TDot’s Tips: Final Exam Refresh

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 30, 2011 in TDot's Tips | Subscribe

For the past couple semesters I’ve been throwing together exam-related advice for new 1Ls (and now 2Ls) who had newly discovered law:/dev/null since the last exam entry…

…and have realized that at this point anything I could write tonight would be redundant :beatup:

So rather than re-repeat everything for the new batch of folks, here are some quick links to the old entries:

  1. The browsewrap contract you’re agreeing to for the ZIP files below
  2. The first set of exam tips I wrote way back when I was a 1L after Fall 2009 finals
  3. The second batch of exam tips after surviving 1L year, with an addition based on my performance in CivPro II
  4. And finally the last final exam tips entry, including a more-detailed explanation of why the multiples matter (written a year ago today :surprised: )

As for those ZIP files containing the 1L / 2L / 3L stuff, the links are in the picture below. I didn’t embed them due to spammers in Russia, China and a few other countries who seem to enjoy hotlinking my files and trying to kill my bandwidth, so you’ll have to type the URLs in by hand. Sorry.

The URLs and subjects for the "#L Stuff" archives

Remember these are pretty hefty files, so the downloads are going to take awhile.

And when exams are all over, make sure to keep things in perspective and remember: your 1L grades don’t matter ;)

Have a great night and *GOOD LUCK* on final exams! :D


Past TDot’s Tips entries:

Tags: , , , , ,


Dec 1, 2011 at 1:37 AM

RE: The Browsewrap K post:
For the record, PCs have “search” instead of Spotlight. Fairly certain it functions similar in that it allows you to type in “Winkfield” (or whatever brief you need to pull up quickly) and as you type it’ll generate relevant documents.

I don’t speak “computer,” so I apologize if this question makes you laugh at its ignorance: what constitutes a spammer and what could possibly be their motive to take a bunch of American law school outlines and such?! How does hotlinking kill bandwidth? Idgi…although, if there aren’t short answers, I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to follow, lol

Dec 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM

It’s all about making money, or “spamdexing” as the practice is known. Basically:

(1) spammers create a site (something like “”) and use advertising like Google AdWords or something similar to get paid based on the number of pageviews they get;

(2) They then hotlink a bunch of other folks’ content on the site rather than posting anything original;

(3) Then, using automated scripts, they post garbage WordPress comments on websites across the internet linking back to their site; if a WordPress install is unprotected / uses default settings, the comments (and embedded site links) are automatically posted;

(4) The spammer site gets indexed by Google as having links to all this material, and all of these other sites linking to the spammer; under Google’s PageRank indexing algorithm, this indicates that the spammer is actually a really good site for the material, boosting the spam site’s ranking in Google searches; then

(5) The spammer makes $$$$ off the advertising from people who click their website from a Google search, incorrectly thinking it’s something legit.


As for the hotlinking:

Any time any file is downloaded to a browser, it uses “upstream” bandwidth from the server giving the file and “downstream” bandwidth from your internet connection. When folks visit law:/dev/null, their browsers’ download the favicon, download the background images, download the actual text of the entries, etc etc.

Our bandwidth volume varies widely by how often I write posts (and use things like pics and such in the entries), but a long-run average is probably around ~150MB of data transferred daily to accommodate ~1700ish daily readers (basically 88 kilobytes of data per reader).

When you have hotlinked files getting accessed by spam sites, it drives that number through the roof because folks aren’t downloading the file to get the file; automated bots are downloading the file to boost Google rankings.

As an example, the 1L Stuff folder is roughly 210MB on my server — basically 140% of my average daily bandwidth use. If the 500 people at NCCU Law all downloaded it, it’d use 105GB of bandwidth; all in all, not that big a deal when it’s spread out over the month.

But if a hotlinker has 5,000 bots downloading the file, now all of a sudden you’ve got over a terabyte of bandwidth coming off my server. That makes my service provider flip out because it looks like we’re doing something like enabling music piracy and such.


Hope that explains it well, even if it was lengthy :beatup:

If you get bored, you can read through and for more info :)


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