To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Friday April 28, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Homey don't skulk that

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Skulking in the real world

Jr. Skulker David Harris wrote to tell us:  "In the April 27 issue of USA Today (ebriefing, 3D) a mention was made of a secret document from British Intelligence that was posted on the web concerning Libyan agents who are active in the UK. They would not give out the URL, but with a little Skulking I found it."  This makes pretty interesting reading about how the professional skulkers operate.

Skulking something gnu

WebSkulker mentioned Napster and Wrapster in the 4/5/00 issue.  Since then he has been reading about a similar program, Gnutella, but never tried it until tonight.  He is very impressed and strongly suggests that all of your jr. skulkers try this one.  If you have used Napster, you will understand the concept of Gnutella because it does the same job, but without needing any central servers so the Gnutella network can't be shut down by lawsuits like the Napster network might be.  To use each of these networks, you install the software and keep it running whenever you are on the Internet.  If you want to share files with others, you designate a folder to be public, and put whatever files you want to share in there.  You can type in search keywords and will be informed if anyone on the the network has files that match, and you can then download them.  

The pretense is that you will only share files that you own the rights to, for example MP3's of your own band singing a song you wrote yourself.  In reality, almost all shared files are MP3's made from music CD's that people bought and therefore have no legal right to share.  Because of this blatant piracy, and because Napster is by far the most popular of this genre, record companies and artists are suing them hoping to shut the service down, and it can be shut down instantly and completely because the entire Napster search network runs through their server.  Also several universities were sued because their students were running Napster over the campus networks and their high-speed connections to the Internet.  A couple of them gave in and banned the use of Napster, which they can do easily enough by blocking packets going to and from

Gnutella doesn't depend on any particular server, so there is no central place that can be shut down to block the service, and there is no particular destination that a University could use to block packets.  When you first run Gnutella, you must do some work finding the IP address of at least one other person currently running it.  Your copy of Gnutella talks to theirs and enters the loose network of all the other copies of Gnutella talking to each other around the world.  Once you are connected, you will see lots of other IP addresses and you can connect to some of them also for redundancy and better speed.  This is tricky, but once you have it set up with lots of IP addresses, it should work automatically from then on.  The music search and download processes are pretty straightforward, and similar to Napster.  Gnutella searches will be slower because there is no central server to keep track of everything.

Click on the above link to go to the Gnutella home page.  The first thing you should do there is look at the step-by-step tutorial that helps you get started.  Also note that Gnutella isn't just for MP3 files.  A lot of users seem to be sharing software in .zip files, pictures, and lots of other files.

Skulking by voice recognition and response

1-888-573-TALK (1-888-573-8255)  or 1-617-258-0300 from outside U.S.

"Jupiter is a conversational system that provides up-to-date weather information over the phone. Jupiter knows about 500+ cities worldwide (of which 350 are within the US) and gets its data from four different Web-based sources."  But the amazing thing is that you don't touchtone anything to Jupiter; you ask it questions about the weather with your voice and it understands pretty well, especially if you read the web site so you know how to phrase your query.  Or just call the number and say "help" for instructions.  Be sure to say "thank you" when you are done.

If the phone number is busy, keep trying because it gets a lot of calls.  Try late at night.

WebSkulker forgot to mention this at Easter time

The Bunny Survival Tests Home Page presents the results of tests designed "to determine specific weaknesses and/or strengths possessed by 'Marshmallow Bunnies'.  In order to determine said weaknesses and strengths, many Volunteer Bunnies and Control Bunnies risked their lives to take part in several tests. The tests were usually painful, yet not always cruel."


This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Dan Dunkel

The Blonde Detectives

A policeman was interrogating three blondes who were training to become detectives. To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first blonde a picture for five seconds and then hides it.  "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The first blonde answers. "That's easy, we'll catch him fast because he only has one eye." The policeman says, "Well ... uh ... that's because the picture is a profile."

Slightly frustrated by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for five seconds at the second blonde and asks her, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The second blonde giggles, flips her hair and says, "Ha, he'd be easy to catch, because he only has one ear." The policeman angrily responds, "What's the matter with you two? Of course only one eye and one ear are showing, because it's a picture of his profile. Is that the best answer you can come up with?"

Extremely frustrated at this point, he shows the picture to the third blonde and in a very testy voice asks, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?  Think hard before giving me a stupid answer."

The blonde looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, "Hmmm ...The suspect wears contact lenses."

The policeman is surprised and speechless because he really doesn't know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not. "Well, that's an interesting answer. Wait here for a few minutes, while I check his file and I'll get back to you on that."

He leaves the room and goes to his office, checks the suspect's file in his computer, and comes back with a beaming smile on his face. "Wow, I can't believe it, but it's true. The suspect does in fact wear contact lenses. Good work. How were you able to make such an astute observation?"

"That's easy," the third blonde replied. "He can't wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear."


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