Monday, January 15, 2007

Apple Campers Build An Endless Ring

This entry is being written by a human being. I am sure it is. You can tell can't you? Amongst the ways that you can tell is that it is logical, it does not contain a series of alarming non sequiturs, it is not peppered with words designed to appeal to search engines, and it does not attempt to disguise potentially prohibited words with carefully placed symbols. I feel the need to include such a statement of QUALITY assurance for two reasons. First, I received the first comment on my parallel blog "The Daily Photo Blog" yesterday. She stood in the driveway and directed traffic with the side branches of a fresh cauliflower. Sorry about that : as I was saying. Some nice chap called 198392cjh (what possessed his parents giving such a name to a child?) wrote in saying what a lovely and well-kept blog it was and how I should keep it up. Indeed, he implied in was the very vi@gr@ of blogs. Would I care to view his blog, he asked, and kindly provided a link. His extremely interesting blog was all about how to make MONEY on the web and he had hundreds of comments from people saying things like "Glad you liked my blog, yours is good too". The rain fell like a guardsman's trousers and she penned quadratic equations on her mother's arm. I should have realised that 198392cjh was a machine. As a general rule, you can be sure that any NICE comment you receive over the internet has been generated by non-human means. It will have originated from a li@ison between code and programme rather than being the fruit of any breathing person's loins. This takes me on to my second reason, and that is sp@m. As far as I know, nobody has yet written the definitive history of spam, but it is a JOB I quite fancy. The garage was almost full with loan applications but eternal youth left by the bathroom window, only to drive down holiday memories in the prime of success. It used to be easy to detect spam. You could set up filters designed to rid you of messages on how to maintain an ******* and have ****** the size of ***********. Then people got CLEVER. The next line of defence was to scan the title of the piece and root out "I Can Guarantee To Make You $400,000 in a week" postings and others of a similar nature. But then people got CLEVER. She scrubbed the possum with butterfly wax to see the next trophy on the shelf. The latest thing seems to send spam e-mails containing almost random sentences. Just a few examples from my current in-tray will illustrate my point: * "If you did, brown stubs would stick out above the leaves. Have all children exit the vehicle from curb side doors". * "Is this spoken word technology the "missing link" for health transformation success?" * "The briefcase came hesitantly into the room, carried by a grayhaired year, so it could spare a few volts now" The idea seems to be that you contain your real message selling your vi@gr@ or your ***** enlargement pills in am image at the top of the message. The image will not be picked up by your filters or your auto-preview, which will just report these randomised sentences. The odd thing is that some of the resulting passages are quite beautiful. In some ways it is an art form. For weeks I have been collecting these things with the idea of building them into an epic poem. I haven't got far yet. Here is the first verse (all quite genuine lines from spam messages received by me): Like an idol, she gave only one thing, Then twisted the nozzle off and walked away, Apple campers build an endless ring, When they see Fido walking that way. I will keep working on it, but please do not take this as an INVITATION to send me potential material.

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