Blow, Blow, Blow Your Smoke

Prime Minister Chrétien told an audience at a fundraising dinner yesterday that his federal Liberal government will soon be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana. Under the new legislation, possession of a small amount would be treated as an offense equivalent to a parking ticket.

I don’t smoke the stuff myself. Of course, if I did, it would probably be unwise to admit to it so publicly in a blog, but that’s not a worry of mine. However, I do have friends who smoke the stuff, and for some of them it serves a medicinal purpose. So I’m glad to finally see this step forward.

And of course, U.S. authorities, still bent on their “War on Drugs,” absolutely hate this proposed legislation. Another test of Canada’s willingness to exercise its sovereignty?

Spam in the News

Bush Whacker has pointed me to a bunch of articles about spam in the New York Times.

Given that one of my first blog entries was to bitch about spam, I am most certainly among those who’d like to see measures taken to drastically reduce it, if not completely eliminate it. But I can’t help feeling pessimistic about ever seeing the day that’ll happen. It was possible to prevent shitheads marketers from sending advertising by fax, but that’s because the caller’s number could be traced. But due to its decentralized nature, no governmental body from any nation can hope to effectively stop the avalanche of spam. Besides, most spammers know every trick in the book not only to camouflage the sender’s address, but also to use everyone’s bandwidth but their own. That’s what is so nasty about spam; it’s as though every one of us had sent these fucktards* a bunch of self-addressed, stamped envelopes to receive their trash!

The quote that insulted me the most in the NYT article Bush Whacker forwarded to me today came from one Alyx Sachs, a spammer who would like me to believe that she’s altruistic for spamming me with offers to “fix my credit for free.” Said she: “These antispammers should get a life. Do their fingers hurt too much from pressing the delete key? How much time does that really take from their day?”

That’s hardly the point. And YOU are the one who needs to get a life, Ms. SpamBucketSachs.

My work is online. If my computer is on, then so is my e-mail application. I like to act upon the e-mail I receive as soon as I get it so that I won’t get buried under a mound of requests. I also like to reply to comments on aMMusing as soon as I’m aware of them. But it’s getting to the point where keeping e-mail on is too much of a distraction.

For you see, in the time it took me to write and edit this entry, I received 15 spam messages. It’s not a matter of “my finger hurting too much from pressing the delete key,” as Ms. SpamBucketSachs poo-poos. It’s the fact that the sound of those messages arriving is breaking my concentration. That’s not a huge problem when I’m merely blogging, but when I’m in the middle of programming or writing something business-related, it is. Meanwhile, Eudora tells me that I received 1890 messages so far this month and 1992 last month, but that I sent 100 and 152 respectively. I think these figures illustrate particularly well the extent to which spam has become a problem. Maybe the solution for me would be to start running Horde Mail more often in a separate browser tab, since messages would arrive more discreetly and I could delete them directly on the server, leaving only those I want to pull in later with Eudora.

It’s like any other good thing that comes along, though, whether it’s related to technology or not. There’s always a few out there that’ll ruin everything for everybody. The efficiency and instantaneous nature of technology has enabled the triumph of this particularly odious group of fucktards.

* I would be remiss not to give xkot full credit for coining this term. Visit his website to see if he’ll indeed start declaring who’s the “Fucktard of the Week” (instead of “Month”).

So Difficult to Let Go

I’ve been reading Len’s blog with interest for the last few weeks. His links to stories like this one invariably leave me with a deep sense of concern for the many Americans I know and like, not to mention for America itself. I think it’s fair to call Len “just another ordinary guy who happens to live in Texas, be gay, and disagree vehemently with the policies of George W. Bush’s administration.” So hearing that he should be the recipient of hate mail (from bullies who don’t even have the balls to sign their threats) as a result of expressing his views online, I worry that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceburg.

If the divisions among Americans are, as some claim, as deep if not deeper than they were in the years leading up to the American Civil War, could those tensions degenerate into the ACW II? I get this awful mental image of America standing on a precipice — so close to the edge, in fact, that it doesn’t matter who wins next year’s presidental election. Whoever loses is bound to be seriously dangerously pissed.

Eudora’s My Friend

This isn’t a commercial or an attempt to persuade anyone. But I must say, for no apparent good reason, that I really like Eudora as an e-mail client.

I’ve been using it since 1995, and while most of the other applications I use have changed considerably in that time, Eudora hasn’t — at least not much. Some point to this fact as a weakness in Eudora, but for me it’s a strength, a constant I can always count on.

Even more important to me, I find it’s quite easy to figure out how it works and stores e-mail data. So when I had to upload all my software into the new TextStyle1, all I had to do after the basic installation process was copy over some files and folders and voilà! Eudora was set up and running exactly as I’d left it on the retired TextStyle1. Among its other strengths (for me) are how easy it is to switch “personality” when sending a message, and how it is less prone to attacks than the most popular e-mail program on the market. With a combination of using Eudora and not trusting attachments, I have managed to remain virus-free …without any virus protection software.

Some Eudora detractors state as one of its downsides the fact it’s not that good with HTML e-mail. But that’s no big deal for me because I despise HTML in e-mail messages. HTML is for browsers, not e-mail clients.

And I have absolutely NO idea why I felt compelled to blog about Eudora just now…

Now I Get It!

Indiana Jones told me today why he thinks we call electronic junk mail spam. “I think it must stand for Stupid Pricks Always Mailing.”

Not really related, but the Queen of Sheba was telling me once that some author several years ago — I forget her name — pointed out that animals are always assumed to be male. I think this is also true of spambags; we assume them to be male. It might be interesting, however, to find out if this is so, as I suspect for some inexplicable reason. But then, that would be showing too much interest in the scum of the Internet.