Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

Technology, Politics, Food, Finance, etc.

SPAM

I want to thank the folks at http://www.cs.kuleuven.ac.be/system/services/e-mail/spam.shtml for reminding me of a very old trick. In most mail systems if you send yourself mail of the form joe+hotmail.com@foo.bar it will be delivered to joe@foo.bar. This is great for signing up to e-mail lists (that you honestly want to get mail from) because you can trivially filter on the + and you can keep track of which e-mail list is sharing your name with whom. This is just a rehash of the old 'fake middle name' trick that was used to track snail mail mailing lists. It's the really obvious ideas that are the most useful. In my case I own my own domain so I can actually just use alternate e-mail address (e.g. spam@goland.org).

I also decided to get a mail filter to check for spam. I literally receive over 50 pieces of spam a day. That's what I get for having a 10 year old e-mail address. The winner was Mail Washer ($20 donation). It has a nice interface, automatically hooks into the major spam black lists, the heuristics seem to work well, the mail preview works great and it's free. The only downside is that it only supports POP. This is probably a show stopper for most folks but in my case it's fine. BTW honorable mentions go to Spam Detective,SpamEater Pro and PocoMail.


Reading about the Holocaust

I don't remember when I was first exposed to the story of the Holocaust. Certainly when I was young, in elementary school, at hebrew school. I have studied it on and off throughout my life. I always though it was a bit sick exposing a child so young to the holocaust but what choice was there? As a Jew, as a human, you have to know what man is capable of. If you don't know, you can't stop it. I just finished the book "rethinking the holocaust" by Yehuda Bauer, the head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem. This book is amazing. It helped to take the ocean of facts, figures, stories, legends, etc. about the Holocaust and tie them together into a coherent narrative that gets as close as I have ever seen to answering two critical questions: Why did the Holocaust happen and why does it matter to the world? For me personally the most powerful sections dealt with the question that I've never had a good answer to until now, "Why didn't they run/fight?"

Red Lights

I suppose the question one has to ask about the lies, violations of civil rights and common sense alleged in this article on red light cameras is: a) the public being victimized in a crass display of lies or b) is the author pumping up a simple story into a 5 part extravaganza? Unfortunately I suspect the answer is yes.

m4s0n501