Hawthorn's Ramblings

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Curse of Spam

Are you as plagued by the dreaded spam as I am? Everyone these days seems to just accept it as part of online life but I for one have had enough! Time to fight back!

I have noticed a huge increase in it in the past year. Up until then I used to get a few each day, maybe 3-5. But now there's not a day when my inbox doesn't contain at least 15 and more often than not 20 or even more spam emails. Sorting through them is both annoying and time consuming. They take the form of everything from Viagra ads to oil prices and stocks and shares. I can't understand the stocks and shares emails at all; you get the same e-mail supposedly from different people. The thing is these particular ones don't even seem to be selling anything, or want anything! So it puzzles me as to why they even bother.

Then there are the ones from the poor soul whose father in Africa has just died a millionaire, but he is having difficulty getting the money out of the country! And this is where you come in. You know, I'm beginning to believe that some people actually fall for this; is it possible?!

So what can you do? Well the only thing to do once it's in your inbox is to hit the delete button. Never reply as they will then know your e-mail address is genuine. Of course your deleted items folder will soon clog up so remember to empty it.

Also be careful who you sign up with for newsletters. Though by and large I find most "genuine" companies and home businesses trying to sell you something are fairly genuine about not distributing your e-mail address, also you can safely "unsubscribe" from them after a while.

Finally however I was sick of just deleting them, so I succumbed to a trial version of Mailwasher, a programme designed to greatly improve your e-mail spam problem. I even signed up for the pro version so I would have the full facilities. It wasn't expensive and is worth every cent I spent on it. Believe me, the spam will never hit your inbox again, as this programme intercepts it at your server. Have a look at it here:


For now anyway, I'm winning the war. Then of course there's identity theft but that's for another day....

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Springtime in Ireland - and CRICKET!

Ireland has at last had some nice springtime weather, nothing warm mind you, but these past few days a little milder. Birds are beginning to sing and trees appearing even greener! Tourists are becoming more visible, and many choose Springtime for their holiday vacation to Ireland, availing of cheaper travel and accomodation.

Recent major events included Ireland beating England in rugby and Croke Park. This was a very historic occasion, as Croke Park is the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and only gaelic games (hurling, camogie, football) have been played there till now. There was a certain amount of opposition to the playing of "God Save The Queen" as in 1922 British forces invaded the pitch during a football game and opened fire, killing 22 people including 1 player, Michael Hogan.

However the occasion was magnificent this time, with the 75,000 crowd warmly welcoming the English team, and giving a silent respect to the English anthem. The singing of the Irish anthem, Amhrain na Bhfiann, was a moving experience in itself, and TV cameras showed tears on the faces of several Irish players. But the final tears were for the English fans, as Ireland won 43-13.

CRICKET, yes cricket!! When people heard that Ireland had beaten fancied Pakistan in the world cup, most only then realized that (1) there WAS a world cup in cricket, (2) Ireland were in it! and (3) Ireland actually had a cricket team...!! But yes, we have and it was a famous victory, overshadowed by the horrific murder of the Pakistan coach after the game.

I will lave it at that for the moment. More later about some coming attractions and concerts in Ireland this summer.

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