[Nottingham] Tux Games Antispam - Your message is being held

Michael Simms michael at tuxgames.com
Tue Dec 11 02:52:54 GMT 2007

On Mon, 2007-12-10 at 16:19 +0000, Andy Smith wrote:

> But expecting the world to do your antispam work for you and not
> giving a toss when your software backscatters onto uninvolved
> parties is something that should be allowed to pass unchallenged?

Did you even listen to a word I said, or did you just filter out the
bits you wanted to soapbox about and ignore the rest.

I *do* give a damn about who this affects. I have spent (as I said) a
considerable time trying to make sure this doesn't happen. I will now
spend MORE time working on the system to try and stop it happening
again. I do NOT like having to use a C/R system, but you know, its the
only thing that DOES work for me. This has stopped me having to spend a
LOT of money. Until someone can suggest a reasonable alternative that
never gives false positives and also restricts spam this much, Im
sticking with it.

I for one apologise to the list for the massive (one) number of emails
that were sent in error despite my best efforts to stop it. Now that
some people have had their soapbox moment and caused upwards of 50
emails complaining about one, why not put the toys back in the pram,
and, as has been requested by quite a few people, lets try and get on
with normal business.

> > Like many solutions to real world problems it isn't perfect but it
> > seems to do a good enough job (*for him*)  - just like the current
> > mail system.
> The flaws of the current mail system have only become apparent now
> that it's been in use for 20+ years and no one is saying they don't
> need to be fixed.

That is blatantly false. I received my first piece of spam 13 years ago
(the greencard lawyers, I got that. Yes it was on usenet but it started
turning to email not long after). THIRTEEN years this has been going on
for. Climb out of utopialand, this isnt going to change. Not until a
replacement email system is produced, and lets count how quickly people
adopt an incompatible system that is better and more suitable. How many
of you are reading this over IPV6? I rest THAT case.
I put up with spam for 9 years, to the point where I was paying more and
more money to the email staff at my company just to deal with it. I put
up with the growing costs of this for 4 years before realising I would
have to do something about this, or literally go out of business with
the costs of handling the spam. I couldnt afford to hire an extra person
to sit there doing effectively NOTHING productive. I run a small
business, these things matter. Are you saying that your 20 seconds of
inconvenience is more important than the wages I pay to the staff -
whose rent that it pays, whose families it feeds? I say get a sense of
perspective, its a single email. Spam WOULD have put me out of business.
Flat out FACT. We run on negligable profit margins here, an extra body
not producing anything, just handling spam, is something we can NOT

> C/R on the other hand is broken and abusive from the start and once
> more than a tiny minority of people begin to use it this will become
> readily apparent.

You keep on using that word 'abusive'. I do not think it means what you
think it means.

My C/R system sends out ONE single email, maxed out at one per day, to
anyone mailing me. One response gets you whitelisted forever, I added in
whitelists for mailing lists, I made sure that the sender of the
challenge is the recipient of the email, so that well written other C/R
systems will acknowledge the challenge and pass it through.

C/R is NOT broken, merely a little unpleasant. Compared to 1,000 emails
a day for products I really dont care about, is a lot less pleasant. I
would have MUCH rarther spent the many many hours I have spent modifying
and changing and fixing my C/R system on other things, but I didnt
because, I dont like it to annoy people. Guess what, I'm a damned good
coder, but I'm not perfect. Its a system that deals with network traffic
created by end users and as such is notoriously difficult to get
perfect. Just ask the wu-ftpd people how easy it is. 20 years and they
are STILL finding bugs with a lot more resources than I have available
to me.

> I'm not avoiding the fact that internet email has severe problems.
> I also don't see how that fact means you can set up something else
> which is selfish, abusive and clueless and then throw your hands up
> saying "they're both as bad as each other!" (which they aren't, but
> even if they were, where's the logic?)

You love that word.

As far as selfish. No, I did what I had to to protect my business. 

As far as clueless. Ive read the email RFC's end to end several times
when implimenting this system. Not clueless.

Abusive. Erm, www.dictionary.com may be required here.

> > To convince someone like Michael (Simms) to move away from a C/R system
> > (or away from windows, outlook or any other "bad" system) someone is
> > going to have to be able to demonstrate an alternative (better) system
> > that solves *their* problem - not the problem you think they have.
> He wrote it!  If he did that and then watched it backfire onto the
> list, and presumably watches his logs as it sends out crap to people
> who never even contacted him and *still* isn't going to change his
> view then what real hope is there?

You know, I don't watch my antispam logs because I for one have a LOT
better things to do than read 1,000 lines of 'spam from user x' every
day. I'm not going to change my view because all you have done is RANT.
Suggest a real alternative. One that works as well, and I will JUMP on
it. OR - give me 10,000 pounds per year every year and I will use it to
pay someone to sit clicking 'spam' / 'not spam' all day every day. Or,
stop hurling your greviances at the wrong person. I do what I have to to
stay in business. I do this in response to spammers. They attacked me, I
responded in the only way that worked.

> > Then you need to convince them why your alternative is better
> There is so much material out there now, as well as common sense, as
> to why C/R is bad, that anyone with an open mind cannot fail to be
> convinced.

Common sense tells me that C/R works. All I find against C/R on a google
search is a) rants about how people hate it, b) rants about people hate
it c) no technical reasons why it doesnt work, other than issues Ive
already addressed and resolved.

> If however one is willing to be selfish and abusive then C/R is
> almost ideal.

You've used up your quote of the A word now. Please choose a new word
next time. As a matter of fact only one person in this whole charade has
been actually abusive. I point to the man in the glass house.

> Cheers,
> Andy
> _______________________________________________
> Nottingham mailing list
> Nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
> https://mailman.lug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/nottingham
Michael Simms, CEO - Tux Games

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