Charlie's Diary

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Fri, 27 Jan 2006

Here is the news

I swear, I'm not making this up.

In St Fillans, Perthshire (that's in Scotland, dammit), work on a residential development on the side of Loch Earn has been halted because of fears that it will offend the local fairies.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russia, President Vladimir Putin is refusing to expel British diplomats accused of spying (after their WiFi enabled rock malfunctioned) in case MI6 replaces them with somebody competent.

Scientists at the National Taiwan University have successfully created genetically modified pigs that glow green in the dark.

Meanwhile, detectives in Brittany have concluded a murder investigation unsuccessfully. The victim's skeleton was found in 2003 at low tide -- a female in her 30s, she was clearly murdered, but all attempts at identifying her failed until radiocarbon dating determined that she died between 1401 and 1453. "We think it was pirates", said a local police spokesman.

And I am reliably informed that H. M. Revenue and Customs have officially declared that, for purposes of calculation of import duty on goods being brought into the UK from outside the EU, edible snails are classified as "land-based fish". (No online citation for that one, I'm afraid, as the HMRC web portal is a masterpiece of obfuscatory prose that only tentacled horrors from beyond space-time could love.)

Finally, because it is Friday, here is a cat:

Mafdet, tarting


posted at: 16:10 | path: /weird | permanent link to this entry

Memo to spammer

(Please bear with me -- I promise I'll get off this hot-button soon.)

Dear spammer,

It has come to my attention that you may be labouring under some misapprehensions concerning my interests. In order to facilitate our harmonious communications in future, please make note of the following points:

  • Electronic mail is a written, hence literary, medium. The first (and probably only) part of your missive that I see is your name and the subject line. If the name and subject line are mis-spelled, ungrammatical, or otherwise unpleasing to the eye, why should I assume that the content might be otherwise? You are, I fear, destined to remain on the slushpile of life until you lern 2 spel.
  • Sadly, I do not speak or read Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Turkish, or German.
  • My genito-urinary system is in adequate working order, thanks.
  • I am grateful for your heart-felt proposal, but I'm already married. (See also, "do not speak language X, above.)
  • This may be an unfortunate cross-cultural mis-communication, but your kind offer to leave me "drowning in sperm" appears to fall foul of local anti-homicide laws.
  • I'd like to thank you for offering me the cheapest counterfeit pharmaceuticals on the market, but I already have a National Health Service annual pre-payment card that's good for everything I need.
  • When trying to convince me to log into PayPal via the link in your helpful email, you ought to bear in mind that PayPal's Chinese servers routinely remind me to do this every fifteen to twenty minutes. You're next in the queue.
  • The same goes for my Chase Manhattan online banking account, my Amazon account, my eBay account, my Halifax PLC account, and all the other online banking and retail merchant accounts that I don't have.
  • Dear Mr Berlusconi, thank you very much for your request for financial assistance in dealing with your current embarrassing situation. Alas, I regret to inform you that I wouldn't cross the road to piss on you if you were on fire. Next time you're feeling desperate, send the corporate jet. Then we'll talk.
  • If you've identified such a wonderful investment opportunity, why don't you invest in it instead of spending all your time blowing the secret by emailing the rest of the planet?
  • Your offer of cheap OEM software will be much more appealing to me if you specify whether it runs on OS/X, Linux, or PalmOS.
  • Underage donkey incest rape videos are a little recondite, don't you think? (Not to say recherche.)
  • Thank you,, for telling me that my account is about to expire and I need to change my password. As the system administrator who maintains the server, this came as quite a surprise to me.
  • Thank you for sending me your attachment. It would be easier for me to open it if it wasn't a Windows executable binary. (They don't run on powerbooks, you know.)
  • Dear Mr. Lee, I have no doubt that your factory in Shenzhou sells the cheapest and best brightly-coloured machine parts in all of China. Nevertheless, I have no current requirement for brightly-coloured machine parts. Perhaps you'd find it easier to make your quarterly sales quota if you visited a trade show instead of my inbox?
  • Thank you for reminding me of my recent lottery win. I'd be more willing to send you my bank account details if I recalled ever actually having entered the lottery in the first place.
  • I may have visited your website six years ago while researching a magazine article. However, you seem to have forgotten that I didn't buy your product, didn't check the box saying "spam me senseless" on your web information form, and my comments were so pungent that your lawyers threatened to sue me for violating the conventions on chemical warfare. It therefore should not come as a surprise to you to discover that I am not breathlessly waiting to hear about the latest upgrade to your product line.
  • Your attempts to convince me to help support your father's ailing mission in Nigeria would be more effective if I wasn't an atheist. (But I promise I'll pray for you.)


  • When you ask, CAN YOU BE SINCERE? the answer is, of course, no.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Stross

[Discuss spam]

posted at: 12:32 | path: /spam | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

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Some webby stuff I'm reading:

Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

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