Saturday, 5 November 2005


Okay - I admit it, I have a strange sense of humour at times.

I use Mailwasher Pro, a superb bit of kit that checks my email accounts every three minutes, downloads the headers, decides if it's someone I should be getting mail from, flags the spam and marks it for deletion and (when appropriate) bouncing. Those deleted are added to the blacklist and forever consigned to being ignored and told that I've moved/married/died/gone away or whatever is appropriate to stop them sending me adverts for extensions or Viagra or whatever. On a separate note - if you get a bounce notification from me you should ring and let me know. I once put a customer on the blacklist by mistake and nearly lost a few quid because Mailwasher convinced him that I was living a life of crime on the Costas!

Anyway. The preview pane in Mailwasher is text based rather than HTML. To dodge round heuristic spam protection most spammers put random text in the mail and bung the advert in as an image. Because Mailwasher ignores images I just see the text and frequently this is a terse "Get a capable HTML mail client" but increasingly the random text is interesting. It's philosophy or jokes or ramblings of amazing complexity (it has to make some sort of sense or the heuristic filters flag it as spam). From tonight's crop "Many difficulties which nature throws in our way, may be smoothed away by the exercise of intelligence" really made me think and sometimes there are long screeds of stuff that is really cool. "Life is governed by an economic system in which the production and consumption of insults tends to balance out" is probably true and I make no comment on "Never take a wife till thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in".
The moral? Spam might be more useful than you think!

1 careful considerations:

Anonymous said...

sPAm philosophy? Intriguing. If you are interested in road building, prehaps you should contact your council about getting a by-pass.