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Microsoft Spam Your Rights Online

Microsoft Steps Up Anti-Spam Efforts 465

An anonymous reader writes "Bill Gates announces new focus at Microsoft to abolish spam. Read the announcement titled Toward a Spam-Free Future."
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Microsoft Steps Up Anti-Spam Efforts

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  • Finally.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Goalie_Ca ( 584234 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:51PM (#6287619)
    they can stop sending me spam asking me to pay to increase the size of my inbox because of excess spam.
  • by sweeney37 ( 325921 ) * <mikesweeney AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:51PM (#6287623) Homepage Journal
    I must remind everyone, the majority of people who orginally saw this got it from an email.

  • Poor Hormel (Score:5, Funny)

    by bytes256 ( 519140 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:51PM (#6287628)
    I happen to like the refined flavor of potted meat
  • Also (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#6287647) Journal
    His editorial [] on the same subject in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
    • Re:Also (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cioxx ( 456323 )
      You know, it would be funny to replace the word "Spam" with "Linux" throughout the article. You'll know what he and Ballmer talk about behind closed doors.
  • by craenor ( 623901 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#6287651) Homepage
    Microsoft has already done their part to reduce spam...if you can't get your OS to function, how can you get spammed?
  • by Marx_Mrvelous ( 532372 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#6287653) Homepage
    I just have to chuckle, I wonder what really goes through his head (Bill Gates) when he gets Spam e-mails to help him "Get out of debt NOW!!!" Heh...
  • by bjschrock ( 557973 ) * <bschrock&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#6287654)
    Like almost everyone, I receive a lot of spam every day, much of it offering to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It's ridiculous.
    Bill Gates

    I think Bill just won the understatement of the year award.
  • by Mainframer ( 530235 ) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:54PM (#6287662)
    Listening to the user community and deciding to help it by fighting a nuisance like spam is great. They should listen harder still and eliminate the nuisance of product activation.
  • All, just remember that the definition of spam is fluid. One person's spam is another's direct marketing.

    I don't think Microsoft will eb getting away from direct email marketing to those with whom they have an "established business relationship", but I think they will be working to put in place a process for dealing with UCE - unsolicited commercial email to use the FTC's term. Frankly, if you are using their free email service, I think you should be willing t receive their mailers (TANSTAFL.
    • by eaolson ( 153849 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:22PM (#6288041)
      All, just remember that the definition of spam is fluid. One person's spam is another's direct marketing.

      No. The commonly-accepted definion of spam is (1) unsolicited (2) email that is (3) either commercial or bulk in nature. (1), (2), and (3) must all be present for something to be spam.

      In my observation, only spammers try to define spam to anything else.

      • Well, I am not a spammer, but I am making an observation on what I have seen in terms of folks behavior.

        For example, I have seen people that have signed-up for offers from a company (I saw them do it) turn around and start complaining that they are being spammed.

        For most people, spam is any email that they don't want in their mailbox at that moment in time. If it is something I don't want - even if I set up a relationship and asked for it - then it is spam.

        I detest Spam. I get tons of it and hate the resources I spend on my mailserver dealing with it. It should be dealt with somehow (I think a scheme with a 1/100 of a cent charge would deal with it effectively). But the reality is that people's definition of Spam really is that email that they don't want to see cluttering their mailbox at that point in time.

  • i guess until they get it through "legitimate" means it doesn't count, then. I seem to recall a contest held involving microsoft and another mass media conglomerate where all the entrant's information was sold to marketing companies to pay for the contest. And of course Microsoft "helpful reminders" must not be spam either, eh?
  • Abolish Spam?
    What's next in the agenda of the MS government? The liberation of users from oppressive GNU/GPL "commie" regimes, polices and practices?
    Is it me, or does the wording comes off a bit too testosterone filled and self-righteous?

    PS. fp?

  • Bill is about two years too late coming to this particular party. Now if we could only get him onboard with standardizing an OPEN micropayments scheme then I would stop chanting voodoo hexes against him and his family.
  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:55PM (#6287683) Journal
    Microsoft doesn't give a shit about the well being of it's customers, nor are they looking to benefit the internet community in any way. Any comments by their spokes people alluding to such intentions are purely facade.

    Microsoft is taking legal measures because spammers cost them time and money with their Hotmail and MSN ventures. Microsoft would still consume your entire living toddler given the chance.

    • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:10PM (#6287886)
      Microsoft doesn't give a shit about the well being of it's customers, nor are they looking to benefit the internet community in any way. Any comments by their spokes people alluding to such intentions are purely facade.

      Microsoft is taking legal measures because spammers cost them time and money with their Hotmail and MSN ventures.

      Welcome to the world of business.

      A business is not designed to make friends, engender feelings of goodwill towards puppies, or cure cancer. That, my friend, would be called a charity.

      • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @05:17PM (#6288590)
        A business is not designed to make friends, engender feelings of goodwill towards puppies, or cure cancer. That, my friend, would be called a charity.

        Or a Community. You know, these cooperative things people lived and took part together in, which when combined together created civilizations?

        Let's face it, when the American people chose to embrace the radical right agenda that is in many ways epitomized by Ayn Randianism back in the 1980s, and exchanged their status of citizens for that of consumers, and their sense of business ethics went from a "let's find a win-win approach we can both benefit from" (positive sum game) to "let's make a fast buck, whatever the consiquences to others" (zero, or more commonly, a negative sum game), we lost our communities and became little more than faceless wage slaves serving our faceless corporate masters. Most of us are lucky enough not to live in the small southern towns our corporate masters chose to dump their toxic waste in (thanks, Monsanto), and those that are unfortunate enough are generally dead and so not a concern (thanks Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Baby Bush, for gutting the EPAs ability to be at all vigilant).

        It should be no surprise that when one redefines humankind's humanity as "charity" (with all the negative baggage that implies) and humankind's inhumanity to itself as "nothing personal, it's just business, and businesses exist to make money, not friends", one loses one's own humanity in the process. What is surprising is how long American culture has managed to survive and even thrive, after having dehumanized itself and its people to such an appalling degree. One can only hope that the rest of the world retains a little more wisdom, and that emigration isn't a complete impossibility.
    • yeah, with all this spam going through their msn and hotmail servers, they can't process them fast enough to see if they are a WINDOWS VIRUS.

      Maybe that's why the just purchased that Linux virus company....

      Got Linux? :)

    • Microsoft is taking legal measures because spammers cost them time and money

      What other reason is there? Out of the goodness of their hearts? For the poor children? For the good of the people?

      I would argue that money (which converts to time) is the ONLY incentive that will ever motivate a corporation to do something. Why does ANY service provider care about spam? Because it costs them money for the bandwidth, disk space, paying for the extra staff to handle the customer's complaints, etc. Similarly,
    • Yes, but your key line is:
      Microsoft is taking legal measures because spammers cost them time and money with their Hotmail and MSN ventures.

      And they cost others time and money as well... it's a good cause. Every once in awhile, the villian decides to fight on the side of good, especially when the other evil is pissing him off. We can trust Billy G. on this one, just don't let him too close to the toddler.
    • "Microsoft doesn't give a shit about the well being of it's customers, nor are they looking to benefit the internet community in any way. Any comments by their spokes people alluding to such intentions are purely facade."

      I believe you are correct:

      (article) "We favor the idea of setting up independent email trust authorities to establish and maintain commercial email guidelines, certify senders who follow the guidelines, and resolve customer disputes."

      So in their 'favoured' model it would be easy to identify and filter out 'legitimate commercial' messages because they would be signed by a trust authority. It's not so bad, unless the want individuals to sign with the same trust authorities to allow messages into Exchange servers or something.

      "Similar authorities already help in protecting people's privacy online, with organizations such as TRUSTe and BBBOnline providing certification for Web sites and companies that follow guidelines on the use of customers' data."

      If a site has a TRUSTe logo, all that means is that they depict in very clear language how you will be hosed. Not to mention that TRUSTe has loopholes the size of trucks []. I don't know about BBBOnline though.

      I agree with the OP - MSFT wants to make it legal for them and their partners to spam you. Remember, MSFT believes that everyone will be behind and exchange server one day so if MSFT gets what it wants, all of its 'commercial messages' will be guaranteed to get to all recipients and will will not be blockable because it's legal.

  • another focus (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:55PM (#6287685) Homepage
    Could microsoft perhaps change their focus to "not changing focus" every 2 months? A few months ago, it was all about a new focus on service centric software development ... then, it was all about a new focus on security, and so on. Kinda reminds me of the "top priority" syndrome, where if every item in your to-do list is "top priority", the result is that none of it really is.

    • by CrystalFalcon ( 233559 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:14PM (#6287944) Homepage
      The funny thing is that this is one of the oldest known management principles in the world, and yet so few STILL master it.

      It was documented in "The Art of War" (Sun Tzu), worded something like "defense everywhere is defense nowhere", with the explanation that at every single time you need to focus, prioritize, and take calculated risks on what NOT to focus on. If you focus on defense everywhere, then you are not defending anywhere.

      And people still haven't learned it. Makes you wonder why people write books. :-)
  • Wow, I never would have guess that Spam would be the new Millenium's great equalizer - like everyone having to put on their pants, one leg at a time.

  • yea right. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by malocchio ( 678917 )
    Self-regulation needs to be supported by strong federal legislation that empowers consumers without threatening the vitality of legitimate e-commerce. Our proposal is to create a regulatory "safe harbor" status for senders who comply with guidelines. The guidelines would be subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission. Compliance would be confirmed by a self-regulatory body. Senders who do not comply would have to insert an "ADV:" label, for advertisement, in the subject line of all unsolicited comme
  • Woohoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by lewp ( 95638 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:57PM (#6287707) Journal
    It looks like our spam problems are almost over. I mean, look at what happened when Microsoft decided to "focus on" getting rid of security holes in their products...

    Oh yeah :(.
  • How about adding pop-up blocking to IE? That would show a real commitment to "eliminating spam".
  • The thousands of twits running open-relay Exchange servers to fix their machines?
  • Gosh, I hope this'll be just as successful as their new "focus on security" last year, which has eliminated all security holes in Microsoft products across the board--

    Ahh crap.
  • OK, I give up Bill. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GeneralEmergency ( 240687 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:58PM (#6287725) Journal

    Exactly how does Microsoft profit from eliminating spam? Unless of course you are planning to introduce a whole new mail system protocol based upon the Palladium security model...

    ...shit...never mind. Damn it, I did it again.

    • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:13PM (#6287926)
      a whole new mail system protocol based upon the Palladium security model

      Or it could be the countless gigabytes of traffic (hard drive space, admin time, spam filter programming, insert another cost due to spam here) their online service wastes on spam. ... you have heard of MSN, no?
  • Step 1) Get rid of Hotmail Step 2) Er, that's it.
  • by macshune ( 628296 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:59PM (#6287738) Journal
    U.S. Government:

    1. War on Communism - ongoing
    2. War on Drugs - ongoing
    3. War on Poverty - ongoing
    4. War on Terrorism - ongoing


    1. War on Crappy Security - ongoing
    2. War on Linux - ongoing
    3. War on Spam - ongoing

    # of wars completed: 0
  • by _Sambo ( 153114 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:59PM (#6287739)

    In an effort to curb spam, Microsoft shut down it's web-based email service.

    "75% of this planet's spam originates on our servers" Bill Gates was quoted as saying today. "By abolishing Hotmail, and moving to a commercial email solution, our users will be able to reduce their spam intake."

    The leaders of the "free" world were skeptical as to the veracity of Gates' comments.

    "Another free throw-away service is going down the toilet," said John Q. Public, the CEO of ILIKEFREESTUFF.COM. "Hotmail was the last way for people to assert themselves anonymously and freely on the internet. Granted that most of the assertions that people made were spam, but it's still an assertion."

    Gates was not available for comment on his comments.
  • by GoatEnigma ( 586728 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @03:59PM (#6287744) Homepage
    We are building on advanced work at Microsoft Research in fields such as machine learning â" the design of systems that learn from data and grow smarter over time.

    In other news, Skynet went on-line on Monday, June 30th, 2003 and becomes self aware at 2:14 a.m. June 31st, 2003....

  • Y'know, it's getting harder and harder to determine which of these slashdot stories is a legitmate duplicate and which are actually technically "new" but are actually just a new helping of the same old stuff.

    • Microsoft promises to crack down on spam or increase security
    • RIAA terrorises some college kids
    • Clueless politicans pass some law that doesn't really make any sense

    It's getting harder and harder to indentify dupes here!


  • This Scares Me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gerf ( 532474 ) <> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:01PM (#6287761) Journal

    Windows has obviously been trying for the last couple years to control every electronic medium it can get its hands on. And, everything it touches, turns to proprietary. And with the number of MS machines out there, and with the direction the government is running (allowing corporations to be police, ala *AA), I am fearful that MS will be able to dominate e-mail as a whole.

    I can imagine MS trying to persuade the Gov't to mandate MS technology to protect against spam. I find this laughable at first, but given how well the US gov't understands technology, i find it quite plausible.

    Gates is jumping on a bandwagon, where there is already public support. It's what he needs, public support. The tide has been turning against him, with poor xbox sales, Linux becoming better and better, OpenOffice closing the gap, and losing in the server market. He's deserate to gain some public recognition, and spam is an easy target. Be wary of the Vole, for he knows exactly what he's doing.

    While i am forced to use MS for academic, work and extracurricular purposes, I am on a lookout soon for a point. This point is going to to be HUGE. Where useability and ease of use come together to create a Linux and OSS Office product that competes directly with MS's systems for the everyday user, millions will flock to the cheap alternative. It's coming, and Billy knows it. And he's doing everything in his power to prevent it.

  • Already, filters on the servers at MSN and Hotmail block more than 2.4 billion messages a day, before they ever reach our customers' inboxes.

    I wonder how much of that blocked spam came from MSN and Hotmail outboxes?

  • You may recall a couple of weeks ago this [] little story. Now this. Perhaps Microsoft was after the antispam technology in RAV?
  • if Microsoft can filter spam without being Sued. []
  • In other news... Bill Gates's other current projects:

    1. Working toward an Apple-free Future
    2. Working toward an Linux-free Future
    3. ad nauseum

    At least people can no longer say that the editors are favoring one OS over another. We have had obvious plugs for all the major systems today.

    Not very useful or informative... but at least well-rounded...


    • In other news... Bill Gates's other current projects:
      1. Working toward an Apple-free Future

      Actually, Microsoft needs apple around...they can say "we're not a monopoly, there's Apple!" and they can copy the hell out of their products. Same way the US needs communist Cuba (boogyman, and a nice place to fuck the geneva convention by caging prisoners of war).
  • MS is shutting down the "" domain?

    I have 3 Hotmail addresses, one I use when filling out online forms, one I use to email family, and one I've never, ever used at all. Guess what? I get ~60-80 spams per day @ *each* address. (yes, I made sure to uncheck all the "Send me stuff" boxes when signing up.)

    Is the hotmail domain just targeted for brute spam attacks or does MS leak information intentionally?
  • by SkewlD00d ( 314017 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:02PM (#6287803)
    * = except their own spam and their VAR partners and other 3rd parties.

    Yahoo!, AOL abolish spam and pop-ups**

    ** = except their own, of course.

    This is another attempt of companies using reverse-issue support to get their way, to be seen as so-called do-gooders, but in reality they're making back-room deals to slip their exclusions in to rig the system in their favor. It's another day of lobbying as usual in Congress, w/ some nice "conference" vacations, comps and perks to get some ear-time. *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*
    • One of AOLs attempts to abolish spam is by refusing (supposed) dynamic IPs from sending in email to their servers.

      Amazingly enough this just stops her from receiving my email but she still had 200 fucking emails YESTERDAY alone from V*I*A*G*R*A S*A*M*P*L*E*S, New Homeowners?, and Need Cash Fast?

      Yeah, way to go AOL!
  • by weston ( 16146 ) <(gro.lartnecnnac) (ta) (dsnotsew)> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:05PM (#6287833) Homepage
    We are building on advanced work at Microsoft Research in fields such as machine learning â" the design of systems that learn from data and grow smarter over time. This kind of technology is vital to the fight against spam because every defensive action causes spammers to change their attack. Technology, to be effective, must continuously adapt, without requiring a team of people to examine messages one by one. With machine learning, a "smart" spam filter can automatically adjust to spammers' shifting tactics.

    Translation: We've noticed that other people are already incorporating these features into their products (Apple's and that you can get good Bayesian filters pretty much free, so we guess we'll embrace and maybe extend that.

    To help, we have assembled a massive and still growing database of spam, collected from volunteers among our millions of MSN and Hotmail subscribers. This database will prove invaluable later this year when we release Outlook 2003, which will include a new, smart filter that will access the database to recognize and block spam more effectively. The filter in Outlook 2003 also will be updated frequently and easily, as with Windows Update today.

    Translation: Hotmail is a honeypot for spam.

    Our proposal is to create a regulatory "safe harbor" status for senders who comply with guidelines.

    Translation: Maybe we can create the "trusted computing" equivalemt of electronic mail.

  • by blunte ( 183182 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:10PM (#6287885)
    I liked what he said, except for where he was touting the Hotmail spam blocking efforts.

    It really doesn't matter how much spam they are blocking. If I continue to get 100+ spam a day, then their spam blocking is worthless. And I do, and it is.

    Spam sucks, indeed, but a new threat looms, and that's spyware. Every non-technical person I come across has their machines crammed full of spyware crap. Machines creep along, popups appear all the time, and other strange things happen. Most users are clueless. They'll just end up buying a new machine because their "PC is too slow".

    I believe Microsoft is largely to blame for this with Internet Explorer. Many users have default settings that do not prompt or reject downloads of unsigned ActiveX objects. So Gator slips right in. And they don't have prompt/reject set for running unsigned scripts.

    This is one reason people need to switch to Mozilla. But I digress...
  • by Trepalium ( 109107 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:11PM (#6287892)
    I don't know about anyone else, but we recently resorted to forcing all incoming SMTP traffic into Linux mail servers so it can be spam filtered before hitting the internal Exchange servers. Nearly all the Exchange spam filtering products were either ineffective, too restrictive, far too expensive, or snake oil. We couldn't block everyone who was listed on the RBLs because sometimes our customers (new or old) end up getting listed on those because of a configuration problem, so those products were out (including Exchange 2003's built-in spam filtering). We weren't about to use products that filtered based on two dozen keywords, and a half-dozen e-mail address domains (including,, etc.). Distributed checksum tools were generally reliable, however, they also caught things like mailing lists, which was a problem (and the fact that in report only mode, they just add a header which can't be used with Outlook rules). The only product that we found that was suitable was SpamKiller from McAfee, but it was too expensive. So, instead with the new firewall, we just routed the mail through qmail and let SpamAssassin tag mail it thinks is spam.

    After all of this, I'm not sure which is worse -- anti-virus companies, or anti-spam companies...

    • Yeah, we're doing the spamassassin/exchange thing where I work too, and it works very well. An added bonus is that you can choose to use/not to use it on an individual basis, so if a co-worker tries it and doesn't like it, they can just turn it off. I've also been screwing around with Active Spam Killer on my e-mail account (in combination with spamassassin, to block the blatantly obvious spam). This combination has blocked all but two spams in three months I've been using it - and I used to get 50+ spams
  • by AnalogDiehard ( 199128 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#6287902)
    2003 "At Microsoft, we're strongly committed to the goal of ending today's spam epidemic."

    1983 "640K should be enough for everybody"

  • by MobileDude ( 530145 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#6287903) Homepage
    brought to you by the makers of Microsoft BOB...
  • I'm not surprised that BG eventually got tired of spam - somebody with 'bill' 'gates' 'micro' and 'soft' in their e-mail address seems a prime target for financial, pay (pr0n) site, enlargement, and viagra spam.
  • by loomis ( 141922 ) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#6287913)
    This writer is really good. A strong spam-is-a-bacteria spin/fud method is used successfully throughout the article. It raises fear and anxiety in the reader akin to that of a virus, perhaps more poignant in these times of SARS:

    "Unsolicited commercial email is a spreading plague that feeds[. . .]."

    "[. . .]pollution of the email ecosystem."

    "Bringing Spammers into the Sunshine," "isolation," "epidemic."

    With the aid of Microsoft I will, according to the author's true message, be eating a diet of good email, exercising, and going outdors so to speak, and thus be protecting myself (or recovering) from the disease that is killing oh so many email users.

    Bravo on the style


  • Whenever I sign up for something on the net I usually make up some name and see if it will let me in. Anyone else do this? Hotmail must really be sucking up the spam for Bill to "make spam a priority".
  • Thanks, Microsoft :) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cloud K ( 125581 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:15PM (#6287949)
    Never thought I'd say those two words in the same sentence without a "no" and a "to" in there somewhere!

    Perhaps they saw my comment conveying the idea [] on the UK to hold public enquiry on spam [] story a few days ago ;)

    No doubt it was really quite a common theory. I stand by what was said back there... Microsoft Outlook / Outlook Express, whether or not the Slashdot or Linux community wish it, *are* for sure the most common email clients.

    As one person on the thread quite rightly put it, it's normally the Microsoft users (granny, mom, joe sixpack et al) who are uninformed enough to respond to spam in the first place, making the business thrive. Helping them not to see it can only kill off the spam industry, surely. I hope so. Commonplace spam filtering "on every desktop" (as Gates would put it) can only be a good thing.

    As such, I'd like to say a very rare "thanks Microsoft, good luck"

  • Knock, Knock (Score:4, Insightful)

    by saberworks ( 267163 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:18PM (#6287998)
    Stop selling all those hotmail addresses to spammers, that might help reduce spam!

    Seriously, it's like the phone company. They sell your phone number to a zillion telemarketing lists and then they charge you to buy a box that blocks telemarketers (as if they're doing you some huge favor by offering it). They are profiting on both sides here, it's disgusting.
    • Re:Knock, Knock (Score:5, Informative)

      by Software ( 179033 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:35PM (#6289214) Homepage Journal
      "HotMail sells your email address to anybody and everybody" is a commonly held belief, but it's simply untrue.

      Several months ago, a /. post suggested setting up a HotMail account with the username == the serial number of a dollar bill in your wallet. When you sign up, uncheck all the "send me stuff" offers. Do not give out this email to anyone in any form.

      I took the dare. To date, I have only received email from "Hotmail Staff". Most of that has been service information ("Don't give people your password:, etc). One sent June 19 was spam (titled, " Listen to 50 Cent, Avril & Coldplay â" try it ... ", I certainly didn't ask for this).

      My verdict: HotMail isn't selling your address. The spam in your HotMail InBox is probably coming from dictionary attacks or other forms. I'm not saying that HotMail couldn't do more to prevent spam. I'm simply saying HotMail isn't selling your address.

  • by Strange Ranger ( 454494 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @04:22PM (#6288042) the process of automatically updating...

    Critical Update #S15896b: This update will prevent the software from automatically replying to many types of spam sent using the HTML format.

    Critical Update #S15897: This update will prevent MS Anti-Spam from automatically deleting certain payment-due notices from certain online services, notably, AOL and your electric company.

    Security Update #5498443676a: This update will prevent a malicious spammer from using javascript to turn your installation of MS Anti-Spam into an open SMTP gateway.

    Please do not interrupt this automatic update process, which has been activated for your convenience and protection.
  • by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @05:02PM (#6288461) Homepage
    So let me see if I have the major companies' spam fighting techniques down:

    Earthlink -- fighting spam with challenge/response
    AOL -- fighting spam with lawsuits
    MSN -- fighting spam with position papers (marketing materials)
  • by bdowne01 ( 30824 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @05:03PM (#6288466) Homepage Journal
    From the article...

    "Like almost everyone, I receive a lot of spam every day, much of it offering to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It's ridiculous."

    Well, maybe for Mr. Gates... but I'd love to get rich quick!
  • by rocjoe71 ( 545053 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @05:07PM (#6288504) Homepage
    1. Embrace spam - by releasing Spam v2.0 they will continue their track record of "innovation";
    2. Extend spam - previous versions of Spam will no longer work correctly;
    3. Eradicate spam - pretty soon everyone will be using Spam 2.0 instead of the original Spam;

    This leaves the future wide open for further "innovations" including:

    1. Spam.NET
    2. SRM: Spam Rights Management
    3. Spam-Bob
  • by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @05:28PM (#6288684) Homepage Journal
    Recently released pedophile organizes neighborhood cleanup.

    I think it might take a little more for Microsoft to turn its image problem around . . .

  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @05:30PM (#6288710)
    Spend an hour with Popmail at:

    and spam will disappear. It is the BEST baysinian-thingy spam-mail-proxy stuff I've ever used. I'll stop being so technical and just say TRY IT. Setup your proxy, and watch it rip. In over 400 e-mails I've had ZERO false positives (setup the "magnets" when you get started.). And for Windoze users, yes it runs great on Windoze and is EASY to setup.

    So do I still hate spam? Sure. Because it's there. Because it costs money and takes resources from the web. But it is NOT a problem in my life and should not be in yours. The last thing we need is POP3 and SMTP to become "Palladium Improved". Let the world know, starting with yourself, that baysani-something-like proxy's work great.

    Oh, and if you use hotmail, never log into their crappy site again, while still getting your hotmail e-mail and spam free at that! Use Popfile, a pop3 proxy from that knows how to speak Hotmail! Now you simply have this:

    Hotmail -> Popfile -> PopMail -> Inbox.

    Poof! Hotmail and every other account you have, all pulled down into one application spam free (yeah, Popfile supports unlimited accounts). Sweet.

  • Now that Bill has solved the security problems in his products, he is moving on to spam. Way to go!
  • Hotmail? Spam City! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geoff lane ( 93738 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:18PM (#6289097)
    I recently created a new hotmail account with a name that would not be found using any dictionary search. I selected _every_ privacy option I could find. Nobody but me and hotmail knew of the new account.

    Within 6 hours I started to receive spam.

    Hotmail _must_ be leaking registration information from somewhere.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.