It’s been a while since I last favoured you all with fascinating details of the roughly 500 unwanted messages that daily make it through to my last line of defense.
Herewith, a summary of recent developments.
I, like some other people, have been enjoying the emissions of the (I presume) single pharmacy spammer who has hit upon a way to send messages which appeal to every possible consumer. Half of his spams have the subject line “This is not for idiots”. The other half, magnificently, have “Not for oversmart people”.
I’ve also had a lot of those weird “…goes bra-less” spams, promoting some ad-laden “news” site that just copies content from other sites. Entertainingly, the spammers’ list of names of nubile starlets to put at the start of the “…goes bra-less” subject line includes Barbra Streisand.
I’ve also been pleased to receive a dodgy link scheme e-mail from someone who may be headed for fame in the Expert Sex Change/Penis Land/The Rapist Finder stakes; he’s got a “very authentic directory” which “generates a high volume of qualified traffic” (even though most of its categories are empty…), and he decided to call it beontopranking-google.com.
It took me a while to figure out that he meant that to read Be On Top Ranking Google, rather than Be Onto Pranking Google, which I admit doesn’t scan very well, but is singularly appropriate for someone who’s sending link-to-me spam.
(This “domain name confusion” subject even has a Leo Stoller connection. It’s a small world, isn’t it?)
I’m not actually particularly annoyed by the typical “link request” e-mail. It’s simple, to the point, and hopeless, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking for links, however worthless such schemes may be.
But I got five copies of a link request from one Philip Gahan of the internationally unrenowned OrBay Online Auctions, who’ve confidently decided that the only thing on Dan’s Data is my review of the Aeropress coffee maker, and thereby included a link to dansdata.com on one of their numerous, and tiny, “Home and Garden” directory pages.
(One of the other links on that page at the moment is helpfully titled “Dantechnology DE ANTONI:macchine per smerigliatura e pulitura. Linishing and polishing machine. - pulitura, smerigliatura, brillantatura, carteggiatura,lucidatura pulire, smerigliare, carteggiare, brillantare, cromatura,cromare, rubinetto, rubinetti, maniglia, maniglie, pentole, cucchiaio, posate, posata,robot, robotica, automazione, automatismo, tavola, macchina, campana, campane,polish,polishing,grind,grinding,bell,buffing,finishing,taps,handle , lavorazioni , meccanica, subfornitura ,linishing, pots,pans,lids,fiera,faucets, fiere,exhibition”.)
Honourable mention: Whoever it was who thought that because this letters column has a letter with the title “Drive saunas”, my site must therefore be an ideal candidate for a link swap with a company that makes hot tubs.
And while I’m at it: Hello to the gibbering nitwits at SalesUniversal (dot com), who think I’m in the market for their “Business List of 88,000+ business contacts across Arizona state”, and to the drooling lackwits at SlipStreamVideo (dot com), who’ve sent me a number of messages saying “We’re interested in representing your product in the marketplace”, without revealing to me what product they believe I am selling.
I mean, you can kind of understand the endless flow of Chinese commercial spam; lots of people seem to think I’m one of the world’s major LED, LCD and magnet retailers, thanks to my high PageRanks for those search terms.
That still doesn’t really excuse the spammer who sent me two copies of their “Lighting Fixture Chandeliers Hotels Projects” message, though. At least they broke up the stream of identical messages “FROM MR GABRIEL NWAKEZE22″.
MR NWAKEZE22’s intriguing financial proposition was, to be fair, more appealing than the one from one David de Hilster, whose somewhat novel theory that Einstein Was Wrong (and that E actually equals MC cubed…) has, apparently, spawned a documentary pithily titled “Einstein Wrong - The Miracle Year”.
The documentary is “about a suburban house wife who takes on the icon of 20th century physics to see if in fact relativity is wrong”, it’s shot and in the can, it “has two Oscar-winning distributors interested in the project”… but it’s still in search of an Executive Producer.
(By which they mean, someone willing to give them a lot of money.)
Other points of light in the river of mud have included:
One message with the subject line “hey [Unknown Tag *$rname* Please Fix]!”.
A fake-watches spam which not only informed me that “Celebrities wear Rolex‘s” and “Millionaires wear Rolex‘s” but also that “Jesus would wear a Rolex”.
Colon-cleanse spam which alleged “The longer your body is exposed to rotting food in your intestines, the greater the risk of toxic build up!” That text is apparently plagiarised from this patent application, of all things.
And, in conclusion, I’m also the proud recipient of an endless stream of bounce messages from stupidly configured mail servers, which assume that spam whose “From” line is “VIAGRA ™ Official Site <email@example.com>” must actually be from me.
These servers usually seem to be in the funny little two-character-TLD areas of the Internet - .ua, .fm, that kind of thing. And the addresses that’re bouncing are usually more glimpses of the uncleaned grease-trap that is the average spammer’s address list.
Just the other day I received three very helpful Delivery Status Notification (Failure) messages telling me that the messages “I” had sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org had failed.
The icing on this particularly delectable cake was that the bounces - regarding addresses at domains registered in Japan, the Ukraine and the USA, respectively - all came “from” email@example.com. That’s a company that makes electronic medical records software, and your guess is as good as mine about why its name’s being tacked onto farflung spam errors.