screen-saver combats spam

The BBC reports that Internet portal Lycos has made a screen-saver that “endlessly requests data from sites that sell the goods and services mentioned in spam e-mail. Lycos hopes it will make the monthly bandwidth bills of spammers soar by keeping their servers running flat out.” The screen-saver is expected to be available in a Mac OS X version when it is released. More…

The screen-saver is available now, for Windows, OS X, and Mac Classic. It can be downloaded from I encourage everyone to download it. I hate spammers!

The screen-saver is pretty cool. It displays stats on how many screen-savers are running around the world, what your contribution is, and what site(s) are being targeted. You can also submit spam URLs to the site (above) for addition to the database.

One difference I have noticed between the Mac and PC version, is the Mac version draws lines on the map as spam servers are being zapped, kind of like the “missle” lines on the global map in the movie War Games. The PC version doesn’t seem to do that. It only displays the stats. Update: My PC version does seem to be drawing the lines now. Maybe it’s just a bit buggy.

I’ve only been using the screen-saver for a few minutes, and it is having trouble connecting to the Lycos servers. I’m sure this thing spread like wildfire, and they are having bandwidth troubles of their own. But don’t be discouraged, download the screen-saver and use it. It will connect eventually.

The site listed above, for downloading the screen-saver seems to be clogged up. They were probably overwhelmed with requests for the screen-saver. Keep trying, you’ll get through eventually. See this post for an update.

Yet another update:
From BBC News…
“A contentious campaign to bump up the bandwidth bills of spammers by flooding their sites with data has been dropped…” more…

Leave a Comment