Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Spam and Pond Scum

How many times have I said I don’t understand something? Too many to count, I’m sure, but it seems like just about when I think the pond scum of this life cannot possibly be more infuriatingly obnoxious they, like a mutant virus, come up with something new.

The latest thing seems to be the deliberate planting of computer viruses via “Comments” on websites. I”ve caught three in the past week on my photo blog alone. Fortunately either I or the computer have caught them, but in one case not before I had to sit and wait while my computer examined every single file (some 154,000 of them).

There are two clues: one is, when someone legitimate wants to post a comment, the computer tells me so, and asks if I want to publish it or not. With the outhouse-overflow crowd, it just automatically shows up, and anyone opens the comment at his or her own peril. Fortunately, just clicking on “Comments” will take you to a window which says something like “click here.” The moral is, do not “click here”. I catch them as soon as I can, and I just don’t get that many comments (I’m not sure if that is good or bad).

I’m truly curious as to what motivates these sub-humans? Do they think they are being clever by trying to disrupt other people’s lives and damage their computers? Probably. Or are they just showing off their self assumed brilliance by doing something no one with any sense of decency or concern for other people would ever consider doing? Someone once said: “Those who can’t create destroy.”

Your average, run of the mill “Make her scream with pleasure” and “Our pills cure all disease” or “Genuine Rolex Watches: $4.25" spam messages, which are received by the hundreds each week (I recently read that 70 percent of all internet traffic is spam), are generally spotted and automatically set aside to be thrown into the cyber sewer. But some get through,, and I suppose it’s rather on the same principle of its taking millions of sperm to have just one fertilize the egg. I cannot for the life of me conceive how or why these spammers think anyone with a single living brain cell can fall for their garbage, but obviously someone, somewhere, must. The tens of billions of dollars sitting in Nigerian banks awaiting your response to Barrister M’Gombego’s urgent post must be going somewhere.

While I would love nothing better than to be appointed Ruler of the World, I fear I would be perhaps just a tad harsh on these people. We (note I’m using the royal “We” already) would begin by duct-taping their hands to their thighs, and forbidding them, under penalty of death, to get within 100 miles of a working computer or any other form of electronic device.

But I think the thing that bothers me most about spam and spammers and those who with total impunity wander around trying to make other people’s lives miserable is their anonymity and the sense of helplessness I feel knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do to prevent them from doing whatever they choose to do.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate man, but I have my limits, and on the other side of those limits rage the fires of hell.

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