Watch Spam? Ugh

Ethan Blanton elb at
Sat Aug 4 11:56:48 EDT 2007

Jeff Sadowski spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On 8/2/07, Ethan Blanton <elb at> wrote:
> > Once again, I was out of town, and didn't get the filter updated
> > quickly enough.  And, once again, two spams are really *not* a big
> > deal; in both cases recently where we've had spam leakage, the crying
> > about the spam has generated as much (or more) traffic as the spam
> > itself.
> No, I agree, two spams are not to great a deal, but out of curiosity.
> Sounds like a lot of upkeep work. maybe there is a better way hmm.
> Maybe create yourself an auto updater or something.  I don't know as
> much as I'd like about SPAM yet but I'd think there would be some good
> regular expressions to catch some. Maybe filter a one image(nothing
> else) mails also?(this might already be done.)

The problem with an "auto updater" is that it somehow has to identify
the spam in the first place.  The process right now, after the last
round of updates, is as follows:

* devel at receives mail
  - If the mail is a duplicate Message-Id, discard it
  - If spamprobe flags the mail as spam, discard it
  - deliver remaining mails

* Spam leaks through to devel at
  - Place spam in a particular mail folder on
  - Run 'spamadjust' script, or wait for nightly updates

I don't see how to make this much simpler; the process of placing the
mail in the special folder could be easier, but that's a simple matter
of a shell script or two.

> > In this case, these spams didn't even make it to my inbox, because
> > they have the same message-id as various other spams which had been
> > previously caught and filed.  I have installed a message-id filter on
> > Pidgin.  I had no idea that there were people out there who didn't
> > have such a local filter; it continually boggles my mind how pathetic
> > popular mailreading software must be.
> Isn't there a way too put this filter on the list itself? Or do you
> not have that kind of access/control? I wish I had more control on
> Google mail of filtering SPAM but Google is limited. Maybe I can
> create a better SPAM editor using some sort of Firefox plugin. hmm

When I said 'Pidgin', I meant 'the mailing lists on'.  That
was a poor choice of words.

Every email which reaches devel at has been spam filtered; you
can view the output of the spam filter in the X-Pidgin-SpamProbe
header field.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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