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September 18, 2013

"Why I have a public email address" — by Cory Doctorow

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 6.58.05 PM

He wrote, "In my latest Guardian column [December 21, 2010], 'Keeping an email address secret won't hide it from spambots,' I explain why I don't bother to hide my email address from spambots and what I do instead to stay on top of spam."

Below, excerpts from his piece.


I don't really care how much spam gets eaten by my filters — all I care about is how much spam gets through; that is, how much spam I have to clear out by hand. If the server is culling 16,000 or 160,000 spams a day, it makes no difference to me. On the other hand, if the 100-300 spams I manually kill every day turned into 1,000-3,000, it would seriously undermine my productivity.

So I publish my email address, because I have yet to see any compelling evidence that hiding your email address or using silly techniques like spelling it out (doctorowATcraphoundDOTcom) is any proof against email harvesters. I can think of a way of detecting and converting such obfuscated email addresses, and if I can think of it, so can some spambot author, and she can write the code to do it.

I also have yet to see any compelling evidence that each additional publication of my email address accounts for any uptick in the amount of email that penetrates my filters. Surely after more than a decade, my email address is already in the databases of the world's greatest and most prolific spammers. Re-adding it doesn't make their spam any better at puncturing my defenses.

Indeed, the main category of spam that makes it through the filter comes from PR people who have bought it as part of a list of journalists who they might pitch and who are hoping to get a product mentioned on Boing Boing. This is the hardest stuff to filter, since it comes from so many valid email addresses, each message containing unique body text that mentions me by name.


Full disclosure: my philosophy is identical to Doctorow's; my email address is everywhere I am online.

Just in case: bookofjoe@gmail.com

Try it, you'll like it.

September 18, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Get your very own Chelyabinsk meteorite fragment — "As seen by thousands" (Limited-edition)


From the website:



As Seen By Thousands!

On February 15th, 2013 at 3:20 UTC, a hunk of chondrite the size of a double decker bus slammed into the Earth's atmosphere at roughly Mach 60.

No doubt you saw all the YouTube videos.

The shock wave generated from the heat of entering the Earth's atmosphere shattered the bolide into fragments with a detonation 20 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

The blast rocked the million-plus inhabitants of Chelyabinsk in south-western Russia when the fireball, burning brighter than the sun in the mid-morning sky, exploded.

Windows were shattered and fragile factory walls crumbled in the wake of the pressure wave.

More than 1000 people were sent to the hospital, mostly from lacerations from debris and flying glass.

The locals thought they were under missile attack.

Bits from the falling space-boulder fell from the blast and landed in the countryside surrounding Chelyabinsk, and the more entrepreneurial farmers looked for small holes in the fresh snowfall.

Digging down with frozen hands, they found pebble-sized fragments and quietly sold them to interests outside the country.

By the end of the month, the Russian authorities banned the export of the meteor's fragments — but not before several hundred pounds had already found their ways into the hands of collectors.

One of those collectors worked with ThinkGeek to specially package a few hundred of these fragments specifically for you.

Own a piece of Earth history!

Features and Specifications:

• Dropped from the sky on February 15, 2013

• Authentic fragment of the giant Russian meteor

• Collected and mounted by hand in handsome gift boxes

• 2-to-3 gram piece of the meteor that exploded over Russia

• Collected by hand and exported before the Russian export-ban

• Authenticated 2012 DA14 by Hans Fex of FEXtoys LLC

• Mounted in a handsome collectors box




September 18, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Verdi — Requiem: Dies Irae (Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic)

YouTube caption: "Fragment of 'Dies Irae' from this DVD."

[via Flautist, who pointed me to it in a comment on yesterday's flash mob opera outburst post. How she has seemingly instantaneous, encyclopedic access to the contents of YouTube — both the sublime and the ridiculous — continues to be among the greatest mysteries extant.]

September 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mini-Funnels — Where were these when my amphetamine dealer roommate needed them at UCLA in 1967?


He would sit at his built-in desk opposite my side of our little Rieber Hall dorm room all night long, fueled by his own wares, his lamp directed down at his scales, bags, tweezers, labels, calculator, and ledger, measuring and weighing and bagging his wares.

Me, I had zero interest, though he offered me whatever I wanted free, 100% pure.

Diff'rent strokes.

But I digress.

From the funnel website:


Funnel Set Sized Just Right for Smaller Tasks

Ordinary funnels just won't fit the necks of bottles, spice jars, or other containers with narrow openings.

You’ll be glad to have these handy helpers when it's time to fill containers with seasonings, oil, vinegar, salad dressing, and more.

Set of 3 nesting stainless steel mini-funnels with 1/8", 3/8", 1/2" spouts.



September 18, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Catme 13/Glass Effect 73: The Zen of Gray Cat — through Google Glass (video)

Watch and learn.

September 18, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: believe it or not, just about the size of a bread box.

Another: not meant to be placed in a bread box.

A third: not part of any religious rite.

September 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

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