New Ebay Spoof circulating via Email

The steps they’ll go to to steal your identity! I just received this in email over the weekend.
The message starts convincing enough, and looks professional too. (click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the email.)

The message subject is “Action Required!” and seems to come from the eBay billing department. Not sure why the billing department would be notifying me of a breach of security instead of some security concern but lets move on. Here is the body of the email with the bad link removed for your security.

Dear eBay Member,

We recently noticed one or more attempts to log in to your eBay account from a foreign IP address and we have reasons to believe that your account was used by a third party without your authorization. If you recently accessed your account while traveling, the unusual login attempts may have been initiated by you.

The login attempt was made from:
IP address:
ISP Host:

By now, we used many techniques to verify the accuracy of the information our users provide us when they register on the Site. However, because user verification on the Internet is difficult, eBay cannot and does not confirm each user’s purported identity. Thus, we have established an offline verification system to help you evaluate with whom you are dealing with.

click on the link below, fill the form and then submit as we will verify

Please save the above link for your reference

Please Note: – If you choose to ignore our request, you
leave us no choice but to temporally suspend your account.

* Please do not respond to this e-mail as
your reply will not be received

Just a few questions I had immediately after seeing this in my deleted bin.

  1. Why is the billing department sending me this message?
  2. Why would I not call eBay to verify an online breach?
  3. There are obvious grammatical errors in the body of the email…this is a huge indicator for me!
  4. They describe the verification method as “offline” yet they are asking me to click a link.

A simple mouseover proved the easiest clue that something was awry! Allowing my mouse cursor to hover over the link provided indicated that the real address was not the one listed in the email.

The wanted me to visit a site that was dynamic (php enabled) and that included the word “superbho” (read that as a HiJack attempt or browser helper object) and was not part of eBay’s DNS group, but was rather originating from A quick visit to Internic determined that this address was not assigned to eBay.

Moral of the story: Use common sense to thwart these spoof attempts and don’t be pressured into clicking links for any reason. ( …you leave us no choice but to temporally suspend your account… He he he!)

See this eBay informational page for more info about how these attempts work.

For more information on some previous attempts see this link.

BIM Deployment Conference

I guess the cats out of the bag on this one. Here is the official release received via email earlier today. I post it here for your reading pleasure.

Industry Experts to Explore Building Information Modeling Atlanta, GA, February 23, 2005 —

As building owners increasingly demand smarter ways to design, document and deliver their building projects, an approach called building information modeling (BIM) is poised to “cross the chasm” from pioneering technology to mainstream adoption. On April 19­­20,2005, leading experts, solution providers and users of this technology will meet at the Global Learning and Conference Center on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta to explore the challenges and opportunities of BIM, as well as the processes necessary for successful deployment. Organized and hosted jointly by the Georgia Tech College of Architecture (COA) Ph.D. Program and the LaiserinLetter™ technology advisory service, this conference includes real-world case studies and interactive panels, as well as industry applications and analyses essential to everyone who owns, operates,constructs or designs buildings.

Links to audience registration and the conference agenda are available on the web at or by contacting:

Mrs. Mercedes Saghini
phone +1 (404)894-3476.

Sponsorship information, for vendors of qualified technology solutions, may be obtained by contacting:

Jerry Laiserin
phone +1 (917) 225-7058.

The conference will examine the ways that BIM “offers fundamentally new opportunities for improving the quality of design, shortening the building procurement life cycle, and reducing costs,” according to Charles Eastman, Building Product Models. Both public and private building owners are beginning to recognize these benefits. A key confirmation of this trend is the US General Services Administration’s (GSA) requirement for a BIM approach at the concept design phase of all projects starting in fiscal year 2006 (which begins October 2005). Notes Eastman, “the issue no longer is why or when to adopt BIM, but how to effectively deploy it now.”

LaiserinLetter™ editor Jerry Laiserin, founding director of the aecXML project for industry data exchange and widely credited with standardizing and popularizing the terminology of BIM, observes that “the multi-dimensional, data-rich models of the BIM approach enable contractors,engineers, architects and building product manufacturers to work as a tightly integrated team helping owner-operators build smarter.” Case study and application presentations at the conference illustrating such teamwork include BIM for Steel Construction, BIM for Precast Concrete Construction,BIM for Energy Analysis, BIM for Project Delivery and BIM for Industry Integration, as well as BIM for Owners. Panel presentations include leading providers of technology solutions in each of these areas. With the BIM approach finally “ready for prime time,” this Georgia Tech/LaiserinLetter™ conference offers important business and professional knowledge critical to every executive and manager in the building enterprise.

Conference on Building Information Modeling:Challenges, Opportunities, Processes, Deployment April 19­20, 2005­ Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Conference Announced

Georgia Tech and Jerry Laiserin are teaming up to bring you a conference on BIM, deployment, and strategy.

Buildings. Whether you own, operate, construct or design them, or provide
services and materials for building, you’ll want to take this sneak peek at a
conference that will mark a tipping point in the way you do business in the
future. This landmark event is a Conference on Building Information Modeling:
Challenges, Opportunities, Processes, Deployment — and is jointly produced and
hosted by GeorgiaTech and The LaiserinLetter(tm).

Read the press release here:

View the brochure/agenda here:

Register here:

Allow Multiple Users to Manage SheetSets and Projects

Do you have corrupted project sheet set files? Do you have problems creating new sheets in existing sheet sets? Read more about this problem on Robinz Blog here. If you are experiencing these problems then you need the hot fix that has just been released.

Read about this necessary fix here at the autodesk download page.

Be sure to copy this new arx file to the correct location based on your product install folder:

Architectural Desktop: “C:Program FilesAutodesk Architectural Desktop 2005”
Building Systems 2005: “C:Program FilesAutodesk Building Systems 2005”

Want to automate this delivery? Check out Jimmy’s post and his script to deploy this hot fix on JTB World.

What Drive is the Boot Drive? VBA Function

Chances are, during your programming work, you will need to know what the boot drive is on the computer your routine is currently running on. An old trick from the DOS days is to check the value of the COMSPEC environment variable. You can use the function below to return the path to the system files folder location containing the Shell or Command Interpreter. This same folder is the one typically used by Windows to install ActiveX libraries and controls. You can use this function to programmatically register a control or DLL.

And the best news of all is that this is really easy to do within VBA. Getting the value of any environment variable can be done using the built in .Environ$ function. Try the following:

Function ReturnOSPath() As String
‘This function assumes that the “Comspec”
‘variable File path is located on the boot drive
Dim strKRNL As String
strKRNL = VBA.Environ$(“ComSpec”)
On Error GoTo Err_Handler
ReturnOSPath = Mid$(strKRNL, 1, (VBA.Len(strKRNL) – 7))
Exit Function
ReturnOSPath = vbNull
End Function

Public Sub testospath()
MsgBox ReturnOSPath
End Sub

To use these, fire up the VBA editor within AutoCAD or any other VBA enabled application. Cut and paste the above code into the editor. Now call the “testospath” procedure to see how it works.

Dimension and Accuracy Checking via AutoLisp

Toggle between Architectural Units and Decimal Units

Ever get a drawing from someone else and you can’t quite figure out why certain elements don’t quite fit with some of your existing drawings? Chances are someone took a shortcut and didn’t draw the objects or entities entirely accurately. If you suspect this is the case with the file you are working with you might switch your units and update the dimensions. I wrote the following toggle to assist in this check.

(defun c:ut (/)
(prompt “nMacro: Unit Style Mode Toggle by RLB!”)
(if (/= (getvar “lunits”) 2)
(setvar “lunits” 2)
(setvar “dimunit” 2)
(prompt ” Decimal Units “)
(setvar “lunits” 4)
(setvar “dimunit” 4)
(prompt ” Architectural Units “)

You can call this at the command line once it is loaded into your AutoCAD session by typing “UT” without the quotes and using the “rule of thumb” or “Enter” key. This macro will toggle from Architectural units to Decimal and vice a versa reporting the current setting at the command line.

Are your drawings getting Bloated? Put them on a diet!

Got drawings that seem much larger than they should be? Are you working with ADT, but still saving proxy information in every file? Get rid of those “unintelligent” entities by putting your drawings on a diet. This macro will toggle two different variables.

(defun c:diet (/) (prompt “nMacro: Put your Drawings on a
DIET Toggle by
RLB!”) (if (zerop (getvar
(progn (setvar
“PROXYGRAPHICS” 1) (setvar “isavepercent”
0) (prompt “n TURNED
OFF “)
0) (setvar “isavepercent”
0) (prompt “n TURNED ON
“) )
) (princ))

The first part of the macro turns off the proxy or “zombie” graphics that just take up file space. This is accomplished through the “proxygraphics” variable. The second setting addressed in this macro refers to the Isavepercent variable. The function of the Isavepercent variable is to determine the amount of wasted space tolerated in a drawing file. It ensures that you are not retaining unnecessary “undo” data with every save. For more information look in your help files for “Isavepercent”.

The command line will let you know if you are in “diet” mode or if it has been turned off everytime you run this toggle.

Quick Tip – Where are my Plotters?

Just type plottermanager at the command line in AutoCAD 2005!

Of course you can always:

  • Access the Options dialog box
  • Click on the Files tab
  • Expand the Printer Support File Path
  • View the value shown under Printer Configuration Search Path

to find out where your plotter definitions exist.

But isn’t typing plottermanager at the command line a whole lot easier?