Double Irony! (was Re: [linux-elitists] ruben's stupid filter)

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Mon Mar 25 10:16:40 PST 2002


on Mon, Mar 25, 2002, Dan Wilder (dan@ssc.com) wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 25, 2002 at 12:46:46AM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > on Sun, Mar 24, 2002, Dan Wilder (dan@ssc.com) wrote:
> > > On Sun, Mar 24, 2002 at 04:39:47PM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > > > 
> > > > Again:  I think automated tools *are* a benefit *if* properly
> > > > designed.  I think the solution is in improving the tools, not in
> > > > griping about them.
> > > 
> > > Certain automated tools are intended to be used for an unutterably
> > > mindless and stupid purpose, to wit, auto-reporting.  
> > > more favorable consensus about what should be done.

<...>

> > One suggestion from me (who happens to _like_ his auto-reporting
> > tools, and is working to improve on their specificity, accuracy, and
> > effectiveness), would be for those of the opposite camp to suggest
> > alternatives.  This I haven't seen.
> 
> Filter, filter, filter, and filter.  Block incoming email from chronic
> offenders if you think you can identify such. 

<broken record>

(Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 03:08:15 -0800)

    There are different objectives for antispam measures.   

    <...>

      - A second, and IMO more ultimately effective objective, is to change
	the economics of sending (or hosting or otherwise supporting) spam.
	This is where my autoresponders come in.

</broken record>

> And I'm not going to spend five minutes, or two minutes, or even
> thirty seconds responding to mindless and erroneous auto-reports.

Dan and I are in an autobot war.  My line:  give me better tools.  His
seems to be "I'll ignore all data".  Dan's not specifying how he
distinguishes erroneous from nonerroneous reports.  Presumably he's
either blocking senders, or doing some analysis of his own on headers.

I'll drop this thread barring forward movement, noting only once more
that the majors appear to have systems for categorizing incoming spam
reports and managing them with something resembling adequacy.

> 'Fraid I don't believe a mere 'bot will ever discriminate well
> enough.  

Has Dan even looked at Spamassassin?

> I'll say farther, that tools to originate such reports are an evil 
> in themselves, as they will inevitably fall into the hands of the 
> clueless who will never take the time to tune them to even mediocre 
> performance.  

OK:

  - Said tools are evil.

  - Said tools are evil because...people will find them attractive and
    use them.

  - Said tools are evil because...people using them will crank out
    reports.

So, Dan "Canute" Wilder commands the tide of spambot autoreports to
cease....  Yeah.  Right.

Deal with it.  Spam's here to stay.  Spam filters are here to stay.  And
spam reporting bots are here to stay.  You're not going to stop that.

You have a few options:

  - Bitch about the unfairness of the world on linux-elitists.  Sorry,
    bitching isn't elitist activity.

  - Blacklist six nines of the 'Net from providing you spam reports.
    Not l337, though it's probably sufficiently BOFHish.

  - Figure out a way to use the data.  Because there may be equally
    clueless NOCs out there that believe the reports, and you want to
    have a plausible story when they warn they're going to shut off your
    pipe.  Or maybe, just maybe, one of the bright young stars in Sales
    really _has_ been spamming the hell out of the 'Net...or you ended
    up with a compromised box...or someone laid a WiFi tap into your
    network....

  

> You may say, "autoreporting isn't the problem, the
> clueless are the problem" to which I'll say, "the clueless will
> ever be with us.  Don't publish attractive nuisances."

Ah...  The "quash free speech" in its "don't write objectionable
programs" guise....

Popular these days.  You considered running for Senate, Dan?

Peace.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>      http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?          
   Keep software free.         Oppose the CBDTPA.         Kill S.2048 dead. 
           http://www.eff.org/alerts/20020322_eff_cbdtpa_alert.html
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