on Apr 23, 2017
The modem coughs and screams like someone beatboxing to white noise. Why the shit do modems always default to ear-splitting volume levels, and why can I never remember where you go to change it?
The connection happens and I’m ready to begin work for the day. I open Microsoft Outlook Express, hit “Check Email”, and then brace myself for the worst part of the day.
Part of my job involves answering technical questions from our users. This means my email is public. It’s posted on our website, and it’s in my signature on the message board. Which means spam bots have had years to discover it. Which means all the spammers have it. Also, a couple of years ago our company went from free-to-play to a paid model. This pissed people off, and part of the public backlash / protest was that someone signed our emails up for various porn mailing lists.
I don’t know if it’s the mailing lists or the spam bots, but these days I get between one and two hundred emails a day, and 90% of them are advertisements for pornography.
Maybe if you’re young you imagine “porn” means HD video of attractive people doing obvious things that I don’t need to belabor here. But this is 1997, and spammers don’t yet have vast botnets of compromised machines to deliver their spam payload. The internet is slow, bandwidth is expensive, and spammers still sort of pay to send out their spam.