From The New Zealand Herald -

An Oregon man discovered that his year-old Toshiba flat-screen TV was emitting an international distress signal picked up by a satellite, leading a search and rescue operation to his apartment in Corvallis, Oregon, 110km south of Portland.

Turns out the TV, when operating, was emitting a signal on the International Distress Frequency 121.5 - and the man got a visit from Police and SAR personnel!

Toshiba are replacing his TV. Says a bit for the quality of manufactured electronics though... :|

Mailwasher - a locally developed spam-filtering piece of software - can be a very useful tool. It can very accurately detect and filter spam out of your email inbox - and we all know how much we dislike spam nowadays.

There is one problem, however. From the aforementioned website one of the 'features' of the software is listed as follows:

  • Bounce back unwanted e-mails so it looks as if your email address is not valid. This will make the sender think your address is no longer active so your name can be removed from their list. This unique feature is great for privacy and it couldn’t be simpler!


Heres the rub. THIS WILL GET YOU IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. [click 'read more' to see why.]

Words cannot express...

So i'll let the evidence speak for itself:


From what I understand you are involved in the local internet / computer
industry.

I am writing to you to introduce my company, Networkstuff Ltd.

We supply quality new and used networking equipment to NZ companies,
individuals and internet service providers. We offer top brands like
Cisco, Intel, Lucent and 3com.

Our product range includes:
- Cisco routers
- Cisco modules
- Memory and upgrades for Cisco
- Remote access servers
- Networking leads and connections
- Assorted consumer electronics (A sideline)

Looks like Spam, doesn't it? Nomatter how you look at it, this is "Unsolicited Commercial Email" - UCE is bad, mmk?

The above is taken from an email that I personally received. Shortly afterward, a discussion started up on the NZ Network Operators Group mailing list... it seems there were a few recipients. More than a few, perhaps?

The NZNOG Archive holds this post (And its associated thread). Theres actually a few threads.

Ironically enough, 3 years ago almost to the day, the author of the very same message made it clear how he frowns on unsolicited commercial messages - even those which arent necessarily deliberate - on the NZ ADSL Discussion List.

Anyone who holds an email account nowdays knows about the spam problem, in greater or lesser degrees. I ask you, when given the choice, would you knowingly deal with someone who not only grabs email addresses he sees and knows to be used by 'potentially interested parties' and then advertises his business directly to them?

I know I wouldn't. As such I strongly reccomend against dealings with Mr Michael Hallager and his business, NetworkStuff.

Its been a while since I posted anything here. Lots of changes going on in my life.
New job! (I finish with Telecom tomorrow!) (New job not yet confirmed,... ooer) - new car - busy as hell with everything else.

My brigade recently had its yearly skills training weekend. I got wet. But a good weekend was had and the weather was kind, of course. :-)

My Gaming clan the Ministry of Death are gradually working their way up the haierarchy, such as it is. I'm organising our efforts in the area of Desert Combat. (Desert Combat is a mod pack for the Battlefield 1942 game from EA, which is what MoD predominantly play.)

The NZ Linux Users Group have an Installfest lined up for late October, and i'm on the organising committee. Just waiting on final date confirmation and we'll be all go. Take a look at the site. The venue is likely to be AUT in central Auckland, and if youre wanting to give Linux a go this is a great opportunity to ask questions and pick the brains of people who use it daily.

Oh and seen in todays NZ Herald:

Maori want to claim licensing rights on the airspace above Lake Taupo. WTF?!?!?!?!?!!?!~?!?

Carried on the NZOSS Portal - Peter Harrison has reviewed the Transmeta Laptop known as XC3394. A fair review I think! Certainly good to know we have options around buying machines without paying the MS OS Overhead on an OEM machine.

Internetweek.com, as reported by Vik's Clippings carries this article, which is a good background for those who think that 'IRC Bots' are 'nothing to worry about' in the great scheme... (hello any ISP security staff who ignore bot reports...)

Assuming you run windows of course.
At the risk of lapsing into gamerleetspeak - This browser PWNS.


Get Firefox!


Install it and configure it as your default browser. Keep IE for windowsupdate (and continue to update it) but keep your options open - and your system safe. Use Mozilla Firefox! (!)

A situation thats come to my attention a couple of times recently strikes me as well, important, for anyone that either:

a) Receives email from people who don't know how to use BCC instead of Open CC (that'd be most of us), or

b) Receives their email care of the POP3 plugin for Microsoft Exchange.

The Microsoft Knowledge Base Article on the subject explains it well enough for most technical users. However I get the impression that a lot of people don't understand the circumstance that creates this particular 'problem'.

The Problem is evidenced by a LARGE number of repeat emails being delivered to one or a group of people, Where the group of people were all recipients of the original, that was sent to all of those recipients via Open TO: or CC: fields.

For those who don't understand what the pop3 connector does... heres an explaination:

    Email is delivered using the SMTP protocol. It is 'pushed' from the sending mail server to the destination mail server based on the advertised MX record in the DNS. For example:



    ;; ANSWER SECTION:

    paradise.net.nz. 1286 IN MX 20 smtp.paradise.net.nz.

    paradise.net.nz. 1286 IN MX 10 pop3.paradise.net.nz.



    In this example paradise have two MX's, which have differing priorities. The priority is set by the number next to the host, and the lowest number has the highest priority. To use this example, email to any-valid-user who has @paradise.net.nz in their address, will be delivered by your smtp server to 'pop3.paradise.net.nz'. If this fails, it'll try the next highest number present - smtp.paradise.net.nz.

    For businesses who want to run their own email in-house - MS Exchange seems to be a common choice. Obviously it has a lot of features that lend themselves to the business environment - address books, calendars etc which can be shared, and so on. So its not necessarily a bad business idea.

    You all probably remember the hype that was mtnsms.com. Free Text messages to GSM networks worldwide, via the web.

    This was cool untill sheer volume forced MTN - a Telco in South Africa - to knock the service on the head. Costs and all that. Fair enough.

    sms.ac was an alternative. (For the record we're talking a good 3 years ago at least.)

    SMS.AC is a service allowing web-to-sms. Initially subscribers to the service were given a certain number of freebies - but then you had to start contributing credit, to cover costs or whatever.

    Sure.

    I created a login. I even used it, I think once ever. I was referred to it by someone - if you referred people you gained some free credit, I think.

    Anyway recently I asked them to delete all my account information with them - having received some unsolicited correspondence from them which I apparently opted-in for by holdin an account with them, I decided to terminate the account.

    All very well except since then, i've recieved further spam. More than once.

    The first time, I complained to abuse@sms.ac.
    The second time, I complained to abuse@cari.net and abuse@sms.ac.
    The third time, I blocked the IP the message came from, after again notifying abuse@cari.net - who are the IP network provider.

    Unacceptable. Blatant spam from a once-seemingly-legitimate service provider.

    Anyone who is seen to condone UCE or Spam should be hung drawn and quartered, IMHO. If you use SMS.AC for anything - or if you have ever signed up for an account with them - I reccomend you terminate forthwith and treat further correspondence from them with the contempt it deserves.

    Meanwhile I wait for cari.net (or sms.ac) to do right by the internet-at-large and deal with their client.

    [UPDATE - 20 October 2004 - Having seen a reference to this very page on a third parties site (wow, someone reads my page!) (and I forgot to save the referrer... i might have to dig it out of my stats again) I did a further search. This Link Is very interesting... ]

    It seems that i'm destined not to own a working laptop.
    I bought one just before Christmas, having wanted one for literally *years*.
    After a little while I noticed it ran REALLY hot.
    Even the power pack ran hot - hot enough to scorch the carpet !
    This was replaced eventually with a slightly newer model (the 'current' equivalent, 4 months after purchase).

    That was 2 weeks ago. Today the soundcard on the laptop failed. Nothing but distortion from either speakers or headphones, and regardless of OS.

    I'm seriously pissed. Is someone out there conspiring against me? :/

    -- UPDATE - For the record - DSE kindly arranged for me to liase directly with the Asus Agents, Renaissance, who replaced the defective sound board while-I-waited. The system is actually pretty reliable and i'm happy with it, and very happy with the service rendered by DSE and Renaissance. Well done.

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