Re: [Asrg] Removing the incentive to spam

Tom Bartel <tbartel@assurancesys.com> Thu, 15 May 2003 03:58 UTC

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From: Tom Bartel <tbartel@assurancesys.com>
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Removing the incentive to spam
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Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 21:59:56 -0600
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> The related, second, effect is for people who have limited bandwidth
> to their mailbox, 56k still being quite common. Even a fairly modest
> 32MB mailbox (in terms of modern disk costs) can take over two hours
> to download on a high-speed dial-up line (32MB @ 4KB/sec => ~8,000secs.)

I wonder if any ISP or email hosting providers could provide some
anonymous datapoint on the average inbox / pop file size for users over
a larger sample.

I am an email packrat (I suspect there are others like me) and one of my
webmail accounts currently has 1347 messages totaling 36.9MB in storage
space.  The messages go back several months.  I would guess this is
potentially the upper end of the bell curve, but don't have a clue. 
Again, maybe someone on the list possibly has some data points for this.
 
> Since spam seems to be rising rapidly and, I think it's safe to say
> tho I won't say I have data, spam msgs are expanding in size due to
> the inclusion of graphics etc (often to by-pass spam filters!) the
> outlook is bleak and worthwhile taking seriously.

I'm not sure how the inclusion of graphics increases the storage size of
mail.  It seems many spam messages now commonly use images to display
the "text" portion of their message, but the images are references to
external servers with fully qualified links.  Unless spammers are
encoding and embedding graphics in the message using multipart/related
MIME, I don't think HTML email adds to storage size.  It may infact
reduce storage size.

> Spam really is an evil problem and one needs a multivariate sieve to
> keep all the factors any approach needs to consider in view.

Agreed.

> I'd hope as time goes on and the thinking matures we'd be able to
> develop some sort of checklist to evaluate any proposed approach
> against so it's not always oh yeah, dial-ups, damn, that won't work
> very well at all for dial-ups (or whatever.)

Very much agreed.  

Tom Bartel
303.642.4104
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