Comparing Bill Gates …

Comparing Bill Gates to Johann Gutenberg is a bit over-the-top. This entire article (ahem, Microsoft press release) at Salon is a little over-the-top. Yeah, Microsoft’s .NET is an interesting implementation of the already well-known and well-tested concepts of Web services, but it’s not “revolutionary.” Any journalist who thinks so has obviously been snowballed by Microsoft’s well-paid public relations people.

Is the Times of India a reputable news source? This article saying that the U.S. military is dropping $100 bills in envelopes with a picture of George Bush over Afghanistan sounds a little fishy. In fact, it sounds like made-up news. Is it true? A reader wrote in and said that this story is actually from the Reuters feed. Interesting… [via dangerousmeta]

Fun with Spam: I received a piece of spam at one of my Yahoo accounts with a 1-800 number, so naturally I called:

Them: Hello, Sweepstakes Center, this is Amber.
Me: Yes, I’d like to speak with Jose please.
Them: I’m sorry, there’s no one there by that name. You have the wrong number.

[click] I call back:

Them: Hello, Sweepstake Center, this is Amber.
Me: Yes, can I speak with Bob please.
Them: There’s on one there by that name. You have the wrong number.

[click] I call back:

Them: Hello, Sweepstakes Center, this is Jerome.
Me: Yes, can I speak with Mr. Hormel please.
Them: I don’t think there’s anyone here by that name. Hang on…
[In the background I hear Jerome asking, “Hey is there a Mr. Hormel here?”
Them: There’s no one here by that name, you must have the wrong number.
Me: Yeah, you guys make a packaged meat product called Spam, I’d like to speak to someone about it.
Them: I’m sorry, we don’t know nothing about any Spam here.
Me: Can I speak with your supervisor?

[click, I try calling back a few times but no one answers. I’m sure it’s because they have my phone number logged.

So, if you want to waste their time and money and fight spam at the same time, call 1-800-430-9639. If we’re enough of a nuisance maybe we can shut these lame kinds of “Sweepstakes” companies down.

Update: I tried one last time and got through. This time I got to speak with a supervisor. Apparently this “Sweepstakes Center” spammed a bunch of addresses they got from an organization called Honestly, I believe that these people don’t realize what they are doing is wrong and that this GroupLotto organization has obtained email addresses from somewhere. The representative I spoke with before being transferred to a supervisor told me that my email address and home phone number were likely obtained by purchasing the information from one of the credit card companies I have an account with. Aha! So that’s the trail. I used this particular Yahoo account with my NextCard account. You may notice a disturbing trend here regarding NextCard, who earned a couple of juicy links and comments last week.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at February 15, 2002 01:00 PM

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