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Spam sucks

Every morning I turn on my computer, get Outlook going, then make a cappuccino. By the time I'm done, what used to be a morning ritual of reading my emails while enjoying my favorite morning drink has turned into a nightmare.

Monty Python couldn't have come up with a more annoying routine than the infamous spam sketch. But way back in the psychedelic 70s, the comedy troupe couldn't possibly have imagined the disgust and frustration the word "spam" would elicit today, especially among IT professionals.

I managed to defeat hordes of telemarketers by signing up for the national do-not-call registry. But when it comes to spam, I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm ready to throw in the towel and become a computerless monk. I feel like less of a man because I couldn't protect my family from this deadly menace.

Maybe 2% of my emails are actually addressed to me personally. The rest are garbage: spams and scams of every shape, size, and flavor. They run the gamut from those offering me supposedly hot stock picks, loans, and drugs, to others concerned with the size and effectiveness of my manhood.

I'll even admit to reading some of the stories of those who want to endow me with millions of dollars. Do people actually fall for that stuff?

Lately it seems like everyone in creation is sending me ecards and other attachments. I must be really popular.

And the one thing I wouldn't have thought possible is happening: it keeps getting worse and worse. It's like a nightmare filled with unsolicited processed meat. It reminds me of the never-ending battle between radar detectors and the police's radar guns. It certainly seems like the detectors (and spam filters, in this analogy) will always be one step behind.

Of course I've tried everything - several types of internet security programs and different settings - but nothing seems to help. What's weird is that I don't hear anyone else complaining about it.

Is it me? Is there something I'm doing wrong, like spending time on the wrong sites? Or is Karma getting back at me for being such an a--hole all these years?

I've invested an entire lifetime in Wintel; I don't want to have to switch to Macs, which I assume don't get spam because everything Steve Jobs touches is by definition immaculate and perfect.

Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, I can't help but wonder if the Intels, Microsofts, Ciscos, Dells, and Suns of the world can't get together and solve this problem. There must be a better way than every man for himself, right?