Business as usual

Over the past couple of years, I have been able to tolerate Microsoft a bit more than I used to. When your primary income relies on people purchasing Exchange and OCS accounts that you provide the back end provisioning and automation for, you quickly realize where your bread is buttered.

But this sort of crap really needs to stop. Yes, its their operating system. But that doesn’t excuse installing add-ons to 3rd party applications and disabling the uninstall options. I’m with the writer of this article, this is a great way to get your customers to not trust you and precisely the reason I haven’t had windows on my desktop for 8 years.

A routine security update for a Microsoft Windows component installed on tens of millions of computers has quietly installed an extra add-on for an untold number of users surfing the Web with Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser.

Earlier this year, Microsoft shipped a bundle of updates known as a “service pack” for a programming platform called the Microsoft .NET Framework, which Microsoft and plenty of third-party developers use to run a variety of interactive programs on Windows.

The service pack for the .NET Framework, like other updates, was pushed out to users through the Windows Update Web site. A number of readers had never heard of this platform before Windows Update started offering the service pack for it, and many of you wanted to know whether it was okay to go ahead and install this thing. Having earlier checked to see whether the service pack had caused any widespread problems or interfered with third-party programs — and not finding any that warranted waving readers away from this update — I told readers not to worry and to go ahead and install it.

source

Some people need a beating…

OK, I get people wanting to stand up for their rights, but from the very beginning, this guy was an arrogant asshole. He has no respect for authority. He was abusive and non cooperative when asked simple questions. He deserved to be detained.

Now, the person stating he has no rights at a checkpoint is NOT cool. But I still think he was an ass and deserved a thumping. And that’s just listening to the first 5 minutes of the video.

The reason that this blew up and the reason that he was detained is by not answering a few simple questions and being an ass, he instantly raised suspicion that he was doing something illegal. If he had played it cool, I’m sure he would have been through the checkpoint in under a minute without them ever needing to check his trunk or anything else. But because he was abusive and non-cooperative, he was detained. I’m not saying that the border patrol agents were perfect here. But some people are just idiots and need a good beating with the clue-by-four!

NOTE: I do _NOT_ agree with the title of the video. I think it should have been ‘Dumbass makes a fool of himself to a federal agent!’

Marketing Campaigns

Two days ago, I received a call wanting to take 40 seconds of my time to tell me about a great movie and that this was not a sales call.

Several things pissed me off about this one.

  1. If you are taking the time to focus marketing at me, you’re selling to me. Just cut the BS and move on.
  2. This was my cell phone which is used for work. My company pays for it, its a business line. Luckily, the poor schmuck on the other end of the line decided to end the call after I stated it was a business line. Because I was going to state after that, “This is a business line and you’re 5 seconds away from an ass chewing.” At which point I would teach him words he had never heard of while threatening to do things that I’m pretty sure are illegal in this country as well as most of the Northern Hemisphere.
  3. Do you honestly think I’m going to go to your movie after this “marketing” tactic? I used to fight email spam, the last thing I’m going to do is go to a movie that is promoted through phone spamming.
  4. What the heck happened to the do not call list? My cell number IS on there. Yes, yes, I need to report it for it to do anything, but why haven’t others so these assholes get shutdown

Luckily, Verizon is laying the legal smack down on these jackasses. Thank you Verizon!!!

Ugly Code

With my recent project, I had to do some research for the bits that make up the msRTCSIP-OptionFlags field in Active Directory for OCS users. There were certain operations that are not 100% supported by HMC so often times you have to fill in the gaps. The definition of this field is as follows:

This attribute specifies the different options that are enabled for the user or contact object. This attribute is a bit-mask value of type integer. Each option is represented by a bit. This attribute is marked for Global Catalog replication.

source

Unfortunately, in my searching I found not only the technet article, but I also found this

Here a sample of some of the code that you’ll find….

if strOptionFlag = "" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "16"

else

‘If user not enabled then do not enable OCS
if strOptionFlag = "0" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "0"
‘If user is enabled for Public IM then keep Public IM enabled and enable RCC
elseif strOptionFlag = "1" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "257"
‘If user is enabled for RCC then keep RCC enabled and enable Enhanced Presence
elseif strOptionFlag = "16" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "272"
‘If user is enabled for RCC and Public IM then keep RCC & PIM enabled and enable Enhanced Presence
elseif strOptionFlag = "17" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "273"
‘If user is already enabled for RCC and Enhanced Presence then keep settings
elseif strOptionFlag = "272" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "272"
‘If user is already enabled for RCC, PIM and Enhanced Presence then keep settings
elseif strOptionFlag = "273" then
objUser.Put "msRTCSIP-OptionFlags", "273"
end if
end if

All I have to say is wow! You’ve got to be freaking kidding me. Are there programmers out there that don’t understand what a bitfield is supposed to be or how to do bitwise operations? That’s like the first freaking class in a Computer Science degree. This is where you learn about Big 0, Binary numbers, loops, variables. If you are a programmer reading this blog and you don’t know what a bit field is and how to us it. Google it, read up, and rid the world of ugly ass code like what I found above.

Now technically what this person is doing would “work” since it is setting the integer with an appropriate number. But wow is this the WRONG way to do it. I’m afraid to see this persons code for when they need to check and see if the RCC bit is set for the user. Technically, they should be able to do a simple bitwise operation and check it something along the lines of:

if(($msRTCSIP-OptionFlags & 0x0010) != 0)
{
// RCC is set
}

I have a feeling that this person is doing for the following:

if(value == 273)
{
X is set
Y is set
Z is set
}
else if(value == 257)
{
Y is set
Z is set
}

This is a very simplistic psuedo-code example. But wow…I’m still in shock that this type of code is out there…and posted somewhat recently in October of 2008!

I really hope I run into this guy some day so I can beat him with the clue-by-4.

419 Morons!

Good lord! I can’t believe that people haven’t learned yet. In the past week, I have seen 2 stories about some dumbass losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a scammer in a 419 Scam.

First we have John Rempel who sounds like not only did he lose his own savings, but decided to take some friends and family along with him. Nice job John!

Next up, we have Richard T. Howell Jr. which was another form of the 419 scam. Now, Howell got caught up in something a lot more sophisticated. But even he admits he was a dumbass.

So let this be the warning to everyone out there. If it comes in email, and it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Delete it and move on with your life.