Friday, August 19, 2005

Why Use Yahoo and Not Hotmail?

Ok, What is with these tech support people? Can't people make an obvious decision anymore? If these jokers worked for me and I happened to read this in prying1's blog then you bet they might not get fired but advancement would be a looong time coming. Whatever happened to 'executive decisions'? I make 'em all the time at my work and my bosses (two company owners - I'm the peon and prefer it that way.) depend on me to do so as occasion warrants. - Here is the scenario all of which on my end went through one of my Yahoo email accounts -

I get an email for a Nigerian 411 scam -

- Quote from email -
I am a business development specialist and i have engaged in the purchasing of heavy materials and machinery from any part of the world,for contract supplies(only) to some multinational companies in Europe and Africa.More to it,i was also partially or slightly invloved in the exportation of solid minerals in minimal quantity from some countries in Central Africa to some countries within the United Kingdom but due to some new strict trade policies and severe political and economical factors in some of the countres i was involved with in Africa,i have been put out of business for a while. - ... - ...
- end quote -
i have to wunder if his speiling andpunchuatshun might of had sumthin todo with looseing his busyness. - It goes on in much the same vein... - I wanted to change the word exportation in the email above to exploitation but decided not to change the body of the quote.

If you want to read the whole thing email me and I will forward it. - The deal was, I get 20% of 19 MILLION $$$'s - Whoo Hoo!

I'll be rich! Inevitably this would only cost me all I have plus all I could borrow and even all I could steal. Needless to say I did not go for it. If you want to invest let me know - I'll forward the pertinent info.

I noticed at the bottom of the letter was an email address. A bright blue link to the perpetrator of this scam. - It was a address. - So I do what any semi law abiding citizen would do. I forwarded the message to - A short while later I get an auto response from Hotmail - Form letter. They got the message and will look at it.
The same day I get another nigerian scam letter from Dr. John Smith. His real name! Wow! At first I thought he was joking but Dr. John Smith is his real name. His deal is better (I think).

- Quote - On behalf of myself and my colleagues who are ministerial official and other officers in charge of offshore remittance in this corporation, we are seeking your assistance for the transfer of Forty Two Million (US$15,000,000.00) to your account for further private investment purpose, Hence our request for your assistance. - ... - ... - End Quote -

The idiot didn't even change the number when he modified his letter. Which is it? 42 mil or 15 mil? I did not bother writing to ask. I

noticed the return address on this one was a account. - Forwarded email to - They responded within 8 hours. A form letter but it said appropriate action was taken. I feel satisfied. (note - As I am writing this I emailed from a dummy account to both addresses. - Response from Yahoo - Account non-existent! Mail undeliverable - Hot mail.......... No reply yet.)
Mind you these emails were received and forwarded on the same day.
OK, 2-1/2 hours after Yahoo tells me they took "appropriate action" Hotmail send me a message saying

- quote -

Thank you for writing to MSN Hotmail Technical Support.

My name is Harrison and I am writing in response to the unsolicited message that you reported. I know how important it is for you to protect your account from unsolicited messages.

I have verified that the account [] you reported is an active Hotmail account. However, we did not find enough evidence to prove that the e-mail that you received originated from this account. If you have other documentation to prove that this account is indeed sending unsolicited e-mail, please send us a copy with the full message header so we can re-evaluate your report. To do this, please refer to the Help section of your e-mail account or client to learn more about exposing the full message headers of the e-mail you are forwarding. - ... - ... -
... more about forged headers and crap unrelated to the nigerian scam letter I sent them ...
- end quote -

They got the full headers. The email address the scammer was using was at the bottom of the page. Hotmail is dealing with a scammer not a spammer. A scammer that is using a Hotmail account.

I wrote back to Hotmail - quote -

Hi Harrison, - This is the only email I received from this joker to my knowledge. - I could email him and get more on his scam for you but I should think that the body of the email with the hotmail address at the bottom should be enough to yank his account. - - I'm not sure if your terms of service allow you to go into his account and peruse his mail but certainly -[]- is up to no good and is using hotmail for nefarious purposes. - Paul - - - - 6:56 AM
- end quote -
Reply from Hotmail @ 15:43 hrs (8+ hours later) -

- Quote -

Hello Paul,

Thank you for writing back to MSN Hotmail Technical Support.

My name is Divino. I have read the e-mail exchanges you have had with Harrison
and from what I understand you were reporting about the unsolicited e-mail message you received.

We have investigated the account you have reported and we found that the X-Originating IP of the mail you have sent us did not match. It is possible that it was forged or tampered with. If you have any other documentation from this sender, please send it to us immediately with complete message headers.

Hotmail firmly enforces its Terms of Use (TOU) including our anti-spam stance. You can review our TOU at:

We are very sorry if we were not able to take action against this person because we need sufficient evidence to justify our actions. I appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter.

Thank you very much.

Divino T.
MSN Hotmail Technical Support

- end quote -
prying1 sez:

My FINAL reply: - quote -

OK - If you want to allow an obvious crook to continue
using hotmail then fine - I sent a similar email to
abuse at Yahoo and they YANKED the jerks account toot
sweet!. - Who cares where he originated the blasted
email - He want victims to use his Hotmail address
because he knows you will let him! - Paul -

- end quote -
I will continue to forward scams to Hotmail in hopes that Harrison and Divino don't get them... But I'm not gonna continue this endless diatribe with these boys. Let Mr. Micheal Hartrupp continue his scam through He knows he has the support! (smiley face here)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Why They Write Science Fiction!

I've been reading a bit of science fiction lately. I came across a set of books I got years ago and never got around to reading. It is a collection of short stories and novellas plus some that was selected by the members of The Science Fiction Writers of America. They had each member submit the titles they liked best excluding their own and tallied up the winners to put in an anthology. It is a 3 book collection called "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame".

Of course Asimov, Bradbury, Pohl, Heinlein, and a myriad of authors are represented.

Some favorite stories are, The Roads Must Roll (Heinlein), The Time Machine (H.G.Wells), The Midas Plague (Pohl), and too many more to name. Especially for a four fingered typist...

While reading a bit it finally came to me what it is that draws writers into Science Fiction as a favored genre. It is simply this. Lawsuits...

You know at the start of novels where it tells you that no one on earth was the model for the characters inside the book. Imagine this court scene:

Lawyer, "Your Honor, we will prove that my client Mr. Smith was slandered by this so called author. He was called a lying, unethical, crook and this has had an adverse effect on his business. He was called a pimping whoremonger and this has had an adverse effect on his family life. He was called an immature mamma's boy with apron strings tied to his wrists and this has had an adverse effect on his psyche.

Judge: Ok, I perused the book and am wondering where you find all of these accusations in it?

Lawyer, "Your Honor, You can read, starting on page 12, about the slimesided Arcturian gizzlewop named Rejrindul Azurkod and we intend to show how the author cleverly used this character to cause harm to my client.

Judge: (slams gavel) "Get out of my court!" (slams gavel again) "Now!!!" (Judge mumbles a bit, then barks) "Next case..."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Delete Button Does Not Delete!

On occasion I wheel and deal at a computer swap meet. I'll pick up hard drives real cheap there. Of course I'm taking a chance when I pick up a drive off the ground or a blanket that when I get it home it will not work. Last meet I got a 80 gig hard drive for $3.00. It works, whoohoo!

When I plugged the drive in I was able to set it up as a 'd' drive and accessed all the info on it. It had belonged to someone that had set it up as a 'C' drive with WinXP.

WinXP has now got it set up so that you cannot just simply transfer the drive from one machine to another. To get it to work as a 'C' drive I had to reformat it and reload Windows. This of course wiped out all the previous information. Or did it?

The info stored on a hard disk is simply magnetic bits that are pointed north or south, on or off, yes or no, 1 or 0. Deleting files or even formatting a hard drive does not remove all the information stored on it. It simply removes the pointers that tells the reading heads where to go to find the requested info. As a result sensitive information like banking and financial records can still be accessed with the proper software. I have read that even writing over the previous file doesn't quite do the trick. A ghost image of the file can remain and a real pro can find and reconstruct the info.

So, the question is, what to do with old unneeded hard drives to protect yourself from any hanky panky with the info on it. One solution that is quick and easy is to smash it with a hammer making sure all the platters inside get damaged. But suppose the computer you use at work is about to go down the hall to someone else. Perhaps the laptop you use is about to be transferred to another department. They might be a tad upset if the hard drive has major dents in it.

I came across this page from Brown University that gives some tips and links to software (Some Free!!! Whoohoo again!) that solves this problem. I see some in the list for Mac and Unix. (which reminds me of the time my buddy Mike asked another computer nut if he liked Unix. The man replied, "No! I prefer women...")

I will suggest you be careful if you download and use any of these programs. It appears that some of them are designed to wipe out the whole disk only and not selected freespace, files or folders.