How to Tell We’re In a Recession

All the old cockroaches are crawling out of the woodwork to feed.

Incredibly, unbelievably, I’m actually starting to see spam from two of the Web’s former most notorious spammers, and again. Old-school spam fighters will doubtless recognize these names–porn sites notorious for their spamvertising back in the day, who’ve kept a (relatively) low profile for years. I can remember being flooded under an avalanche of spam from these guys like five or six years ago.

Well, they’re back. Just a trickle now–an email advertising live sexy Webcams here, a set of cloaked redirectors that hop from server to server to server before ending up on Webpower there–and it makes me wonder if times are getting tough in the porn spam business. Maybe there’s some belt-tightening happening, folks aren’t buying as many subscriptions to pay-for-play Webcam sites these days, the owners of the sites are wondering how they’re going to make the payments on their Ferraris…who knows.

Webpower is a particularly interesting case, in that kind of yucky “I study cockroaches for a living because I’m fascinated by insects that eat their own young” kind of way. They started out making a gadget to allow remote control of sex toys over the Internet–a program you’d run and a little box you’d plug your vibrator into. The box had a suction cup that would attach to your computer monitor, and the program would flash a colored square on the monitor to send commands to the vibrator.

They got out of that business pretty quick–I don’t think anyone’s really made a profit on Internet controlled sex toys yet–and started doing porn Webcams instead. Their Web front page doesn’t suggest anything about them–just says “WebPower is an internet services and infrastructure company with offices located on both the West Coast (San Francisco bay area) and East Coast (South Florida)” with links to a “web services division” and a “web conferencing division”–but their bread and butter is live cam sex, and they’ve been in the spam business for almost as long as spam has been around.

It’s amazing to see this particular blast from the past. I haven’t been spammed by these guys since about the time I started dating Shelly.

…as requested…

…just in time for the end-run up to the American Presidential election.

Several folks have asked me if I’d be willing to make a bumper sticker version of the “I love sex and I vote” userpic I made a while ago, and since I happened to have a bit of spare time this afternoon, I thought, why not?

So, here it is. Clicky on the pic if you’d like one!