Monday, December 31, 2001

Here's hoping next year's a better one...

At least for this nation, and for the world. Personally, it turned out to be a pretty good year, but my life is insignificant in the larger scheme of things. I am not a terribly religious person (I think most geeks share that trait, though not all), and it sickens me to see so many people, in this day and age, still willing to hurt and kill one another over what they think God wants them to do. Concentrate on living a good life in this life, folks - if you do that and there is an afterlife, you'll be taken care of. Really.

I think this classic Onion story sums it up neatly.

Try to do the Right Thing by people, and this world might not go to hell in a handbasket after all.

Peace out, yo.

Friday, December 28, 2001

And on a (spam) related note...

Today's messages waiting for me in my work mailbox:

No-Spam E-Mail Lead Generation trkiier
Re: ...something to think about?
Reach millions of potential buyers.. 3429
The Easiest Way to Make Money Online!
Is there pornography on your computer? - FREE system check!

Outlook's junk mail filter dealt with most of them (properly pre-placing them in the trash), but the annoying thing is that those rules take effect AFTER my Blackberry redirector grabs most of 'em. So the first four all went to my pager automatically (the last two were from somebody who calls themselves "hotdeals", and spams me about 20+ times daily - I wrote a specific Blackberry rule to blackhole anything that has "hotdeals" in the From: address). What a pain in the buttski.

I wish I could dump our e-mail system (Exchange 5.5) entirely, but as an MS Enterprise licensing shop, it's just not practical. Rats. My home server/client does a _much_ better job of nuking spam

Monday, December 17, 2001

You know, I just don't "get" internet advertising...

I never had a problem with good old banner ads, sponsorships, or even the newer Flash-based ads you see nowadays on a lot of news sites (the ones that the text wraps around). Serving up a website costs money. Duh. If ads help pay the bills, that's a Good Thing. I've even clicked on some and occasionally bought a product.

What I don't get, though, is how and why the ads are becoming even more and more annoying now. I will never buy anything from a pop-up or pop-under ad. Period. I might click on it, but only be accident when I'm trying to make it go away. And the new generation of Flash ads that wipe the screen and make you wait for them? I've started avoiding sites that use them as best as I can.

The thing is, among all my friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and family, I know nobody who thinks any different. Do advertisers even realize that they're just pissing people off? And when this latest wave of ads fails, will they go back to the old school, or will sites just fold?

Finally, does _anyone_ ever buy a product from a spam pitch? I didn't think so. I'm not exactly a net.celeb, but I have been around for a while, and on the web and usenet for a decade or so. So my e-mail address is out there, and well-harvested - I must get around 20 or so spams a day, and those are just the ones that aren't knocked out at the server by my spam recipes. Arrgh. It's even worse at work - I had to blackhole completely because their users abuse it so much.