Yet Another Sexting Prosecution Attempt

You know what could help teens deal with the new pressures that technology brings to adolescence? Felony records and “sex offender” labels! The latest case brings felony charges against kids of 12 and 13 (via Radley Balko). I’ve been meaning to write about this issue, but just read these instead:

Or if you’d rather enjoy the rest of your day, don’t.

“Scary Web Error!”

Apparently on a few AT&T phones, a few Facebook users were dropped into accounts of other users.

After typing into her Nokia smart phone, she was taken into the site without being asked for her user name or password. She was in an account that didn’t look like hers.

… AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said its wireless customers have landed in the wrong Facebook pages in “a limited number of instances” and that a network problem behind those episodes is being fixed … Coe said an investigation points to a “misdirected cookie.” …  Coe said technicians couldn’t figure out how the cookie had been routed to the wrong phone…

Well that’s a new one. Sites could store the UA string in the server-side session on login and make sure it doesn’t change. This would prevent the auto-logged-in-as-other-user problem (except for users with identical phones), but, despite this being a sensible security option, I don’t think many sites do it. If these problems start becoming more common that may need to change.

Configuring Sendmail for UF’s SMTP

Our Ubuntu web host, hosted with OSG, was not able to send mail (using PHP mail) outside of UF. An OSG tech said our From: header should be a valid address at UF (check) and that the logs at showed those messages never made it there.

The solution was to configure sendmail to use as the “smart” relay host (as it’s described in the config file):

$ sudo nano /etc/mail/

Ctrl+w and search for smart. On the line below, add directly after DS with no space. The result should be:

# "Smart" relay host (may be null)

Ctrl-x and save the buffer.

Restart sendmail: $ sudo /etc/init.d/sendmail restart

As soon as I did this, the queued messages were sent out. I still don’t know why messages to succeeded while others sat in the queue.

Tercy and the Insufferable Incline

Kathleen and I have been lucky enough to be able to carpool until now, leaving our neglected Tercel “Tercy” (see right) to the rats and other inhabitants. The Good: runs well, good mileage, heat works. Bad: cramped driver’s seat, smells kinda like feet, back doors don’t open from outside, battery leaks out in a few days if you don’t disconnected the terminals, A/C refrigerant leaks out in a few weeks, radio barely tunes in close stations and has to be cranked up to be heard, wipers are weak and finicky and occasionally creep across the window when you accidentally glance the stick, a thorough exterior filth, sometimes after it stops the electrical system refuses to operate until you dis/reconnect the battery, on occasion the headlights have been known to flicker out. That’s at least what I knew of before coming to work.

Kathleen needs the reliability of the van for her new school and I’m going to be biking to work most days, but for those rainy or, recently, 20 degree mornings (ugh) I grudgingly bought an orange UF decal for Tercy. This morning I got to the parking garage with only one stall—I rarely drive stick—and made my way up to the much dreaded Gate of Hate, in which it requires you to slide your Gator1 card.

Perhaps to offend the few still driving stick, they place these gates on a healthy grade. While rolling my window down I find it can’t be rolled down enough to get my arm out; I’ll have to open the door. I engage the parking brake and release the brake pedal—the car begins to roll backwards, of course. While keeping a foot on the brake, I open the door and manage to reach the slot.

Perhaps to offend me personally, my !@#$ Gator1 card won’t activate the gate, which repeatedly repudiates me with beeps of dissatisfaction. As I realize I’m going to have to abort mission, a car pulls up behind me. Door still opened, foot firmly on brake, torso stretched out the side, I somehow compel the woman to leave her warm luxury sedan to come slide her card. (This is how I got in yesterday after I’d just received my decal in another enraging series of events. I had assumed my card issue would be resolved by today. That I assume anything to do with Parking “Services” will Just Work Out is a sign of chronic delusions.)

The lady swipes her blessed card and retreats, giving me moments to act. As I release the brake to hit the gas, the car jets backward at a furious pace. I hammer the gas, the car peels out, and I careen around the corner at the top with my door flying half open, surely making me look a maniac. I quickly park and head down the stairs lest the lady is someone of influence within the college.

HOPE Turns Into a Bill

Sent to my House Representative Corrine Brown (links added here):

Ms. Brown,
I encourage you to support H.R. 4055, Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Initiative Act of 2009. Hawaiian Judge Alm’s probation and parole reform program has shown we can significantly reduce both crime and imprisonment.

The program is a clear winner all around: States save prison space, the public enjoys less crime from participants on probation/parole, and those participants significantly reduce their likelihood of heading back to prison.

You can read about this program here:

Thank you for your time.

Steve Clay,

Please write your representative in support of this bill. Here’s a video of Mark Kleiman discussing the H.O.P.E. program and other topics in his recent book, which I need to get around to writing about…