For those of you who follow any sort of numerological spirituality or fetishism—not to say that the two aren't necessarily related—today is "05-05-05" if you use

For those of you who are Discordians, Alpha-Bits for breakfast, alphabet soup for lunch, Ouija board with dinner, and do whatever the messages tell you.

The volume of spam in my inbox is getting to be obscene, and I'm finally sick of it. I'm switching over to a white list system. This means that if I don't have your address on file, your mail gets filtered to a mailbox that I can check once a day to tell me if something important has actually shown up. I've tried to be as lenient as I can with the initial rules, but inevitably I'm going to forget somebody important. If you want me to put you in the
pass-through list, please leave me a comment here. This is not an attempt to single anybody out or to ignore people. This is an honest attempt to stop the spam problem once and for all.

Yes, yes. I know. SpamAssassin, Bayesian filters, program changes, all kinds of things. There is an algorithmic solution that can stop 99.999...% of all unsolicited e-mail. This, like abstinence, catches one-hundred percent, guaranteed. If I don't want to see it, I don't see it, period. I don't let people IM me without being on my buddy list; why would I want email from people I don't know? To someone who checks email as immediately and as often as other people check their IM queue, it's just as annoying.

As another side note, I've got my Treo configured to dump me all the mail that I receive from my home inbox, so every time a piece of spam shows up, my PCS tells me about it. That has to stop, and stop now.

Plus, I'm not deleting anything. I'm just dumping it to a folder that I can process once or twice a day, rather than every five minutes like I get with my inbox. Your mail will not be lost. It may just take me a while to get to it... not like it doesn't already, sometimes.

I really do think that whitelists are going to become more common in the future. It's this, or charging people for the priviledge of sending e-mail. I'd rather just lock things down than pay for it. I'll try this for a while, see if it works and how many people bitch about it, then reverse it later if it becomes too much of a hassle adding e-mails.

What I'd really like to do is set up some kind of program that checks to see if an address is stored in a database, then send an autoresponse back to every address not listed that says something on the order of "thank you but this is a closed mailbox; if you are a real human being, then please go to this URI and follow the instructions to add your email address to the passthrough list". Then said URI would point to one of those human-only-readable grids with a password in it, and a place to enter e-mail address and password that would simply verify the password is right, then add the address to the database.

I think I've got a new project. I can push it onto the queue along with coding a new story engine for the TSA,
working on my table-top RPGs, expanding
FormBot, my ongoing dalliance with a ghoulish gambling site, and trying to survive my day job.

There are only twenty-four hours in any given day, and there is only one of me. 

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