Orcmid's Lair

Welcome to Orcmid's Lair, the playground for family connections, pastimes, and scholarly vocation -- the collected professional and recreational work of Dennis E. Hamilton

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Recent Items
Simple Geek Pleasures
Pictures from Home
Seeing Double
Candling Phish
Pent up Blogophilia
All-Clear #1
Microsoft Scores for Respecting Its Customers
Difficulties of Wireless Mesh
What Is RFID Technology?
Hark, Is That an Arphid That I Smell?


Simple Geek Pleasures

Microsoft Windows Media - Windows Media Player 10.  I know there is all of this fuss about competing with Apple's on-line music service.  I don't care about that.  What I do care about is enjoying MSN Radio Plus over broadband.  Except it has been intolerable to use because it operates in a browser window, colliding with my other browsing, including for blogging as well as research and study.

That all changed today.  I can stop fretting about convincing MSN to give me my money back.  (Radio Plus was also crashing IE6 on the adjacent computer that I was using for a glorified radio, always while I was on my rowing machine when I didn't want to stop the reps to go fix it.)

MP10 Mini Player on the Task Bar  Relief at last.  Now I can pretty much have it all my way with Media Player 10 right where I want it.  What a joy: fingertip audio while I work away with speakers cranked up, basking in the broad-band improvement of my favorite content.  A new tune buffers up and I become squirmy/wriggly with this idiot grin and a soaring heart.

Such a simple thing.  I don't even care about the beta aspect of the experience.  It will only get better.

Listening to
beta.radio.msn.com Classic Rock via Media Player 10:
    Journey "Don't Stop Believin'";  Rush "Fly By Night / In The Mood";  Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine";  Pink Floyd "Comfortably Numb";  Genesis "Seven Stones";  T. Rex "Electric Warrior";  Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe";  Allman Brothers "Melissa";  Cream "I'm So Glad";  Quiet Riot "Cum On Feel the Noize"; Boston "Smokin'";  Aerosmith "Walk This Way";  Lynyrd Skynyrd "Simple Man";  Bachmann-Turner Overdrive "Roll on Down the Highway";  Tom Petty "Learning To Fly";  Yes "The Gates of Delirium";  Allman Brothers "One Way Out";  Van Halen "And the Cradle Will Rock"
Preparing for
Vacuuming the basement and cleaning up the kitty litter so we can dine and then watch a DVD in the lab (we only have computers, no TV) with Vicki's friend Anna Maria, who called to let us know she's here from Los Angeles visiting her family.  It will be great to see her.
Working on
enjoying the U.S. Labor Day Weekend by backing up Vicki's system and installing XP Pro, SP 2, and Office 2003 while she's busy throwing pots for The Puyallup Fair, starting September 10.  I've not seen ZZ Top before.
Something's Gotta Give on DVD (last night), a film that we missed somehow and I finally brought it home.  I am wary of comedies almost as much as musicals, wondering if I will sit through something dumber than sappy.  Then I enjoy myself anyhow.  I loved this movie.  Tonight's selection is The Butterfly Effect.
Have a great weekend.  It's back-to-school time.  For me, it is time to get cracking on my M.Sc in IT dissertation project, so I guess I had better come up with a topic [;<).

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Pictures from Home

FW: The Beauty of Earth. I float around in some very geeky conversation threads. Sometimes, something wonderfully poetic arrives from an unexpected direction to pull at my heart and inspire my soul.

Lean back, open up the bandwidth, and make sure your speakers are on.

Here we are, here is where we have been, what we do, where we live. Pictures from home.

Thanks Sergey.

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Seeing Double

Well, we are going to be going through a period of double-vision here. You will notice that there are these nice titles on the articles where before there were none (if you happened to look around on the last day or two).

What happened is that I managed to turn off article titles, not even knowing I'd done that. Then I started making titles by hand. Now I've figured out how to turn the automatic ones back on. And consequently, while the default page and at least one archive page are in transition, you'll be seeing two titles, the nice new big ones, and a smaller one more-or-less the same as the official, larger one. The newest posts will have the new larger ones, and the oldest posts will have the smaller similar ones, and there will be a short period of overlap.

How'd this happen? Well, ermm, uh, it was before Spanner arrived and, uh, you see, heh heh, I tried editing the template for the Orcmid's Lair Blog. And I messed it up. You can see how the titles disappeared back on my first week of blogging, when the defective template was applied to all earlier pages. See the "<$BlogItemTitle$>" text at the top of the left-hand column, just below the title of the bog? That's what is left over of the mess I made. Then around Labor Day weekend of 2003 (just one year ago), I noticed the strange text and removed it. But I didn't notice that I had crippled titles and that they were still crippled. Instead, I had created a practice of providing titles exactly the way I wanted them. I thought that is the way it was. Really. I've been manually creating titles for the past two years.

Then, earlier this year, Bill Anderson complained that his posts on Numbering Peano (which has a template cloned from the one on Orcmid's Lair) didn't have titles and mine did! Of course, I was putting all of mine in by hand because I'd always been doing it that way.

So, with luck, titles are back to stay on Orcmid's Lair and in a short while, they will return to Numbering Peano also. The double vision will clear up in a while, and you might want to avoid operating heavy equipment until it does, aye?

I wanted to hide this account in the Professor von Clueless blog, except you are experiencing the impact right here. Well, uh, sorry.

Naturally, now everything is centered for the whole article. I hate centered text and I'll fix it right away. Spanner! Oh, Spanner. Come here at once! Spanner?

The perfesser just thinks markup is s'posed to behave the way he things when he thinks it. I don't tell him I squirreled away a Nutshell book. ;) I'm thinkin' unna teddy bear like on the book might be nice company wi' me in the lower levels. Maybe 'twouldn't be so hard, times I miss me folks.

Of course, since you changed it, I didn't see double titles until I selected the link for Orcmid's Lair (love the bright red color it changes to!) and scrolled down a bit. So, at first, I was confused. Which is turning out to be a fairly common state of mind these days and I think it's actually a good one.
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Candling Phish

I'm soberly leafing through an Umberto Eco essay when Spanner Wingnut comes panting up the stairway from the lab, dragging his portable with him.  I say dragging because it is some kind of souped-up Osborne sewing-machine crate running XPSP2 and trailing an extension cord that would have shorted my grandmother's teakettle.

Spanner (who looks more like Mr. Mole every day) peers at me through his bottle-glass spectacles while having some kind of Bob Golthwaite moment. "Look'cheer," he wheezes, pointing excitedly at the display on his rig.

"Stand still and stop drooling on the screen," I remark calmly, wondering if you can short a monitor that way.


This is a simulated phish image.  Do you reall want to click here?

"Well you twit, you've been spammed and phished," I say knowingly. "At least you don't have an account with that bank.  How often have I had to tell you, Use Protection!"

"No, no, look'cheer" as he elbows me working the trackball,

Find the equivalent of this in your mail reader. You'll love it.

and then ...

Uh excuse me, but if you wouldn't click on the phish, why would you click on this?

well, would you look at that?

"Dunderhead!  You didn't know that?  How do you think teen-agers sneak homework answers to their pals using their parents computers?  Everybody knows about that," I bark, wondering at how the little newt manages to come up with one after the other of these little cuties.

"And pick up that cord neatly.  It looks like the rats have been chewing it."

As Spanner slouches back to his subterranean warren, I wonder if there is a patent attorney available on a Sunday and where can I announce the remarkable von Clueless phish-detector.  First, I need a dated entry in my lab notebook.  Oh, and I bet I can get Orcmid to give me space in exchange for Spanner cleaning up his blog messes.  That's the ticket ...

Very interesting, professor ....

But I have some questions:

1. The first image shows the mouse over the link. Does it also do the link thing on other parts of the message image?

2. And does a user have the opportuniity to compare the actual link to the one in the message? Or is it really a good job with a spoofed link?

3. Do all mail readers display images inline? This is not a rhetorical question. In my experience with Mozilla Thunderbird (which I've set only to display "simple" HTML (whatever the heck that is)), images appear as attachments. So I don't know what this message would look like in my reader.

And I don't have an answer to your teaser.
Hi Bill, interesting questions. Here's what I know about them:

1. The clickable-link cursor (the pointing hand) is the same over the entire image.  I was maybe too clever parking the cursor where I did before taking the screen shot.

2. There is a nest of spoofs.  First, the image provides a picture of a link.  Secondly, if your mail-viewer or browser shows you a link (say, down in the status line of Internet Explorer), it is likely to be the same https link that is in the image.  Third, if you actually click on the image, yet-another-URL may be used, one you haven't been shown.  This seems to take advantage of a glitch in how image maps work.  Fourth, if you do end up going to the hidden phish-hook URL, the page that is ultimately presented will have the address bar and most other window-frame material suppressed, enhancing the deception that the pop-up has something to do with the legitimate page that is brought up by a clever redirection.  Finally, all of this depends on the fact that browsers are very loosey-goosey about the HTML they accept, using malformed-but-accepted HTML to carry out their endeavors.  There was a time when that may have made sense.  It appears that time is now past.

3. The message in my example was a MIME 1.0 with Content-type multipart/related.  This is how images, buttons, scripts, and other fragments are bundled together in one payload for your viewing pleasure.  You also don't have to be on-line to view the message properly (I wasn't).  Here's a simple experiment that you can make:  (a) Using Internet Explorer, browse to a page that has images, logos, buttons and other goodies.  (b) Use the File | Save As ... dialog to save the file as Web Archive single file (.mht).  (c) View the saved file in IE (and your other browsers) while off-line.  (d) Then open the file in Notepad or another text editor.  Clever, huh?  Multipart/related is specified in IETF Proposed Standard RFC 2387.

I have materials for creating a complete working (and benign) demonstration of this particular twisty-little-maze of spoofs, but I wanted to quickly point out the simple counter-measure that Edit | Select All provides.  - Prof. H.A.S.v.Clueless, etc.
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Pent up Blogophilia

It has been difficult to withhold myself from blogging while I do some important scaffolding around being able to recover from a variety of misadventures here. It helped that I was in an 8-week on-line course that also demanded my attention. But that was then, and now I don't have to get a typing fix by spewing comments onto Scobleizer so much.

I did allow myself to accumulate drafts on Blogger.com, and now I have to see what I have. In addition to that material, I already thought of several new postings that I will be building somewhere around here:

  • A way of Living: Joi Ito and Tim Bray in common
  • What's Your Scoble Number? Something that the blogosphere has altered forever
  • Throw 'Em a Phish: I managed to decode a couple of phishes and they are indeed wonders to behold.
  • Personal Refactoring: How Do I Unravel this Knot?
  • ODMA Is Ten This Year: The little middleware bridge that could forges ahead.
  • Blogger: Here's a Good Thing. While I'm sulking over Blogger, they begin to fill in the blanks for people who want to do more and understand more, with a great update to their user Help and Support Status. There's just that little thing about privacy that nags me now.
  • Meme Mimicry. So, is it thought control or the hundredth monkey?

I will stop now before I overwhelm myself. These will show up here or over in Professor von Clueless's place. Oh, yeah. I need to get that blog up and operating before I get too carried away.

Later. Heh.

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All-Clear #1

All Clear: End of Test

Any entries since the last

"Caution: Feed Testing"

announcement were part of the test activities.

Consult the Site Status
page for further information.


This confirms that the testing of incident-response preparations for the Orcmid's Lair blog are completed and the blog is no longer locked down. Although similar notices were placed in the site feed during testing, those manually-injected announcements are obliterated when the automated feed produced by Blogger.com is reinstituted.  This message marks closure of testing and other preparations in the "permanent" feed.

As part of the institution of consistent incident-response procedures for Orcmid's Lair and related blogs, the URL for the Orcmid's Lair blog has been simplified to <http://orcmid.com/blog/>.  That's all you need.  It will be faster to use this than be redirected from the previous URL, so please update any shortcuts you have to this blog.

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Hard Hat Area You are navigating Orcmid's Lair.

created 2002-10-28-07:25 -0800 (pst) by orcmid
$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 04-11-25 22:44 $
$$Revision: 3 $