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OPLIN 4Cast #101: Ban Second Life? Backscatter, Spam is 30, Xobni

Posted in 4cast, backscatter, social network websites, spam, techies, and wireless

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.

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.

3. Happy birthday, spam!
Spammers love it, users hate it, poetry is written with it, and it’s 30 years old.

4. Xobni
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.

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