Month: January 2005

Spam Kings: book review

Whilst I was in America I took a couple of books out of the library. I only managed to finish reading one of them, Spam Kings: The Real Story behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and %*@)# Enlargements. Its a “biography” of spammers and the story behind how they work(ed) and the antispammers fight to get them brought to justice and stop them spamming. Its very entertaining and you don’t need to be a net nerd to understand the book either. At some points,when it tells you how much they were making a month, it shows why it is worth being a spammer….until the jail sentence catches up with them!
If you’ve ever read Cuckoo’s egg by Clifford Stoll then you will know what to expect (this book is about the tracking down of hackers) and is also a recommended read. The other book that I didn’t get a chance to read was Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack adventure but as that is available at Congleton library I’ll get it out from there now.
For those of you in Cheshire who want to see if books available from amazon are in your library, drag library to your links/toolbar and then click the link when you have a book from in your browser.

Tsunami relief

In case you didn’t know, you can donate to the Red Cross via amazon and its very easy if you already have an amazon account. Also for british tax payers by ticking the box you immediately boost your donation by 28% via tax relief. So far amazon have had 6081 donations totally just under $300,000 and its increased by 6 donations whilst i’ve written this.


Not having that much internet access and the time to blog, I’ve quickly gone through my feeds and pulled a couple of things out of them

  • A WUS Wiki which sounds like a bad day for Jonathan Ross, but is actually a wiki for the new Windows Update Services.
  • Links to video’s of the Tsunami. This hit whilst we were on holiday and I never got to see any moving pictures of the wave itself – saw plenty of horrific news photos of the devastation afterwards though.
  • I removed Norton AntiVirus off the home computer as the subscription had run out and I’m not impressed with the number of infections that have gotten past it this year. Instead I’ve tried the free home edition of Avast’s Antivir software which looks ok. It certainly picked up on eicar when I downloaded it – will be interesting to see how it copes with email borne virus’s

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you Brits who are now 1 hour and 7 mins into 2005. I’ve got another 3 hours and 52 minutes to go for that priveledge. Hopefully I’ll still be awake by then. This will be the first year I’ve seen the apple fall in New York “live” on TV, so that will be interesting. Certainly it will be different to the bong of Big Ben I normally hear (or the fireworks that wake me up if I’ve gone to bed early)
I may publish a reflective post when we get back to the UK.