Drew Stephens

Off the Hook - 30 January 2008

In attendance: Emmanuel, Bernie S, Mike, Redbird and Not Kevin.

Bernie mentions that analog cell phone service (AMPS) will be shut off during the week of February 18th.

The entire crew makes note of their significant lack of sports knowledge in light of the upcoming Superbowl. Emmanuel shows a surprising amount of knowledge, though he condemns this knowledge wishing he could replace it with useful information in his head.

The show is on International Delete Your MySpace Account Day and Emmanuel points to it as evidence of the power of blogging and wonders whether. Redbird insists that Facebook is useful and MySpace is not, though he admits to possibly having a MySpace account. He also brings up the flaw in MySpace’s private pictures, which allowed pictures marked private to be viewed by anyone. Emmanuel longs for an antonymous version of Facebook where people create lists of enemies and Bernie says that someone named “Bell” had an online death-pool but was arrested and the site taken down.

The Last Hope will be July 18-20th and more information will be on the website.

Charter Communications accidentally deleted messages for 14,000 email accounts and claims the data is completely irrecoverable leaving all very surprised that Charter didn’t have backups for the data. Redbird is impressed that Charter didn’t simply blame the loss on hackers.

Also not caused by hackers is the Bermuda triangle of car problems around the Empire State building. Purportedly connected to cars with keyless entry, including Emmanuel’s Smart Car), a New York City towing company says that they have to move 10-15 cars in the neighborhood per day. Usually, they claim, towing the car a few blocks away solves the problem. Redbird notes that the radio transmitters on top of the building are powerful enough that they will interfere with all sorts of radio devices.

A woman was awarded nearly the maximum sentence for her crime after making light of her victim’s death on a prison phone. Bernie said that when he was a guest in Federal prison all calls were recorded and there are no provisions for private calls, even with one’s attorney.

Bernie brings up Qwest’s refusal to participate in the NSA’s warrant-less wiretaps over the past few years but mentions that they lost numerous Federal contracts because of this decision.

Estonia and Russia are in a conflict over the movement of a World War 2 memorial in Estonia. Apparently the Russia government was not involved in attacks against Estonian government and business websites rather it was a young Estonian angered by his government’s decision on the memorial.

The group discusses Anonymous’ Project Chanology whose attacks have been successful in bringing attention to the cult of Scientology. Bernie relates a story from when he worked as an offset printer. The owner of the business for which he worked was a Scientologist who tried to convert Bernie who was fired from the job after not joining the crazies.

Though Google changed their algorithm to reduce the incidence of Google Bombs, if you search fordangerous cult” the first hit is the website of The Church of Scientology. In other news, the cast of Off The Hook is often equipped with blank expressions.

Jim is still recovering and is now in a nursing home. His address is:

Caton Park Nursing Home
Attn: Jim Vichench
1312 Caton Avenue, Rm. 312B
Brooklyn, New York 11226

Bernie says that Jim can now read again but still has trouble writing.

A listener wrote in to say that he saw a robots.txt which made mention of significant fines and lawsuits for people using automated methods of grabbing websites. The consensus is that one couldn’t get sued for using wget, but given the zone transfer decision made recently, care should be used when using automated tools to grab websites.

Apparently OTH has a bunch of 80+ year old listeners.