Archives for December 2010

One-Third of World Spam

With the arrest of Oleg Nikolaenko, the young Russian responsible for billions of spam messages each day, the world is wondering what it would be like with one-third less spam. There are over 250 billion email messages sent each day. With 86,400 seconds in a day, that’s about 3 million email messages a second.  Conservatively, 80% is spam.  That means that 2.5 million emails each second are spam.  Many of those emails are caught by spam filters, but the spam that makes it to inboxes still cause major problems.  Spam is profitable and despite the repeated warnings, people still click on spam. Ordering pharmaceuticals or fake Rolex watches from spam hurts you in two ways. First, they take your money for the item and you get an empty box if you get anything at all.  And second, you can be highjacked and become part of the botnet.  A botnet is like the Borg for computers. Your computer … [Read more...]

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

This year just about every retailer is using the term Black Friday and Cyber Monday to advertise their special “specials” and grab the attention of holiday shoppers.  Those seem strange terms, not very glamorous or even illustrative of a bargain.  In fact, they sound more like viruses and cyborg attacks out of a sci-fi movie.  So why have they caught on? Used to describe sinister or catastrophic events occurring on a particular day of the week, Black Friday has been used for everything from massacres to meltdowns.  Today, we most often use the term for shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  Coined in the late 1960s by the Philadelphia police because of the choking traffic and crowds, the moniker caught on and by the mid-1970s was being widely used.  Later the term Black Friday was redefined to mean the day that retailers become profitable or put some black ink on the ledger. It is an … [Read more...]