I'm LinkedIn and Google-Plussed.

Mail and packages, use maildrop:
Norman Sperling
2625 Alcatraz Avenue #235
Berkeley, CA 94705-2702

cellphone 650 - 200 - 9211
eMail normsperling [at] gmail.com

Norm Sperling’s Great Science Trek: 2014

San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Palm Springs
Death Valley
El Paso
Corpus Christi
Baton Rouge
Key West
Winter Star Party, Scout Key

MARCH 2014:
up the Eastern seaboard

APRIL 2014:
near I-40, I-30, and I-20 westbound

MAY 2014:
near US-101 northbound
May 17-18: Maker Faire, San Mateo
May 23-26: BayCon, Santa Clara

California till midJune

JUNE 2014:
Pacific Northwest

JULY 2014:
Western Canada, eastbound

AUGUST 2014:
near the US/Can border, westbound
August 22-on: UC Berkeley

Speaking engagements welcome!
2014 and 2015 itineraries will probably cross several times.


© Norman Sperling, January 9, 2011

Since the 1990s the spam plague has kept threatening to kill the golden goose of eMail. It's turned a whole lot of people off from using eMail. The goose is not golden any more. Maybe not as debased as brass ... maybe silver.

If eMail is a killer-app, spam is a killer-app-killer. It has spawned a whole industry to fight it. I'm dissatisfied with my operating system because it has so many vulnerabilities
- which force me to buy security software
- which commandeers my computer every morning for its sweep and purge
- which blocks me from using my own machine.

And it's horrendously uneconomic! Spammers may earn less from spam than they force everyone else to spend to counter it.

Suddenly, Symantec says, the volume of spam eMail has plummeted – to less than 1/4 of its August 2010 volume. 3 major botnets they track shut down in late December. Symantec says they don't know where the spammers went.

I think they went into spamming blog comments.

Some blogs have suddenly been inundated by spam comments - Wizbangblog.com reports 100,000 since December 25th. Postings on one local club blog, which typically get 1 to 5 comments over several weeks, suddenly got 9,000 to 35,000 comments in a few days. All the comments I read were spam (I'll never attempt to verify that they all were). That club has turned off public commenting for now. So have other blogs. I never opened public comments for this blog for fear of such unpleasantries; you should eMail instead.

The sudden decline of spam eMail suggests that only a few people cause it. I can't believe that the perpetrators aren't known. Surely the companies and societies and governments that are so pointedly affected have a good idea who's churning this stuff out.

Once they figure out who's responsible, they need to find what influences might weigh most heavily on those spammers. All those groups should act together and summon up sufficient moral, economic, political, and legal weight against the perpetrators to completely turn it off. Not by the heavy-handed methods currently hassling a famous leaker, but by influences carefully tailored to the actual human perpetrators.

Turning spam completely off would liberate the huge amount of money and work that goes into squelching it. Divert those resources to something positive. Alienated users would flock back to eMail.

The Journal of Irreproducible Results
This Book Warps Space and Time
What Your Astronomy Textbook Won't Tell You

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