Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Down to Earth - Spam Rant

Keep Spam on the Dinner Plate and off the Internet!

What is the difference between Commercials, Billboards, Junk mail, and SPAM?

Well there is a very fundamental difference between SPAM and the others - Commercials, Billboards, and Junk mail - the users of SPAM don't pay for its distribution. With the others, the advertisers pay for the right to advertise:

  • If you wish to send flyers and other Junk mail you have to pay the post office.
  • If you wish to put up an ad on a Billboard, you have to pay the company that owns the billboard and they in turn pay for the rights to have a billboard there.
  • If you want to put an ad on the TV you have to pay the station or network.

With SPAM, all you need is a list of addresses. It is true you can pay for them, but once you have the list, there is virtually no cost. You can also virtually steal a list of addresses or harvest them. The ads you then send out go across the Internet lines which others pay to maintain. Those are paid for by many people in many ways including the money the users pay to their Internet Service Provider.

All that SPAM, even if everyone had near perfect SPAM filters, does take up bandwidth that could be used for productive and entertaining data. There is a lot of storage space on hard drives in this world just holding ads for products that would make my Grandma blush. Now at one time people said you got certain sorts of ads if you went onto "certain" sorts of sites and signed up or created accounts. They also said that you would get onto lists by signing up for some "groups" forums or lists. But much of my SPAM comes to addresses that have never been used other than as contact addresses on my own websites so people had to have simply copied them from the pages.

So that really makes me wonder... of course if I had a young person using my computer I would have to put some sort of filters and restrictions... but what keeps them from getting this offensive SPAM? Even if the SPAM is not "R" rated it might not be age appropriate.

The question of course is how to deal with SPAM. Personally I wish there was some legal recourse. Spam has even gotten to the point where I am feeling that telephone solicitation is in truth another sort of SPAM.

My Space is being Invaded!

  • My Physical Space - with intrusions onto my computer and telephone answering service.
  • My Chronological Space - with intrusions into my time with phone interruptions and having to set up filters and delete SPAM while making sure important messages do not get discarded or missed.
  • My Mental Space - with intrusions into my thought processes including writing time, conversations with loved ones, business correspondence and all sorts of other thought processes.

But I haven't a clue how to stop it other than have someone figure out some sort of financial reigns they could put on the situation, and it has to be something international.

Well at least my Spam Filters work moderately well and I only get a half dozen or so pieces on my primary email. I do tend to use a slightly temporary email address for public stuff and a private one for more important stuff, The temporary one I can theoretically change to another having closed that first one causing spam to bounce.

So that is getting a bit off my chest about SPAM. I do think that being careful about where you list your primary email is in order. Have a secondary address for more public use that you wouldn't feel bad closing for a while to use a different one.

See you later!

Darrell Wade Penner / BelGnorman the Gnome

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