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It's funny.  Laugh. Microsoft

Forward This Article And Get Paid $203.15 531

Iphtashu Fitz writes "We've all seen it. The e-mail forwarded to us from a friend who got it from a coworker whose sister's cousin's roommate's great aunt knows somebody at Microsoft. The one from Bill Gates himself offering you cash to forward the e-mail to others in order to test out their new e-mail tracking system. If you haven't received that one you've undoubtedly gotten other e-mail hoaxes offering anything from gift certificates to free computers to free airline tickets. How do these sorts of hoaxes start and who starts them? Well Jonathon Keats at Wired Magazine decided to track down the origin of the Bill Gates e-mail tracking hoax. After a few dead ends he finally located then-student Bryan Mack, who created the hoax on November 18, 1997 while at the University of Houston. In Mack's own words: 'It was just a joke between a couple friends' that eventually got out of hand. One of his buddies had gotten a make-money-fast spam and Mack said 'I can come up with something better than that.' Three minutes later, Bill Gates' email-tracing program was born. At first he just sent it to a few friends, but those friends sent it to other friends (and so on), and it didn't take long for the e-mail to transform from a joke to a full-fledged hoax."
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Forward This Article And Get Paid $203.15

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  • *sigh* (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:19PM (#9562614)
    Why do I even subscribe to Wired anymore, I can get the whole magazine in 2 weeks worth of articles on Slashdot, with full discussions...

    Oh wait I know why, the pretty colors of the magazine!!!
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 )
      "Why do I even subscribe to Wired anymore, I can get the whole magazine in 2 weeks worth of articles on Slashdot, with full discussions..."

      Bathroom reading, man.
      • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Solar Limb ( 673519 )
        Wired's a kickass rag, even if the content is nearly all online. It looks good on the Ikea coffee table, and it advertises to all guests that you are, in fact, smarter than them, what with their piffy pedestrian Newsweek and People subscriptions. Pshaw!
      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Funny)

        by nosphalot ( 547806 ) <nosphalot@nosphalo[ ]om ['t.c' in gap]> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:59PM (#9563111) Homepage
        Bathroom reading, man.

        When did Wired get a swimsuit issue?

  • by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <[moc.krahsehtwaj] [ta] [todhsals]> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:19PM (#9562617) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I got this one too, like probably everyone else here. Along with many others like the ones where Nokia gives away free cellphones. As an IT person I immediately see that they are just jokes, but I'm pretty sure my mom would think this could really happen.

    On the other hand: back in the day we got email hoaxes stating there was a new virus that could be triggered by just opening the email. Back then we laughed with those pranks because we knew it was impossible. I kept laughing, until the day it really happened. Of course it didn't concern me because I read my email with pine, but I wasn't all too happy of that evolution... What I thought to be impossible had suddenly become a reality.

  • Awesome... (Score:4, Funny)

    by badfrog ( 45310 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:19PM (#9562618)
    I finally know the name of the man I've wanted to kill for the past 7 years.
  • Hoax?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:21PM (#9562636)
    You mean it doesn't work!?!? I've been forwarding those dang things for 7 years now trying to make an honest buck, and you tell me now!

    Seriously, do the people who fall for this even think to consider the ramifications of their e-mail being tracked by Microsoft in the first place? That was a rhetorical question, of course - anyone stupid enough to go for this crap isn't smart enough to know he has civil rights, much less care about whether it's the government or a big corporation taking them away.
    • Re:Hoax?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tm2b ( 42473 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:32PM (#9562776) Journal
      anyone stupid enough to go for this crap isn't smart enough to know he has civil rights,
      I had a lot of my nontechnical friends and family ask me about this when it first went around. They were concerned about the privacy issues. The money issue aside, your snide inside is really unfair, for two reasons:
      • A lot of smart people don't know anything about the underlying technology. They don't know that an email message is usually just a bunch of alphanumerics. On the other hand, that ignores attachments and other content that can be made active by the MUA. Which brings us to:

      • Don't you think that if Microsoft could make a serious buck off of it, they would implement something that allowed them to track certain bits of mail? Some bit of ActiveX that, when signed by Microsoft, would always be run by Microsoft MUAs?
      Sure, the money hook is obviously absurd. But the technology end isn't as absurd now as is seemed in 1997. Back then, executing content that any stranger sent you was obviously something that any reasonable company would take steps to prevent. This is definitely a way in which Microsoft has "innovated."
    • Re:Hoax?!? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Aslan72 ( 647654 ) <{psjuvin} {at} {ilstu.edu}> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:35PM (#9562814)
      It worked for me! :)

      Now I'm sitting in the Nigera with my friends from several banking institutions wondering how we can get the money out of the country. Perhaps we could have your help?

      --pete

    • Re:Hoax?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:47PM (#9562965) Homepage Journal
      "Seriously, do the people who fall for this even think to consider the ramifications of their e-mail being tracked by Microsoft in the first place?"

      No. What they do consider is that with minimal effort, there's a small chance they'll make $50. If it never arrives, they have little to lose. This is hardly a useful IQ test.
  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mz6 ( 741941 ) * on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:21PM (#9562641) Journal
    Would anyone agree with me that this was probably one of the first pieces of hoax (or even spam) mail in general? Perhaps the first was the pyramid scheme... Send $5 to the 5 names on this list, then put your name at the top, remove that last entry, and send it to 5 of your friends.

    This is actually a very well written Wired article. It's interesting to note that it only took him a little bit of research (or so it seems by the article) to find this guy. All he had to do was find the original hoax email, and the guys name was the first on the list! This is what started it all, and every single revision one could think of. It went from Email, to Instant Messaging, people have even started recieving them on their SMS-enabled phones as well. It's amazing to think that there are actually people who still believe this stuff... and it still continues on...amazing.. well atleast amusing to say the least.

    • I got the Niemen Marcus cookie recipe thing before I ever saw this one . . . not really a hoax per say, but still one of those "send it to everyone you know" emails . . .
    • Re:Nice (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrneutron ( 61365 ) *
      I disagree. Many, many internet hoxes were born before 1997. 'David Rhodes' & MAKE.MONEY.FAST dates to the 80's, many others date from the early 90s. Here's the David Rhodes hoax from Usenet in 1989 [google.com]
    • Send $5 to the 5 names on this list, then put your name at the top, remove that last entry, and send it to 5 of your friends.
      I forgot where I read that (maybe even here), but here goes anyway:

      Imagine that combined with penis enlargment spam. Cut your penis into 5 parts, send each part to top 5 names on the list.. receive more penis in the mail! Guaranteed to add inches and inches to your penis!
    • Re:Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Technician ( 215283 )
      It's amazing to think that there are actually people who still believe this stuff... and it still continues on...amazing.. well atleast amusing to say the least.


      A lot of people were skeptical. However since it cost nothing to try it.... Better to have tried it becasue if in the remote chance it was true, you wouldn't want to be the one who missed the easy money. That's why it was forwarded so much. If they truly believed it, there would have been many more people lined up in Redmond to collect.
  • I usually tell whoever forwarded this to me (as it's usually someone who knows me) that if they keep doing it I'll be forced to block all mail from them. Then they get pissed off. It's like hello, you're being rude! Have some freaking manners already. If people want to forward this stuff to idiots, then fine, but I find it insulting when people who know me think I'd either fall for this lame crap, or actually WANT any of it.
    • Nah, I think it's better to just live with them. It won't accomplish anything to dash off angry messages to your acquaintances --- it's just more rudeness on your part. I think it's better to be a bit forgiving of these things. They aren't as tech-savvy as you and usually mean well. How hard is it really for you to delete a nonsense chain-letter now and then from an acquaintance?
    • I usually tell whoever forwarded this to me (as it's usually someone who knows me) that if they keep doing it I'll be forced to block all mail from them.

      I do the same. One thing I've found that helps before you block _all_ mail from them is block any thing that comes from their email address where the subject starts with "fw". This will catch "Fwd: make money fast!", "Fw: some joke", "Fw: Re: Fwd: Re: Fw: funny!". Most microsoft MUAs and common webmail systems I've seen handle forwards this way (prepe

  • by Cyberhwk ( 778308 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:21PM (#9562657)
    These things start off as a joke but they quickly seem to get out of hand. Just today I got a message from someone who I thought was intelligent. She sent the "yahoo will close your account if you don't forward this lengthy message" IM. This seriously gets under my skin as I continually try to convince people that it is a hoax. :'( My friends don't believe me and I need a hug cause I think I'm having a nervous breakdown.
  • by revery ( 456516 ) * <charles@cac 2 . net> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:22PM (#9562661) Homepage
    Respond to this post and get cash (in the form of a Slashdot Subscription)!

    CmdrTaco and Hemos want to test out the latest revision of Slashcode and they need your help. For a limited time only (today) and on a limited number of threads (this post) Slashdot is implementing a post tracking system whereby each person who replies will receive a cash payment (converted into a Slashdot subscription! Hurray!) based on the number of replies posted to your comment. The goal is to stress test how deeply nested responses can be made.

    What are you waiting for? Reply now.

    This post is not associated in anyway with Slashdot. It is merely a poor representation of sarcasm, or irony, or a metaphor about how a beatiful woman is like a fine piece of jade... or something... You won't actually get a subscription to Slashdot and I might lose mine.

    --

    Was it the sheep climbing onto the altar, or the cattle lowing to be slain,
    or the Son of God hanging dead and bloodied on a cross that told me this was a world condemned, but loved and bought with blood.
  • Nigeria? (Score:5, Funny)

    by T-Keith ( 782767 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:22PM (#9562666)
    E-mail scams! Wait till my friend from Nigeria hears about this!
  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:24PM (#9562682)
    I never received much spam until that one day, someone I had emailed ONCE and LONG AGO, who obviously put me in her list of contacts (automatically or not), decided to forward a fake AMBER alert to the hundreds of people in her list, me being one.

    I still rue the day I emailed her.
  • Possibility of Spam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by artlu ( 265391 ) <artlu AT artlu DOT net> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:24PM (#9562683) Homepage Journal
    Hoaxes are not just powerful at getting a message across, but they can be amazingly powerful for spammers. Imagine spammers creating hoaxes that go out to 1,000,000 email addresses. Assuming 1% goes through and that each one of those people forwards to another 20 people will allow spammers to distribute a link to some product for free after the first 1,000,000. Also, this will take the legal strain off of the spammers themselves?

    Are any companies currently doing this?

    GroupShares Inc. [groupshares.com] - A Free and Interactive Stock Market Community
  • by Apocalypse111 ( 597674 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:24PM (#9562690) Journal
    This site has been both Slashdotted and Farked. I think we need to go inform the IT people at Wired that we offer them our condolences on the loss of their servers. Then again, they probably already know all about the problems, what with that burning smell...

    Maybe they could sell the blackened chunks of silicon that used to be their servers on eBay, make back some of the loss.
  • by eamacnaghten ( 695001 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:25PM (#9562698) Homepage Journal
    We got this in the Software company I was working with at the time. The laughable thing is that my CEO fell for this, and because he did a VP, the head of Implementation and Training did too then our head of support did to - all forwarding the Email to our customers!

    As you can imagine it did our credibility no good whatsoever.

    It is not just ignorant housewives and naive schoolkids who fall for these hoaxes...

  • rule of thumb (Score:5, Informative)

    by mabu ( 178417 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:26PM (#9562713)
    I tell everyone, before they forward any of that crap, or virtually anything they deem worthy of sharing, they should first check it against the Urban Legends Reference Pages [snopes.com].
  • I got one (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:28PM (#9562733)
    I hate those hoax warnings, but this one is important! Send this
    > > warning to everyone on your e-mail list!
    > >
    > > If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey
    > > and asks you to take your clothes off, do not do it! This is a scam;
    > > they only want to see you naked.
    > >
    > > I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap now....

  • Someone take him outside and give him a kicking for the irritation he caused.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:29PM (#9562744) Homepage Journal
    I can remember recieving this on Usenet! Long before 1997. Circa 1992 or so. I think they got the wrong guy. He may have started one, but the incarnation of this joke was FAR earlier.
    • seems to be right (Score:4, Informative)

      by CoughDropAddict ( 40792 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:04PM (#9563161) Homepage
      My quick search of Google Groups seems to support the idea that it showed up in November of 1997. Search for "Bill Gates $1000" before Nov. 1997 and the hoax doesn't show up. Then do the same search before Dec. 1997 and a bunch of things start popping up, such as this thread [google.com] where someone asks if the hoax has been seen prior to 25 Nov 97 and gets no reply showing a previous occurrence. Here [google.com] is another message indicating that it was defnitely hot in Dec 1997 (the poster complains about repeatedly getting it).

      Not proof, but likeliness of the story's truth.
    • I'll back you up -- I recall getting versions of this email back in 1991-2, and seeing it frequently on corporate mail systems 1993-96.

      There was also a Disney version, and Nordstroms or someone. Even if the guy did write the email, it wasn't a very new idea by 1997.

      • Not quite the same- this one is a multi-level marketing scheme for open source development, at least a year before I had ever heard of Open Source....neat idea if you believe, like most outsourcing CIOs do, that you don't need any knowledge of the project to actually program for it.
  • As with spam and scams and mail virus, this guy is not in some sort of danger for starting a mail hoax? If not, er... should be?
  • I'd use it to hunt down and kill all the people who forward me this crap.
  • A simple rule I teach all my friends/family/users:

    If an e-mail asks you to forward it to anyone: Don't.

    They're like human-propigated computer virii, written by social engineers who don't know how to program.

  • It was just a joke between a couple friends' that eventually got out of hand.

    That's what you think.

    All of your supposedly rational analysis cannot sway my faith in the sacred writ. "And it will come to pass that Gates shall recognize his pre-ordained duty to greatness and cut checks to the faithful forwarders."

    There's even a prophetic passage in the original email alluding to a naysayer arising and ultimately meeting an untimely demise on a skateboard passing through a flock of pigeons.

  • by Gribflex ( 177733 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:37PM (#9562834) Homepage
    When this guy got the email, he sent an email to everyone previous asking if they had received any money.

    When I used to get this email, I'd send an email to everyone previous asking them to not send stupid emails to every person in their address book. Usually I accompany it with:

    - a brief explanation as to why it's stupid (the AOL/Intel/MS merger being unlikely)

    - why there's no way they will get any money (MS is a business, not a charity)

    - some basic math (do the financial return through three iterations - you, the guy who sent it to you, and the guy who sent it to him - assuming that you each sent it to precisely 20 people, then the guy who sent it to the guy who sent it to you will gain over $2-million)

    - a request that they don't jam up the internet with more spam. The more people who send stupid emails, the more stupid emails in people's inbox, and the more traffic travelling through the mailservers.

    - a caution about mass forwarding other people's email addresses ( if you hit forward, then everyone you forward it to gets my email address, unless you were smart enough to BCC it - that's likely hundreds or thousands of people that now have my email address... where before the number was less than a hundred)

    Usually, I am able to send this 'educational' email to more than a hundred people at a time (due to everyone forwarding without using bcc).

    I try to keep the tone stern, but not insulting. The idea is to make people feel stupid for being a part of the chain letter, not to insult them.

    The end result: I don't get this email anymore.

    In fact, I get less junk mail in general, and so do the people one iteration before me. By making the people who send me junk mail feel stupid for sending it, I've made them stop sending it.
    • Snopes (Score:3, Informative)

      by meehawl ( 73285 )
      The idea is to make people feel stupid for being a part of the chain letter, not to insult them.

      This works for me as well. I usually refer them to the following hoax busting sites:

      Snopes [snopes.com]
      Urban Legends [urbanlegends.com]
      Symantec Hoax Warnings [symantec.com] ("$800 from Microsoft" is listed first on this page!
      Hoaxbusters [ciac.org]
      VMyths [vmyths.com]

      If more gullible journalists and people would think a little and do some simple, quick research before hitting the SEND button then we'd all be a lot better off.
  • What about Jessica Mydek [about.com] and her dying wish to clog as many email servers as she could before cancer takes her? Won't you help? (P.S. Try saying her name three times fast.)
  • A site with a javascript automathic hoax - text generator.

    I rememeber putting together the most absurd hoax I could, translate it back and forth from English to other languages in babelfish, prefixing each line with a random number of "> > >" pasting it on my e-mail program, and sending it to a jokes list.

    It got the "joke of the week" mention on the list quite easily.

  • Only now at the end, young Hoaxer, do you fully comprehend the POWER of the dark-side/Internet.
  • by suman28 ( 558822 ) <suman28.hotmail@com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:41PM (#9562888)
    I sent it to the president & CEO of IBM (where I was working at the time), and my VP and a whole lot of other executives and co-workers. I was only fortunate that the guy that had the authority to fire me was on vacation at the time. oh. the stupidity
  • In Mack's own words: 'It was just a joke ... and Mack said...

    Magarity doesn't like it when people talk about themselfs in the third person. It really annoys magarity.
  • by starphish ( 256015 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:43PM (#9562913) Homepage
    My favorite...

    WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular Internet Phenomena announced today that many Internet users are becoming infected by a new virus that causes them to believe without question every groundless story, legend, and dire warning that shows up in their inbox or on their browser. The Gullibility Virus, as it is called, apparently makes people believe and forward copies of silly hoaxes relating to cookie recipes, email viruses, taxes on modems, and get-rich-quick schemes.

    "These are not just readers of tabloids or people who buy lottery tickets based on fortune cookie numbers," a spokesman said. "Most are otherwise normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told to them by a stranger on a street corner." However, once these same people become infected with the Gullibility Virus, they believe anything they read on the Internet.

    "My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone," reported one weeping victim. "I believe every warning message and sick child story my friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are anonymous."

    Another victim, now in remission, added, "When I first heard about Good Times, I just accepted it without question. After all, there were dozens of other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the virus must be true." It was a long time, the victim said, before she could stand up at a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting and state, "My name is Jane, and I've been hoaxed." Now, however, she is spreading the word. "Challenge and check whatever you read," she says.

    Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the virus, which include the following:

    the willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking the urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others a lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a story is true T. C. is an example of someone recently infected. He told one reporter, "I read on the Net that the major ingredient in almost all shampoos makes your hair fall out, so I've stopped using shampoo." When told about the Gullibility Virus, T. C. said he would stop reading email, so that he would not become infected. Anyone with symptoms like these is urged to seek help immediately. Experts recommend that at the first feelings of gullibility, Internet users rush to their favorite search engine and look up the item tempting them to thoughtless credence. Most hoaxes, legends, and tall tales have been widely discussed and exposed by the Internet community.

  • More information on the subject here [glires.com].

    No doubt his email addresses no longer work, but there they are.

  • I wonder if there's any way to get a chain letter like this which would persuade people to write a letter to congress protesting the DMCA... ... it'd be more believable if you ask folks to BCC the letter to some junk yahoo e-mail box for 'tracking purposes.'

  • I remember when I first received a copy of this email from my friend back in 96. I thought it was hilarious. I always wondered who came up with it.
    It's pretty neat they were able to back track it after all this time.
  • Some genius was inventing indentation by use of the > symbol. Little did he know that we'd all be surfing greater-than "waves" for the next millenium and a half.
    >
    > >
    > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > >surf's up!
    > > > >
    > > >
    > >
    >
  • by Washizu ( 220337 ) <bengarvey.comcast@net> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:50PM (#9563000) Homepage
    I got the Bill Gates email from a friend around Thanksgiving of 1997. We made fun of my him for sending it around, but he reasoned "it's probably not true, but it's worth the 2 seconds to send it in case it is."

    So when I got back to school after Thanksgiving break I forged the headers in my email to write a message "from" Bill Gates to my friend. The message thanked him for participating in the study and gave him instructions for collecting his $1000. All he had to do was send a self addressed stamped envelope to Microsoft with a letter containing his name and a confirmation number.

    Over a year passed by and I never brought it up to my friend. I think it was around Christmas of '98 when we were all home again from college and hanging out when someone brought up the Bill Gates email hoax.

    My friend said, "Did I ever tell you guys what happened with that? I got an email saying I won the money, so I followed the instructions and sent back a self addressed stamped envelope, but Microsoft just sent the envelope back to me. I guess it wasn't real, but it was worth the 37 cents just in case it was real."

    I finally told him what happened after I laughed for about ten minutes.

  • by hovis ( 660250 ) <hovis-slashdot@N ... t-shield.com.com> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:52PM (#9563026)
    See http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc /data/irish.virus.hoax.html [symantec.com] for details, but my favorite hoax is as follows...
    It's too bad that more hoax "victims" don't get this one...

    > Greetings, You have just received the "IRISH VIRUS".
    > As we don't have any programming experience, this Virus
    > works on the honour system. Please delete all the files
    > on your hard drive manually and forward this Virus to
    > everyone on your mailing list. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • by bugmenot ( 788326 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:56PM (#9563078) Homepage Journal
    To the moderator who mods me up as insightful...
  • by blunte ( 183182 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:58PM (#9563100)
    Submitter states that Bryan Mack created the hoax while at University of Houston. According to the article, Bryan Mack went to Iowa State.

    *BZZZZZZT* wrong.

    Article says

    I found the same text preserved by an amateur Internet archivist named Martin Miller, a University of Houston student who'd saved every copy of the hoax he received over a seven-year period and posted the collection on his Web site (where he was also selling calendars for Lent). He informed me this version was sent to him in late 1997 and that he believes it's the first. When it got to him, there were just 10 names on the recipient list. The first was Bryan Mack at Iowa State.


    Bryan Mack was no longer a student by the time I came calling. He'd graduated in 2001 and had taken a job programming databases at the Colorado School of Mines. He's a regular guy. He answers his own phone. "I wasn't trying to trick people," he told me. "It was just a joke between a couple friends." Then he described how the joke got a little out of hand.


    It's not a big deal, but if you're going to go to the trouble of pumping up your submission with a lovely URL to a school, get the right one.
  • I'm all too familiar with how things like this can cycle. You can find my job application joke (with various alterations and claims that it's a real job application) on over 1,000 sites, regularly circulating in e-mail, and it even has its own Snopes.com page [snopes.com].

    I wrote it over 7 years ago for my web site [bulmash.com], posted it to a couple of humor newsgroups to get some promo. Someone stripped my intro, sent it to a couple of humor lists with the claim it was real, and it exploded.

    Sadly, my Shit Nickels Fast [theloonies.co.uk] chain letter parody did not do as well.

    - Greg

  • ...except with "GOOGLE" [google.com] instead of Microsoft?

    Google's new email offering, gmail [gmail.com], is what everyone's talking about! And people are confused about Google's "tracking" of the messages you send and putting ads on it.

    So a letter that explains that Google's testing a new email system (true!) and that they're using their search technology to track emails would be beleived by enough people to make a new round of this chain letter spread even faster than it ever had!

    C'mon /. folks! Here's a challenge! Write a letter and sent it to a dozen of your most gullible friends!

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