Friday, January 28, 2005

PSA: Winter Weather Driving Tip

Now that's resolve.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

PSA: Phishing

I got this email today:
Click to read.

This is an excellent example of a “phishing” or “spoofing” scheme. Click on the image above and read the email. It is not from eBay, but I would venture to say that 90% of the people who would read it would not have any reason to believe otherwise. Being the skeptical and vigilant webhead that I am, I was immediately doubtful (and cautious), and I did some quick investigation.

FIRST, before I clicked anything, I checked out the source code of the email to see where the hyperlink below really pointed. (There are also some quick ways to do this, like 1.] just hovering over the link – without clicking! – and 2.] hitting Forward, right-clicking the link, and choosing Edit Hyperlink….) I discovered that it points to an address that begins with, which is a website in Korea.

Out of curiosity, I then decided to compare the spoofed page with eBay’s actual sign in page:

To see the Koreans’ page, I edited the spoofed URL and stripped everything from the first “?” through the end of the address, since I assumed keeping that data there would link my visiting the site with the email address to which the message was sent. Here’s what that page looks like:

I’ve circled the differences, which are pretty subtle. A few of the differences were blindingly obvious to me, though (remember: Webhead). 1.] I read the news, so I know that, as of a couple of weeks ago, eBay is no longer supporting Microsoft Passport authentication! 2.] I read the message below the little light bulb icon above… and obviously the Korean site doesn’t begin with that text! 3.] You know that “lock” icon in the lower-right corner of your browser when you’re visiting a secure site? The eBay site had it, and the Korean one didn’t.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, if I were to fill out the form on the Korean site above and click the “Sign in Securely >” button, I would be sending my eBay login and password to someone who’s running the fake website. If I had my credit card or PayPal information linked to my eBay account, then anyone who could log in wouldn’t have to work too hard to start stealing my identity.

Some SPAM emails and phishing schemes are pretty obviously fake, but this one is a very well-designed hoax. Make sure you’re especially careful when you get emails like this, whether they’re claiming to be from eBay or any other company. Your best bet if you get one of these is to log in to your account as you normally would – not via the link in the email – and investigate from there. Also, if there is a phone number in the email, don’t call it in an attempt to solve the problem; it’s probably a fake, too. Instead, make sure you just call the number you have on file for the business in question.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by Andy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

In the News

Two items have caught my attention over the past day or two.

1.) A fitting tribute to Douglas Adams.
In 2001, an asteroid was discovered and given a provisional designation of 2001 DA42. Adams died in 2001, his initials are DA, and 42... well, if you don't know the significance of 42, please go away.

2.) Latest sign of the apocalypse.
Clydesdale Piss + Red Bull + Larry King's daily vitamin supplements = this.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Happy 100th!

My daughter has now completed her 100th day of life.

Her heart has already beat nearly 10.5 million times.


Sunday, January 09, 2005

Early Exit

Packers 17 - Vikings 31

So much for the run to the Super Bowl. So much for home field advantage. So much for us going in strong and the Vikings being lucky and "backing in." So much for the Rams being the only 8-8 team ever to win a Playoff game. So much for Brett Favre playing at his best in the Playoffs.

That's all out the window.

Our record this year at Lambeau is what hurts the most. We were 4-5, in the end. Worse yet, these last two home games were especially bad for Brett; 3 INTs and a QB rating of 80.4 against the Jags and 4 INTs and a rating of 55.4 today.

I really hope -- for the sake of all us fans -- that Brett isn't planning to retire after this season. Not like this. I still maintain that he has one or two years left in him, but of course I don't know what he thinks about that. After games like this, I never know if it's his fault or if his teammates just make him look bad. Unfortunately, I think it's a little of both. What we need to work on this off-season, though is his teammates. We need a leader on defense. Don't know if that'll be a coach or a player. Ideally, we need both. Slowik is kind of like Donatell-Lite. He looked like a genius after the opener against Carolina, but our "D" didn't make him look too good again until these last two games. I hate to say losing McKenzie mattered in the end... but it did. We're too inexperienced without him.

Let's talk about class, though. Brett has class and skill. Yes, he can be a "country bumpkin," but he's just damn loveable. He has fun when he plays. Randy Moss, on the other hand, is a classless punk who hurts the game. I don't see how Vikings fans can stand to root for him. If a player like that was on the roster in Green Bay, we wouldn't stand for it. Last week, Moss walked off the field before the end of the game -- he gave up on his team. He got dressed down for it this week in the media, and even by some of his coaches and teammates. I saw him interviewed twice this week -- on ESPN by Andrea Kramer and on FOX by Jimmy Johnson -- and in both, he sounded like a selfish, immature asshole. He doesn't even bother to hide it. After his second TD tonight, he pretended to moon the fans in the South end zone. (This led to perhaps the most ironic statement ever uttered on FOX television, when Joe Buck said, "I think it's unfortunate that we had that on our air....")

So now begins my months-long depression -- about a month earlier than I was hoping. Some readers of this blog will be relieved to see the weekly Packers posts take a hiatus. Don't worry, though, the rest of you, I'm sure I'll have plenty of Packers news to discuss here as I await the Preseason in August.

My Predictions:
[Keep in mind that I was 1-3 in predictions for this weekend's games, as I thought all four home teams would win.]

Hey, at least now I don't have to feel bad about rooting for Pittsburgh. Too bad the Super Bowl is in Jacksonville instead of Pennsylvania this year. Practically the whole state will need to relocate.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Speaking of Three in a Row...

Packers 31 - Bears 14

As predicted, Lovie's edict was indeed a one-time thing. And as predicted, the Viqueens finished choking on their season outdoors at Washington. But as suggested, they still backed into the Playoffs, and they'll be back at Lambeau for an attempt at losing thrice to the Pack in the same season.

Today's game was fun, despite a scary first series by Chicago, in which they marched down the field and scored a TD in four plays. After that, Brett had some fun, and we found a defense on our way to this win. Eventually (second quarter!), Gimli sat most of our offensive starters. He wisely chose to leave the defense in. They got some needed confidence back, thanks to a plethora of sacks and scores, all of which they could dedicate to Reggie White's memory.

If anything, Chicago should thank us -- we secured them a #4 pick in the 2005 draft.

Next week's game will be on Sunday. We'll host Minnesota in the last of the four Wild Card games. Our victory will take us to Atlanta, as #2 should play #3, while #1 Philly plays either Seattle or St. Louis. So that means we'll be beating one of those last three teams in the NFC Championship game. If it's either of the last two, it'll be back at Lambeau.

I wonder who we'll play in Jacksonville in Super Bowl XXXIX in February....

Some notes:
  • The Packers have never played Minnesota in the postseason.
  • Minnesota's lost 7 of their last 10 games. We've won 8.
I'm just saying.