Packet-sniffing techie uncovers spousal infidelity

Warning: technology can end your relationship

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Technology has been instrumental in ending yet another long-standing relationship. Hot on the heels of tales of a woman who blames a bug in Firefox for exposing the flaws in her relationship with a fiancé and a man whose relationship was hit by the spam filtering shortcomings of Thunderbird, comes the story of a software programmer who unearthed evidence of his partner's infidelity using Ethereal, the packet sniffing software.

Len Holgate usually writes about Windows software development and programming in C++. But in a break from the norm he recently wrote about how he installed (with some difficulty) a packet sniffer on his network after becoming suspicious that Michelle, his partner of 17 years, was cheating on him.

"The sniffer provided me with evidence that Michelle had been having an affair since mid-January. I confronted her and we decided to try and see if we could 'work it out' during our ski trip to Colorado. During the trip I decided that the relationship couldn't continue and so on our return she moved out. We're currently doing the separation of assets thing. We hope to be able to remain friends. Since I don't hate her, I figure that nobody else is allowed to," Len writes.

The coder offers the following sage advice to the less technically adept: "If you plan to use technology when cheating it's probably best to understand the technology involved better than the person that you're cheating on," he adds.

We'd add that if you maintain any kind of relationship you might want to throw out your computer and mobile and invest in an abacus, if recent Reg stories (and a thread on digg.com generated by Len's post) are anything to go by. ®

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