Monday, August 23, 2010

Facebook Last 2 Days Loss Reaches Up to 2 Billions Euro, BBC News

Facebook Last 2 Days Losses Reach Up to 2 Billions €, BBC News If it Will Continue For More 7 Day iT would Reach to €40 Billion Euro.

Facebook Drawn Muhammad (S.W.A) Day, Page Hacked By Turkish Muslim Hackers.Muslim Ummah Will Always Love Prophat Muhammad (S.W.A).
Facebook Revenue From Pakistan

Facebook Earning $11000000000
Facebook Users 4609,221,00
Per User Earning $2.9
Pakistani Users 2349620
Total Revenue From Us $ 5,631,281,29= 461,765,066Pkr
Pakistan Revenue 47.5% of Facebook Earning = $517,000,000

A Pakistani court today banned the use of Facebook in Pakistan until May 31. The ban was in response to a Facebook page called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” to be held Thursday.

Pakistan is blocking access to Facebook in response to an online group calling on people to draw the Prophet Mohammed, officials said Wednesday.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued the order a day before “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,” scheduled by a Facebook group with the same name, because of “the objectionable material” on the social networking site, said Khoram Ali Mehran of the telecommunication authority.

“We have blocked it for an indefinite amount of time. We are just following the government’s instructions and the ruling of the Lahore High Court. If the government decides to unblock it then that’s what we will do,” he said.

The organization has not received any complaints from internet users about the Facebook group so far, he said. Devout Muslims consider it offensive to depict Mohammed.

There were riots around the world in response to a series of cartoons of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in 2005, and at least two European cartoonists live under police protection after publication of their drawings of the Muslim prophet.

Mimi Sulpovar, who started the Facebook group, said she read about the idea on a blog after Comedy Central bleeped out part of an episode of “South Park” that mentioned the prophet.

“This is meant to be in protest,” said Sulpovar, who is American. “This is something I have felt strongly about for a long time: Bullying by certain Muslim groups will not be tolerated in a free country.”

Sulpovar said Pakistan’s decision to block Facebook was ridiculous. Her group and a similar one had attracted about 7,000 fans between them Wednesday. Groups opposing the idea had about 68,000.

A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the idea behind the group was offensive.

“Islam discourages any visual representations of the prophets of God — Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, anybody — because we believe it can lead to a form of idol worship,” Ibrahim Hooper said. “The majority of Muslims worldwide object to any representation of a prophet of God.”

The idea of “Draw Mohammad Day” originated with a cartoonist who has since distanced herself from the idea, Sulpovar and Hooper said.

“The whole campaign has been taken up by Muslim-bashers and Islamophobes,” Hooper said.

Sulpovar denied being anti-Muslim.

“This extends beyond being able to draw Mohammad,” she said. “If it’s offensive to you, that’s fine, but I don’t feel it’s right to impose your belief on others through intimidation.

“This is nothing to do with hate or bigotry,” she said. “Nobody is inciting violence or preaching open hatred towards individuals.”

Sulpovar said she is not a Muslim but added that she had received “hundreds of e-mails from people trying to explain this to me.”

One group member said she saw anger and fear on both sides of the controversy but felt that free speech could not be compromised.

“This is a hot-topic debate, but so is abortion, illegal immigrants, gay marriage and politics. If we allow even a small compromise for one group, then the free speech on topics like abortion, illegal immigrants and politics can also be censored based on accusations that they cause violence or hate,” Autumn Meadows said on CNN’s iReport.

“Hate speech is wanting a group eradicated, physically harmed or dead. I don’t think drawing Mohammed falls under that category,” she said.

“Islam is not above criticism or cartoons. I believe in equality, and censoring Mohammed while we can draw every other figure in the world does not equal equality,” she said.

Facebook is investigating the block, said Debbie Frost, the company’s director of global communications.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Google's Gmail is good at blocking spam

Not only is Google's Gmail service great at blocking spam - it is also good at not blocking opt-in emails. This is one of the worries of companies who make their money from legitimate email services, and Gmail seems to be the best of the free email services at still getting those messages into your inbox.Read the full report at Lyris for more in depth discussion.

Is Mac OS X a sitting duck?

Here at Spamblogging, we constantly see mention of Windows malware, but comment on the relative lack of that sort of thing on Mac OS X. Symantec has recently stated that OS X is increasingly being targeted for malware and that surely the most important thing a Mac user can do is buy their Norton tools to prevent such a thing. This Slashdot article states it in a skeptical manner that I have to agree with - Symantec stands to gain from generating fear about this sort of thing.
Personally I really can't stand when companies resort to FUD in order to sell their products. I hope in this case that they are genuinely interested in the well being of Mac users, but as a Mac user - I am not seeing much malware out there for OS X, so at this point I'm leaning towards thinking that this is a sales tactic on their part, and a sleazy one at that.

IBM enters the world of anti-spam

IBM has created something called "FairUCE" (Fair use of Unsolicited Commercial Email). According to this article, the technique sounds similar to Domain Keys and Sender ID techniques - although different in that it is analyzing the IP of the sender and then the IP of the domain it claims to be from to look for discrepancies. Then on top of that it adds in a challenge/response system if the lookup on the headers fails the tests run on it.That last part is causing a lot of confusion and anger - people tend not to like the challenge/response systems, and there is currently a misconception about FairUCE in that it is setup to flood the spammers back if they fail the test - but IBM is saying this is not true and that it is just part of the challenge/response system.FairUCE also has whitelists and blacklists, as do most spam systems, so that mail can bypass the processing stage if it is known to be a good/bad sender.

German Telco Company Fined for Spamming

A German mobile phone company spammed a Danish company's (competitor?) customers and is now being fined for its actions.

Online Poker

There is currently a movement afoot in many blogs to point to Wikipedia's page for online poker.
The idea being if so many fake blogs are being started up just to raise the page rank of gambling sites, then bloggers can overcome that and by linking to that Wikipedia page, hope to make it the first link. While this isn't exactly revolutionary or something which will change the world, it is fun to see innovative thinking like this. (although you could argue that there are now people who want to find online poker sites and are going to be frustrated by this effort)This technique by the way is called "Googlebombing".

Online Poker

There is currently a movement afoot in many blogs to point to Wikipedia's page for online poker.
The idea being if so many fake blogs are being started up just to raise the page rank of gambling sites, then bloggers can overcome that and by linking to that Wikipedia page, hope to make it the first link. While this isn't exactly revolutionary or something which will change the world, it is fun to see innovative thinking like this. (although you could argue that there are now people who want to find online poker sites and are going to be frustrated by this effort)This technique by the way is called "Googlebombing".

VoIP, more spam coming your way

Over on Slashdot there is something up about how telemarketers can dodge the few things which may prevent them from phoning you these days by going VoIP and outsourcing. No longer having to worry about the legal restraints (since they aren't technically phoning you by the methods those laws apply to), or the monetary hinderances of long distance, telemarketers can no phone from overseas in cheap locales and do what they do best - annoying the hell out of everyone.Keep in mind that sadly the worst part of this is that it will work, just the same way that spam does. People actually buy from them, so they make money, so they keep doing it and worse yet, it draws in competition - meaning even more annoyances. And where there are people trying to sell you something, there are people trying to scam you out of your money as well.Same techniques, just different technology - whether it be instant messages, voicemail, person to person, regular mail, email, or anything else that comes up over time - the key is making it cheap and easy for them to do (reminds me of a Jamie Kennedy joke about how the days of carrier pigeons likely made for more thought out and necessary letters than today's email age).

New Zealand to see an increase in permission based email

Somewhat like our recent note here, New Zealand is going to see an increase in permission based email because of a recent deal between companies there which specialize in such things. The main difference in these is a "dual opt-in" process which involves the person signing up and then also responding to a confirmation email.The theory is that this will mean your userbase is only composed of people who actually want you to email them, and with that you can collect more data from them since they are opting to give it to you.
Previous single opt-in methods would result in larger lists of users, but they might not all want to be on there, with only a smaller subset actually wanting your email. So this new dual opt-in process hopes to avoid that and stick to only that subset of interested people.

Are tougher laws in Canada making for less spam?

Slashdot has a discussion of whether or not spam volume is actually down in Canada or not - and if it is down, is it because of very strict laws in place to deter spammers?
While personally I am all for anything that will lower the amount of spam sent out, I am not particularly impressed by spam laws. They work very well for allowing prosecution of spammers in your region, but spam is a global problem. You can get spam from someone in another country just as easily as you could from someone who lives next door to you. But that person who lives in another country isn't likely to face the same legal hammer that your neighbor would were he spamming.
As we have pointed out on here before, some feel that better spam filters and technology are what should be attributed for the lower numbers. If that is the case, why aren't the numbers down on a global scale? Is Canada using something better than the rest of us? Or were they simply late adopters of the filters and so are just delayed in experiencing their benefits?

Chat Slapper

I use AIM theoretically (I am on a Mac and use iChat), and Yahoo's instant messenger, but it is only usually to talk to friends and/or ask them programming/IT/design questions. I have never joined a chat room per se, so I don't know if this is something I will ever see - but over at Spam Kings the author is explaining a new AIM spamming tool called "ChatSlapper" and he posts screenshots (apparently not all of them are work safe) and a description of roughly how it works.

Can legal precedent against warez traders impact spammers?

Slashdot has something up noting that a warez group in Australia, never left Australia during the time of their alleged crimes, yet is being extradited to the US.
I'm no lawyer, but I am curious if the outcome of this will have an impact on the prosecution of spammers in other countries who spam the US.

A brief interview with the director of the Spam Museum

Not the spam which clogs your inbox, but the Spam which clogs your arteries. Shawn Radford, the director of the Spam Museum in Austin Minnesota is interviewed at They discuss the canned meat product and the Monty Python musical, but no mention of any penis enlargement scams.

An evaluation of blacklists

Here is a short blurb on blacklists. Not sure that it looks like anything new, just stating that yes they are good, but there is more out there than just those. But it does look to be good for someone who has never heard of an RBL before.
I think it is more of a press release than any sort of news item.

Political figures, above the spam laws

This has happened before, for example recently in Australia and America, but it seems that certain government officials feel that they can send out spam and it is okay. In this case it was in Scotland, the Prime Minister sent out election related spam.
The Prime Minister was today accused of sending out “spam” – unsolicited and unwanted emails – in a bid to win votes in the run-up to the general election campaign.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) claimed that although the messages began with the words “Dear Labour supporter” and are signed by the Prime Minister, he knew of recipients who belonged to other parties.
Mr Fabricant, shadow industry and technology minister, said: “DTI Ministers have publicly condemned spam, which now accounts for over 75% of all emails world-wide and could clog the internet by 2006. Now Blair is contributing to this, too.
“Interestingly, I have not yet received one of these emails. It has probably been automatically junked by the House of Commons spam filter alongside adverts for American drugs and products to improve my sex life.”
I suppose it is only wrong when someone else is doing it to you then?

Sooner rather than later

Well, I couldn't wait, so I installed MT-Keystrokes and tested it out. I thought I might be able to test it by just pasting in text into the form, but on the MT-Keystrokes page it does allude to the fact that it might allow this to count. So I suppose the real test is holding out and looking for comment spam to show up.I have actually been having a dearth of it on this blog as it was and nearly all of it has been Trackback spam.
So now moving on to the next one to resolve that...
I started looking at MT-Moderate and noticed this bit here:
If you ever decide that you don't want to moderate either your comments or trackbacks, simply remove the corresponding module. Let's say that you want to moderate trackbacks, but don't care about comments, then you would remove from your server. Other way around? Get rid of the other file ( instead.
Which is especially relevant since on the blog which I referenced in the last post the author noted that it would be nice to be able to turn off the comment checking so as to avoid issues with MT-Blacklist which otherwise occur.
I will be installing that shortly. I decided to give the numeric one a miss for now since I don't immediately see the need for that on any of my blogs at this point, especially if these other two work out.