Making Short Work of Spam

 
 
By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2002-09-09 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If the internet really were an "information superhighway," we'd need a legion of censors to stand guard at every offramp, manning checkpoints to block unsolicited commercial mail that might otherwise choke local streets and home mailboxes.

If the Internet really were an "information superhighway," wed need a legion of censors to stand guard at every offramp, manning checkpoints to block unsolicited commercial mail that might otherwise choke local streets and home mailboxes. If you wanted to make your own rules, youd have to hire your own mailbox monitor. But the Net is better than any noncyber network: We need only a few centers of expertise, such as the one at Brightmail Inc., that can use decoy mailboxes to identify new spam patterns and push corresponding anti-spam rules to services such as EarthLink Inc.s Spaminator.
Brightmail claims that "six of the top 10 ISPs" use its products, making this enterprise-class technology available to individuals and small businesses.
We havent seen a single false-positive diversion, but almost no spam has reached our Spaminator-protected account. Its easy to check our Web-based spam storage during the 10-day message holding period so that no desired mail will ever be lost—and we can redirect desired mail, if needed, so that our rejection rules are correspondingly revised.

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    Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at salesforce.com, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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