Most of you have probably heard about this already, but Yahoo didn't tell its users and went in and created a whole new set of e-mail preferences and defaulted them to yes. So if you have an account at Yahoo, you've probably been opted in to receive lots of spam from Yahoo.
Go here to override those and select no to everything. It's especially important if you have a Yahoo e-mail account which you use semi-regularly. I have one, as well as a Hotmail account, and they are essentially worthless because they're collection grounds for spam. I don't even log in to either account anymore. They're like elephant graveyards. It's embarrassing to even hand out a Hotmail e-mail account to someone--it's like pulling out a checkbook to pay at a restaurant.
Yahoo even included options to mail you or call you at home which is frightening if it meant that Yahoo partners would call me and intriguing if Yahoo itself called me. What would they call me about? What would they mail me about? Would Yahoo himself call me? "Hello, this is Yahoo calling, would you like to pay for a subscription to play Hearts online?"
Of course, everyone realizes why spam is so prevalent--the cost of sending one spam e-mail is nearly zero now. There are sites that give tips on preventing spam, but frankly, why should we spend time trying to fight spam if we didn't ask for it in the first place? More power to those fighting on the front lines. I think the proper penalty for spammers is that they must eat one can of Spam for every spam e-mail they send out.
Not that I have anything against Spam (for all you Hawaiian readers). This is a good occasion to bust out some classic Spam haiku:
Old man seeks doctor:
"I eat SPAM daily," he says
and the two famous "pink coffin" Spam haiku:
Highly unnatural,
The tortured shape of this "food"
...A small pink coffin.
Dead creatures unknown,
congealed into myst'ry meat.
Tiny pink coffin.