Thursday, May 11, 2006

How Molecular Is Your Sidewalk?

I get a lot of spam e-mail, literally hundreds per day. Most of it just drops through my filters into electronic oblivion, but every once in a while I check in on the filters to see how they're doing and to make sure I'm not dropping any legit e-mail. Much of the spam I get is sent to addresses that I've used publicly on the Internet; any address that has ever appeared in a Usenet newsgroup or that has appeared on a web page is a wide-open target. Some of it is harder to explain, though.

About 12 times a week, I get spam addressed to I've never used that address anywhere for any purpose. I've never seen or heard of an address with a user name of "SidewalkMolecular." (If the spammers find, they will also try,, etc.) It goes beyond the usual "dictionary attack" because it joins two unrelated words. And yet, about twice a day, my spam filters reject an attempt to deliver some fabulous commercial offering sent to that address.

My sidewalk is doing fine, but it's not very molecular, thank you, and it really doesn't need any herbal lovemaking enhancements.

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