Arthur Conan Doyle has AWE$OME RATES!

Mary
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Lately, we've been getting a lot of really eloquent spam. There we were, thinking the spammers had been attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop -- it turns out, according to NPR, that they've been plagiarizing Dickens, Doyle, and others:

In order to get past [email filters], spammers try to make the text of their e-mails look more like something you'd actually write. These spammers mine Web sites that post the full text of books, like Project Gutenberg, which, along with its affiliates, has more than 250,000 books online. ... The filtering technique Graham pioneered still works pretty well, he says, because the great authors of old use different words than usually appear in modern e-mail. The word "Bolshevism" turns out to be a very good indicator of spam.

Also in the story, the director of Project Gutenberg mentions a line from his favorite piece of spam and says he'd love to read the book it was taken from -- if only he could figure out what book it is. This sounds like a job for our readers. Anyone have a guess as to where this comes from?

"No civilians, no outsiders, this is a secret operation all the way. It is now, but it goes public in seven days. We just need to make up a cover story."

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August 10, 2006 - 3:49am
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