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igul222 482 days ago | link | parent

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative (x) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected (x) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it (x) Users of email will not put up with it ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it ( ) The police will not put up with it ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers (x) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once (x) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it (x) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email ( ) Open relays in foreign countries ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses ( ) Asshats ( ) Jurisdictional problems (x) Unpopularity of weird new taxes (x) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money ( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email ( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches ( ) Extreme profitability of spam ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft ( ) Technically illiterate politicians ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering ( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation ( ) Blacklists suck ( ) Whitelists suck ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually (x) Sending email should be free (x) Why should we have to trust you and your servers? ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome ( ) I don't want the government reading my email ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work. ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it. ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!



jerf 482 days ago | link

If you're in the mood and fast, you can prefix each line with 4 spaces to get the more traditional monospaced layout of that.

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aleyan 481 days ago | link

Takes about 30 seconds to do in sublime text but I think the horizontal scrolling makes it worse.

Your post advocates a

    ( ) technical 
    ( ) legislative 
    (x) market-based 
    ( ) vigilante
approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.

    ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses 
    ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected 
    (x) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money 
    ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks 
    ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it 
    (x) Users of email will not put up with it 
    ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it 
    ( ) The police will not put up with it 
    ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers 
    (x) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once 
    (x) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers 
    ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists 
    ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business
Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it 
    (x) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email 
    ( ) Open relays in foreign countries 
    ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses 
    ( ) Asshats 
    ( ) Jurisdictional problems 
    (x) Unpopularity of weird new taxes 
    (x) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money 
    ( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP 
    ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack 
    ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email 
    ( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes 
    ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches 
    ( ) Extreme profitability of spam 
    ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft 
    ( ) Technically illiterate politicians 
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers 
    ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves 
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering 
    ( ) Outlook
and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    (x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical 
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable 
    ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation 
    ( ) Blacklists suck 
    ( ) Whitelists suck 
    ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored 
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud 
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks 
    ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually 
    (x) Sending email should be free 
    (x) Why should we have to trust you and your servers? 
    ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses 
    ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem 
    ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome 
    ( ) I don't want the government reading my email 
    ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough
Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    (x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work. 
    ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it. 
    ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

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jerf 481 days ago | link

I generally just reformat to add newlines.

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jacalata 481 days ago | link

Why does the horizontal scrolling exist?

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Zak 481 days ago | link

Because

    pre { overflow: auto; padding: 2px; max-width:600px; }
If you want to override it, you can use a user stylesheet, userscript or the like.

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jacalata 481 days ago | link

I meant more like - is it intended to be there? I don't see any benefit from having it.

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Zak 481 days ago | link

It prevents someone from breaking the site's layout with super-wide lines of preformatted text.

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SoftwareMaven 482 days ago | link

I first skimmed this and thought, "how remarkably annoying" ("reading" it was too hard with the collapsed lists). Then I started digging into the lists and realized it is a wonderful satire of HN.

To the author: fix up the lists. Having them concatenated makes it too hard to read, so you home in on the X's, missing the satire completely. If you make them pre-formatted using the spaces at the beginning of the line, recognize there is no auto-wrapping, so long lines need to be wrapped.

Anyway, thanks for the smile.

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efdee 482 days ago | link

This copypasta predates HN by many, many years.

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livebeef 481 days ago | link

I've seen it on slashdot some years ago for the first time.

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patmcguire 481 days ago | link

To be fair, though, gmail's filters are so good at this point that I basically never see spam on addresses that have been live for over five years. So I guess the technical approach does work if you have great engineers working on it way past the point where it pays off financially and you have about half of all email for training data?

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dbecker 482 days ago | link

Great response.

I would think it took some time to compose that. Out of curiosity, is this procrastinating before finals, or is this free time after finals?

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patmcguire 482 days ago | link

It's a template that used to be big over at Slashdot and probably goes back to usenet days.

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rayiner 482 days ago | link

Yeah, I was about to say, this is old as dirt.

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dsr_ 482 days ago | link

It is slightly younger than spam, but not by much.

Despite the casual attitude, every single clause in it has been invoked at some point, and the counter-arguments are generally still valid.

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Alex3917 481 days ago | link

Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if VCs used this when evaluating ideas for new email-related products. I don't think you could do any better no matter how many hours you put into due diligence.

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rscale 481 days ago | link

I don't think this service attempts to fight spam. It seems like a market research tool, or a lead-gen service; a middleman that connects companies with consumers who are willing to be solicited.

That said, it's unclear what problem they're actually trying to solve, so it's understandable that we're all coming to different conclusions.

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