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An army of hipster-friendly bacon ninjas

Why Did 9,000 Porny Spambots Descend on This San Diego High Schooler? A voyage into the strange underworld of spambots, shady marketing, and non-human intelligence.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 25, 2013 - 26 comments

SEOgrandmaster2203 goes legit

Flabkiller Acai Berry Extract Helps You Lose! Make big money from home with Envelope Elf! iPads for just $39.99 at Deals R Us! [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 17, 2012 - 43 comments

Digital Images are SomeThing to aspire to? (A reflection on Hito Steyerl's proposal)

Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 16, 2012 - 5 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

notice that little 'f' (or 't') everywhere?

How (crowd) curation is making a comeback in search and how Facebook is using it to "remake whole industries."
posted by kliuless on Jan 16, 2011 - 27 comments

Facebook. Privacy. Again.

The Wall Street Journal's What They Know blog is charged with determining what information marketers are capable of learning about internet users through tracking technology. This weekend, they took aim at Facebook, after their investigation discovered that many popular apps on the social-networking site, including those by Zynga, have been transmitting identifying information in the form of User ID's to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, even if a user has enabled strict privacy settings. Additional analysis. Response post on Facebook's Developer Blog. Forbes' blogger Kashmir Hill asks if the WSJ is overreacting, and Techcrunch notes that the severity and risks of UID transferral are still being debated.
posted by zarq on Oct 18, 2010 - 56 comments

Thank Sex For Making The Internet Hot

You can thank sex and early Internet porn kingpins for popularizing many of the computer technologies you use every day, such as video streaming, secure online credit card transactions, and, of course, filling our inboxes with spam; China's stance, obligatorily.
posted by Tlery on Mar 7, 2010 - 31 comments

The dry, technical language of Microsoft's October update did not indicate anything particularly untoward.

Its reach is impossible to measure precisely, but more than 3 million vulnerable machines may ultimately have been infected. : The inside story on the Conficker Worm at New Scientist.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 15, 2009 - 84 comments

Protect domain names for the Children!

"Each day, tens of thousands of our precious domain names are bought by greedy corporations and squandered for non-sustainable commercial development." But the Domain Name Preservation Society wants to help. Donate your names after you no longer need them, and they will retire protected within the sanctuary. Otherwise, what domains will our children be left with if we do not protect the endangered domain names of today?
posted by TwelveTwo on Jan 19, 2006 - 32 comments

Internet Users Unfamiliar With Terms

Research finds that 87% of internet users are unfamiliar with "podcasting" and 91% have never heard of "RSS". The study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project also found that only 3% of users still don't know what spam is. Here's a PDF of the findings.
posted by tapeguy on Jul 20, 2005 - 59 comments

Tiny teen takes on the giant one-eyed monster!

Spamusement Poorly-drawn cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines. (via The Ultimate Insult)
posted by Turtles all the way down on Jul 31, 2004 - 17 comments

First Anti-Spam Lawsuits filed by 4 Net Bigs

Microsoft, AOL, Earthlink, Yahoo sue hundreds in six lawsuits More here (registration req'd). Nation's largest spammers targeted in first lawsuits under Congressional Anti-Spam Legislation.
posted by mcgraw on Mar 10, 2004 - 29 comments

Clone blogs

Clone blogs: spurious blogs that look real, but exist solely to purvey smut in a very shady way. They're becoming ever more clever, those spammers.
posted by moonbird on Nov 17, 2003 - 32 comments

A pox on your house, Spammer

Spammers strike back? Well then call this return of the Webmaster Jedi. As a blogger and domain owner, I am sick of waking up to fifty new comments, all of which are spam for something of dubious legality. The fine folks at Kalsey are angry too. And they declared war. Lots of people stood up and took notice. What can you do to help stop this infestation? Blacklists and Bayesian filtering come to mind... (Via Smart Mobs)
posted by swerdloff on Nov 11, 2003 - 22 comments

Spam

Spam: This Time It's Personal. Andy Markley was really looking forward to a work-free Labor Day weekend far away from his computer. But he made the mistake of checking his inbox before he left for his planned holiday.
posted by lola on Sep 30, 2003 - 32 comments

Trackback to Guide Beginners

Beginner's guide to trackback. Old news to most here, but with even Radio Userland now implementing the technology, trackback has the potential to be another kind of spam, with gratuitous self-links popping up all over the place. When everyone can blog, will the Blogosphere be the next victim of Usenet's neverending September? Whether providing "community support" or "publishing tool", how long before popular bloggers are forced to implement Bayesian trackback filters?
posted by cbrody on Jul 22, 2003 - 10 comments

The Two Faces of AOL and Microsoft's Spam Policies

Perhaps you've seen the new MSN commercials that use M$'s "spam-blocking" technology to support their ISP service. Maybe you've read fluff pieces like these, where AOL and Microsoft execs are allowed to wax poetic about their deep anti-spam convictions:

"'I get spam too, and I am as fed up with it as all of our members are,' AOL chief executive Jonathan F. Miller said yesterday." "'To help keep intruders at bay,' Microsoft said, "we must all do our part.'"

So what's this all about? "'AOL and Microsoft argue there is a place for legitimate unsolicited e-mail in the marketplace,' said Marc Berejka, Microsoft's senior director of public policy."
posted by Pinwheel on May 9, 2003 - 19 comments

SpamCon 2001

SpamCon 2001 gets underway in one month. It's a meeting of the minds to crush spam and guys like this. But it's probably too late. Can legislation ever make a dent in spam? Are technical solutions possible (no open SMTP ports allowed)?
posted by mathowie on Apr 26, 2001 - 10 comments

What Would This Do To the 'Net?

What Would This Do To the 'Net? Would such legislation be Constitutional?
posted by ParisParamus on Mar 28, 2001 - 13 comments

Today on a web list I subscribe to, some members were complaining about spam and the need for sites to have privacy policies that promise not to sell your address. I have a hotmail address that I use whenever a site requires an email address and doesn't post a privacy policy. I hadn't checked my account in a month, but I did today and look what was in it. 74 useless messages in 30 days. Thanks spammers.
posted by mathowie on Nov 21, 1999 - 0 comments

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