security in the face of a spammer’s wrath, the service has built an appetite for fighting back.
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Jeremy posits some interesting questions:

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Actually I thought the link Blue Frog used wasn’t unsubscribe (which is usually fake, since if it wasn’t would then pull the spammer back within the law) but the purchase link. 

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I THOUGHT that the Blue Forg team was doing analysis to find the beneficiary of the spam. AND then that beneficiary was petitioned to give relief.

I would not want to bear the wrath of the inet public should say a major company be found benefitting by spam. I'm thinking of the spammers that offer an XYZ gift card for signing up.

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Any member who is on the spammer’s list (developed by the logical subtraction from their original list by their new cleaned list) will now be vulnerable to the kind of mass email attack that Blue Frog’s destroyer launched.
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I'd suggest that deliberately letting the spammers "collect" salted email addresses could be a strategy. If for example, an ISP, Google GMail, and or Yahoo "allow" all email addresses thru. Spammers would get no feedback about bad addresses. They would lose a good way to cut their problem down to size.

For example, let's assume 8 character names, like That address space has (36)**8 possible combination. Let's further assume that a spammer sends via his botnet a spam to that address space. Assume that our spammer puts return addresses that he can check. That feedback allows him to reduce his target space. He'l get some confirmation from vacation type messages and the absence of a bounce. He can determine what are valid addresses in the space. If we deny him the feedback of bounces, then everytime he wants to spam, he has to cover the domain.

We lose the ability to know about bouncing emails, but … … if we use receipt, we'll knwo what doesn't get thru.

Just a thought! 

MONEY: Social Security “Insurance” is welfare for rich white women at the expense of men, especially poor minority men!


>I also think that my pension is a perk, just like any perk you've received over the years.

No, not a perk. It was part of the value equation that you accepted to give them your time. The problem with a government pension is that they are defrauding you. Or at least fooling you too into believing how good it is or will be.

Compare the difference between a pension and an IRA / 401k.

Your time is worth say a dollar. Now you can take the dollar put it in an IRA, or have Uncle Sam put it in your “government pension”. I’d argue you’d be better off if you COULD put that dollar in your own IRA.

Thirty years down the road, you have to go hat in hand to Mommy Government and apply for your pension. Who knows what the rules will be, the payouts, or anything? You're depending upon the American people's sense of "fair play" and the honesty of politicians to uphold the bargain made by their predecessors.

That money in your IRA is real savings. It's yours. You want it. Go take it! All of it.

The money in the Government Pension is just an IOU based on the willingness of future taxpayers to make good on what you’ve been promised.

And, if, like the social security ponzi scheme, you are unfortunate not to live long enough to collect, then who gets your “pension”? An IRA would go to your heirs. Your accumulated Social Security taxes (i.e., "insurance" premiums) and / or accrued  pension just goes into the common pot.

(There’s a reason why accountants joke that social security is welfare for rich white women at the expense of men, especially poor minority men!)

A corporate pension also represent real savings. The company usually has bought a bet with an insurance company to pay the pensioners off. Baring the insurance company and the company going belly up, you'll get your benefit.

Defined benefit plans are being abandoned by companies thru bankruptcy. The Government winds up holding the bag via the PGC. So, to a certain extent, there is little difference between the the bankrupted corporate pension, a government pension, and Social Security! Ask the pilots at Delta about pensions versus IRA / 401ks.

At one time, unions held their members' pension plan assets because no one trusted the companies. Federal prosecutions of the union pension trustees demonstrates the worth of that approach. 

So, I think you have to think very carefully about promises versus bank balances. You need to think about the time value of money, discounted cash flow, the value of annuities, and a "bird in my hand is worth two of your promises".


MONEY: The pension was a great benefit. Right!

One of the biggest awakenings I ever received was at ATT when I chatted with an actuary.

He disabused me of the notion that the ATT pension was a great benefit.

He pointed out that if they didn’t give me a pension and other benefits then they would have had to pay me more. At the time of the conversation, ATT put aside in the pension plan $8.43 per month per employee!


They’d have had to pay a lot more in salary that that pittance. So, they weren’t doing me any BIG favor.

And, you wouldn’t want to guess how many people they fooled with the propaganda that the pension was an important benefit.

TECH: Microsoft welshes on the promised usb drive

What a bunch of hooey.

First, I really don't need their usb drive. I was going to use it to put a bootable Linux on it. (I have a perverse sense of humor!) 

Second, my request was in less than an hour after it was made. (Thanks to an email alert from Google!) So the supply ran out excuse is a bunch of Baraba Striesand.

Third, it an interesting piece of propaganda they're shoveling. "OEM operating system licenses live and die with each PC–they are not transferable." Oh really. And what defines a PC. The case? Where you stuck your tag. The COA? That comes as a book. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But isn't this an assertion after the contract is made. And further, isn't their relationship with Mister Dell. Whoa re they to tell me what my agreement with Dell is. Now let me understand this if I build my own box, buy all the aprts including the OS, then I can put my OS where I want it when I want it. But, if I buy the box from DELL and say the other board dies, then you expect me to buy another copy of the OS?

Wrong. Linux for me. Very shortly.

The mystery for me is why we put up with this in the first place. 


From: Microsoft []
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 1:22 PM
To: reinkefjSubject: The mystery of the missing USB drive
Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Solved Windows® licensing promotion. We've received your request for more information to help clarify Microsoft® Windows Desktop Licensing pre-loaded on the USB drive. Unfortunately, this Mystery Solved promotion was available in the U.S. only and while supplies last. Supply is depleted at this time, so we encourage you to please utilize the online alternative today. Simply download* the Windows Desktop Licensing reference files directly

o help simplify Windows Desktop Licensing, keep these points in mind: 
There are two legal ways to acquire a full Windows Desktop license: through your hardware vendor (OEM/System Builder) or Full Packaged Product.
Volume licensing covers Windows Desktop operating system upgrades only.
OEM operating system licenses live and die with each PC–they are not transferable.

Again, thank you for your interest in Mystery Solved and for helping us spread the word about proper Windows licensing.

Microsoft Corporation
*Internet connect time charges may apply. Offer available through June 30, 2006.

© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.      


WRITING: Squeeze out your “nuggets” in the wasted waiting time.

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I am trying o figure out where you find the time to post all these blogs?  
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My friend's question is an interesting one.

The answer is that I rip them off as quick hits. Or, I steal them from an email. Or, when I am collecting thoughts.

Some feel that a blog is a literary masterpiece. I'm just using it as a wastebasket for ideas. At the end of every week, I copy all the blog's posts into a text file on my LUGGABLE. It then is available for recycling as I need it.

Remember one of my regrets was to loose too many good ideas. This is one way of preventing that.

You want literature, but Steinbeck. You want stream of consciousness rambling, read my blog.

It's is relatively easy to catch stuff through out the day and them punch them in as time permits.  There is nothing saying that when you're sitting on an unstarted conference call listening to the same dumb music, that you can't take a mental vacation or bang out a few thoughts.

Oh, gotta go, the "leader" just arrived. Late as usual. Now onto the "inaction register". That's a project status document filled with  lame excuses of why people didn't do what they promised to do. :-) Another set of pet peeves!

RANT: Manage things;Lead people!

In my way of thinking, you manage things (e.g., budgets; computers; networks; projects) but you have to lead people (i.e., people are more like a mules with a mind of its own).

Things lend themselves well to being "managed". There are no hard feelings when you cut a budget. You can be totally analytical and blunt with "things".

People need to be lead. My first exposure to "leadership" was the mythical telephone lineman litho that was "required" in every Bell lobby anywhere. He was joined by the equally mythical board operator running her station as the flood waters rose. They  were inspiring. You were part of something that was huge and that made a difference in people's lives.  I learned that if you motivate someone, in their own mind, they will drive themselves harder than you ever can with a club. By the same token, you can have all the whip and clubs you want over people and you can't make them do squat if they don't want to. That mule is just a metaphor. If you want to have something really screwed up, just order people to do something. In a perverse sense of humor, they will do EXACTLY what you instruct and may the Intelligent Designer help you when they do. 

Just a pet peeve. I want to be "lead" not "managed". 

LIBERTY: Free to … … watch what you are told to watch!

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"Consumers are free to choose to read The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle or any other newspaper regardless of where in the United States they live," EchoStar said in a statement. "Broadcasters successfully orchestrated passage of special-interest legislation which prohibits consumers from watching network channels originating in other markets."
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I have some first hand experience with this issue. Being half way between NYC and Philly, we "get" both channels over the air. But when you sign up with cable or satellite service, you can't get the Philly NBC affiliate. Now, it just so happened that a show that Frau Reinke wanted to watch on a regular basis was "on" in Philly but not NY. Too bad, Frau Reinke! Your government will dictate what you can and can not watch.

A plague on all their houses.

Copyright law is a joke. Law is a joke. Unfortuantely the joke is on us!

Where is the common sense? If I can get it from an antenna, then why can I get it off the bird or the wire?

That darn gang with the guns making me a serf! 

LIBERTY: The “war on poverty” and the “war on drugs” has had “some” unintended consequences!

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I recently learned a shocking statistic. Before 1965, the year in which President Johnson launched his war-on-poverty government handout campaign, 82 percent of black American families were two-parent households. Today, 83 percent of all black children are born out of wedlock and grow up fatherless. This contributes to high crime, poverty, drug abuse and illegitimate births in the black community. What destroyed the black family? Without question, the home wrecker is liberalism. 

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No question that the "war on poverty" and the "war on drugs" has had "some" unintended consequences. Although I'm sure there are conspiricy buffs out there who would claim it was all planned, I think it's just the UI in action! Time to end all these "wars" that do nothing for us but hurt us. imho

TECH: Hibernate isn’t foolproof

Interesting that every so often, like this morning, LUGGABLE didn't really awake from hibernation correctly. It was so slow as to be unusable. Outlook was complaining about not being shutdown correctly. Interesting also that I had to do a restart and everything is now hunky dorey. So perhaps, XPPROSP2 for the laptop needs soem further testing? I'll have to start to try and measure the affect or just do a hard stop when I shif locations. It can be rather useful to just pick up where one left off. But, this morning, I'd guesstimate I waste a good hour before throwing in the towel. Hmmm?