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Saint John McCain MySpace site hacked by designer whose work and bandwidth he stole


[I meant to genuflect when I mentioned McCain's name, but there's no room to do that in a headline.]

mcain At left you see the end result. Here's the story as Mike Davidon, the designer, tells it:

Why would a presidential candidate make such an important announcement on his MySpace page?

The answer? He wouldn't.

But I would.

You see, John McCain's people commandeered my world-renowned MySpace design template and did a few things wrong:

  1. They did not credit me for the template, even though the template explicitly requested credit.
  2. They used my own unmodified imagery, specifically for the "Contacting John McCain" table.
  3. As if #2 wasn't bad enough, the McCain crew is actually pulling their image directly from my server on each page load. So every time someone visits the McCain MySpace page, my bandwidth is being used to deliver part of the page! Bad McCain!

Sucking up other's bandwidth. Typical Republican, wouldn't you say?

Now, the technical stuff:

Luckily, I had already set up a special .htaccess rule on my server which served my real "contact me" image if the image was referenced from my own MySpace page, and served up a sample image if it was served from anywhere else. This is the whole reason I even figured out what was going on. I had my real image in cache and upon loading McCain's page, the real image showed up (including my special note that said "NO REQUESTS FOR DESIGN HELP PLEASE"). Thinking it was weird that McCain would get any requests for design help, I immediately realized what happened.

So, the only thing necessary to effectively commandeer McCain's page with my own messaging was to simply replace my own sample image on my server with a newly created sample on my server. No server but my own was touched and no laws were broken. The immaculate hack.

McCain is so pwned!

And it couldn't happen to a nicer authoritarian narcissist.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Is there anything more stereotypically Republican--besides inability to clap on the beat in large crowds such as RNC convention settings--than complete cluelessness when it comes to the Net? I mean, trucks through tubes was bad enough. I can understand people making analogies, even bad ones. Do it myself sometimes.

But for the same people who rant about how evil the Web is because people can just exchange things for free without even charging money or paying taxes sometimes or looking at naughty pictures or just generally being unrestrained and even UnCivil...and then to go and get busted for ripping off somebody's MySpace template that they just wanted a lousy credit for and not to suck off their bandwidth teat.

See, I got through this whole post without saying anything insulting about old people. [pats self on back] [suffers twinge] [goes in search of Ben-Gay] [and hard liquor]

Ahem, but first I must make a Xan Prediction: McCain out of race before Midsummer's Day. The wheels are just falling off the truck too fast. He's tried latching on to every group out there--Falwell and the God-Botherers, the gay hater 'n' antichoicers, even Democrat-impersonaters (Jolie Berman) and can't even get kissed much less laid.

All he's got left is the We Love War crowd and I hate to be the one to tell him but that gang is fading fast too. Bye John....

vicki's picture
Submitted by vicki on

He and his staff are just bozos in every way. I agree w/ Xan. Out of the picture by mid-summer.

He's entertaining to have around, sure, but a menace.

darksun93's picture
Submitted by darksun93 on

I agree it’s a somewhat clever prank but also a pretty unprofessional thing to do. Mike should know better.

Of course, this is the same Mike Davidson who at the Webvisions conference last year used a video of Marc Canter’s little kids as an example of how not to market a startup, in front of a crowd of over 100 web professionals. Again, very unprofessional and lacking in judgment.

But we cannot all be Type A asholes smirking in our chairs at how clever we think we are. Whatever.

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