I've stumped myself with a recent philosophical discussion
I had with, um, myself. Who has the last word in an
It's pretty obvious in a face-to-face
discussion. The last person who talks has the last
word. Even if you
hold your ears and scream really loud, it's apparent
who said the last thing. In a phone conversation, this
is also easy to discern, unless Person A hung up without
Person B knowing. Another possibility is Person A fell
asleep, but snoring will more than likely follow. Sure,
there are some technicalities, but it's still usually
evident who had the last word.
An email discussion,
though, opens the door for who "spoke" last.
Even sending a final email may not necessarily mean
the final word. What if the person you're emailing
goes home for the weekend and doesn't read that particular
email? What if that person reads it and responds
without commenting about the initial discussion?
What if the person reads your email and then goes on
forward it to mutual friends and they respond,
letting you know that your ideas on cloning are preposterous?
there's another problem: spam email. It would seem
as if all spammers get the last word, even though
their rants about particular products are discarded
almost immediately. As spam email has grown, so has
the prevention against it. And it's much easier to
generate spam mail than create a human clone, and it
is much more believable too.
While the occasional spam
mail is harmless, a barge full a day is not. To start
your eradication of this
type of email, visit SPEWS.ORG. Spam Prevention Early
Warning System lists news, advisory systems, filtering
programs and links to additional Web sites concerning
spam. Some of the information is worthwhile for an
average email user, while some of the info is directed
toward your IT manager, or at least the person in charge
of your email server.
There are a couple of ways to
use SPEWS. On the outer level, the system can be used
to double check the credibility
of a sent email. What you need to do this is the full
header information of your email. The header contains
information from which IP address the email was sent.
Once you find the header, look for a line that says "Received:
from," which should be followed by a domain name
and an IP address. Enter that address at the top righthand
corner search on SPEWS.org. If the IP address is in
system at SPEWS, it will say so. If not, it's
possible the database will be updated soon to show
IP address as a known spammer.
Mail administrators have
the ability to use SPEWS IP address list in a variety
of ways, from completely
blocking emails from those originating IPs, bouncing
emails back to the sender, etc. There are details
on SPEWS on how to do this. As far as I can tell, none
of this involves genetic engineering, but it's quite
possible extensive programming could lead to a cloned
On the lefthand column of the SPEWS Web site,
there are links to many popular spam filtering and
systems. At least, I assume they are popular because
they look official. For the sake of looking at
could potentially help in filtering spam for your
business, but it most likely will not
answering the age-old question regarding who
spoke last in an email discussion. Maybe the answer
never be determined. Getting the last word isn't
worth as much as it used to be anyway. Or, to
look at it
from a different perspective, send everyone in
your address book a piece of generated spam mail.
way, you are sure to never hear back from anyone!