Tuesday, November 26, 2002

This site wants your spam

The company hopes to amass at least 10 million spam samples within a year, said Paul Judge, the company's director of research and development. The project is already well on its way there, he said, thanks to dozens of anti-spam activists who have donated junk e-mails from their in-boxes -- from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand. Unsolicited bulk e-mail is at an all-time high, according to firms that track it. Spam now accounts for roughly 40 percent of all e-mail, up from less than 10 percent early last year, according to anti-spam service provider Brightmail. A public spam library could be a huge boon to the anti-spam community, not just to commercial software vendors; most spam-fighting tools are developed by independent programmers who give away their wares. "This should help eliminate one of the big bottlenecks for people who want to make anti-spam tools," said Paul Graham, a computer programmer who has developed open-source mail filtering programs. "You can write all the code you want, but it won't do a whole lot of good unless you have a large amount of spam to test your algorithms on."

I'm all for that. It's getting really, really bad - even with a bulk mail filter, about half of what gets through to my regular mailbox is spam - and that's not even including Shea's emails


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