To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.

Tuesday October 19, 1999

WebSkulker Newsletter
People who can, do. People who can't, skulk.
People who can't skulk, skulk web sites.

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Skulking in the real world, part 2

This is part two of an article about security problems in two movie theatres in San Francisco.  As we said in part one, jr. skulkers should never use this information to see movies without paying.  WebSkulker always buys a ticket and has it in his pocket when he sneaks in, and you should do the same.

There are times of the day when the AMC 1000 Theatre removes all security from the escalator and elevator and lets anyone go upstairs.  During those times, employees on each floor will check tickets at the entrance to a hallway leading to the theatres on that floor.  Here is how to get past them without ever showing your ticket:  take the elevator up and notice that there are two columns of buttons.  The right column is labeled with floor numbers, and also shows the numbers of the theatres on each floor.  The left column shows floor numbers that are in between the floors with theatres.  Moviegoers would normally always choose a floor from the right column.  But actually most of the theatres are sloped and two stories high, so they have entrances on two floors.  The official entrance, the one with the ticket taker, is at the front and bottom.  So don't get off the elevator where you are supposed to; instead use the floor from the left column that is just above the official entrance for your theatre number.  Get out and wander down the hall and you will probably see the top entrance to your theatre, which will be unguarded so just walk in.  But not all theatres are two stories high.  If you can't find your theatre on the odd floor, go into any theatre you do find, walk down and exit through its official entrance, and you will be in the common lobby that connects all the theatres on that floor.  You can freely walk into your theatre from there, because the ticket taker is outside that area.

A similar technique often works at the AMC Kabuki Theatre, which makes WebSkulker wonder what the AMC chain is thinking.  The Kabuki also has an escalator and an elevator.  Most of the theatres are upstairs and most patrons take the escalator up.  There is always a ticket checker at the escalator.  There are two small theatres on the main floor that are reached through a hallway on the opposite side of the lobby from the escalator, and a second ticket checker is often at that hallway.  To get to the elevator, you must go through that hallway and turn right.

WebSkulker has noticed that the second ticket taker will tend to be at that hallway only around times when a movie is about to start in those two theatres.  If no ticket taker is there, you can simply go into that hallway and onto the elevator to get upstairs to the other theatres.

Sound effects while skulking 

In yesterday's issue we mentioned a web site that had good .wav files for you to download and use as the "new mail" sound in your email program.  Jr. Skulker boB submitted this site which has thousands of other .wav files that are fun to listen to, or you might want to use some of them for Windows sounds such as system startup and shutdown.  If you have never changed your system sounds, here is how to do it in windows 95 or 98:

Press Start, then Settings, then Control Panel.  Double-click on Sounds.  You should now have a list of all of the "sound events" that are available on your system.  Notice that most of them will have a yellow loudspeaker icon, but some might not.  This icon means that a .wav file has been chosen to play for that event.  To see the name of this file, click on the event name and look in the "Name" field.  Some sound files, especially ones that are part of Microsoft themes, might have a special icon that will show in the "Preview" box.  You can listen to the sound by pressing the button with a right-arrow that is next to the Preview box.

To change the sound for this event, or add a sound for an event that is empty, either type in a complete filename (including the drive letter and subdirectory list), or press Browse and search for the file you want.  When done making changes, press the OK button at the bottom.

Notice that one of the sound events is called "New Mail Notification".  Some email programs will use the sound you specify here, other programs let you choose the sound through their own menus.

Skulkers to your web site can hear your voice

This site is intended for people who have their own web site, but that could be anyone nowadays and it is fun to play with their demo whether you could use it on your site or not.  Jr. Skulker Batteryman suggested it.  PageTalk lets you add a voice message to any web page that viewers will hear when they press on a PageTalk button.  Yes, of course, you can do that now if you know how by recording a .wav file or other audio format on your machine and then uploading that to your web site with HTML to play it.  PageTalk adds voice to your web site in a totally different way that anyone can figure out.

When you sign up for PageTalk, they will send you an email with a segment of HTML code to add to a web page.  You then dial their toll-free number, sign on by pressing touchtones of your account number and password, then make a recording just like leaving a voice mail message.   Whatever you record will play when someone presses the PageTalk button you installed on your web page.  You can call the PageTalk phone number and change the recording as often as you like.  This service is, of course, free so the company will eventually go out of business, or have an IPO and raise a billion dollars from fools who think that a company that gives everything away for free will nevertheless make money.

You can see PageTalk in action by going to their site and following the instructions for the demo.  You will call their number, leave a message as instructed, then click on the "Try it Yourself" picture to hear what you just recorded.

Someone surely skulked this

Jr. Skulker Tristan Tom saw our article in the 10/7/1999 issue about the search engine. He sent us this excerpt from PC Week magazine for 10/11/1999:

"Silicon Valley startup says its search engine is based on a patent-pending technology that 'performs an objective measurement of the importance of Web pages and is calculated by solving an equation of 500 million variables and more than 2 billion terms.' How, then, to explain this:  A reader's search for the phrase "more evil than Satan himself" returned Microsoft's home page as a first result."

This is really true.  Go to and type  more evil than Satan himself  as the search words.  Look at the first result.  Now this is interesting: up until earlier today, the third result was!  WebSkulker just tried it and Disney is gone.

This made WebSkulker laugh


There once was a fellow from Yuma,
who told an elephant joke to a puma.
Now his skeleton lies
under hot western skies,
The Puma had no sense of huma!

There once was a man from Demizes,
Whose balls were of different sizes.
One was so small,
It was no ball at all,
But the other won several prizes!

There was a knight named Sir Lancelot
Who went to parties and danced a lot
When making a pass
At a young pretty lass
The front of his pants would advance a lot!

There once was an old man named Fletcher,
Well known as a terrible lecher.
A kiss he would steal,
And he'd cop a good feel,
From a woman if he could just catch her.

A foreman who's known to be rude,
Said something a worker thought lewd.
Though red in the face,
She's got a court case,
So it's his butt that's going to be screwed.

An accident really uncanny,
Befell an unfortunate granny.
She sat down in a chair
While her false teeth were there,
And bit herself right in the fanny!

Mary had a little lamb,
She tied him to the heater.
Every time he'd lift his leg,
He'd burn his little peter. 

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