Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I got an interesting email this morning - actually two of them. They were spam on my gmail account, which is interesting because I almost never get spam on that account. They were sent from the account of someone I know incidentally - actually by way of two incidents. That's a funny story, I'll tell it now, in parentheses:

(I go to a Taekwondo club, and most of the other people who go there are like me, normal slobs, not genuine atheletes or fighters, though there are many of those. Anyways, one of the people I had conversed with a few times was the mother of a child student, who would come to classes when her son was there. So, okay, we "knew" one another, saw eachother maybe once every week or two. So then, last summer, I'm shopping for a piano, looking at Craigslist ads. I see a total of 4 pianos. The second one (I bought the 3rd), I show up at the person's house to check it out - and it's the lady from Taekwondo. Very weird, in a city of a million people, that 1/4 piano ads answered contain a person you know. Oh well, that's the story.)

So, I'm apparently on this lady's email contacts list because of the piano interaction. She must have fallen for this Tubely thing - I'm still not sure exactly what Tubely is - and it dumped "invites" to everyone on her contacts list. It sounds like this is the typical Tubely MO.

The interesting thing about the emails (I got two simultaneous copies of the invite) is that they contained the sender's IP address. I have no idea why. I knew it was the lady's work address because 1) I know that she works at another Harvard-affiliated research institute, and 2) the address resolved to another computer on the Harvard network.

The emails were sent around 7:40am today, so she gets to her office at least by 7:40am. It's creepy that spam can reveal that sort of detail about you. Embarrassing and creepy.

And, it seems pretty weird, that spam would want to be giving out your exact location on the internet, through a Webmail service. Maybe it's an effort to *not* look like spam, by showing that you originate from the actual sender, as if IP addresses are obviously familiar or not. Oh well, who knows.

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