Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When Irony Attacks! (Mozilla's Attack Site Info Page)

[Update: False alarm. I didn't get the joke. See below.]

I was just trying to go to the Baltimore City Paper site, when Firefox 3 threw up a "Reported Attack Site!" warning (for the following reasons).

I'd seen the attack site warning page a few times but I wanted to find out a bit more about it, so I did a search on firefox attack site. The second result is a mozilla.com site, www.mozilla.com/firefox/its-an-attack.html, so I clicked it. I was surprised -- nay, shocked -- to see that the It's an Attack! page also gave me a Reported Attack Site! warning:


(Oddly enough, the "Why was this site blocked?" diagnostic page says that there is not and never has been anything wrong with the page.)

I'm trying to decide if this is some sort of perverse, "Who watches the watchers?" object lesson in browser security. It's definitely the textbook definition of irony, though.

Minor update: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/its-an-attack.html (the page you get to via search) is blocked, but http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/its-an-attack.html (when you navigate from the top level of the site) is not.

Mooting Update: Asa Dotzler of the Mozilla organization responded in the comments -- it's a test page that demonstrates the feature, so it's supposed to trigger the warning for FF3 users (which it says on the page itself). So instead of me being clever, it's another item for the Dumb Things file.

However, in my defense, I do think that given its prominence on the relevant search result page, this approach is a little too "cute" if you're already a FF3 user just trying to find out about the feature -- in order to see the info on the page, you have to click past the warning, and if you're at all security-aware, you might not do this (I know I was hesitant -- I only clicked past because I know there's currently very litle malware that affects Macs).

Also, the /en-US/ version doesn't invoke the warning, which threw me.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Pocket Full of Lithium-Ion DEATH

Saw this story in Slashdot today:

Exploding cell phone battery may have killed South Korean man: officials
"SEOUL, South Korea: An exploding cell phone battery may have killed a South Korean man, police said Wednesday, although the phone's manufacturer said it was highly unlikely.


Kim Hoon, a doctor who examined the body, said the death was probably caused by an explosion of the battery.

"He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken," Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying." [emphasis mine]
Okay, so we know that cell phone and other types of batteries have been known to explode. But if your spine breaks due to an exploding cell phone battery, one of two things happened:
  1. The cell phone was attached to a block of plastic explosive (because you were making an IED).
  2. You were driving, the phone blew up, and you drove into a tree. (Falling off a high ledge or scaffold would also work.)
As a commenter noted, you have to remember that many South Korean doctors also believe that running an electric fan in a closed room will kill you.

Obviously, something else happened here. But you know, I'm thinking that anything to moderate the pace of cell phone usage (especially loud, public cell phone usage) may not be a bad thing.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Two Media Milestones of Tremendous Importance

1. The Weekly World News is shutting down. [link via Fark]

2. The Onion's best columnist/diarists, Jim Anchower and Smoove B are vying for the attentions of the same woman.

Remember this day. Tell your descendants.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Why Is There Whipped Cream on My Car?

10:08pm: The Spectrum at Reston Town Center parking lot (in front of the Barnes & Noble):

Crushed Can of Reddi Wip Whipped Cream

As you can see, there's a pile of Reddi-Wip cans on the ground, including one that'd been crushed under the tire of the car parked in front of mine.

Some of the whipped cream had squirted onto my front tire. Not much.

Hadn't realized that the RTC parking lot was the in-place to do whipits.

I'd had my camera in my pocket in case I could get a shot of tonight's full moon, though this was more interesting.

Turned on the long exposure and 2-second self timer, and set the camera on my front driver's side mirror.

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