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Wednesday, January 26 12:00 AM ET

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.


This week has to set a record for the most Believers. First, let's start off with some more Believers of the "Valve Banning 10,000 Steam Accounts for Gravity Gun Abuse."

Will continuous use of the same weapon get you banned?


Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2005 6:39 AM
Subject: false reports

Dear Sir/Madam

i must take issue with a report you made some time ago back in december of 2004

This is totally false.

1st off you didn't even speak to the workers and co workers of VALVe or else you would know that at present it is impossible to be banned from half life 2 online games as the VAC ( valve anti cheat) system is not even active yet.

2nd- VALVe do not ban accounts for over use of a gun, this has to be some sort of joke report ?

3rd-Please believe me when i say that VALVe anti cheat system only bans for online cheats (hacks) that run in active memory.Scripts and weapon misuse are not cheats and therefore are not bannable,But still even if this were untrue the vac system is still not in place for new games like cs source and half life 2

4th-This issue has been disscussed at depth on the VALVe/Steam Forums and has been repeatadly said this this report is 100% fasle.

please rectifiy this situation as soon as possible

many thanks for your understanding in this matter and i hope to get a swift responce soon.

I responded with "This is totally true!" He replied...

Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 10:57 AM
Subject: false reports and lack of disclaimer

One thing you have to understand Dude! is that people post this crappy website without a proper disclaimer...

also you may want to make your'e humor/comedy a bit more apparent..The writing style you seemed to have picked up is that of a child.(child like style)

Try reading some Douglas Adams or Grant Naylor for some good sci-fi comedy,Maybe for you all is not lost;yet.

i kept the email with the words "It's totally true. I hope you don't get banned." and forwarded it onto VALVe staff memeber for continued enyoment.Without the diclamer that is not on this email i can see this beeing a bit of fun..

I guess I would feel the same way if I got owned like that.

Now let's get started on the "Microsoft AntiSpyware Removes Internet Explorer" Believers and there are many...

Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 11:01 AM
Subject: made up story / spyware

The spyware beta doesnt do that mr. genius... and how was it removed from the web site? its still there as of 11am this morn (EST), the Symantec info is also made up according to Symantec.

You get paid to make up fake tech stories? Is that a real job?

As a matter of fact, I do and it is.
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 12:09 PM
Subject: Your article on MS' Anti-spyware program

Where did you see that they had pulled this from there site? It is still available thru their Spyware home page and I don’t see any warnings or posts about this on their home page, the anti-spyware page or in the newsgroups. Where did confirm this information?

<multiple links to the AntiSpyware software snipped>

I told him it was a joke. He replied...

Hah.. just making sure, I couldn’t find anywhere that stated that. I’ve recommended installing that on several of our bigwigs around here and I was well you know what in my pants! You might put a disclaimer at the very bottom of your articles in the future.

Yeah, I better think about that disclaimer.

From: Jeffrey
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: Microsoft's AntiSpyware Tool,Removes Internet Explorer Article

Mr. Briggs,

I have to commend you for the excellent piece of fiction that you have posted on

While I certainly empathize with those who face the woes of using Microsoft products, this story is not an accurate reflection of the truth. I downloaded the tool when Microsoft first made it available, and while I am not terribly impressed with it, it has not caused me any problems. I have IE installed on my system and can confirm that it is still operating as well as Microsoft designed it to operate. Granted, that isn't necessarily saying much, but it is the truth.

As to my personal preferences, I use Firefox for my browsing, but I keep IE installed for those times when I simply have to use it. At no time have I ever had Microsoft's AntiSpyware tool remove my IE install, or even present the possibility.

Again, I commend you for an excellent piece of fiction. It was quite well written, and I am sure that it will snare many who are not as competent in the use of their computers.

I love how he's so smug that he's detected this as a piece of fiction.

Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 4:09 AM
Subject: Spyware removal tool removes I.E.

Well, you had a couple of believers when the local IT department here at Unilever started discussing the "Microsoft's AntiSpyware Tool Removes Internet Explorer" article, and even claimed that ''s not true, I've tried this at home and it doesn't remove IE'.
I then pointed out that it is satire, as mentioned in the titlebar :)

Now a bunch of discussion board sightings...

1) so now microsoft is removing its own software from the os. nice

2) One fellow on Shacknews heard the story on NPR.

3) Why do i still have IE and i always use This program to remove my spyware

4) Honestly, what the hell reason is there for needing to uninstall IE. If you don't want to use it... quite simply, don't!

5) Posted in the security section of this magazine's website.

6) That article doesn't seem "genuine".

7) The article was written on the 19th Jan. I checked on the 21st Jan and Microsofts Antispyware is still available for downloading.

8) So I take it that the "source of most spyware" could theoretically be interpreted as IE itself in this case? Again, if this is true, it would sort of blow apart the whole antitrust case of "you can't separate IE (or other pieces) from the operating system".

9) The news guy on the Don and Mike show just reported this as real news.

10) Pakistani news site posted the story as fact.


One reader confirms our Trailer Review opinion on Elektra...

From: Guy
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2005 9:52 PM
Subject: Elektra

Yeah, we all thought there would be some nice skin shown in the movie... I saw it tonight, since my local Regal Cinemas took Life Aquatic off the screens. May I say, Wow!, Elektra has almost no sexual content, and the "plot" ( <---- quotation marks necessary ) was mind numbingly incoherent and pretentious. The trailer was such false advertising...

Oh, and there's exactly 1 explosion in the movie, and its really fake looking, and its small. So, yeah... no action, no sex, no plot....
Elektra was killer.

That's all for this week!

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