GATES ON SPAM
Bill Gates gets it too:
Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so irritating.
But spam is worse than irritating. It is a drain on business productivity, an increasingly costly waste of time and resources that clogs corporate networks and distracts workers. Among consumers, it spreads scams, pornography and even computer viruses. Worse, spammers prey on less sophisticated e-mail users, including children, threatening their safety and privacy. And as everyone struggles to sift spam from their inboxes, valid messages are sometimes overlooked or deleted, which makes e-mail less useful and reliable as a channel for communication and legitimate e-commerce. In short, spam threatens to undo much of the good that e-mail has achieved.
He notes that Hotmail and MSN block 2.4 billion spam messages a day, which is amusing since Hotmail accounts are famous for getting overloaded with it within a few months of setup. He also says he’s working with numerous industry leaders to devise technological solutions to make it harder for spammers to operate. I applaud the effort but, alas, think it’s likely futile.