March 2004

Spam count so far this year

by Michael Alderete on 3/29/2004 · 1 comment

With Q1-2004 coming to a close, I thought I’d take a look at my spam situation, which has been escalating out of control. Since 12:01am January 1, 2004 I have received 22,255 spam messages via e-mail. That’s more than 250 a day, every day, for the last 89 days. Earlier in the year, the daily average was lower, which means that in the last couple weeks it’s gone well above 250 per day.

In spite of these numbers, I have two things that give me hope.

First, SpamSieve is an amazing anti-spam filter that integrates well with Eudora. It’s far more reliable than the built-in SpamWatch feature that debuted in Eudora 6, primarily in the area of false positives (real messages mistakenly filtered out):

Filtered Mail

13565 Good Messages
22255 Spam Messages (62%)

SpamSieve Accuracy

21 False Positives
197 False Negatives (90%)
99.4% Correct

SpamSieve is award-winning software for Mac OS X, and it integrates beautifully with both Eudora and Mailsmith, the two best e-mail clients for the platform. I am getting to the point where I trust SpamSieve enough to just purge filtered e-mail without reviewing it.

Without SpamSieve, I would be going insane because of spam.

The second thing I have on my side is that more than half of my spam comes to one e-mail address, the oldest e-mail address I still use. If I were able to kill it, it would instantly cut off more than half of the spam. But, it’s the first permanent e-mail address I ever got, using the excellent mail forwarding service. I’ve had it for almost 15 years. Because it’s so old, I’m extremely reluctant to part with it — what if that’s the only address a long lost friend has?

Well, it looks like I can have my cake and eat it too. just introduced new spam filtering controls and services, which are far more effective than the old filters that were enabled on my account. Last night I turned them on, and already the amount of spam coming into my e-mail address has dropped to almost zero.

I wouldn’t exactly call this the turn of the tide, but it’s certainly encouraging. Because it’s my only hope to avoid having to look at 100,000 spam messages in 2004, which is where the growth curve points, if there isn’t change.

I’ll let you know how it’s looking when Q2 is over.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Working again, kinda

by Michael Alderete on 3/26/2004

My unemployment benefits ran out in mid-February. Not entirely coincidentally, I’ve found some medium-term work (sub-contracting for a small consulting company), that I hope to be able to continue doing for the foreseeable future.

It’s not full-time or permanent, so I make less and will have to pay self-employment taxes, etc. But for now, it gives me a lot of flexibility. And while I pays less than I was making in my last job, it pays way more than unemployment benefits.

Anyway, it’s going to have something that gets me up and out of the house most days, and pays some bills.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Quotation of the year candidate

by Michael Alderete on 3/13/2004

While discussing whether we should go to an upcoming high school reunion:

I think I’ll pick out the most boring jackass there, latch on, and just Rochelle all over him.

Isn’t that what you did when you married me…?

{ Comments on this entry are closed }