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298 comments

king douchebag fag fuck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064831)

what a cynic you are! man, you need a hug you dumb motherfucking faggot. it's friday, settle down with the bullshit. go buy yourself some friends and some tequila and some whining about how companies are spying on you. yeah, they're fucking spying on you. they know that you whack off in your room every night because you have yet to iniciate a conversation with a girl. they feel sorry for you. i feel sorry for you. for fuck's sake, your mother feels sorry for you. YOUR MOTHER ACTUALLY WANTS YOU TO GET LAID! i mean, come on - cut the shit out and get a fucking life you cumquat. i feel very sorry for you but at the same time, i want to punch you in your fat head, you fucking tool. what the fuck? fuck you, don't be a douche. it's time to stop whining about this shit and start doing something about it. like, next time you see a broad at the coffee shop where you have to go because you're a pseudo-intellectual liberal that believes in affirmative action and women's rights and welfare and compensation for slavery, talk to the broad. ask her what she does. tell her you'd like to take her out on a date sometime. and if she actually says yes, go on a fucking date. and don't talk about linux. and if she says no, for fuck's sake, go to a gym and get into shape. you're a fat shit and it needs to change soon. even if you still can't get broads when you're in shape due to your faggy personality, at least you won't die at the age of 25 from a heart attack - how embarASSing that would be, YOU FUCKING CUMQUAT! god, you piss me off with your bullshit. just shut the fuck up. play the stupid faggy games on the AOL instant messaging service and continue to wear your gay blinders - go ahead. who gives a fuck if you spend all your weekends torn between playing the faggy games you love and being spied on by the faggy companies you hate? WHO FUCKING CARES?!?! no one. that's who. go out, get away from your computer, touch a woman's vagina with your tongue, shut the fuck up, eat shit. FUCK YOU.

GIRL YOU KNOW IT'S TEH TROOF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064945)

WILDCAT [rice.edu] IS [nist.gov] ON [darkintellect.com] TEH [vhl.org] SPOKE [brainerd.net]

What could be worse... (5, Funny)

canfirman (697952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064832)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?

The return of Yoko Ono?

Re:What could be worse... (0, Offtopic)

glynor (704553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064854)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?

SCO wins the whole thing, and you have to pay them whatever they want to charge for Linux. That would be worse ...

Re:What could be worse... (2, Funny)

thellamaman (631602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064859)

No, the answer is "a small penis."

Re:What could be worse... (2, Funny)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064883)

It might follow that more returns == less spam, since fewer returns seems to == more spam.

wishful thinking (2, Insightful)

siskbc (598067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065068)

It might follow that more returns == less spam, since fewer returns seems to == more spam fewer returns == some more spam

more returns == buckets more spam

From a supply/demand standpoint, a larger pie will mean more people trying for it. All we need is one spammer out there who decided to get in because of the higher rates, and the total spam increases. I doubt any of the others will simply be happy with their current levels of penis pump sales; there could always be more.

Re:What could be worse... (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064893)

"Their secret is the Taguchi Method, which is a technique for designing experiments that converge on an ideal product solution"

The ideal solution.. an odd idea if ever..
how many spam messages are the ideal amount,
we say none, the spamers say one to each mail
box..

now it seems there concentrating on the
responce rate.. which IMHO would be incressed
a hell of a lot if spamers acctaly botherd
to
a) target there ordence..
b) lowerd the number of spam sent!

not that i suport spam,
but i do suport less spam if that is what
this leads to.

Re:What could be worse... (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064962)

the spamers say
one to each mail
box
..


If only! It's not even one per day. I get sometimes five or more copies of the same crap from "different" addresses consecutively.

Re:What could be worse... (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065001)

c) learn grammer and speling to

That's the #1 reason I think spam doesn't do well - the e-mails are downright unintelligable.

Re:What could be worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065074)

Oh, man, way to lose out on the spelling flame. The word is unintelligible. You can tell because "ga" is always a hard g. And it's also "*lern* grammer and speling to." Duh.

Re:What could be worse... (2, Funny)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065077)

Nonsense, I got an email from "Japan" telling me I should take control of my mortgage rates. It was extremely intelligable, well-written, and that surprised me because English is not a thoroughly learned language in Japan.

If only I had a mortgage.

KILL THE CURRY TRASH (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064958)

  • Slay and dismember the H1-B!
  • Mutilate and burn the L-1!
  • Utterly destroy the offshoring filth!

Re:What could be worse... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065003)

...Yoko Ono undressing for peace:

Re:What could be worse... (5, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065009)

The return of Yoko Ono...

Naked.

This just in... (0, Troll)

HexRei (515117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064836)

Cringely endorses spam! No need to read article!
Spam bam, thank you maam!

Old Joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064946)

hehehe, reminds me of an old joke:

What do michael and cringley have in common?

They're both a couple of cock-gobbling shit-eating cum-drinking faggots!

What could be worse? (1, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064837)


A stick dipped in rancid pork and shoved into my left eye. That would be worse. But not by a lot.

Re:What could be worse? (1)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064922)

Ooooh. The old "Pork in your eye" thing. I hate when that happens.

Re:What could be worse? (2, Funny)

TheFruitThatAteAntar (711199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065051)

And here I thought rancid pork WAS spam...

Evil (1)

genner (694963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064840)

I for one welcome our new Spam Overl..... hmm this is too evil to even joke about.

TUX WILL NEVER WIN! WIN HAS ALREADY WON! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064842)

__________________..._______________
___________.'"___________"'.________
__________/____.--._.--.____\_______
_________/____/_________\____\______
________/_____| / \ / \ |_____\_____
_______;____.-' \o/ \o/ '-.____;____
_______|___|_()_.-"""-._()_|___|____
_______;___|____\_____/____|___;____
_______\___;_____\___/____;__/_____
________\__\______\_/_______/__/____
________.->""--.___V___.--""<-.
_______/_______________________\____
______/__________LINUX__________\___
_____/___________________________\__
____/______/_____COCKS_____\______\_
___;______|_________________|______:
___|______|_________________|______|
___|_______\_____.-v-._____/_______|
____\_______'.__/_____\__.'_______/_
_____;._______`--|___|--'_______.;__
_____|_`-.________)_(________.-'_|
_____|___|_```___|___|___```_|___|__
_____;___\_______|___|_______/___;__
______\___\____(___Y___)____/___/__
_______\___'.___"-----"___.'___/____
________\____`-._______.-'____/_____
_________'._______```_______.'______
jgs/Sexii_/`-.___________.-'\______
_________/__,__``;---;``__,__\______
________|__/__|__|___|__|__\__|_____
________'-'|__/\_/___\_/\__|'-'_____
Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account. Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.

I know. (1)

Cowclops (630818) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064843)

A method that increases the return on spam AND the rate at which you can send it.

whats worse than more spam? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064844)

michael.

Mmmm.. Spam... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064845)


"Building Better Spam"

Less pork fat.

Coarser grinding.

More spices.

better spam! (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064884)

You forgot:
  • Cheeze(tm)...

With the current cost of SPAM (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064847)

...aren't they making good money on carpet bombing? Why bother to target when you can reach all for pennies anyway. Of course, assuming you don't care about how many you piss off, which they normally don't.

Kjella

Re:With the current cost of SPAM (5, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064931)

This improvement isn't about targeting specific gullible who are more likely to respond. It is about an easy, rigorous way to fine tune what the spam says to better play on one's gullibility. And the analysis is quite cheap, so it is well worth the effort.

Or in your analogy, they are still hitting as many people with their better carpet bomb, but sustain more fatalities.

Better Spam...oxymoron (5, Funny)

ScooterBill (599835) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064855)

After reading the article I realized that I must be doing something wrong. I always click on every link in every email I get but still my penis hasn't gotten bigger, I don't have a horde of horny teens after me and I'm not rich.

What gives?

M

Finally..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064856)

I can start making money with all the spam I send out every day.

It could be worse... (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064860)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?

A method which increases the return on spam and but not the size of anyone's penis, Nigerian bank account, or breasts.

What does this have to do with spam? (4, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064862)

Did anybody RTFA? What does this have to do with spam? This is a originally a way of improving processes, primarily in engineering and/or manufacturing. Now, it's been applied to marketing. Since when is all spam considered marketing? I give this article a -1, Troll.

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064882)

Ooops... "Since when is all marketing considered spam?"

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064949)

He was sending e-mail to a "opt-in" list twice a day (for one product). Sounds like spam to me. Who would intentionally opt-in to get ads for the same product over and over and over?

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (1)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064968)

Actually, you're right on both. Spam should be thought of as a Venn diagram, with two circles:

Annoying shit
Stuff for sale

There's some annoying shit out there for sale, and some is just scamming, like the Nigerian letters.

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (5, Insightful)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064921)

Did anybody RTFA? What does this have to do with spam?


Thank you. That's exactly what I was about to say. I'll be the first to pull the trigger when we get the spammers against the wall, but just because it's email marketing doesn't make it spam. I get plenty of marketing mail for games, telescope equipment, and other stuff I'm actually interested in because I opted in to the lists after reviewing their policies on sharing my address and confirming that they wouldn't. This prevailing idea that every commercial use of email is spam is raving nonsense. It is sad that the spammers have managed to so thoroughly hijack people's perception of what can be a useful marketing vector.

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (2, Informative)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064990)

I definitely second your comment there. This process looks like it's built for efficiency and a good design process, and could be applied to almost any field of engineering or problem solving.

Marketing here in the U.S. has definitely become an evil, throat-cutting industry, but if someone can prevail with simple, effective ads that get to the point and don't leave consumers confused and disgusted, I think that would be a win for us all.

Of course, as human nature would have it, the disgusting, false ads will probably be the ones who generate the most revenue... most consumers don't bother taking the time to research, and thus they are left as sheep to the slaughter of their money.

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064929)

spam is becoming a catch-all term for unsolicited direct marketing in any medium. junk mail, phone calls, email. maybe door-to-door salesmen will get a new name.

commercials, billboards, signs, ads in magazines, product placement in films and video games, etc. doesn't count, since it's not direct.

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065057)

Amen, brother. Yeah, it talks about using email for advertising, but it was an opt-in mailing list.

I can't believe how many people on slashdot post self-righteous reactions based on reading only the poster's synopsis of the article.

WTF? RTFA and then comment.

Re:What does this have to do with spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065094)

Not only that but the email in question is opt-in. People wanted to get the email. Not spam. If this is applied to spam, then at least by using this method it will be targetted properly and I won't get USA-centric credit/mortgage spam and my girlfriend won't get penis enlargement pills.
Ditto. -1 Troll.

better spam (1)

maxconfus (522536) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064864)

maybe if spam was better and had more success for each email then there would be less email they would have to send out...

Worse than a book on spam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064867)

Reading another retarded "*BSD is dead" troll.

At the least... (3, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064870)

...this would give anti-spam developers insight as to how to improve spam blocking techniques.

About a 99% reduction in spam = easy (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065006)

Just delete every inbound email that contains this in the body : and

Re:About a 99% reduction in spam = easy (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065037)

D'oh.

That was HTML and BODY between less than and greater than signs.

Evil plans (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064871)


What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?

Set someone's desktop picture and home page to be the goatse.cx guy. Truly evil, but it helped me train people to log off their machines when they weren't at their desks.

what could be worse? (1)

dustmote (572761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064879)

A method that decreases returns, meaning it's even less relevant and we have to get even more of it for the parasites to make what they're aiming for?

hmm (1)

hotrodman (472382) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064889)


still only works if people actually respond and buy your stuff that you're spamming for. You can come up with a wonderful way to market cow shit, that doesn't mean people will just buy it..

Oh wait....

Worse than a return on SPAM... (2, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064890)


Would be the advent of Interactive TV that works so Joe Sixpack can make the old WebTV crowd look smart, who in turn made us appreciate the AOLers.

SPAM is an issue, don't get me wrong. But that is why I have an address on the internet and an address my mates use. SPAM on one is high, SPAM on the other is zero.

This smacks as another "How to get rich like me" book where the real book should have only one page

"Write book to sell to suckers who believe this is special"

And finally, worse than SPAM would be the ability of goverments or companies to monitor your email to check you out and profile you.... but then that already happens, but as we don't see it we don't complain.

SPAM is a pain in the arse, its getting worse, but its still easier to do email now than it was 15 years ago, when SPAM didn't really exist.

Matter of taste (2, Funny)

cwernli (18353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064896)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?

  1. sub spam1 { return $retval; }
  2. sub spam2 { return ++$retval; }

The choice is yours...

Recent "better spam" I've seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064897)

Have included what look like quotes and email signatures. SpamAssassin even goes so far as to mark these down as reason email probably isn't spam. Fortunately, the anti-spam software (Spamassassin and Mozilla Mail) seem to be doing a good of keeping up with the changes.

-1 troll (1)

jbellis (142590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064902)

the article is about a 7500 member opt-in list. That's not spam. A spam campaign would involve more on the order of 7500 MILLION mails. All this is is charging MBAs $1000s to apply the scientific method through linear algebra to marketing.

I'm not at all convinced this is a bad thing. If this can tell them that short, spartan ads are more effective than long, graphics-heavy ones, it could probably tell them that a huge, untargetted spam campaign is a waste of money.

Re:-1 troll (1)

gothicpoet (694573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065038)

Yes, except sadly from a market droid's perspective (provided he doesn't work for a company that was previously widely known and respected), a huge untargetted spam campaign probably isn't a waste of money. Because it isn't his money for the most part. It's my ISP's backbone provider's, my ISP's, and my money...

And so for every stupid shill who does buy into the SPAM email the droid sends out, there's that much more incentive for him to SPAM -- "Easy profit - get rich quick - woohoo!"

All he needs is an unscrupulous, uncaring, or just stupid ISP to shoot his SPAM out through.

Increasing spam returns (1)

rhetland (259464) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064903)


Does this mean we will all have gigantic, perpetually erect penises?

Well, that's fine, since I'll be able to buy a whole lot of love, once that $20 million arrives from that prince in Nirobi..

Summary (1)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064904)

Taguchi's objective is robust design, which means building a product, system, or process that works well even in the presence of degrading influences. That means products that deliver value without breaking and services that are enduring while being as simple as possible. Taguchi first determines the control factors that go into designing a product, their interdependencies, then generates an orthogonal array specifying the number of experiments required to find the optimal solution. [....]

That's when Kowalick turned the Taguchi Method to advertising, with the goal of significantly raising the response rate for ad campaigns. [....] The control factors included graphics, colors, and use of humor. The experiments themselves were 12 mailings to 625 addresses each -- two mailings per day over six days. [....]

The vanilla wafer recipe, however, will remain a secret.

------

So.... First of all, is it an advertisement behind an advertisement? Since many of us already has e-mail filter, how will this be not spotted by the filter? Hmm... I smell something really fishy.

Taguchi Method (4, Informative)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064950)

For those of you interested on learning Taguchi method. Here's a good intro [isixsigma.com] .

Re:Taguchi Method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065084)

Oh arg. At a Six Sigma site though? I CAN'T click through on that...

If you build a better mouse trap... (1)

i_r_sensitive (697893) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064914)

Someone will redesign the %&*$@#$@ mouse!

What could be worse? (0)

Pro_Piracy_Guy (699942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064923)

What could be worse?

The breakup of New Kids on the Block, followed by one of it's former members becoming a big hollywood movie star and showing us a full frontal at the end of a hit movie.

Right, like thats ever gonna happen.

Re:What could be worse? (0, Troll)

bucktug (306690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065065)

Marky Mark was not in NKOTB... His brother Donny was.

Whoa (1, Informative)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064927)

From the article:

If you've ever wondered why the quality of Japanese cars is so high, credit Taguchi.

Okay, has anyone heard of a guy named W. Edwards Deming [deming.org] ?

To paraphrase Tommy Boy, "I could take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed". I.E. *marketing* does not make quality. I never heard of this Taguchi guy.

Re:Whoa (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065015)

I.E. *marketing* does not make quality. I never heard of this Taguchi guy.


You may not have heard of him, but you probably have bought something that was designed using his techniques. Taguchi's method is for improving the quality of product designs. The article discusses its application to marketing.

Re:Whoa (1)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065017)

I think you missed a key point - the Taguchi Method has traditionally been applied to engineering - i.e., the design phase - not marketing. The whole article is how this "method" is now being applied to marketing with great results. The quality of Japanese cars reference has to do with engineering, not marketing.

Re:Whoa (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065025)

as a matter of fact, i have heard of deming.

another interesting japanese industry-related topic is Kaizen [everything2.com] , which american businessmen tried to adopt at one point.

Re:Whoa (1)

phritz (623753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065026)

*marketing* does not make quality. I never heard of this Taguchi guy.

I'm confused ... you quoted the article ... so how did you not read TFA?

The whole point is that the Taguchi method is an engineering technique that is now being applied to marketing. Taguchi himself has nothing to do with marketing.

Re:Whoa (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065089)

Going into the article assuming it was about advertising and marketing techniques (from the Slashdot title), my skimming was associated with that. Sorry, I'm still a recent college graduate, and all my old skim-until-you-find-something-interesting techniques still work just fine.

I also have the ability to wake up from a deep sleep and repeat the last 8 words spoken in the lecture.

Thanks for the correction guys (this applies to all the people replying to my post).

Re:Whoa (2, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065050)

Taguchi did not develop this method for advertizing. He developed for engineering, and it was never used for advertizing till extremely recently. It is a general method for determining a handfull of tests which can be used to find the empericall tradeoffs between a whole slew of various factors. Taguchi used it to improve the quality of japanese cars while keeping costs down.

Giving him full credit for the quality of japanese cars, as Cringly did, was definately an overstatement though.

Comparison (1)

RedA$$edMonkey (688732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064932)

Isn't that like pooping less stinky crap?

The article (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064933)

The article appears to be talking about opt-in email, not spam.

not spam, just the Toguchi method (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064937)

Cringley isnt' advocated better spam, but the Toguchi method in general. As an example of its effectiveness, he states that the two "e-mail marketers" improved effectiveness by 13,600% (that's 136x).

I hope spammers read this... (5, Insightful)

klaxor (702442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064941)

Because if they do, they'll figure out quickly that sending me spam won't increase their returns.

Spam isn't hated because it is targetted advertising; precisely the opposite - SPAM is hated because it is untargetted. That is, people get spam for things that they would never buy. Personally, I do get targetted emails - I've given my address to local retailers, and I get their specials via email. I'm not annoyed at them. I'm annoyed at the folks who spam me with stuff that I would never even remotely be interested in.

If making spammers more effective means that I won't get 50 emails a day for stuff I'll never buy, I'm all for it. If it means that I'll get discounts for stuff I do buy, then I won't mind too much.

Higher response rate is good for everyone (2, Insightful)

silverhalide (584408) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064951)

Let's face it, spam with higher resposne rate is better than spam with little to no response rate. This could be the result of several things: better targetting (more likely to get to an interested audience), less offensive, more legit, etc. If all spammers tried to improve their response rates by simply cleaning their lists with people they know might be interested, and with products or services that were legit and of economic value, then the situation wouldn't be bad at all. I do tolerate spam from reputable companies I have done business with in the past or am actively looking to buy those sorts of products.

But that's just wishful thinking.

at the limit it actually would be a good thing... (3, Insightful)

jrstewart (46866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064961)

If everyone was committed to hitting a high enough rate of return with spam that could be great with users. Imagine spam with a 100% success rate. That would mean it was only mailed to people who actually wanted to buy the product or service. I'd say that would be a win for everyone.

Remember how back in the early days of internet advertising the starry eyed utopians talked about how you could use advanced techniques to send email advertisements only to those who were probably interested? Of course these were utopians we're talking about so they didn't bother doing even a back of the envelope calculation of the cost of finding the right 300 people to send your ad to versus just sending it to 10 million.

Unfortunately my understanding is the software referenced in cringely's article doesn't find the "right" people to spam, it just helps you punch up your ad copy. Which might double a spammers response rate from .0002% to .0004%. Still not enough to cut down on the amount of spam we recieve.

The poster also slightly misrepresents cringely's article since cringely's not advocating the use of the software for spam but rather for auction listings.

What could be worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064963)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?"


If spam was targetted and effective enough to guarantee a 100% success rate then it'd be little more than a service to customers.
And if spammers could avoid sending 99.9% of their current emails and achieve the same income then it would make sense for them to do so - email costs them bandwidth, server charges and ISP hassle.

Yeah, I know that targetting and effectiveness will never reach anywhere close to 100%, and also that even if they did, spammers would simply consider the market unsaturated (Can't beat human nature). But my point is that increasing the effectiveness of spam in itself isn't by definition a bad thing.

Up the cost of spam, make spam more useful! (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064964)


Right now I get junk mail at home and I get spam. The junk mail at home is somewhat more useful, since I'm occasionally interested in coupons from the local pizza place or a $20-off coupon to Linens & Things. SPAM on the other hand, since it costs nearly nothing to send can be almost entirely useless to almost entirely everyone. If costs of sending spam were raised (via hashcash or signatures or whatever) and forgeries were difficult (through SPF/DMP/whatever), then spammers would either go out of business, or would figure out that I might be interested in the latest O'Reilly book (I'm on their mailing lists), or that if the local theater is showing all three Matrix episodes the night Revolutions comes out I would want to know about it.
Yes, there are privacy issues to targeted advertising, but I'd prefer _some_ targeted advertising over the "refinance your enlarged penis now!" spam I get today.

Re:Up the cost of spam, make spam more useful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065090)

but I'd prefer _some_ targeted advertising over the "refinance your enlarged penis now!" spam I get today.

Well, maybe the "enlarged penis now!" mails are targeted directly at you?
hummm, hummmm, never thought about this huh? ;)

What could be worse? (1)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064967)

Andy Gibb, singing Shadow Dancing for eons and eons. And you have to wear orange plaid bell bottoms and sit next to the Bay City Rollers. /Dennis Leary reference

Taguchi WHO? (1)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064970)

(OK, I'll admit, I read the fscking article.) And this "Taguchi Approach" sounds interesting, even if it's being applied to spam. I've dived the Waterfall Model, united teams with the Unified Process, spun out of control with the Spiral Model, and lived on the edge with eXtreme Programming. But I never heard of Taguchi.

Anyone have a few choice pointers to just how Taguchi works? And if it's as geeky as the article says, how come it's rarely (never?) applied to software engineering?

Re:Taguchi WHO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065062)

"(OK, I'll admit, I read the fscking article.) "
Shame on you. This is slashdot after all, you're not supposed to read the articles before posting comments.

He doesn't plug spamming (5, Insightful)

fname (199759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064973)

Cringley points out how standard engineering tools, in this case Taguchi's Design of Experiments (DOE) methods, can be used to increase the effectiveness of advertising. Claiming that he "plugs spam" is a complete mis-reading of the article. He points out the original study used "spam" in order to prove it's effectiveness; the study isn't dated.

DOE is how engineers make complex design decisions with as few experiments as possible. Mostly, he uses eBay as an example. He slightly mis-reads what Taguchi's DOE is about when he says that the old eBay data can be mined to re-create an orthogonal array. The whole point of DOE is a priori deciding what experiments to run, instead of the shot-gun approach used in the past. If you're gonna use data mining, then you don't really need Taguchi excpet for data reduction.

Personally, I recommended this approach to a high-volume eBay seller a couple years ago. He sells widgets with 3-4 different features (style, size, color), and uses a variety of terms to describe them (i.e. [stunning|beautiful|awesome] [rare|unique|one-of-a-kind]). Basically, he could run 16 or so tests using these various terms in the right combination, and determine which combinations were likely to work best. Ultimately, he didn't go down that route, but I'm pretty sure this is what Cringley was getting to before he got it confused w/ data mining.

Using data mining to do the Taguchi stuff is tough, b/c there are too many uncontrolled factors. I'm sure he'll get 100 letters on the topic from DOE experts and write a follow-up column next week.

As for spammers, I bet they start using DOE techniques, as they'll have to as fewe & fewer emails are getting through, making it a less profitable venture. Of course, legitimate advertisiers should be using the same techniques, and maybe they do. But DOE can be applied to any process, whether it is building cars, designing rockets, baking cookies, selling on eBay and, yes, sending spam.

Re:He doesn't plug spamming (3, Informative)

SarekOfVulcan (133772) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065085)

This sounds like it shares some basic principles with Pairwise Testing. Basically, the theory here is that a large percentage of bugs come in through the combination of two inputs. So, if there are 10 bits in a flag, you need to only make sure that each pair shows up once: with various constraints, I got down from 1024 to 12 values to check on a recent test.

Check out http://www.developsense.com/testing/PairwiseTestin g.html [developsense.com] for a better explanation, or anything else Google brings up for you.

Get rich quick! (4, Insightful)

targo (409974) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064976)

From the article:

They claim their work can be applied to any product or service and any advertising medium. And what presently requires sitting for those couple of sessions with Kowalick and Fantoni (at a cost of about $8,800) will soon be reduced to a $499 interactive software program that will run on a PC, bringing all the benefits of Taguchi without requiring that a nerd be enclosed to make it work.

The vanilla wafer recipe, however, will remain a secret.


Now where have I seen THAT before? ;)

A good thing, kinda (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064979)

The reduced the amount of crap they sent by using intelligent marketing techniques (like targeting) and by increasing the quality of the ads and the product they were selling.

Basically this whole "breakthrough" is the realization that you can only fool so many people so many times with junk.

So although, this may reduce the amount of spam from more "legitimate" companies it won't make much of a dent in those with no marketing talent which is virtually every spammer.

Ben

Guerilla anti-marketing (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064984)

I think that the underlying force here is that Taguchi focuses on what consumers want rather than what the producers want. Cringely is, I bet, banking on the idea that spammers will either transform into non-offensive advertisers of some form or realize that they can't do what they want to do (spam for money) and utilize Taguchi at the same time.

A method that increases the return on spam may.... (2, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7064992)

be a good thing if it increases the quality of targeting. The more targeted a spam message is ...the less spam that sender sends out.

Short on the details, long on the BS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7064993)

If the last paragraph reads like Esperanto to you, maybe that explains why mainly eggheads have been attracted to Taguchi.

That "last paragraph" was the only paragraph in the article the really talked about how this super black magic miracle method works. The article sounds like it was written by an MBA salesman trying to sell a product he doesn't really understand.

Taguchi and others -- do they really work? (1)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065004)

I've always wondered whethere there is any evidence that the various methodologies bandied about as the greatest thing (such as Taguchi, QFM, TRIZ and the like) really do work. Does anyone have any links that point to an objective analysis of these approaches and what, if any, measurable benefit they can provide?

Thanks for any help. I have an intro book on TRIZ and while it sounds kind of interesting, I'd like more evidence that these new-age approaches really are an improvement over standard brainstorming before taking the plunge.

GMD

typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065088)

I meant to say "QFD" and not "QFM" in my above post.

Question (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065010)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?

Why, being a total fuck-tard like this [slashdot.org] cock jockey of course!

Super Mario Naked and Petrified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065020)

I am pouring Bowser's hot lava in my pants

Did anyone else think this article sounded like... (3, Insightful)

Neologic (48268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065021)

a spam itself? The description of the Taguichi method and how amazing it is all sounded too good to be true. In reality, it sounds like an application of linear algebra to business. But the description- like reducing the time to develop a new sandwich to one month made me wonder if my spam filters would label it as spam.

Worse... (1)

glenrm (640773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065030)

What could be worse than a method which increases the returns on spam?
What could be worse, oh how about giving them free exposure on Slashdot. I can save you the time of RTFA, just target aol users.

No problem...it's Taguchi (2, Interesting)

cosmicpossum (554246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065032)

Most EEs who have been around a while remember the article that Bob Pease of National Semiconductor wrote on the Taguchi optimization of a power supply. It can be found here [elecdesign.com] .

If Taguchi works as well on spam we can just about forget another spam control methods!

Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065040)

Let's adopt the "War on Drugs" methodology - Let's go after the users!

Let's make responding to an unsolcited commercial E-mail a criminal offense punishable by a large >$1,000.00 fine. When a spammer is busted, check their sales records, and pop their "customers" for a grand.

It is the regular 4 million morons who do business with spammers that are the REAL problem not the spammers!

Follow the money!

Good Advertising is a Good Thing (4, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065045)

We forget sometimes that advertising, when done right, plays a crucial information role in our economy. The quick and accurate dissemination of information is vital to keeping prices low and efficiency high -- not just advertising products to consumers, but to corporations, as well as advertising for jobs and soliciting services. (*ahem* Not those services)

The problem with spam is that it is bad advertising, and advertisers have not yet really caught on about how much it infuriates their potential customer base. I think you'll find that companies really paying attention to what works will eventually de-emphasize spam in favor of less-intrusive methods.

Better spam would be better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065060)

The point of this is to generate more effective advertising campaigns. This is a combination of a: better ads, and more effective targeting of your ads. Ads are an unfortunate necessity of the commercial world, and frankly, ads can work to provide information to customers who'd be interested. I'd like to receive good ads. I want to know when the next book by my favorite author is coming out. I probably want to know about products that other companies offer that appeal to the same type of person (like Amazon's reccomendation services, but across all companies and product arenas). It's like TV, I want to see ads which are funny and have pretty girls in them, but I have no interest at all in ads for tampons. Same with email, target effectively, don't annoy me with ads for penis enlargement, and everyone's happy. Spam quits being annoying and becomes information about products that I might care about. Customers stop being pissed at companies, and begin becoming interested in their products. Everybody wins.

Eric

The road to hell is paved with good intentions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7065063)

Did you know the nanobots that lead to The Borg were first developed as a solution to ring around the collar?

Slashdot a little shortsighted (3, Interesting)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065073)

I think /. was a little shortsighted as looking at this from just the spam perspective.

As an advertiser in search engines and other mediums, this would be a great way for me in increase my conversion rate. With a tool like ConversionLogic Keyword Tracking [conversionlogic.com] one can now use the methods described, and accurately measure the worth of a search or affiliate campaign based on different versions of ad copy produced.

But yes, spammers will be reading this with interest as well :-)

Liability? (2, Interesting)

brundlefly (189430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065076)

If spam is illegal is certain jurisdictions, wouldn't sale of this book in those jurisdictions be akin to inciting criminal behavior? What would be the financial liabilities of this? (Obviously IANAL.)

Sue Advertisers (0, Offtopic)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#7065083)

This is the only way to stop this. Either enact enormous fines for the end advertisers, or let us sue them for the costs of dealing with their unwanted advertisements ( much as we do now with unsolicited faxes here in my state ).

Its impossible to catch and stop all the actual spammers, but the things they are pushing HAVE to be traceable to someone in order to make the sale.

Make it too costly a risk to do advertising this way and it will stop.

And yes I'm appalled by the sue-happy and legislate-happy state we are becoming, but sometimes it IS appropriate and unfortunately needed.
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