Saturday, August 11, 2012

Don't You Just Hate It When ...

Hi Kathleen,
I'm very sorry to see how upsetting this is to you. - Email from a Princeton "Researcher"

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for -   Sam Cooke, "Wonderful World"
Graduation - When Degrees Meant Something
Women of this world - don't you just hate it when certain men - especially the younger ones who were raised post political-incorrectness - tell you that you are "upset" when you complain about some service, or lack thereof.

When you are in the right, and are pointing out an error in their customer service, be it commercial, governmental or horror of horrors, educational.

What's "upset" got to do with it? It immediately implies that you are somehow not emotionally capable of dealing the blows that some inept service unprovider has dealt.

It takes focus from THE PROBLEM to one's own private mental state. Quelle nerve!!!

Some of you might know that I have, for the past 14 years, run a website for Australian expatriates. It's a relatively low hitting-site - Australia has a population of around 22 million, and even with the Australian Diaspora of 5%,  the Aussie expat community is small. Still Australians Abroad has a loyal following, and is important to those of us who go there for information or a vent.

Recently I noticed what seemed to be a DDoS attack. A websiteDistributed Denial of Service attack is when is an attempt to makewebsite unavailable to its intended users. This is usually done bymaking multiple hits or site requests so that the site is unable to cope with the traffic.

Have a look at this graph. Itshows the rate of hits before the attack, with the sharp drop indicating when the attack ceased.

This slice cover just a few hours. The "attacks" went on for days, having the effect of putting my site over quota and therefore unavailable for two hour every day.

Anyway, enough of this techie stuff! The reason I went into it is that after much researching and posting to Google website forums, I  discoverered the offenders who were not out to be malicious but were merely inept "researchers" affiliated with Princeton University and operating out of a group called

They said so very sorry we didn't mean it the dog ate my homework blah blah. I was not amused, and now having a name to put to the source of my outrage, emailed back, "Dear Mr Wzyz, ...", explaining that these tens of thousands of automated hits were unsolicited and unwelcome.

And then it came. A return email with,

Hi Kathleen,
I'm very sorry to see how upsetting this is to you ..."

Kathleen already yet! How sweet. How sharing. How it's so nice to get to know you. How pathetically familiar!

He's still emailing me. He wants ME to try to work out how it happened  on his end. The research was meant to involve one to three hits (which the guys at name a "probe" because it sounds spacey and more important) every 5 minutes. Now you and me might think that means one hit to my site from every five minutes. But NoSireeBob.

What we are doing is to perform an active probe from each PL node to every 5 minutes. The burst of traffic is probably because we conduct our measurement on around 150 PL nodes.

In human-speak, that means 150 times 3 every 5 minutes. N'est ce pas?

Anyway, or anyways as they say in the States, it was enough to annoy me,. Though that was a minor annoyance compared to the inept and so non-PC responses I'm getting from Mr. Wzyz. If the unsolicited website probes were not enough, now I have to deal with his emails!

What a week. I'd barely put the mouse down when the phone rang. It was Chase fraud alert asking me did I really make thousands of dollars in purchases from Victoria's Secret and Tiffany's.

At least one place has its act together. Of course I hadn't purchased anything from those places. Tiffany's! I haven't had breakfast there for yonks. And as for Victoria's Secret. ASIF!

A mid-western gentleman once told me that Victoria's Secret is where mid-western women go to buy stuff when they want their men to give them money.

What a hoot!

Stay tuned!


chinamonty said...

A letter to the board of the University perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Love the bit about Vic's Secret> And I always thought YOU were Victoria's secret, Kate.

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