Skip to main content

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.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

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 :: chanel's velvet realm

who doesn't love velvet? i know when i was younger, i used to, as george costanza longed to, "drape myself in velvet" and although that phase passed with time, i still think that the plush fabric has to be one of the high points of human achievement, up there with interior heating, advanced medicine and vodka. so to me, it's no surprise that one of the most hotly anticipated launches in the cosmetic world is chanel's new "rouge allure velvet" lipstick line, because even the name immediately makes me want to put it on my lips.

on a more concrete level, chanel describes these lipsticks as "luminous matte", which is sort of like the holy grail for lipstick lovers. we all want those intense, come-hither film noir lips, the sort where young men and sunlight are lost and never heard from again, but historically [including during the making of those films], applying a matte lipstick felt sort of like colouring in your lips with an old crayon that had…

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …