on 9/9/2003 (6)
In a frantic attempt to garner a share of an increasingly hard to crack nut in a grossly saturated marketplace, Spammers have resorted to new lows to get us to open their E-mails. In the words of deceased Vaudeville comic Jimmy "The Schnoz" Durante, "You ain't seen nuthin' yet!"
Jamie Naji was having a bad morning. The infamous "Big Giant Head" virus had attacked her print server, prompting every word she typed onto the keyboard to print out simultaneously on all four office inkjets. Her little 15-minute secret lunch trysts in the parking lot with Alfonso in shipping were secrets no more.
Jamie sighed, set aside her breakfast burrito, brushed crumbs from her keyboard and opened her Hotmail account. Her eyes froze and dilated. A new generation of Spam had arrived.
With millions playing the E-mail advertising gambit, Spammers are engaged in a constant struggle to coax or deceive users into opening their nefarious electronic fare. Using portions of the users E-mail title, obtained by data mining, and posing as a reply message, by-passing spam guards and bulk folders, using a variety of hot-button snares from free burgers to free dates with bored 9-11 dispatchers, all have become too-familiar ruses, and are typically avoided by web savvy surfers like ducks at a decoy festival.
The French, delightfully skillful at renaming and repackaging horrid slaughter house by-products, such as transforming cow pancreas into 'sweetbreads', and garden slugs into 'escargot', have attempted to scuttle the term E-mail altogether, renaming it 'Arrobe'. In contrast to France's egotistical attempted gentrification of a sleazy industry, other Spammers are taking a more sharpened, visceral approach.
A new, more desperate, less tasteful age has arrived in spam.
Jamie frantically opened her first message, urgently titled "YOUR MOM JUST DIED...". Only to find the continuing text to read: "...from LAUGHTER when she heard how much you're overpaying for auto insurance!!"
Frazzled, she deleted it and then found...
"YOUR HIV TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE!..."
In a wild flurry of mouse clicks and keys, only to find: "...Imagine if you took a HIV test, and YOUR HIV TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE! To avoid this unspeakable nightmare, join American WebMedMan.com today!
A further probe revealed that Telemarketers, those vocal predecessors of Spammers, have joined forces with them in a sinister new alliance. Jamie's phone rang, and a voice bantered a familiar sales pitch..."I'm not calling to sell you something, this call will make you RICH! If I can have 5 minutes..."
Slamming the receiver down, a "new mail" ping alerted her to a new message. Labeled: "You just hung up on me, bitch!", the message continued: "...of your time, I can explain how!"
Jamie exited Hotmail, and turned her computer off for a few precious moments. Her boss passed by and dropped a list of e-mail contacts on her desk for her to enter, and later follow up with phone calls.
Exhausted at 9:55 A.M.. Jamie reached in her purse and took a little yellow pill. It was the beginning of a long day, one that would turn into a long, long, week, one of many in the longest of all yearsone">0" style="display:none">
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