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Re: [Pan-users] Re: Big XML files... (was Re: Re: Better processing of v

From: Steven D'Aprano
Subject: Re: [Pan-users] Re: Big XML files... (was Re: Re: Better processing of very large groups?)
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2009 11:58:28 +1000
User-agent: KMail/1.9.9

On Sun, 5 Jul 2009 04:01:16 am Joe Zeff wrote:

> I don't know why, but Thunderbird thought this huge message was spam.

The missus uses Thunderbird, and as near as we can tell, its spam 
filtering is crap. She found false negative rates approaching 50% (half 
the actual spam was flagged as good) and false positive rates 
approaching 10% (one out of ten good emails was flagged as spam).

I've been running SpamAssassin for about two months now, and it catches 
about 99% of spam with only four (not four percent, just four) false 
positives. And one of those was a fanzine that included a fake Nigerian 
spam post written for laughs. It gave Duncan's huge post a spam score 
of -6.5, which is decisively ham.

The only downsides to SpamAssassin are that you need to be running your 
own mail server, it is relatively weak at "picture spams", and by 
default is has the unfortunately habit of learning from it's own 
mistakes. Not in the good way of "well don't do that again", but in the 
bad way of "I think that's spam, so I'll flag anything that looks like 
that as spam" -- even when it isn't.

Given that last factor, SpamAssassin requires some administration, so 
it's not just fire-and-forget, but I'd recommend it.

Steven D'Aprano

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