Don’t like spam!?

I always thought the uproar over spam was a little silly. As our Dean noted during Kevin’s presentation last week, the cost of hitting delete is fairly low. Until this year, it really didn’t bother me that much.

So far, I’ve lost a couple of important emails in the spam noise. They were both from people I didn’t know well, and both had subject lines that were ambiguous. Moreover, they came in on email accounts I don’t watch too closely. But even with all of those excuses, when messages are being lost it is no longer a matter of how much time spam takes away, but what balance of personal vigilance and loss of messages you are willing to tolerate.

So, I tracked down SpamBayes and installed the as Outhouse 2000 plugin. (Yeah, I know, keep it to yourself, I’ll not hear OS proselytizing emain happily multi-platform.) I’ve been running it for about a week and a half, and it is absolutely wonderful. I am 99% spam free.

Unfortunately, dark clouds gather on the horizon, and spammers begin to test these shields. How long before the plague returns? If only we could get Orrin Hatch interested in destroying spammers’ machines, we might start getting somewhere.

[ Updated to fix sevral herrendous speling errs. English sucks! ]

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One Comment

  1. Posted 7/3/2003 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I’ve never liked the idea “how long does it take to press delete” because it assumes it’s completely automatic in your mind to know what is spam. It takes much more than the press of a button to get rid of spam. You have to download it (in my case trivial with Pine as that part is quick), you have to look at it and determine whether it is spam (even if the subject line makes it obvious, you still have to look) and then you have to press delete. That is a lot if multiplied by 20, 30 or more each day.

    I think the same goes for people arguing that it doesn’t matter if someone’s a bit off-topic on a mailing list because you can just press delete and/or move on and keep scrolling to the next message. Wrong. In that case especially, you have to look at the Subject line, glance at the message and then have to make a mental note that it is not of interest. With all the messages we’re dealing with each day (I don’t just mean online, but messages/information more generally), a dozen or two extras of that type is a nuisance.

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