On Spam

Volume 8, Issue 132; 12 Oct 2005; last modified 08 Oct 2010

In email, and now in blogs.

Illigitimi non carborundum.

One of my “ego surf” feeds tripped over a reference to “Binary Display” this morning. That's a bit of RPN code that I wrote for my HP48 calculator back in…1998! That's pretty amusingI still use that code on my HP48, though before today I'd have had no idea where to get it from if I ever lost it!. It'd be more amusing if the reference wasn't on a page that's an example of that rising scourge of the web: blog spam.

I haven't a clue what to do about blog spam, but blog spam reminded me that my previous essay about fighting email spam has been quite popular and it was probably time for an update. After almost a year, I'm quite happy with DSPAM. At some point, a wave of virus email inspired me to install ClamAV too.

My new setup is:

  1. Download mail to my laptop from various personal and corporate servers.

  2. Run the incoming mail through ClamAV, throwing all the viruses into the bit bucket.

  3. Run the mail that remains through DSPAM, capturing spam in a spool that I discard every few days. Sometimes I try to see if there are any false positives, but most times my attempts are cursory at best. If you send me mail about making easy money, augmenting my anatomy, warez, prescriptions, or containing salacious invitations, I probably won't see it.

  4. I collect false negatives, on the order of ten or twenty a day, in a folder. Every now and then I run all those messages through DSPAM marking them as spam.

It seems to be working.