Tuesday, February 22, 2005

MSFT Taking Action Against Israeli Spammer

Very interesting.  This article (in Ynet – very cool newish news source) says that Microsoft is going after the Israeli company who sent 1 million spam messages (per day) to Hotmail users.  It’ll be interesting to track this.  Article here:  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3049378,00.html.


Sorry I couldn’t link better.



Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Having Lots of Kids

Shtreimel has a relevant post here.

I know people, mostly country folk and Yeshivish types, who have lots of kids. By lots, I mean more than 4, sometimes multiples of 4. This brings up two issues for me. 1 – How can they afford it? I’ll discuss this in a later blog. 2 – How do they manage to effectively parent this brood.

I understand that every kid needs something different. I also understand if you have 10 kids, you probably have them over a 15 or 20 year time period. This is nice because you have some older ones that need less time (and probably more money) and little kids need just the opposite. Especially when you are talking about 99% hand-me-downs. Okay, but imagine you have even 3 or 4 kids between say 2 and 8. Each one is going to want something different. Imagine I get home from work at 6 and the kids go to bed at 8:30. Forgetting all of my needs and assuming my wife stays home with the kids full-time and takes care of all chore type things (like food prep, cleaning, taking care of the kids, etc.) – which is by no means an easy task – how could I do it? I mean, one of them wants to read a story, the other needs help with homework, a third wants to learn how to ride a bike. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And I just couldn’t get to all of them. But each is a reasonable request.

Plus, we need time to talk to the kids, discipline them, impart morals and values, etc. None of this is a small thing and should all be taken seriously.

So given a finite amount of time (G-d, how about a 2-hour extension on each day), how can one really parent 8 kids, or 10 kids. Imagine you have 6 kids in elementary school. How can you really be involved in their lives, in their school work, etc.? I mean, the amount of time you dedicate to each kid is necessarily pretty small. What if you have 15 kids in a class and each class needs a room parent and an assistant room parent. If you have 6 kids, you ought to do at least one of these functions every year, sometimes more. But you won’t. You don’t have the time. You can’t possibly. So what happens? One of the other parents does the work for you. Now you have short changed your kids because you don’t have time to be their parent (because you are so many other people’s parent) and you have shirked responsibility to other parents.

How is this fair? Why does this not occur to you? Where does it say you have to have 8 kids or 10 kids? I’m going to have to do some of the work for you (not least of which is paying for them) and its not fair to me. Why would you do this? It doesn’t make any sense at all. I mean love is wonderful, but I’ve yet to hear a convincing reason (halachically or not) to forgo a vasectomy after having 6 or 8 or more kids. PLEASE.


Can't Hear from my Left Ear

Okay, so my cold and congestion are so bad, I literally cannot hear anything out of my left ear. Grrrr. So now I have to take decongestants. The problem you ask? Well, for whatever reason, decongestants make me VERY tired. I don’t know why my body reacts differently than every other adult in the world. But it does.

Its nice feeling sick. Everything just seems blah. Plus, things are going really, really well with my AC (Woman of Valor = Wife) and I would love to snuggle with her. But I’m afraid to get her sick and really start falling asleep as soon as I’m horizontal. Plus, my cute little girl has been especially cute, sweet, and happy recently and I would love to spend time hanging out with her. I feel bad doing that because I don’t know if I’m contagious. Also, I’m so tired from being sick AND the decongestants that all I want to do is get done the bare minimum and go to sleep. GRRR. Did I mention I’m frustrated?

The upside is that the weather has been amazingly awesome. Lovin’ it.

Good day to one and all. Sneeze, sneeze, cough.


Monday, February 07, 2005

Spammers Make Lots of Money

Okay, so here is the problem. Spammers keep at it, because it works! People do buy this stuff. I don't know a whole lot about this, but this guy Brian McWilliams wrote a book about it. I think it is called Spam Kings. He also has a blog located here. The money quote from Thu 27 Jan 2005 (10:27 AM)...

	I was surprised to learn, while researching Spam Kings,

that lots of consumers are buying from spammers. I
discovered that Hawke was taking in around $500K per
month in the summer of 2003 from sales of Pinacle, an
herbal Viagra pill that he marketed as a penis extender.
A few weeks ago, Forrester Research published results
of a survey in which 41% of U.S. Internet users said
they had bought something in response to junk email.

In the book, I argue that many spammers are tapping
into a market of what I call furtive shoppers. The
Internet gives spammers the anonymity they need to
do business online, but it also gives consumers a similar

As you mentioned, Hawke's customers included people
from all walks of life -- CEOs, mutual fund managers,
veterinarians, and lacrosse coaches. Few of these
people would have walked into their local pharmacy
and asked, "Do you carry those pills guaranteed to
grow your penis three inches in two weeks?" Yet they
were willing to suspend disbelief online and hand
over their credit card numbers to Hawke and
his partner.

Friday, February 04, 2005

What is Wrong with Lawyers

This article has me so angry, I'm at a loss for words. Really angry - pissed. I assure you that happens VERY rarely.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Who Are Spammer's Friends?

Okay, so this has been bugging me.  Who is friend’s with a spammer?  I don’t mean your annoying friend who sends out way to make jokes.  I mean a professional spammer.  From the amount of spam we get, they must be everywhere.  But I don’t know a single one.  I do think if I ever met someone whose full time job it was to flood my email boxes with junk, I would hurt them.  They deserve it, right?  They waste BILLIONS of hours of time a year.  [If there are 300 million American’s, 200 million must have email and each must spend at least 10 minutes a week dealing with spam in some way.  This is almost 2 billion hours or 200,000 years.  AND THIS IS JUST AMERICANS!] 

Who goes to dinner with these people?  When they take their kids to preschool, don’t people sneer?  How often must their house get egged?  Everyone seems to hate these people.  Yet, I have never heard of a single time when someone has been mal-treated because they are a spammer.  Why not?  Why don’t we rise up and fight against these people.  I’m serious now.  If we as a society make no place for these people they would have to form their own commune or move or STOP HARASSING US.

Of course, the better answer is NEVER buy ANYTHING you get spam for.  This includes all the porn and other junk, but also includes other products you can buy in the store.  If you get spammed to buy bottled water brand A, never buy A, only brand B.  BOYCOTT these products and people will have to stop spamming.  If EVERYONE does this – it is guaranteed to work.  Economics – If they stop making money, they will have to stop spamming.  By the way, the same is true for Telemarketers.




Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Dead Sea Scrolls - Advice Needed

Does anyone know a good book that talks about the discovery and meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls from a Jewish (Orthodox?) perspective?

I keep hearing about the scrolls and love to read, but really don't know where to start. I guess my dream would be a book that could summarize (some detail about the discovery, meaning, and impact) of the scrolls in 300 neat pages. Of course, I'll take whatever you can give me.

Either reply as a comment or email me at texasmensch aht g mail daht com.