60 stories
·
0 followers

My Instagram was hacked. Here’s what happened.

1 Comment and 4 Shares

This month the PostSecret Instagram account was hacked and removed. The full story had several surprises including; a bitcoin ransom, two letters about suicide, and a happy ending.

It started when I responded to this:

When I foolishly responded, I received this text:

After some back and forth with the hacker, I got some assistance from people in the PostSecret community. It was suggested that if the hacker knew what PostSecret was about it might make a difference. So I sent the hacker a message I had emailed to someone that day who had told me they were thinking about suicide. Here is their email and my response.

From: “Z”
To: “frank” <frank@postsecret.com>
Subject: Re: PostSecret Help

Dear my secret mate

I’d always wanted to write to you but never thought of it’d be under such circumstances, ugh sorry.I’m secretly planning my death.I realised I have depression this March.  Since then I began taking some meds, and I was getting better this week.2 nights ago, I went to a friend’s to pick up my earring I dropped the other night (he invited some friends to come over) .  I only had 1 drink then I got so drunk somehow.  He fucked me.  It hurt so much and I kept bleeding for a day.  I feel extremely shame on myself since that night.  I can’t even face myself, and the only thing I am thinking is to restart my life.

I couldn’t go to school today.  I can’t function (a bit like my depression).  I had a mental breakdown in the bathroom while taking a shower.  I can’t tell my therapist (also a teacher and colleague of my mom’s from my primary school).  I know it’s wrong so I went to the medical centre to find another therapist.  But the registration takes a week to complete.  I feel desperate.  The memory keeps playing in my head.

What a fucken life!!

Regards,
-Z

From: “frank” <frank@postsecret.com>
To: “Z”
Subject: Re: PostSecret Help

Hi Z-

This is one of the most difficult emails I have ever read. I can understand why you are in pain right now. I’m sorry that is is overwhelming right now. But I believe the fact that you took the time to share this with me indicates that part of you still wants to live.Know this, at this exact moment, you are not alone with your heavy and suffocating feelings.I get postcards with confessions similar to yours every week, especially from young people who have suffered a traumatic experience through no fault of their own.It might not feel like it, but pain can dissipate, no matter how much it lies and tries to convince you otherwise. If your pain eventually lessened would you still want to kill yourself? Some of the secrets I receive say, I don’t want to die, I just want to pain to stop.I also get postcard from people who have found their way through the pain. They don’t say everything is great and life is painless now. But they are surprised that things can get better with time, medication, God, love, friends, music, therapy, family, a beloved pet, meditation, even endurance exercise (that’s what worked for me.)

I hunted through the PostSecret archive to the stories of a couple people who have secrets related to the soulful story you shared with me. Not everyone finds their way to survival and healing like these two courageous women, but it is possible. Over time there is a chance you will overcome. Give that chance time to happen, you owe it to that girl you were, and your future self. I hope that future self will mail me a postcard like one of these two someday.

Maybe your depression is how you are expressing the righteous anger you must feel toward your attacker.  Don’t let that rapist win. You are more important than your assailant. That is why I stopped everything I was doing to write you this message.

You wrote that your are having trouble finding a therapist. I totally believe you. Last night, I was speaking at a large university and a student told me she was waiting over a month for counseling. Another student told me they were told by the campus counselor to find help off-campus. That sucks. It’s not fair, it happens to a lot of young people, and it’s 100% not your fault. Here is a link to the PostSecret Suicide Prevention Wiki that may help. It lists hundreds of suicide prevention hotlines and text-lines world-wide. Please use it and share it with others – in the future.

Here’s a Harvard Study I retweeted last week found that nine out of ten people who attempt suicide and survive will not go on to die by suicide at a later date. This has been well-established in the suicidology literature and it’s a powerful fact to keep in mind. Nine out of ten people who felt just like you, desperate enough to kill themselves, if they were able to find their way through the worst night, got better and never make another attempt for the rest of their lives.

Can I ask you a question? Does anything still bring you joy in life? A pet, a sibling, a friend, a grandparent, a band, the beach, a book, Disneyland, a walk in nature, watching “Game of Thrones”? Have you been to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”? (I went last week and it was unforgettable. I attached a picture I took).

I attached one last image to this email. It’s an image of a young woman sending up a helium balloon of hope for a stranger who had mailed in a secret like yours. Over 60,000 strangers cared enough to create a “Please Don’t Jump” facebook page proving people do care and there is hope, even if your depression has convinced you otherwise – don’t believe it, depression and anxiety are liars.

A friend of mine – Kevin Hines – tried to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge to end his life. He is one of ten people, from the thousands who have jumped off that bridge and died, to have survived. He travels the country sharing his inspiring story. It’s like his life was spared so that he can reveal the secret last thought of people who attempt suicide. He has shared his story with millions of people around the world. This is what he says, As soon as I let go of the cables and began to fall from the bridge, I realized I was making a mistake.

Be well,

-Frank



Read the whole story
jasoncrowther
857 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
diannemharris
857 days ago
reply
The modern version of when someone stole mr. rogers car and brought it back.

SuperTuxKart 0.10 RC1 Arrives with Improved Online Multiplayer Support

1 Share

SueprTuxKart LogoSuperTuxKart 0.10 Release Candidate 1 is available to download. It features new and improved tracks, kart tweaks, and improved online multiplayer support.

This post, SuperTuxKart 0.10 RC1 Arrives with Improved Online Multiplayer Support, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Read the whole story
jasoncrowther
899 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

How to scan QR codes in iOS 12

1 Comment

iOS 12 supports QR codes. A QR code (quick response code) is a type of 2D bar code that is used to provide easy access to information through a smartphone. In this process, known as mobile tagging, the smartphone's owner points the phone at a QR code and opens a barcode reader app which works in conjunction with the phone's camera.

QR codes.jpg

iOS 11 and 12 allows you to scan them without the need for a third-party app. Here’s how:

  • Open the Camera app and make sure the rear facing camera is enabled.

  • Point the camera viewfinder at the QR code. Make sure the code is entirely visible in the view finder.

  • Hold the camera steady. The QR code will be scanned instantly and you’ll see a notification at the top of the iPhone or iPad screen describing what kind of QR code you’ve scanned (website QR Code, Calendar QR code, etc.).

<!— code from sekindo - Appleworld.today In-Article - outstream —> <!— code from sekindo —

You’ll see what action the QR code can perform (add event to your calendar, open page in Safari). You don’t have to to press the capture or shutter button. Just pointing the camera and holding it steady at the QR code is all you need to do.

(This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple's support pages — where the images sometimes come from.)



Read the whole story
jasoncrowther
976 days ago
reply
Cool, I didn't know this was built in! Maybe I can install all those dedicated qr scanner apps.
Share this story
Delete

‪Happy Halloween from me and whoever this hero is who wore a...

1 Comment and 2 Shares


‪Happy Halloween from me and whoever this hero is who wore a costume to work… at the DMV.‬

Read the whole story
jasoncrowther
1046 days ago
reply
Epic!
Share this story
Delete

Shell Tricks: what to do when you can't do internet

1 Comment

Ok, so your home internet connection is down. Well, not right now, obviously. But your ISP has you on a waiting list for a service call, and you’re thinking you’ll just spend some time cleaning your office today. You’d love to know if your connection came back up in the meantime, though, right?

This trick is an evolution of one from OSXDaily. The idea is to just keep pinging a DNS server until we get a response, and then send an alert. For my working environment, I wanted something that would ensure I got the message.

Here’s the base function, imdown (I’m Down!):

# Wait for internet connection to come back up and notify
imdown() {
until ping -W1 -c1 1.1.1.1; do
sleep 10;
done
# notify somehow
}

I’m pinging the new 1.1.1.1 DNS Resolver. You could ping a website, but pinging the DNS resolver directly is faster. It won’t work if the connection problem is at the DNS level, but I’m only concerned with knowing when my modem is back online.

The ping command in this function uses 2 flags, -W1 and -c1. The -W is how long to wait for a response. We just want quick pings, so 1 second is enough. The -c1 is how many sweeps to do in a pass (with no -c it will just keep pinging forever), meaning we’ll just ping once and then sleep for 10 seconds before we try again. When it gets a successful ping, it moves on to the next step: notifying…

Insistent, nagging alerts

I made a really annoying loop for this. If the machine you’re running it on has sound, this is really effective. Assuming you’re around to shut it off, I suppose, because it would drive everyone else nuts and they’d end up smashing your speakers. But if you’re working around the house and want to know, turn up your volume and this will do the trick.

nag() {
while true; do
for phrase in "$@"; do
afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Ping.aiff
say -v Alex "$phrase"
sleep 5
done
done
}

It takes one or more arguments, each being a quoted phrase to speak. It will enter into an infinite loop of playing a ding (the system “Ping” sound) and then speaking each phrase supplied to it (one at a time, in succession, or just one over and over if there’s only one argument) until you end it with CTRL-C.

Side note: If you want a female voice, changing say -v Alex to say -v Samantha works well. I miss the old voices… there used to be a bunch of funky voice modulations like “Bells” and creepy robot voices. Oh well.

So now my imdown function looks like this:

# Wait for internet connection to come back up and notify
imdown() {
until ping -W1 -c1 8.8.8.8; do
sleep 10;
done
nag \
"internet connection is back up\!" \
"Skynet is thinking" \
"your tribulation is over, the internet is here" \
"Praise what gods may be, we have internet\!" \
"O M G we're online" \
"In the words of Dr. Frankenstein, it's alive\!" \
"rejoice, for the internet is risen"
}

It will cycle through these phrases, ad nauseam. It will get your attention, and those who share your space will hail you as a hero of great cleverness. That’s what those dirty looks mean, I swear.

Push It Real Good

If you have other means of getting notifications, such as a home automation system that can blink lights via script (I do :P), great. One option is to use Pushover, a free service that allows you to send push notifications to your iPhone (and Apple Watch) or Android device.

You can get various Pushover libraries for different languages, but it’s a really simple REST API, so you can just ping it from a script. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Create an account at Pushover
  • You’ll see your “User Key” prominently displayed after you log in. Copy that and save it
  • On your dashboard under “Your Applications”, click “Create an Application/API Token.” Just create one called “CLI”
  • Your application will get a token, copy that and save it, too

You’ll also need to install the Pushover app on your iOS or Android device for this to do much good.

Now, with your token and key in tow, you can ping the API. You could do it ugly with curl… the data needs to be passed as url encoded form data (percent encoded), like so (with your token and user key substituted in):

curl -X POST --form 'token=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&user=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&title=Internet%20Connection%20Restored&message=Your%20internet%20connection%20is%20back%20online.&priority=1&sound=spacealarm' 'https://api.pushover.net/1/messages.json'

That would mean you could just create a bash function to send notifications. You can use this function to encode the strings:

# If you don't already have this in your bash profile
urlenc () { #url encode the passed string
echo -n "$1" | perl -pe's/([^-_.~A-Za-z0-9])/sprintf("%%%02X", ord($1))/seg'
}

pushnotify() {
local token=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
local key=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
local formdata="token=${token}&user=${key}&title=$(urlenc $1)&message=$(urlenc $2)&priority=1&sound=spacealarm"
curl -X POST -d $formdata 'https://api.pushover.net/1/messages.json'
}

Add something like pushnotify "Internet Connection" "Stop what you're doing, your internet connection is back up." to the imdown script (or replace the infinite loop of annoying voices entirely, but really, why limit yourself?).

Now you’ll get a notification on your phone and/or watch when your internet comes back up.

Here’s a gist with all the fun all in one place.

And here’s one that Alex Chan converted for Fish (with randomized phrase selection).

That was a lot of work for a minor convenience, I know. I happened to have all but the imdown function already in place, so really, I just did all the work for you. You’re welcome.


BrettTerpstra.com is supported by readers like you. Click here if you’d like to help out.

Find Brett on Twitter.

Read the whole story
jasoncrowther
1236 days ago
reply
My internet is super reliable, but the hacks to use pushover look pretty useful.
Share this story
Delete

OMG You Guys, We Found You A New House

1 Comment
OMG You Guys, We Found You A New House - Articles

Are you looking for a new home? Maybe not. Maybe you aren’t even thinking about moving to Highland Park, Michigan. But if that’s the case then you’re a fool because we just found you the perfect house.

We welcome you to 450 W Grixdale, your new $550,000 home that needs exactly $0 of updates because it is delightful and insane and we will shame the person who changes anything about it.

Come, let’s take a tour:

Photo Credit: Estately

“Unique barely begins to describe this one of a kind Grixdale Farms estate,” is the promising start of the property’s ad on Estately.com. The home, which is referred to as “Lion Gate Estate,” despite the fact that while we do see a gate we only see three lions, “has been articulated with painstaking attention to detail and mind-blowing decorative flair.”

“Mind-blowing decorative flair?” Sounds like someone’s “eccentric” Aunt has become a house. Do go on.

Photo Credit: Estately

Photo Credit: Estately

As you can see, this 3 bedroom, 2.25 bath home packs a lot into its 1,886 square feet.

The living room, for example, is perfect for those of you who like to come home, take off your shoes, and touch nothing. “But wait,” you say, “it won’t be that bad once I put my own stamp on it.” Slow down, Bob Villa. Because this home is being sold with all of it’s contents. All of them.

So let’s see what else you’ll be getting.

How about this formal dining room, complete with these two fellas (the one on the left is named “Eh” and the one on the right is “WhaddyaGonnaDo”) and some three-dimensional fighting cherubs.

Photo Credit: Estately

Or we can go to the kitchen and pretend we’re at a garden party while we rifle through the photographer’s backpack for snacks.

Photo Credit: Estately

Need to use the restroom? How about this floral retreat! Simply remove the glass dragonfly from the toilet lid and put it on the…well, maybe there’s room on the…you know what, just hold it under your arm. And, of course, we ask that you contain your business to the carpet tarp.

Photo Credit: Estately

Do your eyes deceive you, or is there carpeting on that ceiling? Heck yeah, there is. Up is down and black is white here in the Upside Down. Enjoy vacuuming, buddy.

Photo Credit: Estately

Ah, now we come to the master bedroom. You’ll relax and rejuvenate on your velvet-covered refrigerator box while the thoughtfully arranged armless bust watches you sleep and the statues at the bottom of the bed protect you from those who wish you harm. Like that bear. Or that weird chicken.

Photo Credit: Estately

This second bedroom also has Silent Sleep Watchers and Darkness Guardians.

Photo Credit: Estately

If you looked at this picture, assumed at first that there was a chair hanging from the wall, and felt only mild surprise, then you’re starting to get the gist of this house. We’re not sure why you need this much mirror in such a small space, but if you’re someone who doesn’t trust yourself and needs yourself to always keep an eye on yourself, then this is the perfect house for you.

Photo Credit: Estately

Everyone loves an inviting entryway that provides you with front, back, and aerial views of yourself (you’re not getting away with a goddamn thing, Self.) Our eyes are also drawn to the open door that appears to be paneled with some kind of dark fabric which is totally not creepy and needs to be investigated immediately.

Photo Credit: Estately

Hey, anybody else watch The Sinner on AMC starring Jessica Biel where she keeps having flashbacks to these basement stairs that led to a weird sibling sex and drug orgy that ended up with a cracked sternum and a buried body?

Photo Credit: YouTube

Well, at least this staircase comes with ways to defend yourself. For example, you can poke out an eye with a blue crane. Or break a bunch of glass and pull a Die Hard. Or snatch some art off the wall and bash it over someone’s head. We’re just saying that there should be some kind of plan in place before you go down these stairs.

Photo Credit: Estately

But wait, what’s this?! You go downstairs and what you find is an Elvis cafe? Excuse me, your Elvis cafe. Why an Elvis cafe? Because really, at this point, why the hell not. Grab a table, pour yourself a beer, and look at the cardboard man for a spell. Enjoy yourself. There are no mirrors, here.

Photo Credit: Estately

Now we’ll exit the main house and check out the trash veranda. It’s perfect for sitting on a loveseat and staring at a sun-drenched brick wall. It’s also useful for herding and vaccinating cattle.

Photo Credit: Estately

Did we forget to mention that you get not one but two cars with this joint? What the hell is happening with this house?

Photo Credit: Estately

You will also immediately find yourself neck-deep into a new hobby. If you don’t already love making small wooden cars, you’re going to learn to in a jiffy.

Photo Credit: Estately

Onto the backyard, where — oh, look. Statues.

Photo Credit: Estately

And a pool, which you should definitely search for statues.

Photo Credit: Estately

We wouldn’t change a thing about this statue-filled shrine to Elvis and small wooden cars, and that’s a good thing because the ad makes clear that “[the] property sold AS IS, BATVAI.” BATVAI, by the way, means “buyer’s agent to verify all information.” So basically “AS IS, BATVAI” means “F*** IT AND F*** YOU, I’M OUT” in real estate lingo.

The ad for this prime piece of real estate ends with one final, mysterious caveat: “Only shown on sunny days.” Why? Because that’s when the vampires sleep? Because that’s when you can best appreciate all the mirrors? Because no one gets out when they visit in the dark? We don’t know, but we love it all.

Photo Credit: Estately

 

h/t: Messy Nessy

The post OMG You Guys, We Found You A New House appeared first on AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com.

Read the whole story
jasoncrowther
1247 days ago
reply
When can I move in?
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories