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BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?

04 May 03 - 06:20 PM (#945957)
Subject: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: fiddler

Thought I'd ask this one 'cos you lot often have good ideas.

I've just checked my University Work Email account and out of the new emails all were porn or spam.

Every time I set my filters to cut them out they just come up with a new address or put '*' in so it doesn't look like p*n*s etc....

Yup this is the IT geek loosing the battle.

I'd even buy software if I could, if it exists!

My other business ISP is better at filtering but I still get some.

Am I odd 'cos I don't like them, I have no desire to see a teenage farmhand misbehaving with her horse!!!

HEELLLPPPP!


04 May 03 - 07:21 PM (#945976)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Gareth

Mailwasher, and tight filters on Hotmail !! Or enjoy it !!!!

A funny but true story

Welsh Assembly Election 2003

The Labour Party Candidate in Caerphilly, one Ron Davies, had 'self destructed'.

We had 10 days to find a new candidate, and complete the nomination formalities.

A new Candidate was chosen by individual members vote, and it fell to me to rewrite various leaflets. One thing I was short of before printing was good (ie proffessional) photos of the new candidate, one Jeff Cuthbert, and the deadline was approaching.

No problem - studio in Cardiff - E Mail the JPGs

Checked E Mail - no pictures _- eventually they were sent again.

Just one problem the header was "Here are your Pic's" Yep the Hotmail spam killer had classified them as 'PORN' and delated !!!!!!!

Gareth


04 May 03 - 08:40 PM (#945999)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: bbc

Oh, no, I have vertical dyslexia! I thought the thread name said Spaw & Porn! I don't mind getting rid of Porn, but I think we should keep Spaw! :)

Back on topic--the only way I have (at least temporarily) gotten rid of spam was by putting my email address on my son's website. He has a .name domain & the spammers don't seem to have discovered them yet!

best,

bbc


04 May 03 - 08:58 PM (#946005)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: NicoleC

Including Hotmail in any sentence as a solution to spam is highly entertaining. Sign up for a Hotmail account and you'll have 10 spams within 2 hours. (Not MSN's fault, incidentally.)

My solutions:
-Change your email address periodically. Once it becomes compromised, there's not a damn thing you can do until there's an internet equivalent o fht eTelezapper. Trying to use one of these software progams to detech spam before downloading it was, to me, just an elaborate way of deleteing it.

-Never, NEVER enter your email address on a form on the web, post with your real address on usenet, or type your full and accurate email address on any web site, including this one. Come up with creative ways to insert extra characters that are obvious to human brains but problematic for harvesters.

-When you really gotta submit an email address (for example, when they will email you a password before you can continue), use one of the free web mail accounts. Keep one handy, or just make up a new one. If you continue to do business with that web site or later come to trust their use of your email address, you can always correct it later.

-When choosing email addresses, look for unusual domains. Big ones like AOL and Hotmail and Yahoo get shotgunned, and even if they don't have YOUR address, they might randomly generate it.

-Get a well-rounded internet filtering product like Webwasher, which can be set to disable script access to cookies, web bugs and other potential methods of harvesting your email address while you are online without your knowledge.

-In general, stay away from THOSE sites. You know the ones... flashing ads and pop ups everywhere, and 90% advertising.

-Disable HTML email. You may still get the spam, but you won't be triggering malicious HTML code or getting any of those nasty pictures.

-If you have any influence over your IT department, they should really consider subscribing to a filtering blacklist, instead of trying to create their own.

The problem goes beyond email, and even direct marketting associations are supporting anti-spam legislation now. I have little faith in it working. But for every email you do get, legitimate or not, your ISP filtered a spam. At work, we filter over 37,000 emails per day for our 400+ email addresses, yet our users are still deluged. (We're working on satisfying all the requirements to sign up for a good blacklist service.)

My cell phone service keeps trying to get sign up for web serive -- with a Hotmail account. Ha! So I can get spam on my cell phone, too? Spam text messages are coming to a cell phone near you, too.

----------------------
I'm curious to know what parents do. It seems draconian (and cruel to teenage egos) to always go through their email before they can read it, but it's the only way I can think of to be sure your kids aren't getting assaulted with this.


04 May 03 - 09:53 PM (#946033)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Ely

I have a Lycos address and I get some SPAM but I'm not inundated. I got mad, though, when they took away their "block" button. You used to be able to just click on the "check" box by an email and block it without opening it. Now, you have to add the sender's address to a block list, which means you have to open the email (since most SPAM doesn't have the sender address in the "sender" ID field). I liked not having to open SPAM because it helps avoid viruses. I wrote Lycos an angry email demanding my "block" button back but of course they won't do it just for me.


04 May 03 - 10:52 PM (#946062)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

John Dvorak of Ziff Davis suggested a "solution" that the ISPs could implement. If the ISP acknowledged each email by sending back a "problem" that required a one or two second calculation, and return of a correct answer, before accepting any email, the spammers would be out of business.

First - a fake address wouldn't work, because they'd never receive the "problem," and all their transmissions would be undelivered.

Second - the spammers rely on being able to send several thousand emails per minute - and their return rate is so low that even a second or two for each message would literally sink them.

The delay for anyone sending "normal" traffic would be no worse than the slight delay I get while Norton scans each outgoing message.

This would impose a slight extra message burden on the ISPs, but 80 percent of messages are now SPAM - so doubling the traffic per valid message would still get them a 60 percent gain in capacity - if the SPAM was eliminated.

Any such solution may have hidden faults that need to be examined before implementing, but this one is simple enough to look pretty reasonable. If he can come up with something this simple, certainly the ISPs could too, if they really wanted to.

John


05 May 03 - 12:20 AM (#946082)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Ebbie

For $12.00 a year my local server (GCI.Com) isolates incoming spam and virus-suspected emails then notifies me that they've come in. I can do a Select All and Remove 25 of them at a time, which is immeasureably better than having them come onto my front page, good as $10,000 a week working part time, or growing an appendage that I can do without, or recently being offered an Iraq Deck of Cards Fugitive something or another, sounds. :)


05 May 03 - 12:42 AM (#946086)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Crazy Little Woman

I use Juno Speedband (14.95 a month), and I never get any spam.

Thanks for the tips about not putting an e-mail address on the web. Good information for everybody.


05 May 03 - 01:12 AM (#946087)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Bee-dubya-ell

I'm gonna say something that a lot of folks probably don't wanna hear.

America Online really does a good job of blocking spam.

I know it's politically incorrect to say anything nice about mega-corporations, but it's true. In the year that I've had AOL I've gotten less than five pieces of email spam. I was getting some of those "instant message" spams for a while, but I've blocked them now (with AOL's help).   

Now, the only people that send me bothersome messages of any kind are AOL themselves with their never-ending "special offers".

Bruce


05 May 03 - 01:20 AM (#946088)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

The problem with most recommendations for spam blocking utilities is that you don't know whether the blocker is working for you, or whether the spammers just haven't discovered your address.

Has anyone who was getting a lot of spam blocked it with one of these utilities without also changing their address?

Even hotmail has a fair "filter," and they manage to send about half of the spam to junk mail. The problem is that the spammers fake return addresses, send with multiple different subject lines, and numerous other tricks, just to confuse the filters. It's not uncommon to find what is obviously the same message at least twice in the inbox and five or six times in the junk mail - each with a different "id" and all sent within a few seconds of each other.

It's been mentioned before that you should be particularly cautious about allowing your kids to use "cute" nicknames as an email address. "Cuddlebunny" and "sweetstuff" will invite a particularly obnoxious kind of spam. Just about anybody (sufficiently perverted) can pick out the "currently popular" nicknames kids use, and send at random until they get an answer.

A "strong" address, containing a symbol or two and maybe a couple of numbers can significantly reduce the likelihood that your address will be found by a "random sequence generator." A relatively "long" name may give a little help. If you use numbers, they should not be consecutive: john42 is not nearly as good as j4hn2.

Most sites treat email addys as not "case sensitive," so just mixing upper and lower case won't help much; but if I were to use j0hn_1n_kans2s (3 numerals and one symbol) they at least have to include 26 letters + 10 digits + a half dozen symbols in their "randoms." This raises the number of possible sequences rather significantly, and may prevent, or at least inhibit, them from finding you.

There is some indication that spammers avoid addys that "look like a business," although that's kind of an "iffy" one to rely on.

John


05 May 03 - 05:36 AM (#946141)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Jon

John, this article may be of interest to you. It seem's spammers are now trying to "hijack" people's computers.

I haven't worked out where most of my spam comes from but most of it goes to an email address, jonbanjo@freeuk.com that I hardly ever use for email communication.

Of my other email addresses, jon@jonbanjo.com and jon@folkinfo.org recieve little (say 1 or 2 per week cf. say 15 per day on the freeuk account) even though the latter is the one I give without "anti-spam modification" in newsgroup communication.

I also have "help@" both jonbanjo and folkinfo which are "publicised" on the websites but I have never seen any spam to these accounts. The "help@" accounts are operated by more than one person though so it could be that one of the "admins" has recieved spam that I don't know of.


05 May 03 - 05:56 AM (#946146)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: fiddler

Trouble with the email address change is when you have a business email, mine is! It needs to be the same.

It is used legitimately by colleagues and work associates all over UK - sadly none abroad yet.

Its the filtration that is the problem.

You could end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

Lots of good Ideas I shall be sifting them through whatn I finish this next bit of database.

A


05 May 03 - 06:32 AM (#946153)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Jon -

The virus guys love to stick a worm on your machine that makes your machine send a bunch of junk that looks like it came from you. These worms are the basis for the "Denial of Service" (DOS) attacks that have been publicised quite a lot recently. They'll trigger a whole bunch of infected machines to all send to the same address simultaneously (and repeatedly) in hopes of blocking all legitimate communication.

Incidentally, the spammers tend to ignore dot-org addresses, but they do often launch "crawlers" that look for anything that might be an email address, and they love searching chat and message sites. So you may have just given your addys to another spammer or two by posting them above. Some people "disguise" addys if they want to post them by spelling out the "at" and "dot" instead of writing them so they're easily recognized by a machine.

Another annoying trick that's cropped up recently is the use of the "net send" utility that's intended to let your local webmeister broadcast news to users on the local net. It's built into nearly every op system around. It can be accessed from outside if they figure out your URL, and pops up even if you're not connected to the web. It can be disabled with a regedit, but some of them have apparently figured out how to reset/re-enable it.

John


05 May 03 - 07:12 AM (#946158)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Jeri

I hate the stuff and I get a load of it SENT. In my case, I think I got on one too many mass-mailing lists. Quite a few of the spam messages in which the spammer hasn't hidden recipient names have names of other folkies.

One more thing on the mass mailings & spam, I've been getting worms on a regular basis from several addresses on one particular ISP. I think I'm getting those because of mass-mailings. The worms look for addresses in other e-mails, not just in the infected computer's address book.

FOR PETE'S SAKE, IF YOU SEND MASS MAILINGS, PLEASE HIDE THE RECIPIENT LIST!!!

My ISP filters some spam, I filter some, and some gets through. Happily, it's almost always in HTML. I can read it, but not without difficulty. The filters I have set up are based on words in the message title, sender's address - sometimes this is any domain, and mass mailings. Sometimes I miss an address change or other bit of information I WANT to read with the latter, but most of it's spam. (I can also filter IN any 'From' address, so newsletter thingies sent out by, say, Texas-based performers, get to my in-box.

The best way to prevent spam is, as others have said, to guard your e-mail address. To stop getting it completely once you're in the spam loop, I think you have to change addresses.


05 May 03 - 08:11 AM (#946173)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: John MacKenzie

I have 2 addys and 1 is only for personal stuff and friends, the other is used for organisations or shopping, or whatever. When I start to get spam on the second one I change it. I just don't see any other way, personally I think that all unsolicited mail should be banned, but it aint going to happen.....Giok


05 May 03 - 09:57 AM (#946192)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

John,

I've tried just about all of the things mentioned here. It's a running battle to keep this crud out of your mail, no matter how you manage it.

I use Earthlink, which merged a number of years ago with Mindspring, the originator of the "Spaminator" program. I use that, and though some spam gets through, I'd say 75-90% it gets caught. It does go in cycles, as new banks of spam addresses are introduced, there's a learning curve for the program. It doesn't cost me any extra to use it, and with multiple email accounts, it works for all of them. Spaminator relies on reports from users, however, to work properly. So though I just delete spam often enough, it builds in volume until I take the time to open the spam header (always examine the size to be sure you're not opening a worm or virus), copy the whole thing into a new mail and send it to spaminator@earthlink.net. Spam in my mailbox drops off again, and when I visit my account every day or two at Spaminator, I delete a couple of pages at a time (20 per page).

Pegasus has some pretty good filters. Eudora has a fee program for a filter I've never used. Yahoo mail has a way to block messages, and I would think that if you put an * in the right field, you could block anything with * in the subject line. You always have the option to scan the list of spam before deleting (though most of these will automatically empty after a couple of weeks) and tweaking it so legitimate mail gets past the filter.

My biggest concern are the browsers. IE and Netscape go out merrily on their way, advertising my email address wherever I go. I tried blocking it in my Netscape, and had to reset my email again before I could receive any. But that is one idea--to simply go into your browser and remove your email address so it can't leave that behind wherever you browse. You'll have to go back an manually replace it any time you want to check your email if it is connected with a browser. I also subscribe to Anonymiser, because there are times when I'm doing web searches, such as through Google, that no matter what the topic, you're bound to hit sneaky sites that have put keywords in their metadata to get them included in searches. You'll leave behind a lot of information if you're not using a firewall or other software to block the transmission.

So the answer to one of John's questions is that yes, I have one address in particular that I've had for a long time that one of these days I hope to close down and leave the spam behind, but that isn't really the answer. I've brow beat (and probably lost) a few friends for sending long lists of names any time they send a petition or a piece of humor. I used to send humor frequently, but in the last couple of years, I send very little, and generally send it individually. BCC is the feature to use when sending to mulitiple people so everyone doesn't get the names, but something tells me that the list isn't as secure as I'd like it to be. Anyway, when your address is in one of those horrible long emails that someone sends in which several other Luddite senders have not figured out to clean it up so forward it addresses and all, it's a really good chance that someone equally dense along the way is going to post it somewhere, with all of those addresses, and your email is there for any bot to harvest.

Some days email is just a pain in the a**.

SRS


05 May 03 - 10:15 AM (#946204)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Peg

I was shocked to hear someone say AOL is good for avoiding spam...I have an AOL address I have been using for years; it is thoroughly corrupted with spam of all types; any way I can rectify this or is it too late???


05 May 03 - 10:20 AM (#946208)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: mack/misophist

My spam seems to come in surges; not too much one day and tons the next. Rather than use a filter that might remove something I need to see, I use my shell account and pine to edit the mail folder. With pine, I can delete 100 spams in about 15 seconds.


05 May 03 - 10:59 AM (#946225)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Bat Goddess

In almost 2 years I have received only 1 piece of spam at my regular e-mail address.

But I also keep a Yahoo address specifically for e-mail lists and any time I have to fill out an internet form with my e-mail address, etc.

Yahoo does a pretty decent job of diverting all the spam to the "Bulk Mail" folder -- which I check before deleting just in case the filter's a bit off, which it can be. And some spam gets into the regular account in-box as well. But that'sokay -- I have a delete key.

Had a company AOL account several years ago and it was notorious for attracting spam, but I think that was primarily because that's also where I got my lists, etc.

The problem is that there is so much of it that I have to delete it every day (sometimes several times a day) and I'm hoping that when I'm away for a long weekend, e-mail that I want doesn't bounce because my box is full (with mostly spam).

Linn


05 May 03 - 11:27 AM (#946238)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Jim McLean

I use AOL and get about a dozen spams a day. I couldn't log on today as AOL had blocked my password. They had noticed my account was responsible for sending 500 emails yesterday and they realised that was suspicious. Someone had hijacked my address. AOL gave me a new password which I obviously changed after logging on.
Jim McLean


05 May 03 - 12:38 PM (#946277)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: NicoleC

Yes, AOL is *very* good at blocking spam. (Unfortunately, they are also good at selling their subscriber list to spammers they approve of, which is another topic). So is Hotmail. Both are such huge targets, however, that users are almost inevitably deluged anyway.

Recently, MSN and AOL agreed to team up on their anti-spam software development. That IS good news.

I never get any spam to either of my personal addresses (see security measures above), but I manage a couple of mailing lists. Anything being posted that isn't from a subscriber gets bounced to me for review. Egad, it's a lot of spam, even though we have filters in place. Recently, ZERO spam has been getting through. Unfortunately, the company that ultimately owns and runs the mailing lists won't tell me what they did!

Work is another story -- I can't change my address there and it's published as a customer contact. Not much to do but grit my teeth and hope the anti-spam efforts in progress will help.

I know of no way to get your account off spammer lists, and once it's on one your address will be resold forever. Numerous utilities exist to preview you mail and dump the spam first; none of them have ever appealed to me.

NEVER click the unsubscribe link or reply to spam, unless it's a legitimate company you've heard of. Reply or unsubscribe links are usually just harvester programs that then tag your address as being a good one, making it a more valuable commodity to resell.


05 May 03 - 07:20 PM (#946545)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

Short answer - Don't have an email account.

If I have a little free time I check the headers from the day's spam on SpamCop and report them to the relevant ISPs. I have no idea if it does any good at all but I feel better for it.

Any offers of Norton products should be reported to Symantec as they do try to track down people pirating their software.


05 May 03 - 08:26 PM (#946588)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

PfE

The situation may be a little different in Essex, but when I tried referring a few dozen particularly obnoxious pieces to my ISP I was informed that the headers were all phony, and they couldn't trace the sources. I tried looking at a few others, and found the same obvious situation. I don't figure there's much chance that blocking the "indicated" source is going to do a lot of good, since the next one will be "faked" from a different address.

The volume I get has dropped from about 300 per week when the account was first opened (there were 140 pieces there the first time I looked at it, which was within an hour of "creating" the account) to about 80 per week since I just started deleting them as quickly as possible - before they're downloaded if I can - and keeping the inbox, junk mail, and trash bin empty.

John


05 May 03 - 09:24 PM (#946621)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Ian Darby

Lavasoft do a free download called Ad Aware.

It enables you to seek out and delete the Data Miner programs installed when you visit web sites.

These rascals collect info on what you've looked at and pass it on to herberts whose sole purpose in life is to generate Spam.

Have a look at the above, you'll be surprised at how much stuff is sitting in your PC that you weren't even aware of.

Bestest Regards, and Good Luck....

Ian Darby.

P.S. Also see Zone Labs 'Zone Alert' free download.


05 May 03 - 10:04 PM (#946646)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

Ad Aware
I have the Norton firewall, and that keeps most of those cookies and pop-up pages out. Sometimes these programs clash if you use more than one, so it's best to read the fine print on these before installing.

I tried the free Zone Alert before going to the Norton program. I couldn't get my email to move with ZA.

SRS


06 May 03 - 12:10 AM (#946689)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Little Hawk

My solution to this common problem was elegant and simple. I got a friend to write and install a little software program that automatically collects all the Spam and Porn and reroutes it to Spaw's email address.

I'm not gonna tell you what it is, though. He's suffered enough.

- LH


06 May 03 - 12:55 AM (#946715)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: katlaughing

I use Ad Aware and Zone Alarm which both seem to have worked quite well. I also have a bogus addy listed as first in my email addy book for any worms that might try to use my email addresses to send to.

I second what Jeri said:

FOR PETE'S SAKE, IF YOU SEND MASS MAILINGS, PLEASE HIDE THE RECIPIENT LIST!!!


Use the BCC, please!!

kat


06 May 03 - 06:39 AM (#946830)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Dave Bryant

You can always make sandwiches out of the Spam. Not much that I can do with porn though - I don't own a pornograph to play it on.


06 May 03 - 07:31 AM (#946854)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Gurney

Be careful who gets your address. My spam was minor before I sent for some 'free' software, and now the spammers know things like my age and sex, which I can only remember putting on the sales form. That was a commercial site, not a free download site like Tucows.
The software was rubbish, too.
NEVER reply to spam.
One day I'll find out how to delete everything except named cookies.


06 May 03 - 08:35 AM (#946893)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Gurney -

In Windows Explorer, you can go to the cookie directory and delete any cookies you don't want. There's no particular problem with doing that.

In Win 98, go to C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

In Win XP or Win 2000, go to C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Cookies.

In Win XP or Win2000 "username" may mean you have to look at several "cookies" folders, since you'll usually have an "Administrator," an "All Users," and at usually least one "string" with your name - there's a cookies folder in each of them, that you need to check if it's the first time you've cleaned house.

Delete everything that doesn't have "mudcat" or "digitalriver" in its filename. - Well, actually, you might want to leave the cookie from your ISP, and maybe from your bank ...

Most cookies are relatively harmless, but you probably want to get rid of any that say "fastlink" or "adclick" or "doubleclick" and any that don't have a clear name to show where they came from.

The worst that can happen if you delete a good one is that you may have to "log in" again somewhere. They'll always give you a new one.

John


06 May 03 - 08:55 AM (#946909)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: katlaughing

I also never give my real age or birthdate; cheeky bastards for even asking, imo!


06 May 03 - 10:32 AM (#946982)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Little Hawk

People could defeat this kind of thing by ALWAYS giving totally false information to all surveys, including false email addresses. This would be a good way of fighting back. Make them waste their time and money till they stop bothering people.


06 May 03 - 11:33 AM (#947020)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

LH -

The vast majority email addresses on the spammers lists are not put there because you gave your email addy to a "reputable" site. Of course, when you give your addy to the Turbo Tax people, every brokerage house that has an account with them will get it, and will send you at least an occasional offer, but for the most part the circulation and distribution of these addresses is pretty limited.

Spammers do launch "crawlers" that look for addresses posted on discussion threads like this one, so putting your address up in a forum is likely to get you on a list. Especially if (unlike here) it's a list frequented by "gullible" people.

Some of the spam lists are produced by someone hacking into ISPs with poor security; and there have been reports of "ungruntled" employees selling legitimate lists; but most are "generated" by simply "making up" addresses, sending a message, and keeping a list of the ones that get delivered.

There are only about 12 million possible combinations of 5 letter "names." Pick the "top twenty" email providers, and you've got about 240 million possible addresses. It's about an hours work - or a very few hours at most - to send a message with a "click here to be taken off our list" to every one of these possible addresses with a couple of decent machines and a fast connection. And you don't have to sit around and watch while the machines do the work.

If 10% of the possibles are "good" addresses, you've hit 24 million names worth possibly 0.01 cent each. If 1% of the good ones are naive enough to hit the button, you've confirmed 240,000 addresses, worth about 0.3 cent per address - $700 for a couple of hour's machine time. (The market price fluctuates, and you do need to know where to sell your lists.)

It might take a whole day for some kid's machine to run the 6-letter possibles while the kid's at school - or at his school's computer club where he's sharing how to do it with a dozen of his buddies. (They'll probably leave the school's computer(s) running overnight too, if they think they won't get caught.)

One of the "pro" spammers recently was reported to have claimed his (few hundred - off shore, of course) servers could - "if he wanted to" - run all likely 10 character addresses in "a day or two."

John


06 May 03 - 04:38 PM (#947239)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Grab

I could sympathise with Hotmail, but they're doing a crappy job of filtering my spam. I'm typically getting a couple of dozen or so a day, of which only one or two get filtered.

Unfortunately my Yahoo account has just been found too. They're *very* good at detecting spam though, so it doesn't inconvenience me much.

Graham.


06 May 03 - 04:45 PM (#947244)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST

Is there a way to keep the porn and lose the spam? Porn is very entertaining, I had no idea of what you ladies considered fun until i watched it :)


06 May 03 - 06:52 PM (#947343)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Bill D

if you have pop-up filters and don't follow the commercial porn,but stick with free, happy erotica, you can do JUST fine..*grin*

(Oh, sure there is good (relative term) and FREE, non-sleazy erotica...do the math...multi-millions of web sites and attitudes--not everyone is posting flashing red-and-yellow banners with posed crap with professional oiled-up blond Hollywood types wanting $19.95 for access to the 'good' stuff..*grin*...)

On the other hand, I don't think I've ever seen any good, useful Spam. I have heard of Spam carving contests, though. Maybe carving Spam into erotic figurines.....hmm.......


07 May 03 - 01:29 AM (#947552)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

There is a clear distinction between art and porn. This is a site I like for the representations that are apparently in the "Italian style."

Even some of the art sites have pop ups. They're difficult to avoid. I don't know if this page has them, because my firewall catches 99% of them. I think I stumbled onto this page via here, but visit this with the usual proviso--not all links on this last page are equal. But there are some very nice ones.

SRS


07 May 03 - 01:52 AM (#947564)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,pdc

I subscribe to the Langalist online tech letter run by Fred Langa, who is a first-class computer wizard. He recently mentioned a program that uses a new type of spam prevention (Bayesian), uses practically no resources, is FREE, easy to install and configure. The website (below) states the following:

"K9 is an email filtering application that works in conjunction with your regular POP3 email program and automatically classifies incoming emails as spam (junk email) or non-spam without the need for maintaining dozens of rules or constant updates to be downloaded. It uses intelligent statistical analysis that can result in extremely high accuracy over time.

K9 learns from it's mistakes and becomes better and better at being able to identify spam. More importantly it learns to recognize what you consider to be spam.

K9 is for standard POP3 email accounts only. It does not support Hotmail, AOL or any other kind of webmail type systems."

I found it very effective, and it's worth a try. Here is the website:
Spam filter site

let me know how you like it. Also try the Langalist newsletter -- it comes in a free or a subscription version! I think since I just quoted Fred, I should give him a plug.
Langalist tech letter.


07 May 03 - 04:13 AM (#947623)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Sarah

I use the web mail facility Mail2web.com - put in all my account details and pull all the titles of my incoming mail straight off the server without downloading. I can then delete the obvious spam, check the possibles without downloading and leave the real messages on the server to download when I finally open my mail programme. I was away last weekend and had 70 messages (3 of which were genuine) when I got back.

Cheers
Sarah


07 May 03 - 06:06 AM (#947681)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: dermod in salisbury

Interested to read the comments about virus like worms which hi-jack your address lists to send rogue e-mails. I had an odd experience of this sort last week. It began with an e-mail from something called 'friendgreeting'. Opening it made the screen appear to shudder then spattered coloured laugh words across the screen. The delete key didn't work, but simply closed outlook express and left the message lying in the In box. Thereafter, I started getting failed delivery e-mails about messages I have never sent. I noticed these related to people I have exchanged genuine e-mails with in the past, so my address list was clearly being tampered with.

How do you get out of this kind of fix? With difficulty. I messaged my ISP postmaster (British Telecom) who have not replied to half a dozen messages seeking advice. The Outlook Express help file says that the address list is automatically generated when you reply to any e-mail and cannot be deleted.

My improvised solution seems to have worked, for the time being. I managed to delete the problem e-mails by temporarily moving genuine messages to another file, then using the Select All facility, which enabled the delete key to work.   I also found that address lists can be deleted if you access it from the pc start button and accessories, rather than through the Outlook Express toolbar.   With all addresses and rogue e-mails now deleted, the problem appears to have gone away.

I should say that, as point of contact for a music society, my e-mail address is accessible through local government websites. Obviously, there will always be some risk in this.

The above might help others if they have a similar experience.

Dermod


07 May 03 - 09:55 AM (#947797)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Demod -

You probably have a virus on your machine and you need to get it removed. The measures you've described may have limited what it can do, but in all likelihood it is still there, so whenever you put a new address in your book, it may attempt to start sending. Until you remove the virus, you - and all your contacts - are at risk.

For an initial check, go to any of the major anitvirus manufacturers' sites and look for a "scan your machine" link. Norton Preinstall check page is one good one. (http://security.symantec.com) This site will check your machine and send you to a subsite appropriate for the web setup you are using, where you should find a "Scan For Viruses" link which you should use immediately.

If a virus is found, the site should identify the virus and give you instructions for removing it. If you have trouble with the removal isntructions, make a note of what virus is indicated and do a web search (Google or other) or, if necessary, come back here and ask.

If you are using email it is essential that you have a good antivirus (AV) program on your machine. Any decent AV program should have told you the message was infected so you wouldn't have opened it. Once opened, the virus may have placed infected junk almost anywhere on your machine which now may require fairly complex removal. What you have done so far has probably not removed any virus already on your machine, or prevented you from spreading it to others.

John


07 May 03 - 10:07 AM (#947803)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

John,

Can you think of any way to scan one platform from another in the same machine? I use the Win2000 side of my computer the most, and as of this week, the ME side simply won't boot up. Since I get there through the Partitian Magic program, I can't boot automatically to that side with a disk in the floppy drive when I turn on the machine. My Win2000 knows the ME side is there (as is illustrated when I run system tools and it offers to defrag the ME/Pavilion side of the hard drive). Is there any way I can send Norton around that same route to check for and remove or isolate any viruses? My daughter uses that platform sometimes, and uses chat a lot, and I'm afraid she downloaded a virus in there.

SRS


07 May 03 - 11:51 AM (#947885)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

SRS -

If your AV is in your Win2K partition, it should be able to scan the WinME partition. The virus signatures are generally the same regardless of what OS (for Win2K and WinME, at least) you have "turned on," so just scanning the WinME disk/partition from Win2K should be sufficient. If you find a virus that's already "installed" and need to do something sophisticated about removal (like a RegEdit) you of course should be in the applicable OS.

You could, of course, use the Norton link in the thread above and let them do a remote check - if you want to scan from the OS for that partition and can access the web in "ME" mode.

If you go to the Norton site at http://security.symantec.com it will probably immediately flip you to a sub-site corresponding to your current OS and browser setup, so you need to go there with the OS you want checked active, and bookmark separately for each OS you have, since the sub-sites may(?) be different.

I haven't used Partition Magic recently, but older versions allowed you to add a line to a boot floppy autoexec.bat or config.sys file to "activate" Partition Magic for a floppy boot - as I recall it was just a "Set Device=" statement to turn on the Partition Magic "interpreter." (Normal Windows "rescue disks" probably don't have these files unless you have an old CD drive, tape, or SCSI devices; but they can be added easily.) I don't have documentation for current versions, but you should have if you're using it.

John


07 May 03 - 02:07 PM (#947980)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: dermod in salisbury

JohnInKansas

Many thanks for your advice. Unfortunately the Norton link won't help because I have IE4 and it needs IE5. Microcsoft's site won't help, I have just looked at it, and it has stopped supporting IE4, and you must have IE5 to use its online download facility for upgrades. I have probably been my own worst enemy. My machine came with McAfee pre-installed, but McAfee wouldn't accept a UK address for registration. So I binned that and bought Norton on a CD Rom. The CD Rom player on my three year old Compaq packed up about a year ago. I have never bothered with it because I considered it is only needed for games. I have been under the illusion that Norton is still working on my machine. It certainly appears to make virus scans on request. I ran one after experiencing my problem and it declared my machine to be virus free. But most likely it needs the disk in place to function. Probably my best bet is to tie a stone round my system and find a deep pond. But the miser in me says there must be life in this machine yet. But I do not wish to be a problem to people I e-mail. Some hard decisions seem imminent.

Best wishes

Dermod


07 May 03 - 02:58 PM (#948007)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Uncle_DaveO

If your Norton is as old as it sounds, it's quite a bit out of date with the development of viruses, trojans, and so on. New ones come down the pike continually, and if a new one comes along that your Norton (in its advanced age) doesn't know, you've got no protection.

That reminds me, I've got to run my Norton and download the current virus definitions; it's been a week or so.

Dave Oesterreich


07 May 03 - 03:20 PM (#948016)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

One more time:

If you have IE4 you probably are still running Win95?

There is a Win95 center at Microsoft that you might be able to get into, at Windows 95 Center where you could prowl around to see what you can do to keep/get things working. Since IE4 was the common Win95 version, that site might let you in - at least to get an upgrade(?). The site says it has a utility you can download to let you search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, and if you can get in to download that it may(?) let older browsers in.

IE5 was the default version for Win98, and even if you start with IE5 SR1 it requires several hours worth of downloads to get it to currently acceptable "secure" condition. The current version is IE6 SR1, and it is significantly better than previous versions, particularly in security areas. I would expect that any machine worth messing with should be able to run IE6 - but of course you have to be able to get into the upgrade site(s) to download the update. You'll need to look at system requirements to be sure you can run it, if you can figure out a way to get there.

If you happen to be running Win98 and for some reason installed IE4 on purpose(?) uninstalling Internet Explorer in Control Panel - Add/Remove Software should revert back to the Win98 default IE5.1. (You can't actually uninstall IE from Win98, but you can go back to that version by telling it to uninstall.) Unfortunately you may need your installation CD to complete an uninstall.

If you're sure that your CD drive is mechanically dead, you should be able to get a replacement for $30 or so (US), and they're not that hard to install. If it's a program screw-up, you'd probably be best off getting local support.

Even if your Norton is running, if the virus signatures it's using are more than a month old it is not protecting you from the "currently active" threats. The symptoms you described most commonly come from the KLEZ_32 virus which has only been widespread for about a year - and keeps coming back in new "variations." There are several others that can produce the same symptoms though.

A three year old machine that was current when you got it should be capable of being upgraded to useful performance, but if it was a "bargain basement" machine at the time, you might be better off replacing. Advice from someone who can look at what you have would be most effective.

John


07 May 03 - 05:58 PM (#948126)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

John,
I have a "rescue disk" for Partition Magic, but that's for starting the computer in general. I have to get through the Partition Magic bit (which works okay) and then boot in the ME side--and that's where it kicks into booting from the ME side. I need to use a recovery disk for ME at that point.

SRS


07 May 03 - 08:09 PM (#948196)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

SRS -

It sounds as though what you really need to do is to add the Partition Magic startup to a Windows ME startup disk.

You should be able to create a Startup floppy directly from the Windows ME install disk - even if you can't get Win ME up. (You may have to hand edit some things to point to the WinME partition.) You then need to add the Partition Magic startup to that floppy, since otherwise WinME can't read the "Partition" that Partition Magic made. There may be a Partition Magic utility on your machine to make/add to startup disks.

If there's a problem with getting it all on a floppy, you can probably use a ZIP disk (if you have one) or put it on a CD (if you have a burner) although you may have to reset your BIOS to look at the ZIP and/or CD drives as boot drives.

The WinME partition should appear in Win2K Windows Explorer as a "Drive:" D:\ or E:\ or some such. If you can "see" (read the files on) the WinME partition while you're in Win2K, scanning that "drive" from Win2K should find any virus infection. If Norton in Win2K says the WinME partition is clean, you can be pretty sure that the WinME problem lies elsewhere.

John


07 May 03 - 10:36 PM (#948290)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

Good ideas, John. I do have a zip drive. And a CD and a DVD. And a regular floppy. Tons of ways of getting stuff into the system. For now, I'm going to do a complete backup of the Win2000 side, then I'm going to reboot with the ME CDs. Probably have to redo the entire computer, but every so often the housecleaning is useful. I'll set up ME for the kids, with their games, and I won't bother to put the productivity software in over there. I'll keep that one small, and do all of the heavy lifting on the Win2000 side.

Say, have you seen those nifty little thumb drives they have now? Someone was suggesting one of those in lieu of a zip drive for my computer at work. They don't hold as much as many zip disks, but they do hold a lot, and all you do is plug them into the USB port. They do require a password (good idea). Since I don't have a reachable USB drive on my computer at work, I'd have to crawl under my desk every time I wanted to use it (though I did get a 1:4 splitter recently, and it's a little closer than the back of the machine). There are many manufacturers of the drives, and many of them are much less expensive than the one I've linked to.

SRS


08 May 03 - 02:48 AM (#948390)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: stevetheORC

Hi John
Thanks for the link to the Norton site good to know that the puter is virus free.
Cheers Mate
De Orc


08 May 03 - 04:00 AM (#948416)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

Well, I'm trying out the Spamcop freebie for a while... see if that stops the buggers!

One rule I didn't see here, NEVER click on the bit that says they'll remove you from their list if you want... they will remove you from that particular list and put you on another, because they've just had confirmation that they have a viable working address.

If only it were so easy to do it with the junk mail I get through my door (7 pieces today, total mail count, 7)!

We bought a brand new computer, got it home, set it up and on setting up the internet connection, got several mails immediately - one usual 'welcome to Outlook' mailing and the others all Russian porn from someone called Svetlana! Took months to get rid of that, and could have had terrible consequences should we ever have been investigated by Social Services!

LTS


08 May 03 - 04:05 AM (#948417)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

But shouldn't this be retitled as Tech? It is after all, a techy site and has some useful info in it that could help everyone.

LTS


08 May 03 - 04:08 AM (#948419)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Stilly

The thumb drives I've seen have been rather "pricey" for the amount of storage you get, although the small size would be handy.

If you can plug an extension into that rear USB port and lay it out front, you've got a "front plug in" and a 3-foot "extender" cord shouldn't be more than about $20 (US). (Get the USB-2 type, if you're buying.) Then get yourself a USB External Hard Drive - an 80 or 90GB shouldn't be more than about $150, and you can take home everything your boss owns in one trip.

Other advantage - it's just bulky enough so you're not tempted to take work home every night.

I'm a little puzzled why you want the kids on ME instead of just giving them their own "limited rights" signin on XP. XP has some built in firewall (I don't know how good it is since I connect thru SWMBO's) and "kid filter" functions that are supposedly a lot better than in ME, and you'd avoid having to contend with dual boots. Sort of an idle question on my part, since I'm sure you have your reasons.

John


08 May 03 - 04:51 AM (#948442)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Jon

I'd not heard of a "thumb drive" as such but looked into similar devices recently. I ended up buying a "6 in one" card reader/writer instead. We already have my dad's digital camera on smart media cards and I've no doubt will end up wth some other device using a different format at some point in the future so this seemed to me to be the better option.

The device is still small enough to fit in my pocket and also has a small sized CD in the case to supply drivers when needed. I'm not sure how much I will use it and agree with John that the storage is not the cheapest per MB but under 20 for the device and smart media cards as low as 10 for 32MB and probably still falling, it seemed quite attractive to me and certainly beats the hell out of floppies!

USB: My mother board has 2 USB ports on the back and an extension socket on the board. The board came with a further 2 USP ports that are mounted on a bit of metal designed to fit in one of the spaces for a PCI expansion slot and cable to plug into the expansion socket. I'm toying with the idea of attempting to cut a hole in the front of the case to take this. It would beat crawling under the desk to get to the back of the machine and (as long as I don't muck up) be cheaper than buying extension cables.


08 May 03 - 07:25 AM (#948512)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Jon -

If the USB card is a recent add, it's probably at the new USB-2 frequency, and unless the "pigtail" that came with it is long enough to reach the hole you're planning to cut, you really should use a good USB cable anyway.

Depending on what kind of setup you have, almost any hole you add to the case can screw up the mfrs plan for cooling the system, so be neat with your buzz-saw.

For a short run, and especially if the devices you plan to connect are "old" USB, you can get by with the $7 (or less) extension - plain vanilla USB - cable as opposed to the higher priced USB-2. The worst that's likely to happen if the cable is a little noisy is that the card will fall back to the 10MHz USB rate, instead of the 100MHz USB2.

Unless you really need more ports, my most likely approach would be just to duct tape (or something a little prettier) a cheap patch cable to the side of the case so you can plug in "out front."

John


08 May 03 - 08:04 AM (#948540)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Jon

Thanks John. The motherboard (ABIT KT7 - A VIA Apollo KT133 board) is probably about 2 years old now and is just std USB. The cable would reach from the socket on the motherboard to the front as well as the back but I'll take your advice and not cut a hole. The 2 existing ports at the back are taken by printer and scanner. I'll just mount the thing where it's intended to fit, in the place of a PCI card slot (it's not a card itself), and use a cable to come round to the front in line with your "duct tape" idea. It's probably a lot safer and and I don't think 7 (exchange for $ will probably be a reasonable estimate for UK cost) will hurt me too much.

Jon


08 May 03 - 08:31 AM (#948563)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

SEE? Getting Techier by the posting!

TALK IN ENGLISH THAT EVERYONE CAN UNDERSTAND!!!!!

LTS


08 May 03 - 01:01 PM (#948748)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

LTS -

Translation of previous exchange:

If the hole ain't where you can hit it, there's more than one way to move that hole.

OK?

John


08 May 03 - 03:05 PM (#948822)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

which hole?

LTS


08 May 03 - 03:54 PM (#948848)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

John,

My HP Pavilion came with ME installed, and a set of three CDs for reinstalling if it becomes corrupt. It's mostly an all-or nothing fix, you can't take parts of the disks, you have to use all of them in sequence.

I work at home a lot and ME sucks as far as being a reliable operating system for big files and more sophisticated programs. It kept crashing with FrontPage and PhotoDraw (yeah, I know, they suck too, but that's what the university provides). I set up a dual platform and bought academic disks ($25 for the MS Office2000 Premium) and installed it in the new Win2000Pro platform. It's identical to what I use at work.

The DVD movie-playing and CD-burner functionality are tied in with the ME side of my dual platform. Win2000 was never meant for gaming, ME was, and it has a few better resident games. It seems silly to buy software to operate stuff from the Win2000 side when I can already do it from the ME side.

Gets confusing, doesn't it?

The USB cord I bought is about 18 inches long, and has a little 4-slot USB hub that now sits on the top of my computer. Real cute little thing.

Good idea about the external hard drive. Those little thumb drives are just a cute device the size of a keychain gadget, and while they probably do have a lot of functionality for someone carrying stuff back and forth between the same computers (they do come with software to install and there is a pssword involved) they get pretty expensive when compared to a zip disk that will carry as much or more and doesn't need anything extra once it is installed. I opted for the small zip drive.

Liz, if you've ever looked under the hood of your computer, you'll note that it's mostly empty in there. The hardware doesn't take up much space. But keeping it cool enough is real important, and some of these computers can have several fans all running at once. Airflow is important, and if you cut a new hole in the case, you can subvert what the designers had in mind as far as cooking cooling the stuff inside. I lost a good (read "expensive") modem when the power supply fan stopped working. It overheated and died. I use a DSL external modem now.

SRS


08 May 03 - 03:57 PM (#948851)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Liz -

Old PCs only gave you a couple of places to plug things in. You usually had a Parallel Port, which was a long skinny plug with quite a few pins, and a Serial Port, which was a shorter sort of rectangular plug with fewer pins.

You could plug in your printers and such, but you rapidly ran out of places to hook up external devices.

You could add cards to put more Serial or Parallel ports in your machine, but each port needed its own "Interrupt" and "DMA" assignment, and there aren't very many of those - so 3 or 4 external devices was pretty much the limit.

Newer machines, around 5 years ago, began adding a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector or two on the back of the machine. This connection is much like a "serial port" but since it is a "bus" connection, you can connect several devices to the same port (call it a hole where you plug stuff in). This "port" makes it much easier to connect several devices - multiple printers, scanners, and such; and is quite a bit faster than the older kinds of ports.

One of the very common things that gets plugged into the USB port is digital cameras - or devices to read the memory cards that store pictures in the cameras. Most digital cameras can connect directly to the PC, almost always to the USB port. You can also take the card out of the camera and stuff it into a "reader" that connects the same way.

For around $20 - $30 (US) you can get a "reader" that allows you to connect one or more of the approximately 8(?) different kinds of camera memory cards to your PC, and read the card as if it were a "temporary hard drive." Memory cards run about $20 for a 32MB card, up to around $125 for a 128MB card. Readers like this that are "packaged" for use as "portable memory" are essentially what is called a "thumb drive."

The usual location for the USB connector(s) on older (4 or 5 years) PCs was on the back of the machine, and if you want to plug something in, you've got to stand on your head or move the machine (for typical setup) to get to the plug. The simple way to bring the connection "out front" is to plug an extension cable a couple of feet long into the socket on the back, and lay the other end somewhere where it's easy to reach - or tape it to the side of the machine.

Newer machines nearly always have at least 2 USB connectors on the back, and an additional 2 (or more) connectors on the front of the machine.

The original USB ports had a theoretical ability to send stuff at 10MHz, and actually managed 2 to 4 MHz fairly consistently. This is good enough to run your printer or scanner, but gets sort of "balky" when you try to connect things like external hard drives, CD burners, and such. The newer connections are USB-2, which theoretically can send stuff back and forth at 100MHz (and actually get about half that in most setups).

To get the full benefit from the USB-2 connection, you should use the "better" cables that are certified to the USB-2 standard, but a USB-2 3-foot long cable will cost about $15-$25 (US) where the plain old USB cable the same length should be $4 - $10 (US).

A short USB cable may actually work at USB-2 speed, but if you get any longer runs, or several cables on the same port, things will slow down to USB speed instead of delivering the full potential of the USB-2 equipment.

Any clearer? (or were you talking about one of the other subjects?)

John


08 May 03 - 04:20 PM (#948860)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Cluin

1. Highlight

2. Delete


08 May 03 - 04:23 PM (#948862)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: NicoleC

Newer machines nearly always have at least 2 USB connectors on the back, and an additional 2 (or more) connectors on the front of the machine.

For those new to USB, be aware that the ports in the back and the front may be the SAME ports and you can't use all 4 -- you generally have two USB ports, not 4. Never fear, you can buy a USB hub to get more ports if you don't want to be swappng cables around.

I recently "fixed" someone's USB problem when I realized their computer SAID it had two USB ports -- one in the front and one in the back -- but if you plugged in two devices, there was a conflict. Turns out the whole series went off the assembly line with a plastic sticker that covered up one of the two available ports in the back -- so that users wouldn't get confused over which port to use in the back.

Problem was, it covered up the WRONG one! 2 minutes with a pocket knife later, their second USB device was plugged in to the other port, and everything worked perfectly :)

(Lovely explanation, John, BTW.)


08 May 03 - 04:27 PM (#948865)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

John,

My HP came with six USB ports (two on the back, two on the front, and two on my keboard, though the two on the keyboard don't function at as high a rate, because of the length of the keyboard cord). There is also a firewire on the front. Very nice!

SRS


08 May 03 - 04:37 PM (#948870)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Jon

Maybe my motherboard is a little unuasual then. Looking at "device manager", I have 2 "USB Root Hubs", each reporting 2 ports.


08 May 03 - 04:44 PM (#948876)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,Jon

Sounds good SRS.

My system is a replace/upgrade bits as and when PC. I think the mouse is my oldest surviving component going back to when I had a 486. The case would be the next oldest, dating from when it was an AMD K2 500Mhz job. It's currently an Athlon 1Ghz. The newest part is the monitor which replaced the one I had when it was a P133 around the start of this year...


08 May 03 - 07:24 PM (#948988)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Some of the "consumer grade" newer machines do come with several USB connectors all tied to the same port. You can safely plug only one device in, although you can use any of the connectors for that one device.

Better machines actually have a built-in "USB Hub" so that you can use any or all of the connectors for different devices at the same time.

One of the main purposes of the USB connection is that it is designed to accept inputs from more than one device, but there has to be an appropriate "daisy chain" of the devices so that the bus can tell which device sent each signal, and tell the proper device that "this signal is yours" when it sends something back.

The setup is somewhat similar to the older (but still very good) SCSI connection. (SCSI = Small Computer System Interface, pronounced "skuzzy") In a SCSI system, the first device is connected to the "controller" and a "terminator" is placed on the other end of the first device. The "terminator" tells the controller "ain't nothin' more there, don't go any farther."

To add a second SCSI device, you plug the second one into the first one - and move the "terminator" to the other end of the second one.

USB is somewhat similar, in that things need to be connected in a way that lets the individual devices be identified by the USB controller. For a simple "plug two things into one socket" setup, you can use a "splitter," which often just looks like a piece of cable. One end plugs into the computer, and the other end has two sockets where you can plug in two separate devices. It may actually have a little "box" on the end, but the function is the same.

A "splitter" may have "primary" and "secondary" sockets, and you may have to use the "primary" before the "secondary" works. This is not the way it's supposed to be, but can happen if the splitter mfr cut some corners. If the PC mfr cut the same corners and used a poorly implemented "splitter" for a half-dozen USB connectors on your box, I suppose you can console yourself that he probably saved a few bucks - and of course passed the savings on to you...(?)

For more complex connections, more than 2 or 3 devices on a single USB controller, you probably need a true "USB HUB," and a decent machine with multiple USB connectors should have a hub built in. You can also get external hubs, typically connecting up to 4 or 8 devices to one USB connector on the machine.

It should be noted that if your machine has a built in hub adding an external hub can cause "LAN Looping" that can seriously degrade performance of your whole machine. (A multi-device USB setup with a hub is a "Local Area Network" to your machine). Win2K or WinXP will set things up automatically, usually with no problems, but it may add a couple of unexpected "protocols" on your machine. I don't have any information on WinME, but it should work about like XP(?). Earlier Windows versions can have problems with multi-hub setup, but they are not common.

There is a newer (than USB-2) standard that's supposedly even faster, but hardware is still rather rare for it. The main use for new the "super USB" would be in a really sophisticated DVD display setup.

John


08 May 03 - 10:16 PM (#949045)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

I didn't have a problem with spam when I had my old EAGLE-PC, a two-floppy (the 5+" floppies) 8088. No internet connection. Then there was the Packard Bell 486, pretty darned impressive in it's day, and it lasted a long time (many of us in the family would argue that it was around FAR too long). That had a rudimentary 2500 baud (is that how slow they were?) modem. No spam back then. I didn't even encounter much in the way of spam when I was using my Pentium 133mhz Acer laptop. It's with the newest computer in the last couple of years that I've been swamped by it.

(How do you like that thread drift, all the while integrating the original subject.)

SRS


08 May 03 - 10:40 PM (#949053)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Spam is a little like the guy on the street corner selling pencils:

Passerby: "How much for a pencil?"
Seller: "$10,000."
P: "Don't sell many pencils, do you?"
S: "Only gotta sell one."

It was around in the old days, when stuff was a lot slower, but it just didn't work until it became possible to "hit" on 10,000 or 50,000 people (or more) per hour. Only one or two in a thousand is going to be gullible enough to send you money - or even to "confirm" his addy so that you can sell the address to somebody.

P.T. Barnum may have said "There's a sucker born every minute," and his partner might actually have asked "But where do the rest of them come from?" but you still have to find the sucker with money to make it work. Sort of like selling "antiques" - or working ebay.

John


08 May 03 - 10:50 PM (#949057)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Doug_Remley

I have enjoyed the computer knowledge on the thread and have done a lot of local work for those who still cross themselves at the thought of "oh my god! he's going to open it!" However, I don't know that I've ever actually seen this thing called SPAM. I have a Pakistani anti-viral system ( "go to the source" )and my ISP, a NET org, washes all e-mail. Still, I do get at least one advert for porn each day from seemingly good addresses. Damn, no pictures, though. just "Click Here!!" yeah sure, *snort*. I often wonder where they get a mailing list, or if there is an expense involved for "advertising?" No damage has been done to involve EPIC but it more than an auto flyer in the post (hmmm, nice bumpers there), these are essentially properly enveloped and stamped. Does anyone see a need for "second class mail" on the Net?


09 May 03 - 12:32 AM (#949104)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

Doug -

Within reason, we all want the minimum of controls on the net. The problem is that "advertising" broadcasts of email messages now account for 50 to 80 percent of all net traffic, depending on who's estimate you look at, and it's a significant burden on those who provide the net. And no, it doesn't cost them anything extra to send all that stuff - which is why they can afford to do it the way they do.

If you're fortunate enough to be behind a "filter" that prevents you from seeing everything that people attempt to send - assuming even one of them knows your email address and has passed it around - recent analyses of current best filtering hardware and software available would indicate that at least 1 or 2 percent of messages you want to see are also being blocked. There's just no way to reject nearly all of the spam without rejecting at least a few valid messages.

So the freeloaders are not only annoying, they are preventing you from having the full and intended use of the internet for your own purposes (which we'll assume are all legitimate).

John


09 May 03 - 12:58 AM (#949124)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Well - its my fourth posting to this thread. All others have been removed. No that will be also.



I find some the sage advice of these mudcat technos advisos to be hilarious.

For example, visit one of their websites and softcore porn pop-ups will flash you for a week.



http://katsagewalker.tripod.com/bin/email_when_updated/display_form

Intensifies Orgasim
Stimulates Femenin Libido
MEN have VIAGRA Women have VIGEL




Sincerely,
Gargoyle

You get what you pay-for and nothing is "free."


09 May 03 - 01:07 AM (#949131)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: NicoleC

Or to be more explicit -- the fees you pay your ISP pay for all the spam you receive, or DON'T receive, because your ISP spends money and time blocking it.

Does anyone see a need for "second class mail" on the Net?

Cute idea, but there's no reason spammers would set heir mail to be second class anymore than they are likely to include the prefix letters "ADV:" in their subject. (As was proposed as a standard a long time ago and still occasionally used... but rarely.)

I hate getting junk mail via snail mail, too, but at least the folks sending it PAID for it to go out to me. And bulk junk mail effecgively subsidizes out US Postal Service, keeping stamp rates pretty low. It's annoying, but it doesn't cost me anything except another walk to the garbage can.

Email is like COD -- the recipient pays to receive the email.

It almost makes me want to see an internet email system where you pay to SEND mail, which goes to the ISP of the recipient. Fairly legit marketers will gladly pay $.03 per email because they have a legitimate product to sell, and it's cheaper than smail mail or newspaper ads, or all other kinds of advertising.

But the get-rich-quick and bogus schemes that make up the vast majority of internet flotsam would stop. I suspect it would also encourage a lot more people to keep their virus scanner up to date -- one worm that mass emails itself to everyone in your address book could be costly.

Maybe internet plans would be like cell phone plans... you get so many free emails per month and pay whatever rate after that. Like the original internet plans, which included rates for connection hours, not "unlimited" usage.


09 May 03 - 01:10 AM (#949134)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: JohnInKansas

For an overview of some current thinking on spam, some of you might want to look at the PC Mag Stop the Spam issue.

Note that the site does "feature" some popups, asks you to log in, and wants you to accept cookies - but I've not found them doing anything destructive with any of it. If you prefer to go in the "front door," its http://www.pcmag.com. Scroll down to "previous issues" in the left sidebar, and pick the Feb 25, 2003 issue.

The article cited has links to some other related stuff, including lab test results for a number of the best available filtering and blocking stuff. Unfortunately, some of the favorite software cited by our group in this thread does not actually show very good performance; although there apparently is nothing that does it all.

John


09 May 03 - 03:31 AM (#949178)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

Look guys, I have a grey box of bits. It has about 16 plugs and sockets, and 48 feet of cables in varying shades of black (just right for sorting which one goes where) sticking out of it. There's a natty little box on top of it (a tasteful metallic burgundy shade that almost but not quite fails to co-ordinate with the blue and white decor) that has little green lights like eyes on it. It hums when it's on and doesn't when it isn't. Manitas is an IT manager - I have no need of any technical knowledge but I like to learn. I failed to realise I'd have to learn a totally new language!

Is it any coincidence that MS and ME are also debilitating illnesses that affect the nervous and immune systems leaving the sufferer drained, exhausted, emotional and incapable of voluntary movement?

LTS


09 May 03 - 01:16 PM (#949455)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Bill D

**I** don't get pop-ups when I visit Tripod sites...or GeoCities sites, either...I almost forget they are there. (I do get a tiny little red [ad] to show me ads ARE being blocked, but even this is my choice)

Why? Because I use one of the best blockers available--The Proxomitron, and one of the best firewalls, Outpost.

It requires a small amount of tweaking to cover all the situations, but wow! what a difference!


09 May 03 - 02:51 PM (#949523)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Stilly River Sage

If the advice posted here is seen as "hilarious" by a self-reported technologically advanced reader who visits the links we post and finds (horrors!) popup ads, one wonders why that reader hasn't bestirred himself to get some ad blocking software by now? The sites I posted were simply examples of the area where art has been appropriated by porn ads, with plenty of warning from me that there could be popups! Unfortunately, erotic art has been almost totally co-opted by the porn folks, as an avenue for getting ads on the screens of folks who wouldn't go looking make the transistion from the merely salacious to the outright lascivious.

I also wonder why, if "BS" threads are such an apparent abomination on a music site, he continually dips his oar in these waters below the equator?


09 May 03 - 04:55 PM (#949614)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,pdc

I've been using K9 (see http://keir.net) for about 10 days. Today I got one piece of spam, and promptly advised K9 that it was spam, by clicking on one button. Before I started using this prog, I was getting 10-15 spams daily.

It's a free program, and as mentioned above, has been recommended by one of my tech newsletters. Why not try it?


10 May 03 - 04:27 AM (#949777)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

I've got the Spamcop on free trial... it's only let through 1 in 3 days, but deleted 7... I'm happy, but of course, if I have to pay for it, I'd rather keep deleting the spam myself! Apparently we have a built in spamfilter, so heaven only knows what I'd be getting otherwise!

Not too happy about the free advertising they get everytime I send an Email out either, but what the hell, nothing is for free!

LTS


10 May 03 - 11:13 AM (#949944)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: NicoleC

An anti-spam program that spams you with advertising?


10 May 03 - 01:13 PM (#950009)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Liz the Squeak

Yep - automatically inserts a footer advert on all your Emails that you send out.... like I said, nothing is for free....

LTS


10 May 03 - 01:37 PM (#950019)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Bill D

ah, Liz....do not despair! There ARE a few things that are truly free. 'Some' programs are simply released with NO strings attached...no "Pro" versions that they want to sell you, no demanding your email address as a condition, no 'free registration'to their newsletter, no tracking you with spyware...etc.

It take some looking and research, but there ARE altrustic software authors out there.


10 May 03 - 01:44 PM (#950021)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: Bill D

for example, the K9 program that pdc recommends above IS free with no strings...and it works on the same principle that The Proxomitron that I suggest for web browsing. Your email is routed thru a local proxy, so that this program, which YOU continually adjust to suit yourself, looks at mail BEFORE your email program and follows rules YOU set. Not perfect, but not bad!

I may try it, though currently I am still using the "look at my email on the server and delete the crap manually" technique.


10 May 03 - 02:19 PM (#950039)
Subject: RE: BS: Spam and Porn - how to get rid of it?
From: GUEST,pdc

Watch out for SpamCop -- I used it for a while, then found it was deleting all of my e-mails that are "regular repeats", like tech letters I subscribe to, the New York Times that I receive online daily, and so forth. One of my tech letters was quite bitter about it, as the people at SpamCop wouldn't change their specs.

So far K9 is great -- I had NO spam today, first time in ages.