It's Just this Little Chromium Switch Here

Weblogging and commentary by Chip Rosenthal

Calling Austin-Area Webloggers

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Link: Austin-Bloggers Mailing List Info

Attention Austin-area webloggers: we're forming a mailing list! The Austin-Bloggers list is open to all local folks interested in weblogging. This grew out of the ongoing Meetup gatherings. We desire more interactivity than meetup.com provides, so that we can hatch some of our evil schemes for world domination.

If you are a local weblogger, won't you consider joining us? You can signup at our listinfo page, or austin-bloggers-request [at] soaustin [dot] net (subject: subscribe) (send an email) to austin-bloggers-request [at] soaustin [dot] net with the word subscribe in the message subject or body.

Larry Lessig Bets His Job

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Link: Putting my Job Where my Mouth Is

I hate to kick a guy when he's down, but if Larry Lessig likes teaching law, he'd better hope Congress doesn't pass a spam labeling law.

Last fall, Larry proposed a law requiring an ADV label on spam, with a novel twist: a bounty. He proposed that if a spammer fails to label their email, the first person to hunt them down can collect a $10,000 bounty, payable by the spammer.

Guest-the-Spam Contest Winner

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Now that I finally got off my ass and posted the year-end spam numbers, I can at long last announce the winner of the First Annual IJTLCSH Guess-the-Spam Contest.

The goal of the contest was to see who could guess the amount of spam I received in 2002. The article I just posted reported the amount of spam hitting my mailbox was about 10,000 messages. So, the winner is Anthony, with the winning guess of "16425ish." Congratulations!

As far as 2003, here is my prediction: 2002 ended at a rate of about 38 spams/day. The spam rate seems to be increasing linearly, so I estimate it will be about 60 spams/day at year end. That would put the 2003 total at 18,250 total spam messages in my mailbox. Check back a year from now to see what really happens.

Twelve Minutes

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Throughout 2002, on average, some imbecile tried to spam me every 12 minutes. My total spam count for the year was about 45,000 messages. That's about 120 spams a day--one every 12 minutes.

Why are MSN and Hotmail Users Flooded with Spam?

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Link: Spammers Grab Hotmail and MSN addresses

MSN and Hotmail users are awash with spam. Microsoft is so bad, it fails the "Mom Test." My mother pays the Microsoft premium for MSN connectivity, but hosts her emailbox on my server because the spam is so bad. My friend Mark ran an experiment by opening up a Hotmail account and seeing how long it was before the first spam arrived. It took less than a day.

Many people look at incidents such as these and conclude Microsoft is selling names to spammers. That's unlikely. Even if Microsoft was brokering email addresses, it probably wouldn't sell them to work-at-home scam and penis enlargement spammers.

The Crotch is Off-Limits

Rubberman Penn JilletteLink: Federal V.I.P. Penn (via I.P.)

If you ask politely, then Penn Jillette will let you touch his crotch. Just be sure to ask first. Even if you are a member of the Federal Airport Gestapo.

Max is Back

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Max NofzigerLink: Max for Mayor

This may be a case of premature blogulation, because although there is a web site here, it isn't Max's. But Max has tossed his hat into the ring, so one would expect to see a campaign web site before too long.

Max is an Austin institution. He's had jobs ranging from street-corner flower salesman to councilmember and mayor pro tem. I last met up with Max back in 1997, when he last ran for mayor. I was active in his campaign, and it was a delight to work with him.

Happy New Year ... from a Bitter, Cynical Engineer

dead fishHappy new year! Or, at least, one that doesn't suck quite so awfully as the one that just ended. I want to see 2002 flushed down the toilet like a dead, stinking carp. Outside of a handful of blowhard CEOs that deployed their golden parachutes as their ships of enterprise destructed and sank, I don't know anybody who was particularly happy with 2002.

But why look back in anguish when we can look forward to the future with cynicism? Toward that end, here are my resolutions for the new year.

An Unhelpful Analysis

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Link: The Spam Problem: Moving Beyond RBLs

This recently posted article really does not advance the spam discussion in any helpful fashion. It's particularly unfortunate that Slashdot chose to post it, thus giving it more attention than it deserves.

December Spamcon Newsletter Released

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Link: Issue #32: Harming Spammers Fiscally Proves Tricky

The December email newsletter from Spamcon has just been published. It talks about why AOL's anti-spam lawsuits are helpful, even though AOL has been unable to collect on the judgements. It also discusses the angry backlash at infamous spammer Alan Ralsky.

The Spamcon is one of the most positive and effective forces in the battle against spam. Hope you'll consider supporting them.