Patrick's Rants


Damn Javascript

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:21 pm

I use browser addons to cut down the attack vector on my personal machine. Web sites add more Javascript requirements.
As soon as I click on accept for one script, there are three scripts now needing permission. Click on allow for those three and there are 27. What the hell! Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you must do at thing. Am I the only one who still tries to limit web sites reaching into my computer?


Hello Roadrunner, goodbye

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:36 am

On my server I run Fail2ban to try to catch spammers, bots and other types of annoyances that those who run servers see every day. Recently I sent a couple of emails showing banned hosts from my server. These are typical reports from fail2ban showing how and from where a particular attempt (usually log in) has failed. It was – and always is – my intent to get the ISP to check into the address of the user to figure out what is happening on their network.

And so:

The IP has made multiple attempts to authorize against my
mail server. It is in danger of being permanently blocked.

From: Fail2Ban [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Subject: [Fail2Ban] Dovecot-Auth: banned from
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 13:21:42 -0700


The IP has just been banned by Fail2Ban after
3 attempts against Dovecot-Auth.

I attached around 5 emails that showed the same IP being blocked after 5 attempts each so there is something happening at that address.

I got a response a few days later. I can’t tell if they did anything about it or are just telling me that they don’t bother to read attached, forwarded emails.


If you are reporting an e-mail related incident, and you check your email via our webmail service,
you can select all of the spam in your inbox and click on the “Report spam” button, this will send
your spam with all needed information to so they can improve our spam

Bla bla bla….

Road Runner will not accept logs that are not in plain text (ascii) format. Do not attach files to
your e-mail. All logs must be included in the body of the message.

So this is the part I’m not sure about. I guess I can check to see if I continue to get Fail2ban reports on the offensive IP and proceed to block the entire netblock because some admin doesn’t want to read an attachment…

[update 4/6/16]
Yes, there is another set of login attempts requiring the following email:

This is my second report to you. My first included copies of six such
automated and temporary bans. I am unsure if any action was taken by
RR/Time Warner as there was no clear indication that you did actually
review and take action to prevent this connection’s unauthorized access

Please let me know that you have taken steps to correct the
unauthorized access attempts from your network.

We’ll see if there is any more satisfactory response.


Hey Mozilla! PS

Filed under: General — site admin @ 9:27 pm

AND you disabled AdBlock plus? Yeah. Tell me how that makes me MORE secure.

Keep it up. Chrome will become my default browser on ALL my devices. Not that you care.

Open Letter to The Mozilla Project

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 9:25 am

Well, maybe just an open note/short email.

Thank you for breaking the script that I was using to get the most up to date releases of Firefox and Thunderbird. No longer will I be able to revert back to an earlier working version of either software package when your latest update is crapped out because instead of saving each release as it is named, each release will overwrite the previous one and be named *Latest* and wget can no longer intelligently know whether it has downloaded any particular release or not. Not only does this increase my bandwidth usage but yours as well. Nice going with the obfuscation of just which version I’m getting.

This puts me another half step away from Thunderbird and Firefox.

I’m fairly sure with some searching I could rewrite my script, named “getfirefox”, so that the version can be determined from the returned url, but what I had was working.


Today was a beautiful day

Filed under: General — site admin @ 9:04 pm

Today, the sun was shining, the temperature in the mid 80s.
Today, you went about your everyday lives, perhaps feeling what we considered the heat of early summer.
Today, stores were open, people shopping.
Today, I posted a rant about Donald Trump and Charleston.
Today, I managed to collect more duck eggs and foiled the ravens.
Today, I spent time with family.
Today, I hugged my kids tight.
Today, I joined an exclusive, but unwanted club; for
Today, my nephew took his own life.

Filed under: Bumper Sticker,Seen on a — site admin @ 10:11 am

I’m going to hell in every religion

Religion and Politics

Filed under: Politics,Religion — site admin @ 10:09 am

This is going to be a short, albeit, controversial post. If you have delicate sensibilities, like Donald Trump or believe in an invisible man in the sky you might want to stop reading now.

On Tuesday Donald Trump, and his hair, announced they were running for president in front of a packed crowd of enthusiastic paid extras supporters. In his speech, he blamed Mexico for “sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”

A day later, a young white man enters a black church in South Carolina during bible study, asks for the pastor and sits for nearly an hour before pulling out his gun and killing nine people only stopping to reload. One witness quoted him a saying “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country — and you have to go.”

Trump has many documented xenophopic attacks against Barack Obama, claiming that he was born in Kenya and that he’s not a legitimate president, asking for a “long form” birth certificate (which Trump apparently had trouble producing for himself). Now he is attacking Mexicans as rapists. Two white men, in two days attacking non-whites and using the same language. Coincidence? Maybe. The rich white man attacks with words and gets his moment in the spotlight. The poor, undereducated high school dropout attacks with bullets.

Now, to poke the religious. The woman who spotted Dylann Roof gives all her credit to god for making her watch the news, to run late to work and to decide to get back on the freeway to try to catch up to him. She is credited with alerting police, she gives all her credit to god. If god is so great how did he not prevent this from happening in the first place? Witnesses say that Roof almost backed out of his deranged act because everyone in the church was so nice and so welcoming. The answer, from believers, will be that god works in mysterious ways. The truth, as I see it, is more proof that there is no god.


McDonald’s Rant

Filed under: General — site admin @ 5:47 pm

I posted the following to McDonald’s Javascript hell comments section. Let’s see if I get a real response.

My wife and I had just dropped my daughter off at the airport and decided to to stop at McDonald’s for breakfast and to use the restroom. As we had traveled from Flagstaff to Phoenix we really needed to stop. The previous exit (headed north on I-17) sign indicated a McDonald’s but when we exited the freeway the sign at the exit showed 2 or 3 miles and we decided we wanted something closer to the freeway. The McDonald’s at I-17 and Thunderbird Rd is the most actively uninviting place I have ever been in. There are signs posted all over the place limiting “paying” customers to 30 minutes, no loitering. And the bathrooms have keypad locks on the doors so one must presumably have to place an order before using the restroom.

This location may have a problem with transients or people trying to get in out of the heat. It lost my business. A quick visit to Yahoo finance pages shows another losing quarter for McDonald’s. This restaurant added to your losses as we went up the road to a much more inviting Taco Bell where we could use the restroom and then place our order. Although this was a personal choice as an individual, this concerns me as a stakeholder via my mutual fund holdings.

Let me add that just getting to this page to offer my feedback was painful. There are no less than 23 scripts included in the page, plus a bunch of JavaScript BS inline. The page took more than a minute to load. Contacting a company should force people through a bottle neck that tries to be all things to all people. Had there been a simple listing of email addresses this would have been a much shorter comment.


Has Hell Frozen Over?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:32 pm

Microsoft, or more accurately, the Powershell team, has announced they will be incorporating SSH, the Secure Shell, into Powershell for interoperability between Linux/Unix based systems and Windows based systems. I install Cygwin and OpenSSH on every Windows machine I touch – and sometimes I have to install PuTTY and WinSCP as well. This changes everything.


So what’s that about no need for net neutrality and plenty of competition in internet service?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:35 pm

We aren’t doing too badly here, there is DSL, cable internet and even satellite. However the tax office has to deal with crappy Qwest/Centurylink copper that nobody wants to admit are dog crap bad – when it rains the line hums and the modem resets every 5 minutes, but there is nothing wrong with the copper. But this guy ends up having to move after he can’t work from home.

Here’s a little more on the story.

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