Fifteen things that everyone with email should know


This list was posted to a mailing list I'm on after yet another example of the "Bill Gates will give you money to forward this mail" spam/chain email had been posted. As it summed up so many of the things that I wanted to say I asked permission to post it on my web site. Andrew gave permission and wrote a forword explaining the provenence of the list. So, here it is:


Hi. I hope you find this list firstly funny and secondly, and more importantly, useful, but before I let you go I'd like to say a few things.

First off I have forgotten where I got this from originally (I think it was first called 9 things anyone with...) as I've had it for more then a few years, I think a friend forwarded it to me as a joke after one of my early Spam rants in the #high_talk chat room on Austnet.

I've added to it, and changed a few things over the years, so please consider it authored by Andrew Eather and Anonymous. If you did happen to write the start please get in touch with me as I'd love to chat with you.Second feel free to send this onto anyone who needs it, but please don't be cruel about it. We were all new to this at one point, and I don't know about you but I was so green when I got on the 'Net for the first time the Konobinie State Forest was envious.

1. Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is NOT giving you $1000, and Disney is NOT giving you a free vacation. There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's true." Newsflash... just because someone said in a message "we checked it out and it's legit," does not actually make it true.

2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend of a friend swears it happened to his cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, please see this article. And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None have." That's "none" as in "zero." Not even the cousin of your friend's friend.

3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they do, we all have it. And if you don't, you can get a copy of it here. Then, if you make the recipe and decide the cookies are awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.

4. We all know each of the 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate coworkers, gross out bathroom stall neighbors and creep out people on an elevator. We also know exactly how many engineers, college students, Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes to change a light bulb.

5. If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?

6. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever, forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try: And even then, don't forward it. We don't care!

7. If your CC: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your message, you're probably going to Hell.

8. If you're using Outlook, I.E., or Netscape to write email, turn off the "HTML encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.

9. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the < that begin each line. For the love of God, LEARN HOW TO COPY AND PASTE!!!!!

10. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a "little boy" either.

11. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hotline in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation. It is distracting them from the important work they do.

12. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that promises "something bad will happen if you don't," then something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.

13. Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time) but forwarding an email won't help either cause in the least. If you want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with Amnesty International or the Red Cross.

14. Just because your on a DSL connection don't assume everyone else you email is as well. In other words never send an email attachment bigger then three days worth of email unless they know it is coming. Chances are they are sitting there wondering what the hell is wrong with their email account when message 6 of 10 is still downloading after 25 minutes.

15. Email tracking is a hard thing to do! One way to is to trace the route a message took to get to an address, another is to have a program (like a Trojan) running on the Sending Computer that records its actions and sends it to third party. Microsoft does not do this, because if they did and if they got caught they would... well... be destroyed. It is highly illegal in most countries.

Please sign the guest book and give me your comments.


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