Okay, so why did we get an email from [email protected] that says "You've been chosen to recieve a free Sony Vaio" after signing up for Muni's mailing list? Well, unfortunately, it's because Muni isn't actually running its own list. Why not? Who knows. In fact, when we asked Muni for comment, they weren't aware that they even a mailing list.

But they do. And they've farmed it out to a Canadian Internet-mountebank company calling itself "Bravenet" that gives free online tools to gullible businesses like Muni -- tools that any junior-college programmer could create -- in exchange for customers' sweet precious delicious email addresses. And then, once Muni's supplied your email address to Bravenet, they send out ads, often directing you to sleazy sites that promise to send you a dinky laptop as soon as you sign up for huge amounts of affiliate-commissions. Lame!

So how hard would it be for Muni to avoid this slimy taint by just administering its own mailing list? In fact, it wouldn't be very hard at all. All that it requires are a little cash and competence.

Another jopb well done, Muni!