Not So Lonely At the Top


Bill Gates gets 4 million spams per day, says owlish yet manic Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In a veiled pitch, Ballmer claims great effectiveness for MS software:

Thanks to technology developed by Microsoft, Ballmer said, only about 10 junk e-mails make it through to his inbox each day. Ballmer, in Singapore for the company's Government Leaders Forum, made the comment in response to an audience question about the possibility of Microsoft collaborating with governments to stop spam.

Today, Gates says spam will be under control within two years.

Last year, Wendy M. Grossman considered various methods for treating the junk email problem.

NEXT: Fire In An Empty Theater

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  1. Keeping spam out of the inbox is not good enough. Spam is causing a real problem by choking the available bandwidth. We need a solution that kills spam close to the source.

  2. The problem with spam blockers is that they often screw up and block useful messages.

    For example, I work remotely, and my boss’s emails somehow got categorized as spam by my yahoo account. I’m not sure he actually believed me.

    The way to solve this is with digital signatures. They will have to be used in a system that stops all email that comes from senders that are not preapproved by the receiver.

  3. IIRC, Bill Gates also has an entire staff devoted to the junk content in his e-mail, so I’m not sure that’s a scalable solution to the problem.

    “Those poor people with only their clothes, their bags, their stocks and bonds…”

  4. Well, judging from the spam that gets sent to me, I’d think it’s all being sent to Bawl’mer, hon. 😉

  5. “Spam is causing a real problem by choking the available bandwidth.”

    Do you have a reference for that claim, Warren? Megabytes of Linux OS’s, Windows service packs, and gobs of porn are being downloaded everyday. And that’s just by me. Most spam that makes its way to my inbox only a has a few lines of text and a link. You speak of the “available bandwidth” as though it were some limitted resource and/or public property.


    “In 2001 only 10% of e-mail sent was spam but now almost 60% of all mails are junk, according to figures presented at the International Spam Enforcement Workshop held this week and organised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT).”

  7. “The problem with spam blockers is that they often screw up and block useful messages.”

    Not to become a commercial here, by whatever is using to block my spam works great. I check all the ‘spam’ message subject lines anyway to make sure nothing gets lost but their spam-blocker has never blocked an legitimate message, and only lets through a spam message something like twice a month.

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