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I had a "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" installed on the comic comment pages for the C-Realm on-line comic because I had been getting hundreds of spam comments a day. The CAPTCHA worked perfectly for a time, now some spam is starting to get through. Someone, it seems, thinks it of the utmost importance that readers of the C-Realm comic know where to find an on-line poker game.

A story in the current issue of Wired magazine claims that more than half of all blogs are spam blogs assembled by bots which snatch passages of text from real blogs that contain popular search terms and patch them together into gibberish Frankenblogs. The spam blogger doesn't imagine that anyone will read the resulting train wreck of a blog, but they hope that someone landing in such a mash-up mess will navigate out by clicking on an ad link rather than backing up to the search results page that lead them there. I'm tempted to say something nasty about the amoral attitudes fostered by our global system of resource distribution, but I'm making a renewed effort to focus on the positive.

Let's see. Uh... I sure do like getting the dead tree version of Wired magazine in my mailbox for a dollar an issue. Oh wait, I've got it. Spammers help lift poor people in the so-called "Third World" out of poverty by paying them $0.60 an hour to solve the Turing Tests website owners throw in the way of spam bots. Help end global poverty. Support spam!

link: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/06/1217240&from=rss


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
I found one use for spam. Since I have all my old email addresses delivered to my gmail account I get on average one spam message every minute. I can check the gmail spam folder to see if my email is still working. If I don't see any spam delivered in last 10 minutes or so I know that something is broken.
Sep. 6th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
one use for spam
Yes. The interuption of incoming spam has alerted me to email forwarding failures in the past.

Apropos of nothing, have you read this and this?
Sep. 7th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
Re: one use for spam
That Dan Simmons essay or pariable or whatever, it seems to me that it fails to factor our own variety of home-grown oppressive religious types into the mix. Still fun stuff to think about, what with the muslims immigrants in the ghettos outside of paris saying in polls that they would like to have sharia law imposed in france. England and the netherlands have similar muslim enclaves...
Sep. 7th, 2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
Re: one use for spam
From your comments, I'm guessing that you didn't read Simmons' follow-up to the Time Traveler vinette. I posted a portion of the follow up to prester_scott's as a comment to his recent post on the topic of encroaching islamist extremism. I'd recommend reading the entire second essay, but the portion that I quoted in my response to prester_scott speaks directly to your comments.


Sep. 7th, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
Re: one use for spam
Thank you for the link, I did not read the relevant bit you posted. However, I'm not saying that Christianity (specifically Southern Baptist Darby-ism) is as repressive and draconian as the radical islam talked about in the original essay, I'm just saying that it does outline Fundamentalist Islam (and atheism) as the "enemy" in a coming war, (Basing this on the middle portion of American Threocracy,) I can't see tolerant christians being tolerant of an imposed caliphate, especially a community with a ready made holy war in their propaganda toolkit (i'm thinking of something like 65 million people that have bought those "left behind" books.) they'd probably fight an imposition by a religion that they do not subscribe to, in fact, they seem to be itching to do so. (Look at how weird they are getting about people trying to supplant "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays.") So I thought that anyone so insightful as to the intent of the radical islamists, is kind of stepping around the elephant in the room if they don't address the southern-baptist-christian reaction to it.
Sep. 7th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
passages of text from real blogs that contain popular search terms and patch them together into gibberish Frankenblogs

It's sad but that's pretty much an accurate description of my blog.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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