Phish On!

For those of you who do not know, Phishing is a form of Internet attack which is often referred to as “Social Engineering.”? That means that this is not a virus, per se, but rather just a sneaky bastard trying to fool you into thinking they’re legit when in reality, they are duping you.

This one was an email with a return email address of, which stated that someone had accessed my account illegally, and that they wanted me to confirm my identity so they could reactivate my account.? “To reactivate your account, please click here.”? Now, I’m a bright techno-boy, so I know better than to just click on links in email, so I opted to read the status bar at the bottom of my WebMail client and find out where that link would send me.

Lo and behold, this link did not send me to PayPal, but rather to

Just a reminder to anyone who reads this: watch your ass, and never, ever, ever click on email links that don’t make sense.? If your not sure weather the email is legit or not, try just going to the actual site in question (for example, this was supposed to be PayPal, so I went directly to PayPal), and inquire with thier Tech Support or Customer Service.? Believe me, they will be happy to hear from you.

Things are Getting Ugly for Google

Once the media is alerted to the fact that computers can be dangerous, you gotta look out: these people don’t get to actually report on much, these days.

The pile-on du jour at the moment is the Google-and-Privacy issue. It is true: there are certainly a lot of issues swarming around Google these days. However, the pile-on is dangerously close to missing the point on a great many of these issues.

Hello world! Welcome to the New DFE Blog

Well, those few of you who read the blog on a regular basis may be wondering why I decided to make the switch. There are several reasons, but the biggest being that there are just some features native to or easily added to most blogging software which are just impossible to add into the phpBB that I’ve been using. Not the least of which is the ability to see more than one entry at a time. I tried making that work with phpBB, but if it is do-able, it is beyond my means.

Additionally, syndication of this feed is much easier and more robust than with phpBB. You can use the Topics_anywhere.php thing, but really, its more of a hassle than its worth. I was also able to add on the trendy tags and links, which are actually quite helpful from the perspective of being able to post external articles of interest, even when I don’t have time to comment on them fully.

Anyway, I am hoping that people will like the new page, and I continue to tinker with it as I go.

Rochester Gets Screwed

A new article in the Democrat and Chronical shows that the City just learned this week that we are getting screwed out of 3.1 million in Federal grants this year.? So, are you still in favour of tax cuts?

It’s Only Intelligence if it’s Intelligent

This domestic spying thing just keeps getting worse and worse.? Of course, they’ve been reporting for a while that the domestic spying has yielded thousands upon thousands of completely dead ends, but this quote from the WaPo sums it up nicely:

Bush has recently described the warrantless operation as “terrorist surveillance” and summed it up by declaring that “if you’re talking to a member of al Qaeda, we want to know why.” But officials conversant with the program said a far more common question for eavesdroppers is whether, not why, a terrorist plotter is on either end of the call. The answer, they said, is usually no.?

Well, that aught to make our country much safer.? Rather than spending time, resources and bandwidth fighting terrorists, let’s just waste it all on tracking phone calls to the Mid East that don’t mean a thing.

The Charge of the Scientist Brigade

This new post on Kevin Drum’s site talks about the scientist’s rebellion at the EPA. I would say I am proud of them, but it sounds a little like a last-gasp attempt at reality in what is otherwise a surreal landscape for scientists. Imagine if you will living your life as a scientist and dealing only with the cold, hard facts of what you can test in a lab ~ only to find that the plum job you scored working for the government turns out to be not as a true scientist, but as a stage-prop in a lab coat who justifies the lies of your bosses. Lies that make a cruel parody of your own work.

I feel especially bad for these people now that they’ve taken it upon themselves to charge the wall of surreality because they know no one else is going to do it for them. They will fail, of course, and probably not even suffer the relatively dignified injustice of being fired. All the rest of us can do is lean against a rail fence and watch Pickett charge a line he can never take.

Ok, so I’m feeling a little down at 5am in the morning. . .