Al Gore Hijacks Ryder Truck full of Ballots
December 13, 2000 12:42 AM   Subscribe

Al Gore Hijacks Ryder Truck full of Ballots heh heh heh.
posted by sugarfish (14 comments total)
How was this done? - I can see that there is no slash after the .com, but I am still foxed!
posted by viama at 12:55 AM on December 13, 2000

If you use the @ symbol in a URL anything to the left is ignored, so the story isn't really from CNN at all. The number after the @ (1076628671) is just an IP address without the dots - the real story is at
posted by astro38 at 1:11 AM on December 13, 2000

Right on the @, almost on the numbers.
posted by alan at 1:23 AM on December 13, 2000

More resources on how to obscure URLs here.
(I'm linking to the google cache version as the original seems to be down).
posted by astro38 at 1:24 AM on December 13, 2000

...or just moved. Cheers alan.
posted by astro38 at 1:25 AM on December 13, 2000

very cool, I've played with decimal IPs before but the username is a touch of genius.
posted by lagado at 3:21 AM on December 13, 2000

I'm using IE 5 on a Mac, and every one of the URLs (dword, octal, hex) in the story at NWI failed. So be warned if you're thinking of using this.
posted by rodii at 5:35 AM on December 13, 2000

I've received a number of spam messages with URLs like that and have always just assumed that the people who sent them were clueless idiots who didn't know how to put URLs together. (They were, after all, spamming, so their intelligence is suspect to begin with.) Are you telling me these non-address addresses like "1076628671" work under Windows or something? Wow, I knew a lot of Microsoft software is broken, but I didn't realize IE was that broken! I mean, an inability to parse an IP address correctly is a pretty fundamental problem.
posted by kindall at 7:59 AM on December 13, 2000

*points above*
Sarcastic troll? :)
posted by pnevares at 8:39 AM on December 13, 2000

You're right Kindall, the inability to parse information correctly certainly is a problem.
posted by alan at 8:54 AM on December 13, 2000

These 10-digit numbers are perfectly valid representations of a 32-bit IP address. The format may vary, but the true decimal "1076628671" is the smae number as the dotted quad "", hexadecimal "402C0CBF", or a binary expansion that I'm not going to bother with.
posted by harmful at 9:00 AM on December 13, 2000

They're perfectly valid 32-bit numbers, but IP addresses are not written like that. I mean, if you interpret it as a single 32-bit quantity, is it meant to be big-endian or little-endian? You also lose all the useful information about what class of network it is that's provided by the dotted decimal representation, and it's virtually unmemorable, so I see no reason why anyone would ever want to specify addresses in that fashion, other than to intentionally obscure it, which hardly seems a purpose worth supporting.

I tried it on a shell account and I see UNIX does support it, though, so I guess it's "standard" (or, at least, Windows isn't the only OS that supports it). My guess is that the UNIX address parser is just lazy, and Windows more or less inherited it. I couldn't find an appropriate RFC that would confirm or deny it's officially supported, but then I'm on my way out the door for work.
posted by kindall at 9:17 AM on December 13, 2000

There is RFC documentation for usage like this, specifically for systems that only support octal etc. It's an old trick supported by a lot of implementations (not, apparently, the one I'm using right now though: AOL 4.0).

Those spammers were not clueless idiots, rather, among the more crafty of that breed. Disguising site names like this is also used in certain pr0n implementations, if you've ever blundered into one of those self-reflexive top-100 top-100 sites. It makes it a lot harder for the amateur spam sleuth to determine the owner of the site.
posted by dhartung at 9:45 AM on December 13, 2000

You learn something new every day, it seems, even after you've used computers as long as I have... Yeah, now I know about the trick, I realize the spammers were not quite as clueless as I thought at first. Does IE for Windows support octal and hexadecimal too, in addition to the 32-bit decimal?
posted by kindall at 11:18 AM on December 13, 2000

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