Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World


Tweet, tweet

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:55 pm

Any readers using Twitter? I just joined it because, hey, I’m bored. :-p

If anyone actually wants to follow me, it’s the same username I use everywhere else.


Stupid scammer search-and-replace tricks

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:54 am

The latest phishing attempt sent to my UGA account has the following as one of the lines that’s supposed to be filled out:

“Country or TerUGAory : .. …….”

Why do I have the feeling this scam was originally intended for students at the Rochester Institute of Technology?


Epic phisher phail

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:06 am

I just got what may be the most inept phishing e-mail I’ve ever seen. And I’m going to quote it below just to show how absolutely mind-bogglingly bad it is.



Four capital letters printed in gold

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:48 pm

I just discovered the music video for Justice’s song “DVNO”, and it’s… a typographical feast, which I recommend to anyone who’s a typography geek.

But what’s particularly great is that pretty much everything in the video was inspired by TV and movie studio logos of the past. And as an Aspie who used to obsess over these sorts of TV-logo bumpers… this is fun trying to guess the inspirations. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve got so far…



Adventures in Bad CAPTCHA Design

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:35 pm

I was just trying to register for a forum today, and came across a CAPTCHA that looked like this (this isn’t the one that I actually failed, but it was generated soon thereafter):


Seems pretty easy, right?

Only one problem: it’s case-sensitive. That is, uppercase and lowercase matter.

“X” and “x” look virtually alike, except for size. “O” and “o” do as well. Same with “S” and “s”. And when the characters are distorted in size to begin with… good luck.

Let’s see… that’s five characters that are ambiguous in this particular CAPTCHA… which makes 25 = 32 different possibilities for how this CAPTCHA should be entered.

Oh, no, wait… that third character could also be a zero. That means there are not 32, but 24 * 3 = 48 different possibilities.

Did nobody actually test this before rolling it out?


Bad behavior from Bad Behavior

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:31 pm

Shows how often I update my blog here.

Turns out that, because of a glitch in the “Bad Behavior” plugin that I have installed here to counteract spambots, everyone was being prevented from commenting.

And because I post so little, I didn’t learn of this bug until 20 days after it was discovered, when I tried to post and was blocked from doing so.

So anyway, sorry for anyone who’s tried to leave a legitimate comment here during that time… I’ve upgraded to the latest version of the plugin, so only actual spammers should be identified as such now.


Well, at least I’ll have *soft* clothes…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:27 pm

Gah. I just realized that, in an utterly spaced-out moment, I accidentally bought fabric softener rather than laundry detergent at the grocery store last week. (For what it’s worth, the packages for Publix’s generic brands of fabric softener and detergent, both of which are available in unscented form, looked almost identical… so it’s an easy mistake to make.)

And I have clothes that need to be washed before Monday. -_-;;

The Save-a-Lot grocery store, the only one that’s on the Sunday bus route, only sells the heavily scented stuff. Not good for someone with allergies and sensitive skin. So that’s out.

Maybe they’ve got unscented detergent at one of the convenience stores around campus; I’ll have to check… I could’ve sworn I saw it at one of the stores on Baxter Street. ‘Course, I’ll also have to pay a somewhat higher price, but it’s still cheaper than having to call a cab…

I guess if I were feeling really adventurous, I could walk all the way down to Kroger on Baxter, but I haven’t been feeling too good lately and don’t want to put myself under more stress than necessary…

It’s times like this that I really wish I had more friends who could drive. ::sigh::

Edited November 18 to add: They had one bottle of unscented detergent left at the campus bookstore. Yay. Minor crisis averted.


My Mac has changed its spots (or, Alphonse has a new kitty)

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:49 pm

So yay. I’ve picked up a copy of Mac OS X Leopard from the UGA bookstore and installed on my PowerBook tonight.

Observations so far:

  • Archive and Install worked much better than I expected. All my stuff, even all the applications I’ve installed, is still there; the only thing that was really affected was what I’ve compiled into the Unix directories (/usr/bin, etc.).
  • Surprisingly, despite what Apple says, Photo Booth will run on a G4 with an external camera. The frame rate is atrocious, but it runs.
  • Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator CS2 all launch, though I’ve encountered a few random unexpected crashes after launching. Not sure if this is because of incompatibility, preferences getting zapped during the Leopard install, or both; I’ll have to investigate later.
  • Spaces. Seriously, why hasn’t OS X had virtual desktops until now? VirtueDesktops was OK, but felt a bit kludgy; this seems to work far more… Apple-like. I particularly like how you can manipulate windows on the ‘overhead’ view and drag them among desktops.
  • Safari 3.0 final seems to load much quicker than the beta version. And it doesn’t take ages to display my bookmarks menu (one of the other big annoyances I had with the beta).
    • On that note, a Java chat that I sometimes visit seems to run more snappily as well. Not sure if that’s because of Safari, Java, or a combination of both.
  • How am I only now getting to checking e-mail? Oh, wow, you can sync notes and To Do lists with an IMAP server. This could be very useful for a scatterbrain like me.

I’ll probably be posting more here as I discover more about Leopard. I still haven’t installed Xcode yet; right now, I’m trying to move the archived Tiger install to an external drive before I even think of installing anything else, but it’s going very slowly (and with good reason, since it’s 10 gigs or so).

I also need to clear up enough space on my external drive to try out Time Machine… automatic backups, whee! Yet another thing that will be incredibly useful in the long run once I’ve got it set up…

Edited to add: Ooh, it’s always the little things that really make a difference. Y’know how on the newer Mac laptops you can right-click by holding down two fingers on the trackpad? That wasn’t possible on PowerBooks and iBooks in Tiger…but it is in Leopard.


Murphy’s Law strikes thrice

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 8:27 pm

OK, today seems to be one of those days that everything just falls apart… literally.

First, the sideburn trimmer on my electric razor broke this morning. Now it’s…not trimming anything at all.

Then, this afternoon, my cell phone case broke apart, with the belt clip coming detached from the actual case.

Went to Wal-Mart this evening to get a new phone case, and bought a new razor while I was at it; the thing was getting old anyway, it needed new blades (which are about as expensive as a whole new razor), and it was getting worse and worse at holding a battery charge.

And then, when I was cutting the label off the phone case and cutting open the razor box?

My scissors fell apart.

Guess I’ll have to pick up a replacement for those at the campus bookstore tomorrow…unless I’ve got a spare pair buried away somewhere, which I very well might.

Edited to add: OK, I did have a spare pair of scissors in a box in the closet from when I moved in. Crisis averted.


Sick transit, glorious Saturday

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:58 pm

…Just found out that Athens Transit is no longer running bus route 25 anywhere near my apartment on nights or weekends. They’re no longer serving East Campus or even College Station west of the Utterly Pedestrian-Unfriendly Oconee Bridge on Saturdays.

And there’s no other route that is anywhere reasonably walkable in 100°F heat on a Saturday, particularly one when there aren’t any campus buses running. Like, for instance, tomorrow. Not so much of an issue when the campus weekender bus is running…but that won’t be till next weekend. Same thing for night routes— the only other night route that runs near those stops starts next Thursday (see update below).

The closest route, therefore, is route 5— but that’s about a 3/4 mile walk up Agriculture Drive. And remember, this is in weather approaching, if not over, 100°F.

Did I mention that the stops no longer served by the route are in the vicinity of an awful lot of international students’ apartments, and a fairly good number of those students don’t have cars?


Guess I’ll just have to stay cooped up in my apartment for the weekend…

[Edited to add: For those wondering how I just found out about this, I’ve been out of Athens for most of the summer. Just clarifying that, since I know someone’s bound to bring it up…]

[Edited 2007/08/11 to add: Whoops, I was misreading the campus bus rider’s guide. Turns out that night service starts back this Monday, not Thursday! Granted, that’s only three days anyway, but at least I feel a bit safer if I happen to be wandering around campus at night…]

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