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Wednesday, November 19 12:01 AM EST

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


The Nigerian philanthropist keeps taking them in. This time it wasn't somebody with an address though...

From: Michelle
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 2:17 PM
Subject: nigerian philanthropist

I read you article about Esenam Ayele. How do I contact him?

Thank you

Reader Dale has an explanation for one of last week's Believers...

From: Dale
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: millions to give away

With regards to Mr xxxxxx's question in last week's mailbag...

Hello: My name is xxxxxx. While researching the Internet I came across This Article about a Nigerian Man giving Away Millions. I am Saying, Is This True, and If so How Can I contact This Gentleman. My Reason for Contacting Philanthropy Companies or Individuals soThat I Can Start to a Community Center in a under privileged neighborhood here in Detroit MI. Please let me know how I can contact this gentleman so I can help him forfill his dream by sharing his wealth with the world. Thank you very much Mr. Briggs and I hope to be hearing from you very soon yours truly

...there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for his
misunderstanding. Judging by the capitalisation in his email, it is
obvious he is a Visual Basic programmer. 'nuff said.

David didn't like what we said about Dallas Ramada...

From: David
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 11:49 AM
Subject: Your disgusting

I've always hated the way your stupd website exploits peoples private lives for money, but the Dallas Ramada story is a new low even for a stupid loser waste of carbon like you. She's a kid, for Pete's sake! If anyone needs protection from the papparozzy like you, it's defenceless miners who can't stand up for themselves. They don't need you in there private lives! This crosses the line. I'm through ever reading BBSPOT again.

Have a nasty life, jerk.

This "Believer" went a bit too far, and I figured it was just somebody trying to get into the Mailbag. And I was right...

PS: I'm kidding, of course. I love the site, and the Dallas story was great. If I fooled you, I want credit for making you a believer.

PPS: The orthographical and grammatical errors are intentional. It pained me to make them, even in the interest of parody. Keep up the great work!

This person isn't a Believer, but I think you'll see why I put her in this category...

From: Tourist-Trap
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2003 6:51 AM
Subject: limerick contest

Hi, this is Lori XXXXXXX, [Address and phone number baleted]

Here is my limerick:

There once was a boxer named Tyson
Who thought he was all that and thricesome
He boxed like one fearless
(and just ask someone earless)
But he's still just as dumb as a bison.

This is either a really late entry for this years Geek Limerick contest or a really early one for next year. Since, it's neither funny or geeky I think that's a distinction without a difference.

The Cat in the Hat

I'm starting to think that Gary is pulling my leg. You may remember his previous diatribe against me...

From: gary
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 7:56 PM
Subject: Cat in the Hat

NOt that I care, but you should be more carefull about making up fake movies about Dr. Sues books. You could get sued for making up news stories that they're making a bad movie about it.
Not that I wouldn't write an e-mail to the owners of the copyright or anything....hahaha!!!! BUSTED!!!!

I'm sure lawyers from Universal are going to be all over me.

Spam Sponges

Two readers wrote in saying that the idea for spam sponges wasn't half-bad. Here's what one of them wrote...

From: Paul
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 10:47 PM
Subject: Nearly a good idea...

Regarding your story on the Yahoo Spam Sponges (November 16, 2003), you've very nearly got a good idea. It's definitely a bogus assumption that spammers would continue to send the same volume of spam but divide it among the increased list of addresses. However, by flooding spammers with bogus email addresses and having them respond to the spam with logical-looking responses ("Why yes, I would LOVE to help you my Nigerian friend"), a maxed-out spam server which functioned on the idea of keeping "successful" addresses and ditching unresponsive ones when it hit max load would find itself losing real email addresses. Worth a shot.

I better quickly apply for the patent on this one.

Soda Pop Morality

Last week George expanded on the topic of soda pop morality, and now another reader does a little Mailbag on Mailbag beefing....

From: andrei
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 3:04 AM
Subject: Re: Soda Pop Morality email

Umm, the "straw" isn't "mounted"; it's a pipe, from which input (in the
juice box) passes through and is delivered to the other end of the pipe (mouth of the user). After some processing (otherwise known as
swallowing) it is passed through another pipe (the esophagus) to the
stomach, for further processing. My apologies, but I don't see how you could "mount" the straw.

As for FreeBeer, I heard that the Free Software Foundation is working on " GNUcohol", a program to help all reach the "buzz" reached after the first drink. I haven't tried it, being a non-drinker myself.

Neo the Virus

It's been a little while since our Which OS is the matrix debate. Here's another theory along those lines. Possible spoilers, you have been warned...

From: Smith
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:42 AM
To: ''
Subject: Which Virus Software is the NEO

After reading every single "Which" OS thread AND watching the Matrix trilogy, I have come to the conclusion that NEO is simply virus protection software and not the saviour of the world as people originally thought. So here is what proves this theory:

1. Agent Smith is the 'Armageddon Virus' as he can infect everyone without them making a choice.
2. The Oracle is like someone in the tech industry: They know Smith is a virus, and even recognize it. But they still double-click the 'Great Pics' attachment and get infected.

3. Even Neo was fooled by the variant (smith.b) in the real world. It wasn't until he had his eyes burned out (turning on heuristics scanning) that he was able to defeat smith.b

4. In the real world, everyone was fooled but hesitant by smith.b as happens with a lot of variants.
5. Neo tried so hard to fight Smith to defeat him, just as virus software tries to fight the virus. But, Neo had to become one with Smith to destroy him. Interesting outcome.

I am sure people will have more to add. Great site AND great links.

-Smith (Long time reader first time writer)

That's all for this week!

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