Tuesday, August 8, 2006

If my math is right, Bill Gates owes me $1.78 million!

A few years ago an email started it's way around the Internet that was, supposedly, from Microsoft.  In this email, it stated that Microsoft had placed a tracing mechanism in the body of the message and that Microsoft was going to pay $1 for each person that received the email because of you.  The idea was that you might send it to four people ($4), and those four might send it to four more ($20).  Five generations later, Microsoft owes you $21,844!
There are several different versions of this email and all of them are hoaxes.  I know, I know... It's unbelievable to think that something you receive in your email might not be pure facts. 
One of the more recent emails being forwarded to hither and yon shows several pictures of muslim people demonstrating.  This email says that the photos are from a demonstration in London that was titled the "Religion of Peace Demonstration".  The photos depict several hundred protesters holding signs that are not exactly... what's the word... "friendly."
However, this email is only a half-truth which, according to the way my Dad raised me, is far from a complete truth.
The pictures in this email were taken on February 3, 2006.  There was, in fact, a demonstration on this day in London, but it was to protest the political cartoons that were originally published in a Danish newspaper and later reprinted in several other publications.  These "cartoons" were very offensive to Muslims world-wide.  (Click here to read more on this story.)
Emails of this kind are becoming more and more common.  The old axiom that, "You can't believe everything you read," stays especially true for email. 
Now, I have to go check  my Hotmail account... I'm expecting some information from the Prince of Botswana who needs my bank account information so that he can escape the military coup that is after his money.

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