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Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

JiimyPopAli posted:

I've called the number a few times, just out of curiosity. It always goes to a call center in India where they try to get you to download some software to "fix the problem". I've never gone that far, but one day I'll set up a VM on an old laptop and do it just for fun.

Someone else does this along with a bunch of interesting digging into the bits behind this, it's really neat.

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Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
That book actually got posted in here at one point and it's so hosed up. I wish I could find it again.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

hyperhazard posted:

I can't for the life of me find it now, but I read a blog post by a slot machine programmer who explained that they're not just random number generators, they're actually programmed to give you "almost" jackpots at regular intervals to keep you playing. That blew my mind.

Not sure how much of this is the case. A lot of the stuff I see in casinos definitely makes the 'near miss' more visually exciting, but not really programmed to do it at any particular interval.

More likely is just that the odds (and the visual depiction of results) is what drives these.

Here's an example slot machine. It's got three reels, one payline through the middle, and each reel has 6 "spaces"; three blanks (worthless), a 7, a BAR, and a cherry.

A naive look would assume the odds are pretty decent; you have a 1 in 216 chance of getting all three of the same symbol, which in this game is the only one that matters.

code:
          1   2   3   4   5   6
          |   |   |   |   |   |
Reel 1   --- 777 --- BAR --- o'o
Reel 2   --- 777 --- BAR --- o'o
Reel 3   --- 777 --- BAR --- o'o
However, internally, the slot machine represents its reels in a different way. For this example, 30 'stops' on each reel, which are mapped to the real visual stops on the reels.

code:
Reel 1   111111122223333333344455556666
Reel 2   111111112223333333444445555566
Reel 3   111111111233333333344455556666

(with blanks removed)

Reel 1   .......2222........444....6666
Reel 2   ........222.......44444.....66
Reel 3   .........2.........444....6666
                  |          |        |
             1/2250      1/600    1/843

The slot machine randomly chooses from 1 to 30 for each, then displays the stop that it maps to. In this way, even though there's no specific programming to drive 7-7-X appearances, they (and near misses) will be quite frequent - especially as the reels will often stop on a blank next to the 7.

Most modern slots work on a similar methodology, though the flashier ones mix in additional bullshit rules like stops that take on a random value or other features.



Tunicate posted:

In several jurisdictions bingo is legal but other forms of gambling are jot, so the slot machines are actually just simulating bingo internally, then putting a different skin on it.

http://www.casinocenter.com/class-ii-vs-class-iii-video-poker-machines/

So the slot machine slots and the video poker cards don't actually matter in the slightest, it's all smoke and mirrors for the real multiplayer bingo game behind the scenes. So if the machine says 'royal flush', it'll force the outcome to be a royal flush regardless of which cards you hold or discard.
That seems extremely shady, but I'm from Nevada, where our gaming regulations state that if a video game uses a deck of cards or die, the randomness behind it must actually match those things. e.g. poker games that show a standard 52-card deck must actually use a fair 52-card deck behind the scenes. With machines that follow those rules the exact odds of payout / house advantage is fairly trivial to determine. Slot machines and other obfuscated things are typically much harder if not impossible to analyze and usually have much worse payouts as a result.



Basically, gambling is stupid

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

CleverHans posted:

That said, as an occasional Vegas traveler, I have definitely noticed a few things that could be construed as putting the finger on the scale even more.

Roulette: European wheels have a single zero on them, standard US ones typically have 2 zeros: I have been seeing ones that have *3* zeros on them with, of course, the same payouts as the single and double zero wheels. You do the math on that.

Blackjack: Old school tables paid out 3:2 on a blackjack - most now pay 6:5.

A lot of places locally (Vegas! :sigh: ) have been doing 6:5, to a point where the South Point now advertises that all their tables are 3:2. Same with free parking, even, everywhere else charges for it now.

But I have yet to see a roulette wheel with three zeroes. :stare:

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
Gambling is dumb and casinos and game developers have finely tuned the experience to exploit human psychology.

Far worse than those, though, is mobile gaming. At least in a casino can cash out any time and you even have a chance of leaving with some money.

Mobile gaming is a hell of a lot worse, with completely opaque odds, zero regulations, and an incredibly friction-free experience. Buy an extra try at this level for 1 gem? Pay $0.99 for 1 gem? click, done. And with notifications they can pester you all. the. time.

At least with casinos you have to be there, and pull money out of an ATM.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

wizzardstaff posted:

e: ^^ yeah, the tactic we were explicitly told to use was to ask Grandma if she could sit through your pitch "just for practice" and then go in for the hard sell at the end.

This reminds me that my sister just about went down this exact same path, complete with "it's just for practice".

I think there was also Avon or something? All I remember about that was helping out someone in the family sticking order forms to hundreds of doors. I was too young to know what an MLM was but even back then something felt really shady about having all those boxes at home.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

That's not your phone number in that URL, is it? :staredog:

Zamujasa fucked around with this message at 10:34 on Jan 6, 2021

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
This is a different thread, but it's "My dad stole my identity", from 2009.

What a read.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

Pekinduck posted:

Just keep an eye on your card statements for any purchases you didn't make.

Most banks have ways to set up SMS notifications for transactions. I have both my checking and credit account set up to send me a text for any transaction, and then I set the numbers the notifications come through to have a unique text tone.

I've had my card cloned more than once and each time I caught it within literal minutes thanks to this.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
Most phone providers have had (what we called) "email gateways" where you could send an email to, say, 7025551234@sms.telco.com (the format was always a little different) and it would be delivered largely as-is to that phone as a text message.

You can, of course, spoof the sender's email address, and unlike normal email that has a lot of spam controls at both the server and client side, you would have to rely on your cell provider filtering it out.

A fairly simple scam would be to just send an email to a phone number claiming to be a bank or whatever, and include an obfuscated, shortened link that goes to your usual phishing page. It'd show up like any other text message, and due to the nature of how links in SMS messages are usually shortened, well, your scam suddenly appears a little more legit.


I don't know if the state of these things has changed in the last 8 or so years, though, since the average person is far more likely to have a smartphone.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

goatsestretchgoals posted:

I worked at an answering service company that legitimately used these gateways. We also got cut off from one of the big 4's gateways because one of my coworkers was bad at loops.

E: Still appears legit, at least for Verizon: https://community.verizon.com/t5/My-Verizon/SMS-Gateway-issues/td-p/881540

We used them too, because they were cheaper than actual SMS services like Twilio and the like.

As for bad at loops, well, lol. A payday loan company I was near (but not part of) had a guy do something like this:

code:
$targets = query("SELECT phone_number FROM customers");
// $targets now has 25000 customer phone numbers
$count = count($targets);

for ($i = 0; $i < $count; $i += 1000) {
    send_sms("get a loan w/ us!", array_slice($targets, $count, $count + 1000));
}
the problem with this is that array_slice takes the count and the number of entries to return after that, so this would get #1-1000, then #1000-3000, #2000-5000, #3000-7000 ...


the fcc was not very happy with that one :)

Zamujasa fucked around with this message at 10:10 on Jun 11, 2021

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

Akratic Method posted:

So, for whatever reason I occasionally look in my email spam folder just to see what the latest stupid bullshit is, and I've started seeing something I can't explain at all. I get spam emails that consist of nothing but "click here to unsubscribe from these emails" and the link is a mailto: addressed to a bunch of random email addresses.

I cannot figure out how this benefits anyone enough to reach even the minimal level of effort required to send spam email for it. Has anyone else seen these?

responding to it will put you in as a confirmed dumbass to then target with more spam

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

Brutor Fartknocker posted:

My old boss tried to recruit me for Amway. Really confused because he's a software dev manager, I know he makes drat good money, but he's out running this scam.

He is a software dev manager. He probably thinks he is very smart because he's a manager. Very smart people are too smart to fall for scams, because if they fell for scams, they wouldn't be very smart. But they are very smart, so thus it cannot be a scam.

People are incredibly stupid.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

DiabloStarCraft posted:

I see people all the time talking about don't click links and people who clicked a link say they closed it straight away, but since the death of flash and embedded java aren't we past the click link, get owned stuff now? Especially since all the major browsers are sandboxes anyway? Like the worst that can happen is they know you clicked the link from the unique URL or whatever?

merely opening a link isn't liable to get you pwned, but there are plenty of reasons to remind people to not click random poo poo

people who aren't power users can and will be fooled by things like fake browser dialogs or "requirements" to install an extension / accept notifications / etc. that last one in particular is pretty common because you get them to accept notifications for [fuckshit.spam], it installs a service worker that sits in the background for a while, and a few hours/days/whatever later it starts to poo poo out constant spam notifications that open up to more scams or malware




that said zero days and other vulnerabilities still exist, i imagine they're just not worth burning on normal people over like, whoever the nsa wants to snoop on or whatever

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
email programs used to not display remote images for that exact reason, and yet at some point that toggle got flipped and now you have to (in gmail at least) explicitly disable loading remote images in emails

it's great :toot:

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
is that something they do with stolen data now? just mail random people weird packages? because i have not heard of this being anything even remotely normal

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

Blue Moonlight posted:

Amusingly, this happened recently in the Nintendo community - someone created a Twitter profile, set it to private, then tweeted every possible rumor they could think of for an upcoming Nintendo press conference well in advance. After the conference, they deleted all the inaccurate rumors, set the account to public, and boom - a Twitter account that appears to be a legitimate, previously unknown leak.


another example of this is pretty much any one-and-done sports game prediction on twitter. one of the world cups a few years ago had it happen

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar

Jolly Jumbuck posted:

Apparently all modern Discover cards start with 6011 20. They're in the form

6011 20AA AAAA AAAC

where A is the account number and C is a check digit at the end. Not sure if they have a way to verify the check digit, but I've got a good fake number prepared for next time.

The check digit is basically a checksum, it's not a secret. Here's how they're generated

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
not since they got rid of the $1.50 polish sausage :arghfist:

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
installing an adblocker should be taught as basic internet hygiene. ublock origin requires zero janitoring on default settings and i make a point of installing it when dealing with family tech support issues if it isn't already there



Zereth posted:

Absolutely not. Kris Straub did some horror stuff that had the word "kids" in the title so Youtube decided it belongs in Youtube Kids. EDIT: And he cant' tell them "no this isn't for kids", either, the system is not set up to handle the idea of false positives here.

yeah. youtube's poo poo is almost all algorithms any more. there are no overrides or controls. "this is a found footage horror video that we even put "for 18+ audiences" in and youtube has put it in as 'for kids' and we have no way of changing it"


this is in addition to the problem where leaving youtube on autoplay will almost always end up routing you into some weird right wing conspiracy hole after long enough


Original_Z posted:

The kids videos always have super long ads too, like 30 minutes or so. I assume the algorithm noticed that the kids videos more often have full ad watches so they thrust the worst ones on it. Why the hell is there even a 30+ minute advertisement to begin with, like who the hell would watch that and why would companies even bother making and uploading them?

there was a point in time where they were literally showing certain movies as "free" by playing the movie as the ad. so your pre-roll ad for your five minute funny old tech video is a feature-length film

of course, as an ad, there was no play control / seeking. at least they let you skip it after a bit.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
gmail's spam detection has also just been poo poo lately and has let though more than a few very obvious scam emails

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
Well, what was the link? :v

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
The blank voicemail / silence and hang up calls have been a thing for me forever. I agree with the take that they're just looking for active numbers.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
I don't think that URL is "just" an affiliate link, it actually does take you to a signin page that supposedly tries to redirect you elsewhere:

redirect_uri=https://amazon-com-signin-report-id17545.dynnamn.ru/signin




goatsestretchgoals posted:

poo poo Iím a huge nerd who is running Ubiquitiís only home router* and I havenít done any blocking at router level.

*Yes I know the AirRouter tops at 100mbit wired and less wireless. Counterpoint: the last time I had to think about my router was the time my kitten decided he liked cords.

I need to see what sort of things modern dd-wrt offers, I've been meaning to set up a pi-hole and maybe a VPN for my phone when I'm not at home

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
That was always fun, isolate a little virtual machine and let it run some malware, as a treat. Lots of browser toolbars!

Would absolutely not try that again these days.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
Usually they're a lot shittier (I get one of those every few days). It's the digital equivalent of when people would send out invoices to random accounts-payables for services that were never rendered, assuming most places would just pay them.

Good on your dad for not falling for it.

Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
We'll get that refund right to you once you provide your credit card, expiration, and the numbers on the back, so we can find your invoice and process it :)

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Zamujasa
Oct 27, 2010



Bread Liar
Make all social media illegal except for one network that's only cute pet videos with zero commentary.

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