Blocking Mailbait

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of mail from the feedback loops I subscribe to indicating that someone has gotten a subscription confirmation message and they considered it spam.

After digging into my logs I noticed a few things …

  • The subscription requests are being initiated from TOR exit nodes.
  • The web requests that initiate the subscription have “mailbait.info” as their referrer.

This ‘mailbait.info’ service is supposed to allow you to fill your mailbox … why anyone would want to do this is beyond me … and it has absolutely ZERO protections against submitting someone else’s email address.  As such, it just ends up generating spam.  And a lot of the twits that are using this ‘service’ are hiding behind TOR nodes, which protects their IP address.

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Trail walkers: PAY ATTENTION!

This is another one of my Pet Peeves … people who walk (or run) on multi-use trails who don’t pay attention.

This is common sense … when you’re walking or running on a multi-use trail, you have to pay attention to what’s going on around you.

There are bikers (such as me), other runners, sometimes horses, etc, all around you … and, if you’re not paying attention, you can get hurt.

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Drivers: DON’T STOP!

This is the first entry in a new category called “Pet Peeves”.

Since I started riding seriously there are some behaviors I’ve encountered that really annoy me.

First on the list … drivers that stop in the middle of an intersection to let a bike rider cross the street.

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Why am I annoyed about the Atrix / ICS issue?

Let’s get something cleared up here … I’m not annoyed at Motorola for not providing Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) for the Atrix 4G.

Not at all.

Companies need to make decisions about what hardware they are going to support and what hardware they aren’t going to support.

I participate in those kinds of decisions quite frequently at work.

What annoys me about what Motorola did is the fact that they lead consumers on for quite a long time … indicating that ICS was going to be provided on the Atrix 4G.

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Atrix 4G to Ice Cream Sandwich?

For quite a while the owners of the Motorola Atrix 4G have been waiting for an upgrade to the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) version of Android.

Unfortunately, it appears that we’ve been waiting in vain …

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ReadyNAS and SMART Errors

As some of you may be aware, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the “SMART” feature of hard drives.

Rarely have I had the SMART capabilities of a hard drive actually tell me that the drive was going to fail.

Recently I had an encounter with SMART errors in a totally different way.

Basically, my ReadyNAS NV+ storage server was telling me that “Disk 1” was having problems and might fail soon … but all my tests indicated that the drives were fine.

After a lot of hassle, and going back and forth with Netgear support, I finally figured out the problem.

It started a few weeks ago with an email the ReadyNAS sent

Reallocated sector count has increased in the last day.

Disk  1: Previous count: 671 Current count: 677

Growing SMART errors indicate a disk that may fail soon.  If the
errors continue to increase, you should be prepared to replace the
disk.

The odd thing was, the SMART information on the drives, that was available via the ReadyNAS web interface, did not indicate any of the 4 drives currently installed had any reallocated sectors.

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Tour de Cure 2012 Followup

The ride is over and I did my 35 miles.

I had a good time, got lots of exercise, met some interesting people … and got involved in a cause that both directly and indirectly effects me.

I raised $3380 … which made me an “Ultimate Champion for Diabetes”.  I got a fancy shmancy gold medal and, theoretically, a champions riding jersey (although that didn’t arrive on time, so I wore a red riders jersey).  The medal was kind of silly, but I would have liked to have been able to wear the jersey.

Riding helped me in many ways … there’s the obvious cardio benefit, which helps keep my diabetes under control, but it also helped me deal with the stress of my mom’s illness and passing.  About three weeks before the ride, my co-worker Marty and I were planning on doing a 35 mile ride (following the Tour de cure route), when my mom was moved into the hospice unit at St. James Hospital.  He asked if I wanted to cancel our ride, but I told him that I needed to ride.

I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me on the ride … your support is greatly appreciated.

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Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me – Golden anniversary Edition

This post could also be titled: Why Carl Kasell is the greatest guy in the world!

If it hadn’t been for my mom’s passing last week, this Sunday would be my parents 50th wedding anniversary.

My brother Mitch, the really creative one in the family, pulled out all the stops.  He got a letter from Senator Dick Durbin, a card from Barack & Michell Obama, and to top it all off … he arranged to have Carl Kasell to record a special greeting for the event.

The original plan was to do a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” (WWDTM) format game during the anniversary party (which had been scaled back from a big even to a much smaller affair, for obvious reasons) … and Mitch thought that the only thing missing was Carl Kasell’s intro.  So he sent an email to the producers of WWDTM, explained the situation and asked if it would be possible to get Carl to record a message, and they agreed.

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Leah Gibbs

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I’m sad to announce that my mother, Leah Gibbs, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer.

It was a long time coming and we were (more or less) prepared.  None the less, it was very hard.

The funeral was held last Thursday and, despite  bad weather, there were a tremendous number of people in attendance … they even had to open up the partition in the synagogue to accommodate the number of people. It was a heart warming testament to the number of people who’s lives intersected with my moms.

Although I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, I did speak at the funeral service … here’s what I said:

Tour de Cure – Support Diabetes Research

I am participating in the American Diabetes Association’s annual Tour de Cure event this year. I am asking you to join me in the effort to Stop Diabetes by making a contribution to support my ride.

The dollars we raise for the American Diabetes Association fund research, provide services, and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. I believe in the work they do, and I invite you to join me in this effort. More than 25 million Americans live with diabetes, and your support can and will make a difference in their lives.

Please help by making a donation – large or small – to support the work of the American Diabetes Association. Or, why not join me on the day of the event? Become a participant and side by side, as teammates, we can work together to Stop Diabetes!

Whatever you can give will help! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Thank you for making a generous contribution to this cause that is so important to me!