Monday, August 04, 2008

Technical Service Announcement

I'm not doing so well because my cat still has not returned, but I've seen a few things in the blogs over the last week that require some clarification so people know what is an issue and what is not.

The Sitemeter malfunction from a few days ago is not a political issue. It was not limited to political blogs and sites, but was a general malfunction due to code that conflicted with IE. Sitemeter itself posted a news announcement explaining the issue. While the technical specifics may not be your cup of tea, I develop web sites for a living and they make perfect sense to me. Cross-browser scripting is difficult because the major browsers use different object models, and a tiny change in code can cascade in unexpected ways. I suspect they also have been working on code for the upcoming IE 8 release and some of that may have been inadvertantly pushed out.

Attacks on anti-Obama sites coming from computers that appear to have IPs operated by the Obama campaign. This could be an issue, but I'd advise caution. Why? Because this kind of thing leaves a footprint the size of Manhattan and thus most computer saboteurs would avoid it like the plague. Rule #1 in the badass computer geek rule book is never do a dirty deed from your own machine.

IP addresses can be spoofed, that is to say, someone can fake the IP address handed over by the visitor. Going through proxy servers can confuse who is visiting (AOL accounts, for example, are notoriously difficult to identify due to proxies.). Additionally, computers can be hijacked and used by a third party to conduct less-than-legal operations. Finally, IP addresses are not as exclusive and unique as you think - a single public facing IP address can serve up hundreds of web sites, though it is best for a major organization to have exclusive rights to an IP range. Thus, this could be something being done by another party to make an attack look like it came from those machines. Having spent the last two weeks battling back a variety of underhanded attacks on servers, spoofing the Obama IPs looks positively benign next to the damage that could be done.

On the side of "it really is what it looks like" is the, ahem, arrogance of the Obama campaign and the blatent rule breaking and bullying we have witnessed emanating from their camp for nearly a year. Their history of behavior makes the idea of these attacks plausible, especially as they tout their rad hi-tech skillz. (Which are not so rad, akshually).

If you think you have been attacked, no matter the culprit, document, document, document. Get start and end times, cross-reference attacks with other sites, and look for patterns in the activity. Damage is damage.

Two moderately interesting factoids:
  1. We get fundraising letters from the Precious every three days like clockwork, or rather, the spousal unit does. I never get anything from them. It's the same letter every time and it goes straight to the trash. Isn't that kind of a waste of resources to send the same appeal that always gets ignored? What's really interesting is that almost all of the fund raising requests from Hillary came electronically, they came to both of us (though more to me as I was donating), and the requests were different each time.
  2. Last week, we had a DNC canvasser show up on the doorstep, a fresh scrubbed and enthusiastic young 'un. The spousal unit answered the door and let the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed fund-raiser know that A) this household has voted Democratic since before said person was born and B) it's not certain that we will do so in November because of the behavior of Obama. The canvasser was relentlessly upbeat, but made clear that they were NOT working for Obama, that what we said was not news, and would we pleeeeeeeease donate to the DNC and/or volunteer to work on a local campaign? Sounded to us like the Precious is not doing much for downticket efforts.



Unknown said...

I hope your cat returns soon to the safety of the home hearth.

Half way thru your comments on the alleged Obama ISP attacks I was formulating my 'but....' response and then you addressed it.

We now live in a society where the rule of law is in some doubt. Not only the arrogant Obamacans but many others have taken to heart the lessons learned from BushCo and the Miss Nancy led 'Democrats'. which are: If you are well enough connected you need not fear legal punishment. You can walk away from crimes that in the past would have sent you to federal prison. And sent you there fairly quickly.

I for one do not think this lesson is lost on the general pubic either. Congress at 35% approval, folks showing up at my blog saying they are voting Republican it does not look good for Miss Nancy and Co.

They stand revealed as co-conspirators with the Republican Party to remove all restraints upon their actions.

If Obama is the nominee I see a wave of revulsion with him and his unprincipled Bush style approach that will put him and much of the 'Democrat' Party in the trash can.

And this after eight years of Bush.

Truly America has gone astray.

I can only hope that the citizens send a message that the current 'Village' mores are repugnant to them and that they will punish for putting same above the rule of law.

Shainzona said...

Thank you for clarifying the ISP "attack" was always beyond me...but I know it's important to know all of the facts before becoming inflamed - afterall, we have plenty of real issues to inflame us day in and day out.

My kitty. Timber, is sending you all good thoughts - animals have a wonderful way of turning up when you least expect them. Keep the faith!

Anne said...


I hope your cat returns...but I have been there in the between time and it's rough. Sorry

No doubt you saw Hillary's the WSJ artlcie. Among the gems is this:

Of course, we need far more than a Truman Committee. We need the Truman spirit in the White House, where the buck finally stops

I thought of you because that is a glove thown into the face of the Stevensonian wing!lol! Hillary even is so blunt as to evoke Harry's name! It's on!

Unknown said...

My spousal unit also gets Obama letters. They get sent back with suitable comments in their paid self-addressed envelope. Makes me almost welcome them to be told that the DNC is having to beg for funds door-to-door.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, even in *this* disastrous economy, the going rate for truly "rad hi-tech skillz" is a little more than the $7/hr the Obamanation is paying ;-) Sometimes, you get what you pay for.