September 26, 2006

Ah, but this penis-enlarging product is different from the other ones because it is FROM THE FUTURE!!! (fanfare)

I've noticed a new trend in spam lately, which is to spoof the sent date of the spam, making it appear that it was sent later than it was, so the ad will always appear as the newest e-mail in your inbox (or, more likely, your spam folder). Unfortunately, with so many spammers using the same trick, how can you guarantee that the date of your spam will be later than all the others? It almost seems like some sort of game. Anyway, here's a list of the futurific sent dates of all the spam currently in my spam folder, from earliest to latest, and the number of spam with each date:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006; 3 e-mails (Only one day into the future -- such restraint!)
Friday, September 29, 2006; 2 e-mails
Sunday, November 26, 2006; 1 e-mail
Tuesday, September 25, 2007; 1 e-mail
Sunday, September 25, 2011; 1 e-mail
Monday, September 26, 2011; 1 e-mail
Thursday, October 4, 2012; 2 e-mails
Friday, October 5, 2012; 5 e-mails
Saturday, October 6, 2012; 2 e-mails
Friday, September 25, 2020; 1 e-mail
Saturday, September 26, 2020; 2 e-mails
Sunday, September 27, 2020; 1 e-mail
Tuesday, September 25, 2029; 5 e-mails
Wednesday, September 26, 2029; 3 e-mails
Wednesday, September 25, 2030; 3 e-mails
Thursday, September 26, 2030; 2 e-mails
Friday, September 5, 2031; 1 e-mail
Saturday, September 6, 2031; 2 e-mail
Thursday, September 25, 2031; 1 e-mail
Wednesday, September 19, 2035; 1 e-mail
Thursday, September 20, 2035; 1 e-mail
Monday, September 24, 2035; 2 e-mails
Tuesday, September 25, 2035; 11 e-mails
Wednesday, September 26, 2035; 10 e-mails
Monday, October 1, 2035; 1 e-mail
Tuesday, October 2, 2035; 2 e-mails
Thursday, September 25, 2036; 1 e-mail
Friday, September 26, 2036; 1 e-mail
Saturday, September 26, 2037; 2 e-mails
Monday, January 18, 2038; 16 e-mails

Note that the days of the week are all correct (and note also that I am obsessive enough to have checked them all). Anyway, I wonder if the dates will continue creeping further and further into the future. More on this as whim permits.

Posted by Francis at 03:59 PM

I think it is unlikely that the dates will continue creeping further into the future, because it is likely that the spam generator authors are using the standard C/Unix time utilities either directly or through a scripting language. These are generally not tested beyond 2038, since the underlying time representation, the number of seconds since midnight January 1, 1970, is usually stored as a signed 32-bit number, which maxes out on January 19, 2038. Further, some mail clients that use those same time utilities may throw up their hands in disgust if they see a date beyond 2038, which would not help the receivers reply to the spam. So you may have hit an artificial limit with those last 16 spam messages you got, due to the amazing spread of a specific data encoding.

Posted by: Jack at September 26, 2006 05:09 PM

I love my readers.

Posted by: Francis at September 26, 2006 05:20 PM

I wonder what the statistic are for how many consumers actually buy viagra and penis enhancers from a stranger who sends spam over the internet. I'm assuming that the spammers continue because there must be a sizeable group that does!

Posted by: Neil at September 26, 2006 08:48 PM

Well, out of curiosity I ordered a penis enlarger from 2020, and one from 2038. The 2020 one involved nanorobots injected into the bloodstream that then entered the cells and spliced in genetic material taken from the Argentine lake duck. Actually worked pretty well on my test subject. With the 2038 one, you just use an S-duality dilaton field to move to a parallel universe where you were actually born with a big penis.

Posted by: Martha at September 28, 2006 08:41 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?