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i exist, therefore i am being spammed to death

hate spam? lycos is giving it's european users the option of fighting back against spammers in a unique way:

Internet portal Lycos has made a screensaver that endlessly requests data from sites that sell the goods and services mentioned in spam e-mail. Lycos hopes it will make the monthly bandwidth bills of spammers soar by keeping their servers running flat out. The net firm estimates that if enough people sign up and download the tool, spammers could end up paying to send out terabytes of data. [source]

despite lycos' focus on its european customers, north americans can participate, too. it is the world wide web, after all. here's how:

1. go here and select a country (the UK might be best, if you're interested in combating english-language spam).

2. download the screensaver (please. for the love of all that is holy, download the screensaver). file size is less than 2MB.

3. while you're at it, enter the URL of some spam websites. this is a feature i will be using at from this day forward. every spam (comment or email) that comes in will have its URL submitted to lycos for inclusion in the anti-spam program. it's payback time.

i hope everyone with a computer and a modem will participate. read the full article from the BBC. via

UPDATE: the make love not spam server appears to be down right now. the conspiratorialist in me says that the spammers got to them first. but (perhaps more likely) lycos didn't anticipate such a huge response from their users.

lycos pulls the plug

read about it here:

It's such a great idea ... I guess it was too much of a liability.