If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Spam's Back (If it was ever away)

Google Mail has a spam detector that works pretty well for my purposes. All the spam that comes in gets purged into a separate folder and there it is in the folder list on the left: "Spam -- 900 unread". Of course, it doesn't mount up for ever: Google purges everything older than thirty days.

What this gives is a rather sensitive spammeter. Changes in the number of messages in my spam folder ought to track the amount of spam on the internet in the last thirty days.

The news is bad. Before Christmas, the level had been declining gently, down to 900-odd. The last time I looked it was at 2,350.

The reason it's worse than doubled is pretty clear. All of the subtly dissected images from last year's stock pumps have gone -- everything now is a mildly suggestive subject and a penis-pill link. Easy to send, easy to multiply, and with a spoofed address it looks just like "Mail this story to a friend" traffic, so it's devilishly hard to spot.

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