19 September 2007

Who's sponsoring the DREAM Act?

The DREAM Act is the latest attempt by Congress to give illegal immigrants a pass, by giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and awarding legal status to any immigrant who claims to have been in the country before the age of 16, no matter what their age. Then illegal immigrants who receive amnesty under the DREAM Act can petition to have the rest of their family receive amnesty too. This is receiving quite a bit of press on conservative blogs, but I'm not seeing anything about it on major news sources.

What interests me a lot about this is the list of sponsors and co-sponsors of the bill, which doesn't seem to be getting ANY attention outside of Durbin's sponsorship. Here's the list of co-sponsors:


Lieberman is the disappointing one to me in this list. The rest of these I expect to see trying to self-destruct the country. I don't understand why no press is being given to the fact that two Democratic presidential candidates are trying to spend federal money to educate illegal immigrants, providing money to them that citizens can't receive if they are a resident of another state.

Hannity is having Lieberman on in about fifteen minutes. I wonder if he's going to ask him about why he co-sponsored the DREAM Act? Unfortunately, I've got to go get MadLibs from kindergarten, so I can't continue to listen.

16 September 2007

WTF happened to PostSecret?

In case you're not familiar with PostSecret, which seems pretty hard to fathom, the wikipedia entry is here. It seems unlikely that PostSecret just went away, since Frank Warren (the guy who takes the time sift through hundreds of postcards each week and post them) has several speaking engagements coming up, and hasn't shown any indications of stopping.

If you're interested in any of the books that Frank Warren has compiled of postcard secrets, here are some links:
the original PostSecret book
The Secret Lives of Men and Women
My Secret
A Lifetime of Secrets

Part of the proceeds from the books (Frank doesn't say how much, but it's been enough to keep Hopeline afloat) go to support Hopeline, a national suicide hotline with the phone number 1-800-SUICIDE that has taken over 2 million calls. Frank has also done several fundraisers for Hopeline.

I really really hope that whoever 'nicole' is, she tried to visit PostSecret, discovered that for some reason there was nothing there, and parked it until Frank can reclaim it. It was up last night - I usually visit it on Sunday mornings because that's when the new secrets are posted, and Saturday afternoon/evening to read peoples' responses to it. It's a handy place to visit if I've been spending too much time comparing my insides to other people's outsides, too.

Just got an email back from Frank. Blogger apparently took down his site, which has been around since 2005, because they decided it was a spam site. Frank is asking people to email Blogger to allow him to put PostSecret back up. I don't have an email address yet, but as soon as I hunt one down I will post it.

Is this part of Google's "Don't Be Evil" campaign?

Blogger has taken down the blog that 'nicole' posted. Hopefully this is on the way to getting PostSecret back up.

Google should think about making a hefty donation to Hopeline as part of fixing this aggregious mistake.

Google/Blogger has unlocked PostSecret enough to let Frank make one post, with the following message:
(Blogger sent me the following message late last night. Please email them to unlock the PostSecret Blog ASAP. PostSecret has not been fully unlocked by Blogger yet. Sorry, I know this is frustrating for you - it is frustrating for me too.)

Your blog is disabled
Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

We received your unlock request on September 16, 2007. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam.

posted by postsecret at 11:57 AM

I'm wondering how in the world Blogger/Google thought that a blog with over 95 million hits (yes, that's right, 95 MILLION) was a spam blog. And what does Blogger/Google have in place to make sure that once a blog is determined to be Not Spam, this doesn't happen again?

WOOHOO!!!! Looks like it's back up. Big donation for Hopeline, Google. Clean up your reputation!

15 September 2007

Network Solutions doesn't care about security

We took over maintenance and development of a website for a client we've done software for for several years. Network Solutions hosts their website. Today I discovered that sometime between the last time I visited her site (about two weeks ago) and this afternoon at 4 pm, someone hacked her site and put malicious code in a hidden iframe on three of her pages. I called her, left a message, and fixed the webpages. By the time I fixed the pages, she called back, said she was out of town and didn't have her account information for her website with her and she needed to get back to her group. I told her I'd call Network Solutions and ask them to at least lock the site down so that no one, including me, could make changes to her website until she contacted them to change her FTP password.

After several phone calls, including:

  • calling and speaking to someone who didn't speak English well enough to understand what I was trying to explain;
  • calling back to be told that their support system was down and I'd have to call back in two hours to have the site locked down;
  • being routed multiple times through their phone system to enter a password to retrieve voice mail for an account I obviously shouldn't have had access to;
  • finally reaching someone who spoke some English, explaining the situation, and being disconnected when I was put on hold;
  • finally reaching someone who spoke English and knew the difference between hold and disconnect, only to be told that they couldn't help us after all. At this point I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was told one would call me back within an hour. By this point it's 6:15 pm.

By 9:15, I STILL hadn't heard back from Network Solutions, so I called back to be told a supervisor would call me back within an hour. The supervisor finally called me back at 10:05 pm, to tell me that they wouldn't lock down the website. So my client's site is still hanging wide open, waiting for these guys to come back and hack it again. I asked for the supervisor's supervisor to call me back and was told it would be within an hour; I'm still waiting.

Hubby said he's tempted to call them up and tell them he's going to hack our client's website and see if they'd lock it down then, but we're worried about criminal repercussions. You'd think Network Solutions would be worried about the repercussions about having one of their customers' websites compromised and serving pages that could result in the loss of the customer's client base, but it's pretty obvious that they don't. Worst case if they locked the site down is that the person on the phone isn't really supposed to have access to it, and so they've protected their customer from a malicious attack and as soon as the customer notices it they'll call in. Instead, they'd rather contribute to the insecurity of the internet. I wonder if there's some service package they're going to try to pitch when our client calls in to try to secure her site.

14 September 2007

The Denver Post needs a new proofreader

The Denver Post throws the kids to the lions. Mountain lions, that is. Fortunately, they recommend taking better care of yourself and your pets.

Maybe they are counting on the kiddos keeping the mountain lions sated enough that they won't eat the rest of us. Since, after all, you don't have to be able to outrun a mountain lion, you only have to be able to outrun the slowest person in your group.

11 September 2007

06 September 2007

When a design team can't handle the truth...

The fellers over at Design Vitality posted an article about logo design, stating:
Your logo is the most important factor in your brand’s identity and it has a huge impact on how users perceive your website, or company.

I made the observation in the comments that their logo actually says "VD". Not that anyone really uses that abbreviation much anymore, it seems to have been replaced by STD. But if they want to be known as the design group you don't want to get too close to for fear of something rotting off, that's their prerogative. Funny, though, the comment disappeared, along with another comment I made inquiring as to where my previous comment went. The only comments that show up on the site now are unabashed praise.

I wonder what working with a design group like this would be like? IMO, the worst developers to work with are the ones that can't stand any sort of criticism, or who flip out and try to silence you when you point out their mistakes. Makes for unhappy coworkers and unhappy clients.