Blog about the Net, Pakistan and more

Monday 28th April 2008

Top spammers and the return of Pakistani spam

Internet Security Pakistan

I recently followed a link to this list of spammers responsible for 80% of all spam The list includes an ex-boss of mine for whom I briefly worked for while I was in Singapore (somewhere in the mid-90s, long before spam was a problem). He had always been a dubious character, but I never thought he'd stoop this low.

Usually, we think of places such as Turkey, Korea and China as the major sources of spam. Yet it is the US spammers that make up about 70% of this list.

I remember that some years back, Pakistan was notorious as being a major source of spam. Glad to see that it isn't in this list. Could this really be due to stricter policies by the ISPs? I helped implement the blocking of port 25 about a year ago, while I was at Dancom and it really paid off. Other ISPs that took this issue seriously, also reported successes.

However, there has been a sharp increase in locally-generated spam that targets the local market and this doesn't bode well for Pakistan. The current service provider market is facing cut-throat competition and strict policies, like the SMTP block, are the first to get the chop in favor of customer-retention.

At this rate, it won't be long before we end up back on the list.


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Posted at 19:09pm PKT  Comments(243) |

Friday 25th April 2008

Japan butter shortage caution for all

Food Japan

Victor was recently discussing how he couldn't find butter in his Soylent Green Tokyo neighborhood which came as quite a surprise.

While I was there, I don't recall many edible things that couldn't be found in Japan (only licorice comes to mind). Certain things that we take for granted elsewhere (like fresh herbs, fruits etc.) were outrageously expensive, but at least they were still available and there was plenty of everything else.

So such a severe shortage of a basic commodity like butter, did ring a few alarm bells. This article, sent by Victor and titled "Japan is a market pioneer again: the first industrialised nation with no butter", describes the situation and I also found another one discussing the issue in further detail.

Though this may just be an isolated incident, I can't help but wonder if the future of mankind (especially the more developed kind) will be a dark and gloomy one.

Coincidently, I just watched Soylent Green, the cult classic from 1973, starring the late Charlton Heston. Amazing how accurate some of the predictions of the future were (though the super-rich still had running water, real meat, vegetables etc.).

I don't believe people will ever end up on my plate, but there's hardly anything we consume that isn't processed and packaged to look very different from the original contents.


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Posted at 14:15pm PKT  Comments(106) |

Tuesday 22nd April 2008

The bright side of viruses


I keep getting strange messages on my Yahoo instant messaging account (also my first email account, by the way) with funny characters and a strange link. Knew it had to be someone infected in my really old contact list so didn't pay much attention to it. Today however, I decided to message the person it was coming from and warn him about the virus.

He is an old friend (my dad's friend actually) who I hadn't spoken to in years. It was nice to get back in touch and I wouldn't have messaged him otherwise.


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Posted at 22:56pm PKT  Comments(109) |

Thursday 17th April 2008

Pakistan emerges a market winner


Haven't had any time to blog lately, but this was just too good to pass up on. There was a lot I wanted to write about all the bad things that have taken place recently, but maybe it's a good thing I couldn't. Here is an interesting article on Gulfnews that describes the emergence of Pakistan as a market winner. From the article:

Pakistan is firmly bucking the trend. This year, the Karachi Stock Exchange 100 has gained 7.4 per cent, making it the best performer among major emerging markets indexes....

The articles talks about more than just the stock market performance. And this growth isn't a recent phenomenon either. We've been seeing it for at least the last 5 years, through troubled and better times.

Most people usually point out everything that is wrong with this country. To me, the best thing is that we keep seeing so many positive achievements, despite all the negatives. Imagine where we would be if we took care of even some of the problems.


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Posted at 13:28pm PKT  Comments(1) |

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