Fun with spam!

Every day when I log into this site, I check my spam queue. Akismet’s spam filter does a pretty good at catching spam, and I’ve had only one false positive through my entire use of it. Most of the time I see real spam that deserves to be trashed. Today was the same. Lately the spambots are having a bit too much fun with the character map. This gem came with the character map funtimes today, and it deserves to be shared, then trashed.

The author of has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: Donald Duck was always naked but always wore a towel when getting out the shower Thanks for the info.

In case you’re curious, the comment was in response to what my alma mater assumes about technical knowledge. Clearly the point of my entry is like the Donald Duck, but why does he wear a towel when he exits the shower? And in fact, he’s not always naked. He wears a shirt, remember? Was this an insult of some kind, or was the spambot referring to being bottom-half naked? You can certainly argue about Donald Duck being naked.

I’m probably taking a spambot message way too seriously, so let’s take it at face value. My point is in some ways a universal truth. I like this. Clearly I should start a movement.

Inbox Zero, LiveJournal, and Google Reader

I’ve mentioned Inbox Zero before and how I aspired to reach that goal. Today I’m proud to announce that my primary inbox is empty.

I’m also proud to announce that I’ve finally caught up with a month and a half of LiveJournal reading. I took an unintentional vacation from LJ reading starting in mid-November when I returned to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, mostly because I put off packing to the last minute. After removing enough communities so that the essentials remain, I find myself wondering if anything else can be cut. This is where Google Reader comes in.

If a community is primarily public, I’ll add the feed to Google Reader, taking advantage of the subject line (though most LiveJournal users don’t use descriptive subject lines) and the ability to read just the subject line and the first few words of a post to help me decide whether to expand the post to read it. This will help me scroll past my friends list much more quickly. If after a reasonable period I find that I’m not opening most of the posts in Google Reader, I’ll go ahead and remove the feed altogether.

Maybe this will lead to a more streamlined Internet expreience. One can only hope.

We're not afraid of the Internet, I swear

I’m constantly amazed at what my alma mater assumes about the students’ (and alumnae’s) knowledge of technology. I now have an alumnae email account from my alma mater, and I read through the documentation, hoping to find something useful out of it. Woe, there was nothing of use that I couldn’t figure out myself by playing with it for ten minutes: how to create and send an email, how to change my password, how to create a signature. Granted, how to forward an email was a reasonable thing to put on there. However, for those wishing to fetch email using POP3 access had to do some playing around on their own, as the mail server wasn’t obvious, and only my experience with the college’s email system and some common sense (well, common sense to someone who enjoys playing with this sort of thing) told me what it was.

Lesson: Not all liberal arts college graduates are technophobes.

Inbox Zero and duplicate emails

I practice Inbox Zero, or as close as I can get to it. My inbox is a to-do list: if it’s not in front of me, I forget about it until two weeks after the task was meant to be done and someone asks me if I ever did that meaningless…oops, I meant very meaningful, task.

Thanks to Gmail’s archive feature (my main email) and Yahoo’s folders (my email for newsletters and other items that I don’t want to go to my main inbox), both of my inboxes went from over six hundred messages each to ten over the summer. Then came the supposed death of my alma mater’s email server. Gmail has fetched the mail from that account for the length of the two accounts’ coexistence, and as a result, I’ve archived all the messages of possible importance.

Then the IT department recovered the email, much to relief of the students who didn’t learn the value of backing up their important stuff. This meant that as mail reappeared in my school email, Gmail was also fetching it. Gmail doesn’t care about duplicates.

As a result, I currently have thirty-seven unread messages. None of these are of overbearing importance. Heck, all of them are at least four months old, and I’ve read all of them at least once anyway. The problem is that I already have a copy of some of them; the question is which ones. A long trawl through my All Mail section should tell me. Just let me finish pruning my inbox proper first.