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Showing posts from December, 2004

Spam spam spam spam...

Back in June, aparently, the FTC said that a do-not-email list (likethe do-not-call list) would not work, and would generate more spambecause spammers would use it as a source of new email addresses. Though it's a bit late now, I have to wonder about the latterpoint.  Why not simply map each address into its MD5 checksumbefore storing it?

So foo@example.com would become "a0b6e8fd2367f5999b6b4e7e1ce9e2d2"which is useless for sending email.  However, spammers could use any of many available toolsto check for "hits" on their email lists, so it's still perfectlyusable for filtering out email addresses.  Of course it would alsotell spammers that they have a 'real' email address on their list, butonly if they already had it -- so I don't think that would be givingthem much information at all.

I still think the list would be useless because spammers would simplyignore it.  But it wouldn't generate new spam, and it would driveup the cost of spamming b…

The Noosphere Just Got Closer

Of course it'll take several years, but Google's just announced project to digitize major university library collections means that the print-only "dark matter" of the noosphereis about to be mapped out and made available to anyone with an Internetconnection.  Well, at least the parts that have passed into thepublic domain; the rest will be indexed.

I'm clearly a geek -- my toes are tingling.

The "5th Estate"

Interesting quote, from my point of view, in this article:

Jonathan Miller, Head of AOL in the US, testifies to the popularity ofCitizen's Media. He says that 60 - 70 per cent of the time people spendon AOL is devoted to ‘audience generated content'.

(Though he's talking mostly about things like message boards and chat rooms, of course, rather than blogs.)

Welcome MSN Spaces!

A surprise to welcome me back from sabbatical: Microsoft released the beta of MSN Spaces(congratulations guys!).  I've been playing with it a bit over thepast few days; there's some very cool stuff there, especially theintegrations between Microsoft applications. 

(I've seen a few comments about the instability of the Spaces service; come on folks, it's a beta.  And they're turning around bug fixes in 48 hours while keeping up with what has got to be a ton of traffic.)