SpamAssassin: Better than nothing, anyway.

2003-05-30 00:52

So, I get a fairly large amount of spam. I mean, nowhere near the thousands upon thousands some people get… but maybe a few hundred a day. Yesterday, 257 that were identified as such. Some days, maybe twice that. I’ve already gotten one spam since I started writing this piece.

And, of course, this is with a few filters already in place.

The record day this month so far was May 19th, with a total of 388 spams; the lowest was the twenty-fifth, on which I only got 248.

Oh, that’s not including the 50-100 a day that I get in the inbox for comp.lang.c.moderated.

Or the double-bounce messages.

Or a lot of stuff, really.

So, I finally got around to grabbing and installing SpamAssassin on my mail server. This isn’t just for me personally; we get a lot of complaints from users about the amount of spam we have to deal with.

It’s not doing all that much good, but the majority of the spam reaching me is now at least tagged. It’ll be a few days before I trust it enough to throw out the spam without reading it… after all, there can be false positives.

But frankly, there’s false positives when I try to scan my mailbox by hand, and I’m slower at it to boot.

A curious trivia point: I believe that, if every single human who had ever intentionally decided to spam a large group of people simply dropped dead, the world would be a better place.

Are there any otherwise decent folks who just screwed up? Sure, probably. But most of these people… have you ever talked to them? I used to sometimes bother calling the mainsleaze people – big mainstream companies that figured that, since they were a “legitimate business”, their mailings weren’t spam. The people who make these decisions are terrifying. They are simply unable to comprehend that other people’s stuff might not be theirs by right. They do not understand privacy. They do not understand permission.

We would not miss them for long.

Peter Seebach



  1. I quite agree with those sentiments (and the phrasing of the last two paragraphs; well, I can but wish that I could write that well.)

    — Nix · 2004-04-14 16:19 · #