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Create Shoddy OS - Sue spammers profiting off it - Profit!
August 10, 2005 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft settles with spammer Richter for $7m and Richter does a little happy dance. $7 million is chump change for this scumbag. Microsoft, where is my cut of that 7 million?
posted by antifuse (17 comments total)

 
I'm reminded of the hilarious bit the Daily Show did where they made Scott Richter look like a complete ass. (WMV, 10mb).

In all seriousness though, it kinda twists my nipples a little bit that Microsoft managed to score $7 million off the shoddiness of their own operating system, which allowed jerkbags like this to create spam zombie nets all over the world.
posted by antifuse at 7:22 AM on August 10, 2005


I don't understand what Microsofts stake in this is?

The NY Times reports that MS sued in response to 8,000 mails sent to 'spam traps'. If 8k spam emails are worth seven million bucks my ancient Hotmail account oughtta be worth about a hundred million. This sounds pretty lucrative -- set some spam traps, spend a couple million litigating -- pocket a cool five mil for your trouble.

Also, antifuse, why do you assume that seven million dollars is 'chump change' to Richter? Is bulk mailing really that profitable.
posted by cedar at 7:46 AM on August 10, 2005


Microsoft's stake is as operators of Hotmail and MSN, and their customers who don't want spam.
posted by smackfu at 7:59 AM on August 10, 2005


antifuse: "Microsoft, where is my cut of that 7 million?"

In other news, Microsoft is planning on sending checks for approximately 1.36 cents to each of the estimated 514 million legal Windows owners.
posted by Plutor at 8:04 AM on August 10, 2005


It's always interesting to see arguments about Microsoft and spammers...it's cool and popular to hate both, but the folks who pile on slashdot-style don't seem to be able to decide which they hate more.
posted by jdfalk at 8:09 AM on August 10, 2005


"Microsoft, where is my cut of that 7 million?"

You're getting security updates, aren't you?
posted by QuietDesperation at 8:31 AM on August 10, 2005


Thanks, smackfu. I wasn't clear on the MS connection.

jdfalk, I don't hate Microsoft. I use MS products on a daily basis with remarkably little trouble and dislike them no more than I dislike any other massive corporation. I find Microsoft bashing silly and would go as far to say they should be credited with changing the world in as big a way as Edison or Henry Ford.

As far as spammers go, I would like to see each and every one of them reduced to a penniless existence while they spend a few decades making restitution for the millions of dollars they have cost us all. UCE is not victimless and the cost is passed on to everyone who is paying an ISP.
posted by cedar at 8:32 AM on August 10, 2005


You're getting security updates, aren't you?

Yup. Security updates that break software I used to use in my job every day.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:33 AM on August 10, 2005


You're getting security updates, aren't you?

Sure, four months after the problem is identified and an exploit is released...

But we get them! Eventually!
posted by wakko at 8:54 AM on August 10, 2005


I thought this was going to be about Gates finally ponying up the cash for all those emails I sent that MS was tracking. Guess I'll have to keep sending them along and wait.
posted by papercake at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2005


Didn't hotmail subscribe to some type of approved spam mail service, where they would get paid for spamming their own users?
posted by parallax7d at 9:49 AM on August 10, 2005


Oh, and there are PLENTY of reasons to hate Microsoft. Not to belittle their historical effect on comptuers and society and all, but their business practices...
posted by parallax7d at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2005


parallax7d : "Didn't hotmail subscribe to some type of approved spam mail service, where they would get paid for spamming their own users?"

If they did, they certainly didn't make very efficient use of it, as I've yet to get spam at my hotmail account.
posted by Bugbread at 9:57 AM on August 10, 2005


Oh, and there are PLENTY of reasons to hate Microsoft. Not to belittle their historical effect on computers and society and all, but their business practices...

I see this all the time and I don't understand why Microsoft draws so much more ire than Mobil, General Motors, Kraft or Verizon. Sure, they are predatory. Sure, they seek a mono-culture with their products being dominant. However, there is nothing unique about this and MS seems to get much more criticism than other corporations. Wal-Mart is the only other company I can think of that suffers such levels of public derision while enjoying a huge market share and constant growth. There is a paradox here and all I can see that they have in common is the willingness of their critics to keep throwing money at them.

It can also be argued that via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsofts willingness to help schools (the argument that this is only to addict children to Windows is absurd, the children are going to use Windows anyway) and community groups that Microsoft is more socially conscious than most other gigantic corporations.

I certainly am not condoning their practices but neither am I prepared to indict them without considering the environment they operate in. Microsoft does not exist in a vacuum and as long as their sole fiduciary responsibility is to make money for their shareholders, it is foolish, and possibly illegal, for them to behave otherwise. Considering that they (and all other corporations) have the tacit approval of regulatory agencies to pretty much do whatever they damn well please, I wonder if our anger at MS wouldn't be better directed towards the legislators who are lining up to fellate Ballmer and Gates.
posted by cedar at 10:35 AM on August 10, 2005


Microsoft is not a MeFi member. Maybe you should write them a letter.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:38 AM on August 10, 2005


I don't understand why Microsoft draws so much more ire than Mobil, General Motors, Kraft or Verizon.

That's an easy one. Every time you get a flat tire, you don't say "Damn you GM!" Every time you find your cheese has gone bad, you don't say "Fucking Kraft motherfuckers!" But every time you get a virus or lose a file or get a BSOD, etc....

It's all about proximity to the user. People are very intimate with their computers.
posted by fungible at 12:09 PM on August 10, 2005


"Yup. Security updates that break software I used to use in my job every day."

Because those third-party companies wrote dangerous software... back when Windows was largely security-free, you could do pretty much anything, which made coding easy & fast. It took MSFT too long to respond to networking and the security issues therein, but they eventually did, and the cost of that is that you just can't do many of the things you used to do. No way around that, those programs (some of which were written by other groups at MSFT) were doing dangerous things.

This is already settling out, though, as people fix their code. Sure, it would have been nice if Windows worked like this from day one, but it's too late for that, all that can be done is to fix stuff now.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:30 PM on August 10, 2005


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