Mar 23, 2004

baked beans and spam

After a long conversation at work today I finally realized I am quite possibly the only person I know that does not have to contend with spam on a daily basis. The group was talking about novel approaches to spam detection and I've read articles on things like Bayesian filters and so forth but this all struck me as a technophile's approach to the problem - I have an issue therefore software must be able, and invariably will be the best way, to remedy the problem. I've typically found that behavioral changes are so much more effective in solving many problems.

Take email. Email at my workplace is the preferred method of communication. Actually that's quite wrong - it's the only method of communication. I've have had someone actually pick the phone up when I call them around 3 times in 2 years. As a result the volume of email is beyond ridiculous. Go away for vacation for 1 week and I would have over 1,000 emails in my inbox. So what does the MS Outlook team do? They create filters to put these emails into different folders so you can prioritize your emails. But this solves nothing as I still have 1,000 emails to read through. Solution? I just don't email anyone anymore unless I have to. I call them instead. Now like I said no one actually answers but it's much harder for them to simply email me back. They'll either ignore the call or email back with an answer. Email per day now? About 30-40. Much better.

For spam it's simply a matter of using an email dress that no one would ever guess and don't use it for anything other than trusted web sites and trusted people/friends. I get zero spam on my trusted email address. And it's not even that hard to guess. It's my full name and middle initial. I keep another bullshit email address for most site registration purposes.

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