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Month: December 2003

Net: Words to Auld Lang Syne (II)

With 27 minutes to go until 2004, I would just like to wish everybody a Happy New Year and re-post the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne (you can even listen to a 9k MIDI version if you want).

So here’s the “Scottish/English” version, the English and (by request) the German lyrics – however, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of these, but I’m told they’re correct… Auld Lang Syne, incidentally, means ” old times; times past, esp. those remembered with affection or nostalgia”.

Snippet: Brrr(!)

I’ve just found out why I’ve been so cold the last week (mainly staying in bed wrapped up until midday, returning to bed at 6pm and just popping out of bed to change the “tape” of the film(s) I’m watching). Even though I was increasing the central heating temperature to 30degrees (celsius), I was still cold. Why?

The blinking boiler had packed up!

Yep – end of December, middle of Winter and my boiler’s been broken for a week and I just hadn’t noticed? No heating or hot water for a whole week! How come I hadn’t noticed the lack of hot water? Well, I’ve had the washing machine (which has a heater) and the dish washer (which also has a heater) running quite a bit so I just assumed they had taken all the hot water. D’oh!

Luckily, it was just a case of: remove the cover of the boiler, remove the metal safety cover, restart the boiler flick the fan with my finger: as it was the fan/pump that had stopped, let it run and then oil it. Watch for a bit then seal the beast back up. The radiators are beginning to feel warm and I should be able to have a nice HOT relaxing bath before I decide what to do regarding New Years Eve….

Spam: Text Message Spam

This entry is mainly for my records, but it’s here if anybody else requires reference…

Basically, at 19.20, I made the following complaint to ICSTIS and The Telephone Preference Service in relation to a spammy text (SMS) message I received:

A SMS text message was sent at around 19:05 GMT (although the timestamp on the message reads 00:43:53 31-12-2003) from +08717120395 to my telephone preference service registered mobile phone (07732XXXXXX) with the message:
“You have 1 new BPQ voicemail message. Please call 0871 712 0395 to listen to it.”

When calling the number it says (in a format similar to a voicemail) “Sheila Brown of the BPQ awards department” tried calling and for me “reagrding an award prize which has to be claimed within 48hours” and for me to call 090 65393698 with NO cost of call disclosed.

Spam: I’m giving up….

I think I’m just about to give up on the email addresses provided by my ADSL provider (Demon). Why? Well, over Christmas Eve (from 4pm) to Boxing Day (2pm), I received nearly 25,000 emails. That’s a lot – but I’ve got a couple of custom Perl scripts which can crawl through my POP3 email box and zap spam (as it’ll probably be dictionary attack sort of spam).

It’s now 4 days on and I’ve managed to delete over 44,450 emails and there are another 47,552 still awaiting deletion. Yep – that’s over 90,000 emails in a space of a few days(!) I’ve spent most of today re-writing my email zapper (it’s called by the way) to be more efficient (previously it was making a separate connection to the mail server for each “attack name”: but now the last of “spammed addresses” is over 1,400 I needed to make it work on the mail as a group). But still running TOP on the emails in 1,000 blocks and then sending the DELETE command didn’t have much affect (it was taking around a quarter of a second to a second to send the delete command for each email: in that time 2 more emails came in!).

I’m now running a quick script to try and clear the POP3 mailbox down a bit more (by just sending 50,000 “DELETE” commands to the server), but I don’t hold up much hope. It’s looking like I’m going to have to give tech support a call tomorrow to get them just to flush my mailbox.

Why don’t I run something like SpamAssassin? Well, I would if I could. But it’s a “dialup/ADSL” POP3 email account, Demon don’t provide SMTP delivery to ADSL customers (but they do to conventional dial-up Modem users: go figure!) and I can’t change the MX records either. The good news is is that in the new year, they are introducing Brightmail filtering which should hopefully see spam drop (I’ve heard of figures between 75% and 98% with less than 1 in one million false positives!).

Ho hum. Oh, since typing the last two paragraphs I’ve now got 47,729 emails awaiting deletion: that’s nearly 200 emails in a matter of minutes(!).

[add] Actually, I’ve just taken a five minute average from 00:52 to 00:57 and I’m getting 16.6 emails per minute: that’s 996 per hour or 23,904 per day! Gulp!