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7 Days In Email Hell

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the emails-of-note dept.

The Internet 213

jfruhlinger writes "If you first went on line in the '90s, you probably remember a time when every e-mail you received was exciting, or at least relevant, and was worthy of your personal attention. One brave writer decided to take that approach to his present-day overflowing inbox. He read every email he received and dealt with them all, either by replying, filing, or unsubscribing. He even scanned his spam filter for false positives. It was a lot harder than he thought it would be."

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213 comments

Guess spellcheck wasn't on (0, Redundant)

mhh91 (1784516) | about 3 years ago | (#36678738)

*Thought it would be. Please check your spelling next time.

Re:Guess spellcheck wasn't on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678810)

That's not misspelled.

Re:Guess spellcheck wasn't on (-1, Troll)

timothy (36799) (2346658) | about 3 years ago | (#36679154)

Yes it is.

Again, samzenpus, you're letting this kind of garbage through onto our front page. Can you PLEASE be a bit more thorough when reviewing submissions? Thanks.

-timothy

NIGGER AIN'T ABOUT RACE! NIGGER IS AS NIGGER DOES! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679200)

Typo in the muthafuckin' summary, you fucking nigger editor bastards!

TO SLASHDOT "EDITORIAL" STAFF: I offer a deal. You go a whole fucking month without some idiotic error in your FINAL story submissions for an AUDIENCE OF MILLIONS... and I'll consider no longer posting nigger jokes. Fuck, I might even consider a subscription. Then I could give you money without my conscience pestering me about rewarding stupidity. There's a fucking concept!

I'm confident you can't do it. But do try. Go for it, fuckers!

Re:NIGGER AIN'T ABOUT RACE! NIGGER IS AS NIGGER DO (-1, Troll)

timothy (36799) (2346658) | about 3 years ago | (#36679746)

Actually AC, I quite enjoy reading your nigger jokes. These jokes add color to our discussions here at slashdot- I like best the one about farm equipment. Keep up the good work!

:)

-timothy

Re:Guess spellcheck wasn't on (2)

smisle (1640863) | about 3 years ago | (#36678868)

What bothered me was the disagreement of tense: "He read every email he received and deal with them all" ... it gives me chills even on a re-read.

If this was an email... (4, Funny)

neonmonk (467567) | about 3 years ago | (#36678742)

If this was an email, I'd instinctively delete it.

Re:If this was an email... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679728)

If this was an email, I'd instinctively delete it.

No you wouldn't, 'cause GMail has fantastic filtering technology. Relying on Baysian neural networks to seed the pseudo random logic was truly genius on their part!

Re:If this was an email... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36680140)

If this WERE an email, I'd instincively delete it.

I don't remember those 90s... (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | about 3 years ago | (#36678776)

As far as I have used email (early 90s) spam has been an issue. I think I get less junk now than I used to get in 1995, thanks to advancements in server side junk mail filters.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 3 years ago | (#36678830)

I don't recall any significant spam until my isp was bought up by earthlink in 2000 or so at which point that mailbox was nothing but spam.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 3 years ago | (#36678874)

Junk filtering has all but eliminated my spam. What it hasn't eliminated is the plethora of mailing lists and newsletters and daily deals I've accumulated. Most of them are weekly or monthly. But just the volume of companies I've interacted with over the last couple of years finally reached a breaking point this last week.

Just yesterday I started the exact same process (sans spam folder). I've started going through and actually unsubscribing from all the shit I receive. Already with the weekly and daily crap unsubscribed I for the first time in a long time have returned to what I consider an acceptable mail volume.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679268)

I've had a gmail account since they started in beta, so whenever I sign up for a website, I enter my email as myEmail+websiteName@gmail.com instead of just myEmail@gmail.com. Then, if I get a few spam messages or other nonsense I don't want from that website, I create a filter for anything coming in with that address and have it skip my inbox and go straight to archives. I'd say that if I include the purely notification emails that I want to see but never read or need to read, I get about 10-30 messages a day. Without those notifications, I get 3 or 4 worthwhile emails. No spam trouble at all.

Sure, the trick doesn't work at websites that refuse the plus symbol, but most work fine, and if they don't, I take a minute to consider if I really want whatever that website is offering; usually the answer is no.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (3, Informative)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 3 years ago | (#36679304)

I do the same thing with hyphens and Qmail. It's practically eliminated spam as a problem for nearly a decade. The only two problems I have are people (and businesses) that get freaked out seeing an email address like me-yourname@mydomain.com, and websites that want an email address to recover a login (if I can't figure out what address I made up for that particular site... I have semi-standards, but they don't always work 100%).

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679436)

For password recovery, I just search my archived emails for one that came from the website in question, then hit show details to see what the To: address is.

The biggest problem I had was a website that allowed me to use a plus symbol in the 'registration' while I was buying the product, but then the login script rejected that email, so when the item I purchased didn't arrive, I had no way to check my order status. Since it was a small company, it was very difficult to get the situation remedied. Still, can't win 'em all.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

grahamm (8844) | about 3 years ago | (#36680184)

Since it was a small company, it was very difficult to get the situation remedied. Still, can't win 'em all.

In my experience, small companies are often more responsive in fixing things than large companies. Large companies often either have to go through lengthy bureaucratic change control processes or just take the attitude, "this is how we do things, if you do not like it then tough". While in smaller companies, the mechanisms for changing things are much simpler and they tend to value more the individual customer's business.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (2)

PyroMosh (287149) | about 3 years ago | (#36679990)

I do something similar with my personal domain. Every account I have to sign up for gets a unique email address. Doing that, I've had to blacklist maybe 40 email addresses since 1998.

Many of those are fly-by night domains that I wasn't surprised, and a few were just wild guesses (help@mydomain.com, etc.). Still, there are a few legit businesses that surprised me who either sold my email address to spammers or had their databases compromised:

  • 1saleaday.com (not shocking)
  • Chima Brazilian Steakhouse (I was a little surprised to see a legit brick-and-mortar business on my spam list)
  • creditreport.com (not shocking)
  • digitalriver.com (ecommerce solutions)
  • Giant Microbes
  • Lending Tree
  • Renchi (not shocking, but disappointing, I liked shopping on that site)
  • U3 (the failed flash drive platform people)

The rest were mostly the kind of places where I'd be surprised if I *didn't* get spam.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | about 3 years ago | (#36679482)

They call it "bacn", and it's almost as big a problem for me as spam used to be.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#36680012)

Ya know that is the one kind of "spam" I have to say I really enjoy. Opening my inbox and finding something I wanted ultra cheap, like that 1Tb Samsung I got for $35? that's nice. Or the "77 features of Windows 7" which actually pointed out a few tricks I'd never heard of (type PSR in the start search and you can record what you are doing as a step by step tutorial, real handy when i'm teaching someone how to use a complex program) which showed up last week? That's nice.

But to me the sweetest thing about email today is how damned nice the spam filters have gotten. i remember when false positives were high and you'd still get a bunch of "4er8al v1agra" bullshit, but now? I can't remember the last time I saw spam in my Yahoo or my Gmail.

So while I can understand why some my want to unsubscribe I like getting my parts cheap too much or learning cool tricks to give up my newsletters. As long as the webmail guys (thanks webmail guys) keep the spam filters rocking finding a couple of sales flyers and a newsletter or two is just a nice diversion.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#36678884)

Just to be clear, you didn't have an AOL account in the 90s, did you?

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | about 3 years ago | (#36679040)

My fist email was school provided, one of the long institution.something.lol.gov.edu ones.

When Hotmail launched I got an account there, but i was already facing big spam. I think it started in the form of chain letters with huge TO lists virally spreading your email address to hundreds of unknown people that were very likely to send more chain letters. Mind you, I don't think I ever been victim of extremely high levels of corporate spam of any type (reputable companies nor enlargement pill variety.)

But clean inboxes where even half my emails were interesting to read have always sound like a fairytale to me.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

defective_warthog (776271) | about 3 years ago | (#36679954)

yeah for 30 days until i had another. First pc was in '97 my second address is still "active" as a spam catcher.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#36679076)

I remember the outrage I felt when I received my first spam in ~88 I think. I replied with a torrent of foul language (I was still young then), and hoped that would be the end of that (I was still young then).

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

scdeimos (632778) | about 3 years ago | (#36679144)

I remember receiving some of those outraged replies from users who didn't (or just refused to) understand that I hadn't actually sent the spam. Spammers were going through a phase of sending from captured addresses as well as sending to them.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (1)

jandrese (485) | about 3 years ago | (#36679552)

I had an email account through my school from '95 on that was basically spam free till the end of the entire decade. I even used it to post to the Usenet. I'm not sure why spammers never seemed to latch on to it for those five years. It was only when I registered a domain with it that spam started pouring in. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, the whole registrar business seems chock full of assholes who won't stoop to any level if it will make them a fraction of a cent.

Re:I don't remember those 90s... (5, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#36679838)

Actually I KNOW it is much better and I'll explain why...webmail. remember when we all ran our own email programs and had to download all the shit on a sucktastic dialup modem? Sure the spam wasn't as bloaty then but the line was a HELL of a lot slower.

So yes these kids these days don't know how good they got it. They got webmail, they have never been hit by the evil that was Comet Cursors (having your cursor turn into a pocketwatch and slam the CPU so hard your OCed Celeron 300A ran like a 286 trying to load Win98? Fun) or being blinded at 3AM because you tripped over a link and it was a Geocities page in "OMG Ponies!" with bright ass lime green text on a puke pink background with glitter shit falling like rain, or going into work and finding half the boxes have been Bonzi Buddy'ed and your coworkers are screaming at you "OMFG KILL THAT DAMNED MONKEY!"

Yeah kids today they got it so easy, with their multicore this, 3D that. Now get off my lawn!

I must be lucky (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | about 3 years ago | (#36678784)

Funny, this sounds just like my email experience. What are you all doing wrong?

Re:I must be lucky (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#36678854)

I can't comment on other people, but the guy in the article is someone who has subscribed to over 50 newsletters that he doesn't want to read. In the article he complains about his poor personal management skills, insults people who don't agree with him politically, insults people who do agree with him politically, and complains.

What he doesn't do is explain why a common email management scheme is hell.

Re:I must be lucky (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 3 years ago | (#36679672)

Agreed. This guy is bitching because he created the situation himself. It's like someone who never opens his snailmail or even moves it for years as it piles up so he can't get out of his door -- oh, and not recognizing his inability to deal with this mail, he signs up for dozens and dozens of magazine and newspaper subscriptions. And then he complains when he needs a bulldozer to get out of his house.

I'm pretty poor at managing email efficiently, and I've never ended up in a situation anything like this. Two things would have solved his problem without "hell":

(1) Send all mailing list subscriptions, random commercial emails, etc. to a second email account(s) somewhere. Either don't ever bother sorting or do anything else with that account, or spend a few moments periodically with a spam filter and a few other filters to sort the messages. Generally, I don't ever bother with such an account personally -- if I ever really need to find a message, I can do a keyword search for it.

(2) For your primary email account(s), you should only ever be receiving messages that you are either interested in reading immediately or must receive (for work, family, or other reasons). If you do get spam, filter it immediately. If you need to or want to receive an important newsletter or something here that you don't read immediately, put in a filter to get it out of your inbox. If you're required to receive messages from a certain list for work that hardly ever apply to you, put in a filter. With just an investment of a minute or so to create a filter, you save yourself from sorting the clutter from hundreds or thousands of individual messages ever again.

Problem solved. No hell required. I probably have to deal personally with less than a dozen messages each week, outside of work requirements.

The rest -- I don't need to read, and they are dealt with automatically. If I ever get curious, I can always browse the random crap in other accounts or folders/labels it was sorted into.

Re:I must be lucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678942)

They forget to uncheck 'send me updates' or 'subscribe to newsletter' when they register for something. TFS states unsubscribing as an action he took. When unsubscribe works it probably wasn't technically spam to begin with. Otherwise unsubscribe just confirms the email is valid for real spam.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678786)

Umm... I do this every day. My inbox is always at zero after the first 30 minutes I'm at work.

Email is either processed (task/ticket opened or replied if it takes a trivial amount of time), deleted, or archived.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678840)

ditto. And not just my work email, but my personal mail also... I have no life!

Re:What? (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 3 years ago | (#36678880)

Same here... It'll be at 45-50 in the morning, and I'll get it down to zero in 20-30 minutes. Then I'll keep it below 10 throughout the day. It's not that bad if you stay on top of it.

Multiple accounts.... (5, Interesting)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about 3 years ago | (#36678800)

This is why I have 3 accounts.

1).One that goes for the really important stuff. IE Financial related stuff and my family. No one else gets it.

2.) The one that I give to friends and sign up for things online that I really want, are legitimate online retailers I use a lot. Might be spammed, but probably not.

3.) Everything else, IE Anything sketchy, porn, places I may or may not visit again, etc.

Pretty much anything I'm not expecting from the 3rd one goes straight to the round file, and after a day of my filter learning to deal with the latest influx of crap from whatever trash I've signed up for recently I don't even have to mess with it anymore. The 2nd one rarely gets gets a handful of spam each week, and the first one gets 1 or 2 spam mails a month.

Re:Multiple accounts.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678994)

For anything sketchy I just use http://spambox.us/. You can create a temporary email address that is forwarded to you're regular account and set it for deletion after a period of time (1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, etc.)

Re:Multiple accounts.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679426)

Learn to spell or go back to school. it's your, not you're (as in You are).

Re:Multiple accounts.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679072)

The third one is a Mailinator one in my case. :)

Although I have no idea why you would need a e-mail address for porn? Doesn't this list of free porn sites suffice?: http://www.vidohe.com/sites.php [vidohe.com] (The red ones.)

Re:Multiple accounts.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679126)

Wow, is there a GayTube, that really was informative!!

Re:Multiple accounts.... (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36679486)

#1 is fine and dandy until someone in your family gets infected by malware, then it'll show up on dozens of email lists within days. Or until data gets siphoned out from your financial institution. BTDT on both counts, worse -- multiple times in both scenarios.

Re:Multiple accounts.... (2, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 3 years ago | (#36679636)

This. A thousand times this. I have a real address that goes to personal acquaintances and is not visible publicly. Any address at my domain is valid; I have apple@, radioshack@, facebook@, slashdot1@ and so on. Anything goes, I can use it in person at stores that want email addresses and so on. Checking the 'to' header, or the 'x-original-to' header (on sketchy emails that aren't correctly addressed) makes it easy to see who gave out my email, or which forum's been hacked. Most recently, it was the US Speedskating team's website - I donated to them last year with speedskating@ and have been getting spam there.

But people are, as usual, the weak link. I get the very occasional spam in my "real" inbox because somebody's gotten a virus, or had a weak Hotmail password or something. Thankfully not much so far, but that could change. I'm not quite sure how to deal with this, and am open to suggestions... but you're exactly right, no address is safe when the people who have it can't keep it.

Re:Multiple accounts.... (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | about 3 years ago | (#36679920)

I'm using sneakemail - essentially I create a different account for every website or service. If spam is coming in via one of the accounts I know who passed the info to spammers and I can just delete the account.

Stupid (4, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about 3 years ago | (#36678802)

People that get that much email get it solely to make themselves feel important. They walk around telling all their friends about the 400 emails they got today. They are the same people that have 30,000 friends on Facebook and think they really do have 30,000 friends.

I've been getting email for over 17 years and I've never gotten that much in a day short of when I was active on various mailing lists. Even then, i didn't get that much.

Stop giving your email address out to every bozo website that wants it and spam will virtually disappear. Stop subscribing for every stupid news feed and commercial website and your mailbox won't fill up. I've had the same address for 3 years at this point and I get 15-30 emails a day, most of which are important and valid. The ones that aren't are from my mom.

Re:Stupid (2)

mrtwice99 (1435899) | about 3 years ago | (#36678848)

Stop giving your email address out to every bozo website that wants it and spam will virtually disappear. Stop subscribing for every stupid news feed and commercial website and your mailbox won't fill up. I've had the same address for 3 years at this point and I get 15-30 emails a day, most of which are important and valid. The ones that aren't are from my mom.

+1

Re:Stupid (1)

xous (1009057) | about 3 years ago | (#36678922)

Hi, You've obviously never worked for a company that horribly mismanages distribution groups. They've got 1500 servers sending several reports a day. 99% false positives. The mailing list has been signed up for all kinds of spam and we MUST read it for fear someone emails something important to the stupid list. I automatically delete the automated reports. Fucking waste of time and have to muddle through the rest. :(

Re:Stupid (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 years ago | (#36678972)

Dear god. I work in higher ed and get a few spams a day from our bulk-emailer. Stuff about Spanish club, or gospel sings, or weight watchers. Stuff I don't give a shit about, and all I can do is click "junk" until Thunderbird gets it or set up a filter.

There's even a common joke about how nobody reads stuff on that list, but besides limiting who can send the stuff, the only (dumb) idea was to stick messages in our web portal instead, because obviously everyone checks the portal for important messages instead of just leaving their email client open.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678938)

"People that get that much email get it solely to make themselves feel important. They walk around telling all their friends about the 400 emails they got today. They are the same people that have 30,000 friends on Facebook and think they really do have 30,000 friends."

You are making a LOT of assumptions that you can't back up and you obviously have no idea what can cause excessive email. I rate you +1: Moronically funny.

Re:Stupid (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 years ago | (#36679332)

Since I have verbal communications (born like that due to my impediments/impairments), I love using the Internet (and BBS' before it) to use electronic methods. I send and receive A LOT. People think I am crazy and have no life! For an example with sent e-mails (including resent/reposted/duplicate and excluding (blind) carbon copies ((B)CCs) and bounces) for March 2011, it is about 5,750 personal/private e-mails + public usenet/newsgroups posts (excluding forum posts since I can't easily track them). Some people really hate IMs, textings, IRC, etc. so they just use e-mails as IMs. LOL!

Re:Stupid (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36679502)

What is it with people who don't know or don't care how to set up their email clients/readers so that stuff gets automatically filtered? I've seen plenty of subscribers complain of excessive traffic on mailing list "X", and I always think: WTF? This stuff should go to its own folder automatically, and get organized by threads, too. I mean this functionality has been available for more than a decade... I use email as my own private archive of many mailing lists, it's very convenient. It is all locally indexed, too!

Re:Stupid (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 3 years ago | (#36679532)

It's easy to slip up. I signed a petition, just once, but that was enough. Got me on a bunch of email lists.

This was also just after a browser upgrade. The new version didn't display the website correctly, so I didn't see any notices saying that I wasn't just signing a petition, I was also opting in to email.

And I really dislike the mailing list. Please set up a forum instead. To use a mailing list, I have to set up another filter, or start another email account as well as registering with the list.

Re:Stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679718)

> getting... gotten...get

Perhaps you could vary your e-mail management protocol slightly and subscribe to a Word of the Day service to expand your verb vocabulary.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679768)

Get yourself promoted to management. While 400 is extremely rare for me, it isn't impossible. I'd rather receive an email than have an IM, both of which are better than somebody coming by my desk, which is better than somebody calling me. My personal home email is a couple a week. I get a new email every couple minutes at work ranging from cc'ing me on a thread, "just in case" to ones that require lot attention since they'll affect staffing for the next year.
You think complaining about hundreds of emails a day makes you sound self-important? Try telling people to stop cc'ing you since what they feel is important isn't worth your time. It's a whole new level of arrogance. :P

Re:Stupid-- YES, you are :) (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | about 3 years ago | (#36679854)

Well, shit. You don't get 400 emails a day, and you think anyone who does, is a jerk who hands out their email...

I get 400 emails a day. Why? Because I manage 5 corporate projects at a time. Because I'm a part of another five international teams. And so on-- I'm not even thinking of the mailing lists, many of which attach to projects and groups to whom I have specific responsibilities. 50 personal emails in a day, is not unheard of.

So fine-- it doesn't apply to you. Don't be an utter asshole and assume because you don't have an overload problem, that anyone and everyone who does, is twittering on FaceBook or the like. Many people simply have too much to deal with.

I have no spam filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678806)

And I don't get any spam. Seriously. I don't do any crazy shit to avoid it either, I use gmail and sometimes stuff gets put in the spam folder even though it's not so I set up a rule to check if something "is:spam" and then tell it to never move that to spam. Because I get no spam. Am I doing something wrong?

Re:I have no spam filter (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 3 years ago | (#36679074)

I used to have the same thing, even signed up to slightly sketchy websites and still nothing.

Then I went to university and game them my address, now I got bucket loads of the stuff.

Re:I have no spam filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679202)

Am I doing something wrong?

You have no friends.

Re:I have no spam filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679778)

Your email account name isn't generic enough to be generated by spambots. By far that's the largest source of spam for common providers.

spam is an issue because we let it be (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678842)

I started using email in 1983. It was spam free at the time.

Later, people started sending spam. That annoyed me so much I vowed I would not receive spam. I changed to a new email address and only gave it to friends, who of course are not going to give it directly or indirectly to spammers. I cannot recall the last time I got a spam. Mid 90's maybe? And no, I do not filter my mail in any way, and I have disabled my ISP filtering.

A VERY few people must have their email address online, but almost no one does. For things that require one, like web forums, it's easy .to make a throw-away account.

There is zero reason for the world to currently contain any significant amount of spam, except that people don't care enough to take a few simple steps to avoid it.

Much of my spam can be traced to ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679206)

... monster.com & careerbuilder.com

What else can you do? Gotta feed the family somehow.

Re:spam is an issue because we let it be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679452)

WTF was that modded to -1? It's perfectly true. Maybe uncomfortably true for some people?

Re:spam is an issue because we let it be (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36679518)

No, it's almost impossible. Not with everyone and their dog getting spambot malware on their systems. It'd be very, very unlikely that one's family and friends are all extremely tech-literate, to the extent that they get no malware at all, over a course of more than a decade. I find it pretty much an unbelievable scenario.

That's why AOL could be so bouillant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678846)

"You Have Mail!"

Low amount of email (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678850)

I've been using the same main email address since 1995, posted it on several boards and usenet, it used to be my eBay username until they got all draconian about interaction between users and I was forced to change it, yet today I get roughly the same amount of email as I did 10-15 years ago.

There was a time when spammers did acknowledge when you returned an unsubscribe email but that didn't last long as they soon discovered it was an excellent way to find out wether your email address was 'live'.

My ISP uses a major email filtering service which does (I'm guessing) remove a lot of spam and I use mailwasher to filter everything else but that's not to say I've never had problems with an overflowing inbox, I have been Joe-Jobbed in the past and that was an interesting time, receiving thousands of bounced emails daily for quite a while meant I had some serious hand-filtering to do as this was before ISP-level spam filtering was available and I had mail delivered by SMTP because I was on a static IP with the ISP meaning I could 'properly' bounce email.

If I'd followed the spam I received over the years I would have a closet full of university diplomas, a harem of Russian wives and a 5 foot long dick that would never go soft!

Re:Low amount of email (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679186)

... and a 5 foot long dick that would never go soft!

That's not cool [wikipedia.org]

Your own domain (5, Interesting)

coldmist (154493) | about 3 years ago | (#36678870)

This is why everyone should have their own domain.

I have catch-all email for my domain, so if an email is sent to it that isn't recognized, it goes into my catchall account.

The nice part of this, is I can create 'newegg@domain.com', and I know exactly who sent it, and/or who shared out my contact information.

You can do throw-away emails for single event cases, or just use a generic 'junk@domain.com' for sites you don't care about.

Re:Your own domain (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679054)

I use the + system in gmail (email+company@gmail.com) to filter mine. Found out that Musician's Friend either sold my address or someone stole a bunch from them. I called them on it and they denied it, claiming that everyone gets spam and that it was bound to happen sooner or later. I showed them my email address and the email address that I gave them. I never received another response, and no longer deal with them thanks to that.

Re:Your own domain (2)

jfengel (409917) | about 3 years ago | (#36679584)

I keep assuming the spammers will start filtering out the + parts, since it's unnecessary. Maybe they figure you're prioritizing stuff with the + parts and leaving it in. Or (more likely) just sending it to both.

I have my own domain and similarly managed to prove to HP that they'd either sold my data or had it stolen. I think the customer rep I spoke to was convinced. Nobody up the chain seemed to care.

Re:Your own domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679804)

That's why you filter and delete all non-suffixed mail. Whitelists for valid suffixes if necessary.

Re:Your own domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679790)

It boggles my mind that these companies haven't realized that they can just remove the + and the stuff after it and it'll probably still work and leave no trace.

Or maybe they have figured it out and that accounts for all of the junk email that *isn't* addressed to one of these aliases.

Re:Your own domain (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679104)

If you use gmail, you can do something similar with a dash. For example, johndoe-newegg@gmail.com is the same account as johndoe@gmail.com. Doing things like johndoe-trash@gmail.com, and creating a filter on that destination address yields fantastic results. You can also add any number of periods to your email address, i.e. john.doe@gmail.com is the same as john.d.oe@gmail.com and johndoe@gmail.com.

Re:Your own domain (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 3 years ago | (#36679622)

The dot trick doesn't work for Apps accounts, although the plus trick does. For Apps, first.last@domain.com is different from fir.stlast@domain.com.

Re:Your own domain (2)

deblau (68023) | about 3 years ago | (#36679240)

spamgourmet.com

I've been using them for years. All the same benefits, and you don't need your own domain.

Re:Your own domain (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 years ago | (#36679286)

Is there a free domain and e-mail service like Gmail and others? I don't want to have to pay and host my own servers.

Re:Your own domain (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36679536)

Google lets you use gmail on your own domain. It used to be free and still is for grandfathered domains, I don't know how it works for new domains.

Re:Your own domain (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 years ago | (#36679590)

Google gave out free domains? Dang it! :(

Re:Your own domain (1)

lothos (10657) | about 3 years ago | (#36679890)

No, they let you use the gmail service for your own domain name. The service is free, the domain is not.

Re:Your own domain (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 years ago | (#36680118)

Ahhh, OK. Thanks! :)

Re:Your own domain (5, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | about 3 years ago | (#36679290)

Spamgourmet [spamgourmet.com] allows you to do this on-the-fly, no personalized domain necessary.

Let's say your free email address at spamgourmet is joe@spamgourmet.com

Wen registering at Newegg, you'd just write newegg.joe@spamgourmet.com and spamgourmet would automatically forward your email to your real email address. The system even allows you to reply to the forwarded message from your real email address, and spamgourmet will act as the intermediary removing your original email address from the message. Spamgourmet even has more capabilities than that, for instance you could just write newegg.12.joe@spamgourmet.com instead that would mean you're only expecting 12 emails from Newegg, not a single more and spamgourmet would just keep a reverse counter (and of course, the system allows you to change your mind, for instance you could just decide to whitelist any of the emails coming from Newegg even if you had it set to only receive 12 emails from them).

And of course, some web sites have been banning spamgourmet email address from their registration form, but that doesn't really matter, spamgourmet has many alternative domains you can use, and you can even donate your own domain to the cause if you wanted.

And by the way, the system is free and open source, so you could even set this system up on your own servers if you wanted (not that you'd really need to).

Re:Your own domain (2)

theNAM666 (179776) | about 3 years ago | (#36679830)

I have done this for at least 15 years.

Guess what?

I can count on one hand the number of "newegg@mydomain.com" spam messages I've found. True... I don't use scum sites, but as far as I can see, the risk of spam from giving my email address out to sites, is essentially ZERO.

So he used Lotus Notes then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678876)

Amusingly, you can take the old "X Windows - Dangerous Virus" poster from 20+ years ago and take all the sluglines at the bottom and s/X Windows/Lotus Notes/g, and THEY ALL APPLY. Its eerie.

Re:So he used Lotus Notes then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679234)

What are you talking about?

This guy is an idiot. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678888)

He's on too many mailing lists and has never filtered down the information he gets to something manageable.

I don't delete stuff from my inbox. If I've read it, that's fine, but it's perfectly acceptable for me to just search when I need something particular. In ancient times I used to make folders that were months (or years) when I got stuff, but that was an artificial structure, and not particularly useful.

Re:This guy is an idiot. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679248)

'I don't delete stuff from my inbox'

I love you very much.
Your Email Admin.

Chain letters (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 3 years ago | (#36678890)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward this mail to your contacts lists, or I won't eat my breakfast cereal anymore!

Gmail is your problem (0)

dlb (17444) | about 3 years ago | (#36678962)

Stop using an email provider who also specializes in facilitating advertising, data mining, and, oh yeah, search

~dlb.

Re:Gmail is your problem (3, Informative)

Aequitarum Custos (1614513) | about 3 years ago | (#36679048)

Gmail has given me the LEAST spam of the 3 big name providers (Google/Yahoo/Microsoft), including when I had my own e-mail server with spamassassin. Not sure what problems you have with Gmail, but false positive rate is minimal and I rarely get more than 50 -actual- spam messages a month. Rest is notifications/newsletters I actually signed up for, or work related.

Re:Gmail is your problem (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 3 years ago | (#36679150)

I get FAR less spam in my ~7 year old gmail inbox than I ever got in my year at Hotmail, or Yahoo, or Fastmail, or my ISP. And the vast majority of the spam I get to my gmail is crap being imported from my university email (which I don't give out; all that spam is people scraping the address from the online directory.)

Maybe I could get less by buying and using my own domain...but then I'd have to waste time getting everything set up and either paying for a server or making sure mine is always up (which would be impossible anyway...). And if I wanted to spend time maintaining spam filters and tracking down who's giving out my address, I would be doing that with gmail. You can do all of that with them too. But I'd rather spend my time working on other things. I'd rather spend a few seconds a week scanning my junk folder for the once a month false positive (which usually aren't anything I'd miss anyway) than spend an hour every week preventing it.

Re:Gmail is your problem (1)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#36679442)

Gmail is my problem?

I've had Internet email since the early 90s (bbs network email before that). I've never seen such a clean inbox until now. My oldest account, which is a private server across town, does greylisting. Over the past few years, spambots have become more RFC compliant and fucking re-send when confronted with a 4xx or 5xx error code.

RFC compliant spam? It's more likely than you think.

Sometimes I get upwards of 100 per day RFC compliant spam on that account. What does gmail do? When it pulls that account, it puts the spam where it belongs and I don't have to lift a finger. My other alternative was using Thunderbird's hit-or-miss flagging system. s

Since transferring everything to gmail a few months ago, I have not seen a single spam and I have not missed a single legitimate email. Don't tell me that gmail is a problem.

--
BMO - Lumber Cartel #2501 ba

Re:Gmail is your problem (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 3 years ago | (#36679688)

I have had a gmail account for almost as long as gmail existed and in an average week the number of spam messages I get is 0.

I gave up on email (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36678976)

Two years ago I gave up on email and facebook and after two years I have no desire to go back. Friends still call when they want to get together but now the computer is for joy and fun things, not a daily grind to keep up on the minutia of everyone's lives. At the very least, I encourage you to try it for a week to see how liberating it really is.

Goatse (1)

squidguy (846256) | about 3 years ago | (#36679102)

Dammit...keep getting these Goatse emails from someone named CDR Taco.

Don't delete, archive (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 3 years ago | (#36679220)

I don't understand people who obsessively have to delete stuff in their Inbox.

OK, so you want a clean Inbox. Fine. Delete junk/spam.

For the rest, stuff like:
-sales leads
-your boss saying "Do X"
-your colleagues telling you why they can do Y, upon which X depends
-vendors with pricing/other info
-customer complaints which you reply to

why would you want to delete it? It doesn't take up space in a filing cabinet. You'll be hard pressed to come up with more than a few hundred MB of email in a year, the size of an average PowerPoint, I guess.

And if you ever need to explain why X isn't done already, you could just forward an email, if you hadn't wiped it.

So move it to different folders ("Sales Leads", "Projects", whatever). And archive it.

Re:Don't delete, archive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679382)

...one of my clients is a major corporation who keeps everyone's email set to automatically delete any messages over X days old, ostensibly to save space but in reality more likely to avoid culpability for corporate misdeeds - it's *really* annoying to have them constantly ask me to re-forward email i sent X+Y days ago...

Re:Don't delete, archive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36679904)

Many companies have email policies that prevent things like this. My work for instance has a 180 day email policy after which emails are automagically purged from your mailbox. If you need them for longer than that you are supposed to check them into the document management system. This is done primarily from an audit and legal reason - if the emails don't exist they can't be subpoenaed. I seem to recall some lawsuits back in the '90s where companies got caught by employees having tons of old emails which resulted in policies like this.

one account to rule them all (1)

Tiger_Storms (769548) | about 3 years ago | (#36679520)

As I've noticed with most of my friends and a few of the comment I see that a lot of people use multiple e-mail account for different things. I’ve only had my 1 e-mail account since back in 99 when I needed an e-mail account and I got one free from hotmail. I think just from the top of my head I’ve got about 8 or so e-mails accounts, most free e-mail accounts that I’ve gotten for 1 reason or another and a few of them from my ISP that gives them to my freely.

I only use one, just one e-mail account the at all times I have used two at one point because I wanted to create a more professional e-mail using gmail so I could apply for resumes and not use my e-mail that I normally have that to some people would be considered non professional. Over the years of using only one account all the time I’ve noticed that during the winter I get more spam than I do during the summer, and if you unsubscribe to e-mails you end up getting more in the end result.

Now I used to be an MSN plus member and when I used the service for a whole year and a half I think I got about 2-3 spam messages every 2 weeks when I stopped paying MSN money I notice I would get about 10-20 a day. In the last few months I’ve recently gone though and checked on websites I’ve sign up for and deleted the accounts. 60% of them being forums I never go to anymore and others being websites that required my information to make a user to view their content. Now I haven’t signed up for anything in the last 4-5 months and I get about 1-7 spam messages a day, and not a single one gets in to my inbox they just show up in my junk mail, I check to see if it's legit or not and remove them.

Out of all the other e-mail accounts I never use the only ones that I’ve notice that get any kind of spam are my two g-mail accounts. One I’ve got on my resume and another I’ve had since they started the service but have never given it out. That one gets 30-100 spam messages a day, I have no idea why and it makes no senses to me what so ever since I’ve never used it for anything other than having an account to sign in with using Google.

Yahoo - 500 free disposable addresses (1)

Sami Lehtinen (1864458) | about 3 years ago | (#36679530)

Also Yahoo provides free disposable addresses. You can have 500 free active addresses and then just delete some old ones if you need new ones. Those also clearly identify the service those are linked to. So it's easy to know when something leaks. I got really worried when I started to get spam to email address that I had only given to one bank. It makes you think, about customer information security. Yahoo disposable addresses [yahoo.com]

it's called zero inbox... (1)

stazeii (1148459) | about 3 years ago | (#36679808)

this isn't a radical concept... I've done it for years. It's called "zero inbox". If you're a Sys Admin, I highly recommend this book: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007836 [oreilly.com] It covers the idea, and it's where I picked it up.

Why use the inbox as an archive? (2)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 3 years ago | (#36679932)

I briefly consider sticking them in a folder called "email I already read and don't know what to do with but better not delete in case one day I really need it." But then isn't "inbox" just a more elegant way of saying the same thing?

Since he's using Gmail, the big Archive button does the same thing, but better.

Is this guy in 2011? Really? (1)

laslo2 (51210) | about 3 years ago | (#36679938)

I don't get spam.

My school/work address has a pretty good spam filter anyway, but I have the option to disallow third parties from obtaining my email address via the university. Between those two, I get maybe 5 filtered messages a month in my junk email folder at school/work (same place).

At my own domain, I have my junk filter to blacklist any incoming address. I either read the message from the spam folder (without javascript and other nonsense), or if it's someone I want to hear from I whitelist the address (or domain). My spam folder has 650+ messages in it, 99% of which I never open.

I get a lot of work related status messages-- this server is down, so and so changed shifts, meetings or training coming up (although most meetings are just added to my calendar these days), new features added, etc. I have many of those filtered on the server because I really don't need to do anything with them when they come in.

It is rare that I need to reply to an email, and when I do it's usually a yes or no answer rather than a conversation. I think the last email conversation I had was in 2003. That's probably the last time I was on a non-work related high-traffic mailing list, too. Conversations now are via texting, Facebook, or Twitter; rarely by phone.

You're not supposed to read every email. I haven't done that in years. In an average day, I might read 5-6 messages. I scan subjects. Newsletters and such I read on the web, usually through Google Reader.

Author of TFA was either BS'ing to sell advertising space or BS'ing to get on /.

OR, the author of TFA is far enough behind the times that he still hasn't mastered this online communication thing yet. Perhaps he should ask his kids for help.

Precisely (1)

it_waaznt_me (872705) | about 3 years ago | (#36680128)

Thats why I use eat spam service like mailinator ...

wonder why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36680190)

How can this guy get so much email? Here's the clue:

Facebook alerts

Twitter followers

and this:

responded to someone who wants to rent our vacation home

-- why doesn't he use a web form for booking?

press release ... T-Mobile HTC Sensation
Groupon discount offer for teeth whitening
Obama for President

Why does he subscribe to that crap? Ever heard of feeds? Don't abuse email for broadcast.

I know in my heart 10 minutes after I delete a message I will need the name and number of a contact contained within it.

Guess what, an inbox is not an addressbook. Why don't you save contacts to your addressbook? Very easy if it's a vCard.

Also, ever heard of tags and folders? I keep all nonspam email, but not in my inbox ffs. My inbox is empty most of the time. As soon as I see a fresh email in my inbox, I move/tag it or delete it. Why doesn't he at least set up some filters for his fucking newsletters to auto-move them to the corresponding folder?

Better question: How can he routinely leave email unanswered without losing all his friends and business contacts?

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