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424 comments

Why not release it? (5, Funny)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854193)

Since he DOES have an entire department creating software to filter out spam, why doesn't he RELEASE said filters and help the rest of the world out? Hell, its MS... why not at least sell it and try to make that department profitable??

Re:Why not release it? (2, Insightful)

kaje103 (828985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854225)

I believe what he means is, he has an entire department to filter out just his email address

Re:Why not release it? (5, Funny)

frugle (769095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854382)

Of over 30 billion e-mails being sent daily, some experts estimate that over 40% is Spam.

Google informs me that 40% of 30 billion = 12 000 000 000

and (4 000 000 / 12 000 000 000) * 100 = 0.0333333333

That gives Bill Gates a measly 0.03% Market share of Spam. I think we should help Microsoft grow by forwarding all our unwanted spam to Bill.

Re:Why not release it? (2, Funny)

Singletoned (619322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854563)

"Google informs me that 40% of 30 billion = 12 000 000 000"

You had to use Google to work out 40% of 30 billion? I don't think you belong here.

Re:Why not release it? (-1, Troll)

frugle (769095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854578)

You had to use Google to work out 40% of 30 billion? I don't think you belong here.

I didn't want to bait the pedants who don't know an American Billion from a real one. ;-)

Re:Why not release it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854593)

oh man you're so cool and geeky *puke*

Re:Why not release it? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854242)

Because "said filters" are people and not algorithms?

Re:Why not release it? (0, Redundant)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854245)

He got himself a department to filter out his mail, not to make software that filters the mail

Re:Why not release it? (5, Insightful)

daves (23318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854246)

Since he DOES have an entire department creating software to filter out spam, why doesn't he RELEASE said filters and help the rest of the world out?

In his case, I suspect the filters are human.

Re:Why not release it? (2, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854314)

From the article:
"And so we have special technology which just filters (spam). Literally, there's a whole department, almost, that takes care of it."

I don't see Balmer calling people "special technology."

Re:Why not release it? (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854454)

More likely, this was an off-the-cuff semi-joke from Ballmer that everyone here is reading way too closely. I very much doubt that there is in actuality either a "department" or "special technology" handling Gates' email. Ballmer is saying "Yes, we know this is a problem. Given the mail we get, we could hardly not know."

By the way, note that the top three stories in the Australian news are "Wallaby escapes police action", "Bat swoops to bite woman" and "Passengers save bus from plunge". Gotta love Australia!

Re:Why not release it? (1)

kb0pin (599482) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854327)

If the filters are human, then how come a few spam messages get through the filters, as mentioned in the email?

Re:Why not release it? (4, Funny)

Pad-Lok (831143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854453)

Maybe they think Bill needs viagra or he wants to help some nigerian millionare to transfer some funds?

Re:Why not release it? (0, Troll)

Wapiti-eater (759089) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854350)

Interesting question: Does even Billy G have enough pocket change to pay for a tech to visit every XP PC in the country - even just once. fix something, check it - do something useful to improve the system....

If he dosen't, re-calc against the assets of MS?

Basicly - if the settlement of some mythical suit forced 'em to personally go around and fix stuff - could they stay solvent?

Someone with one of those fancy HP number crunchers figure it up. Aughta be good for killing a few minutes in class as well as earn ya some karma points.

Re:Why not release it? (2, Insightful)

Chief Typist (110285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854383)

While there is obviously some human intervention involved, I suspect that there is also some kind of automation. Four million messages a day would just be too many people.

It would be interesting to know what this automation is -- ah the irony if some OSS project was being utilized (SpamAssassin, DSPAM, etc.)

-ch

Re:Why not release it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854504)

If the filters are human, it's all the more reason to release them!

Re:Why not release it? (2, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854282)

Because they're all targetted to HIS e-mail patterns, which surely includes being signed up to thousands of mailing lists, having his address regularly entered on websites by people who don't want to give out their own address, etc.

Re:Why not release it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854304)

Well it doesn't actually say they create spam filtering software, just that there is an entire department dedicated to filtering their mail. The "technologies" used for filering are probably a computer and a poorly paid Chinese sweat shop worker.

Re:Why not release it? (1)

ColorMeLucky (832149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854323)

Probably because releasing said code would make it open for public scrutiny and, thus, being circumvented by millions of spammers out there. Ballmer's comment in the ref'd article, "And so we have special technology which just filters (spam)" is just seething with the "security through obscurity" mantra of Microsoft.

It's not a question of spam (4, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854369)

Undoubtedly Gates is just like thousands of other executives; he has assistants who read his email for him. An executive of a company as large and powerful as Microsoft hardly would have time to read and respond to the typical 300-500 emails one gets in a day, let alone the thousands or millions he gets from being famous. I feel sorry for the guy, in a way; he used to be a computer geek just like so many others and he's cut off from part of the internet just by virtue of his success.

It does sound like an excellent opportunity to leverage some of that computer brainpower they have and create some first class spam filtering technology. With a test base of 4 million spams a day they have all the sample data they will ever need.

Re:Why not release it? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854375)

The filters are human. That's why he hasn't released it.

I think I see the problem (5, Funny)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854195)

At least now I know why he never replies to my requests for an interview ;)

Here's a tip:

When asking for an interview, do not also offer to enlarge his penis. Mox

Re:I think I see the problem (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854236)

"do not also offer to enlarge his penis"

Yeah, he's a big enough dick as it is

(just kidding)

ontopic: at least there is SOME justice in the world.

Re:I think I see the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854280)

"When asking for an interview, do not also offer to [sic]enlarge his penis. Mox"

Try suck

Re:I think I see the problem (5, Funny)

peterprior (319967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854331)

Tip? Penis? Reminds me of the good old leper joke.

What did the leper say to the prostitute?
You can keep the tip..

Dear Mr. Gates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854196)

PLZ TO BY HALFLIFE 2 KTHX
- Valve

none (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854201)

almost first... bgates@gmail.com

That's nice. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854208)

Good. Who cares if he is the most spammed person?

Email Required (5, Funny)

kb0pin (599482) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854214)

I'm comforted to know that when I use billgates@microsoft.com when signing up for something stupid, or for those sites that require an email for download, he actually gets those emails.

Re:Email Required (1)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854293)

You know you shouldn't say these things out loud, right?
Or worse, post it on a public board.
He WILL get you back

Re:Email Required (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854373)

Parent lies.

That fucker still hasn't coughed up the $2 per mail I forwarded for Microsoft's tracking experiment a few years ago.

Only 4 million per day? (5, Funny)

lukateake (619282) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854218)

Hmmm, I would have thought more considering all the unpatched Windows boxes out there.

Ok... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854222)

Good for him. Wow, first post!

Aww shucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854226)

Little Billy boy is not getting all the neat goatse and tubgirl pics I keep sending him. He's missing out on some classic comedy!

Well.. (3, Funny)

Savant-Ben (829204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854234)

I can't say that it breaks my heart.. Maybe Bill should get a gmail account. what is his email anyway, I heard it was billg@microsoft.com..

An actual email was published once... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854348)

I think it was "askbill@microsoft.com" - for a short lived newspaper column, IIRC.

This was BS (before spam).

you're computer may be infected! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854235)

wonder if he clicks on those "your computer may be infected by a virus"

My earlier (rejected) story submission... (3, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854238)

Bill Gates world's most spammed man
CNN [cnn.com] and Rediff [rediff.com] are reporting that Bill Gates [mailto] gets 4 million e-mails a day, making him world's most spammed person. However, unlike lesser mortals, he has an entire department dedicated to filter unsolicited e-mails and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, said Steve Ballmer [mailto] at a Microsoft Research event in Singapore. Other sources are also reporting [google.com] the breaking news story.

Re:My earlier (rejected) story submission... (3, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854358)

The "entire department" thing sounded quite a bit like an exageration, especially since he said, "Literally, there's a whole department, almost, that takes care of it."

In other words, "We pay two kids $5/hr to sit in the basement and sift through this crap."

Or more likely, "We've got a couple network admins that implemented SpamAssassin for us."

Re:My earlier (rejected) story submission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854361)

It wasn't a Microsoft Research event. You misread the link. The text has Microsoft (Research). (Research) is a link to financial information about Microsoft.

Re:My earlier (rejected) story submission... (1)

Parallex (584658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854397)

Is there any particular reason you include a mailto link to Billy Boy, or are you just making a good thing better? :P

Umm.. (1, Interesting)

Stokey (751701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854241)

More so than president@whitehouse.gov?

Re:Umm.. (3, Funny)

emc (19333) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854311)

I thought president@whitehouse.gov was just an alias to vice-president@whitehouse.gov :)

Anyone else having a problem imagining Little Bush actually using a computer?

Re:Umm.. (1)

b0r0din (304712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854413)

It makes sense. Bill Gates and the president are two of the most hated men among people who know how to use email.

But cussing out or threatening the life of Bill Gates, though, is wiser than cussing out/threatening the life of a guy who endorsed the Patriot Act and doesn't believe in privacy or that POWs have a right to an attorney, instead inventing some made-up term "enemy combatant" to get around the Geneva Convention.

Re:Umm.. (0, Flamebait)

strict3 (827367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854517)

POWs have a right to an attorney, instead inventing some made-up term "enemy combatant" to get around the Geneva Convention

Since when did POWs have a right to an attorney? Me thinks you're confused.

And they are not covered by the Geneva convention since they are not following the Geneva convention when they fight. To qualify for the protections offered you have to follow the guidelines set.

Exchange (5, Funny)

peterprior (319967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854257)

Hmm.. 4,000,000 / 86400 (seconds in a day) = ~ 46 emails a second.

I didn't even know exchange could handle that amount of traffic. And thats just for him..

Re:Exchange (1)

dkone (457398) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854575)

Believe me it can, just do a defualt install of exchange and let your open rely be owned. It only takes a couple of days and soon you too will be sending email at a rate greater then 43 per second.

Re:Exchange (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854599)

And amounts to 40GB or so of mail per day (~10K per message). Which is two whole T1 lines just for mail. Probably 2-4GB for the logging of all this mail. 16TB per year. I wonder if they are archiving it all someplace.

Weasal Words from Ballmer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854264)

"Literally, there's a whole department, almost, that takes care of it."

He's so used to spinning he can't even make the most basic of statements without qualifying it. How many people do you think are in charge of going through the billg@microsoft.com email account? A department of 2, perhaps?

Anyway, I'm just pleased that every single time I sign up for anything off the net I use billg@microsoft.com as my email address.

Re:Weasal Words from Ballmer (1)

octaene (171858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854352)

I can't think of a worse job -- going through somebody else's spam? Gawd, filtering my own is bad enough... Oh, for the people that have that job, I would like to say, "ha-ha!" (inflection = Nelson from The Simpsons)

slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854279)

Slashdot - yesterdays fark.com articles, today!

Ballmer (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854284)

I like how Ballmer has to point out that because he gives out his e-mail address at speeches, he is probably number two. I think his ego is getting too big to fit in Redmond. ("I get more spam than you, I must be more special than you?")

Spam Technologies? (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854285)

I don't know this as a fact, but Bill Gates would probably have a set up like I do for my dad. Some basic opt-in spam filter (I use the one on earthlink), and an actually person which checks them (me). Although in Gates' case, probably opt in + MANY MANY people to check the mail.

this way, I can make sure nothing important is blocked (as some execs still don't understand how to request to be added to the contact list - a one click process). I've recieved Faxes requesting addition to the list.

In addition, most times, if it is really important. The individual will call to confirm, etc. And I'm sure Mr. Gates knows who to accept calls from.

Given an infinite.... (1)

teiresias (101481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854288)

Given an infinite number of monkeys/Microsoft employees with keyboards, infinite time that they could filter Bill Gates e-mail.

Test suite... (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854294)

he could try to forward his daily mail to a gmail account to really test spam/virus protection, label classification and how much space is 1gb for that kind of traffic. Even if it works, a good promotion of whatever future service of hotmail is "it performed better than gmail with my mail".

Re:Test suite... (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854469)

Good idea. Have all of your personal and business mail forwarded to a mail server of a primary rival. Sure. That's a good idea.

over used joke warning.... (1, Funny)

hardaker (32597) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854297)

Well, of course with a name like microsoft you're bound to get email for viagra like products... (excuse me... I should have said V1aGR___a)

Balmer (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854308)

Literally, there's a whole department, almost, that takes care of it.

Just when I thought my opinion of Balmer couldn't sink any lower.

-Peter

Is it worth a whole department? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854310)

At what point it won't be cost beneficial to have mail filtering department?

Story a weak troll. (4, Informative)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854312)

Nowhere does it say Bill Gates has an entire department to filter his email (though I don't see why he should not, considering he can afford it). It says they have "special technology", and "almost" a whole department (which probably means two or three secretarial types vetting the junk that doesn't get filtered with the "special technology".

And to all of this, I say "big deal". I would say "nice M$ troll" but it's actually kind of weak.

News for Nerds indeed. (5, Funny)

lottameez (816335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854333)

I know I was wondering just this morning, just after breakfast, how much spam Bill Gates was getting. "Self", I said, "How many unsolicited emails does Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, get, do you think? Two hundred fifty thousand? A million? What DO you think?"

I had no answer.
Until now.

Thank you slashdot.

Spam across the ocean (1, Funny)

AstroSurf (629842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854337)

Bill Gates receives up to four million emails a day

Wow! How much money has he sent to Nigeria so far?

milions of spam? (1)

hviezda14 (580875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854338)

Well, he should definitely start using mozilla mail client, it's excelent in classifying spam (with help of user with teaching). Can you imagine that excelent performance after learning from few milion spams? :-)

SpamAssassin? (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854359)

Balmer Says: "I receive many pieces of spam (but) only about 10 of them actually make it into my inbox because of the spam technologies that our IT department implements."

Gee...I wonder what software they run? :)

I wouldn't mind being spammed if (1)

spidereyes (599443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854392)

I was making billions and could pretty do whatever I wanted. A little off topic but I remember the episodes on SNL more specifically the one about Gates buying Christmas. His biggest dilemma was what to call it, I think it was Micromas or Christmasoft.

Your Job Sucks When (4, Funny)

nuintari (47926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854393)

Your job must suck ass if it, in its entirety, involves sorting through another man's porn/real estate/penis enlargment/cum filled panty spam.

I can see it now, job description:

Must be able to sort legitimate email from mass unsolicited email. Ability to tolerate apes a plus, as you will be working a team of them. In fact, your department manager is a chimp. Requires opposable thumbs and general image recognition abilities.

Fascinating! (2, Insightful)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854399)

"And so we have special technology which just filters (spam)."

And what do you call this special technology? What a brilliant new development. Please, Mr. Balmer, you must share this invention with the rest of us. Or, perhaps, is it "sendmail" on "linux" running "spamassassin"? Ah, yes, perhaps so.

Maybe the admins at my work are just braindead, but apparently everyone's so nervous about Exchange 2000 that they won't run any other mail related software on the Exchange server. So if we want to filter email with other software, it goes on a separate box, and they all get chained together. Which means that if they ever want to find out where an email came from, they have to go through three different sets of logs. This is all black magic to me. I code VBA for a living.

Is there a right way on Exchange 2000? We'd do all kinds of better spam filtration if implementation was completely better.

Another incomplete article (3, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854451)

Like most "news" today, the article says Bill Gates is probably the most spammed person in the world - but gives no frame of reference.

For example, how much spam does the Whitehouse get?

Do they cite the number of spams the average person gets? There is nothing other than the obvious in that article.

The article might have well said it is probably cold in Antartica too.

Huge! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854452)

Wow! He could have the world's largest penis!

Finally - proof of the existence of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854477)

He's tormenting Satan's earthly representative!

In related news (2, Funny)

Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854489)

In related news, Mr. Gates was reportedly heard to have exclaimed, "Four million emails ought to be enough for anybody!"
Although this quote has not yet been confirmed, the next generation Microsoft operating system, code-named Longhorn, is expected to require a boot disk to access any email after 4,096,000.
Stay tuned for more breaking news.

Gates: use Mozilla Thunderbird's Junk Mail feature (4, Funny)

otisg (92803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854505)

Somebody should tell him to install Thunderbird.

So THAT'S how Bill made his billions.. (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854515)

He must get quite a few offers from nice businessmen in Nigeria who need help getting their money out of the country.

Bill helps them out..
Profit!
Repeat millions of times over.. and ca-ching!

Spam filter (2, Insightful)

execom (598566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854522)

I think it's more some advertising news for Bill Gates than anything else. I mean, The world richest man can at least afford one of thoses babies [barracudanetworks.com] which can handles 25 millions mail/days

Don't tell (1)

Todd Fisher (680265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854532)

billg@microsoft.com is not his "real" email address. You think he would be that stupid to use something so obvious. If you really want to contact him it's moneyg69@aol.com

sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854539)

sounds good to me, maybe he can learn from that.

Unfiltered (5, Interesting)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854557)

It's rumoured that if you email billg from inside MS it goes directly to him, the idea being if you're stupid enough to send him a stupid email directly then maybe you should be fired for wasting his time.

That said, after going to an intern dinner at his house I wrote him afterwards asking a question I was sure no one else care about if I acked it at the dinner, I got a relatively quick if not short response.

Another intern friend of mine emailed him asking if he wanted to go to lunch sometime and never got a response.

I've also had some other funny run ins with Bill Gates while interning at MS that I wrote up a while ago in my journal [slashdot.org]

He should consider subscribing to hotmail (1)

herting (542478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854571)

For a mere $19.99/year Bill can avoid all of this spam using MSN's super bad ass spam filtration device. Read the EULA though

Unfiltered (1)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854594)

It is rumoured that if you email billg from inside MS it goes directly to him, the idea being if you're stupid enough to send him a stupid email then maybe you deserve to be fired for wasting his time.

That said after an intern dinner at his place I wrote him an email asking about his house, a question I was sure no one else at the dinner would really care about. Not too long later I got a short though informative response from Bill. It was in the first person and since it concerned his house I was pretty sure it was from him directly.

An intern friend wrote him and asked him to go to lunch but never got a response, not sure if he got rehired.

A while ago I wrote about some other funny run ins with Bill in my journal [slashdot.org]
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