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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tech Problems of the Future: The Spam Filter Drain on our In-Boxes


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Are you satisfied with the medical care that you are getting?

Wait, that sounded like spam. Have I been reading SPAM headings for so long that I am now starting to write like them?

What a horrible prospect.

Not only would my email messages start to sound truly annoying, but half the time they would not get where they were going because they would be intercepted by my friends' spam filters.

Now that I think of it, as time passes and SPAM makers use more and more tricky subject line phrases like, "This is not spam" or "Top Secret Neutrino Detector Data Enclosed" to get us to open their ads, each of these eventually going into the International Catalog of Spam Titles, used by spam detector software everywhere to classify messages as spam, how long will it be till no subject heading is safe.

Already gone are such seemingly ubiquitious titles as:

  • Re: (1)-(google)
  • Mom, about that present I gave you
  • Eight more years to get it right! (Just starting to show in certain key states)
  • You forgot this
  • Hey, you were great last night
  • About your order number 91432854-1004343-2134958-4999382-39284382-93888212-122
  • Did you return my drill?
  • O.K. Which of you jokers put the superglue in my keybord?

How long will it be before messages like these will not pass through spam filters?

  • Are my test results ready yet?
  • Who has been playing with the electron microscope?
  • How do I tell Mom and Dad that I've ditched casino school to become a Lawyer?
  • I have never stopped hating you since the day you crashed my tricycle.
  • I'm sorry Dave, but I am afraid that I cannot give you access to that website until your 18th birthday.
  • You may be pregnant, unwed and unloved, but at least your teeth will be sparkly fresh! (Darn it all, how did that get in there?)
  • I sent you this e-card, so pay up buster!
  • Happy Anniversary, we can't believe you're still married, go figure!
  • Your Uncle Sam has arranged a Happy, Happy Birthday getaway vacation in the middle east!
  • If you believe a thing that Kerry Michaels says about me then you are not my friend anymore.
  • Thank you for the sexy nightie, I hope your wife doesn't mind. (Oops, spam of the future again.)
  • Did I lend you my antidepressants darling, or are you just happy to see me?
  • My parents went to Ireland, and all I got was this lousy email.

Even now we are reduced to using work verification keystrokes to post blog postings, what is next?

What I want is a Spamarang, a little piece of software embedded in my email client. Every time I get spam, it automatically fires back 1000 replies, "Please take me off your list!" sent to the Spam host, deleting any failed message responses.

As Kant would say, if we all had this, then the spammers would have to cool it. Well, Kant spke in really formal German and his actual precept was more along the lines of "Act as though your action were to become a universal law" or thou who sends millions of messages to personal in boxes should get millions of messages in personal in boxes.

One more thing.

Thanks to those who have been clicking on my Google ads every once in awhile. It may only be a penny a click, but I thank you whoever you are. Those who support my advertisers are helping though frankly, this blog saw less than $10 in revenue last year, so any extra clicks or purchases will help a great deal. Thanks!


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