Latest Spam Emails

I just had to share two spam emails I received yesterday. I usually just delete crap like this, but these made me giggle. The first was from “tunde luren ” with the subject of “bible order.” Here it is:

We need you to help us with the bible below for our church crusade programe:

Bounded leather bibles 150pcs

send us the actual amount enclouse with the frieght charge to nigeria………….
church ministry
God bless

Yeah, I’ll be sure to send money for 150 “bibles” to Nigeria. I’ll get right on that. Is a personal check OK, or do you prefer cash? Maybe I could just send my VISA details. Surely a “church” is trustworthy, right?

The second one was from “Internal Revenue Service U.S.A ” with the subject of “Important Message From IRS.” Here’s the text:

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $93.60. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access your tax refund online, please click here

Internal Revenue Service

That “click here” was a link leading to an IP address-only website that is most certainly not part of the IRS. Here’s what whois said about the address:

# whois

OrgName: African Network Information Center
Address: 03B3 - 3rd Floor - Ebene Cyber Tower
Address: Cyber City
Address: Ebene
Address: Mauritius
City: Ebene
PostalCode: 0001
Country: MU

So unless the IRS has done some serious outsourcing to Mauritius, I think it’s safe to throw this email away. 🙂

What’s funny in all these African scam emails is how awful the spelling and grammar always are. You’d think that these African scammers would wise up and hire someone who speaks English to write their spam emails for them. Then they might trick more people. But who knows? They may be tricking enough people as it is, and so they don’t care about how stupid they look to the rest of us.

I Tried Out For Jeopardy, But I’m Not Expecting a Call…

I’m a huge fan of Jeopardy, and a few weeks ago I got an email from them telling me that on January 29, there would be an online test for East Coast people who wanted to try out. I decided to have a go at it, since I usually do really well when I’m watching the show.

Watching on TV, and trying to answer the questions under pressure are two completely different things. The test was 50 questions and you had 15 seconds for each one. No going back, pausing, do-overs. It was damn hard. I don’t think I got more than 10 questions correct. It was a very humbling experience, I can tell you.

Middle Click Close For Safari

08/31/2009 Update: For Snow Leopard compatibility, see here.

08/13/2009 Update: It should now work with all future versions of Safari without having to update it again. Read about the change here.

06/09/2009 Update: I have just updated the plugin distribution to work with the just-released production version of Safari 4. If you have problems with it, please let me know.

03/05/2009 Update: It’s working again.

02/27/2009 Update: This plugin is not working with the just-released Safari Beta 4. I know this. I will have to spend some time with the beta before I know why it broke. I will try to find time to take a whack at it this weekend.

I love Safari on my shiny Mac Pro, particularly because it’s so much faster than Firefox. But one thing I missed from Firefox was being able to do a middle-click on a tab and have it close. After several failed attempts, I finally got some help from Mark Rowe who pointed me to a proper method-swizzling implementation. After switching my code to use that swizzler, everything fell into place. I’ve been happily using it ever since, I just never released it. I got an email the other day asking for it, so here it is.

Unlike my Export to Archive plugin for iPhoto, I didn’t build an installer for this one. It’s easy to install, but you still have to do it yourself. And there’s a dependency: SIMBL. Now, before Leopard shipped the word was that Input Managers would no longer be supported. After Leopard shipped we saw that wasn’t entirely true. So, once you get SIMBL installed and working, using my plugin is easy. This should work on both Tiger and Leopard. I’ve only tested it recently on Leopard, but I originally wrote it on a Tiger system.

  1. Get the binary package:
  2. Create ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins if it doesn’t exist
  3. Unzip the into this directory. You should end up with a directory called MiddleClickClose.bundle
  4. Restart Safari

If all goes well, you should now be able to use your middle mouse button to close Safari tabs. It works for me. If it doesn’t work for you, run the OSX Console and look for “MiddleClickClose loaded” in the “Console Messages” section.

If you want the source code, download it here.

I should mention that this really is a dirty hack, and may not work with future versions of Leopard. It works for me, but your mileage may vary. I hope it works for you, but it may not.

This code is distributed under the GPL v2.

Snow in Georgia

Snow Jabba 2 It’s snowing in Georgia right now. Big, fat flakes falling fast. None sticking to the streets, but cars, grass and houses are collecting lots of it. We’re only expecting a few more hours of falling flakes, but it sure is pretty to look at now. It will all be either solid ice or gone tomorrow, but we’re enjoying it while it’s here. View the entire set.

My First Seesmic! Woot!

I’ve had an account on Seesmic for a few weeks now, but just a crappy HP webcam, that didn’t work all that well with my Mac. The biggest problem was lack of a mic. So I bought a USB mic last week, which worked OK (but horribly for iChat A/V where the audio feedback made it sound like I was shouting into a canyon). But today, while at the Apple Store, I found Logitech QuickCam Vision MP for Mac and it came home with me. It’s much nicer than what I had, and I can replace two USB devices with one.

So, what did I do with it? I recorded the video below. I don’t know why the room looks like there’s a yellow fog in it.

Watch the Video <!– –>

Yahoo Groups And the Hard Bounce

I’ve been a member of several groups at Yahoo! Groups since before Yahoo bought eGroups. That’s quite a long time. At 06:30 this morning, I realized that I hadn’t seen any email from any of those groups for a while. So I got up and checked and discovered what I knew I was going to see: email delivery to my address had been turned off since 12/15 because of a “hard bounce.” This happens every month or so, and it’s always the same thing:

Remote host said: 554 The message was rejected because it contains prohibited virus or spam content [BODY]

What that means is that someone (not me) sent an email containing a virus to one of the lists. The list then tried to deliver it to me, but my mail server rejected it. And Yahoo’s list manager then interpreted that bounce as indicating that my email address won’t accept email, and turned off all delivery to me. Does this make sense to you? Someone else sends a virus and my email gets turned off.

I actually think that both Yahoo Groups and my mail server share blame in this case. My mail server shouldn’t bounce a virus-laden email, it should just quietly throw it away. It’s not like anyone who intentionally sends a virus really needs to see the bounce message; they know what they’re doing. And Yahoo Groups’ server is too stupid to interpret the bounce message and quietly ignore it. Instead, it penalizes me. But what, exactly, is my mail server?

That question is interesting because I can’t be sure whose mail server is the culprit. The reason is that there are three mail servers involved in sending me email. GoDaddy is my domain registrar, and therefore they maintain my MX records, and all my mail is first sent to them. I also have a SpamCop account. I have a forwarding address setup with GoDaddy that sends all email for me to SpamCop. SpamCop, once the email has been checked for spam, then forwards the email to my Gmail account. Since the bounce message that I’m allowed to see doesn’t include any details, I don’t know which server sent actually did the bouncing. Two days ago I stopped using my SpamCop account, so now I’m down to just GoDaddy’s and Gmail’s servers, and I’m hoping that the troublesome server belonged to SpamCop. If I get turned off again, I guess I’ll know it wasn’t.

It’s very frustrating to get turned off like this, over and over, because of someone else’s nefarious acts.

Happy New Year!


We went out and shot off some fireworks for NYE. I took some photos with my iPhone and I am astounded at how well they came out. Check them out. I took some fireworks photos using a “real” camera at a July 4th celebration a few years ago and you couldn’t make out anything. I really can’t believe how well these turned out.