Angry Emails

I recently explained my decision to start packaging and distributing my own version of WordPress in order to make my life simpler, as to the distribution of Spam Karma 2.

Simultaneously, I had to deal with an outbreak of issues (or more exactly vocalizations on these issues: it’s unlikely the issues have been any more common than before. They were just given more attention on these pages) with Spam Karma 1.

I have taken the time to write a very detailed response to cover all aspects of the False Positives problem, and provide anybody coming to me with a comment denied by Spam Karma, with the Why?, How? and What Now? of their problem. The bottom line being that, while I’m sincerely sorry about these, I am not responsible in the slightest for the use people make of this program (especially considering how easy it is to screw up the install when you hold yourself too smart to read the docs) and even less so now that there is an upgrade available.

But I care, and think I have proven it in the past, to whoever bothered contacting me without resorting to death threats immediately.

There is, however, one way to make me not care about your problem… It goes a little bit like this:

Act 1 (Exposition):

From: ***
To: drdave@infamousgenius.com
Date: April 16, 2005 8:59:07 PM JST
Received: from some AOL customer by ***.mx.aol.com […]

I resent being identified as and accused of being a “nasty comment” spammer. For YOUR information and edification I have never ever, sent or been involved with the sending of ANY spam. To find that I have been blocked/banned from a site as a result of YOUR program is an affront I won’t stand for. I would refer you to the remarks posted on your BLOG whatever for details of what I originally wroted that was intercepted by your program, and deleted. I fully expect that YOU contact the site administrator of the site I am apparently now banned from and straighten out the problem that YOU and YOUR software are directly responsible for. In the event I do NOT hear from YOU regarding this situation, rest assured I WILL file complaints with the FCC for interception and diversion of lawful communications be it direct or indeirect as a consequence of the code which you wrote and distributed with and for express intent and purpose of intercepting and diverting communications. I am truly sorry there may be issues with SPAM, but that in and of itself does NOT empower YOU or anybody else to interfere with lawful communications, period.
Signature removed for the protection of the criminally stupid

Act 2:

From: drdave@infamousgenius.com
To: ***
Date: April 16, 2005 9:04:04 PM JST

http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/false-positives/

Signature removed for the protection of my own mailbox

Act 3:

From: *** (yea: still the same, in case you have difficulties matching his inimitable style)
To: drdave@infamousgenius.com
Date: April 17, 2005 4:17:05 AM JST

http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/false-positives/

???

Nothing there justifies, or remediates the fact your program, or version thereof, has unjustifiably filtered out and mislabeled a proper communication, and further mis-identified me as engaging in unlawful conduct. Causing my name and information to be listed and blocked from a site for no reason.

You wrote the program that filtered my message, that intercepted and deleted such communication, and quite obnoxiously in scope broadly misjudged me to be a malcontent and wrongdoer.

You authored the accusation casting negative aspersions of my being a nasty comment spammer, which others see and believe to be accurate because a computer program said so, hence must be true regardless of fact.

I expect you to contact the administrator of the following site and clarify to them that, I am NOT a spammer and, did NOT post, or in this case attempt to post, a nasty comment or spam. That NO evidence involving my attempted posting supports the false-positive finding and accusation against me as set forth by your program.

[some random blog URL removed]

It is not my place to inform users of your program of false-positive discrimination issues, nor my place to remotely mention or suggest altering detection settings as described in your response page. You may disclaim any liability to users of your program for any consequential damage, however, I am not a user, and you cannot go around making and publishing false accusations of unlawful conduct, orcausing to be made and published as your documented program has clearly done. You can’t simply disclaim liability for harm or dismiss collateral damage to third parties as “innocent bystander(s)” caught up in some crusade.

As a consequence of your actions, direct or indirect, (i.e. the program you wrote and distributed). I have been falsely accused of a malicious and illegal activity (spamming) and unjustly harmed (denied access to a public forum). To whatever extent direct, commission with intent, or indirect, by neglect, error, ommision, or simply inadequate logic [more likely] the net result being the same, significant precedence abounds, it’s wrong. As such I don’t think it unreasonable to expect you to clear up what your program caused.

Signature removed for the protection of the increasingly criminally stupid

Act 4 (Denouement):

From: drdave@infamousgenius.com
To: ***
Date: April 17, 2005 12:50:51 PM JST

Dear non-spammer,

Not only do you seem to be lacking proper reading and cognitive abilities, otherwise you would have realised that this lengthy response I took the time to write (while I probably could have been doing much more enjoyable things, such as sleeping), did in fact answer your questions at length, but you are also highly annoying, if only by your constant use of pseudo-legalese verbiage in these highly redundant communications.

I will draw your attention to the fact that, unlike your completely unreadable emails, I paid particular attention to formulating my own answer in a somewhat easy to grasp, if not easy to read, form.

While I am certainly prone to much understanding toward whatever tone is employed by people contacting me on the spur of the moment, regarding these matters, my tolerance quickly fades away when it becomes obvious I am not dealing with some reasonable user, justifiably irritated by what he just experienced, yet able to comprehend the matter at hand if explained calmly, but with some perpetually angry and bitter individual, whose entire life seems devoted to bending the world to his liking, through angry communications and the use of big words.

Your tone and aforementioned use of ridiculously out-of-place paralegal terms, lead me to believe you are one of two things:
1) A lawyer or closely associated profession. a US-residing one at that. and quite likely of the ambulance-chaser persuasion too.
2) Just one of these thousands random morons inhabiting the US, who dream of suing their way through life and have successfully thwarted any attempt at creativity that has ever come in the past two decades and didn’t have 200 lawyers to back it up.

The fact that you seem to think you have something of a legal case here, would imply an absolute ignorance of the most basic tenets of the legal system, and therefore: 2). But I’m gonna give you benefit of the doubt and say that, after all, you might be a very stupid lawyer, or more likely, under the delusion that lots of redundant wording and liberal use of UPPER CASE is gonna impress me into sending you a settlement check before I go and personally contact each and every user of my software and remind them that, exactly as the documentation states, this software might actually stop a commenter that, despite their obvious lack of manners and potentially sub-average IQ, is not, in any way attempting to spam.

Well guess what? I am not very impressed. nor scared.

So please feel free to get in touch with my lawyer, but please be sure to bring an interpreter, because he only speaks Japanese. and he hates Americans too.

Just because you seem to be into that kind of legal grassfucking, allow me to remind you that we are talking about a software that is distributed with the explicit mention of “AS IS” and “WITH NO IMPLICATION OF LIABILITY WHATSOEVER” (see, I can use all caps too).

As to why your comment was stopped, since you might still be curious about that one (and probably didn’t bother to read through the link above, where you might have found an answer to that question):

Why I’d love to say there’s some sort of design in there to detect and thwart any attempt at commenting based on the IQ of the commenter. It’d be both exaggerating my skills as a developer and insulting the numerous other courteous and reasonable people whose comment happened to be stopped by mistake on any other occasion… Therefore I’ll give you the quick and entirely accurate answer: you are an AOL user (and while I can see how this might sound like a confirmation of the initial IQ-based filter theory, let me assure you there is nothing but the simplest of technology involved here, and this particular aspect is fully documented in SK’s manual).

To conclude this waste of 20 perfectly fine minutes of a beautiful sunny Sunday (well, at least in my corner of the world. Judging by your attitude, I suspect you might not be experiencing the same warm Spring weather, wherever you are hailing from), I will hereby kindly inform you that a properly anonymized version of this exchange will be gracing the pages of my own website, as you are reading this. There again if you feel like legally objecting to this, feel free to contact my lawyer: he is definitely worth getting acquainted with (ask him to tell you these great stories of how, as a child during the war, he used to be sent on vacation to Hiroshima island with his sister)…

Otherwise, please accept my sincerest apologies regarding your misfortune and receive my complete assurance that I will do absolutely nothing about it.

Oh yea, and do get a life.

Karmically Yours,
Signature removed for the protection of my own mailbox

Or, to quote one of my most eminent role-model in life: This conversation can serve no purpose any more. Goodbye.

Update: Because who doesn’t like a cliché movie-ending twist where the supposedly dead-and-buried evil guy springs back to life for a last fright laugh, you can check out the epilogue in the comments….

35 comments

  1. Self-control, sarcasm, wit, contempt for lawyers and/or those who spit out legalese… I love it. Although those may be 20 minutes that you’ll never get back and that will likely fail to convince the AOLer with the itchy lawsuit trigger of his or her stupendous stupidity, it entertained the hell out of me. So thanks!

  2. [DrD: moved comment to the appropriate entry (the one it is replying to)]

    so, Mr. Dave removes example of a BLOG message deleted by his program so as not to expose the TRUTH that nothing was inappropriate about the message and that his defective program is responsible for untold numbers of messages being unduly deleted.

    under any other circumstances such interception and diversion of communication would be considered a VIRUS ..

  3. blue sky and balmy breeze here at the beach, and oh yeah

    haha…HHAAA what I would expect from a post-juvenile drunken wannabe er, musician, your disposition to misinterpret simple not very big words and jump to bizarre conclusions is indeed amusing,

    like you attack use of all caps yet do it yourself, and think IQ has anything to do with anything, hahaha

    that an ISP may connect via AOL does not make an AOL “user” which for whatever reason seems to annoy you, hahaha

    who is your lawyer, you forgot to give his name and number, like you even got one, you laughable F’n jerk

  4. You got to be kidding me…

    Who said once that “Wits are but a glimpse, Evil may last, but only the Word of the Thick and Obtuse will outlive us all?”

    Oh wait… I think it was me.
    and I think you were the reason I just made that one up, too…

    Now, I’m gonna try to make it real easy for you, because apparently, what you make up for in obstination and redundancy, you clearly lack in basic common sense and reading ability:

    The reason I initially deleted that URL was not out of some conspiratorial attempt to hide the ugly evidence of my failure, as a software writer. For that matter, and if that can put you at ease: I take entire responsibility for that unwanted interception of a somewhat legit comment and its meaning, with regard to the reliability of the, now wholly obsolete, version of a software I wrote on my free time to help my fellow bloggers. For what it’s worth, actually, I’ll gladly take on the claim that it was purposefully programmed so as to stop your communications, in a vain attempt at raising the collective IQ bar of blog commenters the world over.

    No, you see, the reason I deleted that URL, was out of pure unaltered human compassion for the poor miserable soul who exposed such level of aggressive dimwittedness in these emails.

    I felt that, while exploiting these exchange for their pure gold entertainment value was within the admittedly very low standards of ethics where I hold this blog, it would be needlessly cruel to give even the slightest clue, as to the identity of its perpetrator: an individual no doubt crippled enough as it is by his inability to express his thoughts in anything else than a half-articulated flavour of aggressive legalese, whose horribly discordant and right-down beastial sounds tends to frighten away humans and animals alike. A pariah, a freak of nature, condemned to drift aimlessly on the blogosphere, irresistibly driven by his animal instincts to try and bite the hand off any creature foolish enough to take pity on his miserable appearance and communication skills.

    For all these reasons, I removed both your name, your email and the URL of the blog where your attempt at commenting was thwarted unfortunately stopped by Spam Karma.

    But stupidity has no shame, it appears. And you have now come to reclaim your right at being exposed publicly and completely for the utter nitwit that you are.

    Yet, I am still not going to insert that URL back.

    And you know why?

    Well, first of all, because you want it. and I am a mean motherfucker.

    Secondly: because whoever else you dropped that pungent brand of corporal expression which passes off as communication in your corner of the world, just doesn’t deserve the publicity, good or bad, of being associated with this pathetic exchange.

    To conclude, I’ll quickly draw the attention of our dear spectators over to the fact that there is very little that can be added to your recent comments, without regrettably diluting the pure exhilarating stupidity that oozes out of every other sentence. Such stuff needs to be taken raw and without additives, there’s no other way.

    But if you really must get some sort of answer or counter-argument, I invite you to look at you hand (yea, the very thing you use to slap the trained monkey who types your comments on this blog), close all fingers but the thumb and the one right beside it.
    Now what you see is what, in our technical jargon, we call a “representation of the number two“. Assisted with that useful concept in making the difference between “first” and “second”, you merely have to fetch a dictionary and look up the definition for “degree”.

    You should then be in possession of the all the elements necessary to comprehend this incredible notion we like to call “second degree”, it’s quite brilliant, I assure you (I know it’s a lot to take at a time: ask the monkey, he’ll explain to you).

    As for further replies to your increasingly pointless ululations, I reserve the right to stop caring without further notice, despite the simultaneous potential for anger release and good honest fun at a silly person’s expense, depending on the advice of my psychiatrist.

  5. Dave, I would be very very scared if I were you. This troll seems to know what he is talking about.

    On another note, why can’t I have my very own troll. I would hug him and pet him and call him Trollie.

  6. Lol, that Troll has no clue what he’s talking about. If he did, he would know that all AOL users connect to the internet through proxies, and “The number one cause for ‘real’ false positives… Proxy servers do not agree with SK, SK doesn’t like proxies. This is deliberate: Most, if not all spammers use proxy servers to hide themselves when spreading their junk. Further more, it is also a very common trait of spammers to use ‘pools’ of IPs to hit blogs, and thus optimize their operation. The problem breaks down to this: forcing SK to be nice to proxies (those that do IP masquerading, anyway) means relax the whole attitude toward IPs: not enforcing any form of consistency (e.g.: the same IP expected to fetch the comment form and submit it) and leaving the door open to a whole array of very basic dirty tricks that let spammer hide their tracks with much ease.” IOW, if you want to act like you know something, at least make an effort to know something.

  7. That is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time.

    I can just imagine the sort of purile and inane original comment that he was trying to post on somebodies blog.. He was probably pissed as he thought it was terribly clever and took him ages to compose.

    Perhaps SK has a built in “Stupid-o-meter” that deletes moronic posts as well as potential SPAM comments.. Perhaps you can market this feature???

  8. I applaud BC for giving us such a fun read and many good laughs … ever thought of becoming a stand up comedian? or sit down .. lie down ..

    This guy reminds me of a certain lady in Fiji who wrote to the newspaper about how mad she was about getting SK1’s “bad karma’ message …

  9. The exquisite irony is that if ever there was a candidate for bad karma purely on the grounds we didnt like him- he would be it. Jenn he doesn’t know what he is talking about. And if he is a lawyer that makes it less likely that he knows. He knows Jack shit about software, its development, its use or its licensing. And certainly in this country litigants with reasonable and moderate tones are the ones you need to worry about. For example – on a point of law – there is no reference to *authority* ie an act or a substantive decided case. Nor is there any mention of jurisdiction. Underlying his case is a false premise – that there is a *right to comment*. There isnt.

  10. Dr. Dave,
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your SK plugin. I’ve been using the 1.X series for about 10 days—just after I got my first flood of poker spam. It has managed to catch about 150 spam comments so far, but a few trackback messages are coming through. I would like to test out SK2 (per your observation that it is infinitely more effective), but I only get the following in my WP admin section. I’m going to go on and apologize profusely for my stupidity, because I’m sure the solution is buried somewhere obvious in your archives. When you get a chance, I’d appreciate any suggestions that you may be able to offer as to what I may be doing wrong (other than generalized ignorance) . Regards,
    Jabley

  11. Wow, still reading around, David? didn’t know my writing was so entrancing…
    As for this particular trolling episode, if you keep reading around, you’ll notice much, much more criticism exposed, without any similar sort of stomping from my end. Criticism, I can usually take, blunt moronism is a bit harder.

  12. While I agree this guy is a moron, I find the last part of your letter upsetting, “ask him to tell you these great stories of how, as a child during the war, he used to be sent on vacation to Hiroshima island with his sister”.

    While it was a terrible thing that the US did, I would like to remind you of what happened at Perl Harbor, especially the deception by the Japanese in the days prior to the attack. The killing of civilians, it is estimated that Japan killed more people than Germany, possibly 30 million. Then there was the cannibalism witnessed by POWs. And the very high death rate of American POWs, and the almost 100% death rate of Chinese POWs. Then there was the Comfort Stations. Need I go on. Then there where the experiments on POWs, the Death Ray, a big microwave like device.

    Then lets also consider that had the US not dropped an atomic weapon, your lawyer friend would have likely died serving the Emperor as a suicide soldier or from famine. The US has helped protect Japan since. And now you are a economic power in the world.

    Don’t get me wrong I wish we didn’t resort to those methods, but it is likely that had we not obtained a complete surrender that your country might have ended up having insurgents running around like Afghanistan. The reason I say that is because of the wiliness of the Imperial soldiers to sacrifice themselves for military gain, and the fact that an invading army will never make enough friends in a country to completely expel extremists.

  13. Dear toyotabedzrock,

    In response to your long-winded, jingoistic, misinformed and racist little post I find myself forced to correct you on a few things.

    Firstly, we were intercepting message from the Japanese to their fleets preparing them for the attack at Pearl Harbour. Secondly, the attack was specifically provoked in order to get us in the war. Before I give you the proof of how, I will give you the why. After WWI the American Union’s people went fanatically isolationist. They didn’t want any more of their blood shed in wars between other countries. FDR had also promised in his campaign speeches that it would never happen again. The problem was that FDR knew ahead of time that the Nazis would become a direct threat to the US, but not fast enough. The reason it wouldn’t happen fast enough for their liking is that the Great Depression was really kicking the crap out our union and prior to WWII, wars were a great way to jump-start the economy. As a side note, the reason that doesn’t work anymore is the people have to believe that the war is just, and you have to win it. We haven’t won anything since WWII, and you can look at Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf Wars one and two, the list goes on. What FDR needed was to get us in the war, and get the economy moving.

    Now I’ll tell you the how part. FDR commissioned a study to see what it would take to get the Japanese to attack us. This was because the Japanese had just signed a non-aggression treaty with the Germans during the Japanese’s involvement with the Sino-Japanese war. FDR knew the Germans would be too late in attacking us to have a positive effect on the Depression, but the Japanese were right next door and could be provoked if done properly. See, prior to this Japan had been a very close friend of the US. The answer to this request was a response by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum and became known as the McCollum Memo. In it, LCDR McCollum give an eight-point plan on how to provoke a Japanese attack on US shores, and spur the US people into supporting a war effort. In fact, McCollum stated, “If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better. At all events we must be fully prepared to accept the threat of war”. This instigation was so well known that when Dewey was running against FDR in ’44 he found out about America’s ability to intercept Japan’s radio messages, and knew he could use this information to win against the him. Dewey had a series of speeches written to out FDR when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George Marshall, persuaded him not to make the speeches. Japan had no idea we’d cracked their codes at this point and Marshall convinced him that his speeches could have completely destroyed the US’ ability to win the war, so Dewey said nothing, and in November FDR was elected president for the fourth time.

    This is all besides the fact that the Japanese literally had nothing left to fight back with by the time we dropped the bombs. The Kamakaze missions weren’t for fun and honour, they were volunteers for missions where they would not have enough fuel for a return trip simply because Japan was out of oil. They were at the point of not having anything to power their war, and posed absolutely no threat. Again, this is all despite the fact that we provoked them into attacking us in the first place.

    Your blatant ignorance is simply unforgivable in this day and age, and the only excuse is that your racism and patriotism has led you to deny the facts and only believe what makes you more comfortable.

  14. I agree with ur first paragraph, except I’d like to point out that we had not broken the newest Japanese naval code before Pearl Harbor only the diplomatic code. Also the first Gulf War did provide a small boost to the economy. We where able to break most of the code by Jan. 1942.
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403300822.html

    Actually the 8-point plan is mostly about preventing Japan from aiding Germany. Only those two sentences talk about getting them to attack the US.

    You also seem to forget that Germany and Japan were in the process of committing the worst war crime in the history of the Human race.

    Also I am not in anyway against Japan, or the Japaneses people. I am lucky to not be old enough to remember any wars before the first Gulf War. I am also not a diehard patriot in anyway, the US has plenty of it’s own faults and isn’t always right in the actions it takes. I also find patriotism to be one of the two major problems in the world today, the other being extremism in any form.

  15. @toyotabedzrock et al.

    Gee, that’s what I get for having some old silly rant featured on a Funneh Website (that and the complete meltdown of my subpar hosting setup)…

    People, read the date this was posted on, will you? This post here is four year old. It wasn’t meant to be particularly witty or deep and served no other purpose than venting some frustration at a moronic user handpicked from the weekly dozen who used to send me complaint emails back then. As such, I really have little inclination to open a debate around the content of this post, even less about a not-so-funny-at-all crack alluding to the use of nuclear weapons on civilian population. But feel free to keep arguing on this page (just keep it somewhat courteous): I am all for spirited (if slightly pointless) debate.

    For the record, I wrote about the topic in a non-humorous entry elsewhere on this blog:
    http://unknowngenius.com/blog/archives/2005/08/06/anniversary/

  16. Sorry it is entirely my fault. I read your other post and I liked it. I only hope no nation ever uses another nuclear weapon. And I hope that stories such as your lawyers will be preserved so that future generations can learn from the mistakes everyone made.

    Just don’t classify all or even most Americans as warmongers. It is however very exhausting to deal with those Americans who are, they are loud and seem to have unlimited energy to promote there very misguided views.

  17. great response. amazing how people can react to something that is supposed to help! If this person would just have taken the time to listen….sigh. some people really do appreciate work that helps fight spamming – really!!!

  18. [Re: Maize5’s last comment and why it was removed]

    So all it took was for me to ask people to keep the conversation on a civilised tone for somebody to take a shot at the Multi-Godwin point.

    Maize5: I am afraid you have drawn the wrong conclusions from the, admittedly hyperbolic, treatment given in the original post above… I don’t care what your opinions are: if you cannot formulate them on a public forum without resorting immediately to aggressive stereotyping, you are probably better off shouting stuff in front of your TV set. As far as I know, toyotabedzrock made his comment in a composed manner and didn’t go ad hominem on anybody, I expect you or anybody else to respond in a similar way.

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