Posts tagged ‘FAIL’

“Fixing Idiots” or “Have you ever even SEEN pager data?”

Not all bloggers are technically oriented. Not all technically oriented people blog.

Remember these lines. They will come in handy with what is to follow.

Soooo, another month, another blog post. I really should commit myself to once a week, but by the time I sit down to post, my damn ADHD gets in the way and…hey, what’s that shiny thing?! *wanders off*

In a moment where my ADHD wasn’t acting up, I was doing some research into that pager data that Wikileaks released a while back and having done some work with pager traffic and networks in the past, I wanted to dig a little deeper into the data to see if I could find anything interesting that no one had found yet. Needle, meet haystack, then meet Jay, so to speak.

I didn’t even make it to the data. I got sidetracked. No, it wasn’t the usual kitty or pony or tomato plant distraction. It wasn’t even my notorious ADHD. Nope. I ‘Googled’ the string “pager data”. I got to the results page. I scrolled down and saw “Serious Doubts About Supposed 9-11 Pager Data”. Ok, being the curious bastard that I am, as well as my aforementioned pager experience, I had to read it. It turns out it’s a reader’s blog on the far-LEFT (you know, the supposed intelligent ones?) leaning TalkingPointsMemo website (itself a blog/news site).

Bo Obama is the bloggers name. (The President’s DOG? Really? S-R-S-L-Y?!) His writing in this article/blog, to the untrained eye, seems intelligent, thought-provoking, and thorough. BUUUUUUT it isn’t. Not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, let me conduct this visual experiment to show you how close this guy/girl/thing is to correct anywhere in his/her/its article. Here’s the ballpark *points to close object*, and here’s where the article went instead *points to Neptune*.

NOW FOR THE TECHNICAL TEARDOWN!

Let’s start with my initial observation about the data itself. It looks to have been captured by either PDW or Poc32, 2 popular pager decoding applications. (And before Mr./Ms./Creature Obama says anything, yes, both of those programs were freely available WAAAAAY back in 2001.)

Let’s now tear down the mighty blogger’s observations, one by one.

#1: “One of the problems with the supposed pager messages is that the listed phone numbers, in some cases, do not geographically match the locations listed in mapping software or the phone book.”

A: You know, we have had virtual numbers since (at least) the 70’s, right? Little known fact: 1-800/877/866/855 numbers HAVE to have a linked actual phone number because all the 800/888/877/866/855 number is is a virtual door to the real number.

#2: “(BEGIN PAGE)2001-09-11 09:37:50 Arch [0471527] B ALPHA 22-PLS CALL JO ANN HSING 408-398-0348 (END PAGE) The phone number is for “Cisco”, but if you compare the geo-location for the phone number, with the listed information for Cisco, the two do not reconcile. The difference is several miles.”

A: Really? My phone number puts me in the middle of town, but my address is in the suburbs *2* municipalities away from where my phone number puts me. Hmm, must be a glitch in the Matrix. Most phone number “geo-location” is done using the NPA-NXX. These numbers are also known by their more contemporary names “Area Code” and “Exchange”. If I search location for the number 212-555-1234, it more than likely checks where the central telephone company office is for NPA 212 and NXX 555. If my number is published, and I check the address listed for the phone number itself by either calling directory assistance or using WhitePages.com, it’ll show the address that I gave my telco when I signed up. Which *checks Google Maps* is about 2-3 miles away from the Central Office.

#3: “Some of the provided phone numbers do not reconcile with any valid phone number; but there is no evidence of a resend or correction of that apparent wrong/invalid information. Example: Furmen and 252-4411 do not match, from: 09:20:31 Skytel [002377219]. This many years after 2001, if Furmen and the number were real, there should be an overlap with the search engine. The point is that this happens multiple times with other name-number combinations: The data doesn’t exist in any public forum except for wikileaks. This consistent problem raises doubts about the veracity of the supposed data.”

A: It’s a known fact that, with few exceptions, most people who use alphanumeric pagers are either medical staff or office professionals. Now, does the damned yellow pages or Google have YOUR direct office line? I know mine doesn’t. Even so, do YOU still have the same office number you did back in 2001? It’s been 9 years man, you can’t really expect Furmen to be sitting at the same desk all these years.

#4: “Consistent Headline Problem. (O)ne would think that a high profile event — 9-11, plane crashes — would have been archived. However, there’s limited public use of the following phrase: Yahoo Alert, Plane crashes into second World Trade Center tower. One problem is that the public information about this phrase is from the AP.

A: Yeah, now you’re not using your noodle at all. Yahoo is a, say it with me kids, NEWS AGGREGATOR. They compile news from other sources. What is a big news source that likes to be aggregated? The ASSOCIATED PRESS. Hell, I can get AP headlines and auto-send them to MY pager as an alert. ON MY OWN. NO CORRELATION NEEDED. Not every little incarnation of everything from that day is archived, contrary to this guys beliefs.

#5: “Notice the way the pager message are sent: They’re usually plain-text. Meaning, they’re readable. However, in 2001, people sometimes used abbreviations and private codes, to save space, shorten text, and fit more information in a short space of a pager window. A long, wordy, non-abbreviated message wasn’t practical in 2001.”

A: Really? POCSAG and FLEX, the 2 most used pager traffic protocols in the world have been around since at least the mid 1990s (or earlier in POCSAG’s case) and can handle a METRIC FUCKTON of data in one page. The pager I carry (Motorola/Unication Advisor Elite Gold) has been around itself since the late 1990s. My pager can do about 15/20 lines per page at about 40-50 characters per line. Yeah. Long messages were not only practical in 2001, they were the NORM.

FINALLY, #6: “At worst, until the data and information content within the supposed pager data is independently verified as correct, the information can mislead and confuse researchers.”

A: Ummm…firstly, the capture of this data is technically illegal anyway. Secondly, barring the arrest of whomever captures the data, the ONLY way to verify the data independently is for the verifier to be IN THE ROOM when the data is captured. Now, looking at the pager data on the Wikileaks site, and having been in the room when this type of decoding/capture is done, I can tell you it is about as authentic as it gets. Try contacting someone in the know next time you open your mouth, Mr. Bo Obama, that way, you won’t be tasting shoe, like you are right now because of me.

Okay, enough of the Q and A, get to the point already!

IN CONCLUSION, Bo Obama, reader-blogger from TPM, YOU get my bad-researcher-of-the-month award for excellence in spewing BS without REAL fact checking required to make you even remotely look like you know what you are doing. I am revoking your blogging license until such tome as you can demonstrate an ability to, at the very least, use GOOGLE properly.

See you people in September, or maybe sooner.

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August 14, 2010 at 19:15 Leave a comment

“Let’s screw something up WORSE!” or “How the hell do Republicans exist?!”

Those of you may remember ages ago when I posted my SPOUT about the DEMOCRATS and their proposed internet kill switch bill. Well, the Republicans have topped it.

It seems that they weren’t satisfied with the bill as it was, saying it would “provide too much of a burden to the already overburdened Department of Homeland Security”. So they proposed their own bill. Which creates an office in the Pentagon to oversee United States civilian cybersecurity.

Wait…WHAT?!?

Those who have a good sense of governmental infrastructure understand that 99.9% of any office/agency housed in the Pentagon are under MILITARY CONTROL. Also, the mere fact that the Republican bill says the word ‘civilian’ in conjunction with creation of a Pentagon office/agency gives it away.

Sadly, neither bill is to my personal liking and neither bill is what I want to happen for our precious global resource called affectionately “the tubes”.

The bill as proposed by the Democrats is bad. The Republican bill is worse. Tell EVERY legislator you know to ditch both and start again.

At this point, the real question all of you out there is this: Who would you rather have in control of your country’s internet kill switch? The President or the Military?

Comment below and I will do my best to answer!

July 6, 2010 at 17:04 3 comments

“PA Table Games Bill FAIL” or “OH GOD, DOES THIS MAKE ME A CENTRIST?”

I am officially frightened.

Why, you ask?

It’s a fairly well known fact that I am a liberal. Registered Democrat. Activist. Hacker. I don’t think I could be more leftist if I tried.

It is also a known fact that I reside in Pennsylvania. One of the only “Commonwealth” states left in the Union. Archaic laws prevented Sunday sales of alcohol in this state until the middle of the last decade. (Yes, the mid 2000’s.) So oddly, for a majority Democratic state, it stays very conservative.

Within the last few years, we (the Commonwealth) allowed gaming in our state. Slots only. No table games. I’m absolutely fine with that. It means if I want to pull the one-armed bandit I only have to drive an hour now instead of 3-5 hours to go to New Jersey.

The PA Senate passed a table games bill after a nearly year long debate the other day. The PA House of Representatives passed the table games bill today. Governor Ed Rendell is expected to sign a conglomeration of the Senate and House bills tomorrow morning.

Now here’s the rub: As a democrat and leftist, I should be all for this bill getting signed into law. I totally would be, too, if it wasn’t for this one little thing. I’ll paste the text I find a problem here:

ยง 1362A. Table game taxes.
(a) Imposition.–
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), each
certificate holder shall report to the department and pay
from its daily gross table game revenue, on a form and in the
manner prescribed by the department, a tax of 12% of its
daily gross table game revenue.
(2) In addition to the tax payable under paragraph (1),
each certificate holder shall report to the department and
pay from its daily gross table game revenue, on a form and in
the manner prescribed by the department, a tax of 34% of its
– 130 –
daily gross table game revenue from each table game played on
a fully automated electronic gaming table.
(3) The tax reported and payable under paragraph (1) by
each certificate holder shall be 14% of daily gross table
game revenue for a period of two years following commencement
of table games operations at its licensed facility.

–PA Senate Bill 711-2009 Printers Number 1586, Pages 129-130.

Now, the issue may not be evident just from reading that headache of legalese, so allow me, with my former experience as an incarcerated prison law librarian, to translate for you. (OMG, he was in PRISON?!? LOL.)

Our fine Commonwealth will tax each casino 14% of their total table game revenue for the first 2 years after the casino has commenced table games operations. After that 2 year period, those casinos would be taxed 12% of their table games revenue in perpetuity.

Again, most people would say “AWESOME! Millions of dollars for the state to hand out and to use and PA WILL NEVER BE BROKE AGAIN LIKE WE WERE THIS PAST SUMMER!”, but then most people don’t take the time out to look at what other states tax their casinos for table games. According to research done by a Republican PA Representative and his staff, most other states tax table games at anywhere between 23 and 60 (Yes, SIXTY!) percent.

In this vein, it is fairly obvious to me that my own party mates in the Commonwealth have betrayed me and all of their other constituents only in order to hurriedly pass a table games bill before Governor Rendell takes action he described as “laying off more state workers”. I also feel that in this respect, Governor Rendell (D-Philadelphia) has also betrayed me, as well as all 12+ million residents of Pennsylvania by holding the state legislature hostage in order to pass this bill.

IN CONCLUSION…I feel that the Republicans arguing not the bill itself but arguing that the tax totals are WAY too low are absolutely…*sigh*…correct in doing so. Any real democrat would have noticed that the amounts were too low to make any sense except to maybe hurry and put revenue in the coffers to pay people with. Even then, if the tax amount were higher than 12-14%, I am sure that the Republicans would have complained much less about it. We’re ripping ourselves off at this rate and it’s all the *sigh part two* DEMOCRATS FAULT!

Epilogue: While you are sitting at your favorite casino in Pennsylvania in the near future playing blackjack, remember this, Governor Rendell could have sent the bill back and made the legislature up the amount, but he won’t. He’ll sign it tomorrow morning and only $6-7 of that $50 bet you just lost will go to fix that potholed interstate you came there on. It could have been $10, it could have been $30. If you’re going to lose, better to lose and fix your community with the money.

January 7, 2010 at 00:32 Leave a comment


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