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News

Meaningless tidbits of useless information, delivered in a somewhat less than timely manner. CNN, eat your heart out!
20040925(News):Experimentation Elsewhere
Oh, if you are really curious what's going on around here, you might find more of what you are looking for over here. It is more of a blog type thing with a wiki type thing, but it won't run on my ISP host because it is a big, heavy, nasty Java application. However, being a big, heavy, nasty Java application, it is somewhat easier to make posts to and manage.

Pictures of Alex will undoubtedly continue to be posted on this site, though, for bandwidth reasons and because pictures are another thing which don't currently work well on the big, heavy, nasty Java application.

20030325(News):What People Are Looking For
I downloaded the access logs for the webserver today and hacked together a quick script which tells me who is hitting my site based on what searches.

Interesting finds:

  • 245 hits on the term 'hot wheels'
  • 93 hits on the terms 'iraq' and 'conspiracy' together
  • 61 hits on HP CDROMs

Perhaps the most disturbing queries belong to the fellow who was searching on watermelon fetish, or the user using the search where to buy cocaine in calgary (I doubt that the article on NHL referees was helpful to him).

I'll play with the data some more and see what we can come up with.

20020907(News):Incommunicado
I guess I might as well post this sooner rather than later.

We (my wife and I) are moving. It isn't as involved as moving across the country, but is more involved than moving across the street. During that time, I'll be mostly incommunicado, and the rate that new content makes it up here will be indistinguishable from the majority of the time (ie no new content, business as usual). Those of you who require contact information during this transition already have it.

Also, just to make things exciting, we are going away for a week before the move. As with the move, I doubt that there will be much of an impact on the amount of new content (ie no more for a while).

At some point in these proceedings, the xdroop.dhs.org computers will be unavailable as the internet service is transferred to the new location. I am taking this opportunity to make this lack of availability permanent. They already have the please-go-to-xdroop.com substitution page up, and if you are reading this, then you have done so, and for that I thank you.

Hotwheel-wise, I've held off of buying new cars for the last little while because it seemed a terrible indulgence while we were saving for a down payment. There will probably be a renewed burst sometime in the fall when we have money again.

Bleah. See you in October. Maybe.

20020819(News):Welcome to xdroop.com
You have seen the top of the page, and wondered what it meant. Perhaps you have been impatiently waiting for the exciting site news. Maybe you have noticed the sudden and dramatic drain on the xdroop family finances. What does all this put together mean? Yep, it means I finally did it -- I went out and bought my very own shiny domain. Now this web site should be safe from the horrors that are Rogers High Speed Internet, and I am almost back within my acceptable use policy :)

Please adjust your bookmarks: http://www.xdroop.com

I have actually had the domain since the end of June, and have been playing with various efficient ways to update it remotely. For some reason, it takes forever for me to upload content to the server, but it does come down really really quickly. All your favorite biting commentary is here, along with a whole whack of hotwheels pictures. It is truly a home away from home.

The dhs.org site will probably stick around for at least the short term, since it makes a really handy test system. Eventually I will probably turn off the web forwarding, since with the new setup there is no real point in leaving my internal systems vunerable...

20020803(News):Ten Minutes
OK, so between the new firewall, the Solaris installs, and the general crazyness with IP addressing locally, I'm down for what, two weeks?

I get the web server back up, and Code Red comes a-knockin' within ten minutes.

CPE00045a9705b7.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com, you are a loser.

20020216(News):A Long List Of Losers
Having decided that I was tired of all those doorknockers knocking on my firewall's door and getting logged with DENY packets, I wrote myself a handy little script which finds all such knockers and drops them in a list of known delinquents. This list is used periodically to refresh my firewall rules with new, unconditional, unlogged DENY rules just for such probers. Recently, I have added a 'bait' hit for those code-red systems still banging away looking for something to automatically compromise. These systems are now logged, added to this list of losers, and eventually permanently denied. Since doing so, the trouble logged on the firewall has dropped by an order of magnitude or more, and the web server now only serves the occasional roving reader and the usual mess of search engine robots. This change has made my access watch logging of the web server useful again, which is a good thing.

What isn't a good thing, in my opinion, is that the net has deteriorated to this. Kiddies and scripts in a race to see who can compromise the most systems and do the most damage and cause the most inconvenience. The whole thing seems uncivilized.

Anyways, I present to you a list of IP addresses which, at one time or another, has either connected to a port in such a way that a DENY rule was exercised, or connected with my system looking for a code-red vunerability.

Read More:a brief selection of village idiots

20020116(News):Didja notice?
We got "Rogers'd" for the first time last night. One moment we were on the air, the next we were abruptly disconnected. Turns out that the ancient version of pump I am running can't deal with this kind of change, and spent the night filling up my logs with vain attempts to renegotiate it's vanished lease. I eventually had to reboot the system to make it change.

Fortunately I got the new IP address into the dhs databases before their update at 0600PST, so after everyone's dns records timed out we were set.

The IP address is an odd one, I suspect it's only a transition IP -- so this may happen again in the near future.

20020112(News):Weekend Update
OK, after a week of fiddling I have made the transition to the second version of the software used to generate this site. The details are unimportant, and the effects should be invisible to the end user, but it will let me use the same generation script to put up new HotWheels cars as I use for the rest of the site. Right now the look of the HotWheels page is pretty ugly, but that should change if and when I ever get around to it - one of the objectives of this exercise was to make the changing of the page's "look" easier than it was..

Speaking of HotWheels, the first ten or so cars from Christmas are up, with more to come.

Also available following the code re-write is a separate page for the NerdPerfect articles I saved from my submissions to that site. I know there wasn't exactly an outcry for such a page, but I did it for me, and I think I deserve a little indulgence here and there. Especially here.

20020104(News):Back From The Future
We are back (that is, the computers and I are back, or rather, since you are reading this, you, the computers and I are back -- oh fuck it) from the christmas holiday. I guess that the notification of downtime went up about four hours after it was written, leading to substantially less than the six hours notice the notification promised, and for that I'm sorry. I had originally planned to let the system run during my absence, but since Rogers was threatening to re-IP everything (an empty threat, as it turned out) I figured it best to just shut everything down.

The only thing of note relavent to the site that happend over the holiday was that I received another email from Rogers telling me that the transition to the new network was well under way with everything going just ducky, and to expect transition soon if it hasn't happened already. So it's still coming, and I expect that there will be 24-48 hours of outage where I figure out what's wrong and then fix it.

Anyhoo, on with the show (such that it is).

(Confidential to the former Mr. Fizban: pardon my portscan, my fingers slipped. Sincerely, your former physician.)

20011221(News):Lost in the net
Sorry for the late notice, but xdroop.dhs.org is taking a bit of a sabbatical for the holidays. I've just recently been informed of Roger's intent to transition everyone away from the @Home 24.x.x.x network space and onto their own network. Normally this would only mean a day or two of down time, but there are other things afoot at the same time. This year I will be about 2000 miles away from my system, and rather than open some window for the bad guys to do evil things to this site while my attentions are elsewhere, I am going to just pull the plug on the whole thing until January. Especially since there is no point in leaving the system up if I can't find it on the internet.

Accordingly, this site will vanish at about 1600EST on 21 December (about six hours from now, sorry for the short notice). Things should be back to normal no later than 7 January 2002. I hope.

Happy Holiday or whatever.

20011130(News):Iceberg, Dead Ahead!
Today may mark the last moment we are on the air. Tonight at midnight (which midnight is currently unknown), the great vessel known as Excite@Home is due to slip silently beneith the waves. This may result in our sudden absence from the web. Rest assured that we will do our utmost to notice our absence and return bigger and better than ever.

On the other hand, maybe this merely means that my top requested page will no longer be /scripts/..%5c../winnt/system32/cmd.exe ... that could only be good.

20011126(News):Changing Email
Hello everyone:

As you've probably seen on TV and around the internet, Excite@Home is collapsing as a going concern. My ISP, Rogers, is in the process of detaching itself from this sinking ship, and in order to facilitate this is having us change all of our email addresses.

Read More:off one dead horse and onto the corpse of another

20011115(News):Progress
Now I bet you think that you've seen science putting the cart before the horse in the past. Well, I bet I can top anything you've seen before: no matter that we have not detected evidence of an extra-terrestrial intelligence, science is already busy preparing to translate their language. They may not exist, but we'll know what they think of brItnEE spEErZ.
20011114(News):Earth Shattering Objectives
Here we are with airplanes raining down out of the sky into buildings like poodles from a third-floor walkup into a curbside dustbin. We have terrorists threatening nuclear war, the bad guys routed to the desert in the middle east, and all kinds of military ordinace getting its best workout since 1990.

Lets make sure we keep our priorities straight, shall we?

20011107(News):Christmas is coming!
Not that anyone really cares, but I got my first 2002 HotWheels today. The bubblecard is a little different from the 2001 card, with the new card having a red Mattel logo in the bottom left corner behind the bubble. The car in question is a 2002-022 Nomadder What. The other thing I learned from this car is that the 2002 model year will include 42 First Editions, up from the 36 in 2001. Super keen!

Pics to follow soon in the Hotwheels section.

20010909(News):Mr. Billion
The ninth of September 2001 is when we celebrate the Happy Billionth second. This is the moment when the clocks around the world show one billion seconds since 1 January 1970 at midnight. Calculated locally, this happy event occurs at 01:46:40, with the billion count being hit by utime() the night before at 21:46:40EDT.

This event should be enough for the foolish to keep happy until the gigasecond, which happens 1073741824 seconds after the epoch. For those of you without a calendar, it is Sat Jan 10 08:37:04 2004 (that's UTC). The gigasecond is precisely halfway to the 32-bit problem -- since most systems today use a 32 bit counter to keep track of the number of seconds, these values will roll over at 2^31 seconds (that's 2147483648 seconds)... and my perl tells me that will happen Mon Jan 18 22:14:08 2038.

20010909(News):Mr. Billion
The ninth of September 2001 is when we celebrate the Happy Billionth second. This is the moment when the clocks around the world show one billion seconds since 1 January 1970 at midnight. Calculated locally, this happy event occurs at 01:46:40, with the billion count being hit by utime() the night before at 21:46:40EDT.

This event should be enough for the foolish to keep happy until the gigasecond, which happens 1073741824 seconds after the epoch. For those of you without a calendar, it is Sat Jan 10 08:37:04 2004 (that's UTC). The gigasecond is precisely halfway to the 32-bit problem -- since most systems today use a 32 bit counter to keep track of the number of seconds, these values will roll over at 2^31 seconds (that's 2147483648 seconds)... and my perl tells me that will happen Mon Jan 18 22:14:08 2038.

20010812(News):Code Red Fuck-wits
Here is the list of Code Red (and variant) fuck-wits for the week ending 0400 12 August 2001 EDT. If you are going to run something as brain-dead as Microsoft Internet Information Server, keep the goddamn thing patched up to date -- you are wasting MY bandwidth with this crap.

(Confidential to my loyal readers: this webserver is now listening on port 8085 as well as port 80, so if Rogers yanks us off the air on port 80 the URL below will work properly.)

Read More:and things get steadilly worse

20010812(News):Code Red Fuck-wits
Here is the list of Code Red (and variant) fuck-wits for the week ending 0400 12 August 2001 EDT. If you are going to run something as brain-dead as Microsoft Internet Information Server, keep the goddamn thing patched up to date -- you are wasting MY bandwidth with this crap.

(Confidential to my loyal readers: this webserver is now listening on port 8085 as well as port 80, so if Rogers yanks us off the air on port 80 the URL below will work properly.)

Read More:and things get steadilly worse

20010809(News):Service Warning
Just a quick note to both my loyal fans out there: due to the current Code Red II emergency, many major ISPs in the states are starting to restrict inbound traffic to port 80 (this is the network "channel" you use to request web pages). Judging by the number of attacks still peppering my web server here, the canadian arm of @Home is yet to do this, but my guess is that it is only a matter of time until they do (this week's fuck-wit list is already more than 950 IPs long). When that happens, this web site will effectively go "off the air". One can hope that it will only be a temporary measure, but massive corporations always seem to prefer simple, blanket solutions to difficult problems over the time consuming and tedious process of identifying individual offenders and dealing with them on a one by one basis. So I rather doubt that this web site will be back on this "channel" any time soon. I'll try to set up another web server on a different "channel", but there is no easy way to communicate that set up if the standard channel is blocked.

The target will be: http://xdroop.dhs.org:8085

Give it a try if the standard site drops off. Hopefully this will be temporary.

(Confidential memo to operators of unpatched IIS systems:

Patch your goddam systems, you assholes!

Or better yet, turn off services you don't use -- a web server which serves the default "hello" page is just begging to get clobbered. Your complete inability to operate the software you have chosen to run is now threatening the services which was provided to those of us with enough of a clue to do things properly. You are proving the theory that the average person cannot be trusted to do the right thing on the internet and that drastic regulation is required. You are the ones causing this problem. Do something about it. Thanks.)
20010809(News):Service Warning
Just a quick note to both my loyal fans out there: due to the current Code Red II emergency, many major ISPs in the states are starting to restrict inbound traffic to port 80 (this is the network "channel" you use to request web pages). Judging by the number of attacks still peppering my web server here, the canadian arm of @Home is yet to do this, but my guess is that it is only a matter of time until they do (this week's fuck-wit list is already more than 950 IPs long). When that happens, this web site will effectively go "off the air". One can hope that it will only be a temporary measure, but massive corporations always seem to prefer simple, blanket solutions to difficult problems over the time consuming and tedious process of identifying individual offenders and dealing with them on a one by one basis. So I rather doubt that this web site will be back on this "channel" any time soon. I'll try to set up another web server on a different "channel", but there is no easy way to communicate that set up if the standard channel is blocked.

The target will be: http://xdroop.dhs.org:8085

Give it a try if the standard site drops off. Hopefully this will be temporary.

(Confidential memo to operators of unpatched IIS systems:

Patch your goddam systems, you assholes!

Or better yet, turn off services you don't use -- a web server which serves the default "hello" page is just begging to get clobbered. Your complete inability to operate the software you have chosen to run is now threatening the services which was provided to those of us with enough of a clue to do things properly. You are proving the theory that the average person cannot be trusted to do the right thing on the internet and that drastic regulation is required. You are the ones causing this problem. Do something about it. Thanks.)
20010805(News):Code Red Fuck-wits
Here is the list of Code Red (and variant) fuck-wits for the week ending 0400 5 August 2001 EDT. If you are going to run something as brain-dead as Microsoft Internet Information Server, keep the goddamn thing patched up to date -- you are wasting MY bandwidth with this crap.

After a quiet week last week due to the idle period of the worm and variants, the list of fuck-witted webmasters explodes to 261 systems. And more distressingly, as I write this on TUESDAY, next week's list is ALREADY more than six hundred.

Read More:of course, things get worse instead of better

20010805(News):Code Red Fuck-wits
Here is the list of Code Red (and variant) fuck-wits for the week ending 0400 5 August 2001 EDT. If you are going to run something as brain-dead as Microsoft Internet Information Server, keep the goddamn thing patched up to date -- you are wasting MY bandwidth with this crap.

After a quiet week last week due to the idle period of the worm and variants, the list of fuck-witted webmasters explodes to 261 systems. And more distressingly, as I write this on TUESDAY, next week's list is ALREADY more than six hundred.

Read More:of course, things get worse instead of better

20010722(News):Code Red Fuck-wits
Here is the list of Code Red (and variant) fuck-wits for the week ending 0400 22 July 2001 EDT. If you are going to run something as brain-dead as Microsoft Internet Information Server, keep the goddamn thing patched up to date -- you are wasting MY bandwidth with this crap.

Read More:There's always someone, isn't there.

20010722(News):Code Red Fuck-wits
Here is the list of Code Red (and variant) fuck-wits for the week ending 0400 22 July 2001 EDT. If you are going to run something as brain-dead as Microsoft Internet Information Server, keep the goddamn thing patched up to date -- you are wasting MY bandwidth with this crap.

Read More:There's always someone, isn't there.

20010717(News):Bad HTML
The first of the html-mangling. Color mangling still to come. So far, this page renders correctly in Konqueror, and Netscape on Linux. I have not checked IE because (gasp!) I don't have IE for Linux.

I've also added some of my more ancient holdings, including such things as How Software Companies Die by Orson Scott Card, the 1998 F1 Sporting and Technical Regulations, and A Matter Of Principle -- commentary on the 1997 Ontario Teachers Strike.

Use the All Articles link to the left, then check out the end of the list.

20010717(News):Bad HTML
The first of the html-mangling. Color mangling still to come. So far, this page renders correctly in Konqueror, and Netscape on Linux. I have not checked IE because (gasp!) I don't have IE for Linux.

I've also added some of my more ancient holdings, including such things as How Software Companies Die by Orson Scott Card, the 1998 F1 Sporting and Technical Regulations, and A Matter Of Principle -- commentary on the 1997 Ontario Teachers Strike.

Use the All Articles link to the left, then check out the end of the list.

20010619(News):IQ Test no more
I've made the fixes I described in the last update, and fixed one nasty bug which prevented Netscape users from seeing the index content -- the problem was that Netscape won't display a table that lacks a closing </table> tag. (Interestingly enough, both Konqueror and Internet Explorer rendered the 'broken' pages close enough to correctly.) I think that there is one article to fix table-wise, but that will wait.

And I'd also like to welcome all the viewers who visited the front page earlier and missed the fact that the image was a link to the main content index.

Read More:The ToDo list

20010619(News):IQ Test no more
I've made the fixes I described in the last update, and fixed one nasty bug which prevented Netscape users from seeing the index content -- the problem was that Netscape won't display a table that lacks a closing </table> tag. (Interestingly enough, both Konqueror and Internet Explorer rendered the 'broken' pages close enough to correctly.) I think that there is one article to fix table-wise, but that will wait.

And I'd also like to welcome all the viewers who visited the front page earlier and missed the fact that the image was a link to the main content index.

Read More:The ToDo list

20010614(News):Welcome to xdroop.dhs.org
After a little banging around with perl, I think the site is usable now. There are still a couple of things to do, most importantly change this index page so that it only loads the last ten or so items, and then create a much briefer 'master index' of all the items on the site. After the changes made in the past few days, this should be easy to do.

Anyways, those of you visiting from NerdPerfect should be able to find what you are looking for reasonably easily.

Read More:Always More.

20010614(News):Welcome to xdroop.dhs.org
After a little banging around with perl, I think the site is usable now. There are still a couple of things to do, most importantly change this index page so that it only loads the last ten or so items, and then create a much briefer 'master index' of all the items on the site. After the changes made in the past few days, this should be easy to do.

Anyways, those of you visiting from NerdPerfect should be able to find what you are looking for reasonably easily.

Read More:Always More.

 
$_

You are hereby informed and must take note that the contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, clients, family, pets, auto mechanics, lawn care staff, sanitation workers (and/or their dogs), yourself, or indeed any organization, anyone or anything (including myself), except a small illiterate Iranian turnip which was last seen boarding a Air Transat jet in Greece on 16 April 1979 wearing a yellow raincoat and flippers sawed off at the knees. If anyone has any ideas as to go about contacting said small Iranian turnip I would appreciate the information -- the turnip probably wants its contents back. Copyright of these contents does not belong to the turnip so I will trouble you not to steal it for any money-making (or revenue-enhancing) activities. Link to it instead.

$Id: mkweb,v 1.3 2002/01/11 00:36:28 dave Exp $, last run 1102297536