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Letters Black helicopters have been circling this week over the .eu domain landrush. The TLD has just been made available to the unwashed masses after a sunrise period for companies and organisations to stake their legitimate claims. Naturally, it's all gone titsup:

I would like to give you the heads up on what really happened with the EU sunrise and landrush phases, and how the .eu extension has been stolen by underhanded US mega millionaires, who exploited every loophole the EURID left in the registration system. The worst thing is the EURID were worned beforehand but set back and watched it happen, it is begining to look like it was in there interest for the EU domain to look successful.

1. Sunrise: During this period 1000`s of false companies were setup to claim prior rights to every domain that had worth. Companies such as "ser & bia" who claimed rights to serbia.eu. Another company was setup using every letter of the alphabet ie. "a&b&c&d&e.....etc". They then set out to claim rights to every combination allowed of 3 and 4 digit names"....guess what they got them..... One illegal company in sweden even managed to claim the rights to the word "music" &" travel" and 15 other major domains. When we rang this company they weren`t in sweden they were in the US. Check out who was awarded the USA.eu domain over the US embassy??? A company setup called U&SA.

2. Landrush: Days before the landrush began the biggest scam in europes internet history was committed against all the rules of the eurid. The eurid states that registrars can only apply for names that were requested by actual people/ customers. Days before the landrush over 500-800 new eu registrars appeared on the eurid registrar list out of no where.....all the same guy. The scam was begining, none of these dummie registrars even had a website were you could register a domain name...sound odd??? against all the eurid rules, who were they requesting names for???

A US millionaire has his hands on most of the domains that were registered for every 5 names a genuine registrar got per second or so, this... got over 4000 - 5000.

And were are all these names??? there going up for auction in coming days to the highest bidder.....the .EU domain extension has been stolen....and we as europeans have been rightly ripped off.....and even worse the EURID are keeping quite.....and it appears they are going to let this happen ...when they could put a stop to this but that would make them look like complete idiots....

someone needs to expose what has happened.......some of the worlds top registrars have complained to the eurid but they are white washing them because of the publicity they will get if they admit to it...the eurid is a complete shambles and right at the start of there job have made the biggest cock up......EXPOSE THEM!

Want more info.....I even know the name of the US millionaire who done this.....and others who a sitting back laughing at europeans now after they made 10`s of millions if not 100``s selling our names back to us....Tucows even made compiaints about what they seen happen.....

We have been ripped off of our own internet address...........made fools of....

James

There's more on this whole sorry affair right here.


An owlselling West African contacted El Reg this week looking to buy some laptops. Here's a bit of background info on how owlsellers do business:

Mr. Haines, you and everyone at El Reg will be pleased to know that the limited run "All my money went to Nigeria and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" shirt was all the talk when I stealthy wore one to work at a U.S. telecomm shop. This was actually last year. I was going to be leaving this job a telephone relay service operator soon, so I figured, what the hey? I'll don the t-shirt, albeit under a sweatshirt as to not cause too much of a ruckus or prematurely lose my job.

If you weren't aware, the 419ers have exploited relay service as a means of using stolen credit card numbers to buy things ranging from spark plugs to t-shirts and have them shipped overseas to West Africa. My corporation intentionally (ahem) had a limited response to the fraudsters, citing FCC regulations. Perhaps once their lawyers had been paid billable hours, they determined the FCC bylaws might contain implied consent for intervention against fraud.

Once a policy was put in place, our friends from Nigeria were stopped for a while. If they asked to have something sent overseas, the speaking/hearing customer whom the 419er had called via relay was informed something fraudulent was afoot. Most times people promptly hung up and the call was disconnected after the 419ers were given a cold slap in the face.

This made doing relay much easier, and freed operators from being complicit in the execution of credit card fraud. Having done enough calls, I can tell you that the 419ers must have had a call center somewhere much like the one we were performing relay calls from. Second, they had scripts. Too many lines were repeated over and over for there not to be written scripts. They also had supervisors. When something went awry with a call, there were often long pauses while the fraudsters tried to figure out what to do.

Having fraud prevention in place meant the volume of fraud calls plummeted. But given the brains behind their operation, it would make sense that they could eventually find a hole in the fraud prevention policy. They figured out that when they asked to have an item shipped overseas, the calls were most often dropped. So they started to send the goods within the U.S., implying someone over here was helping them.

Having quit the relay job in spring 2005, I was not around to find out if they revised the policy to make it easier to disconnect the fraudsters.

Unfortunately, calls from bored teenagers who discovered relay was a great way to prank call their friends skyrocketed. And in some ways was worse than the 419 calls. The fraud calls are evil, sure, but they didn't get mean or personal, while the teens rather harassed their fellow youths. The 419ers just wanted their goods. And were relentless until the company finally tried to stop 'em.

Oh, sorry, the "All my money" t-shirt -- I showed it to one person, and word quickly got around. Suffice to say it was a hit. The shirt provided a dose of the medicine of laughter, which was sorely needed on that job.

Cheers,

Jason Haas Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA


And when the owlsellers get in touch, how do you respond? Try this:

Hi Lester,

I used to work for a e-tailer till last year. We were a very small tech team, so as it happens in our trade, the bossman agreed to take us for an Indian [goes without saying he also paid for 5 hour beer session before that]. As usual the bossman called his missus sometime at 1 in the morning, asked her to pick us up as he had a flat tire [how she fell for it is a different story] :)

We go to his house to check the servers etc before a quick Playstation session and a few liquers to chill. We had an order come thro. The bossman reply to them is given below without any modifications.

Guys,

After a harsh, negative day at work in England, I have to thank you for bringing a little sunshine into my life.

4 years and 9 months after an Indonesian discovered how to place a fraudulent credit card order over the Internet, we get our first attempt from Turkmenistan.

As a gesture of goodwill, I've tried to reciprocate by ordering two virgin goats from www.turkmenistanbabes.com with a credit card from Pennsylvania.

Global peace and all that, remember, a sheep isn't just for Christmas.

Name withheld by request

Good show. Hope they got their goats safe and sound.


Moving away from Planet Earth for a moment, NASA intends to crash a probe into the Moon's surface:

So, instead of NASA trying to land things on planets/moons and crashing them into said planets/moons and suffering a bit of embarassment of failing, now they just announce that they're going to crash something into a planet?! Not sure if anything has really changed.

-Rob


I've said it before and I'll say it again..

Any NASA project that doesn't involve intergalatic space travel, laser guns or light sabres is a complete and utter waste of money.

As a taxpayer I demand my money is spent on proper space stuff, not some crappy mission to collect space amoeba or whatever else these idiots think they can trick us into believing is extra-terrestrial life. Does it have 10 arms, blue-glowing skin and a transparent skull? No, then it's not a bloody alien, it's a bloody rock. I've seen rocks before, and they're no more interesting just because they come from a different planet.

Does water from the Moon cure cancer or enable me to fly? No, then it's bloody tap water, and I'm having my tax dollars wasted filling up buckets with something my kids can collect at the bloody seaside.

For Christ's sake, what don't these people get? If we wanted Moon water we'd have gone back to that boring, lifeless lump of rock decades ago. So get a bloody clue.. we want space aliens, holodecks and our own personal X-Wing fighters, not bloody rocks from Mars or water from the bloody Moon.

In my somewhat out to lunch opinion, the greatest opportunity missed by NASA was not putting Gene Roddenberry in charge while he was still alive.

But there is some hope, George Lucas is alive and well - and armed with your average Star Wars special effects budget he'll have space craft flitting between planets and astronauts duking it out with light sabres before the year is out.

I may not have the guile of your average Nigerian Owlseller, but I'm personally going to see if I can convince NASA to do the right thing and hire someone who understands what a space agency should be doing.

Andy Bright


Well, if it's exotic tech you want, try the Israeli "Trophy" - an RPG-busting "force field". How it works, we're not quite sure, but here are a few possibilities:

Regarding your apparent scepticism about this `invisible force field' - well, there are quite a lot of invisible force fields about. Gravitational, electrical, and magnetic for starters (not to mention strong nuclear force fields and suchlike, which don't really count outside the atomic scale). And while gravity is unlikely to be involved, using technology to produce a beam of invisible electromagnetic radiation is commonplace. One might think of a radar set, or a maser, or an invisible laser (UV or IR). Not to mention recent goings on in the terahertz region, although I gather all that stuff is far too low in efficiency to be worth considering for any high power work.

The tricky bit would be to get enough power in the right direction at the right time, and of the right frequency to be able to overheat and presumably thereby destroy an incoming explosive round. On the other hand, `They' started to look seriously at `death rays' back in the 1930s (conclusion back then: possible in theory, but not likely to be practical any time soon), so I wouldn't be surprised if `they' had come up with something by now. And `They' have got electrical armour working:

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_armour#Electric_reactive_armor>

so why not something similarly barking mad that works at a distance? The tracking and pointing problem was solved in principle years back: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS> (Phalanx guns can apparently shoot down 4 inch shells) - all they really needed to sort out was how to produce enough power at the right frequency. Or at least, that's my guess.

Rowland McDonnell


This is very likely something like the Russian "Arena" Active Protection System, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arena_%28active_countermeasures_system%29 and links further from that article.

Or google APS Active Protection System....

Cheers, -daniel


Sounds like explosive reactive armour to me. The Israelis invented that stuff.

Modern armour-piercing munitions generally work in one of two ways. [1] something long and thin and pointy and heavy and travelling very fast. Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds, perhaps made out of depleted uranium, are a good example here or [2] a suitably-shaped lump of explosive squishes a bit of copper or some other metal into a directed plasma jet travelling at perhaps 20x the speed of sound -- stick such an arrangement onto the end of a man-portable rocket and it should burn a hole in the armour plate at which you aimed it.

What the Israeli defence industry found was that if you covered your armour plate in blocks of a suitable explosive, the incoming pointy thing or plasma jet will cause said blocks to explode, causing either the pointy thing to not strike point-on and instead slide off, or to disrupt the plasma jet and make it burn a wide shallow non-penetrating hole. It worked well for them but has some drawbacks -- once an ERA block has gone off, there's a bare spot on the armour which is no longer protected; and being stood next to a ERA-protected vehicle when it is struck is to be stood next to lumps of explosive which are detonating -- this is Non-Fun.

Presumably the Septics are going to have their ERA blocks be triggered by radar rather than by impact, and anybody stood next to a vehicle when this occurs is going to be a 'raghead' (charming locution, I'm sure) and therefore Unimportant

Lee Harvey Osmond


It is based upon the "Metal Storm" gun the Austrailians developed:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/893foort.asp

"...it uses electronics to control the blast of projectiles, which can shred a target or throw up a defensive wall against an incoming missile."

In the USA, this gun has been profiled on television, either on Discovery or History Channel episodes about hi-tech weapons.

Using smaller caliber "tumbling" rounds, it creates a dispersing "wall" of metal which presents greater impact surface area than non-tumbling, "aimed" bullets to the incoming projectile. If it uses heavier bullets such as D-U, it has more kinetic energy to stop the incoming round.

enjoy!

Tom


re: RPG-busting 'force field' ... a 'beam of fragments' ...

IMO it's a shotgun.

Say you want gazillions of dollars to develop a big computer-controlled shotgun and they'll laugh at you. So spin it.

Nigel Arnot


Yawn. The only outcome of the Trophy defence system will be the acceleration of the development of hypersonic Rail Gun weapons. An active defence system which can defeat a rocket travelling at 1500mph will not stand a chance against a rail gun projectile travelling at 13000mph.

http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_RailGuns,,00.html

Eric Worrall


So after billions in research the US military will have an armourerd vehicle that is immune to RPGs. Now the insurgents will have to make the correponding investment (i.e. zero dollars) of using an IED (i.e. bomb) instead.

K.


Force field. Yes. Great idea. Because the obvious reason for Failure In Iraq (TM) is that the yanks weren't using a force field against RPG attacks. Now with this new force field, the war is almost over. Awesome! Maybe God and JC really are working for the Land Of The Free (TM).

Mark Splinter


I thought you meant a force field to stop people participating in role playing games.

now that really would be progress

Tom

Yes it would. We can only hope...


Penultimately, here's a quickie about the flashing NY subway perv:

I don't know why this pervert is complaining about being photographed, he got off lightly. Some years ago I worked in a UK university with an open campus and we had problems with a persistent flasher for 6 months. It all ended when he made the mistake of flashing the vice-captain of the women's hockey team on her way back from practice. She was a well built young woman with a powerful drive with a hockey stick, a skill which she promptly demonstrated on the flasher's genitalia. One hour later, but only 400 yards away from the incident, a sad figure was seen hobbling off campus, very slowly and doubled over, and we had no further flashing incidents after that.

Arthur Chance


To wrap up this nonsense, let's have a bit of light relief concerning near death experiences. Apparently, it's all about REM intrusion, or something like that:

And there was me thinking that the symptoms of REM Intrusion included shaving your head, supporing Democratic Presidential candidates and writing multiple songs about Andy Kaufmann...

Paraic Hegarty

Nicely put. And that's yer lot for the pre-Easter letters. We'll be back next Tuesday, suitably refreshed and ready for action. ®

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