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Eisenstadt's Analysis Of 8 Years' Worth Of Email

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:08PM (#11684558)
    on their webserver.
  • Spam (Score:5, Funny)

    by thinkliberty (593776) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:09PM (#11684566)
    I have received more spam in the past week than I have legitimate email in the past 10 years.
    • Re:Spam (Score:5, Funny)

      by PopeAlien (164869) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:14PM (#11684624) Homepage Journal
      Ah! but did you save and analyze them?

      • Re:Spam (Score:5, Funny)

        by BosstonesOwn (794949) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:28PM (#11684763)
        I have analyzed it all and apparently the people sending me these spam messages know my plight.

        I need a bigger penis

        I need teen sluts who suck **** on webcams

        And apparently I shouldn't be telling anyone this but this nice man in nigeria , who is the lawyer in charge of my long lost grand father mutambi wikimbo is trying to get me $5 million american dollars but I have to pay a tax of $5 thousand american dollars to nigeria and he will gladly handle it for me.What a swell guy.

  • by Bite-lover (826567) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:10PM (#11684572)
    Must be nice to be able to look back on porn-spam and feel old. 'Hot XXX - Newcomer Jenna!'
    • As I recall the first porn Spam I got was for 7 year old girls. I'm still sick about that one. (That was before I developed strong defenses to not read all of a short email before figuring out what it meant. It slows me down, but now I don't get as sick over email)

  • !42 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:11PM (#11684594)
    Apparantly the computer spent months compiling and cross referencing only to spit out this cryptic message: Host not found
  • Slashdotted (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:11PM (#11684599)
    If its already slashdotted, he's also probably saving all of his server logs as well.
  • hah (Score:4, Funny)

    by usernotfound (831691) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:12PM (#11684602)
    my yahoo account i use to collect spam gets 1700 a month, while my "real" email account i've recieved 1566 since august of 2003, only 10 of those being spam.
    • Not very much (Score:5, Insightful)

      by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @09:14PM (#11685077) Homepage
      I rotate my email folders every 6-9 months to increase performance.

      Even so, I have 2 folders with over 9000 Emails in them. My work Inbox alone has 1015. None of these are spam - I filter those out through a combination of SpamAssassin and manual filtering.

      Anyways - my point is that the numbers in this article are small potatoes. He talks about 250 Emails in a week - I easily get 300 -400 Emails **a day**, probably 40-50 of which are directly work related, the other 350 related to various other side projects of mine, so they are just as important.

      I would say I read around 25-50% of my Emails. The rest I only give a cursory scan. His numbers for reply times are way off for a number of reasons:

      - Hardly anyone replies to every email they recieve. Most of it needs no reply.

      - He basically says that the time spent reading the emails and responding is a waste. Well, what do you think managers did to communicate with you before email? You had faxes, daily memos, daily reports to file... it is just more streamlined now. It is not like this stuff is new.

      Newsflash - work is difficult. People are distracting to your work. Shit happens. Deal with it, just like everyone else has for the past 150 years.

      • Re:Not very much (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ricka0 (628862)
        Wow... how do you get anything done? ;)

        You have a good point about it being more streamlined... however, I suspect that since e-mail is easier to send than a memo, fax, etc, etc, there would be more e-mails than the other mediums in the past. Also, more of them seem to be written with less thought put in. You always hear stories about people wishing they hadn't sent that e-mail or how the number errors in e-mails vs memos, etc are so much greater. If there are indead more errors in e-mails, does a poo
      • I would say I read around 25-50% of my Emails. The rest I only give a cursory scan. ... He basically says that the time spent reading the emails and responding is a waste. Well, what do you think managers did to communicate with you before email? You had faxes, daily memos, daily reports to file... it is just more streamlined now. It is not like this stuff is new.

        Spot on. I love email. I dislike telephone calls, and I hate them when I'm doing work. I followed the Eisenstadt's link where Donald Knuth e

      • Re:Not very much (Score:2, Informative)

        by baalz (458046)
        Yeah, this sort of analysis seems fairly frivolous. Everybody uses email differently. I've noticed fairly substantial "email culture" differences in the jobs I've worked at. At my current job I usually get about 10 emails a day from people I've never met in other departments telling the whole world they're stepping out early for a doctor's apointment, a dozen reminders every month to fill out your time cards (sent to everybody regarless of if they're already filled out), etc. Like the parent poster, I do
      • Re:Not very much (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kjamez (10960)
        i'm curious how much of it is second-hand-spam (you submitted email, they sold it) vs. bot/spidering/harvesting (eg: wholly unsolicited email) ...

        i have a catch all tld i use to watch. signup like kjamez-slashdot@tld.com which comes to all the same box, so when i start getting unsolicited emails to kjamez-slashdot@tld.com from random people, i can at least see the origin to some degree. i do the same with magazine subscriptions and credit cards and the like. all slight variations on my real name, some e
        • I've been using various forms of per-correspondent addresses in my own domain since 1999, and I've seen no spam at all on the vast majority of them. The ones that get a lot of spam are the ones posted publicly, on Usenet or mailing lists (archived in searchable websites) or as my domain contact. The most notable exception was philips.com -- I sent mail to their tech support address and the only response I ever got was random MMF spam. Directron.com and emusic.com appear to have sold my address to spammer
    • by kajoob (62237)
      while my "real" email account i've recieved 1566 since august of 2003, only 10 of those being spam

      So you're telling us you're not a comcast subscriber?

  • Indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mboverload (657893) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:13PM (#11684619) Journal
    I used to NEVER get spam, I didn't know what people were complaining about. I was on a mail server that no spammer really knew about, so there were no dictionary mailings. However, once I posted that paticular email on just a few websites I have been getting ~50 spam a day. There is no way they got my email through me signing up for things because I use a seperate address. I'm just glad the kind of practices they use (trawling the internet for emails) are illegal, although that doesn't mean much.

    I will never buy anything from spam, and whoever does has got to be a complete moron.

    • Re:Indeed (Score:5, Informative)

      by iced_773 (857608) <`ten.yevadnai' `ta' `nai'> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:18PM (#11684662)
      I should point out that you shouldn't respond to spam under ANY circumstances - it just verifies to the spammer that your address exists.
      • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And also set your email client not to load images, or anything remote for that matter, off the net. They can just add a image.jpg?id=123456 and know that the email address in their db with the id of 123456 read their spam message.
      • Re:Indeed (Score:2, Insightful)

        by joschm0 (858723)
        > I should point out that you shouldn't respond to spam under ANY circumstances - it just verifies to the spammer that your address exists.

        Wouldn't they know if your email address is good by the fact that it wasn't rejected as an invalid address?
        • Re:Indeed (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Grakun (706100)
          > > I should point out that you shouldn't respond to spam under ANY circumstances - it just verifies to the spammer that your address exists.

          > Wouldn't they know if your email address is good by the fact that it wasn't rejected as an invalid address?

          It verifies that the user has read the spam. There are a lot of old inactivate email addresses on the web, which still exist but are never read. This way the spammer knows that their spam is actually being viewed by a user, and not just wasting space

          • This way the spammer knows that their spam is actually being viewed by a user, and not just wasting space in an inbox.

            *sniffle* I didn't know they cared!

        • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Interesting)

          by erikdalen (99500)
          As the From: address usually is forged they will just bounce to the forged address. So most spammers don't check if the mails arrive or not, they can use that bandwidth for sending more spam.

          I've given up trying to not get spam, I filter it instead. Usually it's aroung ~400-500 spams/day.

          I've only saved all my legitimate email for the last 10 years though :)
      • You should respond, if you can do so in person.
    • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

      by autopr0n (534291)
      Trawling for email addresses isn't illegal at all, certanly not in the USA which actualy legalized spam with the CAN-SPAM act.

      The domains I use for email arn't even up right now, and I'm using gmail these days anyway. I had been using 'throwaway' emails for everything, and then a spammer started jo-jobbing me. Meaning that they started using fake addresses @mydomain. So I was getting tons and tons of bounce messages. It was awful.

      These spammers are horrible people, but they're not even close to stu
    • I'm just glad the kind of practices they use (trawling the internet for emails) are illegal, although that doesn't mean much.

      I know of no country that has stated it is illegal to obtain email addresses this way. Sending emails to the addresses after you've collected them this way may be illegal in some countries like the US, but collecting them is certainly not.
      • In theory it could be argued in the UK under the computer misuse act. You'd have to have some kind of click-through I expect - a straight website would be treated as public. However if you've made an effort to stop them they're illegally using resources they're not entitled to (ie. your computer, your bandwidth) so can be prosecuted.

        Reading that back though you could apply that to spam itself, at a pinch... you'd need a good lawyer though.
      • See here [law.gov.au], it is illegal in Australia to use address harvesting software.
    • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Interesting)

      Try your own domain name on a dialup connection :-) My own account gets around 200 spams a day. It annoys me, but doesn't take long to delete, since so much of it is 5 or ten copies of the same thing, which sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb when viewed once or twice a day.

      But starting last summer, maybe 9 months ago, some spammers realized they had an untapped (fools') gold mine to plunder, and my simple little home domain has been receiving more and more spam to accounts that don't exist, like b
      • If you're hosting your own mailserver, Postfix since version 2.0 can be set to reject mail if it's addressed to a non-existent account.

        http://www.postfix.org/LOCAL_RECIPIENT_README.ht ml
      • It sounds like you are using a catchall system. Try setting up with a host that allows you unlimited email addresses instead.
      • by pmc (40532)
        Interesting. My spam volume from the two domains I have has gone up hugely recently. I hadn't relaly noticed it because I used spam filtering that limited it to a few tens per day I actually say. But my computer died and it took just under two weeks to fix it. In that time I had accumulated over 100,000 messages, totaling over 500 Megabytes. Of these maybe 20 messages were for me - the rest were spam.

        What had happened was that some joker thought it would be a massively successful sales technique to send th
      • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Informative)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)
        My poor little dialup domain has been receiving around 50-60,000 spams a day to those bogus accounts. It hit 120,000 one day.

        Two words:

        1. DNSBL
        2. Greylisting

        Add those to your setup and see that drop to about 30-40. Let SpamAssassin clean up the rest and forget about it.

  • Hotmail (Score:2, Interesting)

    I have managed to maintain a hotmail account for 10 years, which I consider a feat. It isn't clean of spam or anything, but 10 filters based on keywords in the subject or body make a HUGE dent in the amount that reacheas my inbox.
    • I just filter everything to Junk Mail that's not from a recognized sender or with a certain keyphrase in the subject, and suddenly I have a week to scoop it out before it dies.

      Saves me time.
  • Article Text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:15PM (#11684630)

    February 11, 2005
    Eight years of email stats, pass 1Email This EntryPrint This Entry
    Posted by Marc Eisenstadt

    What's the reality behind the 'email overload' talk? Let's look at some numbers... personal numbers.

    To kick things off, I've got a huge email archive. I started emailing in the early ArpaNet days, around 1972, and haven't stopped since. My archive has been extremely thorough for at least the past 12 years (and, in case you think I'm nuts for keeping all of these, my actual regret from a scientific/archive perspective is that I don't have the earlier ones too!). Why? Let's just say that one day I planned to do an analysis of it all... types of mails, social networks, the whole works. But things got a little out of hand.... (anyone lookin' for some data, give me a shout... but first read on)...

    Most of this 'storage mania' was triggered by a casual comment in around 1992 or 1993 by Ron Baecker, of the University of Toronto, a longtime research colleague and acquaintance and someone whose work I have long admired and respected. Ron asked me, "given ultra-cheap storage and ultra-fast search, both clearly on their way, why would you ever need either to delete or indeed to accurately file/categorize your emails?"

    OK, so as a little personal experiment, I decided to keep 'em, and to see what happened. The quick story is that migrating across machines, operating systems, and preferred email clients, plus being a bit cavalier about the whole thing, has meant that although all the emails are 'there' in various archive files, it takes a little work to get 'em all back in a harmonious form, that is with all headers intact and no duplicates (the main formats are Vax mails, Unix mails, Mac Eudora, PC Eudora, Outlook Express, and Outlook).

    The longer story, with some data and preliminary analysis, begins like this:

    Even though I haven't had the time or motivation thus far to put in the harmonization work required to get all the data in one format and with duplicates eliminated, I nevertheless thought that a little 'first pass' set of totals (with my estimate of their accuracy) would be interesting, and maybe even provide a little coarse empirical support for Stowe's "Just Say No To Email" campaign.

    So I quickly eyeballed-and-tallied the most coherent of the archives, spanning eight years of emails, from January 1st 1997 to December 31st 2004. The totals are real enough, but the 'eyeballing' was needed to assess the approximate propotion of spam and duplication involved in the emails. A more detailed analysis later will enable me to do these more accurately. I've indicated my estimate of the margin for error in the third column, and my estimate for the percentage of spam received (and I mean real spam: i.e. either 'greedily-lookin-for-suckers' or 'low-down-mean-and-nasty spam', not conference announcements - you know what I'm talkin' about). For 2003, this number is precise, because I filtered off such spam using SpamAssassin, and counted them! 2004 spam numbers are an extrapolation, but the totals are accurate, as explained below. Here goes:

    TABLE 1: Eisenstadt's 1997-2004 email totals
    Year

    Emails received Est. Error Est. Spam

    1997 4320 20% 2%
    1998 3996 20% 3%
    1999 6821 10% 5%
    2000 7580 5% 6%
    2001 6125 5% 7%
    2002 6497 5% 10%
    2003 13092 1% 37.6%
    2004 13889 1% 40%

    2003 is the most accurate, because (unlike earlier years when I was changing clients and machines) I have all emails in one clean format and all spam preserved, auto-filtered by SpamAssassin into a folder that I look at only a few times a year, scanning rapidly for false rejections. Incidentally, that falsely rejected email rate appears to be roughly 1 in 5000: good enough for me! By 2004, although I kept all emails, I got fed up keeping the spam even for analysis purposes, and can't even be bothered to scan it, so stuff auto-filtered by SpamAssassin is now deleted without my looking at it - so the column 4 '40% spam' in the lower

  • Einstein? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kristopher (723047) <gedekran@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:15PM (#11684634) Homepage
    Don't misread like I did. I was like, what the hell was Einstein doing with email..
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:16PM (#11684646) Homepage Journal
    One of the guys reminds us that people who send those "increase your penis size" emails and other spam don't just do it because they think it is fun to piss off the world, they do it because they make lots and lots of money from it.

    That's what anti-spam laws should be targeting, the morons who use the services offered by spammers.

    • "...don't just do it because they think it is fun to piss off the world, they do it because they make lots and lots of money from it."

      Funny thing is, they don't necessarily make money from people buying it, but rather the people advertising it. "Give me $10,000, and I'll get your message out to 10,000 people!" "Okay! That's a lot cheaper than buying a banner on a big site!" (Note: The numbers are made up.)
      • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @10:00PM (#11685325) Homepage Journal
        ahh the irony of your post combined with your sig (Ferion being amway for geeks and all).
        • "ahh the irony of your post combined with your sig (Ferion being amway for geeks and all)."

          Referall rewards != Amway. Besides, that's not what irony means. Perhaps if I had said "It's all a huge scam" and if Ferion were actually what you claim it to be, you could call me a hypocrite. :)
          • Ferion is like Amway because they both bait-and-switch you.

            Ferion: "It's free to play"

            Amway: "Make $10,000 a week!"

            Ferion: "well actually, it's only free to play if you sucker other people into paying for you."

            Amway: "well actually, you can only make $10,000 a week if you sucker other people into selling for you."

            • "Ferion: "It's free to play. Ferion: "well actually, it's only free to play if you sucker other people into paying for you."

              Actually, there is a free game. Pay a little money, the game gets better. Refer somebody, they pay, you get a small reward. Referal program. Simple. :)

              To anybody that's bothering to read this, I'll give you an example: Right now, Slashdot is free. If you pay for a subscription, you get bonus features like seeing stories sooner. Imagine if Slashdot were to say "okay, if somebo
              • Just to be clear: The 'free game' isn't talking about referalls, it's talking about the free version of the game with fewer features. This is spelled out quite cleary on the site:

                "Q: Is Ferion free?

                A: Yes and No, We allow you to trial Ferion unlimited. This means you can join any game at Ferion for free, without costs.. Once you are doing well you will run into a limitation in the techtree, we ask a small fee to remove the limit."


                In that respect, it's like Quake 3's demo version. You can play it jus
                • Except that you're in competition with the people who have those extra features, and the game kicks out non-subscribers after a certain round. So without paying for the game you get the challenge of being the Best of the Losers. But ultimately no-one plays like that. They either pay for the priviledge or they get others to pay for them. This is exactly like Amway, in that you can either pay your monthly dues (to get the priviledge of selling crap to friends, family and neighbours) or you can recruit oth
                  • "This is exactly like Amway, in that you can either pay your monthly dues (to get the priviledge of selling crap to friends, family and neighbours) or you can recruit others to pay your monthly dues for you."

                    That's a bit of a stretch, dont'cha think?

                    a.) You can play the game at no cost. It's better if you pay for it. Any game or service is like that.

                    b.) If that's your definition of Amway, then is Slashdot included as well? I mean, afterall, ppl can get the stories sooner, comment on them quicker, and
  • GMail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:21PM (#11684699)
    This is pretty interesting (sadly i can't access TFA)
    Google should have such a program, there should be a preference in you GMail account, where you can allow /deny google to take stats out of your email. Many interesting information can be collected, like, for example, Ammount of SPAM / Legitim E-mail, % of each kind of spam (viagra, drugs, porn, etc), spam by countrys, % of Text / HTML email, and even other interesting stats not e-mail related, for example, language analisys, frequent mispells, toppics of interest by age, etc,etc,etc. I Would gladly allow google to make such stats, it can be done in such a way that no personal / sensitive information would be leaked.

    (Thinks about what has just said, and puts tinfoil hat on)

    ALMAFUERTE
  • So he.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Robotron23 (832528) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:23PM (#11684720) Homepage
    Saved it for what exactly? Maybe vintage 1997 pr0n e-mails are now worth something to antique pr0n collectors...
  • by Sheepdot (211478) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:33PM (#11684800) Journal
    I remember a time when the size of my genitalia wasn't an issue.

    I remember when I never had any Korean friends.

    I remember a time when I went to the pharmacist for a drug I needed, not the pharmacist asking me which drugs I wanted to buy online.

    I remember when consolidating a loan was a big decision instead of "just a click away!".

    I remember a time where when I left high school, there was no chance in hell I'd ever have to hear from those nitwits again.

    God, I miss those days.
    • by Ian Action (836876) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @09:09PM (#11685048)
      I'm sorry you're so upset...

      So, would you like to buy some ink cartidges?

      • So, would you like to buy some ink cartidges?

        Some advice.. Don't bother with any SPAM offer. They are out to rook you.. Instead Google search. Then do your homework.

        It took me 2 weeks to decide on an ink supplier. They provided all the nessary inofrmation about my printer and cartridges. The Forum was great. I learned the common pitfalls. I bought a small trial amount at first. I'm now on my 3rd order of several pints of ink. (the cost of a pint of ink is less than the price as a cartridge!) A
  • by linuxbaby (124641) * on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @08:44PM (#11684880)
    If you think this article is about spam, make sure you read it all the way to the end. It's not.

    He's questioning the entire technology of email as an effective way of communicating.

    Analyzes not just the spam-count in his email, but the work-time needed to respond to the non-spam emails, too.

    This is one of the most thought-provoking articles posted on Slashdot in a long time.
  • I still have all my e-mail dating back to 1997. (My packrat mentality is alive and well on my computer.)

    But running a scan on it wouldn't do much use, since I culled all the spam manually over the years...
  • I had a very similar setup going on for a while, but I lost it over a year ago. 6 years and 2 gigs of emails lost to a faulty power supply. Scouring turned up nothing usable and I didn't have backups of my emails.

    I felt like I lost a part of my past...

    Goes to show the value of backing up your data.
  • Femto's Law of Email (Score:5, Interesting)

    by femto (459605) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @09:12PM (#11685068) Homepage
    I did a similar analysis in 1998. I came to the following conclusion:

    Given enough time, nearly every email becomes irrelevant.

    This 'law' is base based on the fact that of many thousands of emails, there were only about 3 or 4 that I judged to be of value (worth keeping) after three years.

    A corollary:

    You can safely ignore your email and suffer minimal long term consequences.

    Here is an example of the application of "Femto's Law". The boss sends you an email asking you to do something. If you ignore the email, the boss will either a) if it is important come and tell you personally or, b) find someone else to do the task. Ultimately I think the law is based on the fact that email is mainly used for trivial stuff and important stuff will eventually be presented to you in a form which is harder to ignore.

    I guess the applicabililty might have changed since 1998, if email has come to be used for non-trivial stuff, but I reckon it's mostly still true.

    Side note: the reason I ended up doing the analysis is because the 'delete' button stopped working on my mail client and I had to sort my emails when jobs. AT the time I posted my conclusions to the rest of the University department, to other people's amusement.

    PS. No, I'm not brave enough to ignore my email!

    • by dvdeug (5033) <dvdeug@nOspam.email.ro> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @10:01PM (#11685328)
      Given enough time, nearly every email becomes irrelevant.

      Given enough time, nearly everything becomes irrelevant. That job resume you're writing up now is going to be pretty irrelevant in 3 years; but that doesn't mean you can ignore it now.
    • You can safely ignore your email and suffer minimal long term consequences.

      I dunno...in 3 years I might not care that my boss wanted to see me this Friday, but if I ignore her email there's a pretty good chance I'll be changing jobs :-)
    • People might laugh about this, but my experience is that this law in many cases actually apply. In some cases it won't such as when I receive elctronic bills. I might ignore the mail, but then I might end up having my property confiscated for not paying my bills. I have ignored mail from my boss in order to get away from tasks. Sometimes I get away with it, other times he comes to give me the order in person. Hell, I have mails in my inbox now that is old enough that the tasks described are no longer valid.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @09:20PM (#11685107) Homepage Journal
    Is this:

    90% of all eMail is useless the moment it arrives in your inbox.

    The First Corollary of eMail age is this:

    All remaining eMail is useless no more than one year after the moment it arrives in your inbox.

    The Second Corollary of eMail age is this:

    eMail accidently deleted will become instantly irrelevant or it will be resent without your request.
    • Email accidentally deleted becomes INSTANTLY very important, not irrelevant.
    • All remaining eMail is useless no more than one year after the moment it arrives in your inbox.

      That is actually not true. One year is a local minimum.

      As email ages it loses currency and it becomes increasingly difficult to act on the information contained. However, that's not all the value in email.

      Older email is valuable as historical record. It contains details no longer stored in your head. It's value increases with age.

      These curves cross at about 1 year.

      Thus, the one year mark isn't the time t
    • > 90% of all eMail is useless the moment it arrives in your inbox.

      Ah yes it is, especially when it's from my boss or the guys from the design department. In 90% of all cases they're already in my office, telling me they've just sent me an e-mail which said foo before my T'bird even fetches it from the server.
  • by 4Lancer.net (858900) <slashdotNO@SPAM4lancer.net> on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @10:23PM (#11685443) Homepage
    Having your own domain offers a neat way of tracking where spam comes from. For example, if you see the email I use here, I will know any spam that comes from someone getting my address from here. Of course, /. isn't the best example. Say I sign up at a website, misfitriprapper.com. I will use misfitriprapper.com as the username before the @4la... I use this method EVERYWHERE. I just sent an email last night to Epson support. My email address? epson.com@4la... We've all learned years ago to not trust anybody, so, I don't even trust the big companies like Epson.
    • I used to use your system. Unfortunately it has 2 flaws which made me change it again:

      First, the spambots also send a lot of mail to fantasy names with your domain or-- even worse-- they use a fantasy name with your domain as the sender address so you get the millions of error mails.

      Second, I once received a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer because I used their domain as part of my email address to subscribe to their newsletter. It was something like lawyer.com@my-domain.net.

      I then decided to have o
  • four main folders (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RalfM (10406) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @11:37PM (#11685982) Homepage
    I've started filtering my email on what is basically a Steven Covey 4 Quadrants principle:

    Urgent is email that is important to _my_ goals in life, where there is a deadline. Usually that means other people are involved. For example, email from my PhD students who should be working on research that furthers my interests as well. (Covey quadrant 1)

    Important is email that is important to my goals, with no deadline. The stuff that is good for me if I read it, but I didn't used to because of the deadline issue. I now make sure to read through the Important folder once a day. An example is conference announcements in my area. (Covey quadrant 2)

    Distracting is stuff that is important to other people, but not really me. Most of my Staff mailing lists go in here. (Covey quadrant 3)

    Timewasting is stuff that is fun but not really important to anyone. Friends mailing lists talking about the latest in computer games or eclectic news stories, for example. Stuff I can read for 5 minutes to get a chuckle before meetings. (Covey quadrant 4)

    Other email gets put aside for me to find out how to not get it again. For example mailing lists I subscribed to once thinking they'd be useful for me, but really I'm better off searching the web when I need that info rather than wasting my time keeping on top of it every day/week.

    It works very nicely, and I only have a couple of filters for the lot. I get 400+ emails a day, incidentally.

    Try it -- just set up 4 filters copying rather than moving the emails, and run it in parallel with your current filters...

    R

    .
  • Total Emails / Seven Days: 10503
    Total Blocked Attempts: 3371
    Total Filtered Junk Email: 1778
    49.0% of email detected as junk

    Estimated 20,596 junk emails per month.
  • I've saved every e-mail I've sent/received (minus spam) since early 1998 or so. I've saved I don't see any reason not to. It's sort of a journal of my life. I'm making regular, multiple, and offsite backups so the longevity of the data should be possible.

    I've only saved a few IRC and IM chatlogs before 2003 before I started using Gaim. Since then I've saved every IM conversation I've had since then.

    I don't really think the data has any value except maybe to reminisce about old friendships, or what things
    • I've been saving all of my e-mail, both incoming and outgoing, since 1987 (yup, that's 18 years of e-mail!), and for the same reasons as you. The only things I don't save are spam and large attachements. The grand total uncompressed byte size of my e-mail archive is about 165MB, and of course it compresses very well. Since it takes almost no effort to save and archive e-mail, and since it does provide a semi-useful diary/log of sorts over the years, I figure "why not?". In fact, I'm kinda surprised so f
  • Uh.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by danielrose (460523) on Wednesday February 16, 2005 @01:58AM (#11686607) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone else find this article INCREDIBLY boring?? I just couldn't care how a balding man analyzes email..
  • I have every email that I've ever received since 1992, with some exceptions for work accounts, and if I'd just thrown them out on the "if it's more than a year old..." principle, I'd have missed one of the best email romances any geek has ever had.
  • Email Address (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr. Jax (686488)
    Does anyone know if he used the same email address throughout those 12 years? If he switched addresses the spammers might not have known about the new address, thus reducing the amount of spam he will receive the coming years.
  • Only 40% ?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lcsjk (143581) on Wednesday February 16, 2005 @09:07AM (#11688084)
    Last year I kept all my email at work for 6 months. I called all mail that I had not personally signed up for to be SPAM and that includes conference announcements. Approximately 51% was SPAM of about 3000 total. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me anymore. During the summer and fall, I let some graduate students use my computer, and now I get approximately 75 % SPAM. I don't read it all, but I also get email to my computer that has a different user name and email address.
  • by john187 (32291)
    I posted an automated weekly analysis of the language used in my email some time ago.

    http://www.2ad.com/~john/spam_zeitgeist/

    This focuses more on language used rather than on message type. So it reveals some of the patterns used in marketing messages.

    John

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