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Consider this: a year ago, a typical piece of spam would exhort one to enlarge one's penis.

These days, they want you to enlarge your peeeeeeeeniiiiiiiiiiis...

Guess it worked ^^;

New FanFiction genre - [Spamfic]. [2]. Must read.
[And another one]
How they deal with Nigerian spam in [Ireland].. (snarfed from Slashdot)

Um, I suppose there needs to be a HitherbyDragons page somewhere, if your'e gonna start linking that sort of thing.  Though I must say, I'm impressed.  As the comments say, this and googlemancy are really catching on.  --Vitenka

See /Filtering for discussion specifically about filtering spam out of our mailboxes (as opposed to the other more creative tactics mentioned on this page and elsewhere).

Opinion:  Email has been rendered useless by the fight against spam.  --Vitenka
Not sure you want past tense there. It's still mostly useful, just annoying at times; but I can see why one might argue it will become near-useless if things carry on changing in the directions they currently are. - MoonShadow
No, I mean present tense.  I get seventy times as much spam as real mail.  Ten to Twenty times after filtering.  If you don't count my mailing lists, the numbers go back to the thousands to one.  It just isn't worth trawling it to see if I got an interesting mail any more, I have gone back entirely to using the phone for family.  --Vitenka
Serously - whilst you never had any guarantee of delivery, you used to at least have a pretty good likelihood.  With ISPs and random vigilantes jumping in and blocking email based upon rules which are hard to understand, let alone change, this is no longer the case.  And of course spammers are abusing 'your email did not get through' replies to send the actual spam - so now these are getting turned off.  End result?  You have no idea whether or not your mail got through, and no idea why.  Spam will slowly come to resemble real mail to such a degree that no-one can reliably tell the difference (after all, that will sell based) and whitelist systems will be overwhelmed by spammers moving to newer methods of communication to get into them.  (How do I send you my whitelist access?  I use some other medium.  The spammer reads and posts to that medium.  Oh pants.)
The mass compromising of home computers to send spam (and, apparantly, blackmail online gambling sites) only means that these random boycotts have a valid point.  (And yes, I am blacklisted.  Hence my rant.)
Were you compromised? ^^;- MoonShadow
Apparently my IP once ran an open proxy.  I am on DSL.  Those two are enough, it seems.  I can, in theory, get them to remove me by replying to an email to postmaster@my-reverse-dns.  I don't have reverse dns set up, and I can't get the email they are trying to send me to work.  My current attitude is 'so that then'.  --Vitenka
Talk to your ISP. Or, heck, just set up your machine to relay outgoing mail through your ISP's SMTP servers rather than trying to send it directly. - MoonShadow
We already have intolerable levels of spam through our front doors - so a micropayments system won't help.  I am told that peoples telephones are under constant attack, though I do not personally suffer.
Having attempted giant arguments with Vitenka before, I won't do it again ;) I'll just say that thankfully I disagree; while the spam does seem inevitable, what's intolerable to you may be just an irritation to others, and others may also get significantly more meaningful email more than you. --AlexChurchill
Ok, I'll bow to the tense definition.  For me usability is past tense, for others it's not so yet.  I will claim that the pressures seem to make the progress inevitable.  --Vitenka

What we need is a mass education campaign.  For crying out loud, there are people out there who buy from spam.  Since education seems to be generally a good thing, let's get these people to the level where they can contact the shit merchants directly and cut the rest of us out of the loop.  --Vitenka

Counterpoint: no amount of education will get rid of the tiny percentage of perverse people who'll buy from spam for weird twisted reasons of their own. While the recipient pays for the spam, that tiny percentage will be enough to make spamming profitable. What we need is a new charging model. It might not eliminate the problem, but it should be possible to make things usable again. - MoonShadow
There is a cost to spamming, though small.  At some point it becomes more advantageous to run a shop and wait for the bozos to come to you.  --Vitenka

On a related note, a [Russian ISP] has introduced something radically different. It's pointed out that it makes a profit by charging its users for bandwidth, and it also charges people who host websites for bandwidth; but it's because of the people hosting websites that it has users in the first place; so it seems unfair to charge the webmasters. It's introduced a trial system of bandwidth credits for webmasters; the details are complicated, but basically, if the ISP is already getting paid for traffic to/from a website (eg. the other end is somewhere else on the ISP's network), the webmaster pays much less. ([Babelfished version of their news page - see item dated 24.02.04]) - MoonShadow
This is interesting, in an 'about damn time' kind of way.  It being a single ISP makes it less useful, of course - but in the end it would be nice to be paid for all uploads.  Though I would guess the masses that would have to pay extra for downloads might not like it.  Would be incredibly amusing if another ISP takes the opposite and equally valid view.  It would be like the days of free stuff all over again ;)  --Vitenka
Alternatively, one method of increasing the cost to spammers of smapping is to [teergrube] them. --Admiral
TarPitting works, but not well.  The problems are that you have to first identify your spammers and that the spammers can just break the spec and disconnect from an overly slow host.  You are then left with legitimate email being slowed down and the massive numbers of connections from trojan machines.  Many hosts and routers can only handle so many connections at once - so you've just DDOS?ed yourself.  Oh, and of course your average TarPit will get blacklisted by the vigilantes.  --Vitenka
Agreed, it is not a perfect solution. In fact, there are quite a lot of imperfect solutions that would only work if the majority of the internet used them (like replying, tarpitting, etc). However, identifying the spam shouldn't be too hard. The spams that I get usually fall into two categories - those that get a spamassassin score of around 7 to 15, and those that get scores of 30+. Ones that get 30+ are so blatently obviously spam, that tarpitting is a valid option. Legitimate mail shouldn't be slowed down at all by this. A teergrube MTA can (and should) be configured to only tarpit a certain number of connections at a time, removing the DDOS?. And having your server blacklisted by spammers sounds like a good thing, or is that not what you meant? --Admiral
By the time you have read the email to give it a spam score, it's too late to slow the enemy down.  They've sent it, they disconnect and go on their merry way.  Being blacklisted by a spammer means three things.  First, you don't get spam from them (good) second that you can't hurt them (not so good) and third that you are a target for retaliation.  (very not good, and yes it happened.)
The SMTP protocol provides for feedback from the receiving server after the body of the email has been sent in full. The receiver must declare that either it has accepted and committed the message, or it has a temporary failure, or a permanent failure. The sender must act properly on this feedback. Now, I don't know how much the spammers actually follow these rules, but my impression is that a lot of bulk spam programs will wait for the feedback. Even if the spammers do know to disconnect, the tarpit doesn't give them any advantage. As for the "not good" bits, that is another reason why the technique would be much more useful if the majority of MTAs did it. Also, as the FAQ says, one can ask the ISP of the sender to disconnect anyone who DDOS?es you in retaliation, and block the whole network of that ISP if they refuse. --Admiral

Can anyone please explain to MoonShadow in words of two syllables what the **** the point of sending spam WHICH HAS NO BODY is?
I've been getting them for a while too. Shrug... testing for bounces? No, they'd need to include a genuine return address... Misconfigured bulk mailing program? --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) Body was an HTML attachment which some borked mail server stripped off?

SunKitten just got this

Dear user of Toothycat.net e-mail server  gateway,

Some of  our clients  complained  about the spam (negative e-mail content)
outgoing from your e-mail account.  Probably, you have been infected by
a proxy-relay trojan server. In order  to  keep your  computer  safe,
follow the instructions.

Advanced details  can be found in attached file.

For security purposes the  attached file is password protected. Password is

     The Toothycat.net team                    http://www.toothycat.net

This message was content scanned for viruses by the TLU McAfee Webshield.

    [ Part 2, Application/OCTET-STREAM (Name: "Attach.zip")  2bytes. ]
    [ Cannot display this part. Press "V" then "S" to save in a file. ]

Relevant headers:
X-Received: from 209-184-108-100.tlu.edu ([]
        by kerberos.toothycat.net with smtp (Exim 3.35 #1 (Debian))
        id 1AybXj-0005wd-00
        for <sunkitten@toothycat.net>; Wed, 03 Mar 2004 18:56:31 +0000
X-Received: from unknown( by webshield.tlu.edu via csmap 
         id 366d41d4_6d45_11d8_8c66_00304823f315_19602;
        Wed, 03 Mar 2004 19:01:44 +0000 (UTC)

This appears to be a variant of the [Beagle] worm.

After examining the logs, I don't believe any other users of ToothyWikiInternals/MailServer have received a version of this from that source, but sooner or later someone is bound to.

The worrying part is, the mail is very close to appearing legitimate.

When I email you about your account, I will always use your real name, sign off with my real name, and will never include an attachment. If in doubt about a mail you have received, email me back, check on the wiki or 'phone me. - MoonShadow

I recieved 3 very similar ones from ';staff@bigfoot.com' in the last 2 days. Same odd spacing and so forth. -- TI

...Spam has just hit a new level of plausibility..

Hey bro,

What's up? Did I tell you about the party I hit up the other day? It was
doppee! I found this n e t s i t e that slings this stuff called
sillyest. It's like vighagra times ten. You don't even need a script to
get it either. I was like a rockstar for 2 days straight. It was even
better than that time we went to the clubb in lake titicaca!

they had some sort of prommotioncommotion thing going on when i hooked
some up, i think it's still on sail too.


get ahold of me this weekend and we'll hit up clubb atlantis.

clickityclack here to check it


"For a warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around
him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself
and others. He doesn't use and squeeze people until they have shriveled
to nothing, especially the people he loves."

~ Carlos Castaneda, the lingering poet of ashtabula, oh

This reads much like something some of my high school friends would send me. I'm actually quite curious whether it's deliberately written (and if so whether it's part of a large set) or whether someone just fed a large amount of genuine mail to a halfway decent Markov chain generator.. - MoonShadow

(PeterTaylor) At the same time, some is hitting new lows in plausibility. Or being generated by a very bad Markov chain generator:
How are you, ownership rights to the will remain the exclusive property of the
information you provide to as part of the Support Services, the
When I feel sad, the only thing that helps me are the new acquaintances and
communication with people. Now it is exactly this moment in my life. Maybe, I
will tell you later about it. Maybe you would like to start communicating with
me, I will be very delighted to get acquainted with you and who knows... maybe
we will become more than friends later^ÅMy name is Yana and I live in Ukraine.
I have my own webpage which can help our communication.
My page I will be glad if you estimate me at my true worth. I hope that our
communication will be close and long-lasting. ''legal agreement between you
(either an individual or a single entity) and the''
I hope to see you,
copyright owner. If the becomes aware that you are using its
Saving and viewing the raw HTML allows me to see that the legal-looking stuff is white-on-white.
Yes - one of the advantages/disadvantages (delete as appropriate) of using a text-based mail reader such as pine/mutt... --Admiral

Fighting spam by... [responding to it]?

That assumes a certain model of spam. I suspect 1% is also about the proportion of spam that wants you to fill in a form - there's nothing you can do about spam which wants you to visit a website and thus get hits which can be used to sell advertising space on the website.

Grr.  Just got my first piece of spam to my cantab.net account.  Now, I have *never* given out that address to any companies, only to friends... I thought I was safe. :( At least it's a fairly innocuous one, ending with "This message cannot be considered spam under US law, because we've told you how not to be contacted in future." Before, that's usually been the last I've heard of such emails - let's hope! --M-A
I like unique mail addresses per contact. They're prone to exploits by semi-intelligent beings - amazon@mydomain is quite likely to exist given yourcompanyname@mydomain exists, though I make sure I give out odd things like ct219@, ct@, c@ if they stand a chance of being published. I think I get more misaddressed mail and virus mail than genuine spam. (Though the "please dial a £1.50 per minute number to get your address removed from this list" seemed a little cheeky), -- ColinT.

The problem is that once an address is exposed once, it's exposed forever.  And addresses get exposed via friends often by those friends getting infected by worms which forward to everyone they have recieved mail from...  [SpamGourmet] seems to work well for hiding addresses.  The real problem, of course, is that sometimes you want to give the address to the public.  Just for the record, I average ovr 40 spam mails per day, per one real email.  --Vitenka

Spammers don't only send to addresses that you've published somewhere, and this has been true for years.  Rjk

If I were to take advantage of all the offers landing in my inbox, I would be...

(mature content warning)




...a 12-year-old lesbian millionaire permanently zonked out on Prozac, with a 40-foot penis and a huge database of working email addresses (so I can spread the joy!)

I'd also have five refinanced houses, each with the cleanest septic tank you ever saw, and several hundred girlfriends who "just moved into the area"... --AlexChurchill
Ahh, that's what's driving house prices up... -- Senji

Spammers are going to new lengths to prevent themselves being auto-filtered. I just received this, verbatim:
Hi, Chris,

Just ab0ut one week ag0 i g0t t0ns harasIing ph0ne ca11s fr0m crediD0rs and didnt kn0w what should i do :(
AayxHjfuiCffj BUT 5 days ag0 i f0und this and make myself happy :)

And now i have one bT11 to phy each m0nth for ALL my acA0unts
Txy it - it's very simple



They're going about it the wrong way.  The 'right' thing (from the pov? of conning you into buying something) to do is to send email indistinguishable from a real email.  "crediD0rs" is going to trip a filter instantly - no real email would contain that.  The funniest thing is spam mail that contains no valid reply address - and no url to get further info or buy the product.  Pointless much?  Anyway - spam has one won?.  Email is no longer usable, and they're already hitting forums pretty hard.  I get 90+ spam a day.  I get one real email a week.  I cannot rely on whitelisting.  I'm pretty much doomed.  --Vitenka
the word "this" and one other I forget were linked.
Oh.  Html.  Well, that's just an instant 'throw away' then, isn't it?  I was referring to mail I've had.  It just amuses the heck out of me that they send it with no way to get a reply.  --Vitenka
PeterTaylor does actually have filters set up to automatically delete all HTML e-mail to his work account. But in reply to 'tenka: I also receive such spam occasionally and derive almost as much pleasure from it as spam from valid addresses which uses <img src=CGI script> to leave a record that my address works. (Except, of course, it's not _my_ address that gets registered, is it? BwaHaHa?)
Well, it will be something uniquely coded to your address, often. The effect of actually "viewing" the image as linked would be to generate more spam to the address it was sent to.  I assume you're saying that if you want to view the image, you modify the parameters before requesting the URL?  I have been known to do that - strip out the bits of spam links that are specific to me, and then go investigate.  --AC
I'll just note that the 'obvious' identity bits of a URL are probably the ones the spammer is using to id you, but not necc.  They could be using different hostnames, paths to cgi, script names etc.  You're in the 'how celevr are the spammers / AntiSpammers race.  --Vitenka

[Linky goodness] - almost one in ten people have bought something from spam.  That's why we still get it.  I suggest outlawing all credit systems as a sensible solution.  --Vitenka
Just to qualify that - that's 10% have bought something, not 10% per spam mail, or even campaign.  Thank goodness.  Even so - that's a million sales - a market well worth chasing for the negligible cost of sending email.  --Vitenka (You can't argue with the economics, until you find out their home addresses...)

StuartFraser has just recieved an email with the subject heading "Reverse your age! Look 20 years younger!"

He finds this notable for two reasons:
MikeJeggo suspects that, actually, most men probably find it easier to get adoration from women at the age of 7 months (having observed the effect of a recent new arrival) than at any stage in later life...
StuartFraser points out that subtracting 20 years from 19 years and 5 months produces negative seven months, not positive seven.
<:-/ MJ  OK, fair point... (although you'd possibly still get the cooing.  You'd just not be in a position to realise it)
They'd barely have noticed at that point! -- Senji

And now I'm being offered 0EM versions of Micr0s00ft 0ffice and Ad0be Ph0t0sh0p. Isn't that illegal? Oh, and of course, "We h0n0r a11 reWm0ve requeKst. T0 be permawnent1y rem0ved fr0m 0ur mai1ing 1ist C1ick here" --CH
Oddly not - as long as it comes with hardware.  It's still cheaper to buy, say, a floppy drive and the OEM version than it is to buy the full version.  But given that those are certainly pirated copies and being sold to you by retards... get the details they want you to send the money to and report them to TradingStandards?.  --Vitenka

It's getting more creative..
From: "Edwardo Whalen" <cc5znwz@yahoo.ca>
Reply-To: "Edwardo Whalen" <cc5znwz@yahoo.ca>
Subject: RE: simple way to avoid //Zreidor oxae
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2003 00:22:46 -0100

HI, S.lewis.97 

I have been receiving emails saying that I'm contributing to the "moral 
decay of society" by selling the Banned C D. That may be, but I feel 
Strongly that you have a right to benefit from this hard-to-find 
information. So I am giving you ONE LAST CHANCE to order the Banned C D! 
With this powerful C D, you will be able to investigate your friends, 
enemies and lovers in just minutes using the Internet You can track down 
old flames from college, or you can dig up some dirt on your boss to make 
sure you get that next promotion! 

Or maybe you want a fake diploma to hang on your bedroom wall. You'll 
find addresses for companies that make these diplomas on the Banned C D. 
Need to disappear fast and never look back? No problem! Using the 
BannedCD, you will learn how to build a completely new identity. 
Obviously, the Powers That Be don't want you to have the BannedCD. They 
have threatened me with lawsuits, fines, and even imprisonment unless I 
stop selling it immediately. But I feel that YOU have a Constitutional 
right to access this type of information, and I can't be intimidated. 
Uncle Sam and your creditors are horrified that I am still selling this 
product! There must be a price on my head! 

Why are they so upset? Because this C D gives you freedom. And you can't 
buy freedom at your local Walmart. You will have the freedom to avoid 
Zreditors, judgments, lawsuits, IRS tax collectors, criminal indictments, 
your greedy ex-wife or ex-husband, and MUCH more!

Uh - can I suggest you add some linebreaks?  Anyway, that cd is a MultiLevelMarketing? scam to sell it - but it supposedly contains things like a set of instructions for getting a new identity (in the US this is apparently fairly easy) as well as a bunch of URLs for, well, Google.  I do like this bit though: "Or maybe you want a fake diploma to hang on your bedroom wall" - rather than claiming to be a legit diploma, they're talking about random printing companies such as you might find in the back of a comic.  --Vitenka (It almost looks like a real product!)

PeterTaylor and AlexChurchill have been getting that one for at least 6 months.

This is one of my favourite ones that I (ViciousFish) received:

Andre, Your Totally FREE New Car is Waiting!
Andre, Totally FREE New Cars!!
Plus!!! Sign Up Now & Receive A FREE Vacation!! That's right! Now you can get totally FREE New Cars! No catch, no gimmick, no hidden costs. Click Below:
Have a Great Day!!!

MoonShadow has just received spam advertising a Russian tax avoidance advice agency. "...The time has arrived, but as always people are not fond of paying taxes and paying off their debts. Don't want to end up like Khodorkhovsky? It is getting harder and harder these days to find someone you can pay to take your place in jail. If you don't want to have to deal with the tax departments or your creditors yourself, contact us for the following services..."
Wow.  Someone found an amusing and interesting way of advertising an accountant!  --Vitenka ("It is getting harder and harder these days to find someone you can pay to take your place in jail." Is a wonderful line.)

Most spam emails *appear* to have more content relevant to the product being peddled than simply for obfuscation processes. However, I post the full html source of this email:
From: Browning Abel [nxwjzfiuvoy@el-nacional.com ]
Subject: Re: IMCPRBNO, the tight embrace

<p>Fr</apologia>ee Ca</dictatorial>ble@ TV</p>
<a href="http://www.3002hosting.com/cable/">
<img border="0" src="http://www.3001hosting.com/fiter3.jpg"></a>
invertible protoplasmic quickstep errantry blanchard balinese backspace inhabit candidacy ottawa high emil straight
 crocus radio apogee ohmic sap anecdotal fame newspaperman therapist dessert rude <BR>
contravene governor payne alive diagrammatic inexorable jawbone pigeon jesse constantine sultanate pulp loss
 delirium houghton politician flue dishwasher dependent attain golly <BR>


Note that none of that garbage at the end is hidden in any way...

I would strongly dispute the 'most'.  I get a lot of spam which is literally content free - null body text is not uncommon.  I will agree that a lot of spam puts the contnt in visible places and the junk in less visible places - it's going to be a fairly trivial extension to bayesian filters (as they are misnamed) to be taught what types of text are most visible to humans, and weight accordingly.  --Vitenka
SpamAssassin? and suchlike already give a significant score to HTML text in white-on-white, or in tiny font size.  Which is why most HTML spam with junk "content" words now puts those words in, for example, #f3faf7 (on white)...  --AC
That's the thing, there are thousands of ways you can make text less noticeable.  Of course, a big fat score for being HTML in the first place would help...  Anyway - the way this arms race is going, I just hope that we get a hardened replacement system of email in before the spammers win against everybody.  They've pretty much beaten me.  --Vitenka
My Pine filters give an extremely big fat score to HTML... inspired by MoonShadow's system, I use "Anything HTML, and also not from someone in my addressbook, gets filtered off to a separate folder".  That folder acquires about 60-80 messages a day, less some days, more at weekends.  I scan through it every week or two, usually finding about 1 false positive per month, about half of which are newsletters which I did actually sign up for.  --AC

While we're at it - does anyone have a good filtering system that lets through actual order confirmations from amazon, but stops the rest of their spam?  --Vitenka
?  I order from Amazon loads, both .co.uk and .com , and don't get any spam from them at all.  You can update your communication preferences from the "Your Account" pages on both sites, but I appear to have had "Tell me about special surveys and everything else" checked up till today, and still not got any spams whilst receiving (plain-text, non-HTML) emails every time I make an order.  --AC
Hmmm.  I don't generally have an account with them - I order rarely and confirm on the spot.  Maybe thye've changed something, but I certainly used to get bi-monthly spam from them and definitely my spam filter catches legit mails from them.  I guess I'll have to whitelist.  --Vitenka

Spam with Jokes!

I've just received the following spam (with each joke linked to some web page or other), and I thought it was actually quite good...! --M-A

A blonde buys a plane ticket to Miami. (It's a coach Ticket). When she gets on the
plane she sits in first class. The steward who checks tickets says, "I'm so sorry,
this is a coach ticket and your sitting in 1st class." "I can do What-eva I want, I'm
a blonde." Well I'll get the pilot. The pilot comes and whispers in the blondes ear
and she leaves. The steward looks amazed and says," What did you say?" The pilot
simply says," I told her 1st class wasn't going to Miami, just coach was!!!"
A blind man walks into a bar, taps the man next him, and says, "Hey, wanna hear a
blond joke?" The man says back to the blind man, "Look buddy, I'm blond. The man
behind me is a 400-pound professional wrestler and he is blond. The bouncer is blond.
The man sitting over to your left is also blond. Still wanna tell that blond joke?"
The blind man is silent for a moment and then says, "Nah, I wouldn't want to have to
explain it five times."

Some novice spammer just sent debian-java an e-mail with headers including
 Subject: Message subject
The body starts
 Hello Random,
It's disturbing that people are still getting into spam.

MikeJeggo this morning received these email, which he is undecided as to whether it's the strangest spam he's ever received, or the result of some friend or acquaintance visiting one of those sites linked off [bored.com] that sends fake emails to people.  *Looks significantly at AlexChurchill, as the ToothyWikizen most likely to be responsible for such a joke, though certain non-wikizens are higher up his suspect list*.  I'm not following the links without finding out, even though the wind up seems more likely!

''Hi mike,

  First, ... let me be sure you get your
guinea pig audio.  Cindy Keuster is
a rescue operator who's been taking
care of these little critters night and
day for years, and has LOTS to tell you
about guinea pigs!  You can listen to part I
of the audio here:


  (Watch for parts II & III over the
next few days please)

  Anyway, I want you to know that I'm a real
live Guinea Pig lover - not just an automated
mailing robot.  And I DO love when people
send me pictures, comments, and questions
about their piggies.

  While I always read all such responses,
and generally find a way to address them
in upgrades to our book and series of
f'ree guinea pig tips - I hope you'll
understand that I'm NOT able
to respond personally to each and
every message.

  Anyway, I want to thank you for requesting
our f'ree series of Guinea Pig Tips - you can
expect to find an extremely useful and
valuable Guinea Pig tip in each and every
email you receive.

  The Guinea Pig Tips you'll receive
are all derived from our newest book
"Guinea Pig Secrets", a comprehensive
guide to raising a sweet smelling,
lovable Guinea Pig who will bring years
of joy to you and your family.  They're
also derived from our expert audio
interviews - over 4 hours of amazing
advice straight from the mouths of
guinea pig experts!

  Last thing before we get started --
if you are running any anti-junk-m(a-i#l
software, please take a moment to add
"glennl@guineapigsecrets.com" to your
allowed list, otherwise you might miss some
of these valuable secrets.

  OK!  Let's get RIGHT TO IT!   Here are
your first critical tips - taken together
they can DOUBLE your piggy's life (to
say nothing about increasing it's
quality).  This is absolutely critical
information you need- whether you
already own a guinea pig or you
are just thinking about getting one:

- Avoid pine scented beddings (the kind
you're most likely to buy at the pet store)
like the plague!  (Many studies show that
they cause liver damage).  Opt for
brands made with unscented wood shavings
or compressed newspaper instead.  (I
personally use "Yesterday's News" for my
piggy - Guiseppi, and he eagerly chirps
when he sees the bag!).

- Before you buy a guinea pig from a pet
store, please consider the frequent problems
encountered including (1) unknowingly
purchasing a pregnant sow and winding
up with too many piggies to care for; (2)
the high incidence of illness; (3) the
frequency with which pet stores misidentify
your pet's gender (especially important
if you buy 2 or more guinea pigs because
not every gender pair gets along well).

Consider looking for a rescue (search
Google for "guinea pig rescue" + your
area) or a guinea pig breeder instead.

- Avoid wire mesh cage bottoms.
They're easier to clean, sure - but they
cause sores on your pet's tender little
feet.  Opt for plastic bottoms instead!

- Avoid long haired guinea pigs as a
first pet for a child. While they may
intuitively seem softer, this quality
makes them a little 'slippery' and a child
is more likely to drop and injure the pet
as it squiggles out of his or her well
meaning little hands.

  Guinea Pig Secrets is the book with
literally hundreds of 'word of mouth'
tips and tricks - secrets which are
next to impossible to find in books
and pet stores.    This is the gold which
only comes from years and years of
hands on experience ... including all the
hard to find Guinea Pig information
people just can't locate with internet
searches or trips to the library!

  Some of the things you can look
forward to in future letters (and of
course, all at once in the book itself
or especially in the expert audios):

health, DOUBLE his life span, and learn
how to make him much more cuddly,
playful, and happy.

or your child, we can help you pick the
perfect Guinea Pig for your personal

need to know about Guinea Pig Care too
- everything from life saving secrets,
to the little things which make your
piggy oh so much more comfortable.

  Over the next several weeks we'll
be sending you, a little at a time, some
valuable  tips you will find in "Guinea
PigSecrets?" and the Guinea Pig Audio
Interviews -- some of the critical
information worth focusing on right away.

  We'll have a few more tips for you
next time ... in the meantime, won't you
please consider taking a look at the
book? You'll be glad you did!  (And,
of course, your satisfaction is fully


All Our Best,

Glenn and his Piggies :-)

Glenn Livingston
The Guinea Pig Guy
Psy Tech Inc.
22 Grandview Road,
Windham, NH 03087

PS - mike, we also offer over
4 hours of Audio Interviews with
Guinea Pig Experts Revealing Everything
You Need To Know To Keep Your Guinea Pig
Happy, Healthy, ... and Help Your Piggy Live
a Very Long Life!



''Hi mike,

   There are a few very important
things people need to know about
guinea pigs ASAP.

   Here's one of them ...

   Please use TWO hands when you
pick up and put down your guinea
pig.  It's especially important to
educate your child about this
if (s)he will be handling the piggy.

   Now, it's perfectly possible to
secure your piggy with one
hand AFTER you've carefully
taken him or her out of his cage
and are holding him or her
near your chest or on your
lap.  That's not what i'm talking

   The problem we're trying to
avoid is the "Guinea Pig Scramble".
You see, the actual act of being
picked up and put down is a
little frightening to many
guinea pigs, especially at first.

  Many of them do a kind
of running and squirming motion
in mid-air when you do this.
Unfortunately some (too many)
of these piggies manage to
wriggle out of their owner's
hands during this maneuver, and
often break their poor little legs.
(Ouch!  Very painful for the
little critters).

   All this is MUCH less likely
if you TWO hands when you
pick up and put down your
piggy.  A simple, but vitally
important tip.

Thanks for listening,

Glenn :-)

The Guinea Pig Guy
22 Grandview Road,
Windham, NH 03087


PS - If you'd like to have a
comprehensive guinea pig
reference guide (everything
you really need to know
about guinea pigs all in one
place), you will LOVE our
Guinea Pig Secrets book.

Would you kindly take a moment
to take a look at the URL below?
(It's fully refundable if you have
any problems whatsoever.  And
for those of you who might be
a little nervous about downloading
things to your computer, please
know that we provide SIMPLE
step by step instructions which
assume no computer knowlege!).

Anyway - the URL is below:


PPS - mike, we also offer over
4 hours of Audio Interviews with
Guinea Pig Experts Revealing Everything
You Need To Know To Keep Your Guinea Pig
Happy, Healthy, ... and Help Your Piggy Live
a Very Long Life!


One of YahooMail?'s Tips of the Day explains how to "Stop seeing offensive images in spam." Rachael can't help parsing "seeing offensive images in spam" the same way as "seeing the face of the Virgin Mary in vegetables" - the mental preoccupations of the beholder projecting themselves onto innocent foodstuffs.

ChrisHowlett just received a piece of spam inviting him to get a free PS2 for joining a Product Test Panel of some sort. The email ended with this:

"El Coco
Compadre, compreme un coco.
Compadre, coco no comopro,
que el que poco coco come,
poco coco compra.
Yo, como poco coco como,
poco coco compro."

As best I can find from BabelFish and WorldLingo?, this means roughly:

"The coconut,
Friend, understand a coconut,
Friend, don't buy a coconut,
that is, eat the little coconut,
buy a little coconut.
I, like a little coconut,
buy a little coconut."

PeterTaylor's translation:
The coconut
Comrade, buy me a coconut.
Comrade, I don't buy (assuming 'comopro' to be a typo of 'compro') a coconut
'Cos he who eats little coconut,
Buys little coconut.
I, as I eat little coconut,
Buy little coconut.

Now ChrisHowlett is getting spam for eBooks of dubious content. This was tacked on the bottom:

"If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
Books like friends, should be few and well-chosen. Anger makes dull men witty -- but it keeps them poor. ... ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Give me some scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you. The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.

You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.
Those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England.
It's discouraging to make a mistake, but it's humiliating when you find out you're so unimportant that nobody noticed it.

Pain is less subject than pleasure to careless expression.
In England, I'm a horror movie director. In Germany, I'm a filmmaker. In the US, I'm a bum.
The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with.

Kindness has more power than compulsion.

The heart and benevolent and kind the most resembles God.
Much learning shows how little mortals know much wealth, how little wordings enjoy.

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.

Common sense is seeing things as they are, and doing things as they should be done"

I've just received this. Apart from the fact there was no attachment, and the English is fragmetnary, it's all too plausible...

Attachment file : update_3032005.exe
Virus name: Downloader-WJ
Action taken : Cleaned...

Dear Sir/Madam?,
We kindly ask you to install this update to your PC as soon as possible.
In the libraries of OS Windows® critical errors have been found. This errors lead to destruction of the system files from your computer without an opportunity on restoration. The given service-pack fixes libraries and does not allow various Trojan modules to penetrate into your computer.

Yours Faithfully,
Microsoft INC

What, Microsoft now send emails out to every single Windows user whenver they have a critical update? Sorry, I didn't hear about the construction of a new building in Seattle specifically to house their new mail server.... --SF

More creative spam...  And this is supposed to get me to buy what, exactly? --K

Subject: moon procrastinate accept extensor methane earring carruthers
Body text:
dietrich sidelight cohere bluish glib scraggly
befuddle aug tsunami taken virtuosity connie heuser
magnetron burgeon adrian fin glucose
northeastern gorky rooftop composure alcestis
nuclei durer locomotion rabbet
cleanup boa continuum

Most spam I get at the moment has its content generated by Markov chain generators, by the looks of it.  This one just in, and wonderfully surreal:

gallowsbirds? Speak! And speak now without constraint, for it is I who used to fashion figurines of Vitzli-putzli out of dough - the first man


That's just brilliant! I'm going to put that as my signiture somewhere... -- Xarak

They fed the text of Master and Margarita to the generator, by the looks of it:
Berlioz's high tenor resounded along the empty avenue and as Mikhail Alexandrovich picked his way round the sort of historical pitfalls that can only be negotiated safely by a highly educated man, the poet learned more and more useful and instructive facts about the Egyptian god Osiris, son of Earth and Heaven, about the Phoenician god Thammuz, about Marduk and even about the fierce little-known god Vitzli-Putzli, who had once been held in great veneration by the Aztecs of Mexico. At the very moment when Mikhail Alexandrovich was telling the poet how the Aztecs used to model figurines of Vitzli-Putzli out of dough– the first man appeared in the avenue.
If anyone's interested, MoonShadow has the english translation - it's an excellent book. For that matter, it's probably on lib.ru..

According to [this article], AOL and YahooMail? are planning to sell immunity from spam-filtering to companies that send a lot of email. It is claimed this will reduce spam, but surely it will increase it? Unless 'spam' is defined as 'email rejected by spam filters', of course. Also, charging anybody to send email feels like the thin end of a wedge. --Rachael
It absolutely is - but you can expect two things to backlash here.  The first is that, as you say, email spammers will be the among first to cough up for a bypass.  The second is that other companies will begin advertising "We don't charge".  There's also the factor that email is becoming less important as instant messaging overtakes it.  --Vitenka (Who feels this is an icky idea)

I was just in the Spam folder of my GMail account, and the targeted ads were for spam casserole recipes. I thought that was quite amusing. --Rachael

I just got a stock spam to my work account (one of many, grr) advertising a company called Tora. Think is, the auto-generated picture therefore read "* TORA * * TORA * * TORA" at the top, and the "Current market" was described as "very Bullish". I chuckled. --ChrisHowlett

I got a spam with an amusing comma-misplacement ambiguity in the subject line: "Want to act in bed, like that guy in the movie you watched last night?" I didn't read the body of the email, but I assume the intended meaning is "In bed, do you want to act like that guy?" - especially if it was written by perhaps a native German speaker - not "Do you want to put on a fake act in bed, like that guy?"
Or I suppose it could mean "Do you want to be a porn actor too?"
You could have the same ambiguity cleansed of the spam and porn associations: if you have a celeb who's a good actor but whose offstage lifestyle is one people might not approve of (so, most of them, then) - "I want to act, like X" versus "I want to act like X". --Rachael

(ChrisHowlett) From the department of incompetent spam phone callers:
<I answer. There follows 10 seconds of silence while I say "Hello?">
Caller: Hello... it is Gabrielle.
<Plain sounds of a domestic background. Small child, maybe dishes being washed>
Me: Ok. I don't know a Gabrielle.
Caller: No, I am from Microsoft Windows!
Me: No, you're not.
<Silence. Click>

Can we censor URLs from the RecentChanges?  It seems clear that's what the most recent spammer is aiming at.  --Vitenka


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