[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: Way off topic talk about email

On Sat, Dec 31, 2005 at 10:56:01AM -0500, Anthony DiPierro wrote:

> If it hurts, I'm doing it wrong?  Maybe you can point me to a perfect
> spam filter, because I haven't yet found one.

There's no such thing as a perfect anything in this universe.
But spam filters for email are a lot more mature than spim, voip, irc
or blog spam. Despite publishing my email address about everywhere
and receiving hundreds of spam messages every day I see almost none
(and I don't even use grey/whitelisting, and do not tune my
filters manually -- I would have to do this if there's another
order of magnitude increase in spam volume).
> Your list of "features" essentially defined email, as one was that it
> "creates multiple redundant realtime-searchable archives at each
> user's end (mailboxes)".  If you eliminate that "feature" there are

I'm not an old hand, but I've seen a lot of sites vanish into
the great bit bucket in the sky since 1994 or so. Many mailing list
archives have been restored from indivdual's local mboxes. Distributed
P2P filestores are not common yet.

> plenty of alternatives, and I don't really see it as a useful feature,
> more of a horribly inefficient implementation.  Some of the other

It doesn't matter how it's implemented. It is a widely deployed
technology, and it arguably works.

> features I'm not even sure I agree about.  Email supports
> authentication and encryption?  Only in the sense that you can easily

Yes, for me it does.

> build authentication and encryption on top of any digital distribution
> mechanism.

No. This means that a mature infrastructure is in place. It doesn't
matter what somebody can do, theoretically, maybe -- assuming the
rest of the world will adopt itt. 
> If I had the opportunity to post replies to this mailing list using a
> web form instead of email I'd definitely use it.  Creating a gmail

Write a login or CAPTCHA-authenticated submission script, and publish
it on a web page. It would be a good idea, as I understand most
newcomers don't like email and prefer a web forum interface to
access and post content. It's easy to add that by an external
page, without touching a line of Mailman.

> account to subscribe to mailing lists is the next best thing.

You might want to look into procmail and Beagle. (I personally
don't bother, screen+mutt works for me, I only use procmail
for killfiling).
> I guess it's true that no one is *forcing* me to use email.  But
> without an email address I can't access my bank's online banking, or

You should be able to do online banking without requiring email.

> pay my student loans through the web, or post to or-talk, or subscribe
> to slashdot, or receive paypal payments, or a whole host of other
> things.  That doesn't really make sense to me.  In fact, using the

Authentication by email-delivered one-time token works well, and is 
easy to implement. No wonder everybody is using it.

> From: field of an email for authentication (which is what the or-talk
> listserver does) makes about as much sense as using an IP address.

But IP-based authentication works very well, if yours is a static IP.
Sure, there's spoofing, but in practice you can just as well subscribe
to the list and sniff poster addresses, or spam the list directly.

Of course you can use signed mail and Turing tests for authentication,
should that become commonplace.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org";>leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature