Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chain Letters Are Worse Than Viruses

Yesterday I got once again a Chain Letter. In case you don't know - I HATE CHAIN LETTERS!!!

This time, it was a pseudo virus alert. When I complained with the sender, urging her to stop sending me chain letters, she said: "But it's a VIRUS alert! I can't take the chance you'll miss it!"

What people don't understand, is that if 50% of the users would think like this sender, there would be no Internet. Nada, zip, nil, rien du tout, nothing, niets, kadachat...

Just do the math:

Let's assume 50% of the people believe in those nonsense and send such a virus alert to 20 other people.

Now assume it takes on average 5 minutes from the moment you get the email until you forward it (some a little more, some a little less).

In this worst case scenario, we flood the Net with 10^12 emails after 1 hour. Keeping the 5-minute window I assumed above, it's more than 3 BILLION emails per second. No need to calculate how many emails would be sent after 2 hours - there would be no Internet by then.

Fortunately for the Internet, most users know better than to forward Chain Letters...

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