Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
T'is the season to be jolly -- right?
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Yes, pretty soon our days and nights will be filled with such activities as
shopping, wrapping and partying.
When I was young (and dinosaurs roamed the earth), we'd eagerly line up all the
lovely glitter-covered christmas cards that came in the post and then go off
to school and brag about how many we'd received.
However, since the advent of the Internet, and email, things have changed
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For one thing, the price of decent cards has gone through the roof with many
carrying a price tag of well over $5 -- a lot of money for a bit of bent cardboard
and a few cheesy lines of verse. Then there's the cost and inconvenience of
having to buy stamps and find a post-box.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of people, especially those who have just
discovered the Net, have found that they can save all the hassle, cost and
inconvenience by simply sending an e-card.
Personally, I wish e-cards could be banned!
For a start, they involve someone handing over your email address to a site
whose credentials and trustworthiness may be completely unknown. There's a
good chance that such a site makes its money by on-selling those addresses on
a CDROM to spammers.
Here is a good example
of how e-card senders can inadvertently sign up their friends(?) to receive
spam. Sending a card from this site produces
which, as you'll notice, defaults to also sending you spam about credit card
offers. What's more, you can spam up to 10 addresses at once.
Terms & Conditions
don't protect you either -- because unless you uncheck the "spam me" box, you're
requesting the spam.
Then there's the issue of viruses and security.
Many of these cute little e-cards arrive in the form of an attachment to an
email. All sorts of formats are used to implement these cards -- including
With all the email-borne viruses lurking around at the moment (especially
the new BTrans.B currently sweeping the globe), how is the average Net user
to know whether they're about to open an expression of goodwill or a virtual
Of course all these large emails floating around the Net also start to place
added load on mailservers and this can delay legitimate, important traffic.
Yes, there are many legitimate e-card operators who have excellent privacy policies
and rather than delivering their content as an email attachment, they direct
you to a website to view the message.
However, sending an e-card simply says "I'm too cheap and don't think enough
of you to invest in a real card and a stamp."
Is that the message you *really* want to send?
Please, don't be an E-benezer Scrouge this year!
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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