Main Menu

Archive | The Blogs

Are you blogging more… But enjoying it less?

Borrowing an advertising slogan from Camel cigarettes, I introduce this research article about the Orly Taitz web site. I have never fully trusted poll numbers on birthers because a poll respondent does not necessarily tell the truth, nor do polls measure birther enthusiasm. One other source for information comes from the public participation on birther blogs.

I have published site statistics from this blog covering the past 3 years, and at the present time interest measured in page views on this blog is on the decline. What about birther sites? Generally birther web sites do not publish their activity statistics. Orly Taitz has a page hit counter2 of dubious value, and as of last month, verified numbers from her site are available at Alexa.com, but there is no historical data.

One way to value site engagement is to look at comments1, and while it is tedious to do, it is possible to count comments on a WordPress blog by crawling the entire site, and this is what I have done for Orly’s blog. Here’s the result  from March of 2010 to the present:

TaitzComments

The high point is January of 2013, the month Barack Obama began his second term as president. Of course any measure of comments at the Taitz site is affected by her moderation policy and the fact that she deletes comments and articles. Also this doesn’t account for any technical errors in my data-gathering software, or historical data loss.

Just for comparison, here are the comment numbers for my site added for the same period:

WebComments

Given statistics that suggest Taitz has twice the number of page views than here, the relatively small number of comments is really striking.


1Most blog visitors do not comment, so comment numbers don’t equal visits, but comment numbers can be studied over time. One thing of note is that visitors here have more to say about the articles than they do at Orly’s site. While the average article here has about 65 comments, the number there is around 4. Of course Taitz has many times the number of articles that I do.

2The Taitz hit counter first appeared in November of 2011 with an initial value around 22,518,751. Here is a chart roughly showing monthly values over the prior month using historical values from the Wayback Machine:

TaitzHits

While her comment totals are tapering off the past few months, her hit counter seems to be trending up.

Counting Obots

Thanks to a commenter here for pointing me to a comment at Birther Report by a commenter named Rhodalicious. It’s the quote of the day now, and a longer version of this despairing remark about inactivity from the Cold Case Posse appears in the Quote Archives.

These days it can be hard to tell whether a commenter at a birther site is a birther being outrageous, or someone imitating a birther being outrageous, so I took a moment to look at the Intense Debate profile for Rhodalicious to get a sense of where they are coming from. I rather liked this one:

In about 5 billion years the Sun is going to run low on fuel. At that point, it will expand to become a "red giant" star, and its diameter will exceed the orbit of Earth, meaning that the Earth will be incinerated.

I’m hoping that Sheriff Arpaio and Mike Zullo will see fit to release their evidence at least a few years before then.

I found a pattern of frustration about the Cold Case Posse’s inaction, but I found something else more interesting: There is a screen shot from a profile page, I presume from The Fogbow, showing the number of users on the site. I won’t reproduce it here, but you can view it from the Intense Debate link. Someone had said, How many of them [Obots] are left these days — 6 or 8? The comment’s reply was that The Fogbow had more than 8000 posts in June and on the day he checked there were 1,247 users online in a 24-hour period. Rhodalicious notes that at least one person online (and I recognized others) was a birther.

Fogbow down: Obots absquatulated?

Update: Fogbow Back up.

imageFirst it was Orly blocked by an “attack page” warning, and now probably the foremost anti-birther web site, The Fogbow, is down. It’s down, grounded. Trailing clouds of glory, it’s down! (Talk like that makes me hungry.)

You know, I was seriously considering moving this site to the company Foggy uses. :shock: Whatever the problem is, it effects many sites hosted by his company, so unless this is a massive false flag operation, Foggy is not en route to Belarus or Paraguay or wherever Obots are supposed to absquatulate to, when “any day now” becomes today.

8 PM (6/28/2014)

image

8:09 PM (6/28/2014)

image

8:52 PM (any day now)

image

9:20 PM (6/28/2014)

image

9:28 PM

image

Taitz attacks!

Firefox users visiting the Orly Taitz web site today are seeing this message:

Reported Attack Page! warning message

Not long after Orly’s web site was restored following what she says was a hacking incident, I visited her site and saw a popup window that tried to get me to install some software. I detailed some of these popups in my article, “Taitz pop-up advertising more dodgy,” last February; and for a while those had stopped.

Now Google, through the Firefox browser, is issuing an attack warning. The specifics of the Google warning are:

Of the 97 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 9 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2014-06-27, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2014-06-27.

Malicious software includes 6 exploit(s), 3 trojan(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 4 new process(es) on the target machine.

Malicious software is hosted on 2 domain(s), including indolocker.com/, zamcheck.org/.

1 domain(s) appear to be functioning as intermediaries for distributing malware to visitors of this site, including zamcheck.org/.

This site was hosted on 4 network(s) including AS6245 (NETWORK-SOLUTIONS), AS55002 (DEFENSE-NET), AS19871 (NETWORK-SOLUTIONS-HOSTING).

This looks to me like the malware is being funneled through her advertising stream. This is similar to what brought Birther Report down for a while (Birther Report is hosted by Google).

Before I retired, one of the employees of my company accessed the Taitz web site on a company computer. It took two days to get the malware cleaned up.

Taitz on the other hand says to ignore the warning in two articles:

  •  If you unable to go on my site, go to Firefox security/preferences and type the url www.orlytaitzesq.com as preference. You will not be blocked. the site appear to be working fine for most people.
  • Obots are inserting software to trigger warning messages, clock on “Ignore this”. 699 media outlets connect to www.orlytaitzesq.com Please, spread the word that regime is trying to stifle

Articles on birther malware:

Taitz pop-up advertising more dodgy

There’s a big contrast between the Orly Taitz AG web site, “see Orly run, run, run, run” and her main site, branded TaitzReport.com. The former doesn’t look too bad, except for the usual faux pas, like this footer:

image

Her main site has gotten aggressive of late with pop-up windows offering dates with Asian women, and a download for a video player from a page whose style is made to look like an Adobe Flash message. I submitted a copy of that executable file to Microsoft as possible malware. Here are some more pop-ups I got leaving my browser open on the Taitz site today:

image

 

 

image

image

image

image

image

image

No, I didn’t click on it.

image

image

image

Misplaced trust: hacking, punking and birthers

I was looking at Birther Report this morning, and noticed the article about their acquiring a new server (mentioned by commenters here previously). I and others have expressed some skepticism about the ability of Birther Report to remain secure once it leaves the Google umbrella and goes to a privately-owned server. The particular words from the author Helen Tansey that caught my attention were:

This process includes hiring a trusted programmer who will manage the migration from Blogger to the new server.

I don’t think birthers are very good at knowing whom to trust. Birther Report regularly publishes articles that are nonsense. They use advertising providers who let themselves get hacked, resulting in BR having been a vector for malware.

Of course, the poster child for misplaced trust is probably Orly Taitz who is regularly punked by commenters on her blog, filed no less than two fake birth certificates in court, and allowed malware to be placed on her web site on multiple occasions. Searching for “hacked” on this site returned more hits for Taitz than for any other. Taitz ended up suing her former webmaster (I express no opinion on the merits of that suit). Orly also claims to be hacked when she hasn’t been.

I put Mike Zullo in the number 2 position. While Zullo’s failures are not as transparent as Taitz’, it appears that he’s been fooled many times. He trusted the various birther document forensic volunteers much to his embarrassment. First there was Mara Zebest, who showed basic misunderstanding of technical details, and then Garrett Papit who led the Posse into false declarations about PDF files, the ones debunked by a Xerox machine. One also must at least wonder at the money spent by Zullo on the Reed Hayes report, which is yet to be released. Zullo’s biggest lapse in judgment was when he believed the fake 1961 vital statistics manual and then made it the centerpiece of his 2nd press conference. I should add that the Cold Case Posse web site itself was hacked last December, apparently because they used old software and didn’t apply security patches. They also went down a couple of time when they didn’t pay their bills. Whoever was entrusted with the site didn’t do a responsible job.

Phil Berg’s site was hacked too.

I think most of the birther and anti-birther web sites are hosted by blog providers, either Google Blogger™ or WordPress.com. These will shield their users from most forms of hacking except for third-party advertising that got Birther Report. For this reason, we don’t see a lot of hacking on these sites. Orly, however, runs her own software, as did Berg and the Zullo. I run my own software and the Fogbow does also.

I don’t want to make too big a deal about a birther site getting hacked: “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” the saying runs. A while back, the URL shortening service used my Twitter feed got hacked. That didn’t affect my visitors, but I did have to change URL shortening providers (Twitter does this automatically now). Someone else who runs a site on the same server as I, was hacked and started sending spam. I do some of the basic anti-hacking stuff like obfuscating database tab names, using secret keys in cookies and always installing the current versions of all the software I use.