OK, yes, I am stationed at the U.S. Central command; but I don't know anything more about the missing (now found) laptops than you do. It is one thing to have a security clearance, it is another to have "need to know." Here is the main theme of the story if you missed it.
Confession' Cracks Laptop Case
Published on August 10, 2002
AUTHORITIES: ENLISTED MAN DETAINED, NOT YET CHARGED
MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE - The case of the two missing laptop computers that has had Gen. Tommy Franks' headquarters in an uproar for the past week has finally broken open with what investigators describe as a "confession."
An enlisted man with clearance to the supposedly ultra-secure room in which the laptops were kept apparently walked off with them - but why, how and exactly when remains a mystery.
Well anyway, there was a line toward the end of the article above where a retired Army Colonel said "Everyone breaks the rules once in awhile, but you have to be prepared to reckon with the cicumstances if it's discovered..." I reckoned, to borrow a redneck phrase, I needed to disagree. I wrote a letter to the editor because I didn't have the Colonel's address. My letter was published, and I felt better. Here it is.
Offensive Remark - Published Aug 13, 2002 in the Tampa Tribune
February 10, 2002
You know, there is a little bit of math involved in the SPAM mail business. It isn't like mainstream advertising, where it is difficult to measure the effectiveness. Those multi-million dollar ads for Coke and Pepsi don't generate a report that tells the makers how much product was moved as a direct result of 30 seconds of Superbowl airtime. But in the SPAM email business, you send out hundreds of thousands of emails, all with a hyperlink to a page you want someone to click on. It is a page that will have a call to action, an order form or a 1-800 phone number where a person (victim of your spamming) can become your customer. And you can measure that. All webservers keep track of how many times a page is displayed, and with a little know-how, you can get detailed reports about the traffic that your little email blast generates. Just by using a little different URL on each different email, you can see which ones performed better, which generated the most traffic. But, as I found out today, there are some spammers that not only don't care about reporting and getting better at what they do. All they care about is spam for spam's sake. They have to send out spam, and they don't care if you read it, they don't care if you click on one single link in their email. Do you want to know how I know this? Because I have been clicking on their links, and none of them work. Most of them are just malformed and would never be recognized by a webserver. If a URL doesn't have .com, .edu, .net, .org, .ws or some ending domain, a webserver can't convert it into an IP address for a site. For example, http://www.stopEarHair.forever/ is not going to work. Neither is http://celeb.nudes.naked won't either. So I am left to think that spam has become an eDrug, an eDiction that forces morons to create and distribute messages that have no impact on anyone's eBusiness bottom line. They do it because they can, not because they actually have a product or a service to offer. This troubles me. I had thought I was pretty open minded about the things that happen on the internet. But as a person who is about as famous as me once said, "Ya'll are dumb."
January 26, 2002
This guy has it going on. I am a lame blogger compared to this guy.
A month between blogs is horrible. I know. I haven't been THAT busy, but it is weird to be down here in Florida by myself. You would think that I have all the time in the world, but I guess it just all moves by so fast that I don't take the time to do the things I should. I should be running, I should be writing. I should be working on web sites. I do all those things sometimes, but I look back and a month has gone by. I wonder if I am at that point in my life where all you do is sit an watch you life go by without you.