Re: List spam

Discussion in 'Python' started by Ghodmode, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Ghodmode

    Ghodmode Guest

    On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 9:39 PM, Philip Semanchuk <> wrote:
    >
    > On Aug 18, 2011, at 8:58 AM, Jason Staudenmayer wrote:
    >
    >> I really like this list as part of my learning tools but the amount of spam that I've been getting from it is CRAZY. Doesn't anything get scanned before it sent to the list?

    >
    > This has been discussed on the list a number of times before, so I'll refer you to the archives for details.
    >
    > Basically, the mailing list receives postings from Google Groups and viceversa. Most of the spam comes from Google Groups. If you add a mail filterthat deletes anything with the "Organization" header set to "http://groups..google.com", you won't see much spam anymore. In my experience, you'll also miss a number of legitimate postings.


    You are absolutely right, it has been brought up before. But I'm glad
    it's been brought up again. It's such a problem that it degrades the
    usefulness of the list and the community.

    Most of the mailing lists I'm on are managed using Google Groups and
    many of them are on mailman, like this list. I don't see spam on
    them, so I don't know what's going on here.

    It's not really filtering at all. Most lists only allow members to
    post and the admins are quick to boot offenders.

    For the most part, I'm just a lurker, so my suggestion shouldn't carry
    as much weight, but here it is anyway...

    Make an effort to curb the spam even if it means killing the newsgroup
    availability. Choose mailman or Google Groups, or another single
    solution. Make it members only, but allow anyone to register with an
    automated confirmation email and a CAPTCHA. Appoint a list admin who
    has a few minutes each day to scan subjects of emails for spammers and
    remove them from the members list.

    .... problem solved.

    Yes. I'm saying we should abandon those who only follow the list via
    newsgroups.
    Yes. I'm willing to do the work, but I'm not the right choice.


    > HTH
    > Philip


    --
    Ghodmode
    http://www.ghodmode.com/blog
     
    Ghodmode, Aug 18, 2011
    #1
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  2. Ghodmode <> writes:

    [...]
    > Make an effort to curb the spam even if it means killing the newsgroup
    > availability. Choose mailman or Google Groups, or another single
    > solution. Make it members only, but allow anyone to register with an
    > automated confirmation email and a CAPTCHA. Appoint a list admin who
    > has a few minutes each day to scan subjects of emails for spammers and
    > remove them from the members list.


    Or save work and find a public nntp server (or setup one, or ask your
    provider), and use a news reader to follow the list (even thunderbird
    can do this). No spam, no need to store messages on your machine,
    auto-purge after a configurable delay, etc.

    Problem solved.

    -- Alain.
     
    Alain Ketterlin, Aug 18, 2011
    #2
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  3. Ghodmode

    Ghodmode Guest

    On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:58 PM, Alain Ketterlin
    <-strasbg.fr> wrote:
    > Ghodmode <> writes:
    >
    > [...]
    >> Make an effort to curb the spam even if it means killing the newsgroup
    >> availability.  Choose mailman or Google Groups, or another single
    >> solution.  Make it members only, but allow anyone to register with an
    >> automated confirmation email and a CAPTCHA.  Appoint a list admin who
    >> has a few minutes each day to scan subjects of emails for spammers and
    >> remove them from the members list.

    >
    > Or save work and find a public nntp server (or setup one, or ask your
    > provider), and use a news reader to follow the list (even thunderbird
    > can do this). No spam, no need to store messages on your machine,
    > auto-purge after a configurable delay, etc.
    >
    > Problem solved.


    Is that easier than just checking your email? I guess it's a matter
    of perspective...

    Newsgroups aren't inherently spam-free. They're filtered. At least
    that's the case with Gmane (http://gmane.org/spam.php).

    My own ISP doesn't provide a news server and, although there are many
    links for free open news servers, most of them don't seem to work.

    I did check, though. I found a free, open news server with
    comp.lang.python after 6 that didn't work. Unfortunately, the one I
    found is read-only. I'll have to do some more looking if I want to
    participate in the newsgroup. I set it up in Thunderbird. I waited
    for a few minutes while it loaded the available newsgroups, then
    filtered the list for comp.lang.python and subscribed. I noticed
    that, when clicking on a message, there is another delay while I wait
    for the content of the message to load.

    I was happy to see significantly less spam in the newsgroup than in
    the mailing list, but there was still more than I see in other mailing
    lists.

    For me, this is much more difficult, although I'm sure that this is a
    matter of perspective. Also, I have something that's tied to this
    computer. I can't read it on my laptop, my mobile device, or at a
    cyber-cafe. I have to sit in front of this computer if I want to read
    the newsgroup and, until I find another news server that isn't
    read-only, I can't even post messages.

    For me, I'll stick with email.


    > -- Alain.


    --
    Ghodmode
    http://www.ghodmode.com/blog
     
    Ghodmode, Aug 18, 2011
    #3
  4. Ghodmode

    gene heskett Guest

    On Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:14:39 PM Alain Ketterlin did opine:

    > Ghodmode <> writes:
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > > Make an effort to curb the spam even if it means killing the newsgroup
    > > availability. Choose mailman or Google Groups, or another single
    > > solution. Make it members only, but allow anyone to register with an
    > > automated confirmation email and a CAPTCHA. Appoint a list admin who
    > > has a few minutes each day to scan subjects of emails for spammers and
    > > remove them from the members list.

    >
    > Or save work and find a public nntp server (or setup one, or ask your
    > provider), and use a news reader to follow the list (even thunderbird
    > can do this). No spam, no need to store messages on your machine,
    > auto-purge after a configurable delay, etc.
    >
    > Problem solved.
    >
    > -- Alain.


    That is asking the user to take considerable effort and resources to do
    that. What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?

    Cheers, gene
    --
    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
    soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
    -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
    The plot was designed in a light vein that somehow became varicose.
    -- David Lardner
     
    gene heskett, Aug 18, 2011
    #4
  5. Ghodmode

    Ned Deily Guest

    In article
    <>,
    Ghodmode <> wrote:
    > Newsgroups aren't inherently spam-free. They're filtered. At least
    > that's the case with Gmane (http://gmane.org/spam.php).
    >
    > My own ISP doesn't provide a news server and, although there are many
    > links for free open news servers, most of them don't seem to work.
    >
    > I did check, though. I found a free, open news server with
    > comp.lang.python after 6 that didn't work. Unfortunately, the one I
    > found is read-only. I'll have to do some more looking if I want to
    > participate in the newsgroup. I set it up in Thunderbird. I waited
    > for a few minutes while it loaded the available newsgroups, then
    > filtered the list for comp.lang.python and subscribed. I noticed
    > that, when clicking on a message, there is another delay while I wait
    > for the content of the message to load.
    >
    > I was happy to see significantly less spam in the newsgroup than in
    > the mailing list, but there was still more than I see in other mailing
    > lists.
    >
    > For me, this is much more difficult, although I'm sure that this is a
    > matter of perspective. Also, I have something that's tied to this
    > computer. I can't read it on my laptop, my mobile device, or at a
    > cyber-cafe. I have to sit in front of this computer if I want to read
    > the newsgroup and, until I find another news server that isn't
    > read-only, I can't even post messages.


    Confusingly, this "forum" is available via a number of channels. Here
    is a subset of them (there are more):

    1. python-list mailing list
    http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
    2. comp.lang.python
    news:comp.lang.python (Usenet group via NNTP)
    3. google groups
    4. gmane (various formats)
    http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.comp.python.general
    a. gmane.comp.python.general (non-Usenet group via NNTP)
    b. web interfaces

    All of the above allow both reading and posting. gmane does spam
    filtering so, if you read and post through it, you will avoid most of
    the spam (a little bit gets through). The gmane nntp server (which is
    for gmane groups only, not regular Usenet groups) is free to use.

    http://gmane.org/about.php

    --
    Ned Deily,
     
    Ned Deily, Aug 18, 2011
    #5
  6. gene heskett <> writes:

    >> Or save work and find a public nntp server (or setup one, or ask your
    >> provider), and use a news reader to follow the list (even thunderbird
    >> can do this). No spam, no need to store messages on your machine,
    >> auto-purge after a configurable delay, etc.


    > That is asking the user to take considerable effort and resources to do
    > that. What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?


    Nothing really.

    Regarding effort and resources, once you've found a NNTP server there's
    very little effort (probably less than subscribing to a mailing list). I
    have 4 lines in my .emacs. And this lets me browse dozens of groups (or
    thousands if I had time for this). It might not be easy to find a server
    which will let you post, but that's because a few years back many
    internet providers decided that nntp was too much traffic. I guess it
    would now be considered ridiculous compared to the average web-site.

    But I'd like to return the question. What's wrong with nntp? It looks
    like everybody agrees that nntp brings spam. I just wanted to say that's
    not true, I use nntp extensively and haven't seen spam for months (I'm
    talking about 15-20 groups, not comp.lang.python only).

    The real problem here seems to be google groups, which in some way
    forwards spam to the mailing-list. How this happens is beyond my
    understanding. But let's try to fix the real problem.

    -- Alain.
     
    Alain Ketterlin, Aug 18, 2011
    #6
  7. On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:58:04 +0200, Alain Ketterlin wrote:
    > Ghodmode <> writes:
    >
    > [...]
    >> Make an effort to curb the spam even if it means killing the newsgroup
    >> availability. Choose mailman or Google Groups, or another single
    >> solution. Make it members only, but allow anyone to register with an
    >> automated confirmation email and a CAPTCHA. Appoint a list admin who
    >> has a few minutes each day to scan subjects of emails for spammers and
    >> remove them from the members list.

    >
    > Or save work and find a public nntp server (or setup one, or ask your
    > provider), and use a news reader to follow the list (even thunderbird
    > can do this). No spam, no need to store messages on your machine,
    > auto-purge after a configurable delay, etc.


    Or pay for filtered NNTP service. I'm happy with
    news.individual.net: 10 euros per year, appears to be
    competently run, very little spam gets through (maybe like 1
    message per heavily posted group per day), and they probably
    carry all the newsgroups you follow. I have no affiliation
    with them, except for being a customer who hopes they stay
    in business.

    --
    To email me, substitute nowhere->spamcop, invalid->net.
     
    Peter Pearson, Aug 18, 2011
    #7
  8. On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:15:59 -0400, gene heskett <> wrote:
    [snip]
    > What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?


    In the mailing-list approach, how do I search for prior discussions
    on a subject? (I'm not particularly opposed to the mailing list,
    I'm just an NNTP follower worried about the uncertainties of change.)

    --
    To email me, substitute nowhere->spamcop, invalid->net.
     
    Peter Pearson, Aug 18, 2011
    #8
  9. On Aug 18, 2011, at 1:10 PM, Peter Pearson wrote:

    > On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:15:59 -0400, gene heskett <> wrote:
    > [snip]
    >> What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?

    >
    > In the mailing-list approach, how do I search for prior discussions
    > on a subject? (I'm not particularly opposed to the mailing list,
    > I'm just an NNTP follower worried about the uncertainties of change.)


    I use a Google search like this:
    site:mail.python.org/pipermail/python-list/ banana

    Although that has its own issues, as not all messages seem to make it to that list (or they have the X-No-Archive bit set?)


    Cheers
    P
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Aug 18, 2011
    #9
  10. Ghodmode

    Ghodmode Guest

    On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 12:37 AM, Ned Deily <> wrote:
    > 4. gmane (various formats)
    >   http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.comp.python.general
    >   a.  gmane.comp.python.general (non-Usenet group via NNTP)


    > All of the above allow both reading and posting.  gmane does spam
    > filtering so, if you read and post through it, you will avoid most of
    > the spam (a little bit gets through).  The gmane nntp server (which is
    > for gmane groups only, not regular Usenet groups) is free to use.


    Unfortunately, Gmane's version of this newsgroup
    (gmane.comp.python.general) has all of the offensive spam. I'm kinda
    surprised considering the detailed information that they put on their
    site about spam filtering.

    These are the ones I got to work:
    - textnews.news.cambrium.nl
    - mail.tsu.ru

    .... They're light on the spam, but they're read-only.

    Ironically, the Google Groups version
    (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/comp.lang.python) has almost
    none of the spam, although I did see one message that said "This topic
    has been hidden because it was flagged for abuse". I can't join that
    Google Group, though. I guess that's because it's just a viewer for
    the newsgroup.


    > --
    >  Ned Deily,
    >  


    --
    Ghodmode
    http://www.ghodmode.com/blog
     
    Ghodmode, Aug 18, 2011
    #10
  11. Ghodmode

    Anssi Saari Guest

    Ghodmode <> writes:

    > Newsgroups aren't inherently spam-free. They're filtered. At least
    > that's the case with Gmane (http://gmane.org/spam.php).
    >
    > My own ISP doesn't provide a news server and, although there are many
    > links for free open news servers, most of them don't seem to work.


    You know, Gmane allows access also via NNTP, including this list.
    Server news.gmane.org, group name gmane.comp.python.general.

    Haven't used it since I get this list via "normal" NNTP as
    comp.lang.python. My NNTP access is via a computer club for 8 euros
    per year.
     
    Anssi Saari, Aug 18, 2011
    #11
  12. Ghodmode

    gene heskett Guest

    On Thursday, August 18, 2011 02:12:58 PM Alain Ketterlin did opine:

    > gene heskett <> writes:
    > >> Or save work and find a public nntp server (or setup one, or ask your
    > >> provider), and use a news reader to follow the list (even thunderbird
    > >> can do this). No spam, no need to store messages on your machine,
    > >> auto-purge after a configurable delay, etc.

    > >
    > > That is asking the user to take considerable effort and resources to
    > > do that. What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?

    >
    > Nothing really.
    >
    > Regarding effort and resources, once you've found a NNTP server there's
    > very little effort (probably less than subscribing to a mailing list). I
    > have 4 lines in my .emacs. And this lets me browse dozens of groups (or
    > thousands if I had time for this). It might not be easy to find a server
    > which will let you post, but that's because a few years back many
    > internet providers decided that nntp was too much traffic. I guess it
    > would now be considered ridiculous compared to the average web-site.
    >
    > But I'd like to return the question. What's wrong with nntp?


    The sheer volume of traffic eats 99% of an ISP's bandwidth. The last time
    I checked with one of the local ISP's that I quit using years ago because
    it was 30 miles away and was then long distance, giving me $300 phone
    bills, they said their server died (again, and that then traffic was such
    that a 300GB hard drive was being subject to a posting lifetime of 3 hours
    because it was filling the drive that quickly. At the time, they had 5 T1
    circuits, and NNTP was eating 4 of them. To an ISP, that stuff is found on
    the ground behind the male of the bovine specie. No ISP I have access to a
    mail account on, except google, has the resources to maintain a full
    listing nnpt server.

    > It looks
    > like everybody agrees that nntp brings spam. I just wanted to say that's
    > not true, I use nntp extensively and haven't seen spam for months (I'm
    > talking about 15-20 groups, not comp.lang.python only).
    >
    > The real problem here seems to be google groups, which in some way
    > forwards spam to the mailing-list. How this happens is beyond my
    > understanding. But let's try to fix the real problem.


    I could just nuke them, but I suppose I'd then have to resubscribe to about
    10 of my mailing lists through the server this msg comes from. That is
    gradually happening anyway because posting through a gmail account, you
    cannot turn off the dup deletions, so one never knows if ones post to a
    list got there until someone replies, you don't get an echo. I have even
    tried CCing this address as some have suggested, but that doesn't work
    either.

    gmail is NOT the huge thing it was touted to be, not by a hell of a long
    row of apple trees.

    > -- Alain.



    Cheers, gene
    --
    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
    soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
    -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
    "It's not just a computer -- it's your ass."
    -- Cal Keegan
     
    gene heskett, Aug 18, 2011
    #12
  13. Ghodmode

    gene heskett Guest

    On Thursday, August 18, 2011 02:26:24 PM Peter Pearson did opine:

    > On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:15:59 -0400, gene heskett <>
    > wrote: [snip]
    >
    > > What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?

    >
    > In the mailing-list approach, how do I search for prior discussions
    > on a subject? (I'm not particularly opposed to the mailing list,
    > I'm just an NNTP follower worried about the uncertainties of change.)


    If the message still exists in your local email corpus, kmail for one has
    no problems searching it. However, since my corpus is close to 10gigs
    because my inbox and one list are not expired, the rest of them are expired
    on a selectable schedule that only saves the last 2000 or so msgs.

    Cheers, gene
    --
    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
    soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
    -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
    Hoare's Law of Large Problems:
    Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get
    out.
     
    gene heskett, Aug 18, 2011
    #13
  14. Ghodmode

    Terry Reedy Guest


    > I did check, though. I found a free, open news server with
    > comp.lang.python after 6 that didn't work. Unfortunately, the one I
    > found is read-only. I'll have to do some more looking if I want to
    > participate in the newsgroup. I set it up in Thunderbird.


    I read and post to this and other Python lists via news.gmane.org (free)
    with Thunderbird. It mirrors 1000s of technical mail lists, including
    200+ with 'python'. I believe it therefore has less spam than c.l.p (ie,
    minus whatever gets filtered out by the pipermail at python.org). First
    post to any list requires a response to an email. Uptime is pretty good.

    --
    Terry Jan Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Aug 18, 2011
    #14
  15. gene heskett wrote:


    >> But I'd like to return the question. What's wrong with nntp?

    >
    > The sheer volume of traffic eats 99% of an ISP's bandwidth.


    I doubt that very much, particularly if the ISP drops the binary newsgroups.

    My ISP, Internode, has provided nntp for many years. For a while a few years
    back they dropped binary newsgroups, but thay have brought them back. They
    wouldn't do that if there wasn't a clear demand for it, and if they didn't
    believe that on the balance, providing free Usenet access to customers
    didn't pay for itself.

    These days, many big ISPs complain about bittorrent using up their
    bandwidth. I call shenanigans. That's like my local bottle shop complaining
    that 99% of their sales comes from wine, and that stocking all that wine
    takes away valuable shelf space that could be used for imported Romanian
    beers and Chinese whiskey (no offense to anyone who likes Romanian beer or
    Chinese whiskey). It's a nonsense claim -- if your customers want to use
    the bandwidth they're paying for on bittorrent, or any other protocol, what
    difference does it make to you? It's not like you have to install a second
    Interweb tube just for bittorrent, or that bittorrent packets cost more
    than HTTP packets. Fer fecks sake, the ISP doesn't even have to run a
    bittorrent server! It's practically free money to the ISP, packets go in,
    packets go out, they don't have to do a bloody thing with them.

    Now, an ISP might not have the bandwidth to supply all the needs of their
    customers, that's a separate issue. But complaining that the problem is
    specifically because they use bittorrent, as if it would disappear if they
    changed to HTTP, is bogus.



    --
    Steven
     
    Steven D'Aprano, Aug 19, 2011
    #15
  16. Ghodmode

    gene heskett Guest

    On Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:23:49 PM Steven D'Aprano did opine:

    > gene heskett wrote:
    > >> But I'd like to return the question. What's wrong with nntp?

    > >
    > > The sheer volume of traffic eats 99% of an ISP's bandwidth.

    >
    > I doubt that very much, particularly if the ISP drops the binary
    > newsgroups.

    [...]
    > It's not like you have to install a second Interweb tube just for
    > bittorrent, or that bittorrent packets cost more than HTTP packets. Fer
    > fecks sake, the ISP doesn't even have to run a bittorrent server! It's
    > practically free money to the ISP, packets go in, packets go out, they
    > don't have to do a bloody thing with them.


    Except pay for the bandwidth to get the bytes into their system.

    > Now, an ISP might not have the bandwidth to supply all the needs of
    > their customers, that's a separate issue.


    Yes it is, which is why Hughs has a bandwidth limit cap they lift in the
    middle of the night when overall traffic is zilch. The bird(s) only have
    so much bandwidth and it costs tens of millions to 'lay another fiber' when
    its 22,300 miles up.

    OTOH, they have to pay for that bandwidth 24/7, so if they can move the
    relatively few high traffic folks usage to 3-5 AM, they can service more
    people watching old black and white John Holmes clips at 9-11pm. ;-)

    > But complaining that the
    > problem is specifically because they use bittorrent, as if it would
    > disappear if they changed to HTTP, is bogus.


    Agreed, that's 100% a red herring.

    Cheers, gene
    --
    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
    soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
    -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
    Q: How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: One. He gives it to six Californians, thereby reducing the problem
    to the earlier joke.
     
    gene heskett, Aug 19, 2011
    #16
  17. Ghodmode

    Terry Reedy Guest

    On 8/18/2011 10:10 PM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:

    > Now, an ISP might not have the bandwidth to supply all the needs of their
    > customers, that's a separate issue. But complaining that the problem is
    > specifically because they use bittorrent, as if it would disappear if they
    > changed to HTTP, is bogus.


    Or changed to getting their movies via NetFlix, for instance, as Comcast
    *is* complaining about. I believe their real complaint is that they are
    only paid to move bits, and not for originating them, even though they
    already get several times as much per month as NetFlix.

    --
    Terry Jan Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Aug 19, 2011
    #17
  18. On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 21:13:09 +0300, Anssi Saari <> declaimed
    the following in gmane.comp.python.general:

    > You know, Gmane allows access also via NNTP, including this list.
    > Server news.gmane.org, group name gmane.comp.python.general.
    >
    > Haven't used it since I get this list via "normal" NNTP as
    > comp.lang.python. My NNTP access is via a computer club for 8 euros
    > per year.


    Whereas I had to go to Gmane as the NNTP server "provided" by
    Earthlink collected all the spam from GoogleGroups; Gmane only leaks a
    few times (but the leaks tend to become massive looking as the
    break-through username sends a dozen essentially identical messages with
    slight subject changes).

    I say "provided" as it seems the former separate
    news.west.earthlink.net and news.east.earthlink.net both now route to a
    giganews (or whatever that system is). I'm guessing Earthlink decided to
    subcontract the NNTP service out.
    --
    Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber AF6VN
    HTTP://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/
     
    Dennis Lee Bieber, Aug 19, 2011
    #18
  19. Ghodmode

    Javier Guest

    You will lose a lot of people asking/answering interesting stuff, and
    maybe eventually the list will die. Me (like many people with little
    free time) seldom post in blogs/forums/mailing lists where I need to
    register.

    gene heskett <> wrote:
    > That is asking the user to take considerable effort and resources to do
    > that. What is wrong with the mailing list only approach?
     
    Javier, Aug 20, 2011
    #19
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