Friday, July 08, 2005

Phishers of Men

Phishing e-mails aren’t the novelty they used to be, and it seems that I don’t get any of the “there’s X million dollars in some bank account in Tinpot Africa, let’s share it!” variety any more. These days, I get the “verify your information or we’ll close your account” variety, and that’s not too interesting. I don’t even bother looking a most of them.


Still, there’s the game of trying to guess just how native the writer’s English is. This came the other day, from somewhere near, but not quite within, the realm of English.


Dear user.

We want to inform you than you must verify your account parity to given email.
Please click on this reference: [followed by an unusually long web site address]
Otherwise we stop temporarily service of your account.
Thank you for using our bank.


“Account parity” is an interesting turn of phrase. Just as interesting, the message purported to be from a bank that I’ve never done business with, unless you count interviewing a handful of its executives for my former magazines.


Some years ago, I saw Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, by Gary Kinder, on the shelf at a bookstore, and I spent a few minutes thumbing through it. You have to like a title like that. Looked good, but I rarely buy new hardbacks. I’m glad someone does, but the publishing industry has jacked up the price of new books at several times the rate of inflation in recent decades, and I object.


More recently, I saw a paperback version on a remainder table, $4. Perfect. I bought it, and it joined my books—joined the unread titles among the many I have. (I’ve never counted, but I probably have read the majority of the hundreds of books I own, maybe at a 6-to-4 or 7-to-3 ratio.)


This week I stared in earnest on Ship of Gold, which is really two stories. First, the wreck of the steamer S.S. Central America in a hurricane off the Carolina coast in September 1857, taking hundreds of people and tons of gold to the bottom. Second, the salvage effort in the 1980s, and how that was possible in 8,000 feet of water.


I started in thinking the first story would be the really good one. It is good: background on the gold rush in California, the struggle of a mighty ship against the elements, doom and survival, all with an Antebellum setting. But I’m impressed by the story of the salvage, too, which focuses on the marine engineer, one Tommy Thompson, responsible for inventing a lot of the equipment necessary to take artifacts from so deep. Fascinating so far, and I haven’t even got to the part in which the salvage is actually accomplished.

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2 Comments:

At 9:46 AM, Blogger e. Readicker-Henderson said...

Personally, I don't find paperbacks to be satisfying on a tactile level. And in defense of the price of hardbacks, they've pretty much always cost what a decent restaurant meal does--three bucks back in the early '60s, thirty bucks now.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous sam said...

http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php?date=2003-03-28&res=l

one, admiteddly rude and somewhat childish, take on phishing

 

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