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BLU-82 the so called "Daisy Cutter" is a 15,000 bomb capable of instant urban renewal for a radius of out to about 700 feet. It was a big hit in Vietnam and in the Middle East in both Desert Storm and Afghanistan.
Well, one of the Desk's email accounts got hit with the SPAM version of the Daisy Cutter early Monday Morning. The first batch was waiting on the Desk behind the cheerful message that its mailbox was exceeding its capacity. And the thoughtful note that the Desk could PAY for a larger mailbox. Then the Desk noticed that its bulk mail folder was full, and that is the word, of email from Debbie at Life Insurance Quotes of America, Inc.
Yes. Full of one email. One email.
One email four hundred and thirty eight times!
Over Four Hundred of the Same Thing!
Each one was 5K and contained the same advertisement.
Now it's easier to provide for your Loved Ones:
SAVE UP TO 75% ON YOUR TERM LIFE INSURANCE
The desk deleted four hundred and thirty seven of them and did some legwork to find out who had dropped the fifty cents in the SPAMBOT that sat there and flooded its account. The Desk checked another mailbox it has on the same service under a different name (Yes the Desk has multiple email boxes, over twenty at last count, including email on three other Continents), and then it went hoofing about to several other of its accounts. It was only the one that had been bombed.
About a half an hour later the Desk went back to the original account and found fifty more from the same address. Which, upon investigation, turned out not to be a REAL address at all. Seems 188.8.131.52 doesn't belong to anybody in particular, but is a known source for SPAM. Several related and a few unrelated addresses are nothing more than sources for about half the SPAM on the Internet. And this page WTC SPAM has collected this information and listed it for all to see.
But this particular SPAMMER has been busy, the Desk turned up posts the mindless robot had posted to mailing lists and forums here and there. One of them was even answered by another SPAMBOT.
Is Life Insurance Quotes of America, Inc a real company? Doesn't matter.
Are they actually selling low cost insurance? Also does not matter.
Doesn't matter in the least.
This is the kind of thing that is going to force Congress to more and more involved in the Net and thereby, squeeze the life out of it. The last thing We the Users of the NET want is Politicians (curse spit) involved.
So what can We do?
Tell the politicians to keep their slimy claws off the Net. We do NOT need more unenforceable laws that simply end up costing the end user (read taxpayer and user) more and more.
Then complain to the ISP's where the SPAM came from, if it's a real one to begin with. And complain to your email providers like MSN and so on, who Sell and Allow their bandwidth to be used by SPAMMERS.
Yes MSN had to let it in, for a fee. They sold the rights to inflict that crap on their users, and allowed it to happen. If there was any justice in the world Microsoft Bill will find the check the SPAMMER sent him for said access has bounced.
Now the Desk is something of an expert in SPAM. It gets Russian SPAM, Indian SPAM, South African SPAM, even Malaysian SPAM.
But this is the first time it has ever had almost Five Hundred of the same slice of SPAM.
And this incident has shattered the Desk's former record of eighty-three junk mails in one mailbox in one day.
Some Desk Regulars, and Irregulars too for that matter, have noticed and commented that Internet advertising has gotten more and more annoying, more intrusive, and from a technical point of view, more clever and creative. Time bomb Ads. You might be offline for some time and suddenly a browser window opens asking you if you want to save money on plane tickets. Fake windows with all the regular buttons hidden so if you click on the X to close the window you are actually activating the link and end up at the World's Largest Casino. And then animations that dance across your screen, or move away when you try to close them. Lastly; the email ads that appear to be notices from everybody from the IRS to your mother.
But, in its role as Observer of All Things, the Desk checks some of them out. No, it can't check on all of them, nor does it want to. It really doesn't want to see some guy's wife with farm animals, and it sees no point on applying for a credit card so it can get a Celphone it won't use. And it has no need for a Webcam no matter how pretty the woman by the swimming pool is in the ad.
And what conclusions has the Desk drawn from all the ads and SPAMS.
Most Ads are for Real Products and Services. Yes. Most of the Advertising on the Net is for actual stuff. Whether it is anything anybody wants is another question. And whether anything advertised on the Net is actually a good deal is an open question. You can probably get comparable products and services locally quicker and cheaper than you can on the Net by the time you get done with shipping charges and delays from UPS. But, hey, at least you will get a real item eventually.
Most SPAM is either a Scam or an out-right rip-off. Yes, some of the things touted in so-called Offertisements are real, such as 'Found Money' (See article on the Desk's Urban Legend Page) are more or less real offers. But the vast majority will simply take your money and leave you as another statistic and proof that if Mr. Barnum were alive today he would be all over the net.
"There's a Sucker born every minute."
Said about a PT Barnum (1810-1891) exhibition of something which was widely known to be a hoax.
Stay tuned for the standard warnings about your money and the NET.
Do NOT reply to SPAM unless you want More SPAM.
Do NOT click on the 'to be removed' button in the SPAM unless you want More SPAM.
Do NOT do anything with SPAM except delete it unread unless you want More SPAM.
Before you give out information or send somebody a check...
Check out sites like the National Fraud Information Center http://fraud.org and the Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org to stay informed.
And, of course, use the Desk's Urban Legends, Virus Hoaxes and Other Nonsense Page at http://www.themediadesk.com/files/urban.htm as a resource as well.
And most importantly... THINK before you give out credit card or other information, even your real name and mailing address, to ANYBODY on the WEB.
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