Reverse E-Mail Blockage.....

Tim ignored_mailbox at
Mon Dec 30 13:20:54 UTC 2013

Allegedly, on or about 29 December 2013, Dave Ihnat sent:
> It sounds to me like you don't care for anti-spam solutions, and as
> such have never really investigated the viable options.  I can
> understand your sentiments, but don't agree with your conclusions.
> It's your choice, and I respect that.

To summarise, and not drag this out more than it needs...

I've tried the uncontrollable anti-spam options offered by various mail
hosts (ISPs, Hotmail, et cetera).  They get false positives that I can't
really do anything about, I can't accept that, at all.  They get many
false negatives that make it just pointless to let them sort mail for
me.  For remote filtering, you need to be able to control it (set your
own thresholds, rules and parameters), it needs a user interface.  You
also need to be able to train it with spam/ham, and you can't really do
that with POP services, you need something like IMAP.  Many don't offer

I've tried bayesian filtering.  You spend forever training it, it never
ends, and you still get false positives and negatives.  I tried to speed
up the training, by giving the server access to a year's worth of stored
spam and ham, but it only partially helped.

I've tried spam assassin.  But, again, you need to constantly tweak it.
Granted, it got better at getting rule updates with things like your
regular "yum update," but it still needed manual tweaking to improve it.
And the false positives were untenable.

False negatives are a nuisance, but false positives can lose you work.
If I don't see an email asking me about doing a job, I'm not going to
get that work.

In the end, after about a dozen years, no maybe I've been doing the
public internet since about 1997, I can't really remember, so it's a bit
longer, I've come to these conclusions:

Most of my spam came from my address being harvested from mailing lists
like this one (normal types of mailing lists, nothing weird that you'd
expect trouble from, and not ones full of flaming debates).

Next down the list was my addresses being harvested from PGP key
servers.  Amusingly, or disturbingly, I could start or stop being sent
spam by adding or removing email addresses from the key.  And about two
days later the change would occur.  It took me a while to notice that,
because I hadn't updated the key in ages, then did it two or three times
in a short period, saw the change, did some more deliberate tests and
confirmed it.

I got a small amount of spam from my address being harvested from my
website.  That was easily fixed, and without any captchas or
JavaScripting nonsense, both things that don't work for some browsers.

Lastly, I'd get maybe one spam every couple of months from some business
that I'd done business with via email.

I had my original email address until about a couple of years ago, I got
the hotmail and yahoo ones about one year after my first address.  So
I've had a long time to assess this.

I pretty much ignore hotmail, I only have the address to chat with
friends over MSN, it's spam filtering is awful.  Even when you set it to
only allow mail from your contact list, it'd still get random spam.  

Yahoo's was used for pretty much the same reason (instant messaging
account), then I started using it, instead, for participating in several
computing oriented mailing lists, since they were hosted by Yahoo.  As
Yahoo has improved whatever they've done over the years, and those lists
were subscriber only, I've seen the spam content wax and wane, over a
long time.  But it's about one a day, on average, now.

When I joined this list, several years back, I thought I didn't want to
have another spam managing issue, and I had no desire for private mail
from strangers, so I subscribed with a self-deleting, mailbox.  I don't
have to do anything to manage mail, other than press delete on a few
extra messages each session, that came from a different account.  I
don't have to do anything to manage an anti-spam system.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -rsvp
Linux 3.9.10-100.fc17.x86_64 #1 SMP Sun Jul 14 01:31:27 UTC 2013 x86_64

All mail to my mailbox is automatically deleted, there is no point
trying to privately email me, I will only read messages posted to the
public lists.

George Orwell's '1984' was supposed to be a warning against tyranny, not
a set of instructions for supposedly democratic governments.

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