To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Friday September 8, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Eat, drink, and be merry,
for tomorrow we skulk

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Skulking around the news

Many jr. skulkers have used WebSkulker's technique for setting up your own web site with your own domain name for a total of about $11 U.S. per year.  A detailed tutorial about this is in our 2/21/00 issue.  This technique requires the services of two web sites, and  Joker is still working fine, but MyInternet has gotten really flaky lately, and for the past several weeks they haven't accepted any new registrations, therefore our 2/21/00 technique can't be used any more.  MyInternet claims they will have all these services working again at some point, but who knows if or when.

WebSkulker has been looking for another free service that does the same thing as MyInternet, but hasn't found one yet.  The MyInternet page suggests using as a replacement for their service, but YourNameFree isn't really free.  You must switch your domain registration to them and pay the annual renewal fees to them in order to use their free services, and they charge $30 per year for the registration.  Joker charges only about $11 and coupled with the MyInternet service the total prices was still $11.

The above link to will provide a partial solution for jr. skulkers who haven't yet registered their domain name.  Gandi charges the same per year for registrations as Joker, but they provide more services for this price.  Not as many services as MyInternet, but at least Gandi will forward your domain's email to some extent and will forward your domain name to an ugly URL you have on one of the free web hosting services.  So if you need to register a new domain, try using Gandi and take advantages of their free extras.


This week is Microsoft's 25th birthday as a company and here are three links about the event.  The first is an article from the WinInfo newsletter, the second is from Microsoft's museum, and the third is a picture taken at some point in the beginning of the company. 

Publish your own skulks on the TellMe service

You know how Geocities and lots of other services give you your own web sites for free to let you publish your material to the world of people with web browsers?  TellMe has a revolutionary new free service that lets you publish your own material to people calling their 800 number.  In order to understand what this is all about, you must be familiar with the normal TellMe service.  If you haven't done so before, go to, sign up for an account, and then dial 800-555-TELL to play with their free speech-input and voice-response information service.

Their new developer studio at the above link lets any jr. skulker join their free developer program.  When you sign up, you choose a 5-digit extension number and then write your own programs in the VXML language which is well-documented by their tutorials and FAQ.  Your program can invoke speech input and synthesized speech output, access databases on a web server, play audio files on a web server, and basically do anything you hear the main TellMe phone service do.  You test your program at any time by dialing a special 877 number for developers and entering your extension number and password.  You can stay on the line while you make modifications to your program on the web site and immediately listen to the results.

When you are done developing and testing, you can add your program to the main TellMe service so that everyone calling in can access it.  When people call TellMe, they can speak the keyword "extensions" and then speak or touchtone your five digit number to hear whatever you created.  Remember that this is all free and it is available for anyone to play with!

WebSkulker got an extension being, of course, the digits for the word "skulk".  He doesn't have anything on there yet, but surely will in the next few days.  To see what other people have created with this service, go to:

for a list that you can try out and get a feel for what can be done.  Thanks to Jr. Skulker Chris Bernay for telling us about this.

WebSkulker gets a new cat

No, not a real cat that would make Ms. Cat jealous, but a CueCat bar code scanner that you can get totally free simply by walking into any Radio Shack store and asking for one.  Radio Shack gives these away because they are now publishing bar codes in their catalogs, flyers, and ads.  If you scan in one of these codes, your web browser will open pointed to the online catalog page for that item so you can read more details or buy it online.  WebSkulker thinks the scanner looks silly because it is in the shape of a cat and therefore looks like a kid's toy, but Ms. Cat thinks all products should be shaped like that.

The CueCat device plugs in to the keyboard jack of a PC: you turn off your PC, unplug the keyboard, plug in the CueCat's cable, then plug the keyboard into a jack on the CueCat cable.  The CueCat gets power from the keyboard jack, and it can feed in keystrokes to the PC as though they were typed on the keyboard.  You can see this work by installing the CueCat hardware, but don't install the software.  Go into Notepad or any program that will accept and display what's typed on the keyboard, then scan the bar code from any product you have around, or the sample bar codes that come with the CueCat package.  You will see strange characters being typed which represent a coded form of the bar code.

Next install the software, but don't necessarily use the CD.  The second link above lets you download a version from their web site that is probably newer and will work more reliably.  The CD has a long, boring, video tutorial that you probably don't need.  Once the software is installed and activated via a password that they email to you, the operation of the scanner will change.  Now, whenever you scan a bar code, you will never again see anything fed in through the keyboard because their device driver traps that and launches their application which tries to do something intelligent with the bar code information.  If you scan one of the special Radio Shack bar codes, you will go to a Radio Shack online catalog page.  If you scan in some other type of bar code, their software will try to match that up with entries in their database and will try to display a web page that is relevant.  Probably not a page about that particular product, but at least the home page for the manufacturer or publisher.  WebSkulker finds it humorous that the special slanted Radio Shack bar code doesn't work very reliably, but regular bar codes work fine.

The CueCat software has one additional function that WebSkulker hasn't tried yet.  If you run a cable from the audio output of a TV set or radio into the line-in jack of your sound card, the CueCat software will monitor the audio stream continuously listening for special tone signals that might be sent as part of a commercial.  If it hears that, it will launch your web browser into the page that the commercial wants you to look at.

By the way, our 11/23/99 issue had a link and joke on the concept of cat scanning that you might want to look at.

Skulking the truth about what cats do in private

Ms. Cat  is very child-like and innocent.  For an example, see the second paragraph of her remarks at the top of her picture page at .  We have another example with this site: she thinks it's just some pretty pictures of her fellow species, but WebSkulker and the other humans know better, don't we?

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Michael Cohen

Three couples, an elderly couple, a middle-aged couple and a young newlywed couple wanted to join a church. The pastor said, "We have special requirements for new parishioners. You must abstain from having sex for two weeks." The couples agreed and came back at the end of two weeks. 

The pastor went to the elderly couple and asked, "Were you able to abstain from sex for the two weeks?" The old man replied, "No problem at all, Pastor." "Congratulations! Welcome to the church!" said the pastor. 

The pastor went to the middle-aged couple and asked, "Well, were You able to abstain from sex for the two weeks?" The man replied, "The first week was not too bad. The second week I had to sleep on the couch for a couple of nights but, yes, we made it." "Congratulations! Welcome to the church!" said the pastor. 

The pastor then went to the newlywed couple and asked, "Well, were you able to abstain from sex for two weeks?" "No Pastor, we were not able to go without sex for the two weeks," the young man replied sadly. "What Happened?" inquired the pastor. "My wife was reaching for a can of paint on the top shelf and dropped it. When she bent over to pick it up, I was overcome with lust and took advantage of her right there." "You understand, of course, this means you will not be welcome in our church " stated the pastor. 

"We know," said the young man, "we're not welcome at Home Depot anymore either."


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