Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Random Thoughts, Trivial Drivel

Kim and Bill go to Cabbage Castle
I see Lil' Kim and Billy the 'C' are breaking kimshi in Pyongyang. A few glad handing photo ops, a 'my wife is ...' dirty joke with wink-wink delivery, a free happy meal gift certificate or two under the table and, bam! Those journalists are on a plane home!

Meanwhile, Hillary looks on with a bemused, pained smirk. Is there no way to duck that shadow?

Lil' Kim's a publicity whore and a propaganda panda and this should fill his coffers for a good long while. Point to Dear Leader.

Joe Jackson Gives Grandkids the Gift of His Absence
That's today's obligatory Jackson headline across the news aggregators and to my mind a pretty colossal understatement. This is a guy that was pushing some website venture of his to a reporter the very day they found his son dead. Class.

I caught the headline from the corner of my eye at work and my first thought was 'Is She Really Going Out with Him'/'Steppin' Out' Joe Jackson? Grandkids? Damn, Joe's not that old is he? Then I came back to Earth and caught my mistake. But 'Sunday Papers'/'Beat Crazy' Joe Jackson is indeed plenty old enough for Grandkids. So, for that matter, am I. Shit.

Russian subs patrolling off East Coast
Ha! We fell for the whole 'cold war is over' masquerade, the central-committee-is-no-more charade. These guys are crafty devils. Hopefully, our boys can knock the rust off the ol' creaky SOSUS arrays, kick start the trusty Manual Morse listening posts and point 'em at the Olenegorsk-San Antonio De Los Banos Bear-D flight corridor. The red menace is back, baby, and we missed ya something fierce! Give me a 'U', give me an 'S', give me an 'S', give me an 'R' ...

I'm fascinated by the subject lines in spam. All the come-ons and teasers in various states of lucidity and purpose and grammar. It gets more interesting the more of it there is, as each needle attempts to polish its gleam amidst the growing haystack that is internet-scale email traffic.

Out of the hundreds that are caught by my filters (and the dozens that aren't), there are usually at least one or two a week that catch my eye.

Mainly, I'm interested in the thought process behind the face of the proposition, the subject line. Perhaps more than anything, spam is a microcosm of humanity (the light and the dark, the banal and the twisted).

To wit, 'Mandy Brewer' lets me know that "You can be ugly and stupid as long as your shaft is big." Classy, to the point with an economy of words. 'Mandy' clearly know how to laser in on 'her' target demographic. If only software vendors could be so direct. In the end, they pretty much say the same thing, it just takes them sssoooo llloooonnnggg to get to the punch line.

It's a matter of economies of scale, I guess - 'Mandy' is just working the long end of the long tail - ya hit enough people in enough different ways, somebody's head's gonna eventually spin in your direction.

And right next to Mandy in the spam bin is 'six ways to manage your relationship with the CIO' from the Tech Republic.

Of the two, which one most qualifies as spam? Which one was more useful? Me, I'm still undecided. Ugly and Stupid, you say?