Jargons of Info Tech industry

Mike Meyer mwm at mired.org
Sun Oct 9 11:55:01 CEST 2005

Roedy Green <my_email_is_posted_on_my_website at munged.invalid> writes:

> On Sun, 09 Oct 2005 04:44:25 -0000, gordonb.7vhwj at burditt.org (Gordon
> Burditt) wrote or quoted :
>>And how do you fix the problem of unsolicited USENET articles?
>>(*ALL* of them are unsolicited to someone).  Or unsolicited
> Read my essay.
> http://mindprod.com/projects.html/mailreadernewsreader.html
> I talk around those problems.

Actually, you present a design that forces a solution that makes them
do what you want down their throats, never mind what they want, or
what they've been doing. It shows an amazing ignorance about the
internet and how people behave on it. Like most antispam proposals, it
won't actually stop spam, just force spammers to concentrate on
different channels. You seem to have randomly broken quoting for
people who download mail and read it offline, and for any medium
that's unreliable or doesn't reliably deliver messages "in order" -
which includes mail and news.  Virus writers will love the ability to
change peoples address books remotely. The problem of differing
character sets is technically solved. Practically, the solution
doesn't work because people implementing the software ignore the
standards. What's your server going to do when it gets messages with
characters in them that aren't valid in the charset that it's declared
as being? Better yet, what's it going to do when the characters are
valid, but the declared charset isn't the one the author actually
used? You implementation sketch only covers the client talking to the
first server (in that it requires the client to encrypt a challange
phrase with the private key belonging the email id, which is
presumably what 2822 uses for the envelope sender). Most mail on the
internet goes through at least two servers, and news is much
worse. For instance, your messages apparently passed through 10
servers getting to me. You really have to deal with store and forward,
or convince a large number of corporations that potentially hostile
users should be allowed to talk directly to their mail servers, which
isn't very likely. Kudos for recognizing that spam needs to be dealt
with by people with guns, but you lose half of them for making ISPS
liable for it.

I also read the comment about wanting an automated "Ask them to run my
browser in my favorite configuration", which is equally naive. A lot
of sites have such cruft on them already. I find them funny - I surf
the web on three different platforms, none of them Windows. Any
pointer to download a new browser or plugin for Windows just impresses
me with the authors lack of skills. The only browser I know of that
runs on all three platforms is Opera, and it's something radically
different on one of the three. Even should you get the platform right,
almost nobody is going to bother upgrading following the download
links. The very small percentage of users who are real geeks will
silently thank you for the notice, and update their software. Most
users will ignore it so long as the page isn't obviously broken. For
those for whom it's broken, all but small percentage will simply find
some other site to visit. I'd suggest that anyone thinking about writing

> It requires a fresh start.

You think you're the only person - and probably not the first - to
propose such? People a lot smarter than either of us, with a lot more
pull and a lot more reason to want it to happen have worked on this -
and it ain't happened yet. I wouldn't bet on it happening anytime

Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org>			http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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