To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Thursday May 25, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Oh, give me a home where the WebSkulkers roam,
And the sites are not boring all day

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Skulking through past issues

Our 2/7/00 issue listed some sites about a famous Pacific Bell payphone in the middle of the Mojave desert in California.  Jr. Skulker Phederal Phelony sent us the above news that this payphone has now been removed.


This is yet another phone number of a spammer that works as an ANI number, but only once a day.  Call it once and it will read back your phone number, apparently to scare you into not calling it too often.  Call it a second time and you will get a recording saying that this is your last call for today.

Tools for skulking the U.S. phone network

WebSkulker wants to thank Jr. Skulker Andy Kauffman for submitting the greatest telephone network information page ever published in this newsletter.  Unfortunately it doesn't have any documentation so some of the information is pretty obscure.  Here are some clues:  "NPA" means Numbering Plan Area, which is the same as Area Code.  "NXX" is the prefix, or first three digits, of a phone number.  "NPANXX" is therefore the area code and prefix typed all together as a six-digit number.

"CLLI" means "Common Language Location Identifier", which is an 11 character code for each telephone company central office switching machine.  There are usually several CLLI codes and machines in a particular Wire Center building.  Each Wire Center has a street address and "V & H Coordinates", which stands for "Vertical and Horizontal".  V & H coordinate numbers show the location of a wire center based on a 1957 Bell System grid scheme which is overlaid on a map of the U.S. and Canada at an angle.  Using location coordinates like that instead of street addresses makes it easy to calculate the distance between wire centers, and this is used to calculate long distance rates where distance matters.  For a picture of the V & H system, see:

"LATA" stands for "Local Access and Transport Area" which originally defined the boundaries of calls handled by local phone companies vs. long-distance carriers.  There are 196 of these, identified by 3-digit codes.

With all of this in mind, let's do a sample of one of these tools.  Go to the link above, press the red button at the left "LEC Switch Details", and type in an area code in the NPA field.  Choose our area code, 415, as an example.  Press Enter, or click on the icon that looks like a magnifying glass.  You will get a report that lists the address of every wire center in that area code, with a button after each one for Details and Map It.  "Map It" will pass the address on to Yahoo Maps to show where this building is located.  "Details" will show the V & H coordinates, and the details of all the switching machines in that building with their CLLI id.

Photography is a critical skulking tool

"With his introduction of the popular Kodak and Brownie camera systems, George Eastman revolutionized the photographic industry, transforming a complex, expensive technology used by a small professional elite into one that anyone could use. A brilliant innovator and entrepreneur, Eastman changed the way people viewed time and the world around them -- and even themselves."

This site is meant to supplement a PBS television film about "The Wizard of Photography".

WebSkulker figured all these out.  Can you?

Jr. Skulker George Grapman told us about this site which has a bunch of web-based magic tricks and logic puzzles.  George particularly liked the Cave of Magic and can't figure out how it works.  WebSkulker thought it was pretty obvious and told George he would kick himself when he learns the secret:

Ms. Cat's favorite was this one:

She figured out an ingenious use for the puzzle by running it backwards.  She presses her cat food into thin strips and shapes them like the pieces in the puzzle, lays them out like the bottom picture, then rearranges them into the top picture to make herself an extra square of food!

It's been a while since WebSkulker had a contest, so let's do one now.  WebSkulker knows how the Cave of Magic and the Triangle work, and will reveal the secrets in the middle of next week.  If any of you jr. skulker figure them out, send email to  and we will publish the names of the winners.

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Michael Cohen

The Great Debate 

Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to leave Italy. There was, of course, a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal. He would have a religious debate with a leader of the Jewish community. If the Jewish leader won the debate, the Jews would be permitted to stay in Italy. If the Pope won, the Jews would have to leave. 

The Jewish community met and picked an aged Rabbi, Moishe, to represent them in the debate. Rabbi Moishe, however, could not speak Latin and the Pope could not speak Yiddish. So it was decided that this would be a "silent" debate. 

On the day of the great debate, the Pope and Rabbi Moishe sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Rabbi Moishe looked back and raised one finger. 

Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head. Rabbi Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope then brought out a communion wafer and chalice of wine. Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple. With that, the Pope stood up and said, "I concede the debate. This man has bested me. The Jews can stay." 

Later, the Cardinals gathered around the Pope, asking him what had happened. The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us of our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?" 

Meanwhile, the Jewish community crowded around Rabbi Moishe, asking what happened. "Well," said Moishe, "first he said to me, 'You Jews have three days to get out of here.' So I said to him, 'Up yours'. Then he tells me the whole city would be cleared of Jews. So I said to him, 'Listen here Mr. Pope, the Jews ... we stay right here!" 

"And then?" asked a woman. 

"Who knows?" said Rabbi Moishe. "We broke for lunch."


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