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3/31/2008
05:03 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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McAfee Volunteers Go For All The Spam They Can Stand (And Then Some!)

Y'know those e-mails and offers and come-ons you're never never supposed to open or reply to? Well, McAfee is putting fifty, count 'em, fifty volunteers from across the world on an all-the-spam-you-can-answer diet. You get it, you answer it; you see it you click it -- every one of them for a month Seriously.

Y'know those e-mails and offers and come-ons you're never never supposed to open or reply to? Well, McAfee is putting fifty, count 'em, fifty volunteers from across the world on an all-the-spam-you-can-answer diet. You get it, you answer it; you see it you click it -- every one of them for a month Seriously.The McAfee if it comes you must click it experiment equips its volunteers -- selected from respondents to a Craigslist ad -- with laptops, ditchable e-mail addresses, even a bit of coin if being successfully spammed requires a purchase.

In return, the vols will blog their experiences on the McAfee S.P.A.M. Experiment (Spammed. Persistently. All. Month.) site.

The blogs go live Tuesday, April 1. (Hmmmm -- naah. Writing at the tail end of March I'll trust 'em... till tomorrow, anyway.)

The vulunteers, from ten countries, will blog in her or his native language; preliminary reports indicate that most are not techies. Be nice if McAfee will provide mutual translations for the various languages so we can see how the experiences differ -- spam across the waters, and all that

Each volunteer is being provided with a Dell laptop, only minimally protected against malware.(Wonder if they're being instructed to keep a backup spamless machine from which to post to the blog?)McAfee will clean the computers at the end of the 30-day run; the volunteers get to keep the cleaned machines.

It's going to be interesting to see if the blogs produce any breakout spammed-stars -- sort of American Idol for respondents to Nigerian cash claims or sexual enhancement products.

Whether or not the experiment turns out to "open a lot of people's eyes" the way McAfee hopes (and hypes), the project is almost certain to generate one, er, response.

Look for spam with the subj. line

Join in spam research project

to start hitting mail queues any minute now.

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