Category Archives: Bullshit

Various bullshit encountered packaged, unpackaged, paper wrapped or otherwise.

Kremlin Rising

I just started reading the book ‘Kremlin Rising’. Gosd what a piece of crap that book is. One of the amazon reviewers thinks it is better than tabloid press because it is nicely bound in a red cover and aliens are not mentioned. Another reviewer points to things Putin wrote in his young years. This is what I am sharing here because it is very interesting to read. You can see how he tried to please various sections of society in the introduction. Yet after that awkward peace he starts with facts and figures and how to get Russia through the upcoming transition. Written in 1999: Some highlights: “I am against the restoration of an official state ideology in Russia in any form. There should be no forced civil accord in a democratic Russia. Social accord can only be voluntary. That is why it is so important to achieve social accord on such basic issues as the aims, values and orientations of development, which would be desirable for and attractive to the overwhelming majority of Russians.” and another one: “The bulk of Russians show more wisdom and responsibility than many politicians.”

Child Resistant Lighters

Nowadays we are a proud nation having access to ‘child resistant’ lighters, which will make society more safe from unwanted fire. Those items are even so finely tuned that they are 85% child safe. So 15% of the children will be able to light your house with these nice things. The bar couldn’t be set any higher.

Apple confused on what it wants to say. I think…

From ‘’ two sentence taken from the same article:

a- Apple versoepelt zijn strenge regels voor ontwikkelaars voor het mobiele besturingssysteem iOS. Toepassingen mogen binnenkort met elke tool worden ontwikkeld.
b- Apple verscherpte echter de licentie voor de iOS4 SDK en sloot zo ontwikkeltools van derde partijen uit.

What the hell wil men hier zeggen ?

BBC Reporting on NP comleteness Sucks (Completely)

The author of a Proof must proof that he ain’t guilty ?

guiltyAn article reported on BBC by Victoria Gill on the new proof that NP!=P; which is not that a surprising result at all. Mathematicians have been expecting this for a while now. Anyway. There are some problems with the article:

Quoted from the BBC:

P vs NP is asking – can creativity be automated?”. Dr Deolalikar claims that his proof shows that it cannot. It may seem esoteric, but solving P vs NP could have “enormous applications”, according to Dr Aaronson. From cracking codes to airline scheduling – any computational problem where you could recognise the right answer, this would tell us if there were a way to automatically find that answer. ”

The above reads as if the prove actually makes these things possible, but in reality it does exactly the opposite: the proof assures people that there can be some trust in current cryptographic approaches !

Secondly, a bit lower there was an odd paragraph on a simple test that would ensure that the proof is correct: it goes as follows: if the author can prove that his proof will not contradict current facts then it is a good proof. Of course, I would not have any idea how one goes about proving such a thing. The burden of proof in this case lays with the accusor: those that claim that his proof is wrong should come forward and explain where it is wrong.

Anyway: Taken from the BBC website:

One way to test a mathematical proof, he said, is to ensure that it only proves things we know are true. “It had better not also prove something that we know to be false.” Other mathematicians have responded to Dr Deolikar’s paper by asking him to show that his proof passes this test. “Everyone agrees, said Dr Aaronson, “if he can’t answer this, the proof is toast.”

Maybe somebody can shed light on this last paragraph ?

Nederlands in Belgie, kwaliteit van kutgazetten

Jeezes, wat een grap nederlandse gazetten. Der is gewoon niks meer van te lezen tegenwoordig. Onderstaand een aantal korte secties van nieuws dat ik tegenwoordig probeer te ontcijferen:


Van het volgende artikel

Parket-generaal zet nieuwe stap in kader huiszoekingen kerk: Het onderzoek naar de wettelijkheid van het gerechtelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in de kerk is in handen van de kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling. Het Brussels parket-generaal heeft de KI in de zaak gevat.

De laatste zin: what the fuck ?

Een andere waar het woord gevat eveneens op vreemde wijze gebruikt wordt.

De bevoegde instantie van het Vaticaan is door de paus gevat in verband met de zaak van seksueel misbruik door de voormalige Brugse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe. Dat heeft het Vaticaan bekendgemaakt.

Het interssante is dat de ‘gevatte’ commisie helemaal niet ‘betrapt’ is op iets of zo. Het gaat hier gewoon over het feit dat het vaticaan de Congregatie voor de Geloofsleer gevraagd heeft zich over het dossier van Vangheluwe te buigen.

Na deze zaak aan de editor gemeld te hebben blijkt die kerel (Jos Grobben) een arrogante snaak te zijn: ‘Bedankt voor deze melding. Wij kunnen er alleen beter en slimmer van worden… als we er tenminste rekening mee houden. Vriendelijke groeten.’ was het antwoord.



Met zwaailichten en sirenes voerde de mug samen met een ziekenwagen die volgde onder doktersbegeleiding een dringend ziekenvervoer uit

Enig idee waar het hier exact over gaat ? Staat de ziekenwagen onder doktersbegeleiding of zijn zowel mug als ziekenwagen onder doktersbegeleiding ?

Bomming Spammers – dealing with Targeted Spam

The past year, I have been experimenting with a new solution to deal with a particular annoying type of spam: targeted spam. This is not the viagra or wet-girls type of spam we’ve come to love, no it is spam send by legal organizations that found your profile online and figured out that you once wrote a piece of text that had certain keywords embedded. For instance, assume you wrote text on ‘building a house and not a church’, you might suddenly find yourself receiving spam from a variety of church-building organizations. ‘Dear Christian F., you might be interested to know that we offer blueprints for church improvement at a vastly lower rate that in the past…’ etcetera.

Of course, all these ‘news letters’ include an ‘unsubscribe’ link. The thing with those links is that they never work. For some reason IT people still didn’t figure out how to make the unsubscribe work properly.

Now, about the only good thing about this problem is that there is someone with a name behind it, and in particular a mailaddress. So what did I do ?

Every time I received this type of unwanted targeted spam, I would contact an official at the company at their emailaddress and ask them to stop mailing me. And of course I would request this every 4 hours for the rest of their miserable life, unless of course they would indeed inform me that they would no longer harass me.

Why does this work ?
a- it annoys people working at the organization. Not everybody can quickly install a filter to ignore you
b- in the end, it does not scale up for the spammer. If everybody would do this, then very quickly every bloody spam they sent out might result in millions of emails coming back the next 10 years. Obviously this makes spam more expensive than they want it to be, and thus less efficient.
c- often targeted spam is sent to you so that you can reply; in which case you end up as a potential customer in some ticketing system, meaning that you effectively will start overloading their IT system by continuously contacting them there. In this case, the easiest for them is to unsubscribe you.

Now, crucial here is to pick the proper target emailaddress. Often it works to reply to the spam itself. If it doesn’t bounce, there is probably a customer tracking system behind, and they hate being flooded with this type of nonsense. If it is a ‘no_reply’ type of address, look up who owns the company and find an email address of an important person. In this case the CEO will do. In a particular case, I started to inquire the CEO of my bank when they would actually stop spamming me. Within 24 hours the problem was completely resolved with of course the necessary apologies and theater.

Sometimes, it might be necessary to use whois information and check out who owns the domain. A good example of this type of problems are life science companies. They always have shell companies laying around that cannot directly be associated with the mother company, but that will spam you nonetheless. However, the product they are marketing can be associated back to them. In this case don’t bother to contact the shell company. Directly go for the real company behind it. Going to the domain owner was particularly rewarding for me in one case: the spammers were living by grace of somebody else who owned a domain name. Since the spammer never took me off their mailing list, I started to inquire the domain owner who was initially furious that I even dared to associate him with the action coming from within his domain. After a while he caved in and saw reason and even a bit later the domain was retracted form the spammer ! Probably my relation with that domain name owner will never be ‘good’ again, but in any case, I achieve what I needed to achieve. The same strategy I applied on my old health insurance agency. Those morons kept on spamming me, although I was no longer member of them. After a number of spams I started to inquire at the domain name owner: very quickly the problem got resolved. Again with the necessary theater: ‘my apologies, but the company you complain about is a serious company and we are surprised….’

Another example where the choice of target address was crucial was IEEE. Believe it or not: they are spammers and I got so fed up off their never ending self-promoting incestious emails that I started to tell them to stop spamming me. Each time, they told me ‘yes we removed you from your mailinglist’, but of course they never did… Until I figured out that the so called ‘editors’ are often not part of IEEE. Instead IEEE provides external editors with a system that will automatically send an email to everybody interested. In this case the editor doesn’t even know who will receive the email. So what is the worst thing you can do ? Start inquiring the editors of course ! They have nothing to do with it, will be majorly annoyed and will become pissed at IEEE because they will figure out they are actually part of a spamming machine. Of course IEEE needs them so it has a problem. Needless, to say, once I figured this out, I never received a single spam from IEEE again. Again with the necessary theater of course. In this case we had one IEEE idiot telling another one: ‘to get me of ‘whatever mailinglist’ it is this time’.

Given my experience in this setup I came to the following observations regarding the behavior of spamming companies in this case:

a- they might ignore you. If they do, try finding the appropriate contact address that will result in appropriate action.
b- they might answer you and tell you that you are not on their mailinglist: in this case ignore them, or send them a copy of the spam they sent you.
c- they might answer you and tell you that you got removed from their mailinglist. In this case, remove them from the auto-enquirer. Now there are two possibilities: 1) they spam you again; put them on a harsher regime that involves more mails per day and inform them that they are lying fools 2) they do not spam you again. In this case you achieved your goal.

Even if none of this works to get them stop spamming you, remember that in the end the mail bandwidth they need keeps on increasing.

ING Spamming their customers

Today I received a crap email from a bank. in casu. Since I am a member of that bank, which in all honostly has performed admirably, I was quite upset when I suddenly received spam from the fuckers that stated that if I were a customer with them (I am, bloody morons), that I would have so much benefits. Now the 6 reasons why I was pissed about this:

1. For 9 years they did not know my emailaddress. It is only after I contacted them a week ago that I started to received spam.
2. Simply ‘marking’ it as spam will not work, since in that case, one might suddenly teach his/her spamfilter to ignore mail from your bank. You don’t want to do that.
3. They promised me 0.75% on year basis and then another 1% if you stick long enough with them is a joke as well. There is no reason to contact me for this kind of nonsense. If they would have offered 6% or more, I would be happy that they contacted me, but 0.75%. Wauw I was soooo impressed by that.
4. The offer is actually lower than when I joined the bank making it a very tricky ‘offer’.
5. The email states that I can ‘unsubsrcibe myself if I no longer want to receive any of those emails’. Now, this is a bank and legalese is something you should be careful about. In this case the formulation implies that I choose to receive emails from the idiots. I didn’t, so I cannot click that link.
6. The email states that it is ‘copyrighted’ by ING, however, the yellowcouch domain, on which this email was received states that no unwanted email can be owned by the originator and might be publicized whenever the receiver feels so.