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Re: Blocking Spam

I wrote:
> Actually, I find that SA's Bayesian engine is pretty good at spotting
> the random text they put in most image spam. With a few extra points for
> technical stuff, most of it goes directly to the spam folder, and the
> rest to the "unsure" folder with fairly high scores.

"Aaron Konstam" replied:
> I guess I have to point this out with a little bit of trepidation. But
> if you have an unsure folder you are probably using SpamBayes not
> Spamassassin.

No, it's *definitely* SpamAssassin. I used to use SpamBayes, and I
brought the concept with me to SpamAssassin. I sort into "unsure",
"spam", and my normal mailboxes through procmail based on the
SpamAsssassin score.

And I *do* think an "unsure" folder is a Good Thing. The downside, of
course, is a folder I must manually check. The aim is to keep it empty.
But the *first* thing you should know when you want to filter spam is
that no system can be perfect. There will be spam that gets around all
the rules (yes, even DNS lists, if you happen to be first on a spam run)
and there will be non-spam that looks spammy. An "unsure" box is a
Pretty Good Way of getting that uncertainty into one place where you can
keep an eye on it.

This way, I can set the score needed for the "spam" box to be
comfortingly high, so practically no real mail goes there. I can set the
score needed to be marked as "real" mail to be very low (currently about
2), so practically no spam disturbs normail e-mail reading. And I still
get maybe eight "unsures" per day, most of which can be deleted on sight.

And yes, I've *still* known SpamAssassin sort good e-mail into the spam
box. Flipping Yahoo *added* enough spam words into their mandatory extra
signature (in a "Tired of _____ spam?" advert) that it triggered content
rules and Bayes. In my book, that's not a false positive, that's
electronic vandalism.

After that, all I can say is that Yahoo e-mail Should Not Be Used.

E-mail:     james@ | Dalek invasion at work today. I plugged them into the
aprilcottage.co.uk | net: they behave better than some Windows boxes. They
                   | make great spam filters: "Enlarge your..." "EX - TER -
                   | MI - NATE!" All in a day's work for a sysadmin...

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