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REVIEW: "Spam Kings", Brian McWilliams

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKSPMKNG.RVW 20050610 Spam Kings , Brian McWilliams, 2005, 0-596-00732-9, U$22.95/C$33.95 %A Brian McWilliams %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29 3:52 PM
      BKSPMKNG.RVW 20050610

      "Spam Kings", Brian McWilliams, 2005, 0-596-00732-9, U$22.95/C$33.95
      %A Brian McWilliams
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2005
      %G 0-596-00732-9
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$22.95/C$33.95 707-829-0515 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007329/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007329/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n+ Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 333 p.
      %T "Spam Kings"

      This book is the story of some spammers, and some anti-spammers,
      during the period from about 1998 to 2003. The stories are not, as in
      other works, separated by chapters, but are interwoven in roughly
      chronological order.

      After a while, you begin to realize that much of the material is
      padded out with conversations taken from old Usenet archives, as well
      as instant messaging and IRC (Internet Relay Chat) logs. Oddly
      enough, these aren't as interesting as they sound. The conversations
      aren't particularly illuminating, and tend to be arguments on the
      level of schoolyard fights. In fact, almost nobody in the book comes
      across as an attractive or sympathetic character: even the "good guys"
      seem to be self-righteous, petty, vindictive, and occasionally just
      plain, outright nasty.

      The book does not provide much insight into spam protection
      technology: that is probably not the intent. Neither does it describe
      spamming technology as such, and many would likely consider this
      restraint to be a good thing. Instead, the book concentrates on the
      fight between the spamming and anti-spamming forces, but does not go
      into any detail on those technologies either, using narratives, and
      references to the fact that certain research is undertaken, without
      any suggestion of how this might be accomplished.

      Those seriously interested in the fight against spam will likely find
      something in this work to redeem the cost of it. Those who simply
      want to use email, and who are annoyed by spam, may believe that they
      have obtained some insight into the phenomenon after reading the text.
      But it's difficult to say what value or intelligence that might be.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005 BKSPMKNG.RVW 20050610

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Dulce et decorum est desipere in loco.
      (It is pleasant and proper to be foolish once in a while. A
      derivation from the more famous `Dulce et decorum est pro patria
      mori,' about dying for one's country, which may be more noble but
      is less fun.)
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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