Category Archives: Numbtastic

Stupid stuff.

A bucketful of quickies

Some people sleep on the job while others camp out in the parking lot; at any given time over my lunch hour there are half a dozen or more people snoozing away taking their siesta in their cars. The Interdictor is still standing strong and holding down the fort even after a group of overzealous troops from the 82nd Airborne decided to poke at him with M4-A1s. UnDutchables 0.2.3 has been released which deprecates Wasia B7.1. And Trunkmonkey Racing is still seeking sponsorship.

Attention deficit disorder is the proliferation of purple monkeys in shiny corridors of corn.

I had an incredibly witty thought that I wanted to share with the rest of the world, so I launched ecto, my blog client. An update was available, so I downloaded and installed it. That reminded me that I hadn’t run versiontracker pro for a while, so I proceeded to launch that. Of course, an update to the software I use to check for updates with was available, so I downloaded and installed the update. Then Acrobat, BitTorrent, LimeWire, Poisoned, etc. While everything was downloading, I checked on the make install status of glibc on my Pepper Pad. Halfway done.

Why the heck was ecto open again?

Bronx Reptiles shuts down; hundreds of animals left to die

The boa constrictor that was discovered and bifurcated at Ludlow train station in Yonkers, NY on Tuesday, October 12th was actually abandoned by Bronx Reptiles, a well-known breeding and rescue operation that recently shut down. I don’t know the full details of or history behind Bronx Reptiles, but a tenant in the building contacted one of our associates after the owners vacated the operation, fled their legal troubles, and disappeared, leaving hundreds of dead or dying animals in their dirty enclosures.
Continue reading Bronx Reptiles shuts down; hundreds of animals left to die

Head-on collision on 128S in Lexington?

How the heck does a head-on collision occur on 128S in Lexington? It’s a multi-lane divided highway for chrissakes. Right at Exit 31b around 10:25 AM there was a minivan facing oncoming traffic in the left lane with a sedan firmly implanted in its grille. I had the Digital Rebel with me, but I was already too late for work to stop and take photos. Amazingly, no one looked hurt and emergency services hadn’t shown up yet, but I’m still absolutely dumbfounded as to how the minivan ended up backwards in the left lane. Guh.

We trust you, really! And who were you again?

In theory, the Merchant ID and Terminal ID numbers used to configure a payment processing system and link it to a merchant account are highly sensitive pieces of data that should never be revealed to anyone. With those two numbers, any fraudster could configure their credit card terminal to siphon funds from the account in question by issuing credits to their own credit cards. VeriSign even goes so far as to obfuscate the Merchant ID and Terminal ID numbers in their Transaction Terminal to protect merchants from shoulder surfing customers and co-workers.

A Merchant Account number, much like a checking account number, is generally public knowledge. All checks have a checking account number and routing number printed on them, and most credit card terminals in stores have a decal with the Merchant Account number emblazoned in plain view. Some uneducated clerks and store owners will write their Merchant ID and Terminal ID numbers on the Merchant Account decal out of convenience and, although still a very Bad Thing™, that’s not the subject of my rant.

Oh, no. Instead, I’m going to rant about Paymentech. Make your business run more efficiently, securely and profitably. Since I was setting up a new payment processing system and didn’t have my Merchant ID or Terminal ID numbers handy, I called their customer service line. An incredibly chipper young woman answered and, after asking for my Merchant Account number and what type of software I was configuring, she was more than happy to give me my Merchant ID and Terminal ID numbers! WTF? She didn’t even ask me my name!

So, let’s review. The only piece of identification I supplied was my Merchant Account number, which is easily obtainable by virtually any customer, and in return I was given the two ID numbers a fraudster would need to hijack my account. Awesome! I feel so warm and fuzzy now…