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Looping E-mails Beat The Net Down

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the i-want-my-smtp dept.

Spam 206

Staili writes "Singapore-based women's magazine caused problems when it forwarded its mails to a large list of recipients, mainly mailing lists. In addition to security@suse.com, some help and subscribe lists were included; the type of addresses that tend to send out an automatic reply confirming receipt. And the loop was ready." I'm sure anyone who's messed with mail enough has accidentally created a loop or two in their day, but this is really slimey.

cancel ×

206 comments

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3097971)

Perhaps?

Wouldn't it be funny... (1, Interesting)

taliver (174409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097976)

If a "solved" problem like email actually brought the net down... for a while. How do you get patches for a sendmail program without using the internet?

Re:Wouldn't it be funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098083)

/etc/init.d/sendmail stop

apt-get update

apt-get install sendmail

/etc/init.d/sendmail start

BBS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098376)

To get your sendmail patches, dial in to your friendly neighborhood BBS!

Mama I'm Coming Home (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097977)

Ozzy Osbourne - Mama I'm Coming Home

Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain't the same
Mama, I'm coming home
Times gone by seem to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I'm coming home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized
Lost and found and turned aroound
By the fire in your eyes

You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can't stand to say goodbye
Mama, I'm coming home
I could be right, I could be wrong
Hurts so bad, it's been so long
Mama, I'm coming home

Selfish love yeah we're both alone
The ride before the fall
But I'm gonna take this heart of stone
I just got to have it all

CHORUS
I've seen your face a hundred times
Everyday we've been apart
I don't care about the sunshine, yeah
'Cause Mama, Mama, I'm coming home
I'm coming home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

CHORUS

Re:Mama I'm Coming Home (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098026)

Did you hear about Ozzy's show that will be on MTV? It's a damn shame that he's always so fucking drunk that nobody can understand him.

Re: Mama I'm Coming Home (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098035)

You think you know what Ozzy's thinking.
You think you know what Ozzy's drinking.
You think you know, but you do not know-oo-oh.
This is the Osbourne Family Show.

The death of $lashdot (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097978)

I wouldn't pay for this shit. I don't think ANYONE with half a brain would.

An explanation: I used to be a good, noble poster. Carefully wording every article to provide insight and wisdom to my fellow posters. Slowly, I acculumated karma, giving me the artificial peer respect that made such things worthwhile. Yes, I knew that karma is an arbitary value, but it made my contributions worthwhile.

And then one day I got bored. It was an article about European Patents I think. Something dull and boring... I think I got the first 15 or so posts on that one as an AC. It was fun.

In the end, the article accumulated a grand total of 2 relevant posts, the remainder offtopic. One of the irrelevant posts that I made was a couple of paragraphs under the title of the Linux Gay Conspiracy.

To my surprise, my post was followed up by other suggestions as to the latent homosexuality contained within the Open Sauce movement. And I felt encouraged. So I gathered together these additions, made some of my own, and kept posting.

And posting. And posting. Every sick, depraved act I could think of was included. Before long, the LGC grew to be one of the most comprehensive documents detailing the carnality and perversity of the IT industry. And, be honest now, it was funny. Crude and childish, but funny. A necessary counterpart to the morbid seriousness of some of the other posters.

In the meantime, I carried on with my regular account, posting away. Being diligent in my real contributions to the community. And then the main account got bitchslapped.

What was the need for that? Did it act as a deterrent to the anonymous trolling? Of course not. If anything, it just demonstrated the petty minded fascism of the Slashdot editors. The LGC was posted at '0', usually modded down within seconds. Wasn't that enough for them, to know that such a posting would disappear into the ghetto?

Of course, the LGC has now taken a life of its own, and my original account got back up to an acceptable karma level. Mainly by whoring and cutting and pasting high scoring posts on previous articles. Originality is discouraged by the Slashdot gestalt after all.

After a while, I strived for a new challenge, or failing that an excuse to spout obscenties like some Tourette's induced retard. Hence the birth of ringbarer. Suddenly, Slashdot has become an enjoyable experience again.

For all the wrong reasons.

So no, I won't be paying for Slashdot. I'll be installing junkbuster instead. Let the site fall to the fucking ground. It is, after all, symbolic of the crumbling OSS empire, where everything is free until they force you to pay for it.

My gift to the Trolling community? The Linux Gay Conspiracy v2.0. With even filthier acronyms and anagrams.

Quality.

From the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Re:The death of $lashdot (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098180)

I would like to lodge a grievance with the troll library.

Re:The death of $lashdot (-1)

Mode0x13 (550144) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098490)

It seems whoever does the troll library is deliberately removing all the bylines for the stuff he reposts. For example, my piece on "slashdot: news for nerds, or propaganda for the impressionable"?


Oh well. Consider it open sourced, like the lamex kernel.



"If God meant for us all to be vegetarians, he wouldn't have made animals out of meat!"
-Ming Luo


-Mode0x13

Foolish Women's Magazines (-1, Flamebait)

some homeless guy (544528) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097986)

hah, womens magazines are funny - guess I better cancel my subscription to High Fashion

Re:Foolish Women's Magazines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098197)

Go with In Style. Hotter chicks.

Yay (-1, Flamebait)

Billobob (532161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097994)

Does this mean I can cancel my subscription to "Women's Health" for sex tips and grapefruit diets?

Party Hearty, D00D! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3097995)

AMENDMENT XVIII

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

Section 1.
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Asia Problem (1)

lowtekneq (469145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097997)

Singapore-based women's magazine..

I remember an artical on /. about the blocking of Asian emails (mostly b/c of spam), and this mentions a Singapore-based magazine. Is it really time to consider the firewalling of certain asian email though we have to remember that many western businesses do business w/ eastern companies. If we let some isps through spammers will just route through them.

Re:Asia Problem (4, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098048)

Is it really time to consider the firewalling of certain asian email...

Right, well I've been to Singapore and I have to tell you that its IT and communications are in a very good state. In fact, I'm rather hoping someone actually from Singapore will chip in here

Singapore was the first place I saw ADSL in. It has a row of internet 'phone' booths on its most popular shopping street (Orchard Road). In my hotel, 24 internet access was available for a ridiculously low fee (12 SGD I think). It was cheaper for me to phone the UK from my my hotel than it was for a person in the UK to phone me. Cheaper from a hotel phone.

There seems to be some insidious 'oh, it's those clueless Asians' thread running through so many Slashdot posts recently that I think it's time the balance was addressed. The US's mobile phone system, for example, is an utter shambles compared to the Asian systems. I was reading on a UK's paper site that BT was planning to roll out the world's first internet booths - I was reading it from an internet booth in Singapore.

I can assure everyone that the people I worked with in Singapore were quite bright enough to run systems properly, and every bit as interested as their Western equivalents in doing so.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Asia Problem (1)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098123)

And I don't see a significant number of people in the UK or USA with cellphones that have color displays and digital cameras built in. They have some crazy stuff in Japan. You can take a picture of yourself, and send it to a friend via the phone. They might even have cellphones in general circulation that can send live video back and forth too, but I'm not so sure on that one.

As the USA and UK are generally heralded as technological equals to Japan, this is pretty lame.

Re:Asia Problem (-1, Offtopic)

Turbyne (563535) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098467)

Well, I don't see many phones in the US NEED color displays, or an actual productive commercial use for a 640x480 digital camera on a cellphone as opposed to a separate megapixel unit. (On a technicality note, if you're referring to the Samsung SCH-V200, Samsung is a Korean company, not a Japanese one.) Although I agree that they have some cool toys in Japan, that is exactly what they are: toys. Also, in response to the comment

As the USA and UK are generally heralded as technological equals to Japan, this is pretty lame.

Here's a quick list technology the US developed:

  1. F-15 Eagle, [I belive] the first fighter jet with a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1
  2. F-16 Falcon/Viper, exported globally from Israel to Japan
  3. F-117 Nighthawk & F-22 Raptor (Both with stealth, the second with Supercruise)
  4. The Dodge Viper GTS, Chevorlet Corvette C5R, & Ford GT40 [motortrend.com]
  5. Computer processor (notable: ZiLog Z80, Mot 68K, Intel 80486)
  6. PCs
  7. Palm Pilot/PocketPC/Apple Newton
  8. Onstar, DSS, DirectTV,
  9. The orignal idea of the Cellphone
  10. etc.

I'm not trying to say that the US is technologically better than Japan. I'm trying to show that different countries have different strengths in different areas of technology.

Re:Asia Problem (-1)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098131)

"Singapore were quite bright enough to run systems properly

Then why aren't they?
Close those open relays, people!!

Re:Asia Problem (2, Informative)

Genie1 (224205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098141)

It has a row of internet 'phone' booths on its most popular shopping street (Orchard Road)

I am not a Singaporean but I stay here. These internet 'phone' booths are not working. I believe that the plan is to implement them later on, but not yet. Right now, it is just a couple of information kiosks.

I do agree that the infrastructure in Singapore is really really good. There are a few broadband plans going for about $60-70 Singapore dollars a month. That is about $30 USD. Plus the all the service is linked to a national high speed network.

Plus, corruption in this Asian nation is almost non-existent. Bloody incredible.

Nonsense (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098143)

There seems to be some insidious 'oh, it's those clueless Asians' thread running through so many Slashdot posts recently that I think it's time the balance was addressed.

That thread is based on the emperical experience of thousands of mail admins throughout the world (not just the US, as your slashdot bash inaccurately implies). If those whose ISPs (and in some cases, countries) are being blocked wish to demonstrate otherwise, all they have to do is administer their mail servers competently and close down their open relays.

Until then, their inaction will speak louder than your words, be they from Singapore, Korea, or wherever. As one who has travelled to those places I am reluctant to block entire countries, but my boss doesn't want his mailbox filled with SPAM and if blocking half of Asia is how I appease him, then half of Asia will be blocked, period. My personal fondness of Asia (and, for that matter, Africa, and Europe, and other places I have had the privelege of visiting in the last several years) will play absolutely no role in this decision, and no role in my opinion of the (in)competence of ISP mail adminsitrators in those locations. The only metric of any concern is how many open relays there are, and how those responsible act (or, in the case of many notorious Asian providors, particularly in Korea, don't act) when the issue is brought to their attention.

As for the differences in phone systems, you are comparing apples and oranges, and assuming one causation (lack of technical knowhow) when a completely different causation (lack of well defined, enforcable government standards resulting from a lassaiz-faire market mentality in the last several administrations) is responsible, then trying to apply the erroneous conclusion derived from your erroneous assumption back to another issue that is, in any case, completely unrelated.

Internet booths are another example of the logical fallacy you have fallen into in making this argument. In a country in which more than half the homes have their own PCs, and just about every public library is already on the net (along with many schools), internet booths would be a profound waste of money. In other words, you have brought up another completely unrelated topic and misapplied it to your original argument, namely what approaches empower the most people to use the internet under what conditions, with those conditions in Singapore quite different from the United States, which in turn is very different from the UK or the rest of Europe. Clearly that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the competency level of mail administrators in Asia, Africa, America, Antarctica, Mars, Pluto, the NGC-1 Nebula, or anywhere else for that matter.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098256)

That thread is based on the emperical experience of thousands of mail admins throughout the world...all they have to do is administer their mail servers competently and close down their open relays.

Excellent example of the insidious nature I mentioned. This topic isn't even about open relays - it's about a mailing loop. Read the rest of the replies and you find most examples of these have been Western. Yet this simple, newbie slip-up is used as a yet more proof that the whole of Asia should be firewalled.

It's ridiculous.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Asia Problem (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098240)

It has a row of internet 'phone' booths on its most popular shopping street (Orchard Road).

Those things? All you can do is look up a few info pages (shopping directory, etc.) and video chat with people in other booths on Orchard Road.

It was cheaper for me to phone the UK from my my hotel than it was for a person in the UK to phone me. Cheaper from a hotel phone.

Singapore has a great policy wherein hotels are not permitted to mark up phone charges. So you are billed at the regular direct dial rate for calls.

I can assure everyone that the people I worked with in Singapore were quite bright enough to run systems properly, and every bit as interested as their Western equivalents in doing so.

Well, they have their share of idiots like anyone else, but at least they speak English, lah, so they can deal intelligently with complaints from the rest of the world, and keep up on security updates.

I was reading on a UK's paper site that BT was planning to roll out the world's first internet booths - I was reading it from an internet booth in Singapore.

I don't know when you were there, but I saw internet phone booths in the Netherlands long before in Singapore, and even in Malaysia there were internet kiosks (half BSOD'd at any given time, granted) before such were spotted in Singapore.

Nevertheless, the general point obtains. They do pay a lot of attention to new technology and tend to be early adopters. Why not - they manufacture the stuff.

Re:Asia Problem (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098297)

...but at least they speak English, lah

You very bad lah. So can cannot?

Cheers,
Ian

(More Singlish here [geocities.com] .)

Why was the header stripped... (3, Interesting)

zubernerd (518077) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097998)

My question is: Is it normal for a server to strip the headers from e-mails...
FROM THE ARTICLE: ["At savoixmagazine.com the mail headers were cut so it was almost impossible to find out where the mail originated from," said Drahtmuller. The everyday analogy is a letter stripped of its envelope that had the original return address printed on it, repackaged in a new envelope with a different return address, and forwarded on. "Usually mail loops like this are not possible with Unix systems because they always maintain the headers," he added.]
I'm not a e-mail expert, but why where those headers missing? (I did not see any reason given in the article.)

Re:Why was the header stripped... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098084)

Two words:

Microsoft Exchange

Re:Why was the header stripped... (5, Informative)

Corgha (60478) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098115)

Somehow, few people seem to be able to get the autoresponder/autoforwarder thing right, despite the fact that it doesn't seem that hard and has been done correctly before. (Then again, there seems to be a dearth of good systems programmers around these days; I'm becoming increasingly cynical about such things.) Every day, I get auto-replies to MAILER-DAEMON's bounce messages, and every once in a while, some b0rken forwarder creates a mail loop. Unfortunately, when I try to tell the people responsible why what they are doing is a bad idea, they're usually not interested in hearing about the danger of mail loops.

Here are some things I've come up with over the years:
1) Never, ever auto-reply to MAILER-DAEMON or Postmaster (procmail has good regex macros for this -- use them or copy them).

2) Preserve the headers of messages you forward.

3) Set an X-Loop header and check for it (or *any* X-Loop header if you want to be paranoid).

4) Don't autoreply to the same address twice during [definable time period].

Those things just seem like common sense to me. Maybe someone else here knows more about the subject than I do. There has to be a HOWTO somewhere.

Re:Why was the header stripped... (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098137)

5) If you're sending spam using a list/alias, always set the Reply-to address correctly so ppl don't end up replying to the list if that is not desired behaviour.

Mail chauvinist pigs (3, Funny)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 12 years ago | (#3097999)

I'm guessing that's the magazine's view of us, anyway. (-:

Re:Mail chauvinist pigs (1)

Jhan (542783) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098275)

Pigs... In chain mail... Mmmmmmmm... I don't care if they're chauvinists, I want them, *now*!

Mattox Beckman was a black man (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098003)

Mattox Beckman was a black man

Mmmh (1)

NWT (540003) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098009)

Yep, I've seen this before, it happened with two web.de [www.web.de] mail accounts which had both set up reply messages that the mail had arrived and guess what happened ... but i think they've done something against it, at least i hope it!

Haven't we all done this? (3, Interesting)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098018)

I don't think that there is an email admin around who hasn't managed to be part of such a loop. It is remarkably hard to put together systems which will interact correctly with all of the other ways that other systems might be broken.

And for anyone who thinks that email is a "solved" problem, should read my rant about broken autoresponders [goldmark.org] . (which is not about loops, but does cover how "solved" things can be broken).

Normal (3, Informative)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098019)

This happens at my job all the time, and I assume it happens other places with internal mail servers.

Management sends out a promotion announcement or some such to everyone, those on vacation autoreply...To ALL recepients. And the war is on!

I think enough people slapped management that they finally started using BCC. But sometimes someone new comes and they forget.

Re:Normal (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098077)

I don't understand. Why don't your lusers just autoreply to sender only? Are they that stupid?

Re:Normal (2, Funny)

desertfool (21262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098127)

You've obviously never worked at tech support for a large company. Many of them are idiots.

Re:Normal (2)

sydb (176695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098225)

Oh but I have, as a mail admin amongst other things, with 2000 users.

I can't remember clearly but perhaps Lotus Notes 'Out of Office Agent' just doesn't allow "autorespond to all recipients". And that's probably sensible.

Broken users or broken MUAs?

Re:Normal (1)

ozbon (99708) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098185)

To be blunt - Yes.

I joined one company (names have been deleted to protect the fuck-witted) about a week after the "I Love You" virus came out. There were about 500 I Love You's a day going to everyone, because they were all too stupid to set a message rule to delete anything with "Iloveyou" in the subject.

This was also a company where 3000+ items in you inbox was a sign you were doing your job right, because you didn't have time to delete/organise them... :|

Re:Normal (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098303)

> because they were all too stupid to set a message rule to delete anything with "Iloveyou" in the subject.

Sounds like the admins job to me. I agree, however, that it's like pulling teeth to get users to watch out for some of the most obvious and simple problems.

The staff/faculty of our campus has been hit a bunch of times with new e-mail viruses that are new and not removed by our Exchange AV program. Even though all of them have been a part of the chaos that has ensued in the past, and ALL of them have been told countless times not to open strange attachments, I've seen some of the most senior faculty persons open some of the most obviously shady attachments you could find. And then they call the Help Desk and curse about virus makers while we are digging through call logs looking for the last time the person was told not to open strange attachments.

Which ring... (0, Redundant)

jakestein (320099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098021)

of Dante's inferno would recieving an endless loop of tips on "How to please your man" fall under?

happened at my school once... (4, Interesting)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098022)

back when i was a freshman in college someone managed to assemble an email list of all the students/faculty/staff. It was first used by someone outside the school to spam the entire campus, with all the addresses in the To and Cc fields, making the list available to anyone who received it. So someone attempted to sell their Chem Eng books, and you can picture the hell that broke out.

Quickly the list became nothing but people hitting reply-all and saying "knock it off!" and "get me off the list!" Of course, all those emails and addresses in the emails meant trouble for the mail server, causing mail to get delivered multiple times and DOS'ing normal mail.

It got so bad that I had about 100 emails in a five minute span at one point. It took a Dean's sending out an email to an announcements list pointing out school policy on mass mailings to stop it.

Thankfully, everyone from those trying to sell stuff to those saying "quit it!" all had to write a 500-word essay about why what they did was wrong.

Re:happened at my school once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098075)

Thankfully, everyone from those trying to sell stuff to those saying "quit it!" all had to write a 500-word essay about why what they did was wrong.

Yeah, nothing prepares young minds for the real world like treating them like 4th graders.

Re:happened at my school once... (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098273)

actually, at most schools punishment for first offenders is an essay for minor offenses. yes, it's childish, but somehow it works.

Re:happened at my school once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098078)

Ah ha! That's where you got your crapflooding training [slashdot.org] !

Re:happened at my school once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098111)

Thankfully, everyone from those trying to sell stuff to those saying "quit it!" all had to write a 500-word essay about why what they did was wrong.

Obviously, when you said "freshman in college" you meant to say "in junior high school". Did they make them write "I must not send mass email" on the blackboard too? Please tell me what school so I can make sure my kids don't go there.

Re:happened at my school once... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098163)

I bet you're a Democrat since the idea of being required to do some work is offensive to you.

Re:happened at my school once... (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098166)

He must be nigger if he hates doing work.

Republican (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098209)

> I bet you're a Democrat since the idea of being required to do some work is offensive to you.

It's not about the work - it's about the poor customer service that is plaguing universities nationwide. The customers (students) may have been in the wrong, but that doesn't mean you should ridicule them. You need to decide if their actions warrant losing their business. The universities know they can treat you like shit and people will keep giving them money because there is no alternative (since they are all the same). Then again, perhaps being continuously fucked in the ass is real world preparation after all...

(speaking as a person who is sick of being treated like a piece of dog shit by the university he shelled out some significant coin to)

Re:happened at my school once... (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098357)

back when i was a freshman in college someone managed to assemble an email list of all the students/faculty/staff. It was first used by someone outside the school to spam the entire campus, with all the addresses in the To and Cc fields, making the list available to anyone who received it. So someone attempted to sell their Chem Eng books, and you can picture the hell that broke out. Quickly the list became nothing but people hitting reply-all and saying "knock it off!" and "get me off the list!"

I find this story very hard to believe, unless you attended that tiny western college with 12 students.

Say a typical email address is 20 characters. Say that a smallish school has 4000 students and 500 faculty/staff. That's a 90K header. How many MUAs can parse that? Not many. Even fewer in sufficient time that your random punter would hang around waiting for it to happen.

Re:happened at my school once... (0, Flamebait)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098464)

what kind of liberal bull shit is this:

Thankfully, everyone from those trying to sell stuff to those saying "quit it!" all had to write a 500-word essay about why what they did was wrong

Outlook... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098032)

Ah, the classic Outlook 'Out of Office' Autoreply springs to mind - great when the recipient is on a mailing list, it replies... posts itself... replies... etc...

This has happened 4 or 5 times to me in teh last few weeks...

m$ did not invent that crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098210)

Vacation by any other name ...

This sounds like stupidity more than anything else (1)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098033)

When I decided to create a mailing list, I kept the list of address in a BCC field, in an address book entry on my computer. There's no way for anyone besides me to mail everyone. If mail bounces it just comes back to my address.

Why would anyone make a list that bounces all replies back to the entire list again? It doesn't say if this was the first time they tried using the list or not, but I would figure it if was set up to do that once, it would have done it before. I mean, addresses on my list are constantly falling out of service, and I'd hate for everyone else to get all the "could not deliver" notices and the like. I find it a little hard to believe that someone would set something up like that as an accident.

Re:This sounds like stupidity more than anything e (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098140)

I'm still waiting for your answer - would you be interested in fucking for hours in the name of science? I'll even let Txr watch!

Re:This sounds like stupidity more than anything e (1)

ozbon (99708) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098198)

Because - negative as it may sound - humans and spanners are fuckwits.

Re:This sounds like stupidity more than anything e (1)

smartfart (215944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098221)

Um, what we are talking about is not the same thing as what you set up. A mailing list proper uses a program, such as majordomo, listserv, mailman, etc. that allows anyone to subscribe to the list and receive mail. Everyone gets a copy of the email that is sent, and usually everyone can in turn send mail to the list.

I manage such lists with majordomo, and the program works fairly well.

Yahoo Groups does this (which used to be OneList, which used to be...) as a service, as does several other portals. In addition, software packages often keep mailing lists for the users of said software, as a way of tracking bugs, asking newbie questions, etc.

In the case we are discussing, the security email list for the SuSE linux distribution was one of the ones hit by the email storm, due to a misconfiguration by the Singapore women's magazine list.

Babelfish rules! (2, Funny)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098038)

Oh man, this is just hilarious:

When Drahtmuller contacted savoixmagazine.com's hosting company in the U.S., the situation slipped into the ridiculous as the hosting company tried to reply in Drahtmuller's native German language. "Even though we contacted them in English, they ran their response through Babelfish (translation software) so we couldn't understand what they were saying," he told ZDNet U.K. "In the end we blocked their servers from our mail exchanges. We did what we could but the problem still existed."

Re:Babelfish rules! (2)

Linux Freak (18608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098064)

Just guessing, but perhaps the Singapore admin(s) could not understand English and used Babelfish or some other translation software to translate it into Chinese; then wrote a reply in Chinese and translated it into German.

Re:Babelfish rules! (2)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098235)

Read the article.

SuSE contacted Sa Voix Magazine's hosting company in the US. I would expect a US hosting company to use English.

Also, send emails to enquiries@savoixmagazine.com ... if we slashdot their mail servers, they might just decide to get a clue...

Re:Babelfish rules! (2)

perlyking (198166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098248)

Why would they translate it into chinese considering the main language of singapore is Malay?

Its funny reading slashdiot, a misconfigured mailing is "more spammers from korea, BLOCK THEM ALL!!".

Re:Babelfish rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098281)

The majority of singaporeans are chineese.
Its a majority, but unofficial language there.

Re:Babelfish rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098298)

Officially Malay is the National Language of Singapore and is one of the country's four official languages. The others are: English, Mandarin and Tamil.

I guess you might be right about the unofficial language - but as someone else points out the hosting company was american anyway so the whole point is moot :-)

Re:Babelfish rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098362)

Well, if they were hosting a singaporean magazine, one is forced to wonder if they are immigrants and wether they have a grasp of the english language. Even if they did, they might do business internaly in Chineese.

Please.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098039)

News at elven: configuring mail servers properly.

This is worst slashdot post I've seen in awhile, this isn't important. This is a lesson in stupidity.

Re:Please.... (1)

pacc (163090) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098203)

No there's nothing to be learned from this lesson. It's a divine intervetion to make sure that slashdot is extended to a mailing list, so you can sign up and won't miss a single post.

Is this a problem with windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098042)

"Usually mail loops like this are not possible with Unix systems because they always maintain the headers," he added.

Too bad TCP/IP programming is easier with Unix systems so it would be -easy- for anyone with a computer science degree to write their own server and configure it to cut out the headers. Thanks to open source anyone could even download the source code to the server and merely modify the part that makes the headers.

List readers' fault (3, Insightful)

MagPulse (316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098043)

So SuSE was relaying large amounts of e-mail from two sources from what I can tell:
  1. E-mail from the Singapore magazine
  2. Replies from well-intentioned SuSE list readers complaining about it
#1 is easy, just firewall the magazine. #2 is the SuSE list users' fault. You get a bunch of spam, so you spam the list about it? I guess SuSE had no choice then but to shut down the list, but I hope they send out an e-mail before they do advising people on where they should send their complaints next time this happens.

Re:List readers' fault (1)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098091)

List readers' fault : advising people on where they should send their complaints

Any solution that relies on lots of people doing the right thing is bound to fail.

Another nasty effect of spam... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098046)

caused problems when it forwarded its mails to a large list of recipients, mainly mailing lists.

Clearly it was spam (the UBE sort).. This magazine needs a little netiquette lesson, and a slap on the wrist.

In addition to security@suse.com, some help and subscribe lists were included; the type of addresses that tend to send out an automatic reply confirming receipt. ... but this is really slimey.

Yes, it certainly is slimy.. It's bad that someone would subscribe an address to a mailing list (and then autoforward mail from the address), and it is also bad that list servers don't provide some protection against this [ie: automatically blocking mail they're bombed with]

Re:Another nasty effect of spam... (2)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098355)

I think you're right that it was done intentionally. Assuming these mailing lists require new subs to confirm subscriptions, then someone who could receive mail at the magazine's address had to do the confirmation in order to get the loop going. If that's the case, I'd guess that it was an employee there who was pissed off at someone and who decided to do some damage. OTOH, if the mailing lists don't require confirmation, then anyone could have done it. All they'd have had to do was sub the magazine's address to the mailing list and vice versa.

Ahhh, memories of high school... (2)

gvonk (107719) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098051)

I remember back in the day we did this to a certain guy we knew, we set up these "free email forwarding" accounts and had 5 accounts. Each of them was set up so that when it received an email, it would forward to the other four and our mark. It took oh, about an hour for his email box to receive 16,000 emails saying "your hard drive is now full" (he ran his own mail server at the time.) Those were the days.....

an eye for an eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098053)

Attack the hosting company, and the saviour site. Eat up as much bandwith and they wasted! They are
1: too stupid to correctly configure there system(punish them.), in which case even a simple attack would confound them for hours if not days.

2: diabolical fuxors who did it intentionally(kill).

Either way....

Anecdote (4, Funny)

eyeball (17206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098059)

Before my bank's introduced their online banking, you could submit your email address on their site if you wanted to be notified of their beta test. Well, one late Friday afternoon I got an email notifying myself and all the others of the beta test progress. Unfortunately the person sending out the email put as many people as they could fit into the To: address. People started reply-ing to all, saying things like "Please unsubscribe" and complaining about getting so many emails, etc.. Of course because this was sent out on a friday, so this went on all weekend. Hundreds of replies went out by monday, when they asked nicely for everyone to stop hitting reply-all.

Epilogue: I wrote the VP of the company and expressed my concern that if they weren't competent enough to use email, how was I going to trust them with my money online. The VP sent me an apology and a $50 traveler check gift!

's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098129)

Before my bank's introduced their...

Before your bank's what introduced their... ???

Re:Anecdote (4, Insightful)

glitch! (57276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098172)

Of course because this was sent out on a friday, so this went on all weekend.

I have never been able to figure out why so many people pull this kind of crap. Obviously they were trying something new or different than usual. Otherwise the problem would have come up earlier.

This also happens occasionally with the phone company. For some reason, the retarded assholes will make some circuit change on a Friday evening, break something, and then go home for the day (and weekend). Why not do it on Tursday morning, or some other time that allows the nitwit that made the change to fix it immediately when the customer calls in a trouble ticket? (Because all the skilled telco employees were "downsized", and only the retards are left?)

Actually, this can apply to any situation where someone makes an important change or tries something new that might have a large, unexpected effect. How about replacing a bunch of ecommerce scripts just before going on vacation? (And did you verify that your "vacation" program is working correctly?) Or how about changing your BGP filters just before leaving for the night (any night)? Or how about something more mundane, like going on a long driving trip just after changing something important, like the water pump?

I believe that this really boils down to a single factor. Does the person in question really give a shit about the consequences of his or her actions? One could argue that this person is simply too stupid to realize the potential cost of failure, but I believe that anyone who cares about his or her job will take the time to KNOW, not hope. And this person should be prepared to deal with the unexpected, and have a "worst case" fallback plan.

Re:Anecdote (1)

ozbon (99708) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098213)

And who the hell uses the "reply to all" anyway?

I don't think I've ever used it. Maybe that means I should get out less, or something.

Re:Anecdote (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098358)

Who uses "Reply to all"? People who need to be BEAT IN THE HEAD WITH A SPIKED METAL DILDO. Seriously, there are a couple email clients where ^R is mapped to REPLY TO ALL and not REPLY. There's also the BRAINDAMAGED FUCKWIT problem, but that can't be solved with technology. Unless we're including MASS STERILIZATION and PUBLIC EXECUTIONS as possible technological solutions...

Hardly the first time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098081)

"The Haley Enterprise" (http://www.haley.com [haley.com] ) did the exact same thing several years ago when they spontaneously created an "ADVantage, Intelligence" (heh) newsletter and automatically subscribed everyone who'd ever contacted them for information on their products-- naturally, attempts to unsubscribe went straight to the main list, with the headers munged, so that within minutes thousands of people were emailing each other trying to figure out why they were getting this crap from complete strangers. I think it took Haley about three days to figure out how to shut it down. Yeah, I trust these guys to write software for MY business...

But did you consider that.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098089)

*BSD is feeling not so healthy.

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered *BSD community when recently High Times confirmed that *BSD accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of the latest High Times survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last in the recent High Times comprehensive networking test.

You needn't be Wavy Gravy to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 3% of its core developers.

Recently, Slashdot [goatse.cx] confirmed that WindRiver kicked FreeBSD out on its ass for a carton of Winstons and a 12-pack of Moosehead. This only serves to confirm the fact that FreeBSD is unwanted, doomed to be passed around like an old copy of redhat 7.2.

Fact:

Slashdot is for sickos.
LInux is for gay homosexuals.

cf. asynchrony-projects.com, May 2000 (2)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098095)

A similar misconfiguration resulted in a mailing loop a couple years ago with asynchrony-projects.com: somehow members-bounce@ was rewritten to members@; the net result was that a single incorrect subscribed email address caused a about a hundred emails to be sent out to 1000+ subscribers to the mailing list.

These problems are easy to fix, but people make mistakes... personally I'm surprised the number of mistakes has been so limited thus far.

E-Mail Database (3, Interesting)

yintercept (517362) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098099)

I am actually surprised by the number of times people send out email not knowing who will receive it or the number of people in their CC list. Most email clients don't let the end user see how much damage they have done. The goal of a developer is to give the users the power to get their job done, but so often you find people are clueless on what the power is or how to use it.

Personally, I would like to see email merge with databases. With a good relational DB, it is easy to show users what's gone through the pipe and how many emails your company has sent to a client, etc.. You can integrate the email into your CRM, etc. You can also place constraints on the system that can prevent this type of mailing list abuse that generates so much unwanted garbage.

Working with pure email clients (sendmail, exchange, whatever) seems to be like trying to fit a round cat through a square hole. [rgreetings.com]

Linux developers are clueless (5, Funny)

FarHat (96381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098104)

Its obvious that the women readers of the said magazine have the hots for German Linux developers and they tried to show their interest in them. True it wasn't in the best possible way but they did give a signal which the Suse guys completely misinterpreted. Sad.

Restrict to only Users on List? (2)

akiy (56302) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098118)

Why didn't these mailing lists just restrict who can post onto their lists to those actually on the list?

Wasn't this 6 months ago? (2)

Error27 (100234) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098128)

The date says the article was written yesterday but I remember being in this loop 6 months ago and getting 600 messages or so one night.

The funny thing was that I'm not on any Suse email list or on savoixmagazine.

Perhaps it happenned again but missed me. I've been out of the loop a lot recently.

Re:Wasn't this 6 months ago? (2)

llywrch (9023) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098195)

> The date says the article was written yesterday but I remember being in this loop 6 months ago and getting 600 messages or
> so one night.

Looking back in the mess that is my mail archives, I see this happened towards the end of the week of Saturday 30 November 2001. When a search thru NANAE did not turn up anything about savoixmagazine, I decided this was just another weirdness of the Innernet, & forgot about it.

> The funny thing was that I'm not on any Suse email list or on savoixmagazine.

One theory a couple of the folks caught up in it suggested was that somehow somebody at savoixmagazine got ahold of the Linux Counter Project mailing list & added this to the mail list in question.

FWIW, after experiencing this mess, I have a little more sympathy for the bewildered user who sends off an email ``Take me off this list." I inadvertently added to the spew before I saw the email from the folks at SuSe -- which was buried in dozens of emails with the subject lines of ``Urgent", ``You have been subscribed toSuSe-security", ``You have been unsubscribed from SuSe-security". You have to get your fingers burned at least once in order to remember to sit no them before trying to solve a problem.

Geoff

heh just think if it wasn't people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098158)

I could see it now, two mailers dueling it out, sending automated responses back and forth.

Subject: RE: RE: RE: Confirmation of your mail

We've recieved your comment and will get back to you.

>comment recieved

>>We've recieved your comment and will get back to you.

>>comment recieved

>>>We've recieved your comment and will get back to you.

>>>>comment recieved

>>>>>We've recieved your comment and will get back to you.

Babelfished! (2, Funny)

GSV NegotiableEthics (560121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098160)

From the article, the German sysadmin says:

Even though we contacted them in English, they ran their response through Babelfish (translation software) so we couldn't understand what they were saying

You've got to laugh. Rebecca Ore once told of her colleague trying to deal with some francophone Canadian sysadmins. "He just babelfished them until they gave up and started using English."

Re:Babelfished! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098190)

Those Quebecois can be a bunch of assholes sometimes. I'd much rather discourse with the vrai francais than those bunglers.

Re:Babelfished! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098379)

vrai francais...

hmmmm...

Your a real anglophone I s'ppose???

sheesh!... some people...

oh yeah, i created a loop (5, Interesting)

legLess (127550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098162)

I once inherited a smallish network (70 nodes) that was using an NT box as a web gateway and mail server. It was running something called Xtramail, which is a truly bloody horrible piece of software. While I was trying to figure out how to gracefully get rid of this box (a 486 on ISDN), one of the users wanted to create a mailing list.

Ok, no problem. Read the docs, slurp this list, check these buttons, viola. One of the cute little checkboxes was "Only allow owner to send list mail." Duh - I checked it. The guy sent his email (only about 200 list members) and we went home.

I came in the next morning to 20,000 emails just in the queue. That fucker sent our tens of thousands of emails overnight, because the send restrict wasn't working. There were a couple dead addresses on the list, and they of course bounced - and Xtramail politely returned those bounces to the entire list. Wash, rinse, repeat. If that place had had a real server and a real 'net connection, it could have sent millions of emails in that time. As it was, many people on the list were (quite justifiably) pissed.

So I called up whoever owned Xtramail at that time (Artisoft at that time, but a different company now - can you say, "hot potato?") and had a slightly polite shit fit. The guy flat-out refused to acknowledge it was a problem, until I made him go through the same steps on his local copy.

Crickets.

"Uh, looks like that option isn't working. I'll have to file a bug report." Then I spent another 45 minutes trying to get accounting to refund the $200 I'd given them for the support call.

They never did fix the bug, but I gave up my plans to have a graceful transition. I pulled that POS out the same day and installed another little NT mailer, quite a nice one, until I replaced the whole thing with a qmail FreeBSD box.

No moral to the story, really ('cept I should have been more paranoid, and tested the list more). But I bet more than a few readers have had that quick "oh shit" feeling as they saw the queue filling up.

Kinda like Apple... (2, Funny)

jeremiahstanley (473105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098177)

I bet some choice congressmen would find this kind of thing 'Innovative'...

I know, it's bad...

It happened with lawyers in my state... (2)

Karpe (1147) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098178)

about a year ago, the Internet in my state near collapsed. It was all the problem of a very large mailing list managed by one of the major telecom companies of our state, aimed to thousands of lawyers. This mailing list was supposed to be "one way only", that is, the company would send the lawyers daily news about law, but one smart lawyer replied with an unsubscribe message, and all of them got it. They all started complaining, and you know lawyers, they cannot be objective, but wants to show the others how they can write "beautifully". The next step was the threats of suing the others, and this threats, of course, were also "replied to all". In a few hours the traffic was so high that all users (since there were lawyers in most ISPs), could not use the internet. After the mail server was shut down, and the policy of the mailing list changed so that only the moderator could post, the problem started to disappear.

Clueless lawyers.

Sharks (3, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098345)

Even sharks are not that bad. They do sometimes bite each other in a feeding frenzy, but this is much less often than lawyers threatening to sue each other. I love this story. I'm going to send it to all the lawyer mailing lists I know of.

This happens too often... (4, Insightful)

tcc (140386) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098196)

Just read the article, reminds me of when sometimes you apply to participate in a beta testing of something, and 2 weeks later you're putted on a mailing list with no warning other than the message, and there's always some newbies (and total idiots) that put their email addresses everywhere and wonder why "out loud" after.

You start receiving message from people that are asking "WTF" and then people replying to get out of the list and the gazillion "me too" posts and then the bitching following because they aren't putted out and receiving another million of people bitching at the last million emails...then a moderator jumps in, exmplain the situation, then you get another bunch of emails because people didn't read it, and it goes on until the moderator +M the list.

What's the mistake?

1. not taking the people for complete idiots

Not meant in a insulting way, but rather that taking for granted that people will understand X and Y and Z, it's not because they signed up for a beta, or whatever, that they are mature people or good with internet/communicating/netiquette. So if you take for granted that you will operate a bunch of monkeys for a start, you won't get this problem, and the more you see how the list is, the more slack you can cut off.

Basically it's like a server, if you open all access to everything, and cut after, it's hell with the users. If you start strick and cut some slack, it's always better (best example being the quota, people flood your drives, and blam!. the other way around is people manage their space, and welcome the added storage). This is a stretched example but the concept can apply to a mailing list when all the posts needs to be moderated (pain in the ass and you don't get instant feedback) versus when they go freely in the list, to people that KNOW they will receive the email and will react correctly.

2. The lack of experience at managing mailing list.

Just go to egroups and looks at all the flame/crap going around in some mailing lists... sometimes it goes out of control and gets ugly, a good moderator knows when to jump in and how to so nobody gets offended and people drop it willingly instead of being forced to.

3. Lack of technical expertise and lack of communication

Something lame, but if you setup a mailing list for your customers for example, and you don't know what the "digest versus individual email" mode does, and you don't even bother to check, (well this is a lame example again but you get the idea) well if you have an average 20 emails a day for lets say, update on a product or different security patches for different modules and some will concern everyone some won't but you send them anyways, maybe you should be sure of every switch you'll turn on on the mailing list software, and be sure to ask the customers over the phone if they'd like an email for every fixes or a batch in 1 email every day for example (or better, give them the option and explain it clearly).

And also, never forget that you are dealing with human being, this might sound stupid, but everyone here that ever ran a BBS, or a mailing list, knows what this means and the implications (flame, mistakes, etc).

Sometimes Mailing list are a good thing, most time, people tend to forget that FORUMS can do as much and even better (search, no need to give out email addresses, etc). A counter-example would be to issue security alerts, for this, email rules. You have to weight the for and against for the project you are working on, and if you are to be moderator, be sure you know exactly what you are dealing with, both the software and the target people, and setup with these previous raw guidelines in mind, and unless you make a big mistake, it should go fine.

My $0.02 :)

Mail loops, and circle jerks (5, Interesting)

Peter H.S. (38077) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098199)

Mail loops, and mail circle jerks can be a nasty experience;
This is my tiny war story.

I do some volunteer work as a sysadmin in our local Internet club (300 apartments sharing a 2Mbit, soon-to-be 4Mbit line). When we started however, we only had a 512Kbit line, so in our wisdom we configured our MTA (Qmail) to bounce mails above 20Mbyte in size. We also thought it would be a good idea, to use our inet-feed provider as a backup mail relay, so in case our servers were down, mail would queue up there, ready to be delivered, when we went online again.

But one of our users had set up his Outlook mail account on his work, to forward all mail to his mail account at our network. So far so good, but then, just before leaving work one day, he mailed his home account at our network a 300Mbyte attachment (splitted up in 10 30Mbytes parts).

This is what happenend then;
Qmail recieved each attachment, but didn't bounce them, until the entire mail was recieved.
To my knowlegde, Qmail then appended the right RFC error message header to the mail, and bounced it, headers, attachement and all.
But the mailserver on the other end (MS Exchange) didn't respect that, but instead it forwarded the bounced mail to our server again, while rewriting the headers and subject.
The two mailservers now bombarded each other with 30Mbyte mails, and since we had the slimmer pipe, we were losing the battle. (I believe that this scenario is called a "mail circle jerk").

It took some time, to straighten things out. Oh, and we discovered that the back up mail relay really did work, since it kicked into action, when we brought our mailserver up, and promptly tried to deliever a +Gigabyte of bounced and resend mail.

Lessons to be learned; mail qoutas can have nasty sideeffects, backup mail releays can be a double-edged sword when things turns nasty. Automatic forwarding is can be very nasty indeed. And finally; How does your MTA or MUA forwarding rules react to a RFC error messages?

The FuckSlashdotNow Report issue #1: Nested Mode (-1, Offtopic)

FuckSlashdotNow (563508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098338)

**BEGIN**

This is the first issue of The FuckSlashdotNow Report [slashdot.org] , and more installments will hopefully be written on a regular basis. Thanks for reading, friends, and keep watching the skies! Permission is granted to reproduce this message in any form, as long as the entire message is kept intact, from the **BEGIN** to the *EOT*

ISSUE 1

With the announcement of Slashdot subscriptions, the question becomes "what is the most fucking effective way to fuck Slashdot out of as much fucking money as fucking possible?"

Nested mode.

Nested mode draws a monumental amount of bandwidth compared to Threaded mode, with fewer page views (for subscribers) or banner ads (for non-subscribers)

Let's say that the first page of comments on a heavily-discussed story in threaded mode is 100KB in size. A person reading that story will read some of the sub-level replies to those comments comments, but not all, so let's say he pulls perhaps 200KB of bandwidth maximum, and it will cost him many page views/banner ads. Now, someone viewing that same page in nested mode is entirely likely to pull 500-1000KB, with only a single page view or banner ad. More cost to Slashdot, less income to Slashdot, therefore less PROFIT for Slashdot.

This goes without saying, but we also need to set our thresholds to -1 (yours IS already set to -1, right?), set our "max comment size" to very high (so that gigantic garbage comments display in full), as well as setting "Limit" very high aslo. Crapflooders need to focus more on posting replies to high-rated or early-posted comments instead of (or in addition to) posting top-level comments, because many people don't bother visiting the second page of comments when there's more than one. And we all need to use Junkbuster, of course.

Let's summarize:

Threaded mode:
Less bandwidth (small cost for Slashdot)
More page views/ads (large income for Slashdot)

small cost + large income = PROFIT

Nested mode:
More bandwidth (large cost for Slashdot)
Less page views/ads (small income for Slashdot)

large cost + small income = FUCKED [fuckedcompany.com]

Now, the question becomes, can we cost them more money by subscribing, or by not subscribing? I'd be more than happy to throw $50 at Slashdot if by creative page-loading I could cause it to cost them $100 -- I'd be out $50, but so would they, so I think it'd be worth it. It would definitely do more for the world than throwing $50 at those gay starving African children in Africa. But can we cost them more money by subscribing or by not subscribing?

Most large-scale bandwidth providers charge a few dollars or so per gigabyte. Let's be generous, and say that Slashdot pays $5 per gigabyte. With subscriptions, you pay $5 for 1000 pageviews. Unless your 1000 pageviews average 1.024MB each, Slashdot isn't meeting expenses, they're making a profit. Subscribers will not only be paying their own way, they'll be subsidizing non-subscribers. Slashdot is lying to subscribers, and it's important that potential subscribers know this.

So basically, if you subscribe to Slashdot it's harder to fuck them than if you don't subscribe. So don't subscribe. And encourage your friends not to subscribe

Although this particular message is aimed at trolls / crapflooders / culture jammers / anarchists / discordianists / etc, it's important that we recruit the "normal users" to this crusade without them even knowing what our true purpose is -- just educate them that they'll get better value for their money if they use nested mode (much fewer pageviews than threaded mode, thus their subscription lasts longer), without pointing out to them that this'll also spike Slashdot's bandwidth usage.

In short, encourage subscribes to use NESTED MODE and to lower their thresholds to cut down on the pageviews they spend (actually to increase Slashdot's bandwidth usage)

Once subscribers realize that they can cut their page views down to a fraction by always using only nested mode, Slashdot's bandwidth usage will start to rise and they'll be forced to use larger and more intrusive advertisements to generate more income or make the site even crappier to drive people away to reduce expenses, or both. More intrusive ads will lead to more people joinining the FuckSlashdotNow campaign, or to quit Slashdot, or to merely Junkbuster the ads, fucking Slashdot's income stream further.

Summary:

Trolls / crapflooders / culture jammers / etc / should do this:

1. Junkbuster
2. Use Nested mode, -1 threshold
3. Set max comment size very high.
4. Not subscribe
5. Load as many pages as possible
6. Consume as much bandwidth as possible
7 Load as few advertisements as possible
8. Recruit others to the cause
9. Re-post this message to every thread
10. Rate this comment up whenever you see it posted
11. Stay tuned for more updates.

We should (covertly) encourage non-subscribing normal users to do the following:

1. Not subscribe, because it's not a good value for their money.
2. Use Junkbuster to block banner ads.

We should (covertly) encourage subscribing normal users to do the following:

1. Use Nested mode for the duration of their subscription, so that they'll spend fewer pageviews and get better value for their money.
2. Not resubscribe.

Thanks for reading this first issue of The FuckSlashdotNow Report [slashdot.org] ! I'm currently soliticing ideas for upcoming issues; please e-mail me (e-mail address is in profile) with any comments or suggestions!

ur VARY aprctd fr rdng ths msg, pls fix thx!!!

*EOT*

Unavailable (2)

Merry_B.Buck (539837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098339)

From article: Savoixmagazine.com was not available for comment.

I wonder if the author tried emailing webmaster@savoixmagazine.com [mailto] .

This is why you use DIGEST mode... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098427)

This is why I subscribe to all my mailing lists in digest mode - if it doesn't offer one, I do not subscribe. If anything, you get one huge message at the end of the day; but with something like this, the size of the message would get it deleted.

This was predicted a loooonnnggg time ago. (2, Interesting)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098473)

Wow, it's always rewarding to find one of your theories proven.

I actually wrote an article for the hacker community on this exact problem about a year ago. I hosted the article at myhometechie.com - which is my own web site. I also submitted the article to hackcanada, and 2600.com - which is the authority for hacking issues.

Well, despite my long trek and obvious dedication to showing up at 2600's conference, H2K, in July of 2000 - they didn't feel like printing my article ; and I definately did not want to test my theory.

Oh well. Their loss. This could have been averted if the problem of looping auto-repliers had become common knowledge.

You can find my article here [myhometechie.com] .

Who owns savoix now? (2, Funny)

Rothfuss (47480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098483)

Drahtmuller's belief was that the system administrators running savoixmagazine.com's server "didn't know what they were doing."

Will the last h4x0r out of the savoixmagazine.com honeypot please shut down the server?

Thanks,

-Rothfuss
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