Monday, September 17, 2007

Occasional low trees...

I'm cleaning out my spam trap today, and one item in the pile had the subject line, "Occasional low trees cast shadows that made black lines on the dry, moonlit earth." This sounded nice, so I opened it. Pharma spam, of course. But it was a nice change from "D1sc0unt repl1c4 R0LEX W4tches" and "Cheap Cialis NOW!". It's even a step above the "three random words" spam headers, some of which are pretty funny: today I've seen "monotonous Goldfrapp intrusion" and "opulent spinnet wheeze". Some of the offers expressed in my spam subject lines seem like a great deal. I've got one informing me that I have won either $10000 or 5 free ringtones! I wonder which it is. I also got a few dozen identical e-mails informing me that I have been selected to win the laptop of my choice. Okaaay. First, who falls for this? Second, what if someone really did want to give me a laptop of my choice? I might be missing out on a real opportunity here. I should go ahead and open all these and click on all the links, just in case!

I'm amazed at how my attitudes towards spam have changed; it's gone from an annoyance to part of the daily routine. I just cleaned over 800 messages out of my spam traps for my Yahoo mail account and the anyone@ account at (this is the total since Thursday; I had a busy weekend and barely turned the computer on), and I get another 20 or 30 a day at work. The spam filters aren't perfect, though, so I still have to read through the headers manually so I don't miss anything important. I've had problems with the barracuda firewall at work, too. It'll take replies to my own e-mails and filter them as spam, and it'll occasionally block mail from domains I've added to my whitelist. The irony is, there's a simple solution for the spam problem: if no one clicked thru any on any of their spam messages, ever, it'd die out pretty quickly. But people in large groups are dumb as rocks, and the bottom .01% of internet users apparently keep looking for knockoff watches and dubious pharmaceuticals.

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