Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cyber Evolution

In nature—and the cyber world belongs there too—the same old, same old always. If it exists and has some life, be sure that it will be invaded, must develop antibodies. Parasites will cover it, vines will cling to lift themselves into the light. The light in this case is human attention. I encountered “comment spam” on the Wordpress platform first, soon thereafter “visit spam.” Comment spam, typically written by people who learned English from a most amusing book I own, titled English as She is Spoke, consists of sending urls the sender hopes will be clicked through and read, generating traffic for that site. Visit spam consists of phony visits to a blog staged by some little bot, and many visits in succession so that the blogger thinks there is some sudden interest in a topic. Following that “source” back to its origin produces a commercial web page; if followed back a second time, another and completely unrelated one.

It’s a kind of cottage industry. The creating minds are sophisticated, the actual implementers the miserably underemployed—and what with the web being global—many live in Russia. No wonder they write such fascinating English. Spam control? Firewalls? Hey, it’s nature in the raw out there. Everything gets penetrated sooner, later. Spy vs. Spy. 

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