To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Tuesday July 11, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
I'm gettin' bugged skulkin' up
 and down the same old sites

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Skulking in the delta

DeltaThree is yet another of the services that lets you make free phone calls using your PC microphone and speakers at your end and dialing real telephone numbers at the other end.  They let you call any number in the U.S. and Canada for free, and you can call most other countries around the world at low prices.

They also provide free voicemail and fax numbers in the Seattle and New York areas.  WebSkulker signed up for one and was given a number, but when he tries to dial it, he gets a reorder signal (fast busy signal).  Perhaps this feature doesn't really work, or perhaps it takes them a while to activate new numbers.

Don't skulk in a gift horse's mouth

You've surely heard the proverb "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth", meaning you shouldn't criticize details of something you are getting for free.  WebSkulker once sent an email to the support address of a valuable free web-based service criticizing them for not giving away as much as one of their competitors was giving away.  Of all the nerve, but the point is that if you want to have a stupid business plan based on giving things away for free to attract lots of subscribers and impress investors with those numbers, then you need to be competitive in what you give away and in how much money you are losing.  Of course in the long run such a business plan will fail, but that's a different story.

WebSkulker mentions this because he is going to criticize a couple of  aspects of the free service.  They offer a free "Internet call waiting" type of service that is mainly useful to jr. skulkers who have only one phone line which is always busy because they are tying it up with modem calls to their ISP.  Go to the site and sign up, then download and install their software and keep it running.  Criticism #1: you must leave an advertising bar on your desktop, whereas their competitors allow you to minimize the software.  Now go to the second link above to see their list of phone numbers around the world.  They have a toll-free number good for the U.S. and Canada, as well as toll-free and regular numbers in many other countries.

Tell people to call any of those numbers and they will be prompted for your phone number which you registered with eRing.  The eRing software on your desktop will then tell you that you have a call (including telling you the caller's phone number if available) and ask if you want to accept it.  If you say no, your caller will be prompted to leave a voicemail message.  Now here is criticism #2: if you say yes, your caller is still prompted to leave a message and then told to wait.  The eRing software will play you that message, then ask you to record a message of your own back to the caller.  They will hear your message, and have a chance to record one for you, and so on.  But what's with these messages back and forth?  Other free services let you talk to the person live using your PC microphone and speakers.

eRing can be worth this silliness because they have a toll-free number in the U.S. and Canada and other numbers around the world, and because they can usually tell you the phone number of the person calling you even if they have caller id blocked, because toll-free numbers collect the caller's number via the ANI mechanism, not caller id.

For jr. skulkers with Motorola GSM phones

GSM cell phones haven't caught on much in the U.S., but they are by far the most popular everywhere else in the world.  If you happen to have GSM service and a Motorola-brand phone, then this site will give you a lot of information and fun things you can skulk on your phone.  This is unofficial information that you are not supposed to know about.  Thanks to Jr. Skulker Dr. Fonk for telling us about this.

But where are skulkers from?

Jr. Skulker Patricia Blackstock sent an email to Ms. Cat about this site, and asking if it was true that all cats are from Mars.  Ms. Cat wrote back that it certainly wasn't true in her case because she was born in San Francisco.  Yet this site has compelling evidence.  "You've heard the whole, 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' routine before, right?  Bet you never imagined it was just a smokescreen to throw you off the trail of the truth..... Cats Are From Mars! Masquerading as finicky and solitary earth creatures all these years, these wily beings have been skillfully manipulating the human race for centuries, coaxing handouts, shredding furniture, cleansing their home planet of toxic waste cleverly disguised as hairballs.  Beware!"

These made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Sidney Bernay

Top 10 Signs Your Cat Has Learned Your Internet Password

10. E-Mail flames from some guy named "Fluffy." 

9. Traces of kitty litter in your keyboard. 

8. You find you've been subscribed to strange newsgroups like (alt.recreational.catnip). 

7. Your web browser has a new home page: ( 

6. Your mouse has teeth marks in it ... and a strange aroma of tuna. 

5. Hate-mail messages to Apple Computer Corp. about their release of "CyberDog." 

4. Your new ergonomic keyboard has a strange territorial scent to it. 

3. You keep finding new software around your house like CatinTax and WarCat II. 

2. On IRC you're known as the IronMouser. 

and the #1 Sign Your Cat Has Learned Your Internet Password... 

1. Little kitty carpal-tunnel braces near the scratching post. 


It's World War III and the US has succeeded in building a computer able to
solve any strategic or tactical problem.  Military leaders are assembled in front of the new machine and instructed to feed a difficult tactical problem into it. 

They describe a hypothetical situation to the computer and then ask the pivotal question: attack or retreat?  The computer hums away for an hour and then comes up with the answer: YES.

The generals look at each other, somewhat stupefied.  Finally one of them submits a second request to the computer: YES WHAT?

Instantly the computer responds: YES SIR.


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