So I open my inbox this morning to find spam from an outfit calling itself

Nothing new there. What was different about this one is that I also had a dozen messages from various other recipients of that spam niblet, trying to unsubscribe. Near as I can figure, the incredibly clueless spammer who sent this one out set it up so that replies went to everyone on the mailing list.

That domain doesn't have a site attached to it, and the domain registration info is anonymised (of course). But the email contains links to what seem to be legitimate sites: and (I've sent queries to both sites, but neither had responded by press - er, blog time.)

It's not clear whether either site has anything to do with the spam, though there's only one reason to send out junk email, and that is money. Somebody got paid to do this by someone.

The larger point: Spam has pretty much killed email for me.

Between having to filter out junk that the spam filters at my ISP, web host, and email software missed; combing through my junk mail folder to look for messages I should have gotten but didn't; and having to check back with people to whom I've sent urgent emails, so I know they got them (half the time they didn't), spam has made email almost unusable.

That's one reason why people gravitated to services like Facebook and Twitter. Initially, they were spam free. And freed from the burden of both email and spam overload, people responded much more quickly (the fact that some responded at all is a plus). Well, those days are numbered, too.

I've written about Twitter and spam recently ("Twitter is dead"); since then, the problem has actually gotten worse (though the Twitmeisters did add a "report for spam" link to each profile shortly after I suggested it; I'll take full credit, thank you very much).

Yesterday I got a direct message from one of Zappos' many Twitter minions, urging me to visit a site pitching a colon cleansing product (!). The shoes-to-bowels transition was so weird I had to look into it. Turns out somebody had hijacked her account, though she managed to wrest control of it back. Looks like she got nabbed by that password stealing phishing scam that hit last month.

I can't tell you how many bogus Facebook phishing emails I've deleted this week. That's apparently part of a massive bot attack designed to steal users' Facebook credentials, probably in order to run more Nigerian 419 scams.