Wednesday Evening Open Thread: The Internet Is for Cats

I’m probably late to this party, but as a fan of Men in Black, I find it amusing nonetheless. From the Guardian:

There is a hacker terrorising Japan with a computer virus, bomb threats and riddles. Meanwhile, a stray cat wandering a small island near Tokyo holds important clues on its collar. This is no movie. This happened this week. An unnamed hacker in Japan really did leave a memory card on a stray cat’s collar, and journalists and authorities really did have to crack a few riddles to locate said ownerless feline.

If befuddled agents of the NPA (National Police Agency) didn’t already get the point, they should now: they are being toyed with, and the lack of headway they’ve made after months of taunting is more than a little embarrassing. This is after the NPA “extracted” what appears to be false confessions from four suspects, who have been recently released. The hacker is clearly trying to paint authorities as inept, and succeeding.

So far, according to Wired, Japanese authorities have only been able to identify two things about the hacker: one, he or she programs in the popular programming language C#, and two, he or she knows how to use proxies so they can post on the largest text-based forum on the internet, 2channel. While western audiences might not be familiar with 2channel, its US equivalent 4chan should ring a bell…

No motive for this hacker has surfaced yet, but the possibility that this is a big protest against the country’s new anti-piracy law – a measure that went into effect in October 2012 that means offenders can be imprisoned for up to two years – can’t be ruled out. Of course, this could just be a teen flexing his or her cyber muscles and trying to make a name for themselves, an always important cause to a young internet citizen….

Apart from herding cats, what’s going on in your neighborhoods?

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66 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    The Japanese Riddler strikes again!

    Is there a Japanese Batman? Tune in next week to this same bat channel to find out!

  2. 2
  3. 3
    efgoldman says:

    Speaking of things Asian and cyber:

    Parents: Want your deadbeat kid to stop playing so many video games? Here’s an approach that probably won’t work, but could make good fodder for a Failure To Launch-style comedy.
    From China via Livedoor and Kotaku East comes the tale of a father whose unemployed 23-year-old son was allegedly devoting the bulk of his waking hours to an online war game. As the son’s skills grew, he began to find that he could defeat almost all comers—until one day the young man found himself being cut down immediately every time he began the game. After a while, he began to suspect that something was up, and grilled his virtual assassins as to why they were targeting him. Eventually one let slip that he had been hired by the boy’s father for just that purpose.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @redshirt: no batman per se, but there are lots of teenaged magical martial arts teams, and an executive koala/trained killer. L could find him, too, if Light hadnt killed him off. There’s hope! I still don’t think L is dead.

  6. 6
    Gravenstone says:

    Given the number of anime that use net savvy teens as protagonists, I find this particularly amusing.

    And if its not a movie script, even money says there will be no less than a dozen treatments of it hitting Hollywood within the week. Those boys aren’t known for their originality, but damn if they won’t jump on ready made concepts like piranha on raw meat.

  7. 7
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    I got my picture taken with Sam Downey today and got her to autograph my #3 jersey. I’m in as good a mood as someone who is dropping $2,000 on a new clutch for the car tomorrow can be.

  8. 8
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @redshirt: That would be Ultraman.

  9. 9
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    And Christ, apparently invoking the name of the 50-foot-tall Japanese monster-fighting guy from the 70s trips the spam filter. I guess it sounds like some kind of hard-on drug.

  10. 10
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I’m in Hartford, CT, right where I started this morning before passing through Philly/Detroit/Philly. a 14 hour round trip on 4 planes.

    I’ll bet my day was weirder than yours.

  11. 11
    Miss Kitkas's Comrade Wayne says:

    Has matoko_chan at long last broken cover?

  12. 12
    Suzanne says:

    I found out that I passed my Structural Systems exam! WOOT WOOT!!! Three down, four to go (but I got the hardest ones out of the way first). I WILL be an architect, I WILL.

  13. 13
    joes527 says:

    @Gex: I know!

    How humiliating is it to be mocked by someone who codes in C#?

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:
    Sounds like a job for a Sentai squad, alright.

  15. 15
    redshirt says:

    The cat’s really the hacker by the way. It’s the ole’ double bluff.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    It could be worse. They could be using JavaScript.

  17. 17
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    This hacker story sounds like a plot that Neal Stephenson threw away. An early cut of Reamde before it actually got interesting. I hope the real world version doesn’t end with a small-scale war that takes 100 pages.

  18. 18
    Steeplejack says:


    Congratulations! I know you’ve been putting in a lot of effort. Looks like it’s paying off.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    Are you sure it isn’t actually the corgi?

  20. 20
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @joes527: at least it’s not Visual Basic.

  21. 21
    ruemara says:

    I found a nice job in Rhode Island! Just realized Rhode Island is a frozen New England hell. Oh well, applying anyway.

  22. 22
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Comrade Bob:

    Wait… With volumetric efficiency as a variable? I assume we’re talking about internal combustion and not hydraulics.

  23. 23
    mdblanche says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: Perhaps Section 9 could handle it. This sounds like their kind of case.

  24. 24
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Comrade Bob: OK – I’ll bite. Would you care to elucidate or is there a patent pending?

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Bob:
    Sure. Everyone knows that pressure times volume has units of energy, so pressure times flowrate should give power. After that, it’s just math. It’s much easier in metric, where it’s obvious that 1 cubic meter per second Pascal is one Watt.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Until you get up to about 0.1C, then the Lorentz factor makes things a lot less intuitive.

  29. 29
    Citizen_X says:

    @redshirt: Exactly. NOW IT BEGINS.

    I expect Tunch to take over the blog and start issuing the communiques from our new feline overlords any moment.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I have my objections to Lawrence O’Donnell, but he is smacking the crap out of anyone who wants to appoint anyone but Barney Frank to replace Kerry in the interim.

    Patrick’s former staffer, for those not watching, who said there are “better choices” suggested among others a board member of GE and an executive from Bank of America.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    I wanted some comfort food so I’m making Chili Mac. But I’m still a Weight Watchers geek, so I’m making it with low-fat ground beef and high-fiber macaroni and topping it with 2% cheese.




    Meh, I grew up in Chicago. Rhode Island winters are nothin’ compared to a good old 40 below winter in Chicago. You’ll be fine, and grow to appreciate LL Bean.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    Doesn’t Section 9 seem like overkill?

    ETA: Though I guess matoko_chan would love it.

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:

    @Steeplejack: Thanks! Well, it isn’t PAYING. But I suppose there are other rewards in life besides financial ones. No one becomes an architect for the money.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:



  35. 35
    Chet Manly says:

    This is after the NPA “extracted” what appears to be false confessions from four suspects, who have been recently released.

    When I was stationed in Japan the legal office guy told us during our in-brief to do everything short of actually resisting arrest to get back on base if we got into any trouble with the Japanese police.

    He said Japanese police have something like a 98% conviction rate and no police force on earth arrests the right dude anywhere near 98% of the time.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Are you sure you haven’t pissed off the person who makes your travel arrangements at your new job? Because it sounds like they’re just fucking with you now. :-)

  37. 37
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suzanne: I knew you’d pass it. Yay!

  38. 38
    bago says:

    I thought I’d pretend to one of those deaf mutes.

  39. 39
    MikeJ says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    I’m in Hartford, CT, right where I started this morning before passing through Philly/Detroit/Philly. a 14 hour round trip on 4 planes.

    Talk to me when you have a one day trip to Sweden.

  40. 40
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    Are you sure you haven’t pissed off the person who makes your travel arrangements at your new job? Because it sounds like they’re just fucking with you now. :-)

    I volunteered to come back because there might be a problem that I was involved in. Didn’t expect them to take me up on it. and not the same day. But we live on the road during the work week and fly by the seat of our pants.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: you really have to wonder where Northeast Liberals got the reputation of being anything like hippies. Ooh. A wealthy senator from a large corporation. Let your freak fly! Woo hoo!

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:


  43. 43
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    Not s big basketball fan, but the Gophers are now 15-1 and 3-0 in the Big Ten. Road wins over a top 15 team haven’t happened very often for this team over the years.

    Football team aside, it’s turning into a good year for Gopher sports.

  44. 44
    WaterGirl says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I hope they’re paying you a great salary!

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @MikeJ: Seriously?

  46. 46
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Suzanne: Congratulations. You go girl!

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    I hope he gets to keep his frequent flyer miles.

  48. 48
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @joes527: As languages go, it’s not bad. The guy who created it was involved in Delphi. It drives me far less nuts than Java.

  49. 49
    Gex says:

    @Steeplejack: I know what it is. I rather liked forming a question like “C#?”

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    You know something is up if the hacker’s preferred language is INTERCAL.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Steeplejack says:


    Sorry. Your humor was too subtle.

  53. 53
    MikeJ says:

    @WaterGirl: Yep.

    @Roger Moore: Befunge is the one true language. And I’m with Belaphon. C# is less bad than Java, and I’ve been paid to be a java entwickler.

  54. 54
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Poopyman: That’s the same guy who fostered the kittens in that live stream about two months ago… awwwwwww, they are cute, even sleeping.

    ETA: I gave the live stream its own tab so I can go back and forth watching the kittehs.

  55. 55
    Gex says:

    @Steeplejack: I don’t think it is you. Rereading my comments tonight, I was pretty terse.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    I really shouldn’t judge, because when it comes time to get some work done I tend to use Perl. I really ought to get the T-shirt.

  57. 57
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @MikeJ: Befunge looks worse than Forth.

  58. 58
    MikeJ says:

    @Roger Moore: I have a “Perl is my bitch” t-shirt, with “use strict” on the back. Yes, I was a member at the time of the controversy.

  59. 59
    CBDB says:

    No “Laughing Man” reference…

  60. 60
    Bubba Dave says:

    @Chet Manly:
    Yeah, as a dependent on Okinawa in the late ’80s we were told that the Japanese police didn’t really have a concept of police brutality as a bad thing, and it was pretty much expected that if they knew you were guilty but couldn’t prove it they’d just beat you like the Tide beat the Irish and then leave without even bothering to arrest you.

  61. 61
    Bago says:

    Pfft I work on powershell. CLR objects bay-beee!!!
    Pipe that shit and work them iterators, iterators. Pipe that shit and work them iterators, iterators.

    I still need to check out foundation db though, it’s making some wacky promises, like a distributed db that has a single transaction log where everything is ACID. I think they’re being a little loose with language.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    I see where this thread is headed…

    Oh yeah? Well I do my programming without any software, without a computer, even. From a hole in the ground.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    CBDB says:


    Nice! Even better that I missed it.

  65. 65
    negative 1 says:

    @ruemara: Yeah, I still like it. Join us up here in the swamp – it’s only cold 4 mos. of the year, it rains about 4 more, and it’s miserably hot and humid the other 4. But with nature falling for the global warming hoax it’s really been pretty mild most winters for the last couple years. This year is no exception – all this week will be in the 40s and next week around 50. We really only had one week where it stayed below freezing all week.
    Plus it’s like living in the largest small town in America. My wife was in the hospital long term and her father and I both knew members of her roommate’s social circle, and not from the same way (she’s a member of my union who is friends with a coworker of mine and he grew up with her brother). That happens all the time around here.

  66. 66
    mapaghimagsik says:

    You know who else programmed with managed code…

    Just sayin’

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