Thursday, July 31, 2008

In Spamalot!

Today's spunky spam that eluded the filter and made it into the mailboxes I monitor at work included three of the "breaking news" subject headings I noted in the previous post. This time I looked at the content shown in the box to the right of the mailbox, and noted the following interesting interfaces.

Subject: Private plane travel to be banned. Content: "New laws legalize gun ownership for teenagers in US," followed by a link with transex and video in the address. Comment: They need a marketing director: they probably would get more readers of the message if they went with teen gun ownership as the subject.

Subject: Google Knol threatens Wikipedia. Content: "Madonna seduced Timberlake on set," with a link that includes video in the address. Comment: Somehow the overlap between tech battles and Madonna/Timberlake seems limited, although I will admit I'm ashamed to know Timberlake's first name (Justin?) without knowing much more, so maybe we have reached total celeb saturation.

Subject: Cambodia attacks Thailand in Asia War. This at least got me to check just to see if in fact a war had broken out. Nope. Content: "How you can save your home from foreclosure," with a link that includes "watch" in the address. Comment: Given the periodic head-shaking story about the lack of geographical knowledge in the US (which is nothing new: Ambrose Bierce said "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography") this subject seems unlikely to draw in any substantial number of potential foreclosees, even with "Asia" in the title giving a hint as to location.

Subject: Robert Novak diagnosed with brain tumor. This, in fact, is true. The content, however, is a quite funny disconnect between at least the on-screen persona of Novak as a combative consevative: "Cute ducklings following in a line behind mother duckling, cute." Not quite what one connects with Novak. The link is to a site with "watch" in it, and has "de," for emails from Germany. Who says Germans have no sense of humor?

I looked in the mailboxes' junk mail folders to see what hadn't made it past the filter, and it was all the usual stuff about sexual enhancement (just how paranoid are men about their favorite body part?) and sex videos (probably including Madonna and Mr. Timberlake.) So at least the pseudo breaking-news subjects are meeting their probable goal of eluding filters. Whether that translates into any clicks on the links is anyone's guess.

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