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Movie Review: Pontypool

Tonight I watched Pontypool, a very "different" type of zombie movie. I thought it was awesome because I had no clue what to expect next. The story line is very original and doesn't really follow the same boring script that all the other zombie movies follow. It's definitely the most interesting zombie movie I've ever seen.

If you like lots of gore and zombies chasing innocent people around, then you probably won't like this movie. However, if you have somewhat of an imagination (enough imagination to enjoy science fiction) and like to be kept guessing, then you'll probably agree that this movie is awesome. (Fair warning: Everyone else watching it with me thought it was the stupidest thing they've ever seen.)

You can check out the trailer on Hulu.com.

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  1. A Zombie of Another Kind…

    Raam, although you are in no danger of writer’s block, should you be in search of a topic someday soon, I’d welcome your insights on “…e-mail sent with a forged ‘From: header’, matching the envelope sender….any email message where the sender’s identity is forged….” (Wikipedia), most often generated by zombie networks.

    In the ten years I’ve been a netizen, I’ve consistently practiced “safe surfing” (webmail only, not MUA; don’t take downloads from strangers; look both ways before opening email; never publicly posting my address, etc.) and, whether I used Windoze or Mac (currently on a PB G4, smokin’ Safari 4.0 and pimped-out 10.4.11), I’ve never had a serious problem or regret. Until last week.

    While checking a Yahoo account I use primarily for receiving mail, seldom for sending, I was startled to discover ten emails sent to me BY ME — or rather, by a source forging my address. A very eerie experience it is, too, rather like encountering one’s doppelganger face to face. Three of the “spoofs” landed in my inbox, seven more in Spam.

    I contacted Yahoo through the formal channels, filled out the forms, provided ample details and examples, and courteously yet directly asked what reasonable steps I could take to ensure my address would not be banned as a result of the forged activities. True to their promise, Yahoo contacted me within 48 hours, albeit with an underwhelming reply, an excerpt of which follows:

    “We have investigated your report, and, based on the information you’ve
    given us, your account does not appear to have been accessed by the
    sender of this email.

    The sender seems to have forged your email address in the “reply-to”
    and/or the “from” field of the message they sent out. Please know that
    we are currently aware of this type of spam and are investigating it.

    In addition, please visit the following website for useful tools to
    combat spam:

    http://antispam.yahoo.com/.”

    Given your talent for untangling complex tech topics, unearthing reasonable “best practices” for the ordinary computer user, and then, articulating same in a simple, methodical manner that often bests the Yahoobians and Google-ites, I’d enjoy reading your thoughts on what steps victims of a forged From/Reply to address might take to protect themselves, especially when “the horse is already escaped the barn”. Buying Yahoo’s antispam protection hardly seems worthwhile since I’m a Mac-head cloud-computing sort and their form reply, “Yes, that’s a problem alright. Good luck!” neither inspires this Ya-user with confidence nor does it offer informative guidance.

    Whatever your next topics, Raam, my regards to you!

    • Hi Neon,

      Unfortunately, a spoofed reply-to address is not something you can prevent. It’s a problem with the way e-mail itself was designed many, many years ago (20+ years ago). You can spoof anyone’s address, even the United States President!

      It sounds like you’ve already taken many of the necessary steps to securing yourself, so you should be safe. Spammers will always make use of every glitch and nuance in technology to their advantage, including spoofing their spam to make it look like it came from you, so that you’re more likely to open the email (this is also what virus writers do when trying to spread a new virus via email).

      Since you seem interested in more of the technology-related stuff on my blog, you might be interested in checking out the tech blog I started, Solid State Raam. I don’t update it as frequently as this blog, but I’ve been trying to refrain from posting purely technical posts here and instead posting them on Solid State Raam.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Raam,

    Very kind of you to respond so promptly! [If the following comment should be posted elsewhere on your site, feel free to relocate it as suits your purposes.]

    As a matter of fact, I have been tracking Solid State Raam: good stuff! I always learn something or pick up a useful idea.

    BTW, I’m three exchanges in corresponding with Yahoo about this issue; their info, plus a bit of Googling, still haven’t answered 2 key questions for me: is the particular account being spoofed now in danger of being banned since someone/some-bot is forging my address? It would be a PITB, but should I close the account?

    • Hi Neon,

      You definitely don’t need to close the account. Anyone can spoof anyone’s address without having access to their email account. It’s simply a matter of adding the address to the email when they send it (there’s a special place it needs to be added, but it doesn’t require access to the person’s email account!).

      In fact, a spoofed address isn’t something to worry about at all! Since it’s so commonplace and anyone can do it, there is really nothing harmful about it. The only bad thing is that someone could send an email to someone that knows you, and the other person might think the email came from you. But there is nothing you can do to prevent this and as long as you keep your contacts list safe, spammers won’t know the email addresses of your friends.