Little pink coffin

Yet another company has announced a tool for fighting spam (unsolicited e-mail, not the mysterious canned meat). Cloudmark's tool is called SpamNet.
The idea is that this add-on software places an extra folder in your e-mail program. When you receive spam, you can click on it and add it to your spam folder, where it gets reported back to a central server somewhere. If you report spam properly, your future reports are taken more seriously. The idea is that there are just as many, probably a lot more, people reading e-mail and receiving spam as there are sending spam. Of course, each spam mailer sends out a ton more e-mail than the average recipient. However, if the entire e-mail community begins to report spam, you have an entire army fighting the problem instead of relying on a small central group to track it.
Clever idea, and one of the more promising approaches I've heard.
SpamNet only works for Windows computers running Outlook. If you qualify, I encourage you to download it. Since it derives its power from the size and participation of its community (like Napster, or SETI@Home), it will only be effective if a critical mass of users adopt it. You'll feel like you're contributing to better the world of e-mail for everyone--think of it as volunteer work.
What they really need is to have support for Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, whose accounts tend to be spammed mercilessly because spammers can just guess at usernames to attach to or My home e-mail account is actually fairly immune to spam so far. Or someone like Microsoft or some standards board should encourage its integration directly into Outlook and other popular e-mail programs as a standard.


Odd convergences. Cleaning out my e-mail at work today and found an old link from James to the video for Dirty Vegas' Days Go By. You know this song, even though the title may not be familiar. It's the one in the Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial, where three young'uns are driving at night, seemingly to a rave, and this song comes on, and the girl in the passenger seat starts grooving.
Cool commercial. Cool tune. Same day, I read an article in Salon about the influence of electronic music on the American music scene, and it mentions this song and the commercial a couple times.
Oh yeah, cool video. Go check it out. I couldn't get the Quicktime link to work, but the Windows Media link came up just fine. I may use a few of those moves next time out on the dance floor.

What the $#@*&!

The fifth leading votegetter for an NL outfield spot in the 2002 MLB All-star game is Tsuyoshi Shinjo, ahead of Andruw Jones, Larry Walker, Jim Edmonds. What, can people not tell the difference between Japanese outfielders and think he's Ichiro? Actually, Armando Rios of Pittsburgh has more votes than Andruw Jones or Larry Walker. I have no idea how that happened.

Creative Comments, er, Commons

Another interesting interview with Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford and the public figure most known for trying to get the folks in D.C. to understand the world of technology and how law might best apply in that world. I agree with him on the principles which he titles end-to-end, which says that you should keep the network simple, placing intelligence at the edges. The Internet is a good example. TCP/IP is fairly simple--it moves data. Computers at the edges of the network are smart and can do all sorts of fancy things like play movies or music, create web pages, process spreadsheets, etc. The principle allows networks to evolve quickly, without requiring the coordination of multiple parties.

Open Source Software

Joel has a theory on why various companies are pursuing open source software.


Quicktime rules.

Will it cause tumors in your ear

Now this would be a cool, a phone that is planted in your tooth and which you hear through your earbone. Someone could be whispering in my ear. All they'd need is a video feed to see what I'd be seeing and a panel of experts could be informing me of people's names, jokes, and random facts which would make me the toast of every cocktail party.
Of course, it would exacerbate the problem now where people talk into earpieces connected to their phones and I mistakenly think they're talking to me.
"Hello?" they'll say.
"Uh, hi," I respond.
(ignoring me) "Hey honey! How are you? Hey listen..." they chatter.
(small black cloud over an embarrassed yours truly)