Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Believe it or not a cure for spam is readily available and 100%
free -- so why isn't your ISP using it?
If you're like most Net users you're probably sick and tired of the amount
of spam that arrives in your mailbox.
What's more, if you regularly access your email through your cellphone or other "pay by the byte"
connection then your bank manager probably hates the stuff too.
So why don't we (or our ISPs) do something about stopping all this dross from
polluting our lives, luring our kids to porno sites and making us feel inadequate
about the size of our genitalia.
Well we're constantly being told that ISPs are already doing their best by
implementing sophisticated rule-based filtering, blocking black-listed
open relays, etc. So why are we still deluged with this garbage?
It seems that the fight against spam is simply too hard -- right?
Check Out The Aardvark PC-Based Digital
Entertainment Centre Project
Well I'm not so sure.
Yesterday I thought I'd had another million-dollar idea. An absolute 100%
foolproof way to block spam from your mailbox without worrying whether
some overly agressive filter had accidentally thrown out an important bonafide
message from someone important.
What's more -- it didn't require you to install new software on your PC,
was fully compatible with all existing email clients and was virtually
transparent to all email recipients.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself -- until I realised that there was a
99.9% chance that whatever I'd thought of had already been suggested by
After trawling the web for a while I came across proof that there are very
few absolutely original ideas left.
A variant of what I was considering has already been implemented and is
available as an Open Source project (aka FREE!) that flies under the name
Tagged Message Delivery Agent
or TMDA for short.
Although I like to think that my idea overcomes a number of deficiencies inherent
in TMDA, it's basically very similar (there go the dreams of infinite wealth
based on patent royalties).
Have a read through exactly how TMDA works and I think you'll be
My question therefore is "why, oh why, aren't ISPs offering this system
to eliminate spam in their users' mailboxes?"
There's virtually no way that bulk unsolicited email can get past this
simple but effective spam firewall and the code is free -- so why aren't
all the ISPs offering it as an option? I know I'd be first to say "yes please"
If enough ISPs installed this system, and enough users opted to use it, spammers
would soon find that it was no longer worth their while to send bulk email.
What's more -- people would become used to the fact that
they need to confirm any genuine but unsolicited email they might wish to send
another Net user.
This (or at least my variant of it :-) really is a silver bullet against spam!
If you agree with me that even with the help of filtering, spam is still a
major problem, then why not email or ring your ISP to ask why they're
not implementing TMDA on their mailservers?
Would I be correct in suggesting that the first ISP in NZ who decides to implement
this system might score more than a few spam-weary users keen to defect from
those who don't?
If you want to have your say on the contents
of today's column then please do so.
Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the
readers' comments section.
Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or
Just add a
to your pages and you can get
a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated
each and every week-day.
Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using
the RSS format. More details can be found
Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and
have any problems.
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's
Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it