To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Friday July 21, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Whistle while you skulk

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To use the links in this newsletter, you must be connected to the Internet.  PC Eudora users: to see this and other html mail properly you must check the box "Use Microsoft's Viewer" in the "Viewing Mail" options.

WebSkulker's hidden-source contest

Monday's issue announced a contest to see how many jr. skulkers could figure out how the author of the following web site was obscuring the HTML source code:

WebSkulker had no problem whatsoever viewing the source code for the page; he simply used the browser's menu function View Source.  But the problem is that when you do that, you get only a two-line header saying CODING ACCESS DENIED.  What WebSkulker was looking for in the contest was so simple that people who got this far will kick themselves if they didn't think of it:  you just scroll down the page and eventually you find the HTML code down there.  The author did nothing to hide the HTML other than to put a bunch of blank lines in front of it and hope you wouldn't notice.  WebSkulker said that there was a clue later on in Monday's issue, and that clue was in the joke section.  The joke that day was in the form of questions and answers, and you were asked to scroll down through a lot of blank lines to see the answer to each question.

Many jr. skulkers submitted entries with that answer, but many others submitted entries about a different aspect of this problem that WebSkulker didn't notice.  WebSkulker is used to using the browser menu to view source code of a page, but other jr. skulkers are used to pressing the right mouse button and choosing "View Source" from the menu that pops up.  The excuses page had some JavaScript to block the right mouse button, so many jr. skulkers submitted answers about how to view source another way.  Many came up with skulking solutions that were extremely overkill considering that there is a menu option to view source that worked fine on this page.

There were so many responses that WebSkulker will only name the first ten jr. skulkers who submitted an answer mentioning scrolling down past the blank lines:

Peter Garriga, Matthew Sadler, Cary Roberts, Zerotsm, Joseph Norton, Tony Roza, Accura, Charles Hugo, Paul Bliss, and Guy_SJS.


For those jr. skulkers who want to hide the source code of their web pages and do so in a manner more effective than blank lines at the top, look at the WebCrypt shareware program.  It turns your HTML into an encrypted version with an embedded JavaScript control that decrypts it when the page is loaded into a browser.

Free web skulking without ads

As WebSkulker predicted in the 7/7/00 issue,  the bankrupt Freewwweb, WebSkulker's favorite free ISP, has made an arrangement with Juno to take over the Freewwweb accounts and email.  The above link will tell you all about it.  The problem is that Juno's free ISP service requires you to download software that will always show ads in a portion of your screen whenever you are online.  It was easy to configure Freewwweb in a way that did not show any ads or waste any of your screen space at all.

For those jr. skulkers who want a new free ISP with no ads, here are a couple of possibilities: offers free dialup Internet access, but you are supposed to download and run their software which shows ads.  However there is nothing that forces you to run their software, because you can also dial in using normal Dialup Networking and make a successful connection.  Note that with most free ISP's you might be able to set up a Dialup Networking connection, but it will only last a few seconds until their system realizes that you aren't running the ad software and then it will hang-up; freei doesn't seem to notice the difference.

From the freei web page, download the software and signup for an account like you are supposed to.  Dial into their network with the ad bar showing one time to make sure everything works.  Write down the freei phone number that their software is dialing in to.  Then go into Dialup Networking and you should see an entry called "FreeiNetworks" that their software built.  Go into the properties for this and put in the phone number for your area and make sure everything else about this entry is appropriate.  Save your changes and double click to dial in.

Make sure that your userid is set to, and the password is set to the freei password.  From now on, you should be able to dial in from this Dialup Networking entry instead of their software.


Jr. Skulker Bob Bernay sent us this URL pointing to an article about a possible way to use the NetZero free ISP without ads.  WebSkulker hasn't tried this and has no idea whether it really works.

Skulking telegrams

"These web museum pages are dedicated to the preservation of telegraph history, lore, and Instrumentation."  As you would expect, it has all kinds of photographs, including this one of a postcard postmarked Dec 1, 1906 showing the "President's Private Telephone &
Telegraph Bureau, White House."

Where's WebSkulker?

Are you curious about how paper money circulates around the country?  What happens to the $5 bill you just gave to a Taco Bell (the phone system in Mexico) clerk?  How long will it take this bill to travel to a city hundreds of miles away?  You can find out by writing the above URL on every bill you have, and then go to the site and type in information about each bill including its serial number.  When a curious Internet user finds the marking on one of your old bills, hopefully they will go to the site and enter the serial number and where they are located.  You will then get email telling you where the bill was found, and this information is all archived on the web site.

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Bob Rowell

Here is how the Japanese have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with their own haiku poetry, each only 17 syllables, 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. 

Your file was so big. 
It might be very useful. 
But now it is gone. 

The Web site you seek 
Can not be located but 
Countless more exist. 

Chaos reigns within. 
Reflect, repent, and reboot. 
Order shall return. 

ABORTED effort: 
Close all that you have worked on. 
You ask far too much. 

Windows NT crashed. 
I am the Blue Screen of Death. 
No one hears your screams. 

Yesterday it worked. 
Today it is not working. 
Windows is like that. 

First snow, then silence. 
This thousand dollar screen dies 
So beautifully. 

With searching comes loss 
And the presence of absence: 
"My Novel" not found. 

The Tao that is seen 
Is not the true Tao -- until 
You bring fresh toner. 

Stay the patient course. 
Of little worth is your ire. 
The network is down. 

A crash reduces 
Your expensive computer 
To a simple stone. 

Three things are certain: 
Death, taxes, and lost data. 
Guess which has occurred. 

You step in the stream, 
But the water has moved on. 
This page is not here. 

Out of memory. 
We wish to hold the whole sky, 
But we never will. 

Having been erased, 
The document you're seeking 
Must now be retyped. 

Serious error. 
All shortcuts have disappeared. 
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


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