Phishers of men

Don't Bite

Phishing is a computing term that refers to fraudulently attempting to gain sensitive information by social engineering. Often it appears as an email from your Bank, or Ebay, Paypal or similar, requiring you to confirm your password or account settings.

I’ve not really ever been affected by phishing, though. I have a Yahoo! mail account that I barely use, and it seems to be the only one that gets that sort of spam. But seeing as I know I don’t have an ANZ, Westpac or BT account, I happily ignore them.

My Dad got some today, though, so I wonder if I should take more notice. Not everyone can resist social engineering, you know. The credit union I belong to has a warning that comes up when you visit their web page at the moment, too, warning people of an email claiming to be from them.

Fortunately (for Dad), I have a really good email setup which catches this sort of stuff. I am running an OpenSuse 10.1 linux server, which downloads all my (and Dad’s) mail from our addresses out on the internet, then drops it into Postfix, our mail server program. Postfix then relays the mail via Amavisd-new, which runs the message through clamav (antivirus program) and spamassassin (a spam detection program).

ClamAV manages to detect these Phishing attempts, preventing them from even reaching their target, merely alerting the administrator (me). A very nice setup that is transparent to the end user and was almost default in the Suse install.

Click review

Christopher Walken shows Adam Sandler the remote

Click is another Adam Sandler movie, only a little more moralistic than most of them, and unfortunately, just as sublte.

Stories about a busy architects with a wacky secretaries were pretty much done with Hey Dad, as far as I’m concerned. This movie is all about negotiating a balance between work and home, business and personal, and the consequences of getting it wrong.

The supporting cast is excellent – Christopher Walken, with the fluffiest hair since Joel got shaved, the Fonz (Henry Winkler), Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner), Kate Beckinsale (not in leather or vinyl for a change) and the Hoff. Oh, and momentarily, Sophie Monk. The story is really about Sandler’s character, however, so he is in every scene.

I went to see it as a fundraiser for International Teams, so I guess that justifies it. But feel welcome to give it a miss, or at least wait until video, unless you’re a big Sandler fan.

Reboot or Reset

One of the most common problems I’ve faced at work this week was people getting enthusiastic and impatient when trying to resolve their network issues. Understandable, sure, but often more damage is caused than necessary. We might have caused a 2 hour downtime by upstream hardware failure, but people who’ve reset their modem to default settings have lost connection for over 3 days as they’ve waited to report it, then waited as we work our way down the list of problems.

A firmware based appliance like an ADSL modem is quite happy to be rebooted by pulling out the power connection, or turning it off at the wall socket. About the only time that might be a bad idea is if you are trying to save your changed settings at the time, but honestly, you’d be self-aware enough to realise that, right?

I think the only time you need to reset an ADSL modem is if you’ve forgotten your admin password, and need to gain access. So please, start troubleshooting your internet problems by simplifying your network, and being patient. Don’t just start pushing buttons in hope. Don't push the button!

Minister turns Atheist

Spotted on a former Churches of Christ minister explains why he no longer believes. He has what comes across as good reasons for his actions, and I certainly couldn’t talk him out of it, but I wonder if it fails the “bad things happening” test. John Dickson reckons there’s a basic human reaction to misfortune which means we all cry out “Why did this happen?” or often “Why, God?”

As a more lighthearted link: Steak Fajitas

Back at Work

Dilbert peeks I started a new job today. I’m now a network support engineer at a pretty big Australian voice and data company. There’s a bit of pressure to get my act together quickly, as my 3rd day will be flying pretty much solo, but the other staff are being very helpful.

The job has a fair few processes and procedures that need to be down very smoothly so the customers feel they are being serviced fully. It might take a while to get my routine down properly, but once I’m there the job should be pretty managable.

I also had to experience my first time driving during peak hour in the slow direction. I could leave that, but it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. I hope I get the hang of it soon, or get a smaller, more powerful car. Hmmm, like this, or maybe this.

Looking forwards to State of Origin II.

Socially conscious spending

No, not really a post about finances at Toongabbie Anglican, but a link to an excellent Ross Gittins article at the SMH.

One Item, Two Prices is an article about how people are willing to pay more for essentially the same product. Demand side economics, to step into Danny’s realm.

Fair trade coffee, organic fruit and vegetables, the size of your coffee – all examples of you paying more than is justified to demonstrate your wealth or social conscious.

Being wise with our money – or whatever resources we are blessed with – is being a “good steward” and our duty, but how do you know where to draw the line? Is the profit motive good or bad?

Questions for another time, I guess. But go read the article and be better informed.

Speaking of which, I got a job, starts next week.

Vitamin G

Guinness Draught Bottle

Yesterday, I bought some Guinness. Until recently the only Guinness you could buy here in Australia was brewed locally by Lion Nathan.

But I bought some of that Guinness Draught in a bottle that they had those fancy ads for. It has a “rocket” widget inside it to replicate what you drink in a pub in Ireland, and which may be some trouble to get out.

The great news is that this stout is actually made in the Guinness brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin, then shipped around the world to us. I personally haven’t done a back to back test, but I am assured by others that the local concoction is a shadow of the true Irish stout.

Rather surprisingly, this bottle had the nutritional information on the side. In order to make this post educational, I will reproduce it here.

Servings per package: 1 Serving size: 330mL

Average QuantityPer ServingPer 100mL
Energy122.1 Cal
511.5 kJ
37 Cal
155 kJ
Protein0.99 g0.3 g
Fat0 g0 g
Carbohydrate9.9 g3.0g
— sugars0.33 g0.1g
Sodium6.6 mg2 mg

To give some perspective, here is the info from the apple, grapefruit & guava juice I had in the fridge, normalized to 330mL.

Normal Serving size: 200mL

Average QuantityPer 330mL ServingPer 100mL
Energy132.5 Cal
610.5 kJ
44.2 Cal
185 kJ
Proteinless than 1gless than 1g
Fatless than 1gless than 1g
Carbohydrate34.3 g10.4 g
— sugars33.7 g10.2g
Sodium13.2 mg4 mg

I hope you are all now suitably educated on the benefits of beer. I also bought some Little Creatures Pale Ale yesterday, but I don’t have as good a story about that.