I've appended below an unsolicited email I just received, having to do
with air travel and at least indirectly, with the Internet, because:
* I really can't tell: Is this is a Nigerian-type spam/scam? -- or
is it for real?
* And beyond that, which would be worse: for it to be just a scam?
-- or for it to be something that really goes on in our world? Is
this how those utterly stupid and banal items that you hear on the
audio or video Business Channels on airplanes are really created?
* Is there an uglier, more dishonest word than "advertorial"?
(in the 3rd paragraph down)
From: Patricia Chi <email@example.com>
Subject: Radio Interview with [me]
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 01:32:05 -0700
Time Sensitive Material
I am writing on behalf of Sky Radio Network, the nation's leading
in-flight media company, in regards to our upcoming "America's
Innovators and Entrepreneurs" talk radio show on American Airlines.
This special on-going radio series spotlights compelling profiles of
innovators and entrepreneurs -- from the small business owner to the
large enterprise CEO -- the people that make up the backbone of
business in America and are rarely heard from. This show will feature
stories of hope, ideas and success stories in ways you've never heard
I would like to personally invite you to participate in our radio
program, which airs worldwide on American Airlines for a full month
reaching 4.2 million business and leisure travelers. This special
advertorial opportunity requires a small production fee (see
participation costs and details below).
Our guests to date include:
Anthony Ambrose, General Manager, Intel
Craig Ellins, CEO, DigitalFX
Tom Cates, President, Brookeside
Stephan Brant, Managing VP, Hitachi Consulting
Debbie Grodon, President & CEO, Snappy Auctions
Al Knapp, President & CEO, Ethanex Energy
Joy Flora, President, Merry Maids
To hear some of our current and past interviews, click on
Our production team will produce a dynamic one-on-one interview. Our
writers will script everything in advance with your final editorial
control. Your interview will air in a continuous loop on 29,000
American Airlines flights during the entire month of September 2007.
Since we're on deadline, we're offering our last two spots on our
September 2007 edition for only $3,995 (normally $6,995). Please note
we must record your interview by June 8th and because of our tight
deadline, we need a commitment to secure your spot no later than noon
PST on Wednesday, May 23nd.
Your participation includes:
1. Production and placement of a three-minute interview/profile
to air worldwide on "The Business and Technology Report" on
29,000 American flights reaching 4.2 million in September 2007.
**American Airlines is the world's largest airline and flies to
more destinations than any other airline.
Media kit: http://www.skyradionet.com/mediakitaa.cfm
2. Sky Radio's "America's Innovators and Entrepreneurs" program
listing in American Attractions (350,000 monthly copies).
** American Attractions has the greatest number of readers
and largest circulation of any in-flight publication.
3. Rebroadcast of interview on http://www.skyradionet.com
with link to your site for 1 year.
4. Digital audio file of interview for promotional and marketing
5. "As heard on American Airlines" logo for airing of interview
on your website.
6. All turnkey production including scripting, recording, editing,
mastering and delivery.
Please contact me as soon as possible to reserve your spot, as
space is very limited. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit
our website to gain a better understanding of who we are and
the caliber of clients we represent.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sky Radio Network
12155 Riverside Drive
Valley Village, CA 91607
Producers of the #1 Talk Shows in the Sky and on the Web
Sky Radio Network is an independent producer contracted to place
business and lifestyles talk radio programming for four major domestic
carriers. If you'd like to call for a reference, please contact the
Executive Producer, Elizabeth Montgomery at 818-762-6800 ext. 11 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to be take off our
invitation list, please reply to this email stating your intent.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Personally, I do not think this is a
Nigerian type scam/spam. Now spam it probably is, but I do not think
it is Nigerian in nature. Nigeria always seems to be offering
something for nothing, i.e. 'help me by spending this X million
dollars which was left in our bank'. But, thanks for passing along
this example of just what a miserable place the internet has become in
recent years (actually, about 10-15 years, since Al Gore invented it.)
I'll tell you what I *despise* about the net these days: the huge
number of agressive viruses which are sent out which clog up my
computer making it almost unuseable from one day to the next. I had
one such item this past weekend which made my system almost entirely
unuseable. I do not know _who_ sent it, but I got one of those
miserable pop-ups, and quite a few pop-unders telling me I have lots
of viruses; I think there were a couple dozen listed. If I clicked
somewhere, it promised me a 'free scan' to get rid of them. So, like
the damn fool I am, I clicked on what _I thought_ would dismiss the
pop-up; instead it brought me more and more 'pop-ups' of the same
kind. Try as I might, running every virus remover I have here did not
get rid of it; its name is 'Dr. Anti-Spam' and at first did not even
show up in the 'Add/Remove programs' list on the control page.
Finally my friend and expert consultant in Canada told me to try one
he sent here called 'f-spyaxe.zip' which I unpacked, loaded and ran.
That sort of half-heartedly got rid of it, but left remnants of it.
So many remnants, in fact, that when I got up Sunday, the remnants
were cluttering my screen. Then my friend said try Rogue Remover,
which is an open source thing specifically designed to clean out one's
computer good and properly. (I had to spend about a half-hour cleaning
out the pop-ups [as more and more of them kept showing up] before I
could get to and read his email about Rogue Remover.) Once I downloaded
RR it went to work immediatly, bashing one bogus file after another
which this thing (Dr. Anti-Spy) had given me. I asked my Canadian
friend, "if these people are trying to win over friends and get you to
buy their anti-virus protection why did they do it this way?" My
friend replied that, "you did not have all those nasty viruses they
claimed; that was just to scare you; all they want to do is get your
$39.95 payment, not get you rid of viruses." It turns out I had no
viruses except for one: theirs. Apparently this is a common technique
these days, to make claims about viruses to those of us not too
familiar with the topic (or actual forensics of same) and then get
money for removing them. Nasty, nasty, nasty!
And when I frankly say to people that 'computers and the internet are
not fun any longer' ( I *used to be* one of the biggest supporters of
same) my friends all tell me I am just a 'sourpuss and a bitter old
man', and they ask me why if I feel that way, do I keep on doing this
work. I tell them I do not know what else to do with my life. I do
know I would like to find out who sent me that 'Dr. Anti-Spy' thing;
I would make a referral to the alleged Iraq terrorists to find them
(and ALL virus writers/distributors) and behead everyone of them. PAT