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October 17, 2006

Some sort of myspace scam

   I'm not a big fan of myspace, but I use it to see what friends are up to from time to time-- especially those who are living out of town or stationed somewhere like Iraq.  A few weeks ago, got a friend request from someone in Arkansas.  I know a lot of people, but this person didn't seem like anyone I had ever met, so I was curious if she was either someone I had forgotten, so maybe someone who looked at my website and wanted to chat.  I wrote them back and never received a response.  Then today, I had a friend request from someone else I'd never herd of, this time with no indication of where they were from.  
   Those who have ever used myspace will have inevitably run into an unreadable page due to poor style sheets.  Since I run Firefox, I've run into this quite a bit because a lot of these pre-packaged style sheets are tailored for IE.  I have a plug-in called "Web Developer" which, among other things, allows me to disable styles.  I use it all the time to make myspace pages readable.  
   I noticed on this odd friend requesters' page the bottom didn't look right, so I disable the styles.  It turns out who ever made this page made a fake friend list of 18 people.  If you clicked the "View all friends", you got a myspace error page.  Since myspace is a poorly coded project, seeing such an error message is as common as the blue screen of death in Windows ME.  But when styles are disabled, the real friends list appears, where the person has over 1,000 "friends".  I went to check to see if this other "friend" had something similar, and sure enough that was the case.  
   There has to be some sort of conspiracy going on here.  Clearly the pages have been tailored to look like an average myspace page.  Yet, they fake the friends list to make it look as though they only know a couple of people.  I'm not entirely sure why someone would do this, but I suspect there's a malicious reason behind it.
   A gull at Cave Point.
Cave Point

Cave Point

   Today (actually, starting late last night), Tazz, Tami and I made our way up to Door County for a photo shoot.  We traveled to Cave Point, about 15 miles north east of Sturgeon Bay.  The fall color was about peak right along the water, the sky partly cloudy and nice and chilly with a slight breeze off the water.  We talked around the rocky waters edge at Cave Point for sometime, getting a good number of shots.  Then look around the north west edge of Door County for a place to photograph the sunset. 
   Upon reviewing the photos I took, I've determined I need some good High Dynamic Range software to complete the process.  I found most shots of the cliffs had either an over-exposed sky or a under-exposed rocky edge.  Since I bracket almost all my shots, HDR would be great for this.  Unfortunately, all the software I tried didn't work right away and my time has been greatly limited.

October 08, 2006

Watching the Ratrap

Britney on her 21st birthday

Britney on her 21st birthday

   Observed the IP address 38.100.41.105 doing something malicious.  They made 41 request before getting caught and banned in the ratrap.  The first requests were separated by about 20 seconds, but the requests then started coming at a rate of 1 to 3 a second.  Pages were requested without image requests.  Not typical of any bot I've seen is the request of CSS and latter on, requesting some images.  They entered with no referring URL, but the referring URL was present each request thereafter.  The user agent was identified as "(compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows XP)".  I'm not entirely sure what this bot was searching for-- especially with the rather random image requests.  Whatever it was, the ratrap successfully booted them out before they could waist much of my bandwidth.
   Pictured is Britney at her 21st birthday party early this morning.