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Gates 'World's Most-Spammed Man' 424

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-you-thought-you-had-it-rought dept.
acehole writes "Bill Gates receives up to four million emails a day, and is probably the most spammed person in the world. But unlike ordinary users, he has an entire department to filter unsolicited " At least now I know why he never replies to my requests for an interview ;)
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Gates 'World's Most-Spammed Man'

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  • by FortKnox (169099) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:45AM (#10854193) Homepage Journal
    Since he DOES have an entire department creating software to filter out spam, why doesn't he RELEASE said filters and help the rest of the world out? Hell, its MS... why not at least sell it and try to make that department profitable??
    • by kaje103 (828985)
      I believe what he means is, he has an entire department to filter out just his email address
      • by frugle (769095) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:57AM (#10854382) Homepage

        Of over 30 billion e-mails being sent daily, some experts estimate that over 40% is Spam.

        Google informs me that 40% of 30 billion = 12 000 000 000

        and (4 000 000 / 12 000 000 000) * 100 = 0.0333333333

        That gives Bill Gates a measly 0.03% Market share of Spam. I think we should help Microsoft grow by forwarding all our unwanted spam to Bill.

    • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:47AM (#10854232)
      Probably because it is based on something open-source like SpamAssassin.
    • by daves (23318) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:48AM (#10854246) Journal
      Since he DOES have an entire department creating software to filter out spam, why doesn't he RELEASE said filters and help the rest of the world out?

      In his case, I suspect the filters are human.
      • by FortKnox (169099)
        From the article:
        "And so we have special technology which just filters (spam). Literally, there's a whole department, almost, that takes care of it."

        I don't see Balmer calling people "special technology."
        • by Otter (3800) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:01PM (#10854454) Journal
          More likely, this was an off-the-cuff semi-joke from Ballmer that everyone here is reading way too closely. I very much doubt that there is in actuality either a "department" or "special technology" handling Gates' email. Ballmer is saying "Yes, we know this is a problem. Given the mail we get, we could hardly not know."

          By the way, note that the top three stories in the Australian news are "Wallaby escapes police action", "Bat swoops to bite woman" and "Passengers save bus from plunge". Gotta love Australia!

          • As a side note, the "Wallaby" was a Rugby player, not one of those cute little animals.

      • While there is obviously some human intervention involved, I suspect that there is also some kind of automation. Four million messages a day would just be too many people.

        It would be interesting to know what this automation is -- ah the irony if some OSS project was being utilized (SpamAssassin, DSPAM, etc.)

        -ch
      • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:57PM (#10855202)
        In his case, I suspect the filters are human.

        Or possibly Morlocks.
    • by vidarh (309115)
      Because they're all targetted to HIS e-mail patterns, which surely includes being signed up to thousands of mailing lists, having his address regularly entered on websites by people who don't want to give out their own address, etc.
    • by yog (19073) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:55AM (#10854369) Homepage Journal
      Undoubtedly Gates is just like thousands of other executives; he has assistants who read his email for him. An executive of a company as large and powerful as Microsoft hardly would have time to read and respond to the typical 300-500 emails one gets in a day, let alone the thousands or millions he gets from being famous. I feel sorry for the guy, in a way; he used to be a computer geek just like so many others and he's cut off from part of the internet just by virtue of his success.

      It does sound like an excellent opportunity to leverage some of that computer brainpower they have and create some first class spam filtering technology. With a test base of 4 million spams a day they have all the sample data they will ever need.

      • by uglyduckling (103926) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:23PM (#10854759) Homepage
        I feel sorry for the guy, in a way; he used to be a computer geek just like so many others and he's cut off from part of the internet just by virtue of his success.

        He'll have any number of different e-mail addresses for different purposes, inluding ones that only friends and family know - I'm sure he's not shut off from a part of the internet just because every idiot puts billg@microsoft.com in forms when they don't want to give their own address.

      • I feel sorry for the guy, in a way; he used to be a computer geek just like so many others and he's cut off from part of the internet just by virtue of his success.

        Actually, since the inception of the internet, there has been this wonderful concept called a 'handle' or 'alias' that works pretty well.. I would not be surprised at all if he surfs the web and uses regular email on a daily basis. Who knows, he probably surfs chat rooms under the assumed identity of a 13 year old girl with braces for all

    • by Singletoned (619322) <singletoned@gmail.com> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:11PM (#10854585) Homepage
      He should get a GMail account and scrap the department.
  • by MoxCamel (20484) * on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:45AM (#10854195)
    At least now I know why he never replies to my requests for an interview ;)

    Here's a tip:

    When asking for an interview, do not also offer to enlarge his penis. Mox

  • by kb0pin (599482) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:46AM (#10854214) Homepage
    I'm comforted to know that when I use billgates@microsoft.com when signing up for something stupid, or for those sites that require an email for download, he actually gets those emails.
  • by lukateake (619282) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:46AM (#10854218)
    Hmmm, I would have thought more considering all the unpatched Windows boxes out there.
  • by RyanP (8861) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:47AM (#10854229) Homepage
    I wonder if he gets spam about discounted copies of XP?
  • Well.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Savant-Ben (829204) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:47AM (#10854234)
    I can't say that it breaks my heart.. Maybe Bill should get a gmail account. what is his email anyway, I heard it was billg@microsoft.com..
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:47AM (#10854238) Homepage Journal
    Bill Gates world's most spammed man
    CNN [cnn.com] and Rediff [rediff.com] are reporting that Bill Gates [mailto] gets 4 million e-mails a day, making him world's most spammed person. However, unlike lesser mortals, he has an entire department dedicated to filter unsolicited e-mails and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, said Steve Ballmer [mailto] at a Microsoft Research event in Singapore. Other sources are also reporting [google.com] the breaking news story.
    • by Peyna (14792) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:55AM (#10854358) Homepage
      The "entire department" thing sounded quite a bit like an exageration, especially since he said, "Literally, there's a whole department, almost, that takes care of it."

      In other words, "We pay two kids $5/hr to sit in the basement and sift through this crap."

      Or more likely, "We've got a couple network admins that implemented SpamAssassin for us."
    • Other sources are also reporting the breaking news story.

      How the hell is the fact that Bill Gates gets a lot of email a "breaking" news story. Is this even news? Who gives a shit. Tell bill to keep a white list and dump the rest to /dev/null. If someone needs to get a hold of him and it's important enough there are ways other than email to get the job done and/or get set up onthe white list.
  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:48AM (#10854254) Homepage
    For *once* I have to thank spammers for a job well done.

    Now any chance on taking on SCO?
  • Exchange (Score:5, Funny)

    by peterprior (319967) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:48AM (#10854257)
    Hmm.. 4,000,000 / 86400 (seconds in a day) = ~ 46 emails a second.

    I didn't even know exchange could handle that amount of traffic. And thats just for him..
  • Hotmail (Score:3, Funny)

    by The_Rippa (181699) * on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:49AM (#10854260)
    Well, ever since hotmail upped it's space to 250mb I've been getting the same amount too.
  • Huh... (Score:3, Funny)

    by z1d0v (789072) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:49AM (#10854266)
    Aren't these just angry clients? :P
  • Ballmer (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I like how Ballmer has to point out that because he gives out his e-mail address at speeches, he is probably number two. I think his ego is getting too big to fit in Redmond. ("I get more spam than you, I must be more special than you?")
  • by Washizu (220337) <bengarvey@c[ ]ast.net ['omc' in gap]> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:50AM (#10854286) Homepage
    What does he expect when he keeps sending out those email tracking programs?

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:51AM (#10854294) Homepage Journal
    he could try to forward his daily mail to a gmail account to really test spam/virus protection, label classification and how much space is 1gb for that kind of traffic. Even if it works, a good promotion of whatever future service of hotmail is "it performed better than gmail with my mail".
  • Well, of course with a name like microsoft you're bound to get email for viagra like products... (excuse me... I should have said V1aGR___a)
  • Story a weak troll. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:52AM (#10854312) Homepage
    Nowhere does it say Bill Gates has an entire department to filter his email (though I don't see why he should not, considering he can afford it). It says they have "special technology", and "almost" a whole department (which probably means two or three secretarial types vetting the junk that doesn't get filtered with the "special technology".

    And to all of this, I say "big deal". I would say "nice M$ troll" but it's actually kind of weak.

  • Hate Mail (Score:4, Funny)

    by datadriven (699893) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:53AM (#10854325) Homepage
    They must have hate mail confused with spam.
  • by lottameez (816335) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:54AM (#10854333)
    I know I was wondering just this morning, just after breakfast, how much spam Bill Gates was getting. "Self", I said, "How many unsolicited emails does Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, get, do you think? Two hundred fifty thousand? A million? What DO you think?"

    I had no answer.
    Until now.

    Thank you slashdot.
  • Balmer Says: "I receive many pieces of spam (but) only about 10 of them actually make it into my inbox because of the spam technologies that our IT department implements."

    Gee...I wonder what software they run? :)
  • by nuintari (47926) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:58AM (#10854393) Homepage
    Your job must suck ass if it, in its entirety, involves sorting through another man's porn/real estate/penis enlargment/cum filled panty spam.

    I can see it now, job description:

    Must be able to sort legitimate email from mass unsolicited email. Ability to tolerate apes a plus, as you will be working a team of them. In fact, your department manager is a chimp. Requires opposable thumbs and general image recognition abilities.
  • Fascinating! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Thursday November 18, 2004 @11:58AM (#10854399) Journal
    "And so we have special technology which just filters (spam)."

    And what do you call this special technology? What a brilliant new development. Please, Mr. Balmer, you must share this invention with the rest of us. Or, perhaps, is it "sendmail" on "linux" running "spamassassin"? Ah, yes, perhaps so.

    Maybe the admins at my work are just braindead, but apparently everyone's so nervous about Exchange 2000 that they won't run any other mail related software on the Exchange server. So if we want to filter email with other software, it goes on a separate box, and they all get chained together. Which means that if they ever want to find out where an email came from, they have to go through three different sets of logs. This is all black magic to me. I code VBA for a living.

    Is there a right way on Exchange 2000? We'd do all kinds of better spam filtration if implementation was completely better.
    • For Exchange I use GFI for filtering. It works pretty well and gets installed on the same box. I just wish it were more configurable.
  • by underworld (135618) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:00PM (#10854434)
    ....ought to be about enough for anyone. ;-)
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:01PM (#10854451) Journal
    Like most "news" today, the article says Bill Gates is probably the most spammed person in the world - but gives no frame of reference.

    For example, how much spam does the Whitehouse get?

    Do they cite the number of spams the average person gets? There is nothing other than the obvious in that article.

    The article might have well said it is probably cold in Antartica too.

  • by otisg (92803) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:05PM (#10854505) Homepage Journal
    Somebody should tell him to install Thunderbird.
  • He must get quite a few offers from nice businessmen in Nigeria who need help getting their money out of the country.

    Bill helps them out..
    Profit!
    Repeat millions of times over.. and ca-ching!
  • Spam filter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by execom (598566)
    I think it's more some advertising news for Bill Gates than anything else. I mean, The world richest man can at least afford one of thoses babies [barracudanetworks.com] which can handles 25 millions mail/days
  • Unfiltered (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Flamesplash (469287) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:08PM (#10854557) Homepage Journal
    It's rumoured that if you email billg from inside MS it goes directly to him, the idea being if you're stupid enough to send him a stupid email directly then maybe you should be fired for wasting his time.

    That said, after going to an intern dinner at his house I wrote him afterwards asking a question I was sure no one else care about if I acked it at the dinner, I got a relatively quick if not short response.

    Another intern friend of mine emailed him asking if he wanted to go to lunch sometime and never got a response.

    I've also had some other funny run ins with Bill Gates while interning at MS that I wrote up a while ago in my journal [slashdot.org]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:29PM (#10854840)
      I used to work for Oracle. I once sent Larry a rather critical email. I didn;t get sacked or a reply, either, so I don't know if he got it.

      Oracle internal email system used to be so crap that it got confused if people had the same first name and sent them each others email. I shared the same first name with the VP of Consulting for EMEA (I was working in Hamburg at the time). I once received an email from Big Man's secretary to him asking if he wanted to confirm his meeting with some IBM execs. I replied to her saying that she should tell IBM to Bugger Off and to get on the phone to the head of consulting in Hamburg and to give that Phil guy a large pay rise.

      A couple of days later my boss called me into his office and told me "Please don't do that again"
  • It is rumoured that if you email billg from inside MS it goes directly to him, the idea being if you're stupid enough to send him a stupid email then maybe you deserve to be fired for wasting his time.

    That said after an intern dinner at his place I wrote him an email asking about his house, a question I was sure no one else at the dinner would really care about. Not too long later I got a short though informative response from Bill. It was in the first person and since it concerned his house I was pret
  • Good. (Score:3, Funny)

    by turgid (580780) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:15PM (#10854646) Journal
    I hope his pee cee gets lots of viruses too. :-)
  • by mysticgoat (582871) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:20PM (#10854700) Homepage Journal

    This is so sad.

    I thought I'd send Mr William Gates a brief cheer-up note:

    Dear Bill,
    I just heard that you are the most spammed person in the world and I thought I'd send you a cheering-up note. Since that must really suck.

    I mean I know he's rich and everything, but even rich guys must get the blues sometimes over things like spam. I'm sure he'd appreciate it if a few of us sent him our condolences.

    Does anybody know his address?

  • Back in 1994... (Score:4, Informative)

    by dapyx (665882) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:21PM (#10854714) Homepage
  • of Billy G sitting in front of his computer with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, surfing porn and obviously signing up for every porn website he finds. I mean why else would he be getting hundreds of thousands of emails an hour?

  • Damn, I was hoping it would say that he's gotten the most "spam javellined" [urbandictionary.com] man on earth award. He deserves it. ;-)
  • by robnauta (716284) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @12:23PM (#10854761)
    See this article [google.com], billg@microsoft.com did exist and in 1993 you could email him and get a reply, but even back then it wasn't Bill Gates.
  • ...and Mr Gates gets so much SPAM ... because he signs up to more internet pr0n sites than any other man in America!
  • by pla (258480) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @01:02PM (#10855249) Journal
    Aww man... Now I almost feel bad for setting the "anonymous FTP password" on every browser I touch to "bgates@microsoft.com".

    Probably not his real email address, but still, he apparently doesn't need any more help.
  • by mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) on Thursday November 18, 2004 @01:02PM (#10855262) Journal
    if subject = {penis/breast/viagra/vioxx/discount } forward to linus (at) transmeta.com

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