February 18, 2006 Archives


posted by tom / February 18, 2006 / 3 comments /

Today's Post has a an interesting profile of a botnet operator — one of those jerks who remotely infects computers, amassing swarms of enslaved machines that are then used to send spam, extort websites, steal information and generally do nasty things. The subject remains anonymous, only identifying himself as a high school dropout living in a small midwestern town. The three businesses closest to his house are also mentioned, but not named.

Except — whoops! It looks like the Post failed to scrub its photos very carefully. Within thirty minutes of the story being picked up by Slashdot, a user had noticed that the Post's photos contained metadata saying "Location: Roland, OK". Which, as you may have deduced, is a small midwestern town (pop. 3000). Another slashdot commenter googled for the businesses mentioned and was able to take a guess at the intersection where the guy lives.

Pride goeth before the fall and all that, I suppose. Have fun in jail, asshole.

my weekly blog post slamming the modern love section; am not sure why i cannot stop

posted by catherine / February 18, 2006 / 3 comments /

i'm going to go out on a limb here and say, in response to this paragraph:

It's O.K. to fall deeply for one loser after another. It's O.K. to show up at a guy's house with a dozen roses and declare your undying affection. It's O.K. to have too much to drink and call your ex 20 times and then to be mortally embarrassed when you realize your number must have shown up on his caller ID. It's O.K. to stand at a phone booth in Times Square on New Year's Eve, drenched like a sewer cat in the pouring rain, crying your eyes out because the man you are infatuated with has decided that he needs some space.

that it's actually probably not O.K.

to read

posted by catherine / February 18, 2006 / leave a comment /

a compelling account from a journalist reporting from iraq for three years.

pick up paper

posted by catherine / February 18, 2006 / 10 comments /

an anecdote:

i was out the other night with a friend of the male persuasion (who shall remain unnamed and unlinked for purposes of discussion, though many of you in DC in the LOOP will know him; ha ha, make note to remind self to pat self on back for being so clever) and we were grabbing a few drinks at a bar. this friend is an engaging conversationalist, so as we were sitting at our little table we were having a good time, laughing, chatting and drinking it up. the bar was fairly crowded, but we didn't really know anyone else there very well and weren't making an extroverted overtures towards anyone else or anything. partway through the evening, i excused myself to go to the bathroom.

when i returned, said male friend was bemusedly holding a scrap of paper in his hand. he told me that while i had been in the bathroom, a woman had dashed over to the table as he was sipping at his beer, handed him this scrap of paper, said, "here, i think you dropped this," and dashed away so quickly that he almost wasn't even sure what she looked like.

the scrap of paper? a name and a number. the next 15 minutes? we spent pondering whether someone else had actually dropped this scrap of paper, or whether this was a very roundabout way of picking up said male friend.

emboldened by beer, and the fact that though we had been staring pointedly at the woman for several minutes while she studiously avoided even glancing our way, said male friend walked over and chatted the lady up.

turns out, it was a pickup strategy. any results that might be forthcoming aside, my questions are thus: 1. is this a smart or stupid method? would everyone involved not have been better served if she had been a little more direct? 2. THE HELL? WE VERY WELL COULD HAVE BEEN ON A DATE. in fact, i think she thought we were. if i remember correctly she said something to said male friend along the lines of "....well, i wanted you to have my number just in case your date wasn't going well..." let's leave aside the fact that a) i am enormously cute and witty and no date with me could ever go badly b) uh, we weren't actually on a date so i have no right to be offended, am i wrong to, um, feel a little bit offended? that's an awfully ballsy move, considering a guy could be out with a date or girlfriend. i simply can't decide if it was good ballsy or bad ballsy. i guess if they get married and have little ballsy babies, it will have been a good one.

credit where due

posted by catherine / February 18, 2006 / 1 comment /

i give FTD and its already-renowned shitty service no respect whatsoever in this matter, but i will say that the local flowershop they used for the somewhat-imperfect valentine's day order came through today. they called while i was at a friend's house for directions (this was apparently the fourth time they had gotten lost trying to deliver the rest of tommy's order; granted, my apartment is pretty difficult to find) and when i came home this evening, i had a box of delicious chocolates and an extra arrangement of three roses and baby's breath waiting for me by the mailbox, along with a note apologizing for the delay.

i know. poor me. i got my valentine's day chocolates from my wonderful boyfriend THREE GODDAMN DAYS LATE. mother of god...what kind of sick, deprived life do i live?

anyway, props to mai flowers & gifts, their sweet delivery man and their sweet owner. the chocolate is tasty and the roses (both the first and second bouquets) beautiful.

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