Monday, 22 September 2008

Biker phrases.

"Fast bikers quickly reach the end of the road".

"Oops I didn't seem him govn'r" whilst thinking ( I didn't really look ).

"He made a grave mistake on that corner."

"Wheelies are easy ... just watch me."

"Helmet, jacket, boots, gloves, Why bother it's not far."

Take care out there .....


According to your recent phone calls and private letters you may be interested in these products ...

"Hi, I am calling from you local phone company. We know that you have been talking with your friends about getting a new car. Have you considered a Ford from Fred Blogs your local dealer ?"

If you had call like this you certainly would be outraged. How can a phone company justify wire tapping you so that they can make money pushing adverts ?

If you postman said "I have read your banks statements, may be you should consider a loan from Sharky loan company." You would be concerned. We take for granted the separation between communication providers and processors.

We expect our phone calls, mail and web activity to be secure end-to-end. An agreed exception is hunting for criminals but even in that example "Probable cause" has to be established before the interception occurs. However such interception is essentiality what BT/Phorm have been doing and plan to do across the data network. By reading your web browsing habits BT and other ISPs plan to deliver content targeted adverts.

Interception of phone and data communications is a key privacy area, in which the few public safeguards have been hard to secure and protect. To see a blatant example of illegal interception just brushed under the carpet for commercial reasons is hard to stomach.


Sunday, 21 September 2008

Domain poisoning by spam


I hold and administer few private domain names for friends and family and each in turn has fallen prey to domain steeling scum. This is not a new problem and is well documented on the net.

An innocent domain name is used as the return address for outbound spam resulting in that domain owner getting all the out of office and non-delivery bound backs. Often the email addresses being used are just "random characters" eg: resuling with an email box full of junk such as

From: "yy Maskiew"
From: "Landon Button"
From: "Faramarz Leake"
.. snip
From: "Duy meisenheimer"
From: "aguskos Greenlott"
From: "prasenjit Bluett"
From: "DiQiu Giaimo"
From: "Galen Grabek"
From: "elsie masson"

and there can be 100s of these. So here are my tips on handling a long term non-commercial domain name to try and prevent/reduce the impact of this illegal activity by spamming scum.

1) Set up multiple email addresses and keep some for private / trusted contacts and some for public correspondence and websites. Be prepared to change email address about every 2/3 years as even the private ones will leak out.

2) Set up a Sender policy framework on your domain. This should restrict how useful the domain is to spammers. An SPF record says which mail servers can legitimately send email with that domain name. I have to say that this is not as widely implemented as it should be amongst mail servers.

3) Black hole or set email rule and bucket all email that has not be specifically sent to your live email addresses. Some domain hosing companies will have a forwarding address such as that you set as a forwarding address for junk.

4) If you have email addresses that have fallen into the hands of spammers don't let them have a free ride with it. Hunt down any even vaguely legitimate company that has sent you email without your prior consent. Phone up and complain, demand to know how they got your email. But don't bother chasing the pill pushers.

5) Remember "Commercial speech is not free speech." The fact that audiences cost money to reach is one of the few limiting factors that keeps rampant mail/email marketing in check.