Spam and DNA maps

I’m a creationist, which makes me one of those odd people who doesn’t accept the “goo-to-you” account of origin of life. My faith in the fact that this hypothesis is not scientifically sound is called into doubt when I get spam messages like the one mentioned here, or the kinds mentioned here.

According to scientific research, the human DNA is at least 6.4 percent different from chimpanzees, which is a good sized difference. The chimpanzee genome is somewhat larger than the human genome. Although this doesn’t really affect my argument against genetics being key to proving evolution, I have to wonder, when people fall for such simple and commonly repeated scams, whether they are indeed incapable of accessing that part of their brains that allows them to reason critically. They rush towards the chimpanzee survival instinct that calls for them to save themselves on the social network platform by spamming the hell out of their contacts.

If you have read this far, you may not be pleased to note that none of what I have said is entirely relevant to what I am going to say, it simply allowed me to use a palindrome as the title for this post.

I received this on my BBM service:

“Sorry guys Apparently it is true, cause its happened to certain people already, so I’m not taking any chances !!
Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of RIM Blackberry) we have had an over usage of user names on Blackberry Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or blackberry will no longer recognize your pin. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of £25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your”

I’m not sure what the thank you is for since that is all I got. I wonder if you get deleted for not forwarding the whole message.

I have a few problems with this. Firstly, as the picture will testify to, there is a “system message” capability, RiM has no need to send chain messages. Secondly, who would get the first message? Thirdly, why would you have to send it to all your contacts to get recognised as a valid user? Surely the fact that you use the service daily means that you are a valid user. Fourthly, why would an American company send out a chain message using Pounds as the currency? These are those things that leap out at me at first glance, another is that I don’t trust vinegar as a source of information.

RiM’s executive team doesn’t seem to have a Jim Balsamic vinegar on it. A google search will testify to the fact that the first page of the returns to this person as RiM CEO refer only to this hoax, and some of these posts are over two months old, so much for 48 hours.

Another issue I have is that RiM doesn’t actually support resending chain messages, as their site seemed to attest to on Wednesday 12th October – 16:12 (GMT-5).

“Hoax messages are unfortunately an industry-wide issue. Any social messaging application on any platform, mobile or PC can be used to attempt to convince users to forward such hoax messages to one or more of their contacts. RIM recommends that users simply ignore the message and do not forward it, since this would only serve to expand the reach of the hoax message.”

(Emphasis added.)

The same page was updated again at 17:44 (GMT-5) on the same day with a service update regarding the “core switch meltdown” where they stated:

“We will provide regular updates on BlackBerry.com, RIM.com and via our social channels.”

Please note she never said, “via chain messages.”

The second spam message I received today claimed that the police would lock my BBM because of riots in England and had the following link:

http://m.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/08/london-riots-blackberry-messenger-looting?cat=uk&type=article

I didn’t need to click on this, if you read carefully you will notice that my BBM was in imminent danger of being locked down over six months ago, thanks for the warning.

There are really easy ways to work out if you are being spammed:

  • Think about whether it makes sense
  • Check if there is information on google about the message.
  • if there’s a threat, it’s fake, corporations don’t threaten customers.

Please think before you spam, the first link in the opening paragraph covers what you should say should you want to spam somebody, I will now cover a possible reply when receiving this kind of spam.

“Please stop spamming me, here are some reasons why it isn’t necessary [insert relevant link depending on what type of spam you get, or send all three] If you continue, I won’t delete you, I will spam you so much that your phone will never keep quiet, and I will do this until you delete me. (the links you could include would be this one, or the two in the opening paragraph above, but other sites do cover these issues.)

This may be excessive, but it should get the point across.

If you received this link in a BBM broadcast message, check this link to see that I didn’t miss the irony.

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