What Is That?

In my effort to continually perplex you, I present to you this amazing picture of….well, that’s for you to figure out :)  Drop guesses in the comments, as usual!

 WIT068

WIT068A

What Is That?

The Unholy Mother of all Spammers?

Spam

About a month ago I was moderating/deleting spam from the Geeknews comments when I ran across the mother of all spam comments. This thing is over 460 lines long and had 450 URLs to prescription drug sites, all centered around Ultram. It definitely cleared the bar for the number of links the spam filter looks for to determine if it needs to be marked for moderation!

Sidebar: If you’re not familiar with this drug called Ultram, I’ve taken it before to battle some seriously heinous migraines about 7 years ago. I stopped taking it because of the side effects to my brain, it reduced me to a blithering idiot.

Anyway, a little bit of sleuthing shows the IP resolved back to the infamous RIPE network but below you can find the spammer originating from the Ukraine is ‘Andrew Sotov‘. Apparently Mr. Sotov thinks that simply trying to dump one or three urls to a site isn’t good enough, that his scripts need to bring forth an onslaught of URLs just to ensure you’ve covered all possible keywords.

Mr. Sotov, thanks for nothing.

inetnum: 85.255.112.0 – 85.255.127.255
netname: UkrTeleGroup
descr: UkrTeleGroup Ltd.
admin-c: UA481-RIPE
organisation: ORG-UL25-RIPE
org-name: UkrTeleGroup Ltd.
address: UkrTeleGroup Ltd.
Mechnikova 58/5
Odessa, Ukraine
person: Andrew Sotov

address: Mechnikova 58/5 65029 Odessa
abuse-mailbox: abuse@ukrtelegroup.com.ua
phone: +380631508855

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Web

So Long and Thanks For The Plankton, Or Sizzling Bacon

submarine

If you’re into ‘save the whales and hug a tree’, then The “Church of the Apocalyptic Kiwi” has some FUD on the Whales vs. Navy Sonar situation and how the gov’t got smacked down, at least temporarily.

On the one hand, there’s the whole national defense thing and the easiest, bestest way to find those enemy subs sneaking up on your ports is to use active sonar. If the whales don’t like it they’ll quickly learn to stay away from this ‘bad place’.

On the other hand, I used to work on submarines. At times we would play war games and the skimmer battlegroup that would basically be on top of you for hours or days on end going active with their sonar, training they called it. Torture, I called it.

Even though they easily detect you in that situation when we’re forced to remain on station and play the ‘rabbit’, the skimmer Sonar Techs got lots of good real world practice to see what the sonar returns look like with a boat at different depths, with different salinity and different water temperature while we moved through the different layers.

However, while the skimmers are going active on their sonar constantly it would drive me batshit. The incessant ringing and reverberation for hour after hour was ridiculous, keeping me from sleeping or concentrating. It was akin to something like the Chinese Water Torture where just a little bit wouldn’t bother you but that little bit applied every 2-3 seconds non-stop makes you want to pull your hair out.

Here’s some sample audio of an active sonar:

- http://www.dosits.org/gallery/mp3/sonarcl.mp3

Sidebar: On the topic of undersea audio, in case you’ve never heard this before, Snapping Shrimp sound like sizzling bacon when listening through passive sonar. People never believe me until i point it out like here & here. I found those at this audio gallery on the Alpheus heterochaelis (snapping shrimp) page.

Military

Rockstar Expecting More Controversy Over Next Grand Theft Auto

Games

GameDaily reports that Rockstar executive and “Grand Theft Auto IV” writer Dan Houser is expecting the new game to generate some controversy. Drunk driving and strip clubs are among the new game features that have been revealed.

All in the name of in-game realism, eh?

I think this concern is just a ploy to generate some free press and interest in the game. At the bottom is the latest trailer for GTA 4 “Move up Ladies”, based on the accent I’m assuming this is based on the Russian mob?

Even better than that trailer is this excellent spoof movie on youtube based on that very trailer, hilarious game mechanics.

My question is:

Isn’t there a market for other games that delve into real-life sordid and seedy behavior like, oh I don’t know, maybe politics? You could have political backstabbing, name calling, extramarital affairs in the white house, charges of racism, assassination, lies, cheating during the televised debates, extortion, rigging elections, …

Now that sounds like fun to me! 8)

[youtube GSsVZcKHues]

Games

Podcast: Grammar Girl

Grammar Girl

I found a great Podcast the other day called Grammar Girl, created and hosted by Mignon Fogarty.

She provides short, friendly tips to help improve your writing skills covering everything from grammar rules, word choice guidelines, punctuation and everything in between.

Give her a quick listen for yourself, here’s an example podcast (may pop a separate media player) she recently posted on Apostrophes.

Grammar Girl also has an interesting flickr pool of photos displaying the common errors seen in the real world of adverts, traffic signs, etc…

Here’s the details of her podcast -

Name: Grammar Girl
Website: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/default.aspx
Podcast subscription Link: http://www.qdnow.com/grammar.xml
Speaking ability: Clear, concise, not condescending
Length of pods: Short, 3-5 minutes
BONUS: She also has the transcript of the shows, here’s the text for her Apostrophes show: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-apostrophes.aspx

Word Geek