Monthly Archives: December 2010

Visual Evidence of PEDs usage?

Bob Feller later in life

Bob Feller at 17

Based on Jeff Pearlman’s logic, Feller obviously used steroids.

Based on Pearlmen’s same reasoning, Did Feller use?  Now granted, we do suspect steroids usage during that era, but that was also an era when certain things just didn’t get reported.  So we can’t know for *sure* that illegal things were NOT used.

Wow, wait.  It is awful hard to prove a negative.

Baseball, HOF, and PEDs

The biggest problem, that I can read, current journalist have against PEDs and the Hall of Fame voting for Cooperstown boils down to this: The journalist *completely* whiffed on the story.

The PEDs story, now, has the hint of exaggeration as a cover up for missing the story. The issue is now too big and entering the conversation too often. Greenies and the like, helped give players an extra boost, were used for YEARS until the MLB make a crackdown on them. There is little talk of how the usage of this illegal narcotic may have effect the performance of players. Everybody *knew* they were being used, but was talked about little.

But steroids and HGH get the big talk. Suspected of ‘roid usage? You aren’t making it to the Hall. Admit to using it? Reporters are not going to give you a break, no matter how good your numbers were over any span of time. Journalist are upset, with themselves, and using their voting power to lash out at the players.

Perhaps, in addition to talk of asterisks next to stats*, there should be talk of  asterisks next to the Hall of Fame votes**?

* Stupid

** Not as stupid

Just me thoughts

I’m going to assume it was *not* a diamond.

Hmmm ….

Carolee Bildsten, 56, of Gurnee, will plead not guilty next month to accusations that she charged an officer with the “clear, rigid feminine pleasure device” described in a police report, according to defense attorney Neil Calanca. 

Some things just make me laugh .. like this

There is an, actually, interesting journalist discussion occurring between Wired.com and Salon.com. Accusations flying, etc. But I had to laugh at one article from Wired.com

In any event, if you can’t make an argument without resorting to misstatements, attacking the motives of an experienced and dedicated team of reporters, name-calling, bizarre conspiracy theories and ad hominem attacks, then perhaps you don’t have an argument.

Which is followed by:

(Correction: This post originally misreported that Greenwald is a former law professor.)

But I do recommend reading all the pieces by the parties involved. Interesting reading on journalism via online journalist.

And today in irony ….

Service dog reunited with owner in Bradenton

“I was very afraid that I’d never see him again,” said Styczko, who is vacationing in Bradenton from Massachusetts. 

Fockers beat True Grit

This is why we don’t have nice things

Really, ‘Little Fockers’ beats ‘True Grit’?!?! Seriously? This is why there are so few good movies, people would rather pay for bad ones. Let the bad onces go straight to TV.

rbl.c .. a command link RBL checking for IP addresses

Since I’ll probably being shutdown MYTURL.COM, I’ll be release some smaller apps that I used to keep it up and running. The first one is rbl.c, a command line application for UNIX that allowed me to query realtime blacklist to get the status of an IP address:
mek@xibm:~/build$ ./rbl zen.spamhaus.org 127.0.0.1 127.0.0.2
I used libowfat (http://www.fefe.de/libowfat) for this small app.

 

#include #include "dns.h"#include "buffer.h"#include "stralloc.h"#include "ip4.h"

stralloc txt = { 0 };

void die_nomem(void){    buffer_putsflush(buffer_2, "no memory\n");    _exit(111);}

/* Modified ip4_scan to do the right thing for us here */unsigned int ip4_reverse_scan(const char *s, char ip[4]){    unsigned int len;    unsigned long u;    int i;

    len = 0;    for (i = 0; i < 4; ++i) {        register unsigned int j;        len += (j = scan_ulong(s, &u)) + 1;        if (!j)            return 0;        ip[3 - i] = u;        s += j;        if (i < 3 && *s != '.')            return 0;        ++s;    }    return len - 1;}

unsigned int rbl(char *rblhost, char *ip){    stralloc dnsinfo = { 0 };

    if (!stralloc_ready(&txt, 0))        die_nomem();    txt.len = 0;

    if (!stralloc_copys(&dnsinfo, ip))        die_nomem();    if (!stralloc_cats(&dnsinfo, "."))        die_nomem();    if (!stralloc_cats(&dnsinfo, rblhost))        die_nomem();

    if (!stralloc_cats(&dnsinfo, rblhost))        die_nomem();

    if (dns_txt(&txt, &dnsinfo) == -1) {        if (!stralloc_copys(&txt, "temp. rbl lookup failure"))            die_nomem();        return 100;    }    if (txt.len)        return 1;    else        return 0;}

int main(int argc, char **argv){

    static char seed[128];    static char ipaddr[4];    char str_ipaddr[IP4_FMT];    char *rbl_host;

    dns_random_init(seed);

    if (*argv)        ++argv;

    rbl_host = *argv;    ++argv;

    while (*argv) {        if (!ip4_reverse_scan(*argv, ipaddr)) {            buffer_puts(buffer_2, "WARN:unable to parse IP address:");            buffer_puts(buffer_2, *argv);            buffer_putsflush(buffer_2, "\n");        } else {

            str_ipaddr[ip4_fmt(str_ipaddr, ipaddr)] = 0;

            if (rbl(rbl_host, str_ipaddr)) {                buffer_puts(buffer_1, *argv);                buffer_puts(buffer_1, ":");                buffer_put(buffer_1, txt.s, txt.len);                buffer_putsflush(buffer_1, "\n");            }        }        ++argv;    }    _exit(0);}

Why MYTURL.COM is going way

UPDATE I — Below

Back in 2003, I noticed that TINYURL.COM was becoming quite popular (and also was quite useful) but I seen a major problem with the service. What happens if it goes away? Some many links would be lost. Being an open source minded fellow, I developed MYTURL.COM using AOLserver, PostgreSQL, and TCL as an Open Source (via GPLv2) clone of TINYURL.COM.


With the code available, I wanted to give companies the building blocks to develop their own tiny url system and use with their sites. At the very least, it gave people a free and open system to use if they choose.

Then there was the SPAM issue. What a pain in the arse.

To combat SPAM in MYTURL.COM, I did the following:

  • All connections made to the server were checked against various Realtime Blacklist (RBLs). If you IP address was on a blacklist, you were given an error message. Yep, if you were blacklisted from MYTURL.COM. While some people found this a bit extreme, in reality it didn’t keep many non-spammers for using the site.
  • If the IP address of the link was in the blacklist, MYTURL.COM gave an error and the link was not added.
  • Weekly, all sites (not links, sites) in the top 20 in clicks on investigated, if there were SPAM they were deleted AND those domains were blacklist.

While this was not perfect, it did stop a good amount of SPAM links from being created. Typically if a SPAM link passed through the RBL checking, it was blocked within 7 days. So yes, unfortunately some moron was able to a MYTURL.COM link in a SPAM message.


Surprisingly, most people understood this. When I received complaints and I explained how things happened, folks were rather nice about it. Even when my ISP receive complaints they understood the situation and never, in any way, thought I was violating my Terms of Service.

Then somebody complained to GoDaddy.com.* They claim I had violated their Terms of Service by sending SPAM *from* MYTURL.COM. When I explained that it must of been forged, they sent me a copy of it.

*You know, the folks that whore out various females to sell domain name and web related services. 

They sent me this:


We will then investigate the validity of the information that you provide. The complainant located at the example email address may be contacted to verify and/or confirm any contact information or subscription details. If the information you provide checks out, we can probably consider this a situation where this person has forgotten they opted-in.
The address is: kimisamazingxx@aim.com, a copy of the offending email message has been included at the end of this message to assist you in your investigation.
PLEASE NOTE you must reply with the requested information within 48 hours, failure to do so may lead to actions such as the suspension or cancellation of your service.

Here is a copy of the offending email message:
From: Juan Manuel Garcia Gutierrez
To:
Subject: Dear: 16:21:14
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 09:21:40 +0100
Hey,
how are you doing recently?
I would like to introduce you a very good company. It can offer you all kinds of electronic products that you may be in need,such as laptops ,gps ,TV LCD,cell phones,ps3,MP3/4,motorcycles . Website: ?http://myturl.com/0pC0J?&nbsp;

product are brand new and original.
Best regards

—–
A few things to note here:
  • The link isn’t functional. While the link was created, it was only working for about 2 minutes. A helper process in MYTURL.COM sweeps all newly created links to double check the SPAM checking process. This like was blocked by the second process.
  • There are no headers from the mail servers involved. The sole determination that it came from my domain is based on somebody using an *inactive* URL in the SPAM message.
  • They are talking about opt-in, it is obvious they have NO idea what MYTURL.COM is and haven’t looked at the site.
  • They also included a non-working linking to the Terms of Service (since I have this service, I do stay up to date with it). They then asked for $75 to the right to leave, or $199 for the right to say.

I fired back:

I am agreeing to nothing since you have, as yet, shown in any way shape
or form that I have violate ANY terms of service for the domain.
Somebody used a non-working (and fictional) like in a SPAM email that
did NOT originate from the domain nor was the domain in ANY of the
headers for the email. I was the VICTIM in the SPAM, not involved with
it. I have asked SPECIFICALLY how I abused any terms of service and you
have not show me. 

Since I have violated no terms of services, I see no reason why I would
have to agree to anything.

 

So, for the past 4 days, I have been trying to get any clear definition of where I violated the terms of service. Note, MYTURL.COM:
  • Does not have customers, it is a free service.
  • Did not originate the SPAM in question, and the link is fictional (or was only working for less then 2 minutes).

GoDaddy’s Abuse department has not returned my phone calls and quite frankly, I don’t think it is worth it to continue provide MYTURL.COM. Thanks GoDaddy, for showing your pure stupidity.


UPDATE:

I forgot to mention this, according to my email system:

Content analysis details: (5.3 points, 5.0 required) 

pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
2.2 DEAR_SOMETHING BODY: Contains 'Dear (something)'
0.0 HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message
1.7 MIME_HTML_ONLY BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts
0.1 RDNS_NONE Delivered to trusted network by a host with no rDNS
1.3 AWL AWL: From: address is in the auto white-list

GoDaddy’s abuse email is ‘SPAM’

 

Me Thoughts: Bob Feller

The saddest part of Bob Feller’s passing is that he outlived many of the people who seen him play and understood his greatness.  Not only was he a great player, but also was a World War II veteran and a loyal Indians and baseball ambassador.

Bob Feller supported the only baseball team he played for and probably was around for 75 opening day games. Being part of the Cleveland Indians was important to him, just as being part of baseball was important to him.

A true rarity in these times.

As he grew older, he could at times say things that got under people’s skin.  But there was always honesty and conviction behind those statements. You may have disagreed with him but you certainly knew he believed what he said.

Also a rarity.

I had the good fortune to speak to Mr. Feller for a few brief minutes. I told him I wished I seen him play and thanked him for his military service.* I told him I was working on a book about pitching and if he would show me how he held his curveball. He was nice enough to show me* and then asked me “Who the best pitcher ever was?”.  I smiled and said “Mel Harder, the guy that helped you with your curveball grip.”  Mr. Feller replied with “And he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

* My father served in the military, so I always thought it was neat when professional athletes served. Since Bob Feller this his military services was his greatest accomplishment, you can be sure I was going to thank him for it.

I doubt there will ever be another athlete like Bob Feller, but there should be.

Me Thoughts: Eric Mangini

Recently, there have been rumors circulating that Eric Mangini and his coaching staff are on the outs as the coach of the Cleveland Browns. Apparently, wins and losses for the rest of the year will not decide their fate.

If this turns out to be true, then I say Holmgren should follow Mangini out of Cleveland.  This is *not* because I am a fan of Mangini’s coaching ability.  What I am, is a realist.  It would be an incredibly dumb move to fire and entire coaching staff at the end of *this* year.  Why? The lack of claritywith the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the NFLPA and specifically the threat of a lockout.

Firing an entire coaching staff means you need to replace it.  You also have to bring players up to speed on new offensive and defensive systems.  It takes time to do these things.  If there is a lockout, coaches will not be able to contact the players, hold practices, etc.  Depending on how long the lockout last, OTAs, training camp, pre-season and even games might be affected.  During this time, your coaches and teams are not able to work on the new systems.

Many teams see this and you’ll probably see the Vikings and Cowboys make their current coaches as ‘permanent’ quickly after the season ends.  With teams wanting to keep staffs together, it puts teams replacing staff in a position that they might not get to interview or hire coaches they want.  Until the labor issues are settle, teams are going to try to keep their staffs together.

So, if Holmgren fires the entire staff and attempts to replace it, he leaves the Browns in a very bad position.  Quite simply, he might have difficulty putting together and staff AND giving the staff the time needs to prepare the team.

At this point, if Holmgren wants to make a change, he would need to promote from within but keep the systems stable for the time being.  Anything short of that, with the labor issue still pending, puts the team in a worse position that it currently is in.