A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

26 September 2006


Spam. It's an increasing problem these days. Yesterday my work e-mail was buried in "phar/\/\a-cie" and "This one will jump" spam.

But that doesn't annoy me much, as my workplace employs several IT types who generally make very sure that these messages are deleted, not repeated.

Yahoo!'s initial solution was to ask it's vict--I mean mail clients if they'd like to "create a bulk folder". Yahoo! would then "direct bulk mail messages into this folder" according to the blurb.

That is, sign up for a spam file and they'd send you something to fill it with. I never had any spam in my inbox until the day I failed to scrupulously un-check the box and accidentally created the bulk folder. I deleted it right away, but still I get about four spam messages per day.

I know that's not a lot, but considering that the objective is zero, presumably, I feel this represents failure.

One would think there was a way of fixing this:

Like interdicting any e-mail containing the subject line "pharma", "pharma-cy" or the myriad ways one can mangle that word.

Or simply not allowing mail addressed to (example addresses only) "" or "" to reach "1234Jsmythe@yahoo.zb". I get stuff that misses my address by many letters and sometimes even has the wrong domain name, but it still comes through.

And if Google can have a robot crawl your written content to send "targetted ads" (I use Gmail too, and it's as bad as Yahoo! or worse), should it be so hard to target crap mail that says "All stockbrokers are looking very hard at this company" or "This will for sure get way bigger China co."?

Moreover, every time I flag one of these moron mails, I get this cheerful message from Yahoo!:

But I've been doing this for about two £µ©λin' years! If this crap actually "performs better" every time I do this--why the £µ©λ am I still getting spam?

On the other hand, I really like this Spam.

Loverly Spam! Wonderful Spam!

But I still want Yahoo! and Google to get serious about stamping it out. Do you think if the RIAA got involved there'd be something done about it?

I know! We should all return spam mails with a pirated song attached, preferably something by Metallica. That'd get some action!


At 12:35 p.m., Blogger a h m a d said...

The spammers just get smarter day after day.

On the other hand, I get spam email, but more than 95% are correctly identified by Yahoo! mail and Gmail and they get delivered to spam folder. Your case seems to be severe. I suggest don't use your email to subscribe to websites, most of them just steal your email and sell it to spammers. :)

At 4:20 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

We have an old expression here, Ahmad: "Don't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs" (or steal sheep, or change diapers or ...)

My own favourite idiom is British: "I'm not so green as I'm cabbage-looking".

Basically I'm saying "I know, I know!"

Oddly enough, despite my never using it in a professional capacity, my e-mail has made it onto the web here and there. But I never use it to sign up for anything free.

Thanks for the advice, nonetheless.

At 12:34 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I googled "U7E" your blog came up 3 times.
I know that really doesn't have to do with spam, but I thought it was kinda funny.


At 12:37 a.m., Blogger a h m a d said...

Yeah, we all know it. But personally, I am always tempted to subscribe here and there. Plus we post a comment and leave our email address which remains on the webpage(s) waiting for the spam bots and pass and suck it. For me, I still find it tempting to leave my email when I post a comment! :))

At 8:35 a.m., Anonymous PJ said...

Be aware too that every free e-card site on Earth has to make their money somehow, and they do it by selling your email address, and your card recipient's, to spammers. Sending someone an e-card is signing them up to a lifetime of spam. Stick to paper cards in the mail.

At 11:50 a.m., Anonymous Lydia said...

Please note PJ said FREE e-cards. Pay a few bucks and the problem is solved. My spammers (penny stock types) are getting very clever with names and subjects. A few have been so close to names of people I actually know! (or did back in grade 8)(after 40 years they couldn't possibly...?)


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