Enhance and Enlarge!

In 2000/2001 I taught a series of classes on spam-blocking at USENIX and a few other conferences. That was back in the day when spam-blocking was still rocket-science but a clever system administrator could still kill 99% of it fairly reliably.

I no longer remember the message, but as I was reviewing spam codexes to see how my filters were performing, I came across one spam that was really pretty cool-sounding. It was so cool-sounding, I read it aloud to a friend.

I was at LISA, in Atlanta that summer. Typically, USENIX has a bunch of birds-of-a-feather sessions late into the night. So I decided it was time to hold my own BOF. I went down the street to this sleazy liquor store and bought a case of really really cheap sham-pagne (that's fake champagne; i.e.: sparkling white wine) and some cheesy plastic goblets. My henchman, Dan Klein, was funded to run to the food store and get some of that frightening red-dyed cheese and some crackers. And - of course - some spam spread.

The BOF was amazingly well-attended, with about 50 people showing up to guzzle the cheap champagne and eat the spam spread. Several system administrators stood up and delivered heartfelt renderings of materials from their inboxes. Mark Burgess, from the European contingent, did a wonderful beatnik bit, ruminating at length and incoherently in a piece entitled "about how size really does matter." A grand time was had by all and I got way too drunk.

Mark Feldman's Whatd'ya Know is one of my favorite bits of radio-listening for long sunday drives, and they're having a contest called "Whatd'ya Idol." The idea is for listeners to submit radio-ready demonstrations of their wit, talent, and creative power. So, since I've been experimenting with audio recording as part of preparing to do The RearGuard Security Podcast, I figured I'd offer up a bit of spam-art.

Here it is: Entitled "Why Cryosuspension Makes Sense, Part 2" by Pauly P. Stevens. This appears to have been one of Mr Stevens' later works. "Pauly Stevens" is believed to be a pseudonym for a writer whose real identity remains anonymous.