Lynching Merrill Lynch, Passport spam fright and more

Letters RoundUp Do you read spam? Of course not. But it's sometimes inadvertently hilarious.

What on earth persuaded this Chinese manufacturer to use spam email as a marketing device? The company is genuine:-

From: chinavibrator<>
sender: chinavibrator<>
Subject: construction machinery

?Dear Sirs/Madams:

Knowing you from internet, we are glad to introduce us as the biggest manufacturer of concrete vibrator in china. Our company is Anyang Vibrator Co.,Ltd(Group)

which is appointed to produce the concrete vibrator machinery by the government of China. That's why we can supply above item in both good quality and competitive price, we hope this letter would be the beginning of a good business relationship between our two companys in this line.

At the same time we are Seeking Technology Cooperation On low noise vibrator.

Regarding to our product details please refer to our website:
If you have any interest in importing from China, please let us know your specific inquiry.

Thanks for your attention and hope a fruitful business with your esteemed company.

Kindly send your E-mail to
Best Regards,

Anyang Vibrator Co.,Ltd(Group)

Perhaps he thought every other vibrator company on earth was marketing using email. Well, that's not true - so shame on you Wangdadi.

And then I got four of these rants. Everyone in the world must have got at least one, if my fragment of the distribution list is anything to go by…


And on, and on, for pages. It's almost as bad as having to sit having to listen to HP's new management talk about go-to-market opportunities . But it's spam you fear from recent Passport and Yahoo! privacy opt-ins...

From: Jonas Callewaert
Subject: MS & privacy
in reply to your article I wanted to add that I created a new Hotmail account 2 weeks ago
I made sure not to chk the options to get Spam

and the first day I got 32 spams
I have not even used the account to send or receive any e-mail I just wanted to see if I made a new account if I would get Spam or not.

now the account it up to 424 messages of Spam.

all of the Spam is unsuitable Spam for the fact I put age 15.

thanks for your time and keep up the good work at the regus.


From: Robert Jenkins
Subject: Re Microsoft & Privacy

After reading your Register article on Passport & Spam, it makes me wonder if they know their own policies??

I contacted both Passport & Hotmail in the last couple of days, as I'm receiving spam on a Hotmail account that I opened but have not used -
the only place the Hotmail email address exists is on Hotmail / Passport (or whatever) servers.

This was the response from Hotmail, dated 16th May:-

(The Passport reply was that it wasn't anything to do with them and to contact Hotmail...)

Thank you for your message to Hotmail Privacy.

We respect your privacy and understand your concerns.

Hotmail does not share, rent, lease, or lend our member's personal information or communications with any third party, nor do we edit, monitor, or filter our member's communications. We do not give permission to any third party to send unsolicited email to our members.

Hotmail will only release a member's personal information or communications (without notice) when served with a subpoena, search
warrant, or court order.

In order to report an unsolicited email, please be sure to include the full, unedited content of the email in question, along with the full,
unedited message header and send it to the proper authorities at the originating domain. If the abuse issue is non-spam related (such as
Hacking, Harassment, Profanity, etc...) please include all relevant evidence and information in your report to Hotmail Abuse.

Contact information for Hotmail support and abuse can be found at

For further information on the Hotmail Privacy Statement, please visit and click on the Privacy Statement link.

Hotmail Privacy

So that's OK.

Several noted that you could only change your preferences using Internet Explorer:-

Further to your article on MS Passport pulling a fast one on spam preferences - you might also like to note that I get this message:

"Microsoft(r) .NET Passport no longer supports the Web browser version you are using. Please upgrade to a current Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator version 4.08 or later."

when I attempt to log in to Passport so I can disable the spam again.

This happens with Galeon 1.2.1 and Mozilla 1.0rc1, which I would consider to be rather more of a current web browser than Netscape 4.08...wouldn't you? So this message would be far more accurate if it read:

"We really don't want to let you in unless you're using IE, but I suppose we'd better support some versions of Netscape so we don't get our arses sued right off. If you're using open source, well [barely
suppressed titters] forget it."


Adam Williamson

A couple of you noted that your privacy options hadn't changed. We certainly found no change when signing-up as a new subscriber. But the vast majority of you had.

Now some unrelated stuff.

Re: Open source shunned by monopolists' "good code" initiative

From: Jim McManus <>

No, no, you just don't get it. The initiative isn't about sustaining computing, per se, it's about sustaining computer companies, i.e.,
Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle. In light of the real meaning here, it's easy to see that the exclusion of the open source community is not only desirable, it's imperative.

Why do we hate Canada so much? We don't. It's just a tradition:-

From: Patrick Burton
Subject: Re: Why do you hate Canada so much ?

Re: The Register USA - your feedback

> We don't buy the "we're really, really different from Big Brother
> down south," though.

Ahem, eh?

First, from where I'm sitting much of Big Brother is up north -- Toronto's on the same latitude as northern California. And aside from
the Northwest, Yukon & Nunavut Territories (the real far Canadian north) almost all of Canada is south of the state of Alaska, USA.

However, that is quibbling; most of us proud Canadians do live up north of most of them damn Yankees. And we tend to like it that way.

Handguns make us nervous unless our cops have them safely holstered.

> The British don't go in for log-rolling
> competitions, or wearing
> orange clothes to shoot things in the wood;
> we certainly don't have
> creatures in the woods that can hurt or kill you
> (the last wolf in
> the British Isles was shot in the eighteenth
> century).

Black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears, wolverines, mountain lions, a number of snakes and even lynx, badgers and black flies might kill you
in the wild in Canada. Not wolves. Not a single human attack or fatality on record, AFAIK.

> No-one understands ice hockey, and what
> the hell is Canadian
> football? The British - apart from poor people
> in Scotland - have
> forgotten what it's like to be cold. And we
> don't club baby seals -
> our fishermen shoot their parents instead.

Well, for a better description of how the True North Strong And Free is different from Uncle Sam's Acres, check out the longstanding (since
'94) award-winning and very amusing "An American's Guide to Canada."

Explains ice hockey and Canadian football too, eh? :)

In any case, it's nice to see The Register thinking about us. Keep up the good reporting.

Thanks. And thanks to James Swift, who always has something interesting to say. He was one of many to enjoy the most recent Flame of the Week.

And adds:-

Since you linked to "The Fine Art of Trolling" (,/ I'm sure people like me are viewing the net with new eyes (monitors?)....anyway I'm sure you would personally enjoy this masterpiece linked by

Actually, lots of you seemed to like that particular flame. And Columbine still raises requests for her email address from kinky Register readers.

Kerry Morrison of the US Navy writes:-

" You hafe no balls and are all homosexulle"
Make the T-shirt.... PLEASE! Black with red letters. I have an extremely bad long term memory and every time I see that I fall out of my chair laughing.

I just read the other one at the bottom of the letters page. If this stuff's real, hire her. She's too funny

What a good idea! I've forwarded the request.

Tear up those Mac OS roadmaps! Thanks to "Jenny Mixman" for pointing us to this bit of confusion.

Re: Bye Ed - Analysts pull the chain on Sun chief
Subject: Great piece

On Ed Zander, Sun and the Merrill Lynch analyst jerk-offs. It's comforting for me to know that like always, Wall Street doesn't know or care what it's selling, just so long as it's selling something. And you're right, the Merrill Lynch analysts haven't sold anything in their lives. They let the far more competent "sales-traders" do that bit of dirty work.

Arthur Barlow

Thanks Arthur. Ed wasn't available for interviews last week when he MC'd the Solaris launch, but we did ask. As a bootnote, Merrill Lynch last week agreed to pay $100 million in fines to get regulators off its back, but the deal ensures that it admits no wrong doing - $100 million worth of no-wrong-doing - and dodges having to compensate investors it misled.

(It's got a history that goes back years.)

Capellas Defined?

Proper name of a star of the first magnitude in Auriga.

1682 SIR T. BROWNE Chr. Mor. 121 The time might come when capella, a noble northern star, would have its motion in the aequator. 1868 LOCKYER Elem. Astron. lxii. 24 We read.. that Capella, which is now pale blue, was red.

Also means "chapel".

Dr Kamal Mubarak
capella, capellae
she-goat; meteor type; star in constellation Auriga (rising in rainy season); dirty fellow, old goat; man with a goat-like beard; body odor;

Paul Evans

(Thanks to Thomas Shine, Ben Rosengart, Dave Oliver, Declan Collins, George Malagaris and Joe Dougherty for pointing this out, too). Simon Fluendy adds:-

And as I'm sure you were aware, the root of
consolidate is 'solid' so consolidate is 'to make
solid', whereas chucking slaves off a cliff is less
marginally cost effective than, for instance, selling
them (I was going to say flogging them, but that would lead to needless confusion).

Now I'm grateful to share the definitions, but what I meant was, what does a Capellas really mean? Really, really mean?

Creative definitions are encouraged here, such as "[noun] measure of entropy discharged when two large bodies meet and disappear" … but you can do better. While you're at it, if you can think of other ex-Capellas items that might have gone similar low-level, sector-by-sector erasure, we'll use those too.

My misfortune with MCI WorldCom produced so many emails (over 300), advice and useful tips, that I'll have post it later today. It's nice to know that I haven't suffered alone, so many thanks. ®

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