The spam problem part 2: The dismal science

In Part 1 I took a “from first principles” look at the spam problem, and concluded that the only way to actually solve the problem was to make people pay to send e-mail.

Now, it’s time to look at what I mean by that—because there are almost as many ways to implement “pay to send” as there are ways to implement filtering.

This is going to be a bit more technical than part 1. I’m going to assume you know basically how SMTP e-mail works. If not, there are tutorials available.

Another rant about crappy software

For a while now I’ve been plagued by mysterious e-mail sync problems. I’d read something and delete it on one machine, and then I’d log in on another machine and it would be back. This wouldn’t be unexpected, except that I use IMAP for my mail, which is supposed to fix such problems. I eventually deduced that the real problem, which IMAP had been unable to solve, was that mail was being held on the server in mbox format.

Eating our dogfood

One of the joys of working for a certain century-old computer company is that we get to run our own beta releases on our internal networks. Whether we like it or not. Apparently my primary mail server is going to be running beta code of the next major release, starting today. I wonder how much it will hurt? Somehow I doubt Microsoft run their critical infrastructure using their own beta code…