kottke.org posts about spam

You should be eating more SpamMay 22 2013

For Slate, Anna Weaver argues that Spam aligns quite well with current food trends in America and should be eaten more.

Consider that Spam contains not only ham (meat from the hind leg of the pig) but also pork shoulder. Today, pork shoulder is beloved by chefs and home cooks, but when Spam first hit the shelves, it was an underutilized and underappreciated cut. Hormel took that underrated meat and transformed it into a salty, meaty treat. "It's a centuries-old idea," says Hawaiian chef Alan Wong, who pays homage to Spam in his eponymous Honolulu restaurant. "You get all your trimmings and you turn them into sausage or a meatloaf or pate or a terrine." I've never seen a meat-eater turn up his nose at sausage or pate -- what rational basis is there, then, for eschewing their all-American cousin?

See also fast food as molecular gastronomy.

Double your poleMay 14 2009

Art director Elliott Burford makes amusing illustrations from spam subject lines.

Spam Illustrations

(thx, frank)

Update: See also Spamusement. (thx, everyone on the internet)

Pants of steelMay 08 2009

Spam that involves pants.

Get king-kong in pants
The vigor in your pants will be unbreakable.
A big equipment in your pants brings big fruits for hot chicks to pick up.

The Elements of SpamJan 08 2009

With apologies to Strunk and White, The Elements of Spam.

1. Form the possessive of nouns by adding 's, just an apostrophe, just an s, a semicolon, a w, an ampersand, a 9, or anything.

Spam's fortunes rise and fallNov 17 2008

The amount of spam email decreased by more than 66% last week after a single company was knocked offline by their ISP after the Washington Post dug into their activities. But sales of Spam, the midwestern delicacy, are up, up, up because of the crappy economy.

Through war and recession, Americans have turned to the glistening canned product from Hormel as a way to save money while still putting something that resembles meat on the table. Now, in a sign of the times, it is happening again, and Hormel is cranking out as much Spam as its workers can produce.

In a factory that abuts Interstate 90, two shifts of workers have been making Spam seven days a week since July, and they have been told that the relentless work schedule will continue indefinitely.

People are also buying fewer socks and more frozen pot pies. And Spam can be added to the list of unlikely economic indicators, joining sushi, Big Macs, cigarettes, and others.

Update: Oh, and lipstick.

An indicator based on the theory that a consumer turns to less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, when she (or he) feels less than confident about the future. Therefore, lipstick sales tend to increase during times of economic uncertainty or a recession.

(thx, dann)

Email meMay 07 2008

If you Google "email me", kottke.org is the first result. This may explain all the spam I've been getting. (via two separate most-likely-drunken emails last night)

Linzie Hunter's illustrations of spam subject lines.Nov 08 2007

Linzie Hunter's illustrations of spam subject lines. I wish she did prints of these. See also: Spamshirt.

Polymorphic spam, greatly largest than federalAug 06 2007

Michael Specter gave spam the New Yorker treatment in last week's issue. Probably not a lot new for kottke.org readers, but after reading this short passage,

But spammers aren't stopping there. They are learning to send out polymorphic spam, thousands of variations of the spam message, which makes each message unique and therefore hard to categorize.

I noticed examples of polymorphic spam in my junk mail folder for a penis enlargement product called Mega Dik. Here are some of the variations:

Dames always smiled at me and even youths did in the not private lavatory!
Well, now I giggl at them, because I took Me_ga. d_ik.
for 3 months and now my pecker is extremely greater than civil.

Chicks always hee-hawed at me and even bucks did in the civil bathroom!
Well, now I laugh at them, because I took Meg, a dik.
for 4 months and now my putz is badly greater than world.

Baronesses always giggled at me and even youths did in the public WC!
Well, now I whoop at them, because I took Me - ga - Di k
for 4 months and now my pecker is dreadfully longer than usual.

Baronesses always smiled at me and even chaps did in the urban WC!
Well, now I smil at them, because I took M_E_G. ADI. K
for 3 months and now my tool is much preponderant than civil.

Chicks always laughed at me and even fellows did in the unrestricted bathroom!
Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took M eg ad ik
for 7 months and now my member is greatly largest than federal.

I've also updated my amusing penis enlargement spam imagery page. Most of the images are NSFW but are great examples of effective folk design.

Twitter spamJun 27 2007

From my inbox this morning:

Twitter Spam

We can't have nice things on the internet.

Personalized spamMar 27 2007

Got a penny-stock spam this morning where most of the text designed to confuse spam filters was taken from kottke.org.

From: "Harriot Mckee" <mwuq@symlog.com>
Date: March 27, 2007 10:28:25 AM EDT
To: <jason@kottke.org>
Subject: The outside of one particular prison is all glass like an Apple Store, the furniture is nicely designed, and the sports facilities are top-notch.

CWTD Receives "National Park Award"

China World Trade Corp.
Symbol: CWTD
Price: $0.489

CWTD a diverse company involved in world trade and business services has just been awarded the "Nation Park Award" for one of the parks it manages. CWTD is expected to issue a huge news release this week. We always see big returns when they do. Read up and get ready. Get on CWTD first thing Tuesday morning!

" (via that's how it happened) Looking for work?
Exburbians moved to the farthest reaches of suburbia for cheap real estate, willing to drive at least an hour each way to work.
Why, then, don't we pull for the Iraqi insurgents? "There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday.
Netflix has a "take as much as you want" vacation.
That suggests that the claim may be phony, he said.
Why can't we see ourselves in the faces of those kids firing RPGs at convoys of Halliburton trucks stealing Iraqi oil?
A French map shows that the Portuguese were the first.
All content by Jason Kottke (contact me) unless otherwise noted, with some restrictions on its use. Protect Your System From Online Intruders.
Sales of home coffee machines nearly . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area.
You could say it would be a lifetime's quest to reconcile this battling trinity into a seamless whole. (thx, jennifer)
Looking for work? Bob Saget was onto something.
I don't think it's any coincidence that one of the people responsible for Blogger is also responsible for Twitter.
jonreese(or how i learned to stop worrying and love the blog): Who Murdered 32 Iraqi Children?
Update: The Showtime site doesn't seem to be available to those outside of the US.
jonreese(or how i learned to stop worrying and love the blog): America is over.
An interview with Michael Pollan about The Omnivore's Dilemma.

You may be familiar with Monty Python'sFeb 20 2007

You may be familiar with Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch. This lesser known version of the sketch was made by a couple of Nigerian 419 scammers hoping to win a phony cash prize put up by a guy they tried to scam. (thx, Jeroen)

No nofollowJan 22 2007

All links on Wikipedia now automatically use the "nofollow" attribute, which means that when Google crawls the site, none of the links it comes across get any PageRank from appearing on Wikipedia. SEO contest concerns aside, this also has the effect of consolidating Wikipedia's power. Now it gets all the Google juice and doesn't pass any of it along to the sources from which it gets information. Links are currency on the web and Wikipedia just stopped paying it forward, so to speak.

It's also unclear how effective nofollow is in curbing spam. It's too hard for spammers to filter out which sites use nofollow and which do not and much easier & cheaper just to spam everyone and everywhere. Plus there's a not-insignificant echo effect of links in Wikipedia articles getting posted elsewhere so the effort is still worth it for spammers.

First draft of Rafe's Law: "An InternetOct 24 2006

First draft of Rafe's Law: "An Internet service cannot be considered truly successful until it has attracted spammers."

I'm currently testing out this rule forSep 12 2006

I'm currently testing out this rule for filtering image spam messages with Mail.app. I'm hoping it works because all of the unfiltered image spam clogging my inbox is slowly killing me. Not sure it's going to work though...because of kottke.org, I get a lot of email from people who have not previously contacted me. (via matt)

You know those spams you get toutingAug 28 2006

You know those spams you get touting penny stocks? It turns out they actually work. "The team found that a spammer who bought shares the day before starting an e-mail campaign and then sold them the day after could make a return on his or her investment of 4.9%. If he or she were to be a particularly effective spammer, returns to this strategy would be roughly 6%."

Update: NPR report on the spam stocks study. (thx, jeff)

New Google product announcement: Google Pharmacy. Spam is occasionally amusing.Jun 07 2006

New Google product announcement: Google Pharmacy. Spam is occasionally amusing.

How John Worley got duped by NigerianMay 10 2006

How John Worley got duped by Nigerian spammers. Amazing manipulation and gullibility. Great issue of the New Yorker this week, BTW...worth seeking out at the newsstand.

The Guardian on spam poetry. I featuredMar 08 2006

The Guardian on spam poetry. I featured the work of noted spam poet Gary Milano (webm@yahoo.com) a couple of years ago. See also Outside the Inbox, a compilation of songs inspired by spam subject lines.

Update: And The Words of Albert Spamus.

David Pogue has a great list ofJan 20 2006

David Pogue has a great list of tongue-in-cheek rules for trolls when responding to online writing. This list is spot-on...I have a mailbag full of chuckleheaded responses that adhere to many of these points, particularly numbers 1, 2, 6, and 9.

The evolution** of spamNov 28 2005

The 419 Nigerian spammers are getting smarter. This letter I received the other day offered URL references:

Dear Friend,

I am Larisa Sosnitskaya and I represent Mr. Mikhail Khordokovsky the former C.E.O of Yukos Oil Company in Russia. I have a very sensitive and confidential brief from this top (oligarch) to ask for your partnership in re-profiling funds US$46 Million. I will give the details, but in summary, the funds are coming via Bank Menatep. This is a legitimate transaction. You will be paid 20% as your commison/compensation for your active efforts and contirbution to the success of this transaction.

You can catch more of the story on This website below or you can watch more of CCN or BBC to get more news about my boss.

http://www.mosnews.com/mn-files/khodorkovsky.shtml
http://www.mbktrial.com/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3213505.stm
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/04/11/041.html
http://www.nndb.com/people/633/000025558/

If you are interested, please do indicate by providing me with your confidential telephone number, fax number and email address and I will provide further details and instructions. Please keep this confidential as we cannot afford more political problems. Please do send me your response as soon as possible via my personal email :larisacoll@walla.com OR larisacoll@netscape.com.

look forward to it.
Regards,
Larisa Sosnitskaya

Seems like pretty good evidence to me...where do I send the check?

**That's right, evolution. Sit on it, Potsie.

Responsible spam messages. "Can't SATISFY your woman?Nov 01 2005

Responsible spam messages. "Can't SATISFY your woman? Perhaps the two of you should sit down and discuss the issue."

Spam Stock Tracker tracked a bunch ofOct 05 2005

Spam Stock Tracker tracked a bunch of penny stocks hyped by spammers to see how you would do if you bought them. Looks like a ~50% loss since May.

Long thoughtful response from Tim O'Reilly aboutAug 24 2005

Long thoughtful response from Tim O'Reilly about the questionable advertising on some of O'Reilly Media's sites. Is selling your site's Page Rank to someone more or less legitimate than selling them your customers' attention? (via waxy)

It's sad to see O'Reilly selling PageRankAug 23 2005

It's sad to see O'Reilly selling PageRank to all these mortgage and hotel sites that have thoroughly polluted Google with their bad results. Much of the onus is on Google to clean that stuff out, but as Rogers notes in the thread, "if you're going to sell sponsored links, you should take the time to make sure they are advertisers you'd want to be associated with". O'Reilly is the kind of company that people believe in (a rare thing in today's world), but this makes me believe in them a little less.

Directions for setting up a Bayesian spamJul 22 2005

Directions for setting up a Bayesian spam filter to play chess.

Knowspam shutting down with little warningApr 18 2005

Knowspam shutting down with little warning. I know it worked, but I never liked the "hey, you emailed so-and-so and you need to authenticate..." It's the kind of service/software (like the hated Plaxo) that makes you dislike your friends.

Tags related to spam:
Google email money O’Reilly kottke.org food

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