don’t play hard to get, it’s a free, free world…

A slightly spammy post this morning (with respect what I am talking about).

Firstly, I am so overwhelmingly proud that I got my first ever “I am going to leave X amount of dollars to you, if you will just send me your bank account details…” email. What made this one so wondefully special to me is that woman is dying of cancer, and, get this, she will leave me one and a half million dollars if I use the money to spread the word of god. Now, this amused me, considering how wide of the mark these people got when they hit me.

Firstly, I have been on the net since… well, a long time, and have a high level of sceptisim to start with. There really is no such thing as a free lunch, let alone lunches that are to the tune of $1.5 million. But even if I was stupid enough to believe what ‘she’ was saying, there are a few other things they missed…

Nothing is guaranteed to make me turn off faster than trying to gull me with mention of cancer. If you really are suffering from or affected in any way by cancer you have my total sympathy. I think my record stands for itself on that score – for proper charities, I raise money, buy pins, run 5 kilometres on a blazing hot July sunday morning, the works. But to use the cancer card is just plain low (even for spammers).

Thirdly, I lied on two. If there is one thing going to make me turn off faster than using the cancer-card, it is telling me it is the will of god. Hello, not Christian here folks! If you would be happy for me to spread the word about Buddhism, then perhaps we can talk. Well, ok, perhaps not, because evangelising isn’t my bag baby, but you get the idea.

All of the above does suggest that these spam attacks are organised, which of course they aren’t, but even some basic market research might have pointed out that I’m not who you should be targeting. At least not like that.

I am liking gmail’s spam filter – works measurably better than that of hotmail, or freeserve wanadoo. Even flags up when emails are coming from laundry sites *1* in an attempt to disguse their origin. Hence, note to spammers out there – phishing attacks pretending to be my bank won’t work either, so 😛

There is one way of getting spam to me, if you don’t care that I can’t understand a word you are saying. Send it in some unidentified asian language, possibly Japanese. Putting pictures of scantily clad ladies in the body of the email was also a nice touch. If I disable gmail’s automatic ‘block images’ function, I get a facefull of what, well, doesn’t turn me on. On the plus side, when I happen to open my emails on the LARGE dual-screen monitors in the lab, my male friends also get to see them, and I don’t hear Jeff, Spooky McDougal, or the Cute Canadian complaining, but it is mildly embarrassing.

So, my dilemma – how do I unsubscribe from this site, wherever it is, when I can’t read a fricking thing that it says? We’ll leave aside for now the fact I have NO idea how this email got on a list for an Asian language site. Whilst Gmail is being effective blocking it, I would rather I didn’t get it at all, and as I’m getting three or four A DAY it’s starting to get mildly irritating. Help?

And talking of Gmail, if anyone wants an account, I have more than enough invites to go around.

Now, seeing as how I am staring another boring day in the lab in the face, expect more posts as the day goes on. For now, sayonara.

Endnotes:
*1*Oh, just read Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon” already!Back

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