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May We See Your ID, Please? Part IV

Written by Sean Valant

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

If you haven’t seen the first three posts in this series, we’d highly recommend checking them out right here.  With that out of the way, let’s dive right into our newest batch of fake IDs!

Up first is what appears to perhaps be a French ID, aside from the fact that we suspect it may not be official and, in fact, it might even be homemade.  Surely the finest colored pencils were used in order to replicate an official document, but with our collective keen eye we determined that this ID raised enough red flags for us to consider it most likely counterfeit:



Our next ID may not be completely homemade, but it’s a close second. If not for the name, age, and gender having clearly been Photoshopped in, our attention may have been brought to the fact that the picture (on the otherwise blurry photograph) is clearly a selfie. While it is possible, in this modern age, that government agencies would accept selfies for their official documents, we have our doubts about this one:


This next person didn’t really try to fool us, they apparently just sent us an image from Discover Card’s own advertising. No points for creativity were awarded for this one, but here it is anyway:

Only slightly more effort went into the following image, which is clearly just a sample identification card image, and features a birthday of 00/00/0000:



We will now enter the celebrity portion of this batch of fake IDs. The following image arrived with an explanation, and we quote: “I could only acquire a photo ID of CIA card with my name Michael Westen.” It is worth noting that the customer’s name was not, in fact, Michael Westen:



We quickly determined that we could also acquire a photo ID of CIA card in the name of Michael Westen, on eBay:



Up next we have Mr. Bradley Cooper, of “The Hangover” fame as well as the famous “Ellen” selfie from the 2014 Oscars. One way or another, he found himself on a “CEO” identification card… but he’s not getting hosting here with this ID, CEO or not:


Rounding out our celebrity portion is the character made famous by Will Ferrel in the movie Talladega Nights, Mr. Ricky Bobby himself!:



For our final image, let’s talk about puns. Puns are something that we generally try to avoid, when given a choice. But this next picture simply makes it unavoidable. This is, bar none, the best ID that we’ve ever been sent… and it’s not even a fake, per se. But if we were giving out prizes for this, then we would award this ID one entire Internet as a prize. As for that pun, well, this ID quite literally takes the cake:


Yes, that is what it looks like; someone baked a cake and used their ID as decoration and then sent us a picture. They didn’t physically send us the cake, unfortunately. For the record, while our Fraud Prevention Department was highly entertained by this, this was not acceptable as a valid form of ID for our purposes, so they did ultimately have to send us a proper scan. Nonetheless, we applaud their creativity!

Given that an ID on a cake is pretty hard to top (did we really just slide another pun into this post?), we will likely be retiring this blog post topic. We’ve had a lot of fun with the posts, and fraudsters beware, we’re as vigilant as ever… but a cake ID, that’s more than we ever hoped for when starting this series of blog posts. We hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as we have!

Bee Cave and The West Pole

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

It’s been quite a while since we shared private conversations from our internal Instant Message conference rooms.  It is often true that, as we diligently work throughout the day on our many initiatives and projects, hilarity is often ensuing in the various conference rooms.

This particular conversation was initiated by an employee in the Austin office innocently mentioning their desire for certain cookies that would necessitate a trip to Trader Joe’s in the neighboring town of Bee Cave, Texas.  This resulted in the following conversation taking place.  Before we proceed, for anyone unfamiliar, “TIL” is an acronym for “Today, I learned”:

(10:08:04 AM) Isaac:,_Texas
(10:08:11 AM) Isaac: TIL there is such a thing as a west pole
(10:08:17 AM) Isaac: And it’s Bee Cave 0_o

While just about everyone is familiar with the North and South Poles, none of us knew that there was such thing as a West Pole.  However, the Wikipedia page does state: “In 2007, the Texas Legislature declared the West Pole of the Earth to be located in Bee Cave, TX.”

(10:09:39 AM) Neil: TIL that the Texas Legislature is Science-illiterate.
(10:11:38 AM) Austin: Um…Their logic is really off here: “As there are recognized and generally accepted North and South Poles on Planet Earth, there too must be East and West Poles.” …They are negating the Earth is three dimensions…
(10:12:01 AM) Isaac: Austin, you and I both know it’s flat, cause Texas.
(10:12:08 AM) Austin: ‘Merica
(10:28:00 AM) Austin: Think there is a physical pole up yet?
(10:28:29 AM) Davon: I think I’ll put one out there with an HG flag when I go out there for cookies.

So far, so good, however things then got exceptionally weird when the actual piece of legislation was located:

Adopted by the House of Representatives on May 28th, 2007, this legislation states that Texas has all of the following (and we’re not even joking, please go read the exact text at the above link): bluer skies, redder sunsets, faster horses, more unique animals, the most beautiful wildflowers, fatter deer, oranger longhorns, more beautiful women, smarter children, and kinder men.

Now, as Texans we most certainly love our great state of Texas, but how is it even remotely possible to put some of these grandiose claims into an actual piece of legislation?  For example:

(10:31:30 AM) Muntek: Rofl, oranger longhorns
(10:32:18 AM) Isaac: Wow
(10:32:24 AM) Isaac: Just reading the first paragraph
(10:33:17 AM) Davon: So I can literally say, I’m gonna have to drive to the West Pole for cookies.

And drive to the West Pole for cookies, he did.

Talk Like A Pirate Day Sale

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Arrrrggghhhhh!!!  Avast all ye skallywags and sea-wenches!  This be a very special day, yes it do!  Wednesday, September 19th be “International Talk Like a Pirate Day!”  It be a very special day!  For on this day we asked ourselves a question, and to our own surprise that question was not “where be the rum?!”

No, for on this day we asked ourselves “what be the most ‘pirate’ discount that we could be giving?”  The answer became clear, as if it t’was delivered upon our shoulder by our own parrot, aye!  The most “pirate” discount was none other than 44.44% off all new hosting packages.  Ahoy!  That be 44.44rrrrrrr percent, matey!  And it be off the first invoice only, what means is the longer billing cycle you choose, the more savings you get, aye!

This discount be valid on any new hosting package, yes it do.  It don’t be valid for renewals or extensions of existing hosting packages.  To take advantage of this offer (today only), simply use the followin’ coupon code: ARRRSNAP

After settlin’ on that, we then thought to ourselves that discounted domains go mighty fine with discounted hosting, yes they do.  They go together just as well as plunderin’ do with pillagin’!  As such, we decided to make all new .com/.net/.org/.biz/.info domains only $5 today!

Now, these deals they don’t be lastin’ long; they be pullin’ anchor and settin’ sail for the horizon at 11:59PM CST tonight!

Office Shenanigans, part IV

Written by Sean Valant

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

You’ve seen in prior posts how unattended desks at the HostGator offices can become innocent victims to roaming gangs of hooligans armed with pads of post-it notes and bent upon the defacement of perfectly clean work areas.  Well, it’s happened once again.  And I’m taking it personally, mostly because it was my desk this time.

It all began when I was summoned out of town for a week, on official HostGator business.  I received cryptic text messages throughout the week about a “surprise” that I would receive upon my return.  Multiple people from multiple departments, acting so innocent and saying how jealous they were about my surprise, and how great of a surprise it was.  Little did I know.

No reason to beat around the bush, we might as well just tear the band-aid off in one swift motion.  So, here it is; this is what I found upon my return to the office, in all it’s glory:

It hurts even just to look at, I know.  Since we’re already here, though, we might as well take this all in piece by piece.  Hopefully we can find clues as to the identity of the culprit, or culprits.  We must endeavor to put a stop to this once and for all!  Let’s have a look from a different angle, maybe that will help us make some sense out of this tragic circumstance:

We’ve come to expect the excessive use of post-it notes, and balloons have even been known to appear from time to time.  But tinsel?  Tinsel!  This is just getting out of hand.  Tinsel was never intended to be used in this manner.  Tinsel is supposed to be for celebrations!  This is no celebration, not at all!  And gift wrap!  This is a travesty.  Let’s look closer as this inappropriate use of tinsel and gift wrap:

The above image is what used to be my mouse.  It was placed on a bed of post-its, under a layer of tinsel and then gift-wrapped (well, probably not in that order, likely it was gift-wrapped first, but I digress…).  There’s simply no excuse for this sort of behavior, it’s un-called for!  Speaking of inappropriate gift wrapping, here’s a couple pictures of my monitors:

To be fair, only one of them was gift-wrapped, the second monitor was pseudo gift-wrapped, but with file folders instead of wrapping paper.  I assume either the culprits ran out of wrapping paper, or otherwise were attempting to send me a specific message of some sort.  I’m working very closely with Gator CSI in order to determine exact nature of the cause of this misappropriation of file folders, but clearly this was the work of an experienced hooligan.

Moving right along across the desk, we come to the computer tower and telephone; both of which have been treated in a way unbecoming of a computer tower or a telephone.  The decorative “Sean” artwork was pre-existing, but everything else shown in this picture likely makes your blood boil!  On the right is the telephone, and it’s worth noting that the base and the receiver were both gift wrapped separately.  Oh, the humanity!

Truth be told, to this day, the receiver remains still gift wrapped, and will remain so until these culprits are brought to justice!  If you’re like me, this is almost too painful to continue, but let’s finish what we started and take a look under the desk:

You can’t really make out what the balloons say in the image above, but I’ll tell you what they say.  They say “congratulations.”  Congratulations.  Clearly this message was hand-picked in order to rub salt in the already very, very painful wound.  I have no choice but to keep an eye out around the office, after something like this you really just never know who you can trust.  It’s heart-breaking, almost.

And then there was the chair.  How can you mess with a man’s chair?  To my knowledge, this is the first time a chair has ever been involved in a crime of this nature.  “Have a Seat,” it says.  Have a seat, indeed!

To show just how far-reaching the impact of these types of activities can be, I will now share with you a picture of what my desk looks like today.  We are trying to rebuild, but we just don’t have the resources necessary to make a full recovery yet.  It is a sad, sad work space these days:

As mentioned, the telephone receiver remains gift wrapped and there is still lingering tinsel.  Not shown: a solitary balloon still under the desk.  I don’t know if we’ll ever get rid of all the post-it notes, but at least the mouse has made a full recovery.

If you have any information as to the identities or whereabouts of those who committed this heinous crime, please notify your local authorities.