01-20-09 - Spam

The gmail spam filter is pretty good, it's eliminated like 99% of my spam. However, at the same time, it's kind of disappointing. Spam still gets through, and the spam that gets through is just so obvious, how can you not tell it's spam? I know Google doesn't like have any smart employees or anything like that, so let me help you guys out :

1. If it's an email selling ED drugs, it's probably spam.

2. If I get an email and mark "report spam" on it - you probably shouldn't send me the *exact same email* the next day.

3. If the email is full of crazy non-text characters or weird ANSI color codes, it's probably spam.

I mean, Google is letting through emails whose entire body is :

Buy Viagra&Cialis&Tramadol....

How can you possibly think that's right?

BTW I think it's very productive to have an atmosphere at your company where anybody can challenge anybody else about the behavior of their functionality. So for example in this case I'd like to see every Google employee forwarding their spam to the spam dev team. But in game dev I'd like to see the artists go up to the tools guy and go "hey dude, our level export takes 30 minutes, WTF." This is one of those things that's very hard to get right. If you have a culture where everyone is friendly and everyone is trying to be the best, it can be welcomed. But if your culture is that everyone is just trying to do the minimum of work and fly under the radar and not talk to each other, then this will be very unwelcome.


Sam said...

I agree re: atmosphere. Our studio is a bit like that. I'm pretty sure the level designers have come up to us and said the level export takes too long several times. They feel pretty free to ask for/complain about features, and it's great, because then we're not just writing this tool in a vacuum without regard to who will be using it (although there are one or two programmers who don't seem to realise that usability is a key requirement - they end up naming things and designing forms etc in a very programmer-centric way!).

cbloom said...

Seriously, WTF Google, I keep getting spam.

How about just an option in gmail to reject all mail related to penis enhancement !?

old rants