There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

What Cantor and Siegel have wrought

I've been reading some of the rants about how e-mail is dead or dying with a jaundiced eye, particularly the ones that claim that RSS is the answer to e-mail's problems. That seems particularly wrong-headed to me, a classic example of how when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. (Chuq has a nice roundup, so rather than make me find all the posts, just go look at his meta-post.)

I've been thinking about this more in the past couple of days because in addition to my usual USDA-mandated minimum daily requirement of spam, one of my domains has been "borrowed" by spammers to spew their effluvia, by which I mean not that they're actually using said server, just that they're forging e-mail addresses at that domain. That means I'm getting dozens of bounce messages from MAILER-DAEMON every hour, mostly from aol.com. Feh. This is as bad as those damned virii that were infesting my mailbox a week or two ago. Fortunately for me, the lowlife thief who is doing this had the courtesy not to use my main address at that domain, preferring to created nonsense "logins" like k9jlurb, wwdup1dtfe, and nh72ga, to choose three at random. So I was able to create a filter that saved anything sent to the main address there, and dropped everything else on the floor (rather than bouncing it back, which would just be vicious in this case, not that I would mind causing AOL the grief....)

So yeah, there are problems with e-mail. But I don't think RSS is the solution. High explosives are the solution. Maybe if we could convince the Israeli army that Boca Raton, Florida, the epicenter of spammers, is a hotbed of Hamas, that would fix the problem. In the meantime, I suppose I'll just have to keep bailing this leaky boat out with ad-hoc filters and one-time throw-away addresses that I can shut down when the spammers and the virii find them.

Posted at 5:35 AM

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This site is copyright © 2002-2014, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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