spam, spam and more spam

Sometimes I long for the earlier times, the simpler times, when spam was simply that fake meat in a can. But not too often, since fighting the modern kind of spam pays really well. Some of you may have noticed a new trend in spam, comment spam on blogs. Most of the spam appearing on this blog are related to an on-line gambling site, which is still relatively tame. I’ve setup a spam filter of sorts on the comments, hopefully that’ll work.

I met a consultant a few weeks ago (I’d worked with him earlier in the year, met him again on the train) and he told me about working at an on-line gambling site. The web site was hosted in a non-descript unmarked white building, located in the middle of a reserve somewhere north of Montreal. He said the data center was huge, and was completely full of racks of servers… all running gambling, adult entertainment, and other questionable web sites. It had an incredibly huge dedicated pipe connected to the backbone of the Internet (translation: very, very expensive). Obviously the government of that particular reserve was quite happy with the income, and didn’t care too much about content. Security was very tight (no laptops, and they all but strip search you before letting you in), although I suppose the work was quite interesting.

The odd and perhaps sad thing about innovation in high-tech in the past few decades is that much of the innovation is driven by porn. The 1-900 numbers of the past decade, charges by the minute ending up on your phone bill, was born in the porn industry. Most of the e-commerce (charging your credit card securely, etc) industry was started by porn companies who wanted a secure way to charge you. Another inside source working for Cogeco said that something like 80% of the traffic generated from homes is porn. Very scary, very sad.

Without wanting to sound like a Country and Western song, the old days were definitely simpler.