Spam Appreciation Day

I rely on spam for my daily dose of randomness. Whether it's the smattering of apparently genuine (or maybe just address-testing) messages about adopting adorable puppies on the other side of the world that I received a week or so ago, or the numerous opportunities to build a collection of Korean-made railway rolling stock, old freighters registered in Panama and, of course, Chinese pumps, the less common flavours of spam give my inbox a pleasingly gonzo edge.

Recent examples:

An outfit called ByteShark, previously chiefly notable for its very plausible claims of a cure for baldness, has now decided to become some sort of "visual content" search engine.

I think you're meant to be able to upload a picture from your computer and find Web pages with similar pictures on them, or something, but all the search seems to do at the moment is take an incredibly long time (while showing you an ad for the baldness remedy!), and then turn up a bunch of severely sub-Google-Images results. If you upload an image, ByteShark appears to be very good at finding other images that resemble it in no way whatsoever.

The best part about the e-mail, though, was that it was sent to me, because Byteshark had brilliantly decided that since is hosted by SecureWebs, I must be the contact address not for, but specifically for, which is the server that delivers the little "Hosted By" image on the bottom of pages. Which ByteShark now indexes. Hurrah!

It's OK to play around with exciting new search engine paradigms. Just don't start spamming people about your revolutionary product until it can at least pretend to work.

(UPDATE: Just now, on the 24th of October 2007, ByteShark have sent me another copy of the exact same announcement message.)

Example two:

I've always enjoyed the interminable politico-religious screeds that some people spam. Fair enough; you can't wait for people to discover your 500-kilobyte one-page Geocities site when the fate of Christendom, or something, hangs in the balance.
Here's something I got yesterday. I hope you're sitting comfortably.

  mr. dan,
     I was looking for computer check meters, I got your message on google images, saying , the meter told me that and reached you,
here what I have written to a computer software specialist, same for you. In the last my complete introduction.

   Dear mr. mansoor,
   sql server magazine,
       I append below my general information for your kind perusal
   It was good to see the name, mansoor, as my brother's name is
   also mansoor and he is settled in  southafrica.  I would be glad to know  your origin.  I have a question,
    how to put a sign-in seal , that would create a link between a certain
   computer cpu, and yahoo.  I have got many accounts closed. so I complained to hong kong arbitration centre.
   what do you think a sign-in seal means authorised access by yahoo
to a certain computer, and what if firewall is put on, will sign-in seal
be created, or we should remove the firewall first and then , sign-in
seal could be made.  I was unable to put a sign-in seal, to prevent
password theft.  However my password was
not stolen, yahoo company officials have been frequently closing my e.mail accounts.
  I knew about yourself, that you are founder and chief technology officer of  I S P R I N G.  My introduction is appended below.

  My name: Munsif rasool, s/o Late ghulam rasool
  comp. NIC NO: 41303-1480967-9 issued from Pakistan's
                                national database authority.
  education:  commerce graduate
   I am munsif rasoo, aged 37, and former agricultural developmentbank employee.  I worked for this bank from  17-5-95 to 30-8-2002.  During my service tenure in the year 1997,98, I wrote some direct requests to the
authorities of bank for legitimate purposes, to which bank responded, and I got the due advantages from bank.  In the month of februaray-2001, security guards of army run company called sms security, fought outside first women bank ltd, gul centre branch, Hyderabad, and they later got a complaint registered at cantonment police station, saddar, hyderabad.  I was later removed from the service on the pretext that I defamed the image of the bank.
  However, I explained my position with regard to all the allegations levelled against me, explaining that why would I go to a police station to get a complaint registered, so that image of agricultural bank should be defamed.
  In the month of august-2002 some conspirators ignoring head office instructions issued to audit zone-10, hyderabad, where I was posted,
came up with old matters and turned them into allegations that I wrote direct
requests to head office.  On the contrary matters of the past had settled in past.
  The bank, outside where , sms company security guards made the hue and cry and made scuffle, are still in first women bank ltd, opposite , pakistan airforce recruitment and selection centre, saddar, hyderabad. And the woman named iffat bashir who was manager, at the time of scuffle outside first women bank ltd, gul centre branch, has now joined united bank ltd, of his excellency sheikh nahyan bin m,abarak al-nahyan. a renowned industrialist of abudhabi.  she joined this bank in the month of april-2004.  In the month of june-2004, I also received a letter from the head office of united bank ltd, karachi.  The sender was one mr. shahid habibullah, div. head, hum,an resources.  He said that my cv had been included in computer database, as and when opportunity arose , I would be contacted.  I kept wandering around the UBL,
regional head quarter for three years, but I could never get the job of even marketeer.
  Hundreds of people were seen in the two branches of united bank ltd, i.e. gul centre branch and civic centrebranch, but some terrorists started terrorism and they onceagain started to fight.
  That I am a poor and orphan, I was looking for a job to support my research activities, and goons from mohajir mafia started to get jobs in this bank.
  I received a valid letter,  21-6-2004, for a permanent post in united bank ltd, but terrorists started to threaten me, and I started to send a case against this bank to UAE and the newspapers of other countries.
  I have made hectic efforts to get my job in agricultural bank back, but nepotism, and hostitlity never go, and I became a victium of hostility.
  my father was regional manager, Agricultural development bank of pakistan , he passed away in the month of nov.1991, my mother also passed away in the month of may-1995, and now after august-2002 I am on roads and streets to find a source of income.  What it turned out to be later, I have drafted a complete report against the psyche of pakistanis in the banks and other govt. institutions, please read this report at, because when I started to send my report to the newspapers of other muslim countries , I started to find my e.mail accounts to be closed.  Hoping that someone gracious, and generous will help an educated person.
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4 Responses to “Spam Appreciation Day”

  1. evilspoons Says:

    I just got this today, below an ad for a $269 version of Adobe Creative Suite 3 (Regular $1799! Download Right Away!):

    In search of brighter green to come. No way!
    This perfection, this absence.
    Deep in the fog that quenches every ray,
    Silence, are in his hand—birds in a snare;
    XV. The International Circumpolar Stations: The Greely Expedition
    Although December's frost killed the winter crop,
    Covering the land—
    Of observation lying on the ground
    Onto my frozen fingers.
    Rain. We are forced to fly,
    Down the road, at Cypress Gardens, a woman
    It is as though I were at a second threshold.
    Toward . . . that seems to be the whispered question
    I know,
    And trumpet at his lips; nor does he cast
    Figures of light and dark, these two are walking
    X. The British Attack on the Arctic
    Standing in the way of the truth. A white
    Is dumb; he is the mute white stony shape
    (ends here abruptly)

  2. Daniel Rutter Says:

    That's a chopped up and interpolated version of "Archangel Winter" by Victor Hugo; you can read the whole thing here (that page contains at least one other poem that matches lines from the spam, so it might be the source text the spammer fed into his mung-o-tron).

    It took me a moment to find, though, on account of that particular block of text's extraordinary popularity among spammers!

  3. Jax184 Says:

    Reminds me of google talk. No, not googletalk, google talk.
    The name predates the IM service.

    It basicly searches for whatever you punch in, appends the next word in the sentence it turns up, removes the first word from what you gave it, and starts over. The result is a wandering mess.

    From time to time it seems to make sense.

    "and the pope said to the system there is no need to panic. over a suspected meningitis outbreak. in the north of England Orchid Society."

    "Jesus Christ died for our sins. BY his blood we shall be Free from defects in material and workmanship."

    And then it goes a little wonky.

  4. m56 Says:

    Tried the googletalk, found it rather poetic. It even rhymes at the end! Here's what I got (edited for capitalization and hyphens) when I entered "If I wanted to run away":

    If I wanted to run away but I can't. The time be better spent doing something else? For a while I promise! I'll be better! When I'm not signing graphic novels but only signing prose not sure where this goes?

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