Lisp to Python translation criticism?

Erik Max Francis max at
Tue Aug 20 09:52:31 CEST 2002

damien morton wrote:

> If I am not the only recipient, or the list of recipients is unknown,
> its spam.
> If the body of an incoming email contains <my-email-address> or the
> words "click here", its spam.
> Thats it. I get about 40 spam a day. Perhaps once a week, the filter
> fails and one gets through. Ive had one false positive in the last 6
> months.

It's true that a set of simple rules will get "most" spam.  A handful of
simple rules, even rules which don't address content, will catch 80-90%
of spam.  But when you get hundreds of spam emails a day, "most" doesn't
cut it.

Having had to put together a very detailed rules-based spam filter over
the years (and having recently migrated to one which uses Python), I
quite frankly severly doubt your statistics.  You're suggesting that
only one spam message in three hundred doesn't meet the above stated
criteria; I highly doubt that.

Yesterday, I got 405 emails, of which 391 were spam.  Of those 391, 190
were not obviously addressed to me (no valid email address of mine
appeared in any of the usual headers).  Also, of the 391, only 124 had
one of the phrases "click here," "click reply," or "click now."  233 had
one or both of these characteristics.  That's a long way from 391.

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
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 A lambda calculus explorer in Python.

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