Blog Spam

bull Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I suppose we all have gotten used to Email spam, and with reasonably modern filters in place, few should be bothered by too many offers of adult products, pills, cheap loans or a seven-digit figure inheritance waiting in Nigeria.

There’s blog spam, too. Thankfully, tools like Akismet filter it well, but I admit being pretty upset about this whole business.

Blog spam works by commenting on a blog post. The author would make any comment on anything. The comment itself, and the author’s details, would contain links to sites selling the unwanted products or services. So, while I am happy to ignore those links, I can’t help but reading some of these comments when checking the spam queue. Every time I do so, and every time, I want to shout insult at the author:

“Splendid article. Will definitely copy it to my blog. Thanks.”   I sure hope not, you idiot.

“Gerry, a very interesting post thanks for writing it!”  Can you even read? And who’s Gerry?

“How much money will a team get if they win the Premiership?”  Yeah right. Obviously very relevant to this blog.

“Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.”  At least I don’t insult people with irrelevant comments and unwanted hyperlinks. OK, partially guilty on my own site.

“Interesting and informative. But will you write about this one more?” Not until you learn the difference between one and once.

And so it goes on. I know. I should just be happy that Akismet filters most and ignore them, but somehow, these guys really wind me up. I mean, how low can a person sink?


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Fat VAT Bandwagon Spam

15Minutes Oh, stop it. Now! The U.K. government has lowered value-added tax (VAT) by 2.5% recently, effective from 1-December-2008. Ever since the announcement, and still one week into December, I keep getting emails from various companies.

Even though the senders tend to be companies I bought from before (others go straight to my junk mail bin in the first place), they keep telling me how pleased they are to tell me that they pass on the 2.5% VAT reductions to their customers, and how I don’t need to do anything, and how it automatically works, effective 1-December-2008.

STOP IT! It’s the f*ing law, for crying out loud, not your gracious generosity.

The only email I’d expect to see in that context would be one that says “Sorry. Our chief IT guy is on skiing holidays and his underlings haven’t yet been able to figure out how to apply this change. We are now bringing in a consultant, and expect to refund any overcharged VAT in January.”

I have not received any of those of course.

There should be a law that prevents the government from making these changes without at least four full weeks notice, however. I understand there were quite a few issues related to orders made and accepted prior to the magical date, but effectively charged after December 1st. Not sure how the cost of effecting that change compares to the boost the economy is said to receive from it.


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