Monday, October 16, 2006

v1agra, c1al1s, amb1en

I still use my University of Wisconsin account for my professional e-mail. UW's e-mail is filtered for spam by this system known as SpamAssassin, which purportedly uses a "Bayesian" process to learn what messages are spam and improves performance accordingly. Lately SpamAssassin is going through some Flowers-For-Algerspam re-retardation phase, as it has unlearned that the appearance of various lewd phrases or pharmaceuticals in subject lines is a strong indicator of the message being unwanted in my inbox. I hope SpamAssassin is just failing to filter messages and isn't being like the assassin in A Fish Called Wanda: every time a spam message is sent to me, the program let's it go through, but accidentally kills a dog instead. If true, then at the current rate, canines will be extinct from the planet by the middle of next month, so get your glamour shots taken with Rover now.

1 comment:

Tom Bozzo said...

My theory is that what you term "re-retardation" is some sort of predator-prey cycle involving some failure of the Bayesian filters to effectively retain a memory of what was spam -- like rabbits evolving to evade a fox who then forgets that old-style rabbits are, in fact, edible.