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

WebSkulker Newsletter
There's no place to skulk for the holidays

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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.

Skulking Help Desk

WebSkulker put this item first because every single one of you jr. skulkers simply must view the video by clicking on the long link above.  No excuses!  Do it NOW!  We normally put the humorous items lower on the page, but this one is just too good and deserves the emphasis of being first.  This is in Windows Media format, so Mac users should find a PC to play it on.  This will be worth your trouble.

The video is a comedy skit where Wes, an expert at an ISP's Internet Help Desk, meets and then trains a new employee.  There are two versions of this.  The link above shows Wes and the new guy sitting in a cubicle.  WebSkulker likes this one better because it helps to actually see the other guy.  The link below has essentially the same routine in QuickTime format, but presented in front of a live audience and Wes pretends to be talking to someone else.

The home page for the crew that made these videos has other versions of this and some more great material:


Get confirmation that your skulking results arrived

The Internet email protocols define a standard for requesting confirmation when someone reads email that you send them, but most email programs ignore this, or give the recipient the option of whether to send the confirmation back to you or not.  It is therefore pretty rare for the confirmations to actually work.  The "" service gives you a more reliable way to find out if someone read your email, and even tells you if they forwarded your email to other people.  The only catches are that the recipients must use email programs that handle html-formatted email and they must be online, i.e. connected to the Internet, while they open their email.  All modern programs such as Outlook Express, Netscape, Eudora and even the new AOL 6.0 email readers should work.  This should also work when sending to anyone who reads email via web-based services such as hotmail and WebSkulker's own free email service.

You don't need to register in advance to use this.  Anyone can do it for any email they send:  simply alter the person's email address to add the characters "" at the end and send the message normally.  So if you wanted to send a message to:
  you would send it to:  instead.  To understand how this works, remember that the last two parts of an email address or a URL are all it takes to point to an Internet domain, and everything to the left of that is optionally used to identify a particular machine or service at that site.  So an email address @ "" will cause the message to be sent to the domain "" and the server at that domain will decide what to do with the characters "" that at this point are merely a prefix.

The server at will alter the message in two ways:  (1) it will change the headers to show that the email is in HTML format even if you sent it in plain text format, and (2) it will add a link to a one-pixel picture on it's server, where this link will be customized for this specific piece of email.  Then it will send the altered message to the true recipient by stripping off the "" and addressing the message to the remaining string of characters: "".

When Fred opens this message in an HTML-compatible email program while he is online, his email program will see the HTML link for the one-pixel picture and will send HTTP headers to's web server to fetch the picture.  HTTP requests always have some information about your machine, such as your IP address and possibly information about your machine and the LAN you are on.  When gets this information, they send an email to the sender showing that this message has been read, including the header information about the recipient's machine.  If the recipient forwards the message to other people and they read the message in a way that fetches the invisible picture, then you will get confirmations showing information about the machines the message was forwarded to. has a limit of 30 messages per month unless you go to their web site to register and pay a small amount of money for more.  The web site also has other options besides the simple "" that do other tricky things.

Skulking under the sea

This site is about the history of telegraphy with an emphasis on the early transatlantic telegraph cables, "the original information highway".  Did you know that by 1900 there were already 19 transatlantic cables in service?  This was before the invention of plastic to insulate wires so they used natural plant materials like rubber and gutta-percha, yet they were able to lay cables over 2000 miles long under the Atlantic ocean.  See pictures, descriptions, timelines, and the history of two towns in Nova Scotia where many of the cables entered North America.

WebSkulker's cat can dictate, but can't do this

Ms. Cat is very jealous of these cats that can meow Christmas carols.  Be sure to watch the video of cats at microphones performing parts of several songs.  There are some dog performers also, but they aren't very good.

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Sidney Bernay

The New Latin

"Domino vobiscum." 
(The pizza guy is here.) 

"Auda similarum ad seattles." 
(They all sound just like Pearl Jam.) 

"Sharpei diem." 
(Seize the wrinkled dog.) 

"Nucleo predicus dispella conducticus." 
(Remove foil before microwaving.) 

"Motorolus interruptus." 
(Hold on, I'm going into a tunnel.) 

"Il guyus nissanem iste ickye." 
(That Nissan guy gives me the creeps.) 

"Bodicus mutilatimus, unemploymi ad infinitum." 
(Better take the nose ring out before the job interview.) 

"E Pluribus Tupac." 
(Rap is everywhere.) 

"Veni, vidi, Pesci." 
(I came, I saw, I moidered da bum.) 

"Revelare Pecunia!" 
(Show Me The Money!) 

"Robotisticus Governantimus Inevitabilitus." 
(Al Gore is GOING to be President.) 

"Ignoramus microsoftis multa pecunia dat." 
(Yeah, where *do* I want to go today??) 

"Sic semper tyrannus." 
(Your dinosaur is ill.) 

"No Quid Pro Quo." 
(I'm Sorry, We're All Out of Quid.) 

"Cavaet humanus sic tofu burritus e toga." 
(Beware of the man with a tofu burrito in his toga.) 

"Nunc Tutus Exitus Computarus." 
(It's Now Safe To Turn Off Your Computer.) 

"Veni, vedi, Vichy." 
(I came, I saw, I capitulated to the Germans.) 

"Veni, Vidi, Velcro" 
(I came; I saw; I stuck around.) 

"Et tu, pluribus unum?" 
(The government just stabbed me in the back!) 

"E pluribus septum." 
(Multiple nose piercings.)


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