Agressive Anti-Spam Measures that Cause More Harm than Good

This post had a personal info. I have removed it as I think it is irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. Let’s just call him “Rick”. A user on a domain I maintain forwarded me an email from Rick explaining why his anti-spam swallowed the email, I replied with a set of challenges to his anti-spam’s filter effectiveness, as well as question the validity of the reasons behind it. Let’s be charitable and just say he did not seem to be open to discuss the matter.

Personal manners aside, this does bring up the greater question of arbitrary spam filters (arguably the worst ill effect spam had on the Internet) and standards conformance. (more…)

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Statistics vs. Probability – Did POTRIPPER Cheat?

This is a bit pointless, as I’m blogging about a “controversy” that has already been settled. I do think there are useful tools to take from this incident, though.

For those out of the loop, a few days ago players of online poker site “Absolute Poker” (no link, deal with it) accused a player called “POTRIPPER” of playing while being able to see the hole cards. I’ll save the poker laymen’s task of trying to figure out what that means (as I had to) – in that variant of poker some of the cards are shown, while others are hidden. People were accusing POTRIPPER that (s)he was playing while being able to see everyone’s hidden cards.

I should point out that this is a settled controversy. Absolute Poker admitted that this is the work of an internal security breach. I am less interested in the specific case, however, than I am in looking at tools designed to answer the “how can we know” question. (more…)

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