Tue, 2nd Mar '04, 6:40 pm::

It's not everyday that you get a phone call from a sleazy spammer. I was just filling out some forms and this random guy (apparently) from Miami, Florida calls me up. He asked about my BotBlock service, or rather how to override it. Turns out he wants to pay me "any amount you want" to make a software that can bypass the image-verification (CAPTCHA) used by TicketMaster. He told me his "competition" was overtaking him and he was willing to pay me $5,000 to make such an application. Best of all, if I was feeling lonely, he could send me a hot woman any time of the day. I politely told him, "I'm sorry Sir but I think I'll have to hang up now. Please do not call again."

The world of mafia and money launderers of the yester years used to be a world of machismo, bravado, and to a certain extent glamour. While the neighborhood mobster is mostly a thing of the past, street-corner spammers are dime a dozen and each is trying every under-handed trick to oust the other. There is nothing smooth or sauve about trying to peddle cheap sexual aids or promote low-budget vacations to islands that don't exist. I think even the spammers themselves will agree that they are almost the scum of the planet, slightly above child molestors and rapists.

Tonight I had this guy asking me if I could write a ground-breaking software (image recognition is not cakewalk) so he can hoarde tickets illegally and spam mailboxes around the world with filth. Of course I said NO! I will never EVER on any conditions do anything to promote spam. Hell I wrote BotBlock to prevent it! Come to think of it, the genius asked me how to bypass BotBlock! I wanted to say, "What the hell do you think I am??? As dumb as you???" But then, last thing I want to do is piss off a spammer who will only enjoy harassing me. So I just acted polite and hung up.

I have a decent job and a bright career to look foward to so even the slightest dealings with these tarts will taint me forever. But what about the recently laid off, newly-married programmer who has bills, loans, and rent to pay? That's the guy to watch out for. I think the blame lies not only with these slimy spammers but also with smart programmers without jobs. It's no wonder so many hackers (well crackers) are from Russia, where the minds are young and bright but their future is bleak and dark. I'm pretty certain that the spammers are already working in tandem with programmers from all over the world but I wonder if there's anything anyone can do to stop them. Well other than making better blocking and filtering software. I think I'll stick to that for now.

Back to my forms and paperwork.

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