Hare Spama

The FryUp email address receives an email with the subject "Gouranga". Hmm? The message is "Call out Gouranga be happy!! Gouranga Gouranga Gouranga ...

Top Stories

- Hare Spama

- The first issue of 2005

- Sonomapoeic

- The local spam problem

- Hare Spama

The FryUp email address receives an email with the subject “Gouranga”. Hmm? The message is “Call out Gouranga be happy!! Gouranga Gouranga Gouranga … That which brings the highest happiness!!” What sort nonsense is that? A virus? Nothing was attached. No URL to click on either. Totally pointless spam then is it?

Well, yes, it is, but a bit of Googling gave a pointer as to what it’s about. It appears to be the Scots Hare Krishnas spamming. “Gouranga” is apparently the Scottish spelling of “Gauranga”.

So, religious spam is now part and parcel of internet life. How very, very disappointing. I’ve enjoyed many a good meal in vegetarian Hare Krishna restaurants in the past, but unless they officially swear off spam, I will boycott them from now on. Especially the Scottish ones. Lentil haggis … urrgh.

- "Gouranga" spam - who's behind it and what it's about

- The first issue of 2005

Isn’t it amazing? It feels like 1913 was only yesterday, but it’s 2005 already in fact and the first issue of Computerworld is due out. That doesn’t happen every year I tell you so stand by at the letter boxes this Monday.

www.computerworld.co.nz

- Sonomapoeic

Big power in a small package is what we want. Personal tech is less threatening, but you want it to do what big boxy tech can do. Intel’s hardware refresh of the Centrino kit aims to provide all that, and we were among the first on the planet to check it out. Codenamed “Sonoma”, Intel has added support for faster (533MHz) DDR-2 memory, PCI Express graphics, Serial ATA hard drives and the anti-malware NX bit.

Coupled with a hi-res LCD, a Sonoma porty is probably as much computer that anyone needs — well, apart from gamers that is. It networks wiredly and wirelessly, plays sound and vision and runs Office at a blistering speed. This thing’s cooking, I tell you.

- Intel's Sonoma chip set breaks cover in New Zealand

- The local spam problem

The US is home to the vast majority of spammers we’re told, but does that mean all email dreck comes from there? No, and it certainly doesn’t mean New Zealanders aren’t in on the spam game, unfortunately.

IDG staffers’ inboxes were hit by a local outfit shilling computers and related bits and pieces over the holidays. The spammer isn’t just any old hopeful, but someone connected to spectacular, million-dollar PC retailer failures in the late nineties.

The interesting thing is that a quick bit of research shows the spammer in question has been going since 2002 at least. Not much cloaking going on either — the same ISP, and flogging goods from the same supplier over the years, despite spam complaints from internet users.

If that doesn’t show antispam legislation is way overdue, I don’t know what does. I spoke to the spammer who was generally rude and unsympathetic to my objections at being spammed and refused to say how my and others email address had ended up in their database which had been “marketed to” for the past two years. As long as there’s an unsubscribe facility, it wasn’t spam said the spammer. Yeah, right.

The new antispam legislation is about a month away from being introduced, but it’ll come too late to catch the spammer — and the ISPs and suppliers that have been supporting the spammer over the years. It really is a shame that we have to put into law common sense and ethics just because people are blinded by greed.

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