28 August 2007

Don't Mess With the Portland Water Bureau

The Lede blog of The New York Times writes . . .
Three teenagers probably weren’t the first to turn a fountain in downtown Portland, Oregon, into a multi-tiered monument to the bubble bath this summer. But they were the first to get caught. And unfortunately for Nolan Cunningham, one of the suspects, a ticked off city administrator isn’t going to let it slide.

In fact, he decided to blog about it.

That’s right, Portland’s Water Bureau has a blog, and it is the most audacious water bureau blog that The Lede has ever seen . . .Read the rest
Geotags:  #1, #2, & #3
Related Posts on Other Blogs:  #1, #2, & #3
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21 August 2007


16 August 2007

SPAM disguised as Hallmark card

The e-mail claims that a classmate has sent you an e-card and all you have to do is click on the IP address link to see it. There is even a (FAKE) copyright notice from "hallmark.com" at the end of the e-mail. DO NOT DO THIS - DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK - YOU WILL BE SORRY IF YOU DO!

This e-mail is not from Hallmark. First the sending address [bishop at shtel.net.cn] ends in .cn and, according to Wikipedia, ".cn is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the People's Republic of China." Hallmark is of course based in the United States not China. (Why is it that the PRC Government can censor the Internet in China but can't seem to prevent the sending of SPAM?) Hallmark also explains that if you click the link what will happen and it ain't pretty.

If you are unsure if you’ve received a legitimate Hallmark E-Card, don't click on a link in the e-mail. Instead use our E-Card pickup.

If you do click on the link in the bogus e-mail, you will launch a variant of the Zapchast Trojan virus. Zapchast installs an Internet Relay (IRC) chat client and causes the infected computer to connect to an IRC channel. Attackers then use that connection to remotely command your machine.
More from Hallmark.com
How to tell if a Hallmark E-Card notification is real:
  1. A legitimate Hallmark e-mail notification will come from the sender’s e-mail address, not Hallmark.com.

  2. The notification will include a link to the E-Card on Hallmark.com as well as a URL that can be pasted into a browser.

  3. The URL will begin with http://hallmark.com/ followed by characters that identify the individual E-Card. Hover your mouse over the words "click here" in your e-mail. If you do not see the URL above, it is not a legitimate Hallmark E-Card.
    Hallmark E-Cards are not downloaded and they are not .exe files.

  4. In addition, Hallmark.com will never require an E-Card recipient to enter a user name or password nor any other personal information to retrieve an E-Card.
I did some WhoIs research both on the domain of the sending e-mail address as well as on the IP address of the linked IP address in the e-mail.

WhoIs shtel.net.cn?

WHOIS information for: shtel.net:
The Data in Paycenter's WHOIS database is provided by Paycenter for information purposes, and to assist persons in obtaining information about or related to a domain name registration record.

Paycenter does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this Data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this Data to:
(1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail (spam);
(2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that apply to Paycenter or its systems.

Paycenter reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

Domain Name:shtel.net

shanghai global network Co.,Ltd.
F4,No1465,west beijing Rd.,shanghai

Administrative Contact:
yang jiahui
shanghai global network Co.,Ltd.
F4,No1465,west beijing Rd.,shanghai
shanghai Shanghai 200040
tel: 86 21 62581890
fax: 86 21 52120339

Technical Contact:
Helen zhang
Shanghai Global Network Co.,Ltd.
F4,No.1465,West beijing Rd,Shanghai,China
Shanghai Shanghai 200040
tel: 86 21 62581890
fax: 86 21 52120339

Billing Contact:
Helen zhang
Shanghai Global Network Co.,Ltd.
F4,No.1465,West beijing Rd,Shanghai,China
Shanghai Shanghai 200040
tel: 86 21 62581890
fax: 86 21 52120339

Registration Date: 2002-12-03
Update Date: 2002-12-03
Expiration Date: 2008-12-03

Primary DNS: ns1.81890.net
Secondary DNS: ns2.81890.net

Verio Inc. - Growing Your Business, One Click At A Time


Search results for:
OrgName: Asia Pacific Network Information Centre
Address: PO Box 2131
City: Milton
StateProv: QLD
PostalCode: 4064
Country: AU

ReferralServer: whois://whois.apnic.net

NetRange: -
NetName: APNIC-123
NetHandle: NET-123-0-0-0-1
NetType: Allocated to APNIC
NameServer: NS1.APNIC.NET
NameServer: NS3.APNIC.NET
NameServer: NS4.APNIC.NET
Comment: This IP address range is not registered in the ARIN database.
Comment: For details, refer to the APNIC Whois Database via
Comment: WHOIS.APNIC.NET or http://www.apnic.net/apnic-bin/whois2.pl
Comment: ** IMPORTANT NOTE: APNIC is the Regional Internet Registry
Comment: for the Asia Pacific region. APNIC does not operate networks
Comment: using this IP address range and is not able to investigate
Comment: spam or abuse reports relating to these addresses. For more
Comment: help, refer to http://www.apnic.net/info/faq/abuse
RegDate: 2006-01-06
Updated: 2006-01-10

OrgTechHandle: AWC12-ARIN
OrgTechName: APNIC Whois Contact
OrgTechPhone: +61 7 3858 3100
OrgTechEmail: search-apnic-not-arin@apnic.net

Copyright © 1999-2007 Verio Inc.
Yep, this e-mail is definitely not from Hallmark.
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10 August 2007

Where is the Love?

PadreRob+ over on the a priest's musings on the journey blog asks "Where is the Love?"
Just wondering, why it is that members of Christ's Body who are in disagreement over certain issues find such delight in ridiculing, belittling, and making pot shots at their siblings who disagree with them? If that's love, if that's how Christians treat one another when they disagree, then no wonder our churches are empty on Sundays.
Read the rest . . .
Personally, I agree with PadreRob+. I too have seen some shameful behavior by some in relation to the recent disagreements within the Anglican Communion. Mostly online, but I think that is because of the relative anonymity often provided by the Internet. Maybe it is easier to be unloving to someone when you are not in the same room as them, especially if you have never met that person.

I grew up NW Conservative Baptist, because that's what the neighbors were, and I remember learning the Sunday School song version of 1 John 4:7-8.
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
That is one part of Scripture that I think is rather plain in what it means. It's right up there with the two greatest commandments, which according to our Lord are to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

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08 August 2007

You Must See This Documentary (and no it isn't by Michael Moore)

I caught a screening of a new documentary last Thursday at the Dallas (TX) Video Festival by Trevor Glass called Suffer the Children. (DVF20 was a wonderful five days of video, more video, and even more video! Even 1964's Meet the Beatles. I'll be posting more about DVF20 when I have time.)

Mr. Glass went to great lengths to differentiate in his documentary between real Christianity and the "word of faith movement" as he called it. The "boxing match" scene and the "I can only imagine" scene, both near the end are excellent. The first explains how the Scriptures don't support the prosperity hearsay and the second shows some real Christianity in action.

Here is DVF's synopsis:
Does God want us all to be rich and healthy? Suffer the Children examines the origins and teachings of the Word of Faith movement, also known as the prosperity or health & wealth gospel. The film takes a look into the lives and teachings of some of the biggest names in tele-evangelism today including Benny Hinn, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Robert Tilton, Mike Murdock, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Hillsong Australia. Are their teachings really Christian at all?
See also the recent post Cash in Christ on The Cartoon Church Blog.

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01 August 2007

Confirmation + 14 Years

Today is the fourteenth anniversary of my confirmation, which is when I officially became both an Anglican and an Episcopalian.

The back side, not pictured, reads:
Confirmation Text (in red, with the rest in black)
I am making all things new.
Rev. 21:5

from the Book of Common Prayer of the
Episcopal Church:

Question     What is Confirmation?

Answer        Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.

Question     What is required of those to be confirmed?

Answer        It is required of those to be confirmed that they have been baptized, are sufficiently instructed in the Christian Faith, are penitent for their sins, and are ready to affirm their confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Personally, I prefer the phrase Lord and Savior in place of Savior and Lord but that's just one of my theological quirks.

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