Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Note to spammers (updated!)

This is not an advertising blog. If I see or hear about a worthwhile blog, project, service or web page (that everyone else hasn't gotten to months before me), I'll post a link here. If you're providing a service that's altruistic, that's great. If it's entirely self promoting (that means you, "Jewish bible quiz" and "Learn Hebrew verbs" guy1), I'll pass. I don't need your prewritten blog posts. I don't need your mass mailings. I know you like your page rank, but, there are better ways to get it.

I may consider adding a new column to the bottom of my sidebar, entitled "Spammers." On it, I will post the name and email address associated with blog-ad spam. I may not have many readers, but I am traversed by search engines, and your address will be harvested by third-party spambots.

By the way, this only applies to mass mail2. I won't consider personal email to be spam, so don't be worried about clicking my email address. I do want to hear from readers through comments and email.

1 Never have I seen a site with more copyright notices on a single screen than this one. And, truth is, if it were free/open source software, the backend might have been somewhat useful. As a web service, it's of low to moderate interest.

And, by the way, dude, the 90's are over. You can use Unicode now. And, even if you're representing Hebrew words with graphics, you don't need a library of "over 10,000 graphical images." You just need enough graphics to represent each character and point. It's the basis of a novel technology called a 'font.' (Maybe I should apply for a patent on it.) If you want to see what I'm talking about, I won't provide a link, you can go Google for it yourself, or find some sucker who put up the press release/announcement.

2 Hint: if it has more than 10 email addresses in the "To" line, it's mass mail. At least learn how to use BCC. It's good for you.

Update: At least one spammer got part of the message. He took me off his list. He still didn't get that sending unsolicited mass email is bad netiquette. The reason: spam works.

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Dear Blogger:

I want to learn Hebrew verbs. Where do I go?
A class or a library. :-)
Thanks for the extensive comments on my blog the other day. I really appreciate that someone would take the time to take me half way seriously. Especially since you just happened to stumble upon my crazed opinions.

I totally feel you on the spammers. Before they had word verification (or maybe before I knew about it...) I spent a few minutes ranting about them myself here.

I don't think I scared them much because every time I turn off word verification they show up again...

(I realise they are just bots, but I can still be outraged!)

I don't get outraged at computers. I get outraged at the people who program them. :-)

The difference in my past two posts are that the (e-mail) spammers were both real people who should know better. Thunderbird and Gmail do a perfectly good job of filtering out the computer-sent mail (Gmail does a much better job, actually, probably because its Bayesian filter is a lot better trained than mine). Actually, most of the addresses on the computer-sent mail are either stolen or faked anyway, so, my plan of action wouldn't help with respect to them, anyway.
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