Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, April 24, 2003

 

Flailing email



I remember life before spam. It wasn't that long ago, really. It was a good life. I could post to newsgroups, freely, and get back replies from strangers that I wanted to read. Now, sorting through my email is like machine gunning down a swarm of armed maniacs all trying to sell me something. Here's today's mail:

N1216 rachel.gray91@rcn Wed Apr 23 00:05 34/1069 D0ctors create peni|e enlargement pi||s gloejn29
N1217 snorerx@mrsnore.c Wed Apr 23 00:22 74/3345 Stop Snoring Today!
N1218 c27367@zahav.net. Wed Apr 23 03:25 42/3434 -Get married to a sexy Russian girl 616199
N1219 Mullican.Kerstin@ Wed Apr 23 09:44 43/1769 H0t Women on the 'net
N1220 hjortur@decode.is Wed Apr 23 10:19 90/3875 [PBS-USERS] MOM rejected
N1221 alsaeed01@o2.pl Wed Apr 23 10:26 64/2124 =?iso-8859-2?Q?Resend?=
N1222 amitoj@cs.uh.edu Wed Apr 23 11:05 108/4547 Re: [PBS-USERS] MOM rejected
N1223 everett445@hotmai Wed Apr 23 11:30 134/7243 Mtaht, sick of spam?
N1224 rhn-admin@rhn.red Wed Apr 23 11:43 123/5028 RHN Errata Alert: Updated tcpdump packages fix various vulnerab
N1225 bjbkjbgskj@estuda Wed Apr 23 12:02 59/2587 Eagle RE:14 Great` Program Software Packagemtaht
N1226 fbetressa@singapo Wed Apr 23 12:23 150/3810 How to Make your penis bigger and harder mtaht e
N1227 skds43seelkds43se Wed Apr 23 12:24 46/1360 mtaht~Post_WAR~Are~your~investments~safe???_tip_#43
N1228 readinessxygf@lyc Wed Apr 23 13:23 967/57534 w feel better ocwcuboxt
N1229 B3EHeZ@store.yaho Wed Apr 23 13:27 58/2302 order headsetzone-10412 from Plantronics Headset Zone Low Pric
N1230 rhn-admin@rhn.red Wed Apr 23 14:08 115/4558 RHN Errata Alert: Updated ethereal packages fix security vulner
N1231 B3EHeZ@store.yaho Wed Apr 23 14:10 40/1867 order headsetzone-10412 from Plantronics Headset Zone Low Pric
N1232 constance@produce Wed Apr 23 15:02 85/2794 Is your job secure
N1233 al@brussels.sgi.c Wed Apr 23 15:16 65/3063 Re: [PBS-USERS] expired licenses
N1234 yrjonbdn@yahoo.co Wed Apr 23 16:14 36/1464 ** You're Approved! **
N1235 ti@yahoo.com Wed Apr 23 17:10 42/2478 =?ISO-8859-3?B?bXRhaHQsVHVybiBiYWNrIHlvdXIgYm9keSdzIGJpb2xvZ2lj
N1236 rebecca@produceyo Wed Apr 23 17:52 57/1937 If not now when
N1237 REPORT_SUBMIT@WOR Wed Apr 23 18:18 84/4158 REPORT REGARDING: mtaht
N1238 sales@americasink Wed Apr 23 18:36 87/4774 Save Upto 50-75% Off Retail Prices on Inkjet Cartridges and Las
N1239 payments-messages Wed Apr 23 19:42 88/3020 Your Amazon Marketplace Purchase
N1240 payments-messages Wed Apr 23 19:42 88/3010 Your Amazon Marketplace Purchase
N1241 auto-confirm@amaz Wed Apr 23 19:43 1103/22245 Your Purchase with Amazon.com
N1242 snorerx@mrsnore.c Wed Apr 23 20:03 74/3345 Stop Snoring Today!
N1243 payments-messages Wed Apr 23 20:06 88/3056 Your Amazon Marketplace Purchase
N1244 auto-confirm@amaz Wed Apr 23 20:08 1371/26699 Your Purchase with Amazon.com
N1245 digcam1469572@hot Wed Apr 23 20:53 55/1616 Worlds Smallest Webcam
N1246 danathomas@plaste Wed Apr 23 21:30 213/13685 It was huge!! and I LOVED it..
N1247 yojigtjwdt@yahoo. Wed Apr 23 22:15 36/1465 ** APPROVED. **
N1248 cbjabg@excite.com Wed Apr 23 22:18 26/1288 mtaht i like this kh
N1249 news@reg.net Wed Apr 23 23:49 83/5639 Reg.Net Softnews for Michael

11 nonspam messages, out of 33... spam for a product called "spam remedy", spam for porn, spam with javascript in it, spam that looks suspiciously like real messages, spam for russian wives that pose in the nude - only one spam that even sort of tries to abide by the rules... I don't give a damn about making my penis bigger or putting it into a russian wife!!

Someday spammers do time in jail, sharing cells with thieves and other people that invade your home, violate your privacy and eat time you'd rather spend reading something pleasant and non-invasive, like a book.

While there's all kinds of passive filters out there to reduce the spam problem, I daydream of:

First, connect every spammer's site to every other spammers site. Then send a billion, trillion packets down their lines, and watch their systems explode...then the paddy wagons pull up to each and every spammer and hauls their asses to jail where every one gets held without bail and gets a new girlfriend named Bubba...

Yaa... there's network effects for you - n^22, doing jail time, from just one day's email collection alone.

Then I can, we all can, open our email boxes again with something other than fear and loathing. A new day will dawn.

The worst thing about today's email? There wasn't a single message from an actual human being.

Michael
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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