The Joys Of Email

If there's anyone who has a more messed up email system I'd love to hear about it. My main email address, I've been using since 1999, is btcarver, but at, not, which is where LISNews lives now (.com just does a redirect to .org). All the LISNews domains live on one of my LISHost servers, but the email (aka mx record) all goes through gmail. I also have a gmail rule set up to cc an account at LISHost, just in case. So this means I have 2 primary email accounts that are essentially on 3 different servers. I use the gmail hosted email for domains for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if one or both LISHost servers go down, I still need to be able to communicate with everyone. So that worked just fine, until recently. Work decided to firewall all major providers of web based email, including gmail. Luckily they're not blocking ALL web based email and luckily I'm already ccing all my email to LISHost for just such an occasion. So while I'm at work I check my mail via my account on LISHost, while I'm home I use Outlook Express, which I have set up to check the account @gmail, along with my blake account on LISHost, and my other rarely used account at

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Protect your web searches

Lifehacker has posted some common sense searching strategies will make it harder for engines (or anyone else) to put together a detailed profile of you.

None of these tips will keep you anonymous from a search engine 100%. The best way to keep your information private would be to get off the webernets completely, but as that's not an option for most of us, the second best is to use a combo of security methods to cover as much of your virtual booty as possible. What are your best search privacy tips?

An email snapshot of British life, courtesy of the British Library and Microsoft

Microsoft and the British Library are collaborating to introduce the first ever attempt to create a public archive of British emails. They're asking participants to submit an memorable sent or received emails to be recorded for posterity, to record "a snapshot of British life by email". The project is part of a promotion to celebrate the launch of the new Windows Live Hotmail. Contributers are invited to submit their emails under the following categories: Blunders, Life Changing Emails, Complaints, Spam, Love and Romance, Humour, Everyday Emails, News, World Around You, Tales from Abroad. For readers in Great Britain, submission details can be found here.


Tech Friday: The Top 10 Ways to Eliminate Spam from Your Inbox

Blake writes "The Top 10 Ways to Eliminate Spam from Your Inbo is from over at Spam emails are estimated to cost anywhere between US$10 to $87 billion per year in direct costs and lost productivity. What's more, 90% of computer viruses are spread by email attachments. Spam has become so insidious that every company has to consider the cost and means of reducing its impact. Sometimes it's as simple as implementing a basic spam filter and applying best practices-- i.e., following a few rules for recognizing and eliminating spam. On the other end of the spectrum are the most aggressive tactics, which involve turning the tables on spammers. This article provides ten tips to help eliminate spam email from your inbox."


Tech Friday: Spam shows sudden slide

Somebody writes "I Wish This Was Good News. Worldwide spam levels have mysteriously dropped off over the past week, according to managed e-mail provider SoftScan, possibly as a result of a major botnet going out of service.

Spam levels continued to rise in December, but crashed by 30 percent in the first week of January, SoftScan said on Tuesday. The company has seen nothing similar in the past, but believes the most likely explanation is that a botnet — a network of compromised machines — has temporarily lost control of its client systems."


Bill Could Make Sending Sexually Explicit E-Mail A Crime

State Sen. Mike Friend of Omaha must've been reading our boobies discussion. "The Internet is a cesspool," said Mike Friend of Omaha, who introduced the bill (LB142) at the attorney general's request. E-mailing someone a pornographic picture would be a misdemeanor, and sending it to a child would be a felony (in Nebraska) under legislation proposed Monday. More.

9 out of 10 e-mails now spam Criminal gangs using hijacked computers are behind a surge in unwanted e-mails peddling sex, drugs and stock tips.

The number of "spam" messages has tripled since June and now accounts for as many as nine out of 10 e-mails sent worldwide, according to U.S. email security company Postini.

As Christmas approaches, the daily trawl through in-boxes clogged with offers of fake Viagra, loans and sex aids is tipped to take even longer.

"E-mail systems are overloaded or melting down trying to keep up with all the spam," said Dan Druker, a vice president at Postini.

His company has detected 7 billion spam e-mails worldwide in November compared to 2.5 billion in June. Spam in Britain has risen by 50 percent in the last two months alone, according to Internet security company SurfControl.


'Pump-and-Dump' Spam Surge Linked to Russian Bot Herders

Slashdot pointed the way to an interesting article at eWeekM on the recent surge in e-mail spam hawking penny stocks and penis enlargement pills. I've seen a huge spike on LISHost recently, and they says it's due is the handiwork of Russian hackers running a botnet powered by tens of thousands of hijacked computers.
Internet security researchers and law enforcement authorities have traced the operation to a well-organized hacking gang controlling a 70,000+-strong peer-to-peer botnet seeded with the SpamThru Trojan. Think about that number for a second, 73,000.... In all, computers in 166 countries are part of the botnet, with the United States accounting for more than half of the infections.
They say With a botnet of this size, the group is theoretically capable of sending a billion spam e-mails in a single day.

Report: Spam Accounts for Most E-Mail Traffic

"The sheer volume of IM attacks is a dramatic demonstration that we're in an environment where hackers, knowing that most organizations are still unprotected against IM malware, are rapidly adopting IM for their attacks," Said Andrew Lochart, senior director of marketing for Postini, a messaging security firm based in San Carlos, Calif.
My experience with LISHost confirms this, I'd also add Spam makes up the same percentage of Blog comments and trackbacks.


The Fight Against V1@gra (and Other Spam)

The NYTimes Taks A Long look at the fight against spam. Advances in spam-catching techniques mean that most computer users no longer face the paralyzing crush of junk messages that began threatening the very utility of e-mail communications just a few years ago.But spammers have hardly given up, and as they improve and adapt their techniques, network managers must still face down the pill-pushers, get-rich-quick artists and others who use billions of unwanted e-mail messages to troll for income. "For the end user, spam isn't that much of a problem anymore," said Matt Sergeant, MessageLabs' senior antispam technologist. "But for the network, and for people like us, it definitely is."



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