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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 26 September 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Tom V
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: TDMA

I have been with IHUG (for years), and am on Ultra and
pretty happy with it, but if any ISP implimented TDMA in
NZ, I would be very very likely to go to the hassle of
changing ISPs for it.

Well in excess of 80% of the email I receive is spam. While
I could filter it more, I prefer to forward it to spamcop,
but if TDMA took off, I wouldn't have to.

Question for those more technically minded than me though.
Could a server be set up to autoconfirm TDMA responses? If
so, are there any technical reasons why spammers couldn't
use such a setup to circumvent the confirmations?

From: Brendan
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Spam Filtering Software

I have recently come across some excellent spam filtering
software, that is both free & new zealand made, called
mailwasher (http://www.mailwasher.net/).

It works by downloading the mail headers from your mailbox,
before you use your ordinary mail program.  It remembers
email addresses that you whitelist (friends) and blacklist,
and can automatically set all blacklisted emails to be both
deleted from your mail server, and bounced (to make your
email address invalid).  For emails that made it through
that, it does analysis of the header to determine what ip
address it came from and compares that against external
blacklists such as ORDB, Spam Cop, VISI.

I've compared quite a spam filtering software packages, and
this seems to be one of the easiest, quickest, and the
price was right.  (However i will probably be making a

Support New Zealand made software!


ps. Maybe other readers can write reviews of the spam
filtering software they use.

From: Bahu
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Spam filter

Nice idea, and should work, for a while.

Once the spam has been made difficult don't you think they
will become less sophisticated?

I get normal junk mail through the post that is hand
addressed using my listing from the phone book.

Less sophisticated spamming to circumvent white/black lists
would have the same plods sending out email offers and
verifing the TMDA response manually for peanuts an hour.

Don't laugh, there are people who will work for peanuts and

Once their account has been ISP banned as spammers they'd
just get a new one.

If you don't want spam don't give out your email address
willy nilly, easy as that.

From: Barry
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: An NZ ISP does provide Spam Filtering!

There is an NZ ISP that provides a spam filter similar to that
mentioned. Quik Internet (http://www.quik.co.nz) runs a service
called Quik Cop. An extract from the Quik Cop pages:

"The Quik E-mail Cop polices your incoming e-mail. Only
your friends and acquaintances are allowed to send you
e-mail. If someone else tries to send you e-mail, he will
be asked to visit a QuikCop web-page and enter his e-mail
address. This makes him one of your friends &
acquainteances, so he can send you e-mail. Spammers
usually won't go to this much trouble."

The system consists of a whitelist known as the
"Friends & Acquaintances list", a blacklist known as
the "spammers list" and a "Mailing List" for messages you
want to receive but not addressed specifically to you.

Messages that fail the whitelist and are not on the
blacklist are sent to "Jail". You can review those
messages recently jailed and have some of them delivered
to you, as well as automatically add the senders to
your friends & acquaintances list.

Quik Cop also keeps a log of recent e-mail messages sent
to you, and whether each message was delivered or sent to
jail by Quik Cop.

From: paul
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Spam Filters

The big problem I  discovered with ISP type spam filter
this week was when bigfoot.com gave all it's users a free
14 day spam filter tryout.  The problem was it blocked all
Yahoo groups deliveries.  The deathly silence from them
when I complained about it.  Who knows what will get
blocked if it gets out of your control..

From: TomV
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: always requires review

I haven't got around to trialling mailwasher yet, but all
methods share the common flaw of requiring some sort of
review of rejected mail

Also I sort of regard spamcop as something of a duty to
make life as difficult for spammers as possible. What
interests me about TMDA is that if it got into general use
it would actually reverse the trend of increasing levels of
spam. It's all very well to work out some personal system,
but it always requires continual monitoring, and does
nothing to discourage spammers from operating.

From: Martin Dougiamas
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Your variant?

Don't be a wanker and posture about how "your variant" is
better than TMDA without even actually mentioning how your
idea is different or better.

Given that you only discovered it a day ago perhaps you
should try it out for a while to see how it works in
practice (IMO, brilliantly).

And if you DO have a better idea, share it with the TMDA
community so it has a chance of being implemented.  That is
what open source is about and how TMDA exists in the first

From: Philip S
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Personally I don't think it would work very well....

Ok from what I got of what it is is the following:
You have a list of people who you can add to of people you
will accept messages from any others will be put on
a 'pending' list, and they will get an email back asking
them to reply and confirm.

Ok, first off, McAfee Spamkiller has pretty much exactly
that - a white list, a black list, an automatic grabber
(grabs different words)

Now then, say Joe Bloggs has a company, I send an email to
Joe, Joe doesn't know me thus his spam program chucks me in
the pending list and sends me an email asking me to
confirm. I confirm and the email goes through to Joe.

Now say I am trying to send him spam (which like everyone
else I shall point out I'd shoot myself if I was going to),
I create a program to automatically reply to confirmation
emails etc.

Thus straight off it just means that spam programs
immediatly get a reply from you for a confirmation, thus
now they know your address is real and they make sure they
keep sending...

The only thing I have found that works is McAfee Spamkiller
which has the option to 'Send error' which makes out it
sending an error message from your email saying the address
does not exist, thus the spammers think that your email is
dead and stop.
This works wonders until another party gets the list with
your email in it and starts to email you and you have to
kill that off as well.

The problem comes about by free email services, fix these
so that people cannot get multiple addresses and the
problem would be gone.
That and jail all spammers would be a nice extra :)

From: Sam
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: spam filter

Hmmm...at a quick glance these options seem little
different to the way I stopped junk turning up in my
hotmail account ages ago: use the 'Exclusive' option i.e.
mail is only accepted from certain addresses that you've

One minor problem I found with this though is that if you
ever give your own email address for someone to send you
mail, you'd better not forget to quickly add them to the
whitelist... :-)

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