10/21/2009

10-21-09 - Jesus fucking christ Gmail

Well I now I have to dig through my Spam folder every day and see what ridiculous thing gmail has got wrong.

Here's an example of the kind of thing that's getting spammed : (this is from my landlord who has a fucking GMAIL email account and who I've mailed with many times before). This is the entire text of the mail, so you tell me what fucking Bayesian model decided this was likely spam :


Thanks for reminding, they should be able to come in this week so I will
let you know which day and if you can't be there I will meet them
instead.

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 19, 2009, at 8:22 PM, Charles Bloom wrote:
>
>    Hi Lisa, is something happening with the fireplace?

WTF !?!?!?

I mention the fact that it's from a gmail account because obviously gmail should be able to direct-send mail internally and validate that it actually is from that sender; in that case you should be able to just identify accounts as either "spammers" or "not spammers" ; it's not like I have friends who will occasionally send me spam that should be filtered; if someone is my friend you should always let their mail through regardless of what the content is, hell if one of my friends forwards me one of their spams about Cialis because it was funny, that should get through.

The converse is a little bit trickier, you can't necessarily exclude all mail from "spammers" since I've got some corporations marked as spammers but would still like some mail from them to get through. That's a more tricky edge condition type of thing that I wouldn't be surprised if gmail got wrong, but oddly it never seems to get those wrong! It only gets the incredibly obvious ones wrong.

6 comments:

Aaron said...

Email should be more like IM. No spam there. A nice manageable list of contacts. No one can send you SHIT if you don't explicitly add them. That's how I run my non-gmail mail (althought the interface sucks balls). All mail is blocked except whitelisted addresses. Sure, you shift the spam into the 'contact requests', so the best they could do is contact you with a handle like HiBuyMyDickPills, but that'd be pretty easy to catch :)

cbloom said...

In theory I like the white-list, but in practice I'm not sure.

For one thing, when I mail to someone who uses a whitelist and I get back a challenge, it annoys me so much that I often just refuse to do it and never send them the mail.

For another, presumably you have to use a separate email account for receiving mail from web sites, bills, lists, etc. because they won't respond to the whitelist. Then this separate email account is prone to normal spam, so you still have to deal with it.

You're right for conversations with people you know, email is just wrong, and Wave or something like it is the future for that.

But there's no reason that we couldn't right now have email between friends be more like Wave/IM. And email programs could easily make a bigger distinction between mail you get from friends & outsiders.

Aaron said...

The white list thing I'm using doesn't have challenges or any of that. I just add the email address of anyone I want to receive mail from to my list, so I don't have a problem with businesses or any of that. Of course, it does have the problem that it's very easy for someone to end up in my spam folder, but once I catch it they're never in my spam folder again.

cbloom said...

Yeah but then you have to browse through your spam filter all the time. I mean I get it, it serves some point because whitelist mails come to you quick multiple times a day, and you only check the spam folder maybe once a day, but it's not the win.

Brian said...

I wonder if your landlord sent the email through an Iphone client routed through some other smtp server (like at&t)? That could very well get flagged as spam.

castano said...

It sounds that raindrop is close to what you want:

http://labs.mozilla.com/raindrop/2009/10/22/introducing-raindrop/

old rants