Month: January 2007

Spam Gone Wild

According to an article on InformationWeek (via Digg), Spam Made Up 94% Of All E-Mail In December and was up 147% for 2006. This is causing big problems for IT departments.

The result is that unsolicited bulk e-mail is
getting bulkier. The 147% increase in spam that Postini observed in
2006 resulted in a 334% increase in e-mail processing requirement for
companies. “This is causing the e-mail infrastructure of many
businesses to melt down,” says Druker [VP marketing, Postini]. “Nobody budgeted for
four-and-a-half times more infrastructure capacity in one year.”

Here’s a post from the ASAE technology listserv this morning.

We get about 120 spam emails per minute, and so far are holding the line with our MailFrontier software (now owned by SonicWall) running on its own server, but 7 out of every 9 emails are spam, so I don’t know how much longer we can keep up.

So who’s sending all this spam and why can’t they be shut down? Turns out it’s being sent by unsuspecting users whose computers have been maliciously taken over by spammers. Worse, this means there’s no limit to the size of the attachments – which adds to bulk and infrastructure problems. Ugh. The good news is Korean police just arrested a pair of guys responsible for sending out 1.6 billion message between September and December of 2006.

We recently added a new spam filter to our email server. I haven’t noticed much of difference. I’m not sure software can fully solve the problem anyway.

How is your organization handling spam?

Love your IT team

I highly recommend Karen Schneider’s latest post, IT and Sympathy, over at the ALA Techsource Blog. It’s the best post I’ve read about working happily and effectively with your IT department in a while. This is golden advice:

…remember nothing is “free,” even if it didn’t come with a price tag. Second Life
isn’t “free.” Instant messaging isn’t “free.” WordPress isn’t “free.”
(In fact, that sucking sound you hear may be your RSS feeds dragging
down that server hosting your blogs.) Or, more correctly, all of these
technologies are “free” as in “free kittens,” not free as in “free
beer.” They come with maintenance and deployment issues, from opening
ports on a secure network, to how much bandwidth they will use, to how
much time IT personnel need to devote to deploying and maintaining the
“free” software.

So is this:

…honor the requests you make by bringing them to fruition as best you
can. This will mean some self-restraint and selectivity. But every
technology deserves to be deployed to the best of its ability.

Communication and managed expectations are what good relationships with the IT department are about. Do you really need it “now”? Probably not. Plan with your IT team not around them…or you’ll run the risk of creating your very own Nick Burns.

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Linutop – what else do you need?

I want a Linutop. It’s a very simple machine – reminds me of the $100 laptop:

Linutop is a Linux-based diskless computer. It offers a completely silent, low-power operation in an extremely small package.

Its main purpose is to surf the Internet.

The iPhone is diskless, too. Hard disks are for old people. “But what about software?”, you say. The Linutop comes with Firefox, GAIM (for instant messaging), some media player I’ve never heard of, and a PDF reader. What else do you need? Especially considering all the great web-based software available these days like Google Docs & Spreadsheets. I guess an FTP client might be nice…maybe Filezilla.

No word on the price or when it will be available to buy.