Empty Spam E-mails

Viagra: it’s something which happens to most of us. You’re browsing through your inbox and then suddenly there’s an advert there for Viagra staring you in the face.

OK – I get that. Someone is sending out millions of e-mails; safe in the knowledge that even if they get a tiny percentage of respondents, it will have been worthwhile. I actually get relatively few spam e-mails either at home or work, so it’s never really been a hassle for me.

What I am starting to receive more frequently (especially at work) is the empty spam e-mail. No content whatsoever. Even inspecting the message body to try and work out if there’s something my e-mail client isn’t displaying turns up no answers.

So what use can an empty spam e-mail actually be to anyone (including the spammers)? It’s useless as marketing tool: the only information you’re receiving is the sender’s address, which is usually faked and not that of the real originator. So you can’t advertise or sell something a la little blue tablets. It’s useless as a tool to test for valid e-mail addresses: if an initial empty e-mail gets through, then what do you send as a follow-up? You might as well have sent a content-laden spam e-mail in the first place. Also, there’s no images for the user to download and indicate this is a valid and monitored e-mail account.

So what are empty e-mails really for? Any suggestions?

As a footnote to this blog entry, I had to do a quick Google search to confirm Viagra tablets were blue and not purple. Congratulations Ian, you’ve just done a search for Viagra on your work laptop.


Yet More Driving

Some motorcyclists seem to think they’re exempt from speed limits when they go hurtling past the forward-facing speed cameras. Motorcycles don’t have a front number plate, so they can’t usually be identified.

Apart from this bloke however, where it seems the police thought he was taking the mickey for being caught on camera not once, not twice, but seven times. Three of those were over 80mph in a 30mph zone. Once doing a wheelie at 82mph.

Here’s the full story from the BBC News site: Biker is banned for 82mph wheelie, but the summary is his reward for all of this:

  • 18 month’s disqualification
  • £600 fine
  • 39 penalty points (!)
  • £70 costs

I bet the “recognition experts” who identified him count that as a “significant result”. Round of applause please.

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