Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I’ve been encountering some really silly software lately. I was trying to visit the homeland stupidity blog, with Safari and the most-excellent pithhelmet, and I get this message:

We’re sorry, but we could not fulfill your request for /2007/04/21/astroglide-data-breach-exposes-customer-information/ on this server.

An invalid request was received from your browser. This may be caused by a malfunctioning proxy server or browser privacy software.

Your technical support key is: 4051-a119-45b3-5e30

You can use this key to fix this problem yourself.

If you are unable to fix the problem yourself, please contact badbots at and be sure to provide the technical support key shown above.

This is broken. I’m trying to read. My request is well-formed HTTP. Bloggers like readers, right? If you’re an attacker and trying to blog spam in some way, this doesn’t help. You’ll add a referrer header. Blocking some URLs that come in without an HTTP referrer header might help a little, but all this does is lose you readers.

I don’t know who’s to blame for this really ill-considered software, but it blocks me from visiting URLs I’ve bookmarked at a couple of blogs. Oh well. You’ve lost me as a reader. So, homeland stupidity, no link for you. Not knowing the difference between reading and writing means you don’t me as a reader for your blog.

3 comments on "Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic"

  • Thinker says:

    Actually, I’ve run into the same problem with Hamilton’s blog. His software heavily dislikes Tor and JAP servers. Kind of odd for a man who claims to hate censorship and overbearing government. He uses the same tools in a far worse manner.

  • sama says:

    What about RSS?

  • Adam says:

    RSS works fine, but I dont want to either add a site to my RSS reader or turn off my privacy software for the convenience of some site. The software’s badly designed or implemented, and using it loses people readers.

Comments are closed.