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The Internet Communications Spam Idle Technology

7 Days In Email Hell 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the emails-of-note dept.
jfruhlinger writes "If you first went on line in the '90s, you probably remember a time when every e-mail you received was exciting, or at least relevant, and was worthy of your personal attention. One brave writer decided to take that approach to his present-day overflowing inbox. He read every email he received and dealt with them all, either by replying, filing, or unsubscribing. He even scanned his spam filter for false positives. It was a lot harder than he thought it would be."
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7 Days In Email Hell

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  • by neonmonk (467567) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @09:43PM (#36678742)

    If this was an email, I'd instinctively delete it.

  • by Tharsman (1364603) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @09:45PM (#36678776)

    As far as I have used email (early 90s) spam has been an issue. I think I get less junk now than I used to get in 1995, thanks to advancements in server side junk mail filters.

    • Junk filtering has all but eliminated my spam. What it hasn't eliminated is the plethora of mailing lists and newsletters and daily deals I've accumulated. Most of them are weekly or monthly. But just the volume of companies I've interacted with over the last couple of years finally reached a breaking point this last week.

      Just yesterday I started the exact same process (sans spam folder). I've started going through and actually unsubscribing from all the shit I receive. Already with the weekly and d

      • by Professr3 (670356)
        They call it "bacn", and it's almost as big a problem for me as spam used to be.
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday July 07, 2011 @01:26AM (#36680012) Journal

        Ya know that is the one kind of "spam" I have to say I really enjoy. Opening my inbox and finding something I wanted ultra cheap, like that 1Tb Samsung I got for $35? that's nice. Or the "77 features of Windows 7" which actually pointed out a few tricks I'd never heard of (type PSR in the start search and you can record what you are doing as a step by step tutorial, real handy when i'm teaching someone how to use a complex program) which showed up last week? That's nice.

        But to me the sweetest thing about email today is how damned nice the spam filters have gotten. i remember when false positives were high and you'd still get a bunch of "4er8al v1agra" bullshit, but now? I can't remember the last time I saw spam in my Yahoo or my Gmail.

        So while I can understand why some my want to unsubscribe I like getting my parts cheap too much or learning cool tricks to give up my newsletters. As long as the webmail guys (thanks webmail guys) keep the spam filters rocking finding a couple of sales flyers and a newsletter or two is just a nice diversion.

    • Just to be clear, you didn't have an AOL account in the 90s, did you?
      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        My fist email was school provided, one of the long institution.something.lol.gov.edu ones.

        When Hotmail launched I got an account there, but i was already facing big spam. I think it started in the form of chain letters with huge TO lists virally spreading your email address to hundreds of unknown people that were very likely to send more chain letters. Mind you, I don't think I ever been victim of extremely high levels of corporate spam of any type (reputable companies nor enlargement pill variety.)

        But clea

    • by Surt (22457)

      I remember the outrage I felt when I received my first spam in ~88 I think. I replied with a torrent of foul language (I was still young then), and hoped that would be the end of that (I was still young then).

      • by scdeimos (632778)
        I remember receiving some of those outraged replies from users who didn't (or just refused to) understand that I hadn't actually sent the spam. Spammers were going through a phase of sending from captured addresses as well as sending to them.
      • by cgenman (325138)

        My first spam was from somewhere between 88 and 92. It was for a church that didn't think anyone would mind getting a flier in their computer-mail box. Instead, they got flamed. And since they put everyone on the same CC lists, unfortunately lots of people kept flaming everyone. And then lots of people kept shouting to everyone else to stop shouting at everyone. It went south quickly.

        At least the church was very polite and apologetic about it. That would be a nice change of pace from today.

    • by jandrese (485)
      I had an email account through my school from '95 on that was basically spam free till the end of the entire decade. I even used it to post to the Usenet. I'm not sure why spammers never seemed to latch on to it for those five years. It was only when I registered a domain with it that spam started pouring in. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, the whole registrar business seems chock full of assholes who won't stoop to any level if it will make them a fraction of a cent.
    • Actually I KNOW it is much better and I'll explain why...webmail. remember when we all ran our own email programs and had to download all the shit on a sucktastic dialup modem? Sure the spam wasn't as bloaty then but the line was a HELL of a lot slower.

      So yes these kids these days don't know how good they got it. They got webmail, they have never been hit by the evil that was Comet Cursors (having your cursor turn into a pocketwatch and slam the CPU so hard your OCed Celeron 300A ran like a 286 trying to load Win98? Fun) or being blinded at 3AM because you tripped over a link and it was a Geocities page in "OMG Ponies!" with bright ass lime green text on a puke pink background with glitter shit falling like rain, or going into work and finding half the boxes have been Bonzi Buddy'ed and your coworkers are screaming at you "OMFG KILL THAT DAMNED MONKEY!"

      Yeah kids today they got it so easy, with their multicore this, 3D that. Now get off my lawn!

      • by PCM2 (4486)

        Actually I KNOW it is much better and I'll explain why...webmail.

        But more importantly, it's the spam filters those webmail providers are running.

        I still get my mail through my own server -- that is to say, it arrives via my shared-hosting provider's server. My provider runs SpamAssassin on the server, which to my knowledge is free. I get virtually no spam. For a while I was having it all go to a "spam" inbox, because I was paranoid about false positives. Now I just let it all go to the bit dumpster. I still get a little bit of spam here and there, but it seems like the B

    • I don't remember *ever* getting spam on my Bitnet account, which was active from 92-93.

      In fact, I don't think I ever received regular spam until '97 or so, and that was because my email address was published on the web then.

    • by mcvos (645701)

      I don't remember much spam from before 1994. I do remember the start of usenet spam (a lawyer who sued his ISP because he got banned for spamming) somewhere around that time, and it didn't all that long after that for spam to migrate to email.

      • by Cederic (9623)

        Cantor and Siegel.

        I still owe both of them a punch in the face. Some people are worth a criminal record.

    • Internet email. Commercial activity was not allowed (and by and large didn't happen, Grateful Dead tape barter notwithstanding) on the net before the early 90s. That whole misquote about Al Gore inventing the internet? He was taking credit (and has some right to) for the commercialization of the net. Prior to that, it was funded with various research grants and other funding sources that disallowed commercial activity.

      You're might be thinking about a private email service like BIX, Compuserve, AOL, Prod

  • Funny, this sounds just like my email experience. What are you all doing wrong?
    • Re:I must be lucky (Score:5, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @09:55PM (#36678854) Journal
      I can't comment on other people, but the guy in the article is someone who has subscribed to over 50 newsletters that he doesn't want to read. In the article he complains about his poor personal management skills, insults people who don't agree with him politically, insults people who do agree with him politically, and complains.

      What he doesn't do is explain why a common email management scheme is hell.
      • Agreed. This guy is bitching because he created the situation himself. It's like someone who never opens his snailmail or even moves it for years as it piles up so he can't get out of his door -- oh, and not recognizing his inability to deal with this mail, he signs up for dozens and dozens of magazine and newspaper subscriptions. And then he complains when he needs a bulldozer to get out of his house.

        I'm pretty poor at managing email efficiently, and I've never ended up in a situation anything like th

      • by Tom (822)

        What he doesn't do is explain why a common email management scheme is hell.

        Due to the same rule that is at work with friends vs. enemies. Regular mail tappers off once things are done with, spam accumulates.

        I've had my current e-mail address since 1998. If I were to stop using it today, and switch to a new one, it would take a few days for my friends to change, a few weeks for the people I have less contact with, and maybe a few months for all the low-volume stuff like password reminders from sites I'm signed up with etc.
        But spam would never stop, because spammers never delete add

        • by w_dragon (1802458)
          Actually the spam to my gmail has dropped by about 2 orders of magnitude in the past couple years. I used to get about 10k per month, now I'm down to a couple hundred per month. I don't know if Google is just dropping the really obvious spam before it gets to the account, or if there's actually less spam, but I certainly see less. Combine that with the fact that the gmail filter has been running at 100% correct for close to a year now and I would say we have beaten spam. It is no longer an issue.
    • by jimicus (737525)

      Let me guess:

      - You have a number of subfolders you organise email into.
      - Even without filtering, you've got a certain degree of automated filing going on. Emails that you know you need to keep based purely on sender/subject line but don't particularly need to read right now automagically go into the right folder.

      While you're not filtering your email in the "automatically delete" sense of the word, you are filtering it in the "automatically file so I don't have to think about it" sense of the word, which the

  • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @09:49PM (#36678800)
    This is why I have 3 accounts.

    1).One that goes for the really important stuff. IE Financial related stuff and my family. No one else gets it.

    2.) The one that I give to friends and sign up for things online that I really want, are legitimate online retailers I use a lot. Might be spammed, but probably not.

    3.) Everything else, IE Anything sketchy, porn, places I may or may not visit again, etc.

    Pretty much anything I'm not expecting from the 3rd one goes straight to the round file, and after a day of my filter learning to deal with the latest influx of crap from whatever trash I've signed up for recently I don't even have to mess with it anymore. The 2nd one rarely gets gets a handful of spam each week, and the first one gets 1 or 2 spam mails a month.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For anything sketchy I just use http://spambox.us/. You can create a temporary email address that is forwarded to you're regular account and set it for deletion after a period of time (1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, etc.)

    • by tibit (1762298)

      #1 is fine and dandy until someone in your family gets infected by malware, then it'll show up on dozens of email lists within days. Or until data gets siphoned out from your financial institution. BTDT on both counts, worse -- multiple times in both scenarios.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by slimjim8094 (941042)

        This. A thousand times this. I have a real address that goes to personal acquaintances and is not visible publicly. Any address at my domain is valid; I have apple@, radioshack@, facebook@, slashdot1@ and so on. Anything goes, I can use it in person at stores that want email addresses and so on. Checking the 'to' header, or the 'x-original-to' header (on sketchy emails that aren't correctly addressed) makes it easy to see who gave out my email, or which forum's been hacked. Most recently, it was the US Spee

    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      I'm using sneakemail - essentially I create a different account for every website or service. If spam is coming in via one of the accounts I know who passed the info to spammers and I can just delete the account.
      • by PCM2 (4486)

        I recently learned that Gmail makes this really easy. Basically, you can attach anything you want to your Gmail address by adding a "+" sign. So if your Gmail address was "Asic.Eng@Gmail.com," you could sign up for Web sites as "Asic.Eng+SketchyRetailer@Gmail.com" or "Asic.Eng+pr0n@Gmail.com" and they will all be delivered to your regular inbox. You can, however, setup filters based on the "To:" header, so if any one of those addresses starts sending you spam, you can just flag it for the trash bin and for

        • by Nevynxxx (932175)

          You are assuming the spammers wont use the same trick in reverse. I.e drop anything between + and @ and send...

          That bypasses the whole point.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Lots of sites will detect that and strip it because it's so easy.

          On the other hand, I get 3000+ spam emails a month with very few false positives. Gmail is actually pretty fantastic. As you can see, my real email address is plastered all over. I started this as an experiment but as it turns out, even with broad distribution of my gmail address, gmail is still more usable than anything else I've tried.

    • by bytta (904762)
      I have gmail accounts for 1) and 2), and Gmail manager addon for Firefox to check on them. Both are about 10% full after years of use.
      3) usually goes to no2+tag@gmail.com or mailinator/spambox. Works pretty well, and I know that any mail coming to 2) is not very important so notifications for that are low priority.
  • Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geek (5680) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @09:49PM (#36678802) Homepage

    People that get that much email get it solely to make themselves feel important. They walk around telling all their friends about the 400 emails they got today. They are the same people that have 30,000 friends on Facebook and think they really do have 30,000 friends.

    I've been getting email for over 17 years and I've never gotten that much in a day short of when I was active on various mailing lists. Even then, i didn't get that much.

    Stop giving your email address out to every bozo website that wants it and spam will virtually disappear. Stop subscribing for every stupid news feed and commercial website and your mailbox won't fill up. I've had the same address for 3 years at this point and I get 15-30 emails a day, most of which are important and valid. The ones that aren't are from my mom.

    • Stop giving your email address out to every bozo website that wants it and spam will virtually disappear. Stop subscribing for every stupid news feed and commercial website and your mailbox won't fill up. I've had the same address for 3 years at this point and I get 15-30 emails a day, most of which are important and valid. The ones that aren't are from my mom.

      +1

    • by xous (1009057)
      Hi, You've obviously never worked for a company that horribly mismanages distribution groups. They've got 1500 servers sending several reports a day. 99% false positives. The mailing list has been signed up for all kinds of spam and we MUST read it for fear someone emails something important to the stupid list. I automatically delete the automated reports. Fucking waste of time and have to muddle through the rest. :(
      • by Nimey (114278)

        Dear god. I work in higher ed and get a few spams a day from our bulk-emailer. Stuff about Spanish club, or gospel sings, or weight watchers. Stuff I don't give a shit about, and all I can do is click "junk" until Thunderbird gets it or set up a filter.

        There's even a common joke about how nobody reads stuff on that list, but besides limiting who can send the stuff, the only (dumb) idea was to stick messages in our web portal instead, because obviously everyone checks the portal for important messages ins

    • by antdude (79039)

      Since I have verbal communications (born like that due to my impediments/impairments), I love using the Internet (and BBS' before it) to use electronic methods. I send and receive A LOT. People think I am crazy and have no life! For an example with sent e-mails (including resent/reposted/duplicate and excluding (blind) carbon copies ((B)CCs) and bounces) for March 2011, it is about 5,750 personal/private e-mails + public usenet/newsgroups posts (excluding forum posts since I can't easily track them). Some p

    • by tibit (1762298)

      What is it with people who don't know or don't care how to set up their email clients/readers so that stuff gets automatically filtered? I've seen plenty of subscribers complain of excessive traffic on mailing list "X", and I always think: WTF? This stuff should go to its own folder automatically, and get organized by threads, too. I mean this functionality has been available for more than a decade... I use email as my own private archive of many mailing lists, it's very convenient. It is all locally indexe

    • It's easy to slip up. I signed a petition, just once, but that was enough. Got me on a bunch of email lists.

      This was also just after a browser upgrade. The new version didn't display the website correctly, so I didn't see any notices saying that I wasn't just signing a petition, I was also opting in to email.

      And I really dislike the mailing list. Please set up a forum instead. To use a mailing list, I have to set up another filter, or start another email account as well as registering with the list

      • by timftbf (48204)

        And I really dislike the mailing list. Please set up a forum instead. To use a mailing list, I have to set up another filter, or start another email account as well as registering with the list.

        Nay, nay and thrice nay!

        A web forum I have to read with *your* choice of UI and functionality.

        A mailing list I can read with *my* choice of UI and functionality.

        No contest.

    • Well, shit. You don't get 400 emails a day, and you think anyone who does, is a jerk who hands out their email...

      I get 400 emails a day. Why? Because I manage 5 corporate projects at a time. Because I'm a part of another five international teams. And so on-- I'm not even thinking of the mailing lists, many of which attach to projects and groups to whom I have specific responsibilities. 50 personal emails in a day, is not unheard of.

      So fine-- it doesn't apply to you. Don't be an utter asshole a

      • by geek (5680)

        Sounds like you're a shitty manager if you're getting that much junk and can't keep it organized. If you can't even manage a mailbox I feel sorry for the poor bastards who work under you.

    • by Tom (822)

      Actually, as you may have noticed in the article, the guy uses e-mail for work.

      Work is the 2nd major source for e-mail aside from spam. And frankly, in lots of places much of the work-email isn't all that different from spam. For some reason, whenever "cover your ass" has become the working principle of a company, people start to grow the recipient list on every round of an e-mail exchange, including more and more people in it.

      Then there's all the chat messages that people push through mail when no IM is av

    • Stop giving your email address out to every bozo website that wants it and spam will virtually disappear.

      No it won't. I give unique addresses to every website and still get lost of spam to my personal address. Compromised Windows machines of friends, I assume.

  • Your own domain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by coldmist (154493) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @09:56PM (#36678870) Homepage

    This is why everyone should have their own domain.

    I have catch-all email for my domain, so if an email is sent to it that isn't recognized, it goes into my catchall account.

    The nice part of this, is I can create 'newegg@domain.com', and I know exactly who sent it, and/or who shared out my contact information.

    You can do throw-away emails for single event cases, or just use a generic 'junk@domain.com' for sites you don't care about.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I use the + system in gmail (email+company@gmail.com) to filter mine. Found out that Musician's Friend either sold my address or someone stole a bunch from them. I called them on it and they denied it, claiming that everyone gets spam and that it was bound to happen sooner or later. I showed them my email address and the email address that I gave them. I never received another response, and no longer deal with them thanks to that.

      • by jfengel (409917)

        I keep assuming the spammers will start filtering out the + parts, since it's unnecessary. Maybe they figure you're prioritizing stuff with the + parts and leaving it in. Or (more likely) just sending it to both.

        I have my own domain and similarly managed to prove to HP that they'd either sold my data or had it stolen. I think the customer rep I spoke to was convinced. Nobody up the chain seemed to care.

        • by Krishnoid (984597) *

          I keep assuming the spammers will start filtering out the + parts, since it's unnecessary. Maybe they figure you're prioritizing stuff with the + parts and leaving it in. Or (more likely) just sending it to both.

          One option then is to never give out the unqualified base address, and assume everything going to it is likely spam.

          I have my own domain and similarly managed to prove to HP that they'd either sold my data or had it stolen. I think the customer rep I spoke to was convinced. Nobody up the chain seemed to care.

          You could consider explaining it to your local media with what is basically damning evidence. I'm thinking a couple phone calls from reporters would produce a response or action.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you use gmail, you can do something similar with a dash. For example, johndoe-newegg@gmail.com is the same account as johndoe@gmail.com. Doing things like johndoe-trash@gmail.com, and creating a filter on that destination address yields fantastic results. You can also add any number of periods to your email address, i.e. john.doe@gmail.com is the same as john.d.oe@gmail.com and johndoe@gmail.com.

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        The dot trick doesn't work for Apps accounts, although the plus trick does. For Apps, first.last@domain.com is different from fir.stlast@domain.com.

    • by deblau (68023)

      spamgourmet.com

      I've been using them for years. All the same benefits, and you don't need your own domain.

      • by Aladrin (926209)

        I used them until a few years ago when their system apparently couldn't handle the load. Email would take hours to come in sometimes.

        At that point, I realized that GMail was really, really good at filtering SPAM and I decided to let it.

        I haven't regretted the decision even once. I even took my really old email account and forwarded everything to my new email account. At one point, that account was getting 30k+ spam emails a month! Google didn't break a sweat.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Is there a free domain and e-mail service like Gmail and others? I don't want to have to pay and host my own servers.

      • by tibit (1762298)

        Google lets you use gmail on your own domain. It used to be free and still is for grandfathered domains, I don't know how it works for new domains.

    • Re:Your own domain (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stephanruby (542433) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @11:00PM (#36679290)

      Spamgourmet [spamgourmet.com] allows you to do this on-the-fly, no personalized domain necessary.

      Let's say your free email address at spamgourmet is joe@spamgourmet.com

      Wen registering at Newegg, you'd just write newegg.joe@spamgourmet.com and spamgourmet would automatically forward your email to your real email address. The system even allows you to reply to the forwarded message from your real email address, and spamgourmet will act as the intermediary removing your original email address from the message. Spamgourmet even has more capabilities than that, for instance you could just write newegg.12.joe@spamgourmet.com instead that would mean you're only expecting 12 emails from Newegg, not a single more and spamgourmet would just keep a reverse counter (and of course, the system allows you to change your mind, for instance you could just decide to whitelist any of the emails coming from Newegg even if you had it set to only receive 12 emails from them).

      And of course, some web sites have been banning spamgourmet email address from their registration form, but that doesn't really matter, spamgourmet has many alternative domains you can use, and you can even donate your own domain to the cause if you wanted.

      And by the way, the system is free and open source, so you could even set this system up on your own servers if you wanted (not that you'd really need to).

      • by Inda (580031)
        Good advice. I've used them for years. Gmail even tells me they're redirected. It's a proper, mature service.

        It also lets me count how many times slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com has been used. And it's a lot lower than expected - I can't check from this work PC but it's only about one a week.

        And the spammers haven't caught on, ever. They could send me mail at jdsfjhdfjajlsdfajldfs.inda@spamgourmet.com but they don't. And even if they did catch on, Spamgourmet lets me use a secret keyword e.g. each address wou
    • by theNAM666 (179776)

      I have done this for at least 15 years.

      Guess what?

      I can count on one hand the number of "newegg@mydomain.com" spam messages I've found. True... I don't use scum sites, but as far as I can see, the risk of spam from giving my email address out to sites, is essentially ZERO.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He's on too many mailing lists and has never filtered down the information he gets to something manageable.

    I don't delete stuff from my inbox. If I've read it, that's fine, but it's perfectly acceptable for me to just search when I need something particular. In ancient times I used to make folders that were months (or years) when I got stuff, but that was an artificial structure, and not particularly useful.

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @10:47PM (#36679220) Homepage

    I don't understand people who obsessively have to delete stuff in their Inbox.

    OK, so you want a clean Inbox. Fine. Delete junk/spam.

    For the rest, stuff like:
    -sales leads
    -your boss saying "Do X"
    -your colleagues telling you why they can do Y, upon which X depends
    -vendors with pricing/other info
    -customer complaints which you reply to

    why would you want to delete it? It doesn't take up space in a filing cabinet. You'll be hard pressed to come up with more than a few hundred MB of email in a year, the size of an average PowerPoint, I guess.

    And if you ever need to explain why X isn't done already, you could just forward an email, if you hadn't wiped it.

    So move it to different folders ("Sales Leads", "Projects", whatever). And archive it.

    • by DaAdder (124139)
      Because whatever's left in my inbox is a task i've yet to do. Ask tasks are done, mails are moved to an archive folder entirely unsorted which can be easily searched, often tagged in one way or the other. But my inbox remains clean and empty when my work is done.
  • by FrootLoops (1817694) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @01:07AM (#36679932)

    I briefly consider sticking them in a folder called "email I already read and don't know what to do with but better not delete in case one day I really need it." But then isn't "inbox" just a more elegant way of saying the same thing?

    Since he's using Gmail, the big Archive button does the same thing, but better.

  • This is for all the people who never figured out how to manage their e-mail.

    - Disable the automatic deletion of e-mail from the Deleted Items folder and do not use manual deletion.
    - Delete any read items from the Inbox that you read and do not need to act on.
    - Leave any items in the Inbox that you need to act on (e.g. reply, perform a task, etc.)
    - Once you acted on that e-mail delete it from your Inbox.
    - Setup Auto Archiving on your Deleted Items folder to move the items from there to a separate Archive fol

    • by w_dragon (1802458)
      So now 'deleted' = 'read'? What kind of an idiot idea is that? Set up folders and filters that make sense for what you're doing, use schemes that work for you. Just like if you had an actual filing system. And if you're high enough up, make sure to fire any admin who suggests that exchange should cap each user at some arbitrary account size. Space is cheap. Managing space isn't much more expensive.
  • For Evolution I wrote a wrapper round bogofilter. The Evolution attitude to external scripts is dumb by the way.

    For Thunderbird, I have the TaQuilla add on, which is a bit better integrated. It tags mail as it comes in. Again, using Bayesian statistics.

    Both work and once the tagging effectiveness is in the high 90% accuracy, I add filtering so that I don't have to read most of my mail. The computer does it for me.

  • I use Gmail and gladly or sadly, depending on how you look at it, priority inbox and the built-in spam filter do an amazingly good job at keeping my inbox tidy. Sadly that encourages laziness, meaning I didn't really read my "normal" email for a while and just skimmed through the subject lines and let them rot in the inbox until a 4-digit number has piled up. Noticing that this isn't a very productive approach I took the time (several hours) to actually go through my inbox and file those emails into the res

    • by rjstanford (69735)

      I used to do that, and then stopped - I just don't pretend that "Inbox" means "You must read this." Same process, but without the ARCHIVE button, and it still works just fine. Sure, the #unread reading is meaningless, but it turns out that I'm okay with that in exchange for not having to worry about whether or not my undeleted email has an INBOX tag on it.

      Email's a tool. Having an empty INBOX (and a searchable ARCHIVE) doesn't make you better or worse than someone with a searchable INBOX instead...

      • by fadir (522518)

        True, but it makes me feel uncomfortable :P
        I like to have a 0 at my inbox count.

  • The only time I look at mine any more (the only reason I *have* one, in fact) is when signing up on brain-dead sites that think it's a valid authentication mechanism. Everything else gets deleted without reading.

  • Now he sees that filtering isn't actually as great as some make it out to be. Spam is still being sent to him, still being processed, still being stored - and he has to pay for all of that. Meanwhile he'll eventually find email trapped in his filter that he wanted, and email that he doesn't want that makes it through.

    This is the result of using reactionary methods in response to the spamming epidemic; the spammers will always find ways to get around the filter, or to obfuscate enough to make the filters
    • by xnpu (963139)

      Get a better filter. I use the same e-mail since 1998, it receives tons of spam daily, but I very rarely (like less than once a month) see any of it in my inbox. No false positives either. Seriously, this discussion is a waste of time. Get a better e-mail host, kick your sysadmin in the butt or stop trying to fiddle around yourself.

      • Get a better filter. I use the same e-mail since 1998, it receives tons of spam daily, but I very rarely (like less than once a month) see any of it in my inbox. No false positives either. Seriously, this discussion is a waste of time. Get a better e-mail host, kick your sysadmin in the butt or stop trying to fiddle around yourself.

        You missed the point entirely.

        Spam will still be sent when people are filtering. Filters will still need to be adjusted, and they will still take up CPU time, storage, and people time. They will never bring about an end to spam, or even get marginally close to it.

        My point is that filters are useless in the long-term fight against spam. If anything they encourage spam to increase in volume as spammers work on ways to get around filters; either by obfuscating their messages enough to evade filters or

    • by isorox (205688)

      Spamming is an economic problem, and until we employ economic solutions, spamming will never truly be defeated.

      Yet here in the real world, spam has been defeated [bbc.co.uk]. Spam doesn't include the crap mailing list you signed up to a few years ago and can't be bothered to unsubscribe.

      • Spamming is an economic problem, and until we employ economic solutions, spamming will never truly be defeated.

        Yet here in the real world, spam has been defeated.

        Intelligent people realize that the decline in spam is not in response to filtering. Many other factors were at play at the same time that have at least as much - if not more - effect on spam volume; not the least of which is the fact that spam volume is highly variable over time anyways.

        Hell if you were intelligent enough to read the article you linked to, you would have seen:

        In late September 2010, a collective known as Spamit announced it was closing because of "numerous negative events" and increased attention.

        And that it closed with:

        "For years there have been predictions that e-mail spam is set to decline," said Mr Leonard. "But for as long the spammers can generate profit from their activities, it's not going away."

        Mr Wood said new spammers usually pop up to replace inactive ones.

        "We've yet to see any evidence that spam has become a bad business to be in," he added.

        The people who wrote the article you linked to are smart enough to realize that spam is an economic

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