[Mailman-Developers] Interesting study -- spam on postedaddresses...

Dale Newfield dale@newfield.org
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 23:15:14 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 20 Feb 2002, Damien Morton wrote:
> I still think the email-address-as-jpeg solution is prohibitively
> expensive to reverse; effectively impossible for machines, entirely easy
> for people.

But it does have drawbacks.

It only works with graphical browsers.

It can't be enlarged for people that have poor vision.

It can be reverse-engineered -- all they have to do is decode a single
font, then they're all simple to snag.

In fact, as someone with lots of computer graphics experience, I'd say it
would be almost no harder to write code to decode them than it would be to
write code to generate them.

> Web Forms for contacting the admin cold. If the admin replies, you can
> continue the conversation via email.

Right, assuming the web form doesn't break.

> Private and Public views of the archives.
> Private archives are restricted to list members and those that can pass
> a reverse turing test.

People keep using this term, but I'm not sure what they mean, or if I
trust that they'd be so reliable...

> Public archives render all email addresses as jpegs.

If they're automatically generated, it'd be easier to create pngs or gifs,
or lots of other formats than jpgs.  Think about this, though--how do you
actually generate the images and serve them properly without either
including the email address in the html code anyway (so the img request
specifies what image to generate), or building a whole database mapping
arbitrary numbers to email addresses (so they can either be generated on
the fly or stored pre-generated).  Once you've got that database, why not
just have that database front a web form instead of displaying the