Re: clearnet's spam filters

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Evil Bastard, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Evil Bastard

    Evil Bastard Guest

    On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 19:05:02 +0000, Uncle StoatWarbler wrote:

    >> *Any* false positive rate greater than zero is 100% unacceptable.


    > |First define false postive.


    OK - I define a 'false positive' as a message which the recipient wants
    (in advance, or retrospectively) to receive and read, but which a spam
    filter mistakenly classifies as spam and dumps in the junk pile.

    For example, an unsolicited message from a new client enquiring about a
    product or service you offer, and wanting to make a purchase.

    > If you're using SPEWS, for instance you're saying "I don't want mail from
    > spammers, associated networks and the ISPs which support them"


    It's also saying "I don't want email from anyone who could even remotely
    possibly be associated with spammers", which culls a lot of legitimate
    correspondents.

    > Anything being bounced is NOT a false psitive, even if it's aunt Maisie
    > sending you yet another bloody electronic greeting card


    Lose several thousand dollars worth of work because some fuckwit's
    overzealous spam filter has classified you as spam without sending you a
    bounce, and your opinion may change.

    This happened to me - the work was mine, but when the the client didn't
    receive my bid, she assumed I wasn't interested and went to the next
    person in her list.

    > ISPs should let users choose their own filter levels. The results would
    > surprise. Large (200k+ users) in europe which do this invariably find the
    > users mostly opt for one or two steps off the most draconian filtering
    > available and false positives be damned.


    This disturbs me somewhat.

    A few years ago, email was a dodgy communication medium because messages
    could take hours/days to get through, and there were no guarantees of
    delivery.

    In time, email servers improved to the point of 100% delivery when recipient
    addresses were valid.

    I'm not sure I like the idea of not being able to trust email as a medium.
    The thought of ending up in someone's spam dumpster, just because a few
    word combinations have triggered some anal fucking filter, is not good.
     
    Evil Bastard, Sep 10, 2003
    #1
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  2. Evil Bastard

    Andy Lawson Guest

    "Evil Bastard" <postmaster@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:pan.2003.09.10.04.22.03.131211@127.0.0.1...
    > On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 19:05:02 +0000, Uncle StoatWarbler wrote:
    >
    > >> *Any* false positive rate greater than zero is 100% unacceptable.

    >
    > > |First define false postive.

    >
    > OK - I define a 'false positive' as a message which the recipient wants
    > (in advance, or retrospectively) to receive and read, but which a spam
    > filter mistakenly classifies as spam and dumps in the junk pile.
    >
    > For example, an unsolicited message from a new client enquiring about a
    > product or service you offer, and wanting to make a purchase.


    The message could also just as easily be missed through JHD fatigue. If you
    don't recognize the sender, the subject line is in a language you don't
    understand, or there is no subject line at all, these could all trigger a
    delete. But then again you have the bulk/spam folder to check for false
    positives, your fault if you miss it then.

    > > If you're using SPEWS, for instance you're saying "I don't want mail

    from
    > > spammers, associated networks and the ISPs which support them"

    >
    > It's also saying "I don't want email from anyone who could even remotely
    > possibly be associated with spammers", which culls a lot of legitimate
    > correspondents.


    True if you're selling your wares/services internationally, but at least
    they get a bounce if the MTA is setup to do so.

    > > Anything being bounced is NOT a false psitive, even if it's aunt Maisie
    > > sending you yet another bloody electronic greeting card

    >
    > Lose several thousand dollars worth of work because some fuckwit's
    > overzealous spam filter has classified you as spam without sending you a
    > bounce, and your opinion may change.


    What a nice turn of phrase you have there.

    Do you know for a fact it was "some fuckwits overzealous spamfilter"?

    Email getting through to the intended recipient "can't" be guarranteed 100%;
    spelling mistakes, server glitches, blocklists (both local and global),
    filtering at the client side and the ever present JHD fatigue can all
    prevent a message from getting through. Send HTML email or attachments and
    you increase the chances of someone rejecting your email as suspect.

    Did the email actually end up in the spam folder or not?, if it did, the
    client got the message but didn't check the spam folder for false positives,
    hardly the filters fault then.

    So don't rely on email if its mission (or money) critical. If its that
    critical that it gets through, pick up the phone and call to see if they
    received it, after all its your livelihood....

    > This happened to me - the work was mine, but when the the client didn't
    > receive my bid, she assumed I wasn't interested and went to the next
    > person in her list.


    If it was certain that you would get the job, then why didn't the client
    enquire as to your lack of bid?.
    Pick up the phone, send you an email, whatever...

    > > ISPs should let users choose their own filter levels. The results would
    > > surprise. Large (200k+ users) in europe which do this invariably find

    the
    > > users mostly opt for one or two steps off the most draconian filtering
    > > available and false positives be damned.

    >
    > This disturbs me somewhat.


    Given the case under discussion, TelstrClear/Paradise, the spam filter
    doesn't NOT deliver your mail, it just puts it in the spam folder for their
    client to check. I've found they're letting too much obvious spam through
    and would like it made more draconian. Again, if the client doesn't check
    it, its hardly the filters fault.

    > A few years ago, email was a dodgy communication medium because messages
    > could take hours/days to get through, and there were no guarantees of
    > delivery.
    >
    > In time, email servers improved to the point of 100% delivery when

    recipient
    > addresses were valid.


    Still not 100%. I've recently seen emails take a week to get to the
    recipient (email sent afterwards got through first) and then multiple copies
    were received, so the delays are not a thing of the past.

    > I'm not sure I like the idea of not being able to trust email as a medium.


    Oh the inhumanity <g>, well you know who to blame for your problem, the
    spammers who think they can treat everyones inbox as their own private
    toilet bowl. The rose tinted glasses were stolen long ago by the spammers so
    deal with it, because it may never be the same again.

    > The thought of ending up in someone's spam dumpster, just because a few
    > word combinations have triggered some anal fucking filter, is not good.


    Take a chill pill dude and courier the bid next time. Or better yet send it
    via email and send a hardcopy via the courier. After all, an email is not
    exactly a binding legal document is it?
     
    Andy Lawson, Sep 10, 2003
    #2
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  3. On Wed, 10 Sep 2003 16:22:03 +1200, Evil Bastard wrote:

    > Lose several thousand dollars worth of work because some fuckwit's
    > overzealous spam filter has classified you as spam without sending you a
    > bounce, and your opinion may change.


    Take that up with whoever is setting your reject policy.

    It has nothing to do with the DNSBLs.

    >> ISPs should let users choose their own filter levels. The results would
    >> surprise. Large (200k+ users) in europe which do this invariably find the
    >> users mostly opt for one or two steps off the most draconian filtering
    >> available and false positives be damned.

    >
    > This disturbs me somewhat.


    Why?

    To put things succintly and in language NZers can understand:

    "It's my fucking mailbox, I pay for it, I pay to receive mail and I will
    decide who does and does NOT get to use it"

    The day you pay the operational costs of someone else's mailbox is the day
    you get to dictate the terms of their using it.

    > A few years ago, email was a dodgy communication medium because messages
    > could take hours/days to get through, and there were no guarantees of
    > delivery.


    There is still no guarantee of delivery and there is absolutely ZERO
    guarantee of it being read.

    I've seen accounts with mail in them that have been untouched for 6 years.

    I've also seen people catch up with backlogs using "select all", "delete",
    on the basis that anything more than 2 days old is useless and if it was
    important whoever it was will send again.

    > I'm not sure I like the idea of not being able to trust email as a medium.


    Get used to it. It's always been like that. If you don't like it, design
    and deploy something better.

    > The thought of ending up in someone's spam dumpster, just because a few
    > word combinations have triggered some anal fucking filter, is not good.


    That's the price you pay for not paying the full cost of the messages you
    send.


    --
    There are 2 sorts of email opt-in lists:
    1: Those which can demonstrate the provenance of every subscription request.
    2: Fraud
     
    Uncle StoatWarbler, Sep 10, 2003
    #3
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