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king of spamalot


amidst all the coverage of that other "explosion of stuff on the internet" story, you could have missed the tale that one diabolical mastermind who was caught and arrested in the united states made a court appearance this week.

i actually couldn't be happier to see this unfolding at the same time as the uproar over wikileaks because i think that the two form a fascinating yin and yang to understanding the internet and the point to which it has brought us. on the one hand we have... well, watch any newscast, look at any web site, listen to conversations around you and you'll know about what's happening on the one hand. (or scroll down. here)

on the other hand, we have the internet at its excessive, greedy, predatory, apolitical worst. for those not familiar with the case, 23 year old oleg nikolaenko is accused of running something called mega-d, which sounds like a dubious dietary supplement, but is actually a "zombie network" of 500,000 computers (how cool does that sound?) sending out spam message upon spam message, all telling me why i should feel insecure about the size of my man meat or something.

the biggest shock to me was that people actually do sometimes click on these links and order from them, which is, i guess, why guys like oleg get into this business to begin with. in fact, there are estimates that his network was capable of sending 10 billion emails a day. i guess it's sort of the email equivalent of watching airplane (see what i did there?)- if you bombard people relentlessly, you're bound to get a few hits.

you would think that the fbi and the american government would be eager to flaunt the fact that they were able to catch the latest spam king and arrange to bring him to trial, if for no other reason than to distract attention from that other internet-related story. of course, maybe they don't want to publicise it in case the public finds out about a little "oops" they had along the road to arresting the culprit. instead, the spam king lounges in continued obscurity, waiting for his next opportunity to offer you cheap pharmaceuticals.

if this week's stories have provided me with anything other than new blogfodder (can i copyright that?), it is an acute sense of just how much stuff humans are capable of creating. now i just hope i can keep my wits about me long enough to figure out what belongs in the spam filter and what i need to respond to.

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…