Thursday, June 09, 2005

spam and chainsaws

Even though I have Gmail now and love it, I have kept up a Hotmail account out of habit. Mostly all I get there is spam, but one thing that has bothered me about the type of spam I've received in the past year or two is that it is almost always addressed to (or includes in the subject line) someone named "Roderick Dowden." I'm sure this is just some schmuck chosen at random by a spammer to be the requisite name in the To: field, but I'm really surprised at how long "Dowden" has retained his role as the primary subject of what are certainly millions, if not billions or trillions of spam emails. "Roderick Dowden" appears to be a dentist in Indianapolis, but there is also a Roderick Dowden serving in Iraq. Not sure how either of these guys became the forged To: header on millions of spammed emails (I could see a dentist being the subject of tons of junk USPS mail because they usually subscribe to dozens of magazines and magazine subscriptions are one of the primary places direct mail data services use to re-sell demographic information, but I don't think this would automatically make him, as a dentist, more susceptible to junk email), but they are part of my world now.

This story is so scary that it just cracks me up. I mean, LOOK at that guy! A bloody chainsaw? If you looked up psychopath in the dictionary, his picture would take up the whole page.

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