April 19, 2008
One idea springing from a greekish outlook is that communication channels should be as permanent as possible... you never know who you might forget to tell about a new email address or phone number, or what old one someone researching how to contact you might find. (And there is a certain delight in finding an old email address on some forgotten website or Usenet posting that gets a response.)
So it's with a heavy heart that I'm dropping "catchall"s for my domains. For over a decade, I've been happy to be able to cavalierly say "anything @ kisrael.com gets to me, so use whatever you like". Dylan is the only one I know who tried playing with that, but in practice it was harder to explain than just giving a normal email address, so I gave it up.
For a long time, I've weathered a storm of spam, since if they tried a "dictionary" style attack, sending to host of random usernames at my domain hoping to get a match, they all went to the same place. More troublesome are those moral-less, scuzzball, vile, scabrous, cowardly greedmonkeys who make their Spam look like it came from my domain, since then I would also get a host of bounces, and even the occasional plaintive handcrafted "please don't send spam here" message. (The scary part of this change is knowing that this will still go on, I just won't see it.)
The problem with this is the number of email aliases I've used. For a while I thought of trying to track spam by using a special address for every site, like if I posted to "msn.com" (not that I would) I would use the address "firstname.lastname@example.org". I never extracted much useful information from doing this (except that newyorkerforum seems to have been harvested by the spammers pretty badly) and now it means there might be some accounts I won't hear from again. (The other problem was talking to people on the phone, when I tried to tell someone from the company "Foobar" that my email address was "Foobar.com at alienbill.com", it would sound like I was confused about how email works.)
So, starting fairly soon, these are the only email usernames that will work for me:
kirk k KirkIsrael kisrael kirkjerk kli kirkles web loveblender.com myspace.com evite.com netflix.com paypal.com wheresgeorge.com phpwebhosting.comLe Sigh. I hate Spammers so very much.
Game History of the Moment
Making the rounds is some insider information about the planned Sequels to the Hitchhiker's Guide text adventure. There are some objections to the publication of private, in-company email but it's still fascinating to read, and the site includes a semi-playable prototype of the game.