Patterico's Pontifications

10/24/2008

What CyberExtortion Looks Like

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General,Scum — Patterico @ 7:03 pm

This was still on my screen when I got home tonight, so I thought I’d show you the screenshot:

The auction, by the way, is now closed. I do not know whether that is because someone bought the site, or because these people suddenly came to their senses and decided to do the right thing.

P.S If you’re reading about the hijacking of my site for the first time, the details are here.

P.P.S. Thanks to everyone who helped out today. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support. I will try to write you all individually soon.

Virtual Psychologists

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 7:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

NASA is working on a new program called the Virtual Space Station that makes available a private virtual psychology session for depressed astronauts:

“The new program is nothing like science fiction’s infamous HAL, the onboard artificial intelligence that goes awry in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The Virtual Space Station’s interaction between astronaut and computer is far less sophisticated and far more benevolent.

In the project, sponsored by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, a recorded video therapist guides astronauts through a widely used depression therapy called “problem-solving treatment.”

The recording helps astronauts identify reasons for their depression. Then the program helps them make a plan to fight the depression, based on the descriptions the astronauts type in about their problems.

Astronauts also can learn strategies for handling conflict through interactive role-playing, and even read psychology books.”

Like other examples of NASA’s research, this program also has civilian applications: It could help stressed-out employees having a hard day at work; students working on important tests or projects; and a mobile version might help drivers experiencing road rage.

Who knows? There could even be a version to calm irritated bloggers and commenters.

— DRJ

Texas FLDS Update

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 5:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Colorado woman who may have triggered the raid on the Texas FLDS compound has entered a plea of “not guilty, mental condition impaired” in connection with a charge of filing a false report. (Note: This charge is not related to the Texas FLDS case.)

— DRJ

Racial Tension in East Texas

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 4:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It happened in mid-September but this case may soon be in the headlines:

“In a gruesome case with powerful echoes of the dragging death of James Byrd a decade ago, a black man was killed underneath a pickup truck in East Texas and two white men have been charged with murder.

Black activists and the victim’s mother are calling last month’s killing of 24-year-old Brandon McClelland a racist attack. But prosecutors cast strong doubt on that Friday.”

Read the link. It’s a sad story no matter who you believe.

— DRJ

No — I Do Not Write Under The Name “Noam Scheiber” at The New Republic. He Just Steals His Stuff From Me.

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:36 pm

Posted by WLS Shipwrecked:

Some guy over at The Plank blog on TNR’s website has decided that the stuff I’ve been saying here for weeks is quite plausible — that Obama could win large margins in large states, win the national vote by 2-3 points, yet still lose squeakers in VA and PA, and return to the ranks as an otherwise undistinguished US Senator from Illinois.

1.) We’re at the point in the race when national trends may start diverging from trends in battleground states where McCain is still competing. After all, having an active campaign in a state makes a big difference. Just look at Michigan since McCain pulled out in early October. According to RCP, Obama is up 1.5 points nationally since October 2, but nearly 4.8 points in Michigan.

McCain is husbanding his resources for the absolute minimum number of electoral votes he needs to win, which means ignoring the national numbers and focusing on everything from Virginia on down the list of battlegrounds. There’s no reason to think he couldn’t lose the popular vote by 2-3 points but still win Virginia by 1.

2.) State polls seem to lag national polls, one-off polls tend to lag tracking polls, and polling averages (like the kind you find at RCP, Pollster.com, and FiveThirtyEight) lag any single poll by design. Which is to say, those state-level averages could easily be 5-7 days behind the current on-the-ground reality.

3.) While eight points is a lot to make up in two weeks, it’s not nearly as daunting over three weeks–well under half a point a day (.38, but who’s counting?). Or put differently: If, as some analysts** believe, the momentum shifted somewhat toward McCain last week, then Virginia could actually be much closer than 8 points today. We just wouldn’t know it till next week.

4.) Throw in a Bradley Effect of even a point or two on top of that, and a few more costly Biden gaffes, and I don’t think Virginia is necessarily out of reach.

Gee, I think I’ve read all of that stuff here before.

(more…)

Spread the Word about Patterico.net

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Humor — DRJ @ 12:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Many thanks to the Instapundit and others for linking the news about problems with Patterico.com. I’m sure Patterico will handle it but it may take awhile. In the meantime, let’s spread the word about the temporary change in the website address with a Letterman-style:

Top Ten Reasons to Bookmark Patterico.net

10. Spreading the word is a lot cheaper than spreading the wealth.

9. All trolls stay at Patterico.com.

8. It’s better than working.

7. You get all the inside scoop on nanotechology — Oops, wrong blog.

6. .com is so yesterday.

5. Patterico.net sends a thrill up Chris Matthews’ leg.

4. All links come with free coupons.

3. Moving is good. We’ll finally get that garage cleaned out.

2. On Fridays, we blog in our underwear.

1. Patterico.net is Change We Can Believe In.

— DRJ

1&1 Internet Has Allowed My Domain to Be Hijacked

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

The company “1&1″ has allowed my domain, patterico.com, to be hijacked.

Look up at the address bar. This is still the Patterico site — but I no longer have the patterico.com domain — even though I renewed it before the expiration date. My domain registrar has apparently seen fit to sell the domain out from under me despite my having taken timely steps to renew it.

If they can do this to me, they can do it to you. They can do it to anyone.

I have spent the past couple of days trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they’re now selling it off, so it’s clear they’ve been lying to me. I’ll spare you the full details. Here are the important facts:

  • I resolved a billing mixup more than two weeks before the expiration date and was assured everything would be fine.
  • I learned 4-5 days before the expiration date that the account was still mistakenly closed.
  • I was told I had to open a new account and “transfer” the domain from the old, closed account to the new, open one.
  • I initiated this transaction on the first possible business day after learning of the problem, requesting the “transfer” two days before the expiration date.
  • It is now two days after the expiration date and despite repeated assurances from the company that my renewal was on track, my domain is being auctioned off.

I have placed over a dozen phone calls, sent as many e-mails, and even sent a fax identifying myself and demanding that they do this renewal.

I am currently researching my options and would love to hear advice. In the meantime, let 1&1 know how you feel.

UPDATE: I am apparently not the first person 1&1 has done this to; see here for a similar story. The difference is that I put in for my renewal in a timely fashion.

UPDATE x2: If anyone wants to help monetarily, so I can pursue legal options, please don’t use the Paypal tip jar on the sidebar unless you’re paying with a credit card, because Paypal takes a percentage of credit card donations. Paypal any donations to patterico AT gmail DOT com; I’ll get 100% of any such donations.

I don’t have time to make a button; sorry. I have to get to work.

UPDATE x3: Don’t be misled by the fact that, for some ISPs and browsers, patterico.com is bouncing to patterico.net. That is the result of a caching that was put in place by my administrator days ago as a temporary Band-aid. It does not mean the problem has been solved. In fact, it has gotten worse: the auction has closed, which likely means that somebody has bought the domain. I need to take legal action immediately.

UPDATE x4: Until this is resolved, I can be reached at patterico.net. Please bookmark it now.

UPDATE x5: Here is a screenshot of the auction as it was in progress. Note that they were demanding thousands of dollars.

UPDATE x6: If you have been ripped off by 1&1, Sedo, and/or DomCollect in a similar fashion, e-mail me. patterico AT gmail and the usual ending: DOT com. I know it has happened to others. The only question is how many others.

The New Temporary Site: Patterico.Net

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:00 am

1&1 has still failed to update my DNS information — despite the fact that I renewed the domain before the expiration date.

I am still trying to figure out whether they are merely incompetent, or whether they are dishonest extortionists and/or thieves. At this point, I really don’t know. I just know they’re telling me the transfer is still in process, but it shouldn’t take this long.

In the meantime, I have registered Patterico.net, and pointed it at my site. The propagation may take time, so don’t discard your raw IP address bookmark just yet.

But if you hate the raw address, go ahead and bookmark Patterico.net as a possible alternate way to get to this site — while I try to work out the issues with the faceless bureaucracy that is 1&1. Let me know if it works for you before I start publicizing it as an alternate domain.

Anyone know a good civil lawyer with experience in dealing with domain registration issues, who might be willing to take on a case pro bono, or even just give some general advice on the policies and procedures involved in rescuing a hijacked domain? I’m not to that point just yet, but it may be headed that way. I already have a lawyer who is willing to do the case pro bono if necessary — and he’s very smart and a quick study. But he’s unfamiliar with this area of the law, and wants me to help educate him on the general procedures if I can.

P.S. I see they have now parked patterico.com and are making money off of it.

Interesting background reading: start here for an example of someone else this happened to — the difference being that the other guy didn’t renew before expiration, and I did. The story is about this guy. Read his tale here (when he lost the site) and here (when he got it back).

Note that he eventually got his site back from 1&1, albeit weeks later, apparently by filling out a redemption form. I’m likely going to do that today, to cover my bases, even though I shouldn’t have to because I renewed it before the expiration.


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