The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas


August 31st, 2002 . by Alexander Fisher

There is a real user led initiative to find a way to limit or even eliminate spam called SpamNet from Cloudmark. I don’t have to tell you how much time we all waste dealing with spam or when you lose important e-mails in the sheer volume of spam messages in your inbox.

The same techniques used in the music sharing service, Napster, are behind the service that SpamNet provides. Napster co-founder Jordan Ritter is also one of the leaders on this project. Tell your friends and have them tell theirs. Don’t wait for the government to do something about spam. Please get involved by downloading the software, which is a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. The best part is that it is free. You can download the free Outlook plug-in (An Outlook Express plug-in should be ready soon, or so they say) at the address below.

My thoughts on Spam:

Spam senders are the worst. It truly might be the thing that gets me to become a politician, so that I can finally abridge someone’s "First Amendment Rights". Sending volumes of e-mail should be legislated the same way that legislation exists to discourage fax machine spamming and junk mail.

If spam senders would just stick with one e-mail address and not try any tricks like randomly generated names, I could filter them easily and there would be no trouble. Every e-mail address that you filter becomes obsolete immediately because of these random addresses. I blame Yahoo and Hotmail as much for allowing nonsense names in the first place. I am currently using SpamNet to reduce the volume of spam I get. Until spammer’s figure out how to get around that, it seems to work pretty well. I was using SpamKiller from McAfee until I found SpamNet. SpamKiller is a good program except that it makes me work too hard. I like the Outlook plug-in approach much better. It is less of a burden. I believe any successful spam filter has to be simple to be popular. I believe that the key to the popularity of any software is simplicity.

I feel that Microsoft is just as guilty as the other spammer’s. When they would send me a newsletter, it would have something slightly changed in each message that would automatically go into my in-box no matter how many times I set a rule to move it elsewhere. I wasn’t even throwing it away.  It’s their e-mail program, and they exploit the weaknesses of the filters. Obviously they are not out to help stop the others from using e-mail tricks either.

The spam industry lobbies congress to keep them from passing any meaningful legislation to stop e-mail spam. I assume, as bribery is among the tricks of the lobbying industry, that that happens as well. I have tried to get rid of porno e-mails by opting out using the links provided in their messages. Since I did that about ten times, my porno spam e-mail has doubled. There is no doubt that the opt-out option is a spam scam. If you attempt to opt-out of any of this, you’re making a big mistake. That confirms your existence and if they sent your e-mail to no specific address, when you reply, that’s when they get your address. Most opt-out addresses are phony anyway. They just bounce back most of the time saying no such address found.

I used to like porno before this.

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