Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Spam email brings the best and the worst in us.
I wish I could find the spammers who send so much crap to my email addresses. And if I did, I would...I would...Unplug them.
It's very likely that a spambot harvesting email address found my email address on this very web site and decided that:
- I need a penis enlargement
- My women are not at all satisfied
- I can get many University degrees for the low price of $100.00
- My mortgage rate is too high
- I'm paying way too much for pharmaceuticals
- I could already be a winner of various lotteries
- King Mutumbu's secretary needs my bank account number to deposit some illegal surplus of money left by some US oil company on some African country
- My Viagra prescription is running low
- I'm way too fat
- etc, etc...
A human couldn't do it - It has to be an evil manbot doing all that profiling. May I have a shrink now?
Which brings me to the best
On the other side of evil spambots, there is a team of dedicated programmers fighting to get rid of so much useless email.
One of the results of their efforts is a program called SpamBayes
. This little tool uses Bayesian statistics to learn which email message is a legitimate message and which one is not, then filter appropriately to separate them from good email and evil email. Surprisingly, it works quite well. I've been using it for some time now and the spam email I need to sift through, has decreased quite considerably. Of course, there are many other products out there; however, the price of SpamBayes is just right - FREE software anyone.
Other dedicated programmers do analysis and use pretty pictures to show what we already know: there is too much spam on the internet.
I found a blog entry from someone on the net, who has plotted his incoming spam email throughout a period of 4 years or so. He calls his entry A visual history of spam (and virus) email