January 2009 Archives
I wanted to title this Spam in a Klan, but decided it would give too much away. On the day Obama's victory was announced, one of my customers phoned urgently about problems with his Web site. One of these turned out to be a spamspike.
We do get spamspikes, his hosting company's owner told me. Sometimes, spam shoots to ten times its normal level. As it had in this spike —anti-Obama hate-mail and death-threats, courtesy of the American Far Right. Perhaps my drawing is unfair, symbolising them as I did. If so, I apologise to the Ku Klux Klan.
But not, I feel, to all of it. Read down to the end of the Imperial Klans of America International Headquarters page at www.kkkk.net . It is scary. Even the animation at the top is scary.
I can never remember whether to say "Klux" or "Kux". But now it's easy to remember, because I once learned Greek, and Wikipedia tells me the name is from κύκλος, Greek for "circle". Also, I have never been inside an Internet hosting company. Some details in my drawing may therefore be wrong.
To a computer scientist, difficulty is about space and time. How fast the memory needed by a program increases as the problem it's solving grows, or how fast the running time increases. And although some problems have relatively modest needs, the so-called Travelling Salesman problem is known to all as being supremely hard. The real world has other measures of difficulty.