New From Gmail: A Panic Button

We’ve all made at least one of the following email faux pas in the past:
– Forgetting to attach a file to an email, especially when emailing a group of people
– Sending an email to the wrong person, just because he has a similar name
– Sending a fiery reply to an email that made you angry

Gmail's Undo Button

Well… the folks at Google Labs have finally came up with an undo button which allows you a couple of seconds of email remorse – usually that’s all you need. When enabled, the undo option appears and if clicked within 5 seconds it will stop the email from going out and possibly shaming the sender. Now, while this is nothing new to people who use Microsoft Outlook with delayed sending, as far as I know this was not available with any of the webmail services. If you already use Gmail, check out the Labs tab under your Gmail settings.

If you don’t use Gmail but were looking for reasons why you should switch, now you have plenty:
– the mentioned ‘Undo’ button
– the two-in-one ‘Send & Archive’ button
– the ‘conversation’ method
– the ‘Gmail offline’ option
– plus, all the POP3 access you may need

….all this puts Gmail ahead of any other email service or program.

Help Yourself Reduce the Amount of Spam You Get – In 5 Easy Steps

Israeli Spam: IDF MRE luncheon meat, commonly referred to as LoofThe year has just begun, and if you could not think of a new year resolution to make, how about helping yourself by taking some actions towards reducing the amount of unwanted emails you receive?

Here are 5 things you absolutely can start doing today:
1. Do not post your email address anywhere, not even using address munging.
2. Use BugMeNot as a way to bypass compulsory registration on websites
3. Use a disposable email address for website you could not bypass.
4. Teach your friends some manners and ask them to use BCC when sending emails to multiple recipients.
5. Install MailWasher and teach it to automatically filter your emails

Happy (Spam-free) New Year!

Spam: Don’t Get Mad – Get Even!

Note: Projects discussed in this post have been discontinued. Just scroll down and watch the analog spam-trap video.

I am pretty sure that within the mass of people who say they hate spam (and that is all they ever do against it) there may be a few that actually want to fight back.
As a believer in proactive measures against spammers I was an avid fan of Blue Frog, an Israeli software that started causing spammers actual financial loses. After its sad demise in 2006, which left me with a lot of spam and nowhere to shove it, I had to find a path to which I can direct my anti-spam energies.
Until the new and improved Blue Frog project (called Okopipi, or Black Frog) will mature, I was left with SpamCop.net, a free spam-reporting tool that has been around since 1998, but was never aggressive enough for my taste.

I have been using this tool for a couple of months now, and thought it is nothing to email home about. Basically, it identifies the IP where the email originates (thus allowing the ISP to identify the spammer) and the server that hosts the website selling the advertised product (thus allowing the hosting company to identify the seller who paid the spammer for the marketing campaign).

I could not get excited about SpamCop because you never know if the reports you file are ignored or acted upon by the anti-spam personnel at those companies. After reporting more than 1500 emails, I could not answer truthfully if I made any difference.

Until today!
This is the email I just received and wanted to share:

Hi
 
Thank you for your report concerning this Unsolicited Bulk Email incident.
The account concerned has been identified and suspended under the terms of the Sky Broadband Acceptable Use Policy.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this incident may have caused.
 
Kind regards
Anthony Edwards

Sky Broadband Abuse Team

That’s why I will keep on reporting my spam with SpamCop, knowing that others will do the same, and hoping that the small dents we might make in the big spam machine will accumulate and lead to its beautiful demise.

To leave you with a smile, here is a video documenting an art installation by Bill Shackelford. It is an analog spam-trap machine, consisting of a computer that monitors email accounts, a printer that prints any spam that arrives, and a paper shredder that automatically shreds any printed spam.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHtDHyS_QIc