August 28, 2007
I hate blogs. I don't even understand why I have decided to write this one. But, as it is possible that Stu had some friends out there in "cyberspace" that might have checked in with this site to read his... uhm... amusing turns of phrase, it seems fitting that I compose this.
Stu was an interesting brother. He kept me on my toes. Scratching at my chicken pox and laughing when he came down with them; purposefully playing with rabid animals because he was interested by the idea of mouth foam; climbing radio towers to see the sunset; base jumping. You name the adventure and he did it. He was scared of nothing. Except pickles.
I don't know why there was a pickle on his sandwich. He always requests that they be left off.
He was still cracking jokes in the hospital bed, lying there red and swollen like a berry.
I think deep down he really enjoyed it.
God speed, Stu. God speed.
Posted by StuR at 03:06 PM | Permalink
To course across more kindly waters now
August 27, 2007
So I'm watching TV, and the news scroller is crawling across the bottom of the screen. I see "Forest Fire," hear the anchors chattering about the grease fire, and think, "Shit, how does a grease fire take out a forest?" I guess fairs are more dangerous than you think, and not just because of the carnies. One false move and WHOOSH! That delicious funnel cake fryer flips a fatty glob of burning hot oil towards the scorched summer earth and lo! You have set the whole countryside aflame with your lustful need for fried dough covered in a glistening dusting of delicious powdered sugar.
The powdered donut of Lucky5 continues to clog arteries wherever it twitches. Some Sharpies at The Outpost have done a number with the code, whittling it down to some digestible chunks and a few well-appointed spreadsheets. To which one of the many IPs will the Goodship Lucky5 port? I suppose it could be like one of those pirate ship rides where the ship, attached to a giant pivot point in the sky, goes back and forth back and forth on and on for what seems an eternity, never stopping, never pausing, and I end up sitting and puking. Man, I hate those. Almost as much as I hate an elephant ear steeped in old grease.
Yo ho hork and a bowel of runs.
I rode this corkscrew swirlie twirlie rollercoaster once. Sat in the back, as everyone knows the lag is nil and the weight of the cars in front of you whips the end around like it's weightless. We were going into the second loop - you could see the front of the car pause at the top of the arc before it fell like a brick towards the ground. You could also see the spit wad hang in the air, waiting for the tail of the snake to slide closer. Our courses were set. Our ships to meet at the same port.
Posted by StuR at 04:38 AM | Permalink
Okay, lady. Two slices for you.
August 20, 2007
Do you call it "upcycling" if you add a semblance of class to the crap? A university in the UK is taking the opportunity to wire their campus for internet access. Via the sewers. You thought your ISP was crap - this one runs on shit. On purpose. Sliding through the underground, zipping along through the wafting odors of university muck, giving students the opportunity to deliver more crap to their professors. Remember kids: Fiber makes everything move smoother. I wonder if the future of hacking is to wear thigh-high waders and squish through the sewers to tap into the network from below. The sweet smell of evil success takes on a potent tang of wee.
Gotta be careful of the rats down there, though. Big, nasty pointy teeth, they have, dripping rabid with saliva, feening for the taste of fresh man. I heard they've changed the post-bite medical procedures, guaranteed to be better than the giant needle to the abdomen. A summer tan helps that white scar wink at me. Sometimes, when I catch a cold, I drool when I sleep and leave white, crusty, spittle bits at the corners of my mouth. When I was younger, I'd stumble out of bed, crusted and congested, moaning and sore with fever - my mom would totally freak out. That happened a lot, though, mom flipping out. I don't think she was all that prepared for a kid that rejoiced and cheered as the chicken pox spread over his torso like an itchy inquisition. No oven mitts taped to hands for me - I'd grow out my nails for a deeper scratch, red streaks criss-crossing my stomach with each clawed delight. Ah! Every itch felt amazing, transcendent and immortalizing.
I'm itchy just thinking about it.
Scritch scratch, baby.
God, that feels good.
Posted by StuR at 06:25 PM | Permalink
Wendy? Yes, Lisa? Is the water warm enough?
August 08, 2007
Five hours' New York jet lag, and I wake with my face pressed into my keyboard, the edge of the letter K jabbing into my eyebrow. I've completely thrown off my sleep pattern playing malware hunter - my circadian clock blinks. Power's out, but I'm still at home. Still jacking rhythms on the percussive keyboard. Still hitting the splash cymbal with each crack of a fresh can of Pepsi. I'm fuckin' lighting up this place, a one-man band pulling patterns out of nothing, weaving rugs of magic for carpet rides through atmospheric code. I'm Aladdin, right down to my pointy-toed, blue satiny shoes and gaucho pants. Rub my lamp and see your wishes granted, POOF! Were you busy trying to empirically determine what we know and don't know? Attempting to trick the paranoia radar into picking up my virginal radio signals? Hmm. Interesting. I took a different track: I zipped around the inside loop and zoomed right along the Highway to Missing Things to the end of the road.
What the hell was behind these crazyshit server infections festering on the webhost? Correction: not only this webhost, but another one, too. A lot of the shit left behind looks like stuff hackers use to slip in and out, so I hustled my white ass over to some of my favorite hacker/cracker file swarms. Any of those hacking tools use some of the freaky phrases from our favorite server intrusions? A little Xé:3a? Maybe a touch of Sothoth? he asked, pulling a cigarette out of his pocket.
Zippo. An empty lighter.
Jumping categories, I started hitting cherries with each pull as the little wheels spun. "Cracked software" - my nickel slot with the big payoff. I got a pile of matches, but on really strange file results that made no sense, like audio editing software. Surprise, surprise. Some enterprising Russian cracker had taken to bundling his file uploads with a few tasty pieces of payload, all of which offer CPA programs that are probably reeling in the rubles for the man with the plan. Cha-ching!
Or however they say that in Russia - Krakov-King! or Smirnoff-cha! or something. Vodka!
So in the pile of autoinstalling excitement is some strange Windows traybar application called "Lucky 5." It claims to turn "unused cycles C P U in FIELD LUCKINESS it surrounds you." If you can turn off your pedantry for a few more minutes and click your way through the installation without gouging your eyes out, it produces a traybar app with an L5 icon in blue that apparently does nothing except... sit there. It is parasiteware, though, so it must do something besides attempting to make a love connection to an IP address on start. It doesn't look like it's getting a good pillow fluffing at this point - some more fondling of Lucky is clearly warranted to get it to release its secret load.
In the installation files is a configuration file that looks like a veritable orgy of those phrases I was searching for - Sothoth times ten, naked and running through the fields like a stoned hippie. The Outpost will probably look upon that text with fond familiarity, and any other compromised webservers haunted by files with similar text might also be victims of FIELD LUCKINESS.
Oi! It surrounds you!
I’m uploading the extracted installation file and making it available for download below, but PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS. This is an Internet-active parasiteware payload that could be connected to compromised servers. Only professional malware investigators (like myself - props to me!) should even CONSIDER installing this on a machine, and then only on a machine with enough security layers to prevent further compromise.
Or don't take my warning and just be stupid and download this willy-nilly onto whatever device you want. I'm cool with that, too, because of the following responsibility clause, cleverly written to cover my ass:
YOU ACCEPT ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR DOWNLOADING THE MALICIOUS SOFTWARE, "LUCKY 5," BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
FURTHERMORE, YOU ACCEPT THAT STU IS A RIGHTEOUS DUDE*.
* I won't hold you to that last part about my righteousness, 'cause it's a pretty unenforcible clause, but I would like to suggest that you keep it in mind from time to time.
Posted by StuR at 01:56 AM | Permalink
Birds fall from a window ledge above mine
August 01, 2007
There was a quote in my Senior high school year book that one of my classmates had put in as his last words to the school. Of course, the yearbook staff, filled with idiots crunched for time, managed to reduce the promulgate wisdom to "Speak softly, and carry a big svick." It's always stuck with me as one of those random moments of unintentional hilarity. Wherever I am, I pause once in a while to think about what a big svick I have, and how it's served me so well. Changing with the situation, mutating itself like a viral coat, prepared to latch onto the next villainous membrane. I suck at being a soft speaker, though. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm loud as fuck, and that takes away some of the svicky surprise, but none of the pleasure. Other people seem to have different interpretations of the quote. Which I guess is cool. I mean, people can play with their svicks however they want to. Doesn't change what I do with mine.
I'm not opposed to being svicked by another, really. I almost kind of enjoy it - it's like being able to commiserate with anyone with the latest cold, flu, stomach issue or loose bowel. A shared memory of feeling like utter ass. A moment where you look around and find everyone around you has the same bruises, blisters, and burns. You end up fitting in with everyone else who's currently getting svicked - many become one. Unintentional assimilation and unification against a common, plundering pirate. The svicked crew will land on the shore, band together, and walk into the sunset towards that really nice coconut tree arching over the undergrowth, where they will love and breed and talk to volleyballs named Bill.
Ahoy, there, sailor! Got your svick ready?
Posted by StuR at 05:05 PM | Permalink
Will You Just Watch the Hair?
July 25, 2007
Who knew San Francisco was such a hub? I always just assumed it was filled with strange hippie-type people who had inordinate amounts of time to discuss whether bottled water is good or bad and "if I were a bag, would I be better if I were paper, or plastic? Oh fuck it, we'll just ban them all." The City of San Francisco Stands Up Against Plastic! Also Legos! As they are also plastic. I'm sorry, Jimmy, no toys for you! Have some Lincoln Logs. What? Those are made out of plastic now, too? Crazy. Have a ball made of crumpled paper. Recycled, of course.
What we have is a grid failure and parts of the web zipping away into the ether - no LiveJournal (ack! the emo!), no Craigslist (how will I ever find my evening hookup?), no Netflix (I wanted to see if Danger Mouse was available to rent on DVD yet), no Technorati (now I can claim my popularity rating to be a lot higher than it is). Whatever will we do? Oh, San Francisco, I long to ring your trolley bell and see the Rice A Roni sign creeping up that famous hill, but right now, I just want the good half of my internet back.
Posted by StuR at 12:52 AM | Permalink
A Green Hunting Cap Squeezed the Top of the Fleshy Balloon of a Head
July 20, 2007
In point, we now have people designing ways to take a Wiimote and have it talk to their sophisticated computers. Because we can't use a mouse anymore? Oh, right, no, it's so you can control your version of PowerPoint or Keynote with a flick of your wrist. But DUDE! You are standing in a sea of professionals, sharply dressed in your professional suit, waving around a Wiimote like a slide-driving light saber, the nunchuck dangling limply in your left hand. Oh yes, you are mighty awesome, Aphrodite. If you do that motion just a touch faster, it looks like a wanking claw.
My server looks like it's behaving itself again - the wacky crap that was spewing from it has stopped its rabit frothing. I'm disappointed, but not a lot. I love poking boils, but that was just looking messy, and after my last experience with antibiotics killing my digestive tract's ability to function normally, I wasn't looking forward to whatever was on my server spreading from a wave of digital pixels to any region of my body. Like, ew. The internets no longer scare me. I loves them again. I might even try tackling a few crazies... or maybe just pontificating on them. So much less messy.
Posted by StuR at 11:49 PM | Permalink
I'm so sick and tired of the shit on the radio
May 24, 2007
Work got you down? Feeling a little abused, under-used, and confused? Sing a little song with me: We R in need of a moonlight excursion. Spelunking for Dummies, a trip to the center of the server, down into the womb of the mothership, doling out a little TLC.
Moonlighting on my moonlighting, I've been helping Bryce over at Sentry Outpost. My big fat foot squashing into smithereens a nasty little piece of crashed something-or-other some hashbrowned-hacker left stewing on our machine. Finally got some juicy log files out of it, and now I'm having delicious visions of starring in the Made-for-TV movie of "How to Bust a Satanist PayPal Scambot" or "He Stopped A Terrorist DNS Controller: The Stu Ronomi Story."
Whatever is there, bubbling in the cauldron, it keeps looking more and more nasty. I honestly don't know how anyone could not love something called boil.c - it just screams "Touch-a touch-a touch me!" It's sucky to say, but I'm not entirely sure my Ginsu-sharp mind is going to be enough to get Bryce through this (he's a touch old skool). It's been like trying to explain to Grandma why I don't want any more email forwards.
Posted by StuR at 02:47 AM | Permalink
If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions
May 11, 2007
You hear about the horrors of varied phone calls into customer service departments. Idiotically scripted people on the other end of the phone line insisting that you turn your modem off even after you mention how you already have. I really don't like being on the receiving end of that pile of penguin poo. Sure, I didn't break the bank when getting the site up or anything. I didn't do any sort of premium package. Gold celebrity status platinum Gucci hosting - no thanks. I'll take the Walmart Deeluxe. So I can't say that I expected much in the way of prime service, but it's really worse than expected. Abhorrent, even. I guess it's too much to ask for continued service in exchange for your continued payments. Up. Down. Up. Down. Slow. Way. Down. Ooo! Up! Oop, never mind, back down. My website is hosted on an elevator!
So I called the dreaded 1-800 number. "Oh, yeah, uhm, that's, yeah. Bad? Can we call you back after we look into things? There's another problem on this box with another customer as well that we're looking into." When I didn't hear back from them for a while, I dug around a little on my own. Poked at what I could find. Found the other guy. He's got a nice little forum set up. I'm going to keep rooting around, maybe tap this Bryce guy for some assistance, and probably get things fixed and zipping along before customer service rings me back. My First Server Clean-Up Gig. They should have a Playskool for that.
Posted by StuR at 02:28 AM | Permalink
People were always asking me if I knew Tyler Durden
April 16, 2007
Hearing voices in your head? Wondering where the happy pills have hidden themselves this week? Would you believe that mass hysteria is once again a hot topic? Seems a few hundred school girls in Mexico have been "smitten" with hysteria. Which is hysterical. Or perhaps histrionic. I've never been certain what the difference is there. Anyway, why fake cancer to get a good night's sleep when you can simply fall over and wallow in a little shared psychosis? I suppose it has a little more class than "the dog ate my homework" or "but I didn't realize the project was due today". Perhaps a little finger pointing and you could start an old fashioned witch hunt too?
And in case you should happen to fall over near a computer and still like a little WarCrack to brighten you day, you may be interested in SonicWall's nifty toy. They promise (for a fee, a trifle, the least little trinket) to keep your WoW account clean of nasty smelly malware, protecting your virtual assets while leaving you free to assert yourself in true style. Of course, if your mass hysteria has affected your fingers then you're in deep poo…but I'm sure you'll think of something.
Posted by StuR at 08:02 PM | Permalink
life here began out there
April 02, 2007
Ever feel like someone is watching you? Maybe someone is…
One of the machines was acting a bit funny so I checked it out. Looked normal, felt good, no real reason for it to run slow or act out of place. But the guy was convinced something wasn't right. So I dug a little deeper and he's right…someone is watching him. Pretty innocuous program actually, just keeping track of where he's going what he's browsing. But it made me think…who put it there? Who wants to know? Who is this guy that someone bothered to stick a watchdog on his laptop?
Maybe he's cheating on his wife…or feeding a gambling habit…or has somehow managed to draw the attention of the proverbial "wrong sort". Maybe he just opened something funny one day and someone somewhere is waiting to sell his system. Maybe he's some sort of unwitting beta tester in a larger marketing scam or product placement scheme. Maybe it's something. Maybe it's nothing.
But the real question is, what should I do about it? It's not getting anything serious, it's not doing anything serious and hell…maybe he deserves a little extra supervision. Who am I to say?
Posted by StuR at 07:58 PM | Permalink
Welcome brave Irken soldiers…
March 24, 2007
In case you wondered, the world is full of special people. They look like everyone else, but on the inside…nothing. Completely and totally empty. You'd think some things would be obvious, even to these special types. But no. Take the following "headline": physically securing computers is preferable to encryption or password protection since apparently one of the easiest ways to gather data is to simply walk off with the machine.
I suppose that's one reason most people lock their doors at night and hide their shiny objects under thick layers of protective dust under otherwise innocent looking beds. I'm not so sure Joe Norm in office land is terribly concerned with someone walking off with their laptop. .
But they probably should be. One laptop here, one flash drive there, and pretty soon everyone knows your numbers, name, and exciting credit information. A tweak here and twiddle there and your desktop is singing the siren song of the botnet herder. And really, how many of you honestly KNOW all the phone numbers in your cell? Would you remember your girlfriend's birthday, the number to the pizza place on the corner, the addy for the latest gathering, the fact that you have a fun visit to the dentist planned for next Tuesday at 10? How much of your life lives in your head these days, and how much lives in your pocket?
If you're not willing to leave your wallet on the table when you wander off for a few minutes of random whatever, then why the hell are you willing to leave your laptop there? Is it so tough to stick a blackberry in the pocket and keep on truckin?
Posted by StuR at 07:55 PM | Permalink
Eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas.
March 20, 2007
Ah, the classics. You shouldn't really mess with the classics, even when they end wrong. And freedom…well, how can you go wrong with that?
And yet, some companies in their mighty wisdom and small intellect have done just that. Apparently a survey showed that something like 90% of employers wanted to block their wage slaves from accessing online games from "work" machines. First…this is a surprise? Someone spent money on this? Apparently someone who believes that all non-work interests can be checked at the door and who missed that "computers = fun way to spend your time" memo handed out, oh, 20 years ago. And who uses phrases like "unnecessary burden on company bandwidth" (they're clearly not sharing my webhosting company... someday, someday when the victory and paycheck are mine I'm going to spring for the bright shiny account with bells, whistles, and dancing girls. Till then I'd rather eat something other than ramen noodle and simply deal with the amusing world of low rent quantized chaos).
So what's the point to this magnificent example of effective business information management? To sell software of course! I spent much of my morning installing a new anti-virus that specifically targets Second Life. Because everyone knows that Second Life is the pinnacle of excitement for the cubby dwellers of the world and now even this tiny cushion of unreality is being pulled out from under their butts (caution, if you slip in that puddle of irony you'll probably break something. And if your office is blocking your favorite alternate life space you wont even be able to share your pain.). No more virtual café sitting, library browsing, and face time in the forum for them! Oh no…time to focus on whatever it is you're being paid to focus on and stop wasting those corporate resources.
Freedom…what a flirt.
Posted by StuR at 07:54 PM | Permalink
Yeah. Is everything in place?
March 12, 2007
Not much happening this week. Some ups, some downs, some idiots at work. What can I say?
Actually, there is some stuff I could say. But I wont. Because I'm funky like that. But I might hint that if you're behind that botnet pimpage I found last night then you should probably prepare for some financial misfortune courtesy of yours truly. But then again, I've seen more prophetic fortune cookies. And you shouldn't believe everything you read online anyway. So sleep happy little nerf herders, there's nothing out there at all. Just the wind.
Posted by StuR at 07:53 PM | Permalink
This is the worst shit I've ever seen, man.
Have you got any biscuits over there?
March 04, 2007
One pill makes you…dead. Or "why we don't buy drugs off the net and then take them ourselves". Of course, it takes all types, and certainly there must be a market for pills laced with uranium, strontium, barium, and boron. But not a big one. And apparently the market is getting smaller all the time.
So, monkey see, monkey do, but monkey no eat the poison pill. K?
Does make you wonder a bit about the state of the world. The ending of an age. The passing of the torch. The…I've run out of metaphors. Or are those platitudes? What makes some people so willing to trust the spam that shows up in their in box? Do they honestly think a Nigerian princess has chosen them from the phone book? That they are the sole surviving heir of a previously unknown fortune? What makes them think they're all that special? Hell, they're not even responding to unique spam! A minute with snopes, or a smack upside the head, should fix the problem but no. They'd rather self-medicate. And then call someone like me to pick up the pieces.
So pay attention boys and girls! You have to keep your eyes open and look both ways before pushing that button or opening that file. Otherwise you're just relying on someone like me to get to you first and save your machines from botnet hell. And although I'm good, there's only one of me and I can't save everyone. Not to mention, there's a certain justice to the situation…why should a system be any less a brainless tool than its user? Don't people look like their dogs, or something like that?
Posted by StuR at 07:52 PM | Permalink
one of those days when you're feeling a little...dead
February 26, 2007
Planning a vacation? Need to get away for a while to explore your inner ick? Flowers for mum not doing it? Or maybe you're just looking for a little quiet time away from work and the morons who live there waiting to break stuff, erase stuff, drop stuff, lose stuff, download the "funny email picture", and in general make life amusing. A quick browse here might give you some ideas. Perhaps one of the best uses of google mapping EVER.
I can think of all sorts of things to do with this…
Posted by StuR at 07:50 PM | Permalink
The unmistakable splatter of rotten melons
February 18, 2007
Ah, I can hear them now. Splat! Splunchk! Squish…
Assuming you don't have access to the stunning array of idiots I work with, you could always turn to Blancco…lords of the data erasure product! Digital media getting you down? Splat! Vista a joy to shred? Splunchk! A tramp of a flash drive begging you to release its contents? Squish!
Blancco (gotta love the name) claims the ability to erase any and all data, destroy any and all storage media, vanquish the ghosts of data storage and retention.
I'm sure you've noticed a few melons crashing to the ground around here recently. I could claim I like to keep things exciting and never knowing if this site will be up, down, or perhaps in some tangential bubble universe of quantum foam is certainly exciting. But the truth is… well, it's possible I've stepped on a few toes over the last year or two in terms of a little "after hours hunting". I'm pretty sure there are a few cranky types out there who blame me (with good cause) for their suddenly missing botnets and zombies, and wouldn't mind trying to mess up my own site a little. You'd think they'd learn…
Posted by StuR at 07:44 PM | Permalink
They say most of your brain shuts down in cryo-sleep.
February 09, 2007
And it would have to, wouldn't it?
According to the geniuses in survey-land, almost all tech based insider sabotage is the result of "disgruntled, paranoid, late, argumentative" people who have been fired from a position in IT. Perhaps my oh so trusty webhost sent someone home early with a little pink slip and a grudge?
Of course, their so-called customer service has left me fairly disgruntled, argumentative, and paranoid myself. So I can't blame their personal wage slaves for balancing the scale. Then again, that's MY money their messing with and I'm not feeling all that generous. Yo! Former disgruntled IT dude! Leave ronomi.com alone or you'll find me on your doorstep some day…
In other news, welcome to the world of "surprise you're it" browser bouncing. Also known as "you installed what?". I get a call today…"Save me Obi-tech! My computer has gone to the dark side!" Turns out he wanted to "live on the edge" and install a shiny happy browser to impress the new hire in the cubby to the right with his amazing technical abilities. Well, they installed yapbrowser. Oh yes. And they even had the sound on. I'm sure the new hire was impressed.
Might I suggest to any and all idiots out there that being easily distracted by shiny objects may be hazardous to your health in a cubicle environment? If you have to push the button, at least do it at home first…unless of course you happen to enjoy kiddie pics and are really jonesing for a pink slip of your own.
Posted by StuR at 07:36 PM | Permalink
The internet. More than just fun and games, it has become the global
February 05, 2007
Greetings and Salutations or Something of that Nature.
Welcome to ronomi.com, home of…well, you don't really care who I am and I don't really want to tell you. But let's just say I know more than you think about more than you know and despite my day job in the wonderful world of the IT wage slave you might learn something if you hang around long enough. Or not. This site may be a bit low rent at the moment, but that can change!
Sometimes it's the simple things that make life interesting, but I doubt it happens that way much.
Posted by StuR at 07:31 PM | Permalink