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What Is The Real Cost of Spam?

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the human-depravity dept.

Spam 316

securitas writes "The NY Times has a nice feature about the diverging estimates of the costs of spam (Google). The estimates vary widely from $10 billion to $87 billion per year for American workers, and even more for global costs. Critics say that research firms' estimates vastly overstate the actual cost of spam. Public institutions like Indiana University have to be sensitive to the First Amendment rights of the spammers. And at companies like Nortel Networks, security architect Chris Lewis says that the real economic burden is the 10 to 15 percent - 5,000 to 10,000 messages a day - of the spam that still gets through, which costs the company about $1 in lost productivity per message. The costs can be much higher if a top executive is upset or mad about spam. "If someone in senior management gets spammed," Mr. Lewis said, "it could take 20 or 30 hours of everyone's time, up and down the chain." A chart of the per user amount of spam and the time spent processing it, as well as the varying estimates of the per user cost of spam are included in the article."

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About... (0, Funny)

craenor (623901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555009)

A $1.95 a can...last time I checked

That's an oversimplication. (2, Interesting)

raehl (609729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555115)

A good study must take into account more than the original purchase price. How much productivity is lost due to increased bathroom breaks? How much was the environment damaged by the flatulence of whatever animal (?) it was that the Spam was made from? How much does Spam consumption increase the burden on the healthcare system? If Spam is allowed to reach a corporate executive during lunch or dinner, one could easily see how 20-30 hours of subordinates' time could be spent on the problem, perhaps even resulting in someone's termination and the corresponding costs of finding a replacement.

Clearly total cost of Spam is much higher than, say, a nice serving of fish.

Linux is gay. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555012)

Linux is gay.

Re: Jacuzzi Jet (-1, Troll)

handybundler (232934) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555098)

101. Jacuzzi jet

I have access to a Jacuzzi, the kind with all the jets. There are two ways you can do it: 1. get real close to the jet, if you can get your vagina on top of the jet, it's best, then turn them on, it pulses through you like nothing else can. Unlike the steady stream of a faucet, this kind of bubbles and swooshes around inside you. I can only stay on the jet for about a minute or two before I come and am completely used up. You can move up and down and the jet massages your clit and pussy. Plus the wider your legs are open the better, it allows the water to go all the way in. 2. You can screw your ass and it feels great. A hot-tub works just as well. You can do this several times and get off each time. I love it. I now look forward to taking baths! This method works better than anything else. Better than a cock, dildo, whatever.

102. On your knees doggie style

Running water taps or faucets that are about foot above the ground work the best. Keep turning it on until the water pressure suits you (the stronger, the better!) Get down on your knees doggie style and move back towards the tap until you feel the cool water against you. The water feels great against your clit and ass and it sends you into orgasmic climaxes! Feels different from the usual lying down technique as the water is spraying in a different direction this way. I like to spread my legs wide and squeeze my breasts to bring this technique to the full effect!

103. Mommy's vase

My mother gave me a vase a few years back and since then I have been using it to masturbate. But first I give myself a little massage and then slowly insert it in my wet pussy and then move it in and out vigorously.

104. Lava lamp

I like to take my lava lamp (turned off of course) and use it on myself. It's kinda large but that's ok because I'm really loose. Note: Make sure to wash off after use because it will reek if you turn it on.

Order Sex Toys Now!

105. Spoon it up

I use a plastic serving spoon - the handle. I rub it against my clit real slow, and then faster and faster, then slow again. Another is, I use the spoon handle and rub it against my g spot while rubbing my clit with my fingers. It feels soooooo good.!!

106. Talk dirty to me

I have not had any type of sex with a man for two years so I seem to be horny all the time, Lately I am doing things I never thought I would do, like letting men talk dirty to me on the computer. I have been divorced twice and I really miss having a stiff one to suck once in a while. There is this one guy from England that is chatting with me and it really got hot the other night. I was letting him do all the talking while I pretended to be shocked. He would stop in the middle of telling me how he would like to lick me all over and ask "do you want me to go on" I would not answer so he just continued with telling me about all the dirty stuff he would like to do to me. Then he asked me again and I did not answer so he said that unless I wrote the words "fuck me" on the screen he would not continue. He had me so worked up that I had taking all my clothes off and had my soaking wet pussy spread open with the nearest thing I could find shoved in there. It was a hair brush handle (got the idea from masturbation tips at this site). I did not want him to stop so I hit the cap lock and typed in "FUCK ME, FUCK ME HARD, FUCK ME ALL NIGHT LONG". He began eating me out with his words, he was so good he had me rubbing my clit and pumping that hair brush until I exploded about three times in a row. I just typed in the words " Thanks I needed that" and logged off. For days now I have been doing the hair brush thing and I even had to lock my self in the bathroom at work in the middle of the day when my cunt would not stop dripping just thinking about his mouth all over my hungry twat. I better find mister right soon before I hurt my self.

107. Levi's love

Sometimes when you wear tight jeans, the seam hits right on your clit...and if you rock back and forth the right way, you can get yourself off whenever and wherever you want.

108. Just rub it

When you are really horny just take your whole hand and rub your clitoris until you hit a great orgasm! You can also do it as many times as you want. Multiple orgasms make it better.

109. Serta Perfect Sleeper

I find it impossible to make myself cum from using my fingers, so I use the corner of my mattress, works a treat! I kneel on the floor at the corner, and then lift myself onto the bed so I'm balancing on the corner on the front of my pelvis. Then I just rub. Takes me a while to get it right but I can cum really quickly.

110. Lots o' tampons

I remember as a teenager, before I moved out on my own and was able to buy "real" sex toys, I had to make do with things around the house. I realized (this was when I was still a virgin and pretty tight) that using a tampon as a dildo while I used my index and middle finger, one on each side of my clit, and rubbed it hard, that I could have an orgasm pretty quickly, and it was better than just masturbating with my hands. Over time, I was able to work my way up to having about 4 or 5 tampons in at the same time (all UNUSED, of course) quite easily, and having really rocking orgasms.

111. Stand in the shower

I have a shower head that has massage settings on it. I love to put it on the vibrating setting. The water shoots out hard and good. I put it between my legs and stand in the shower while I squeeze my legs harder and harder. I get the best sensation while doing that. Try it, it's great, but it does waste water.

112. CPR

When I masturbate, I like to first start out by slowly rubbing my nipples and caressing my body. When I start to get hot, I take my right hand and make a half fist, then take my left hand and place it on top of my right hand (almost like the position of your hands to perform CPR). Then I place my hands in this position on the top of my pussy, right above my clit and press down towards my clit, and down as if I'm trying to press through my pelvis to the ground.. hard.. After only a minute or so, I have an outstanding orgasm.

113. Ice is always nice

Last night, my throat was kinda dry, so on my way to bed, I decided to get a cup of ice, so I could suck on it if I woke up with a dry throat. Well, I didn't only have a dry throat, but I was also very horny. I usually use some markers to get my self off, but last night, I added a li'l extra wetness. I put pieces of ice inside me, it felt so good. It melted pretty fast also! 114. Big banana My favorite way to masturbate is to read some hot erotic stories and gently rub my clit. Once I'm really turned on I take a banana and slowly insert it inside me from behind...I'm sure you get the rest. it's an amazing feeling - the shapes you can get and curves are just like big beautiful cock inside you. I've also used carrots and cucumbers - those Lebanese ones are great! 115. Squiggle writer I use one of those pens you find in the toys section at like Wal-Mart. those squiggle writers, use the round part on your clit...it feels great.

116. Cuke nuke

I lube up my vagina and clit with lots of AstroGlide, then insert a cucumber with a good size girth. While pounding my pussy with the cuke, I turn on a bullet vibrator to my clit. I really bang myself hard with the cuke and have the most outrageous orgasms...I even gush sometimes! 117. Rub and pinch I like to first start out rubbing my clit and pinching my nipples. I sometimes watch a movie about sex before hand. I try to do it all by myself but I usually have to use a dildo (such as a hair brush.) I usually cum after just a few minutes. I do this several times and the orgasm is great! 118. Boyfriend replacement When my boyfriend isn't around, I like to take my vibrator, and lay on the floor. I place the vibrator at my vaginal opening on a low speed. After a few moments, this drives me mad, and I switch to a higher speed while simultaneously stroking my clit (the stroking the same as the vibe: slower then faster). This ALWAYS gets me off. 119. Sawyer I take a pen (not one with a sharp edge) and put it against my pussy length ways and saw back and forth and get faster. Then I like to close my legs and squeeze them together while sawing really fast, it's nice 120. Jet spray I have the most sensational orgasm in the shower. Using a jet spray I sit on the floor of the shower and place the head directly on top of my clit with the water on fairly low so it just warms you up. Then as I want more (try and hold out as long as you can) I increase the water flow keeping the head constantly pressed on my clit. I continue this until the orgasm you build up is so amazing I'm writhing all around the shower in ecstasy. It is also good to slightly move the head from side to side and also clenching my buttocks increases the orgasm even more.

121. Playdoh playmate

Make homemade playdoh (the recipe can be found at almost every kid's website) and put it in a Ziploc bag as soon as it's done, while it's still warm. Lay the bag on the floor and hump it hard. Forming it into a large ball helps because pushing down into it will make it mold to fill in all around your clit and the warmth gives you an almost instant orgasm. 122. Curling iron (Note: this is extremely dangerous) I plug in an oversized curling iron into the outlet and let it warm up, but DON'T GET IT TOO HOT! When you get it warm, unplug it, lie down and spread your legs, push it in and out and rub it on your clit too. It's so wonderful! 123. Inner lips Start by slowly stroking your clit....enough to get yourself just a bit wet...then slowly rub your inner lips, letting your fingers slide down the sides of your lips....then back over the clit....then back down the sides...it's amazing. 124. Blush brush For smaller "spaces", you can pull the handle off of a blush brush and stick that inside. While doing that, put a small object of some sort onto your clit. Move the blush brush up and down very fast, and as soon as you come, stop a second and tighten your vagina muscles around it. It feels really NICE!!! 125. Riding on the storm Something I find that's great is to use a long candlestick and a garden-variety back massager. Put a couple pillows on a flat surface and straddle them. Put the massager under your clit and the candle deep into your pussy and ride off into the sunset. It is great. 126. Crucifixion I have this large crucifix which has smooth edges. I use this like a dildo. The pleasure from the cold hard steel is awesome. 127. Dildo play I have a lifelike dildo. First I rub the length of it along my clit several times. I diddle my clit with the tip of the penis. Then I put the head at the entrance, and I push it in an inch at a time, saying "oh" with every inch. When it's all the way in, I remain still for several moments, savoring the way it feels, my pussy involuntarily clasping and releasing, clasping and releasing. Then I begin petting my pussy. The sensations are so pleasurable. I feel so stuffed I feel I will explode with joy. I am making high-pitched yodeling sounds, I don't know what the neighbors must think. I keep myself on the verge of orgasm for several minutes, and then I explode into an intense orgasm, letting out a loud bellow, my belly bucking wildly.

128. Hot diggety dog

Take a hot dog wiener and put it in the microwave for about 20-40 seconds, depending on how warm you want it. Then take the warm wiener and rub your clit with it. Then go back and forth rubbing your clit and putting it in your pussy. The warmth of the hot dog makes me go wild. 129. Pillow tower This is simple, but it feels so good. Stack about 3 pillows on your bed, then cover them with a towel (don't want them wet) Get naked, at least on bottom, and straddle the mound. Move back and forth, riding it. It feels so good with your cunt spread wide open and all the softness in it. Move around, bounce do whatever gets you hot. Sometimes, you can hear wet slosh sounds and hearing this is so arousing. You'll cum in no time. 130. Mentholated (Note this is potentially dangerous and not recommended) I like to take a cream which has menthol in it (Vicks, Deep Relief etc.) I rub it into my hands and then wash most of it off. In the bath, I use a moisturizing soap and slip it inside me giving me something to grip on. I then feed the rest of the cream just inside me and gently massaging it into my clit. The cool feeling along with the warm water is....simply incredible and brings the weirdest of orgasms...try it, but be careful with which cream you use. Frozen candle 131. Candle When I'm horny and there's no guys around I like to get a candle and tease myself w/ it I slowly put it in and out of my wet pussy then go faster after you did it once you be sure to use it again...if you do put the candle in the freezer and freeze it then take it out whenever you need it and pleasure yourself more after you do that take a candle again put on in your pussy and one in your anal it feels great and you be cummin so fast you wont notice because you're having a great time 132. Bigger the better I need something big to stick inside of me for extra pleasure. So I grab a condom and put it around a Southern Comfort bottle or any empty fifth of liquor. I start to tease myself with it and then when I get excited I penetrate the bottle into my pussy. I also gently rub my clit while I slide the bottle in and out. It works great!! 133. Vibrator collection I love my vibrators. I use a dildo shaped cone with the end propped against pillows that I insert a tiny bit into my pussy until it hits my G-spot, then I turn the vibration on slowly. I haven't touched my clit yet. After I start to feel wet, I turn on my "massager" I got at the local K-Mart for $19.95 and place it, full power, against my exposed clit. I gyrate against the inserted dildo, moving it around my G-spot and move the "massager" rapidly in circles on my clit. Nothin' like it! 134. Big humper I'm a big humper. I'll hump anything. What I do is lie down on my stomach on my bed and use the heel of my hand to press on my clit. As my muscles tense up I press and move my hand around in circles. 135. Wiggle jiggle When I get horny, I go to a nice private place and begin to masturbate. I get totally naked, except for my shirt and begin to rub my vagina and vulva. Once I get pretty horny, I spread my legs as far as they will go and begin to wiggle my clitoris back and forth. Eventually I begin to go very fast until I reach orgasm, but I hold off for a few times, leading up to a very wonderful orgasm. Oh my god it feels so good. 136. Salivating I like to lie on my back in a bed or anywhere and spread my legs apart. I put saliva on my finger and rub it all over my clitoris, going fast and then slow. Finally I stick my finger in me and do it all again! 137. Rub and push I like to do this on my bed, stark naked. I take my index finger and rub it on my clit while my middle finger is in my pussy. Then at the same time, I rub my clit and shove my finger into my pussy. I rock up and down while I do this. After a few minutes, I get an incredible orgasm 138. Multi-part play First I play with my tits, sucking the nipples giving myself love bites and things. Then I go and have a quick slide on the bath. I then take my hairbrush handle put it in my vagina and pull it in and out at top speed suddenly thrusting it in and doing interesting things with that. I then take my toothbrush and brrr it around my clit finishing off with some stroking and slapping. I also love to se carrots up my vagina sometimes. 139. Popsicle pusher I use a Popsicle with the plastic around it and you have to break of the top. Just don't break of the top. Use it to bang yourself its cold and perfect fit. You can lay on your stomach and prop it against the bed or lay on your back. It's cold but feels so good. I use it with a vibrator so I can get double the pleasure!!!!! It works to rub the Popsicle over your tits and clit too...also have your partner use it on you....he will get a kick out of it. 140. Glove it Put on a pair of surgical gloves, and rub your clit lightly, then insert your fingers in your pussy and go to town....feels awesome! 141. Washcloth Take a wet, warm washcloth and put Vaseline on it. Lightly stroke it back and forth over your clit - it is awesome. I tease myself for as long as I can and then I press the washcloth hard against my pussy. The orgasm is warm and slippery. 142. Couch back When I'm all alone I put on a really hot sex movie. I get naked and watch it for a while without touching anything. It drives me crazy. That I get behind the couch (you will need a low couch) and bang the corner of the back. It's just as high as my clit!! I spread my legs a little and my wet lips are rubbing the cough. It feels so good. It's like you're a man fucking somebody. 143. Hair brush and Vaseline My boyfriend is gay, so that leaves the sex pleasure to myself. I take a brush and put Vaseline on it. Stick it in your pussy and twist it. Then squeeze your clit hard. If you get a "feeling" take out the brush and do it over again. When you finally can't resist, you should cum easily. 144. So comforting Make your pussy wet by rolling up your bed comforter and wrapping it between your legs. With you being on top just start fucking it by moving your wet and throbbing pussy up and down or left and right. If it gets too intense you can start rubbin your clit with your fingers. This works best for me. 145. Plastic pleasure I've found that in some stores, the tampon sizes can range from itty bitty to the width of a toilet paper roll. Once, I got a package, took out the tampon, and use the plastic applicator as my own little dildo. It works great! 146. Barbie boppin' I often use a Barbie doll to masturbate with. you put the legs all the way in you and since the legs are moveable it moves with you as you rock I lay on my stomach and hold the Barbie's arms it is awesome and the tits of the Barbie is on your clit so it intensifies the orgasm I also use a banana I lay on my stomach and put the banana inside me and since when I cum the muscles of my pussy contract with the banana and it is a squishy mess when I am done (great feeling it feels like someone is cumming inside you the softness of the banana moves with you) try it sometime... 147. Big thick marker I like to put a big thick marker in my pussy and push it harder and harder until I cum. 148. Non-skid strips recommended Hold the shower massage in your hand. Adjust to pulsating setting and apply to clit. Recommend non skid strips on bathtub for the big O. 149. Middle finger rub I love to just sit on the bathroom floor with my legs spread open as far as they can go. I gently rub my clit with the middle finger of my right hand. After about 2 minutes, I start to rub my finger on my vulva, and I go back and forth between the clit and vulva until I am finally stimulated. It feels so great and it makes me cum really easy!!! 150. Scooch up to the faucet Lie down in the empty tub, with your butt as close to the wall with the faucet as possible, stretch your legs up in the air and turn the tub on cold full blast! Before your clit numbs turn up the temperature until it's about medium warm, make sure the water is on full blast. For extra effect put your hands under your butt and lift yourself, you can even wrap your legs around the faucet and pull yourself closer (the closer you are the harder the water hits you) let the water hit your clit for the most part but letting it fill your hole also feels really good, I guarantee you will have the orgasm of your life in about five minutes!! It took all the strength in the world to keep from screaming so my roommate wouldn't hear me! The best part is no mess!

Re: Jacuzzi Jet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555227)

This sounds a lot like some of the spam I get.
The cost: hours and hours of experimentation.

Re: Jacuzzi Jet (3, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555232)

I have not had any type of sex with a man for two years

Wow. Marriage sure has changed you, CmdrTaco!

Re:Linux is gay. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555133)

No, Linux is gender neutral. Gnome, on the other hand, is definitely gay.

My own thoughts (5, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555015)

here [phroggy.com]

slashdotted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555099)

Posted A/C to avoid k-whore

I just had an interesting thought: every now and then I hear somebody mention that spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) costs a lot of money. Somebody usually dismisses this claim, saying "I just delete it." In other words, they don't think of it as being more than a minor annoyance, and don't see a cost.
I get more spam than a lot of people, just because I've had my e-mail address for a long time. Slashdot's editors are facist pigs. They somehow get away with censorship and shitty journalism and haven't had their shit DOS'd off the internet. I call upon the geek community to take action. I do my best to make sure it doesn't get posted on web sites or newsgroups, and I almost never give it to businesses, but spammers have found it anyway, and passed it around among themselves. At this point I get close to 100 spam messages per day, and with time I expect the number to go up (the total amount of spam being sent on the Internet is increasing exponentially, according to studies I've heard about).
So let's say it takes five seconds to recognized and delete one message. That's not really significant, is it? But if you do the math, for someone who receives 100 per day, at minimum wage it works out to over $300 per year!
Fortunately I don't actually spend five seconds on each message; I use various filtering techniques. Still, it does take up my time, and of course the real cost of spam is actually in the behind-the-scenes stuff that normal people never see. Large Internet Service Providers employ teams of people just to fight spam, and since over half of all e-mail sent on the Internet is spam, they have to buy bigger mail servers and more bandwidth. Those costs are passed on to their customers.
So, even if you only get one per week, remember that spam really is a serious problem for some of us, and it is indirectly costing you money even if you don't see it.

PHB Gets Spammed (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555033)

The costs can be much higher if a top executive is upset or mad about spam. "If someone in senior management gets spammed," Mr. Lewis said, "it could take 20 or 30 hours of everyone's time, up and down the chain."

Well, yes, since the CEO needs to ask his assistant to ask a senior manager to ask the Spam Control Committee to ask a freshly-hired sysadmin to fucking hit his goddamn delete key. All that and more for just $50 million a year, plus golden parachute!

Re:PHB Gets Spammed (1)

aero6dof (415422) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555327)

Well you just don't know how difficult it is to line your pockets while avoiding SEC investigations er... I mean maximize shareholder value.

Re:PHB Gets Spammed (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555339)

There are plenty of upper management (or older generation) types that don't deal with email directly.

E. Djiekstra, for example, had his secretary print out email, to which he would write out a reply in long hand, which would then be typed back in.

Ted Turner stated in an interview a few months ago that his secretary deals with all his email, and he never touches it.

I know Lotus Notes allows you to allow others access to read/send email on your behalf. High level management have personal attendants to do shit like delete spam.

The cost of the GNAA? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555040)

What is the cost of a GNAA message? Well, here's one to try...

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Call today to sign up over the phone! GNAA (G** NEGRO ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which
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Are you G**?
Are you a NEGRO?
Are you a G** NEGRO?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then GNAA (G** NEGRO ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
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Why not? It's quick and easy - only 2 simple steps!

First, call us! 1-800-759-0700. Ask us the secret passcode "Why should I believe?" We'll give you some instructions and send you literature and a book free of charge.

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Re:The cost of the GNAA? (-1, Offtopic)

gantrep (627089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555085)

Seriously, you're even more annoying than the real ones.

A dollar a message (5, Funny)

perimorph (635149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555042)

...which costs the company about $1 in lost productivity per message.

Where can I find a job where I get paid $1 every time I press the delete button? I'll fax in my resume' right away!

Re:A dollar a message (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555153)

"Where can I find a job where I get paid $1 every time I press the delete button? I'll fax in my resume' right away!"

Well, in my dreams that'd be the job description for a vacancy at the Patent Office but I don't see that particular dream coming true any time soon.

Re:A dollar a message (4, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555159)

You can't just hit the delete button. You have to figure out that it's spam first. This involves viewing the message, reading at least part of it. If you're talking about someone that costs the company $60/hr (doesn't mean he takes that home, when you include overhead/ss/unemployment/insurance etc. a lot of people cost more than that to employ) that's $1 per minute, and a 'clever' spam that slips past your filters can take a minute to conclusively identify and delete.

Not to mention all the problems that are created when the filters catch the wrong mail...

Re:A dollar a message (1)

daveo0331 (469843) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555261)

It doesn't take me 60 seconds to determine that "v1agra no prescr1ption needed" is spam. Those take 1 second to hit delete. Even for the cleverly worded ones, it might take 15 seconds to open "you left your umbrella in my office," find the obvious link to a non work safe website, close it, and hit delete. And that's the 10 percent that make it past the filter.

I don't see how the average can be a full minute - the $1/message, if it's for real, must come from something other than employees' time (bandwidth, storage, tech support, paying executives to discuss how to stop spam, reading slashdot discussions about spam, etc).

Re:A dollar a message (1)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555285)

Even the bad spam filters would recognize the use of "leet speak" in the subject and tag it.

It's the more tricky ones "RE: Your inquiry" or the ones forged to be from someone you know that take a bit longer.

But ultimately, the question which was stated elsewhere is, is it $1 a e-mail per user, or $1 an e-mail that makes it into your company? if it's just $1 per message that makes it past your filter, any large company is using up quite a bit of cumulative time deleting them.

Re:A dollar a message (4, Funny)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555350)

>> It doesn't take me 60 seconds to determine
>> that "v1agra no prescr1ption needed" is spam

Maybe it doesn't take you, but it takes me about 120 to make sure that isn't MY viagra supplier.

Re:A dollar a message (2, Funny)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555262)

Are you JOKING ME!? Most spam can be recognized just by the subject line. If it takes you a minute to recognize a spam message, you should be shot and dragged down the streets in a burlap sack.

On the off chance you were not being sarcastic (2, Funny)

b!arg (622192) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555268)

To: CEO
From: John Smith
Subject: V*I*A*G*R*A

To: CEO
From: Your Buddy
Subject: Are you feeling a little less than you could be?

Now let's take a poll. How long wold it take for most of you to figure out this is Spam? How many of you would approach the 10 second mark for deleting both of these? If you are, then you have a slow trigger finger.

Re:A dollar a message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555294)

Wow... by that logic the company pays me for a wank more than a prostitute would charge.

Re:A dollar a message (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555281)

Where can I find a job where I get paid $1 every time I press the delete button? I'll fax in my resume' right away!

I have a job like that for you. Just post your email here, and I'll send you all the information.

Re:A dollar a message (2, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555298)

Average it out - as it said in the story, if senior management gets a bee in their bonnet about spam they received, you could have several guys spending an hour or two doing whatever it takes to placate them.

Is this real money? (4, Interesting)

eric434 (161022) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555045)

Or has this been calculated in the same way that they calculate money lost from 'piracy' and 'hacking'?

I can certainly see how spam costs real money in terms of bandwidth and all, but I'm wondering whether they actually did some research or just guessed.

Sad news ... Bob Hope dead at 100 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555046)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Comedian/Rapist writer Bob Hope was found dead in his California home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

According to Chef's dad... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555049)

About tree-fiddy

counter-argument (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555051)

There's an interesting writeup of the opposite argument: That spam actually creates more productivity than it consumes (via anti-spam tools). I came across the article over at tubgirl tech archive [tubgirl.com]

GNAA WARNING!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555056)

Warning: someone is impersonating the GNAA producing trolls about the wrong phone number. The CORRECT phone number is 1-800-759-0700.

Re:GNAA WARNING!!! (-1, Troll)

The_Listener_1985 (693234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555173)

lol at where that phone number goes to. Try looking it up on google! Anyways, I see how spam can hurt productivity, but isn't there alternitives to e-mail for passing about memos and messages? Like maybe getting out of your desk and handing a note to a person across the hall?

Spam (2, Funny)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555061)

I don't like wading through Spam... too gooey and greasy.

Re:Spam-It does a body bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555290)

HeHe. Cost of spam, two triple bypasses, and a coronary.

$1 per message (0)

SlashdotMakesMeKool (610077) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555065)

Chris Lewis says that the real economic burden is the 10 to 15 percent - 5,000 to 10,000 messages a day - of the spam that still gets through, which costs the company about $1 in lost productivity per message.

What, you mean the employees actually click through to 'talk to girls like her' and get a dick enlargement?

84 seconds per spam?! (5, Interesting)

mrand (147739) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555068)

Either I'm a spam processing machine, or some of these estimates are WAY overstated. After running through two filters, I end up only seeing 20 TO 40 spam's a day, and it takes me all of 20 or 30 seconds to deal with them - for the WHOLE DAY. Do these people keep their delete key in their drawer or what?

And the person quoted about the cost of setting up spam filters and following up on incorrect filtering seems to ignore the fact that the effort for this person to do this is spread across all the users... thousands of them (or tens or hundreds of thousands, in this case).

Marc

Re:84 seconds per spam?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555093)

I have about 25 accounts and I check them about twice a day. Each time I receive a total of about 200 messages (so like ~400 a day)

I use POPFile to filter spam/real. Then I quickly check over my spam bucket to make sure I have no false positives, then I Select All and Delete. Takes about 5 minutes (4:45 for downloading the messages, and 15 seconds to skim the folder and delete my spam)

Re:84 seconds per spam?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555200)

If you have 25 accounts, you're a fucking loser.

Re:84 seconds per spam?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555254)

If you have 25 accounts, you're a fucking loser.

Holy shit man those were my exact thoughts, word for word. We're like twinkies!

Re:84 seconds per spam?! (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555214)

Yeah, those estimates are gross exaggerations.

Here's a different kind of cost though. I have always been careful with my email addresses and managed to avoid most spam. But now it has affected me. Because of spam, my block of IPs (Comcast) has been blacklisted by quite a few mail servers. I can still send email if I go through Comcast servers, but I'd rather send it directly, and to me it's sad to see locks and fences thrown up (the "taming of the wild west" if you will), in opposition to the peer-to-peer model that makes the Internet great, necessitated by spam.

Re:84 seconds per spam?! (2, Informative)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555292)

Either I'm a spam processing machine, or some of these estimates are WAY overstated. After running through two filters, I end up only seeing 20 TO 40 spam's a day, and it takes me all of 20 or 30 seconds to deal with them - for the WHOLE DAY. Do these people keep their delete key in their drawer or what?

Fine, this is not much of a problem for someone who is at their computer a lot and can basically delete spam as they arrive. I get a similar amount of spam as you (maybe slightly less, but still at least 10 per day, consistently). But what happens if you go on holiday for a month? Suddenly that small handful of 'delete' presses becomes a huge mass of junk, from which it is really hard to find the important messages. And what if you were away for 6 months? The task of filtering out the junk would be practically impossible.

For someone who doesn't work with computers, who maybe checks their email once a week, spam becomes a major chore.

Compare with snail mail; I get practically no junk mail (I also have a 'no junk mail' sign on the letterbox, which I suspect is legally enforcable where I live). Sorting out the mail after a long holiday (yeah I wish!) is actually an interesting and not long task.

The way it is now, it is impossible to use email for important communication (think bills, court documents, things you really _need_ to receive), simply because of spam. Filtering isn't the answer. Email was intended to be robust; either the message would get through or it would bounce. Spam filters make this no longer true, not by a long shot.

spambayes (3, Insightful)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555076)

how do they figure $1/msg? It maybe only takes me 10 seconds to alt-tab over to outlook and see that it's spam, delete it, and alt-tab back. let's see... that amounts to $360/hr! I wish I were making that kind of money! If it weren't for all this spam...

if they'd just get spambayes [sourceforge.net] they wouldn't have this problem anymore. hardly any junk mail gets past spambayes...

Re:spambayes (2, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555142)

> that amounts to $360/hr

Shush!! That's not what it costs!! That's just what you tell the lawyers it costs!

Obviously it just takes under a second to decide to delete it and press the `delete` key, plus however long Outlook feels like taking, to actually delete it.

Re:spambayes (1)

gnovos (447128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555247)

how do they figure $1/msg?

Well, is it $1/msg, or $1/msg/user? If it's just $1 per message then at 30-50 employees you only need to make a minimum wage for it to be true.

How do they work this out? (0)

Pinguu (677142) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555081)

I don't think that figure is anywhere near the cost. I think they might be using the 'RIAA Method', by adding up the total spam sent to email addresses (even null email addresses) and putting a cost of say $0.01 on each email. To get the true cost you'd have to make a huge survey of how much spam each person gets and average out the figure, I reckon.

Spam sucks, but... (2, Insightful)

Erick the Red (684990) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555082)

for now,we have to live with it (or with what gets through our filters).

"If someone in senior management gets spammed," Mr. Lewis said, "it could take 20 or 30 hours of everyone's time, up and down the chain."

In other words, stop whining and hit delete.

Easy answer: (0)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555086)

too much.

The real issue is not now, but tomorrow (4, Interesting)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555100)

The real issue about costs of spam is not what it costs today, but what it costs a year, two or 5 years from now, if it's not killed today.

The volume of spam is increasing exponentially. It will reach a point when it will start choking up Email entirely.

At that point it's too late.

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers. Remember to shoot knees first, so that they can't run away while you slowly torture them to death

Re:The real issue is not now, but tomorrow (1, Informative)

digital photo (635872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555205)

Normally, I'm disturbed by violence.

However, in the case of spammers, I really don't think there really is a limit to what is "just".

Some suggestions:

  • Use tranquilizers. You don't want to damage any sensitive nerve bundles.
  • I would recommend either bamboo slits or rusty nails underneath their finger and toe nails.
  • Keep everything disinfected. Rotting flesh is dead, unfeeling, flesh.

I get, when I take into account the amount of email per box, something like 2000 emails a day after all is said and done. It doesn't come out to $1 per spam, but I find myself constantly having to deal with it throughout the day.

I'm reminded of this one tommy gun scene where the guy firing loads of lead comments: Keep the change, you dirty rat.

Re:The real issue is not now, but tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555263)

Two words:
Organ Harvesting

Re:The real issue is not now, but tomorrow (1)

b!arg (622192) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555340)

Hmmm...I'm not sure if that's -1, Gruesome or +1, Gruesome

This is an issue. (5, Interesting)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555104)

This is a big issue for me. I work for a web hosting company, and we had two options when it came down to dealing with spam:

Sift through hundreds, sometimes thousands of messages a day searching for legitimate technical support issues

Only accept email from addresses belonging to customers on file.

This has had a detrimental effect, and we often do get calls from customers saying their emails never got through and that they need to know which of their email addresses is on the account because they don't remember. This is inconvenient, and these measures may have led to the loss of a few customers for us. This isn't terrible, however, compared to spending hours a day sifting through spam, which would probably cost us more than the customers we lost.

This is still unacceptable.

an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555174)

Why not do both? Put your customer addresses on a whitelist to ensure they always get through to you. Then for any other address, apply a very strict spam filter of your choice. This will do the "sifting" for you. You will get some false positives, causing you to lose a couple messages, but well... if those customers want *guaranteed* service, they will put their email address on your whitelist.

Re:This is an issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555179)

dude, you dont work for a webhosting company. fucking liar.

Re:This is an issue. (1)

PickaBooga (578529) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555342)


How did this obvious troll get modded up to 5?

No business pays people to read email all day. There are dozens of good free and commercial spam filters. Even when you set the software to be very sensitive to false positives, you have still filtered away almost all of the spam. The only things that get through here are strangely worded Nigerian email scams, which confuse the Bayesian filter.

Unless your customers are constantly complaining that:
  • their cocks aren't getting bigger
  • their horse-loving-farm-girls aren't really "barely eighteen"
  • they are still not multi-millionaires after 20 hours working at home
then you are talking out of your ass about sifting through thousands of emails a day.

Re:Wrong Thinking? (2, Insightful)

globalar (669767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555358)

"'Spam, although it is a bad thing per se, is fostering the growth of the e-mail infrastructure,' he said."

I disagree with this positive outlook on spam. Technically, Dr. Fader is right: the infrastructure grows because spam forces it to do so.

This is not productive growth to me, it's just fat. One needs more bandwidth and processing capability to manage spam. This capacity could be used for other avenues, or the money spent someplace else. This is bad economics - something along the lines of the broken window fallacy.

I do think spammers have made us think smarter about email (a good thing), but we have paid for that in many ways. There are no net gains here - at least not from my perspective.

It's cost me a lot (5, Funny)

geekd (14774) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555107)

Spam has cost me over $10,000, and my dick STILL isn't any bigger.

Re:It's cost me a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555146)

dt UUpp uup anndd awway HH !

Is spam even effective? (4, Interesting)

YllabianBitPipe (647462) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555111)

I wonder about the effectivity of Spam because I just chuck it all. I can't remember a single time I clicked on a spam email. Nobody I know gets any spam that's worthwhile in any regard.

I just read James Cramer's bio and he talks about how TheStreet.com did a bulk mailing that they paid $500,000 for it. End result? 5 subscribers. $100,000 per subscriber. That's a terrible conversion rate for junk mail. Now I know that was junk mail, not spam email, but I simply can't imagine the rates being all that much better for Spam.

I'd say one way to fight spam is have a "do not spam" registry ... like what's being done with telemarketers.

Oh crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555116)

That reminds me, I haven't cleaned out my Hotmail account in a week!

Let's say it's $1B (1)

gnovos (447128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555126)

Does spam generate enough revenue to justify it's cost, even at $Billion, or heck, even $100 million? If not, then it's time for the government to step in. It's your "1st amendment right" to tell epople to buy stock XYZ (knowing you are going to dump it next week), so why are there laws that will put you in prision if you do? The reason why there are SEC rules and such are because it hurts the economy to have people messing with the stock market.

Well, if the spammers are costing more money than they are generating then they too are hurting the economy, and rules need to be made to regulate them.

And if mail servers from other countries are messing with our economy, then that sounds a little bit like, dare I say it, Terrorism? They need an invasion, pronto!

Senior management, ugh (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555132)

"If someone in senior management gets spammed," Mr. Lewis said, "it could take 20 or 30 hours of everyone's time, up and down the chain."

That's not the fault of spam- that's the fault of whiny executives. Execs are always whining about efficiency, "making the sacrifice", cutting the fat...yet they're responsible for more productivity loss for most IT departments than other employees combined.

When 2-3 execs moved into the office I was supporting, they were a massive drain, killing my productivity- because any time even the slightest thing was wrong, we had to drop what we were doing, and rush to make the Big Baby happy.

Executives, hear this. One sure fire way to enhance the productivity of your IT staff is to learn how to use your #$!@ing email program, not complain when your desktop is the wrong color, learn how to back up your data, and don't make us run in circles on your bloody little pet projects. Don't even get me started about personal printers/fax machines.

Secretaries used to do this (3, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555217)

Remember when people had secretaries, who kept track of where they were supposed to be, filtered their incoming paper mail, decided what they'd think was important, and handled communications when they were travelling? Most executives still have them, though their titles are often "executive assistant" or whatever, and they can still filter out spam...

But yes, execs do sometimes need handholding. Years ago, while I was still doing sysadmin, the head of one of the neighboring departments would ask me for help when his Mac wouldn't print. Hey, I was a Unix guy, not a Mac guy, though if they'd gotten me a Mac I'd have been quite happy - but 95% of the time it was a matter of rebooting the network printer frob a couple of times and it'd work....

Re:Senior management, ugh (4, Interesting)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555348)

This depends on just how "senior" your executive is. If you're dealing with the senior management of a struggling startup, you can have an indifferent attitude. On the other hand, if Rick Wagoner gets an add for "free porn" in his inbox, you can damn well bet all hell will break loose. If he gets spam it indicates a breakdown occurred in a chain of responsibilities shared by multiple highly paid people. I'd be mad too.

We need to move beyond email. If executive management is using email to do actual business then it needs to grow up. Messages need electronic signatures than can be examined and verified before a message is accessed. Getting a worthy signature needs to cost a bit of money. That's all it would take to kill spam. If you want to get a message to me I require that you pony up and get yourself a signature, otherwise, forget it. Send messages to people who like dysfunctional communication mechanisms.

Re:Senior management, ugh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555353)

Definitely. What pisses me off even more is the goddamn asskissers who say, "Why didn't you have this set up in advance? You've made us look bad in front of the CEO/CFO/chief dog catcher/whatever!"

If the fucking CEO of a SOFTWARE COMPANY can't figure out how to set up his mail, after he's been showed how to do it three times previously, then don't come running to me and bitching about how I'm not doing my job. My job is NOT to babysit the fat waste of space who's getting a paycheck ten times the size of mine.

First Amendment rights my ass (5, Interesting)

mudshark (19714) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555135)

Since most, if not virtually all spam is commercial in nature, it is not protected by the First Amendment. Kind of like the whiny telemarketers suing the FCC -- nobody has a "right" to try and sell me anything, thanks. And use of a recipient-pays delivery model removes them even more from the collective good graces of everyone trying to wade out from under the deluge. So screw the bogus legal pretext and lets get on with some gruesome public executions.

Re:First Amendment rights my ass (2, Informative)

Arker (91948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555189)

Has nothing to do with whether it's commercial or not. The first amendment guarantees your right to speak - NOT your right to hijack servers and bandwidth all across the world in order to force people to listen to you.

Re:First Amendment rights my ass (1)

perimorph (635149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555243)

Whoa, let's be careful here.. If that's how things end up, I'd be tempted to create a business model of starting flame wars on message boards and then suing anyone who e-mailed me. In the end, we'd end up with very un-free (as in both speech and beer) speech.

I have to agree with the grandparent post -- we already have laws in place regarding commerce-related communications, let's use those whenever we can instead of inventing new laws.

Re:First Amendment rights my ass (4, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555233)

That one had me confused as well.
The First Amendment says the government can not stop you from speaking out aginst the government.

If the government isnt the ones stopping the spam from getting to you, it does not voilate the amendment.
Anyone else can do so.

Additionally, the government CAN stop spam from reaching their own staff (IE their own mail server can use spam filters) as long as that mail server ONLY serves the workers and noone else.

The only way the first amendment is involved is if a non government related person attempts to say something to another non government related person, and a government related person steps in to prevent that from happening.

This is the main reason its so hard to pass a federal law to stop spam.
Spam can NOT be defined as a type of email for them to outlaw it.
They have to define it in another way that relates to an already criminal act.

This is why in some states (not nearly enough), it is already illegal to forge headers or use misleading subject lines.

But this is the only thing the first amendment prevents, is a law aginst spam directly. Doesnt prevent anyone else from stopping it.

Don't think laws will help, not for a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555300)

You can't legislate your way out of the spam mess. Read this: http://www.zeropath.com/bigbiz.html [zeropath.com] for an example of how Spam legislation will backfire on us all and only end up supporting Microsoft.

Costs of Spam (0, Troll)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555145)

Costs of Spam..

6 years to life for every M*ther F**Ker you kill :)

Cost/Benefit (4, Insightful)

Killer Eye (3711) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555150)

It could be that cost is the wrong focus. Advertising the lack of benefits might deter spammers. By now most people have a knee-jerk reaction to delete the stuff before ever seeing what's in it; therefore, it stands to reason that the cost of paying someone to send ads anonymously may now outweigh the payback. Posting some hard stats on that might get organizations to send less spam, or pay spammers less money, or fire some spammers - all of which could result in less spam.

Important Information (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555157)

THE CENTERS FOR Disease Control and Prevention, which reported the finding on Monday at the 2003 National GNU/HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, also revealed that AIDS diagnoses overall at slashdot.org had risen 2.2 percent to 42,136 last year.
"The AIDS epidemic in the Lunix Industry is far from over," said Dr. Harold Jaffe, director of the CDC's National Center for GNU/HIV, STD and TB Prevention.
An estimated 850,000 to 950,000 Linux users have the AIDS virus. AIDS killed 16,371 Lunix fags across the nation last year, about 6 percent fewer than in 2001, according to the CDC.
Although U.S. health officials have been preaching GNU/HIV prevention to slashdot editors, they have become particularly concerned in recent years by an apparent resurgence of infections among gay and bisexual Maldas.
GNU/HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with Rob Malda surged 71.1 percent last year, according to data collected by the CDC from 25 states that have long-standing Malda GNU/HIV reporting. New diagnoses in this high-risk group have increased 177.7 percent since 1999, while remaining stable in other vulnerable communities.
Jaffe cautioned, however, that the jump in GNU/HIV diagnoses could have been caused by increases in the number of gay and bisexual Linux users being tested for the virus and was not proof that this group was being infected at a faster rate.

STANDARD TESTS
Standard GNU/HIV tests cannot tell when a person was infected with the virus, leaving open the possibility that GNU/HIV was contracted many years before being detected.
That could change in the coming months as the CDC implements a new GNU/HIV tracking system running on the Lunix, which is based on a blood test that it says can determine whether a person had been infected with GNU/HIV in the previous six months.
CDC officials said the new surveillance strategy, was prompted by a need for more precise data on open sores GNU/HIV infections and trends. About 40,000 new GNU/HIV infections are reported in the Linux community each year.
Since the AIDS virus first surfaced in 1981, estimates of new GNU/HIV cases have been based on the predictable length of time -- usually 10 years -- that elapsed between an initial infection and the onset of AIDS symptoms.
But the development of antiretroviral drugs has slowed the progression of AIDS and made it more difficult to predict when a person contracted GNU/HIV.
"It will provide us timely information on GNU/HIV transmission that is occurring now," said Dr. Robert Janssen, who directs Linux GNU/HIV prevention programs at the Atlanta-based agency.
"What it will do is allow us to target our prevention programs to those areas and populations among whom GNU/HIV is being currently transmitted," Janssen added.
The CDC plans to have the system in place in 35 areas that account for 93 percent of annual GNU/HIV infections by 2004. The agency has allocated $13 million in supplemental funding to Lunix user groups for the program in fiscal 2004.

Don't try to switch to 2.6.0-test2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555166)

It will break the following things:

o Sound: because ALSA <---> OSS

o Nvidia-support: because the driver sources don't work with 2.6.0, leaving you with software-3d

o be prepared to buy a USB-mouse, because PS/2 is no longer supported

o the maximum resolution for XFree is now 800x600, compared to 1600x1200 with kernel 2.4.20; again: video-driver issues

o Gnome and KDE don't work anymore; I had to use lightweight window managers for X to run. You can still run GTK/KDE-apps

Estimates (1)

heli0 (659560) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555171)

"Critics say that research firms' estimates vastly overstate the actual cost of spam"

They probably use the same methods that determined that Mitnick caused $200billion in damages.

spamd (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555175)

I true open-source fashion, you should take matters into your own hands by 1) search the web for an existing solution, or 2) writing your own. Luckly for those of of with limited tallent, spamd already exists. This is a tarpit that is a fake SMTP server that takes a very long time (10 minutes or so) to respond with the error message of your choice. You can get lists of spammers or build your own.

Spammers do have first amendment rights, so they might have a right to send me spam. I don't understand the laws as they deal with commercial speech, so I don't know where their rights end. I just want to make sure it costs them more than it costs me. They are not in this for freedom, they are in it for money. If they have to pay more, they will spam less.

Apparently not enough to prevent spam. (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555177)

Spam is sent. Ergo, Spam doesn't cost the spamer enough.

I sent out a spam offering to break the legs of spamers. The response was tremendous!

What the cost is, or what the cost could be? (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555191)

There's one factor regarding spam that I would think would throw these calculations way off. That being, pornographic spam.

Given that a porn spam that ends up in a minor's mailbox would be a felony, the cost of prosecuting the hundreds of thousands of cases of this would boost the "total cost" considerably, I think. And that's discounting any potential effects on the minors themselves.

As this is a crime, and the legal system should be obliged to follow through with prosecuting complaints, I think these costs should be figured into the calculations as well.

cost of spam: (1)

Mir322 (519212) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555198)

internet bandwidth. Lots of it.
'nuff said.

Where the dollars are... (5, Insightful)

JohnGrahamCumming (684871) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555204)

A number of people have responded "But I can delete spam really fast" etc.
claiming that the costs quoted seem way to high. What they don't estimate is
the full cost within an organization of dealing with a problem like spam which
is greatly increased by a number of factors:

1. Management get annoyed by spam and see it as a drain on their team's
time and want to do something about it: that costs time there for them---
because they are thinking about spam and not making widget X---and the IT
department of the company who has to respond to the manager's questions re:
what are we doing about this problem?

2. Not all employees are as sophisticated as the Slashdot crowd (can't believe
I said that) and so for them spam is a far greater time sink (== $$$). They
start wondering why they got the spam (especially when it's pornographic) and
wonder if they did something wrong or if someone is going to "find out". While
they think about spam they are not working.

3. Spam is a workplace nuisance for the HR department because offensive material
that enters the workplace becomes the employer's problem when people go to HR
to say that the employer should "do something" about the offensive material
(after all an employer would "protect" its employees from a calendar of nude
women or a harrassing coworker). More $$ spent in the time to complain and HR
doing something about it.

4. And finally there's the IT guy who bears the brunt trying to fight the battle
against spam when he's got plenty of other stuff to do. And so he buys expensive
software to deal with the problem. More $$ spent on his time and the software and
maintaining the software.

It's just a little more complicated than "can't people just delete the stuff". Even
people who say "just get tool XYZ" overlook the cost of deploying (to 1000s of
desktop machines), training employees (to use the thing) and maintaining it. That's
a very expensive proposition.

John.

Re:Where the dollars are... (2, Interesting)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555245)

The # of complaints that go to HR stating "This stuff is DISGUSTING! You must stop it NOW!" is enough to cause quite a lot of hoop-la.

And before you say "never give out your e-mail" there are Sales and Support people that really don't have a choice.

Not to mention those public e-mail addresses on websites... "support@mycompany.com" that are just absolutely drowned with spam.

SpamAssassin/MimeDefang are a nice cost-effective combination though, and have so far proven to be quite effective.

Re:Where the dollars are... (2, Funny)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555331)

And before you say "never give out your e-mail" there are Sales and Support people that really don't have a choice.

Not to mention those public e-mail addresses on websites... "support@mycompany.com" that are just absolutely drowned with spam.


Don't forget that, thanks to email worms, there's really no such thing as a "private" email address anymore. If you forwarded an email to a friend, who forwarded to a friend, ad nauseum any one of those people in the trail not only has the address, but might also unwillingly pass it on to others if infected with an email worm.

The problem here is that an email address is basically like giving out a master key to your house, just so someone can drop off a note. There's no authentication inherent in the specifications.

This is why I think that all sub-standard open source mail servers should be outlawed in favor of Exchange 2000, which in coordination with Active Directory is the only messaging solution which supports a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) whereby sources of email can be authenticated by the sender's trusted certificate, and if necessary blocked.

The real cost of spam is.... (1, Funny)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555208)

2.69 at your local grocer.

I expect lots of mod's down for overrated... come on people, dont' hold back!

First Amendment rights (1)

Mjec (666932) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555244)

...the First Amendment rights of the spammers...

Now, I'm not from the US, but isn't the first amendment freedom of expression/speech? What does that have to do with spam?

Yes, you have a right to speak. But you do not have a right to come into my house and yell at me. I have a right not to go out and hear what you say; you don't have a right to force me to hear what you say.

Isn't the first amendment then irrelevant when it comes to spam?

Gotta love these studies (1)

Superfreaker (581067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555251)

I know the group that must have performed this study, they're the same that stated that P2P networks cost the music industry $2 billion a year.
I think they used to run a few S & L's during the 80's.

HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HA (1)

Martok7 (634005) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555252)

My span is always free.

To find out how much spam costs... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555271)

just leave your name and e-mail address in a reply to this post. You'll be e-mailed with the answer within 1-2 minutes. /me runs

One question we forgot to ask about Spam.... (1)

i8a4re (594587) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555286)

How much of our employer's money is wasted by employees reading & posting about spam?

At least my calculations make sense... (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555288)

"$874 a year for every office worker with an e-mail account"....

What on earth type of number is that? I work in a small (3 person) office, a branch of the main company.... Unfortunately, this means that when someone calls us, I'll pick up the phone half the time. The time I have to waste trying to figure out is it's a telemarketer or not is insane, and it takes quite a bit of skill to represent your company with class while hanging up on these 2-bit lowlife punks.

My calculation: 3x the wasted time of spam, so telemarketers are robbing every American worker $2541 out of their paychecks, assuming that the lost time can be made up in productivity with constant market value. Makes me care far less about the "2 million" jobs that will be lost thanks to the do not call list.

Worst part? We can't sign up our phone number with the Federal do not call list. Out only hope is if my baby yak breaks out of the barn, hops on to the internet, and manages to type the phone number for our biz at donotcall.gov.... but what's the chance of that happening?

At least e-mail is fairly easy to screen out.... The random-characters these guys are inserting into the body of the message in order to avoid blacklists are very easy to spot.

Personnel Time costs vs. bandwidth (2, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555291)

Hey, even though they've got a few orders of magnitude variation in the costs, at least they're talking about the costs of wasted employee time, which is the real cost, and not whining about bandwidth usage. Yes, when I'm on dialup, downloading spam takes some time, but on a work LAN or on DSL at home it's very little download time, and the bits it consumes are usually a lot less than reading Slashdot.

That's also true for ISPs - web traffic carries a lot more bits than spam, and while spam email probably outnumbers real email by byte-count as well as message count, it's not really a big deal for connectivity-provider ISPs. (Email-specialist ISPs are obviously another case entirely.) On the other hand, the worker-time cost of handling spam complaints and trying to keep filters up to date is more important than the cost of the bits.

Almost all email programs let you display the sender and subject without opening the message. 90% of the time it's pretty easy to tell just from reading those whether to delete it without opening - filters can often trash many of those messages automatically, but they can also speed up the decision time by marking suspicious messages.

Another estimate (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555293)

Here's another estimate [spamwolf.com]

Probably should double those numbers since the page is over a year old.

-- this is not a .sig

Real costs (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555310)

Funny thing is that Viruses actually cost more than spam, yet these folks are worrying about spam.

SPAM ? Long time I don't see one . (1)

Bucci.com.br (573135) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555312)

Thanks to SpamBayes(http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/) !

Poor Baby! (1)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555314)

"Every single day, two or three times a day, I'm erasing multiple messages that I have to spend at least a few seconds glancing at to make sure it's not something I need," said Brian Basham, a commercial and residential real estate broker in downtown Denver.

Multiple messages times a few seconds? Why, that could add up to a couple of minutes per day! How dreadful!

I hate spam as much as the next person (that also hates spam), but let us look at the big picture here: How much productivity is realized by near-instant communication like e-mail? Communication that doesn't entail paying for long-distance phone charges and postage stamps? Did I miss the part in the article that talks about all the benefits of e-mail, in addition to the costs like spam? Or have we all become so spoiled by the convenience of e-mail that we've lost sight of how incredibly useful e-mail still is, even with all the spam?

END OF POST. PROCEEDING TO OBLIGATORY QUOTATION...

Behold the lowly fart! 'Tis unclaimed and unwanted at birth; and yet, somehow, it still has the power to move us. (C) 2003 Author Unknown

(NOTE: The preceeding quotation is a free quotation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public Quotation License (GPQL) as published by the Free Quotation Foundation (FQF); either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This quotation is distributed in the hope that it will be humorous, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of HUMOROUSNESS or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR HUMOROUS PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public Quotation License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public Quotation License along with this quotation; if not, write to the Free Quotation Foundation, Inc., 59 1/2 Temple Place, Suite 330 1/2, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA, and ask for Richard.)

what i would/should do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555323)

I'll fax in damages. search the problem, perhaps even get paid $1 per year for a spam filters and even more for money. If it takes me it's for just $50 million a day, and more for global costs. Critics say that slips past your bloody little bit like, dare I end up a little pet projects. Saving the problems that research or 30 hours of spam are generating then suing the flatulence of them to justify it's spam first. This involves viewing the payback. Posting some hard stats on the per message. The estimates vastly overstate the costs me. In the varying estimates of it. 4. And that's $1 per minute, and to the users... thousands of spam. Those take 20 or rusty nails underneath their finger and delete.

First amendment righats? OXDUNG. (4, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555324)

The first amendment DOES NOT COVER SPAMMING.

Anybody who says otherwise is BULLSHITTING.

The first amendment talks about Freedom of speech - freedom of the press. Nowhere does it permits anyone from using someone else's press, as spamming does by using someone else's computer/network ressources.

First Amendment rights? (4, Insightful)

PaulK (85154) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555333)

Public institutions like Indiana University have to be sensitive to the First Amendment rights of the spammers.

First Amendment rights do not apply to spam. First, let's look at just the communication aspect of it. Spam is not directed at an individual per se, but at a list of millions of people. The fact is, though, that individuals DO receive it personally. It is in their face, staring at them from their mailbox. This is not a soapbox preacher that you can just walk away from; we are forced to deal with it on a personal level, at our own expense. The First Amendment guarantees "Free Speech", not a "forced audience".

Now, let's look at the content side of spam. It has been determined repeatedly that the First Amendment is not protection for unproven claims, scams, or lack of "truth in advertising". Companies and individuals who have parlayed these things into First Amendment cases have invariably lost.

If a person or company wishes to advertise to me, they may do so. Advertising, historically, is at the expense of the company, not the consumer.

When I get spam from an open relay, with forged headers, bad return info, and base64 encoded, exactly how much do they think I'm going to spend on their product? Exactly how seriously do they think I'll take them?

The answer is: I take them very seriously indeed. Not for any reason that they hope for, however. I CAN and WILL pursue them, catch them, and put them under the brightest light that I can find.

Because, I am a spammerhunter. [spammerhunters.com]

Spammed businesses should adopt RIAA method of.... (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555351)

cost estimation, i.e.

1. work out the total number of spams
2. multiply by 1 hour to work out total time spent on spams
3. muliply by total value of company
4. sue spammers for this amount
5. profit

A COMPLETE BUSINESS MODEL - NO ????? STAGE !!!!

$20 (1)

IainB (200952) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555354)

Same as in Town!

Calculations (1)

TheDataAlchemist (631237) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555365)

$1 per message... hmm I wonder if that figure includes the estimated amount of time employees will spend browsing comments on an article that exists because of spam... that would certainly explain that horrendously high price. And as for spam filters in companies, the cost should be nominal since not all users would use it individually, but it would be applied to the company's entire email system. PS. I get about 2 spam messages per month...I can't begin to imagine how people recieve 2000 per day!
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