Harrisburg Hacked – Again

So the Harrisburg city council’s website was hacked.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last.  But what’s frustrating is that this can be solved at a cost of about $10 per year to city taxpayers, which is probably less than we’re paying for hosting right now.

First, being the IT Professional ™ that I am, I’m going to offer the city some complimentary advice on securing their website:

  • Stop using “lindasucksLOL” as your root password.  It’s really not that secure, though kudos for use on the mixed capitalization.  (IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR THE SARCASM-IMPAIRED AND/OR HARRISBURG MAYOR LINDA THOMPSON (MAYOR, HARRISBURG (MAYOR)):  I don’t really know the root password)
  • No matter how much she cries, no matter how much she begs — never, never give Mayor Thompson (Mayor (Harrisburg (Mayor))) the password after midnight.
  • For Christ’s sake stop replying to those emails from “legal@yourwebmaster dot com.ru”.  They aren’t really from your webmaster and you don’t really need to send him your password “or face account deleshon (sic)”!

In all seriousness, however, there is one option the city should consider.  And it would only cost taxpayers about three cents a day.

Continue reading Harrisburg Hacked – Again

Tax-Day Tweetup – UPDATE

WHERE: Appalachian Brewing Company, GROUND FLOOR
WHEN: Wed, April 15 2009 @ 7pm (till ???)
WHAT: Central PA Tweetup / blogger gathering

LAST-SECOND UPDATE:  Tonight’s Tweetup has been moved to the ground floor of ABC due to the concerts going on upstairs.  We should be somewhere back in the area of the kitchen; if you enter through the side door, bang a left and you should spot the conspicuous-looking blogger & Twitter types in abundance.

Continue reading Tax-Day Tweetup – UPDATE

Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2

While digging for followup material for my previous post regarding on the matter, I came across this article today in the Washington Post:

The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that NewsZap.com, an online forum run by Independent Newspapers, does not have to disclose the identities of forum participants who engaged in an online exchange about the cleanliness of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in 2006.

But wait — it’s not quite the news you may have been hoping for, you PennLive troll you.  It seems the appellate court’s ruling was based on a lack of identifying information and/or a too-vague subpoena:

Continue reading Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2

Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous

UPDATED 2/27/09; read the bottom of the post for more details.

I just found this interesting post over on Topix Chambersburg:


Quoting from the article:

The company that owns and operates the York Daily Record/Sunday News readers’ comment posting Web site will release the identities of people who anonymously posted comments to a story about the stabbing death of Andrew Wright, according to sworn statements Friday in county court.

Prosecutor Timothy Barker informed Judge Thomas H. Kelley on Friday that an attorney for Topix LLC said the Internet Protocol addresses and personal information of the posters “has been preserved” and will be turned over when the company is served with a subpoena by the York County District Attorney’s Office.

This isn’t really news, but it might be a wakeup call to people who post comments — especially the trolls on PennLive.  When you post a comment, photo, video — really, anything — on a website, your IP address is logged.  What this means for the non-technical crowd is that someone with valid legal tools (such as a subpoena) can find out what you posted, even if you use a fake name and throwaway email address.

Continue reading Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous

Make Blogging 33% Better

Not really, but this would easily be the single best invention ever to hit the Internet since ethernet:

YouTube Comment Snob

Basically, YCS blocks comments that are too stupid to live.  I’m not talking about comments that you may or may not disagree with; I’m talking about comments that should’ve been aborted long before they ever came to term.  You know the ones I’m talking about:

Continue reading Make Blogging 33% Better