[Baypiggies] Challenge/Response email systems

Anna Ravenscroft annaraven at gmail.com
Sat Jun 17 08:03:30 CEST 2006

On 6/16/06, Marilyn Davis <marilyn at deliberate.com> wrote:
> Hi!
> Thanks for your comments.
> I guess the social aspects are a matter of taste.

Could be. I tend to be pretty prickly about some things. ;-)

> > Ick! I had clicked on "reply to all" to send my response to the
> > lmailing list and it sent a copy automatically to Marilyn. Instead of
> > the usual "reply to this email" challenge, it expects me to click on a
> > link!
> I haven't looked at other CR systems in a long time.  They used to all
> go to the web.  I don't quite understand how to do it as a reply-to-
> the-email-message.  The challenge would have one image in the email
> and ask you to put the response where?  The nice thing about going to
> the web is that we can give people several chances to get it right.

Um, what image? I never clicked on the link. I don't click on links
unless I've specifically asked for something and am expecting and
looking for it. I never asked for a challenge.

> The 'reply to this email' auto-responders that I am aware of are not
> spam preventers, not CR, but Joe Job preventers, called "confirmation"
> messages.  Like, when you made a request to join this list, you
> received an email asking you to confirm your subscription request.

I've gotten "reply to this email" messages for getting through
spam-blocks for friends' eddresses in the past. This is the first time
I've seen an eddress protection that expects me to click on a link.

> > Talk about a way for spammers to get real eddresses (oh yes, click
> > here!) I don't remember every single person I may have emailed (yes -
> > I probably *do* send far too much email) so no way would I just click
> > on some random link that happened to be in an email. The *least* I
> > would expect would be a copy of my original email to Marilyn so I
> > could at least judge whether it's a legitimate challenge to something
> > I actually sent or something out of the blue from some spammer,
> > without making me have to search through my sent box.
> The challenge comes right away, unless the network is broken.  It
> bears the subject line, although it would be a nit to include more of
> the message.  So thank you, I'll think about it.  Maybe a the first 10
> lines would be a help to someone.

It would to me. Normally, I hit send and then log out and go on to the
rest of my life. I may or may not go back to that eddress any time in
the next hour or more (or the next day if it's a work eddress). In
which time, I've had 200 emails show up, probably burying any C/R
message. By then, no - I won't remember. Especially if it's someone I
don't know all that well.

> > [shudder] Sorry but this is a really unpleasant variant of the
> > challenge/response system, imho.

> I don't know.  I'll think about it.  But if you just sent me a message
> and yet you don't trust a link I send right back to you

That I get 6 hours later or more? You're assuming something here - I
don't always go back to my inbox after hitting send. In fact,
*usually* I move onto another window or [gasp] do something offline
(like dishes).

> , or don't
> remember that you sent me a personal message, well, I guess I lose
> that one.  I guess it wasn't so personal after all?

So, you're saying I just shouldn't ever write to anyone that I don't
know well enough to immediately recognize their name/eddress in a
screen of 200 emails?

Hrmmm. Not too sure I agree with that one.

> Anyhow, I do appreciate people taking the time to think about this
> with me.  And I'm glad that the arguments seem to have come down to
> taste.

And assumptions about behavior.

It is fate, but call it Italy if it pleases you, Vicar!

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