December 10, 2002

Fighting Back at Spam with Bayesian Analysis

For any Mac users reading this, drop what you're doing and go order SpamSieve. It has made e-mail an order of magnitude less onerous for me. SpamSieve looks at your mail as it comes in and uses Bayesian analysis of word counts to tell whether it's naughty or nice depending on samples you give it. Open up a "Make Money Now!" letter, type command-control-S and it's identified as spam. Do a command-control-G for good mail, and the software begins to learn to differentiate them. It took me fifteen minutes to give it enough to go on, and since that time SpamSieve has been acting like Maxwell's Demon in sorting my mail into spam and non-spam.

In the 20 days I've been using SpamSieve, I've gotten 1175 spam messages! Now, at least, they're tucked out of site and I'm less compelled to read them.

Just this morning, though, I got a note saying that I could lose 35 pounds by Christmas... 15 days from now. A few minutes later I got a note promising that I could add 3 inches to my manhood in one month. I'm thinking that these two products must conflict with each other at some deep level... like combining matter and anti-matter, and that a messy explosion would result if one were to take them both. Would anyone like to test my theory?

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