Robyn Anderson said in the 11k that dylan got kicked off AOL.. what did he do that got him kicked off?
DK kicked off AOL - Robyn Anderson [10,631]
Dylan, ’90s computer geek that he was, disdainfully dabbled in amateur hacking using AoHella tool that greatly simplified ‘cracking’ AOL.
Dylan didn’t pay for an AOL account because AoHell had a fake account generator which would generate a new, fully functional AOL account for the user that lasted for about a month. This generator worked by exploiting the algorithm used by credit card companies known as the Luhn algorithm to dynamically generate apparently legitimate credit card numbers. The account would not be disabled until AOL first billed it (and discovered that the credit card was invalid). The generator could also generate fake addresses and phone numbers, resembling on their surface legitimate personal information. Amongst it’s arsenal of bad-ass hacking tools ;) was Phishingwhich enabled hackers to steal passwords and credit card information through automated social engineering. The program would barrage random AOL users with instant messages like:
“Hi, this is AOL Customer Service. We’re running a security check and need to verify your account. Please enter your username and password to continue.”
A Punter (IM-Bomber) which would send an Instant Message containing HTML code to another user that would sign them off. Dylan explained to a student that he belonged to a group called PuNtErS & pRoGs. His favorite personally designed shirt was dark green with white lettering that read, AOL: WheRe KewLz HaXORz ArE - Translation: AOL: Where Cool Hackers Are. Explanation: It’s a joke because it’s easy to hack on AOL
A flooding script that would flood a chat room with ASCII art of an offensive nature, such as the finger or a toilet. An ‘artificial intelligence bot’, which had the ability to automatically respond to a message in a chatroom upon identification of keywords. (For example, a ‘profane language’ autoresponse was built into the program), and a Steve Case cloak, which allowed users to pose as AOL founder Steve Case in chat rooms.
Still need a reason why Dyl got kicked off AOL ? ;)
Hmm.. I would wager that Dyl would snicker that wicked little laugh of his (you know the one?) while flooding chat rooms with profanity and then smirked omnipotently, as he punted enough unsuspecting users off the system. After enough times of exercising those effortless AoL HaXoR skills of his, AOL punted him off a few times around for ToS abuse before permanently kicking his ass from that mainstream newbie-land of an ‘online community’. No great loss to him, just practice and play. Exploit and then move on to other more challenging things.
When Dyl told Robyn he got kicked off AOL, that was a proud boast to be sure. lol
Back on “Fun times with The Sharing, definitely not a cult run by alien brain-parasites”, Jake is freaking out a little bit and ends up just kinda dissociating and letting the canine part of his Dog!Jake brain take over for a while. He roams around and sniffs stuff until he’s sort of able to cope with life again.
When he tunes back in, Yeerk Pool Scheduling is under discussion. (Me being me, Queen of Organizational Lists and Spreadsheets, I want to know if there’s a Yeerk Google Calendar where they carefully block off their Yeerk Pool rotation. Or whatever the Google Calendar equivalent was in 1996. Don’t ask me, my friends and I were still calling each other on LANDLINES to organize things in 1996. Or sending AOL instant messages.)
The point of this interlude is to let us know that Yeerk!Tom just had a dip in the pool and won’t need to go back again until Monday. Having established that, we move on to an interruption - a policeman has caught Cassie lurking and is yelling at her for infringing upon the privacy of the full membership Sharing meeting. She gets out of it with an excuse about hunting for shells, and with a lot of cop side-eye. Dog!Jake trots over to check in on her, and they head back to the other kids together.
Jake shifts back to human and fills everyone in on the whole “our assistant principal is being controlled by an alien and also I’m probably gonna be either dead or force-marched into joining the Yeerk cult really soon” situation. It’s a bummer all around. Jake is really harshing the mellow of the barbecue, here.
Everyone has had enough fun for the night, but before they break it up, it’s agreed that Jake needs a smaller and less obvious morph-shape if he’s going to be able to keep an eye on AP Chapman in school. And so we end the chapter with Jake and Cassie on what sounds like a pretty hot date, crawling under cages full of buzzards, looking for lizards for Jake to morph into. (Finally! The lizard from the cover, I presume!)
Jake now has a lizard morph! A green anole, member of the iguana family! The narration implies that maybe we do not care about the details but I assure you, Jake, I care. I care deeply about which lizard you are. I looked you up and you are super cute. Rock on, cute lizard Jake.
I googled anoles and apparently Jake looks like this:
So, Jake gets to school in the morning and waits until everyone is out of the hallway and then….climbs into his locker in human form, the better to morph in there? I’d have suggested morphing in the boys’ room or something, but whatever, far be it from me to second-guess the Lizard Boy. Or better yet, morph in the morning and let Marco carry you in his pocket, although I guess then you run into time-limit concerns depending on Marco’s commute.
Jake morphs into Lizard!Jake, and promptly freaks out because his tiny lizard brain can’t handle the entire situation what with being trapped in his clothes and in his locker. Also the lack of binocular vision is fucking with him which: yeah, I would guess that it would!
So, Lizard!Jake freaks out inside the locker for a while, and then finds his way out the ventilation holes and into the hallway and freaks out there for a little while, and is only snapped out of his lizard-brain freakout by running into a spider.
Oh noooo, and then he EATS THE SPIDER and it’s “like swallowing a whole canned ham that was fighting all the way down” and I am now officially grossed out. NO EATING LIVE SPIDERS, PLEASE, Lizard!Jake!
Lizard!Jake is pretty grossed out by himself too, and then he realizes that while he was busy eating the spider, a giant human has been walking down the hallway toward him. And the human steps on his tail.
I think the cliffhanger here is supposed to be OH NO JAKE IS TRAPPED but I can’t bring myself to care, I’m stuck back on JAKE CAN FEEL THE SPIDER MOVING WHILE HE SWALLOWS IT WHYYYYYYYYYYYY.
IMDB plot summary: Two business rivals hate each other at the office but fall in love over the internet.
Is this an accurate plot summary? “At the office” is not even close to an accurate description for the characters’ jobs, but other than that, sure.
And with this week, we complete the trinity of perfect Nora Ephron romcoms. Yes, she has other films, and yes, we should watch them all, but Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and You’ve Got Mail are the gold standard of romantic comedies. They set a high bar that, frankly, very few of the 30-something other romantic comedies I’ve watched this year can meet. And why is that? Well, we’ll get to it later. But for now, let’s recap the plot of this completely charming, completely 90s film.
As the IMDB plot summary states, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) are business rivals. Kathleen owns an impossibly lovely children’s bookstore that was originally her late mother’s. Joe Fox owns Fox Books, a Barnes and Noble-like behemoth chain that opens up right across the street from Kathleen’s shop, which is called…The Shop Around the Corner.
Yes, that’s right! As you may remember from waaaay back in week three of this project (Oh, were we ever so young? We hadn’t even suffered through Something Borrowedyet!), You’ve Got Mail is heavily inspired by the James Stewart film The Shop Around the Corner. But this time, the characters don’t exchange something so old-fashioned as letters. No, they’re living out the future by sending emails and instant messages and giving you weird flashbacks by playing those instantly recognizable AOL noises!
So anyway, Joe and Kathleen are internet penpals who hate each other IRL. Kathleen lives in the biggest, most beautiful apartment in the world and is dating a bespectacled Greg Kinnear. Joe’s dating Parker Posey and his dad is Rich Businessman Dabney Coleman. On paper, they’re terrible for each other. But on AOL instant messager, they’re talking about movies and flirting up a storm. Things are going swimmingly until they decide to meet, at which point they recreate, almost exactly, a scene from The Shop Around the Corner, right down to the coworker/Dave Chappelle saying, “Well, if you don’t like Kathleen Kelly, then I can guarantee you won’t like this girl…because she is Kathleen Kelly.”
Some amicable breakups happen (seriously, has there ever been a more pleasant breakup than the one between Kathleen and Greg Kinnear?). Kathleen’s bookstore closes. Joe has an existential crisis in an elevator. Eventually he realizes he has to get Kathleen to love him and, going against romcom tradition, he executes a series of small gestures (buying her stuff at the farmer’s market! Visiting her when she’s sick! Taking her to lunch!) instead of a grand gesture. And you know what? It works. Because by the end of this movie, if you’re not physically aching for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan to kiss in a park with a golden retriever by their sides, then you might actually be missing a heart.
Because here’s the thing about You’ve Got Mail, and about all of the films in the Ephron/Ryan trio: it’s good. Like, really good. Like, significantly better than other romantic comedies. And, if I could basically repeat what I said in my posts on Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, that’s because Nora Ephron understood sadness. She understood heartbreak, defeat, and despair. And in You’ve Got Mail, perhaps even more than in Sleepless in Seattle, she showed that even when good things happen to us, life is just sad. Sometimes it really effing sucks. I mean, Meg Ryan loses her store, the one that belonged to her late mother. She misses her mother, viciously, throughout the entire film. And when she loses her store, it’s clearly a huge emotional blow for her. That scene where she sits in the children’s department at Fox Books and tearfully helps a woman find the “shoe books” is wrenching. It’s easy to just remember the bouquet of sharpened pencils and “don’t you just love New York in the Fall” and forget about the thread of sadness that runs through the whole movie, but it’s there, tying everything together.
Kathleen’s sadness is so pervasive that the ending feels more than just earned; it feels like a giant victory. Because throughout all the crappy things that happen, Kathleen doesn’t give up. She has hope that things will get better, that she’ll be able to start over. That’s why I started crying during that first montage set to the Cranberries’ Dreams (the most hopeful song in the world) and kept going through the scene where she decorates the shop window for Christmas and continued when she talks about her life being small and finally ended up openly sobbing at “I wanted it to be you so badly.” I’m tearing up just typing those words.
Nora Ephron understood, perhaps more than any other romcom writer, that love doesn’t fix everything. It can’t bring back wives or mothers, or resurrect failing businesses, or turn you into a different person. But what it can do is make it all worth it, despite all the pain and the heartbreak and the loneliness. What made Nora Ephron so, so special was that she never sugarcoated things. I’ve enjoyed plenty of romantic comedies this year that don’t come anywhere close to grappling with real sadness, and that’s fine. But Nora Ephron was never afraid to explore the darkness and show us why the light matters so much. She was never afraid to show us that hope can keep us afloat in a life that sometimes seems so much more than we can bear.
-So last week, after watching The Giant Mechanical Man, I said that Chris Messina should be in every romantic comedy. And then, lo and behold, I remembered that he has a bit part in You’ve Got Mail. My Chris Messina prayers were answered and I’m grateful.
-But Chris Messina is far from the only star in the supporting cast! Steve Zahn, Jean Stapleton, Parker Posey, Dave Chappelle, and the aforementioned Rich Businessman Dabney Coleman all show up.
-Everything about this movie is cozy. The cast wears almost exclusively giant, beige clothing and Kathleen’s apartment is fantastically light-filled and beautiful. You get the beauty of New York in the Fall, of course, but you also get New York at Christmas and New York in the Spring, and guess what? None of those involve anything remotely dirty or dark. It’s just well-lit interiors and flower-filled parks.
Romantic comedy cliches: Penpals, opposites attract, a guy with a dog, a houseboat (why is this a cliche, even? I have no idea), wacky coworkers, a wise old person who gives advice
Is this a good movie? This is the best movie.
Did I like this movie? It might be my favorite romantic comedy.
Did this movie make me believe in love? What do you think? It made me sob no fewer than five times.
Would I watch this movie again? I should just watch this movie on a weekly basis. I hate other movies for not being this movie.
If you have any suggestions for my year of romcoms (or if you just want to try to figure out who today’s Tom Hanks is), send me an email at email@example.com or find me on Twitter @KerryAnn.
Did dating really move that slow in the 90s? I feel like 20+ dates is too much to not have went to the next step.
Well, first we have to keep in mind that Eric and Dylan were insecure about girls and how to engage with them. Casually interacting in school with chicks or in a non threatening mixed group going bowling was one thing but getting a girl all to themselves on a date would’ve been complicated and painfully difficult. So, if they were lucky to land a date, the two were not inclined to be assertive to step up their dating game making moves because they feared rejection. Eric played it safe on his dates being that nice, polite gentlemanly guy focusing on taking the girl out to eat or to the movies. It was so out of Dylan’s league that he just clammed up on that blind date with Sasha.
Secondarily, the nineties actually was a little more slower paced with the dating game and intimacy for the sheer fact that everyone was not connected constantly on devices, texting/sexting one another or having porn readily available as a random pastime and remedy for boredom and loneliness. Dating back then wasn’t just about the Netflix and Chill. Dudes were ecstatic to get a girl’s pager numbers or give their own so they could get to the next step by actually calling the girl and *gasp!* talking on the phone just to converse *gasp!* or to get around to asking the girl out on a date. People were not going on the internet every second of the day. You had to dial in to get a crappy, slow internet connection. Many parents limited their kids time on the Internet or the family didn’t even have a home computer yet. Those that made it online usually did the AOL chat room thing or AOL instant messages while you were online. But that form of communication to get to know people was not the normal thing for a good many people yet. In a small, white bread, mainly Christian suburban community like Littleton, dating was an actual thing you did with various stages of fooling around and then eventually having sex. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there was plenty of easy chicks and dudes that had sex on the first date but in terms of it being the nineties in this type of conservative community, not the norm.
Just shy of two decades ago, I met a young man named Aaron. He was a little older than me I think, and we had a mutual friend who introduced us at, of all places, a cat show. He lived out of town, but this was the beginning of AOL Instant Messager, so we swapped screennames and started talking.
Even though he and our mutual friend had a falling out, we stayed in contact. We chatted on AIM for years, all through middle school, high school, and even into college. We got each other through school disappointments, dying family members, breakups, and all sorts of other tribulations of our youth. He had his own nickname for me… “Lady Rose” after my old screenname “Flamantrose.” I loved him dearly. Not in a romantic or pining way… but he was always someone I could count on. The safe place to go for advice and a shoulder to cry on when I needed someone objective and kind.
But when the territory of AIM was overtaken by Facebook and LiveJournal, we gradually lost touch. He moved… I moved… I rarely visited the same online haunts that I used to. And so we lost touch. But… I kept something.
See… this recording of “Melodies of Life” from FFIX was something he made for me. He was a self-taught pianist, and one day, when I was having a very bad go of it (probably boy problems… this was early high school after all…) he recorded this piece and sent it to me.
I’m sure it was just a small gesture to him… but I’ve had it in my iTunes ever since. I’ve treasured it… it’s been a comfort to me in a lot of dark times. Not just when he sent it to me. In 2004, I went through a bout of depression so bad that I couldn’t stand to listen to any music… except for that. I’m sure I drove my roommates crazy, but I firmly believe it’s how I kept my head above water and eventually found my way back out of the woods.
I thought I’d lost the recording in a hard-drive failure… my last memory of my friend. But my husband found it in an old archive! So… here. You should hear it if you want to listen.
And Hypno? Aaron? If you’re out there… hi. I’m sorry we lost touch. I know it’s been a very long time, but I’d love to hear from you.
Omg remember AIM profiles where everyone said shit like, “my frnds r the best lol u know who u r omg insiders lol txt it~~!” And there would always be that one friend with the passive aggressive away message up, and then before you know it there’d be an away message battle happening between two people and you’re just watching like, “omg dr4ma is so overrated i’ll make my away message about how we should all just ~get alongg~ im 2 mature 4 these children”