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Journal: My Rights Offline? 7

Journal by euroderf
When I came to this country 5 years ago, I thought it was a nation of untarnished ideals. Leaving the old Europe behind, the Europe of decaying totalitarianism and rising statism, a Europe damaged by the horrors of Socialism, I thought that in America I would find the freedoms I had always yearned for.

Of course, I was wrong. Not completely wrong - there is a lot about America I adore. But one of the things I have come to despise is the God everyone else here worships - commercialism. And the one facet of commercialism I hate more than any other is advertising, direct mailing in particular.

As you all know, Slashdot started it's subscription service last week. I've been a reader since day one, so I thought what the hell, I'll give this a go. Luckily I had an ancient Paypal account from a year ago I had never used, so that reduced the hassles of signing up. So now I have Slashdot without ads. It's great.

Today, I got an ad in the post for a Gateway computer. That's superb, except that the middle name it was addressed to was "Thompson". The first name and last name were mine, but the middle name was Thompson. Which is funny, and let me tell you why.

I use something I call "spam poisoning". When I sign up for a service, I use a different middle name every time. It's completely random. Whenever I get spam mail, the spam uses the middle name of the person who gave me away. I only gave Thompson to my PayPal account, and that account has only paid for a Slashdot subscription.

Now, I don't know what's going on here. I don't know who did what. But damn it, I want some answers. Isn't this the kind of thing we're supposed to raise awareness for? Isn't this what we're here to STOP? I received a packet of ads from some CD club today, also to me with middle name Thompson. If this starts to pick up, I'm gonna have a fit.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.