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Month: November 2004

SPAM Poetry

Spammers are trying all kinds of techniques to get through SPAM filters these days. From putting spaces between letters of the words (get some v i a g a r a!) to deliberate misspellings (l0west prices on M3DS) to what I like to call SPAM Poetry. This lovely poem appeared at the bottom of an email asking me if I wanted to “see some fucking swingers”:

His brothers fancy gun is angry.

Any little expensive smart mp3 player smells.

Any smart expensive gun stands-still and perhaps whose red house run or maybe our children white noisy round-shaped bluish camera fidgeting.

Their fancy forg got an idea.

A bluish pensil falls.

Our children silver balloon calculates.

His round omprella fidgeting.

Her daughters white bicycle is angry the time that our children tall camera prepare for fight.

Her daughters red underwares calms-down.

Any given purple sofa is thinking or maybe her daughters white computer snores.

Her slopy stupid white red ram calms-down.

Our children round-shaped ipaq smells.

Our children golden golden pensil lies.

Her tall bottle snores.

His brothers soft sony sleeps or maybe mine expensive fancy spoon falls.

Her daughters well-crafted bicycle run and perhaps the bluish expensive shining printer stands-still.

Her daughters tall purple forg stares.

Our well-crafted silver book lies.

A given white omprella looks around however, her expensive sofa smiles.

My smart new router

I bought a new router with all kinds of neat firewall features. I had some trouble getting it all setup and getting good download speeds with bittorrent. Somewhere along the way I turned on a feature where the router would email me when it’s under attack. I thought that would be cool. Turns out that it also emails me whenever it detects a bad TCP packet. This happens about 100 times a day. Problem is, I can’t access my router setup page anymore. I could do a hard reset to the factory defaults and then set it up again, but now that it’s working, I’m tempted to just not mess with a good thing… but damn, I wish my router would just shut up.

Spam spam spam spam

Ever wonder why you get so much Spam? Because it works:

As one of the world’s most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need.

Jaynes’ business was remarkably lucrative; prosecutors say he grossed up to $750,000 per month. If you have an e-mail account, chances are Jaynes tried to get your attention, pitching software, pornography and work-at-home schemes.

Relatively few people actually responded to Jaynes’ pitches. In a typical month, prosecutors said during the trial, Jaynes might receive 10,000 to 17,000 credit card orders, thus making money on perhaps only one of every 30,000 e-mails he sent out.

But he earned $40 a pop, and the undertaking was so vast that Jaynes could still pull in $400,000 to $750,000 a month, while spending perhaps $50,000 on bandwidth and other overhead, McGuire said.

“When you’re marketing to the world, there are enough idiots out there” who will be suckered in, McGuire said in an interview.

The upside, this is from coverage of Jaynes’ felony trial where his recommended sentence is nine years. Hopefully it will be upheld and send a message out to other spammers.

Fanboy Alert!

Saw the Beastie Boys on Wednesday night – what an amazing show. I’ve been listening to these guys for nearly 20 years hoping for a chance to someday see them perform live. Living in Ottawa has its downsides, not the least of which being in a smallish town, most big acts tend to pass us by. When I heard the Boys were coming to O-town, I had to check it twice. I couldn’t believe it. There was no way I wasn’t going to this show…

It was incredible – 20 years of anticipation realized. They’re every bit of fun you’d imagine they’d be, because that’s what they’re obviously there to do: have some fun. From the opening scratch to the very last beat they were joking around, making faces at each other and the crowd, jumping around and just having a blast.

Mixmaster Mike is a living legend, and seeing him do his stuff live is mindblowing. And the visuals were stunning – there were a bunch of giant screens onstage that projected looped clips of videos, live footage, and all kinds of psychadelic shit.

They dropped tracks from every album and they dropped plenty. I think the running time was somewhere around 1.5 hours or so. Highlights include Root Down, Egg Man, An Open Letter to NYC, Paul Revere, Intergalactic (see fanboy story below) and the ear-splitting roof-crashing shit-kicking mega-rocking closer, Sabotage.

So here’s my little fanboy story:  we were standing near the back of general admission – right in front of the sound booth – my knee was bothering me, so I didn’t want to get into the fray… plus, I’m just getting too old for that crap.

So we’re at the back for the whole show – which is cool because they had these giant screens and they were pretty high up and general wasn’t over-packed, so we had a great view. Towards the end of the show, some security guards come up behind us and latch a section of fence up to the outside of the sound booth fence and clear out a section at the back..

I kinda suspected what was about to happen – the boys left the stage for the obligatory encore call and a minute later showed up right behind us for a song… all of a sudden we went from being at the very back, to being at the very front.

It took a few minutes for everyone to realize where they were, so those of us at the back had them to ourselves for a few minutes… and then IT happened – MCA grabbed my HAND! (and this is where I start thinking, I’m 31 years old, I shouldn’t be feeling all giddy about this… but I do, so whatever)  He held onto it a long time too… long enough that I didn’t really know what to do. It actually got a bit uncomfortable, but I’m like, whatever, MCA’s shaking my hand, get over it.  So I just kinda stood there and kept shaking MCA’s hand.

Next thing you know, half of General Admission is pushing in from behind, trying to squeeze in.  Me and my peeps held them at bay and rocked out with the boys front row for the duration of Intergalactic… most of which I heard through ringing ears brought on by the two screaming girls pushing from behind, but whatever – I shook MCA’s hand.

Angel or Devil?

Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy doesn’t want you shopping in his stores if you’re one of the 20% of his customers he refers to as “devils”

Best Buy’s angels are customers who boost profits at the consumer-electronics giant by snapping up high-definition televisions, portable electronics, and newly released DVDs without waiting for markdowns or rebates.

Devils are its worst customers. They buy products, apply for rebates, return the purchases, then buy them back at returned-merchandise discounts. They load up on “loss leaders,” severely discounted merchandise designed to boost store traffic, then flip the goods at a profit on eBay. They slap down rock-bottom price quotes from Web sites and demand that Best Buy make good on its lowest-price pledge.”

I don’t know… I just think it’s dangerous to be publicly referring to 20% of your customer base as “devils” … some folks just might start taking that shit personal.

Happy 1.0!!

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 is here! If you haven’t done it yet, get your ass over to mozilla and download the shit out of that browser!