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A Weekend Filled With Spam

Like me, you probably spent the weekend fighting off spam. And strangely enough, most of it was in German. Did you find that odd? Well, as ZDNet Australia reports, the reason is that the Sober.Q virus was spreading German hate…

Like me, you probably spent the weekend fighting off spam. And strangely enough, most of it was in German. Did you find that odd?

Well, as ZDNet Australia reports, the reason is that the Sober.Q virus was spreading German hate mail all weekend. Apparently it was tied in to the 60th anniversery of the end of World War II.

But what’s really troubling here is that the Sober.Q virus was never distributed the way that most viruses are distributed—that is, by email. Instead, it was downloaded by computers already infected by the Sober.P virus. And, of course, those machines could have been used to download anything else.

I’m told that a fair number of the “phishing” and identity theft attacks are now coming from these ‘bots that are turning on the systems on which they are based. I wonder how long it will be until this threat is taken seriously—and something is done about it.

Looking at the mail headers of the spam, I saw that quite a few messages came from Comcast cable modems. I thought that they were blocking outgoing spam, but it looks like they’ve stopped—or, at least, the machines that were sending me email had not been blocked.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

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lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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