Last updated on October 31, 2008
1. Virtual worlds in the hot seat
As reported in the 4Cast last week, there are 100+ youth-oriented virtual worlds in existence. With that kind of availability comes vulnerability. One Congressman wants to stop children from accessing these sites in schools and libraries. Below are the links to Congressman Kirk’s (IL) statements and the recent congressional hearings on virtual communities.
- Ban ‘Second Life’ in schools and libraries, Republican congressman says (C|net)
- Kirk, Parents and Police: Delete Online Predators (Congressman Kirk’s website)
- Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium (House Committee Webcast)
- Congress Holds First Hearing on Virtual Worlds; Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale Testifies (Virtually Blind)
2. Now there’s a term for it – “backscattered”.
You open your in-box and you see LOTS of bounced or “return to sender” type messages, so you open one to see what could have possibly come back to you. The thing is, you didn’t send out any pharmaceutical ads, or lottery announcements, or Louis Vuitton ads, or other such spam. Unfortunately, people will use random valid e-mail addresses (sometimes even a librarian’s!) to send out their spam and when their messages reach invalid addresses, it gets bounced to you.
- 100 e-mail bouncebacks? You’ve been backscattered. (Computer World)
- What is backscatter? (Spam Links)
- Backscatterer – Why it is abusive and how to stop your system doing so (Backscatterer)
- Backscatter increase clogs inboxes (LWN)
3. Happy birthday, spam!
Spammers love it, users hate it, poetry is written with it, and it’s 30 years old.
- Happy spamiversary! Spam reaches 30 (New Scientist Tech)
- Do you know where your mouse has been? (Yodel Anecdotal)
- Twitter Starts Blacklisting Spammers (Tech Crunch)
- Va. Supreme Court to revisit divisive spam case (InRich)
From our Twitter feed…Xobni, or spelled backward, Inbox, is a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook 2003/2007 running on Windows XP/Vista. Basically, it indexes all of your e-mail messages in a more user-friendly way. What’s really cool about it? Xobni Analytics. You can view some really interesting statistics on your e-mail usage, such as what time of day you receive the most mail and who contacts you the most often.