28 Sep 2010

We interrupt this program for an important message about foot cream.


A friend over at Shaw has pointed out that this message is shown to new customer upon new activations, or when a modem is swapped. We had our modem swapped almost exactly 12 hours before this happened  b/c of about 6 weeks of  random down times.  For whatever reason some glitch in Shaw’s system didn’t present us with this advertisement until many hours later. Kudos to Paul for that info. My understanding is that we should have seen this page as the first website we went to after the swap.

Advertising is too pervasive.

While surfing online today I was presented with what I can only describe as the most appalling direct marketing I’ve seen from any company, let alone my own ISP.

Shaw has begun injecting itself into your surfing process and presenting full screen ads as you move between pages of 3rd party, unaffliated websites. Basicly while clicking from one section of 419eaters.com ( a site discussing stories of 419 scams and how to fight back ) to another section of the same site Shaw took the communication between me and this 3rd party, hijacked it by faking a DNS query response and directed me instead to a Shaw advertisement for Shaw Secure and Shaw Online. After clicking through three pages of ads I was given a link to my original destination to continue on my way.

In no uncertian terms to I consider this a violation, I hope Shaw is listening.

  • Shaw, you do not have the right to intercept communications between two parties. MAYBE if there is a security problem and MAYBE if your  serving the common good, like Google and Badware warnings. But not to tell me I can check my account online.
  • Shaw, you do not have the right to present ads as part of my interaction with a 3rd party website unless you’re compensating me or the website operator and only if one of us agrees to such an arrangement. Do I get a discount now that my Internet connection is AD supported?
  • Shaw, your have limited trust with your consumers, abuse at your own peril.

If you were on the phone with your mother and mid sentence your phone company muted your mother so your phone company can deliver you a 15 second ad how would you feel? What type of invasion is that if you didn’t agree to have an ad supported phone service?

Fortunately your phone company can’t do that, it’s regarded as a common carrier and as such it’s obligated under regulation to connect calls regardless of who the are between and to not interfer with the content of those calls.

The Internet fundamentally identical to the telephone for the communication back bone it provides in todays world companies like Shaw apparently must be regulated to prevent them from interfering in the communications of others. If their not smart enough to stop them selves from this type of invasive direct marketing in the board room then government needs to lay out rules for them to follow.

Please demand that ISP’s be regulated as common carriers, from the CRTC , the CCTS-CPRST and the Canadian Minister of Industry, Tony Clement.

Also based on the fact Shaw is probably using their DNS servers to accomplish this redirect, consider configuring your router with OpenDNS instead, it’s a free service.

[UPDATE: some proof reading and clarification]

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27 Sep 2010

Login, Get Report, Open in Safari, Print, Close

Just a quick and dirty way to login to backend site using curl, grab a protected report file and save to disk, open with safari, print to a preferred printer and close the window.

Perfect for printing out a daily report via a crontab on your mac.

curl –cookie-jar /tmp/cjar –output /dev/null
curl –cookie /tmp/cjar –cookie-jar /tmp/cjar
–data ‘logine=email%40xxxxxxx.ca’
–data ‘loginp=Passw0rd’
–data ‘login=Click to Login’
–output /dev/null
curl –cookie /tmp/cjar –cookie-jar /tmp/cjar
–output /tmp/report.html
open -b com.apple.Safari /tmp/report.html
osascript -e ‘tell app “Safari” to print window 1 with properties {target printer:”Xeorox Phaser 6180MFP-N (a2:46:fe)”}’
osascript -e ‘tell application “Safari” to close (every window whose name contains “Printable Receipt”)’
echo `date` >> invoicePrintOffReport.txt
cp invoicePrintOffReport.txt /Volumes/Office Files/Bookkeeping/

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