Date:         Wed, 24 Nov 1999 03:37:08 -0600
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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     \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
"FUKUISAN!  Today's theme ingredient is TURKEY!"  :)
Howdy, y'all, and greetings from the Thanksgiving-ready city of
Tuscaloosa, Alabama!
TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  I thank
the folks at "Affordable Computer Supply Marketplace," "ZingCards" and
"The Pocket Internet" for making today's post possible.  As always,
please visit our wonderful sponsors and thank them for keeping the bus
   How do you say....
       My boss is a jerk.
       Honey, we need to take a vacation.
       Sorry about last night.
   Say it with pictures! Send online Photo Greeting Cards.
    Click Here 
+-------  Like the TOURBUS? You'll love THE POCKET INTERNET  -------+
   Tad and I (two Irish lads) have been hunting down the most useful
   & fascinating Websites, Sounds, Executables, Downloads, Greeting
   Cards, & Cool Products since 1996. Our FREE monthly update
   letter will keep you on the Internet cutting edge. Hey, we fell in
   love with the Internet from day one. So, if you get the chance,
   stop on by after you get off the bus. All the best, George
+-------------------[ ]--------------------+
And now, on with one of TOURBUS' yearly traditions: the completely
revised fifth "First Annual TOURBUS Thanksgiving Spam" post.  :)
Happy Turkey Day, y'all!  For those bus riders not in the United
States, every fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving, a holiday
where we celebrate the one day in history that we were nice to the
Native Americans.  We celebrate Thanksgiving by consuming vast
quantities of turkey -- my parents plan to cook a 20 pound bird to
feed our family of four -- followed by the ritualistic watching of
football by the men and the final approval of tactical war plans for
the Christmas shopping season by the women.
It is customary for the turkey growers of America to give the
President of the United States a free, live turkey.  It is also
customary for the President to grant the turkey a Presidential pardon
and to place the turkey in a petting zoo.  This year, while President
Clinton was making up his mind about the pardon and the Republicans in
the House were debating a continuing resolution to override the
President's pardon and to condemn the President for being soft on
poultry -- and while the Republicans were also asking for the Attorney
General's resignation for her failure to appoint a special prosecutor to
investigate the "Turkeygate" scandal -- the turkey died of old age.
Anyway, since today is "turkey day," I think it would be appropriate
to take a few moments to talk about the _REAL_ turkeys of the
Internet: the "spammers."  On the Internet, the word "spam" has two
      1. A canned luncheon meat with the shelf life of gravel; and
      2. Inappropriate email letters, oftentimes advertisements, that
         are sent to hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet.
Sadly, there is no way for you to prevent the former.  But there are a
few tips that will help you at least slow the flow of the latter.
Spam "Wounding"
How on earth do spammers get your email address in the first place?
Well, according to the Email Abuse FAQ, they get your address by
      1. Running programs that collect email addresses out of Usenet
         [network news] posting headers
      2. Culling them from subscriber lists (such as AOL's Member
         Profile list)
      3. Using web-crawling programs that look for mailto: codes in
         HTML documents
      4. Ripping them out of online "white pages" directories
      5. Buying a list [of email addresses] from someone who already
         has one
      6. Taking them from you without your knowledge when you visit
         their web site.
      7. Using finger on a host computer to find online users addresses
      8. Collecting member names from online "chat rooms."
Obviously, anything you can do to hide your email address from
spammers will greatly diminish the amount of new spam you will receive
in the future.  One of the easiest ways for you to do this is to
"mung" your email address.  While it sounds like a character from
Flash Gordon, "Mung" is actually an acronym meaning "mash until no
good," and you can find step-by-step instructions on how to mung your
email address at .
The folks at CNET also have a wonderful guide on how to hide your
email address from spammers.  I'll give you the address for CNET's
complete guide in a moment, but there are three sections of CNET's
guide I'd like to mention first.
"Hide your address: newsgroups" is a page that tells you how to hide
your email address in your Usenet postings.  CNET recommends munging
your address, using a free email account from Hotmail or Rocketmail,
or even using a fake email address in your posts.  [I am guilty of the
latter.  I sure hope that is not a real email address,
because I have used it often.]  To read CNET's "Hide your address:
newsgroups" page, point your Web browser to .
Another way spammers farm email addresses is from the subscription
lists of popular email distributions lists.  You don't have to worry
about that happening on TOURBUS -- Bob and I set up TOURBUS in such
a way that NO ONE can access our subscription list (I don't even think
Bob and I can access it), and we both hate spam so much we would never
think of violating your trust by sharing your email address with
anyone else -- but not all email lists are as honorable.  To find out
how to hide your email address on L-Soft LISTSERV, Listproc, and
Majordomo lists, visit CNET's "Hide your address: mailing lists" page
at .
Finally, to find out how to hide your email address from online white
pages sites like Bigfoot and Four11, visit CNET's "Hide your address:
directories" page at .
That should slow the flow of new spam into your email inbox.  Now,
let's try to get your current flow of spam under control.
Filtering Spam
The BEST way to deal with spam is to have your email program detect it
and send it to your trash can before you even see it.  This is called
"filtering," and most good email programs will automatically do this
for you.  CNET has a list of four wonderful filters you can add to
your email program at .
Unfortunately, CNET doesn't tell you HOW to add these filters to your
email program.  That's where comes in.  If you point
your Web browser to 
you'll find instructions on how to add filters to Eudora, Netscape
Mail, Outlook Express, Pegasus Mail, and ProcMail.
Can you add these filters to AOL mail?  Unfortunately, no.  AOL's mail
program is rather weak, and it only allows you to filter out specific
email addresses.  Sorry.
What NOT to Do
The worst thing you can do with a spam is respond to it.  If you
respond, one of two things will happen:
      1. The message will bounce because the spammer used a fake return
         address; or
      2. The spammer will know that not only do you read your email,
         you also take the time to respond.  This information is GOLD
         to a spammer.  Spammers will actually use your "remove me"
         message as a way to harvest your email address and then they
         will sell your address to other spammers.
I can't emphasize this enough: DON'T REPLY TO A SPAM!  You open
yourself to a world of hurt if you do.  The same is true with those
"removal sites" that promise to remove your email address from the
spammers' lists.  Think about it -- in order for you to be removed
from the lists, the removal site has to SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO A
BUNCH OF SPAMMERS!  Do you REALLY want to do this?
The Spam Bible
There is a point where you will stop wanting to just delete spam and
start wanting to combat the spammers themselves.  If ever get to that
point, I strongly recommend that you read the alt.spam FAQ at .
The alt.spam FAQ is a highly technical, spam-killing bible, telling
you how to decipher where a spam came from and how to find and
complain to the appropriate network administrators.
[By the way, you can find a monospace version of the FAQ at
Finally, the CNET URL
Oh, and before I forget, you can find CNET's "Can Anyone Stop Spam?"
guide on the Web at
Words cannot describe how highly I recommend this guide.  It should be
a must-read for anyone even thinking about venturing into the world of
Another good, albeit technical, resource is the Email Abuse FAQ at .
That list of the 8 ways spammers collect email addresses I used a
little while ago came from the Email Abuse FAQ.
A Humorous Shopping Update
As you (and 2.5 million other people) already know by now, I have been
having some trouble with, an absolutely *WONDERFUL* and
trustworthy company that accidentally messed up a recent online order
of mine.  The story is actually kind of funny.
About a month ago, I ordered the CD-ROM game "Railroad Tycoon II Gold
Edition for Windows" from  Despite the fact that I ordered
the Windows version (my order has "Windows" written on it in two or
three places), accidentally shipped me the Mac version.  No
big deal.  Mistakes happen.
When I called to try to clear up this mix-up, I was told
      1. I would have to wait for a "Return Merchandise Authorization"
         (whatever THAT is) before I could return my order, and that
         would take about two days; and
      2. *I* would have to pay the shipping.
This last point upset me (after all, this wasn't *MY* fault), so the
customer service agent I was talking to offered to transfer me to's corporate office so that I could register a complaint.
Unfortunately, no one in the corporate office was available at the
time, but the agent promised that someone would call me back in a
couple of hours.
I never received the promised phone call, and I received my two-day
Return Merchandise Authorization via email *NINE* days later.
Now for the fun part.  I have some good news and some bad news.  The
good news is that I did NOT have to pay the shipping to return the
software after all (I guess Jesse Berst's article helped).  The bad
news?  I received a second, replacement package from a few
days ago.  Its contents?  Railroad Tycoon II Gold Edition ... for Mac.
I give up.
HUNERD (noun).  A quantity.
NAUFE (noun).  A sharp cutting instrument.
Usage: "This naufe cost me a hunerd bucks"
[Special thanks to Bruce Johnston for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
       Copyright 1995-99, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
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