Spam-o-matic

Bloody spam, bane of many a web-users life.

“Hi there customer of Barcloyds Bank, our tech department have the problem computerlogical with your database and we are needing your account and password details please. As a thank you we are also giving to you our friend a chance to win money from the Nigerian State Lottery for only the small arrangement fee of £1000 to facilitate the transfer you have already be winning £2506789302048575638. This will also help you to enlarge your penis, win more money, see farm girls being shagged by chicken with strap-on dildos, get you an interest free government loan that they don’t want you to know about and did we forget that your bank be broken – like our English – and we need your details again?”

Just to make things better, some scuzball AOL tech copied customer details, used them to spam folks then sold them on to other spammers… Nice. Then again if you are stupid enough to us Arseholes Online you pretty much deserve everything you get…

Altogether now: “Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam WONDERFUL SPAM, WONDERFUL SPAM”

Online writing collaboration

I am indebted to Matthew for pointing me to the interesting collaboration between to excellent SF writers, our local lad Charlie Stross and Cory Doctorow (who Alex has been praising). Cory and Charlie are collaborating to draft a tale on a web blog, so the virtual community can actually watch the tale come together, be altered, re-drafted and worked as it happens. I thought this was a wonderful idea and a hi-tech version of Harlan Ellison sitting in a bookstore window writing tales while people watched or tossed him ideas (kind of whose Short Story is it Anyway?), then I read Chalrie’s page and see him say pretty much the same thing :-). Sounds like a great idea and an interesting use of internet technology. I haven’t read Cory’s new book, but it is high on my list (thanks Alex) while Charlie’s work is excellent and I hope more folk in the UK get too read more of it soon.