Spam-Busters Say They're Winning the War

Submitted by Karthik on 29 March, 2004 - 01:54

Reuters reports on Brightmail's belief that they are slowly winning the war against Spam.

He estimated the number of spammers around the world to number under a thousand with many buying CDs containing millions of email addresses which they use to ply their trade.

"You find some people who deny it's spam and tell you they bought the e-mail addresses and you have to explain to them that the recipients never agreed to receive it," Schneider added.

Funny how the amount of spam in my inbox increases everyday :S In India, one of the chief culprits is a company known as "Ikon Marketing". They sell everything from Recipe CDs to CDs containing the above-mentioned millions of email addresses :/ To add agony to your agony, they add a small disclaimer to (some of) their emails:

Since India has no anti-spamming law, we follow the US Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act of 2000, which states that mail cannot be considered Spam if it contains contact / removal information, which this mail does. If you want to be removed from the mailing list then you must reply to this mail with "Remove" in the subject line and e-mail for faster response and action.

India's IT act doesn't address spam as of yet.

Macromedia Flexes Flash muscle

Submitted by Karthik on 29 March, 2004 - 01:25

ZDNet reports that Macromedia Flex is due for release today.

"For people who typically program in Java or .Net, the tools didn't quite work the way they work," Whatcott said. "They wanted to be able to use their existing tools to program rich applications, and that's what Flex enables."

Flex works with leading Java application servers, including IBM WebSphere, BEA's WebLogic and Apache Tomcat. It costs $12,000 for each two server CPUs it runs on.

"Sounds" great, but 12k? Catch the full story here. Macromedia's webpage for Flex can be seen here.

India ready to host a F1 Grand Prix?

Submitted by Karthik on 28 March, 2004 - 10:06

Nope, not yet :( The Economic Times has a decent write-up on the pre-requisites that need to be met by a city bidding to host an F1 Grand Prix.

An absolute must is an international airport of global standards. Sad to say, none of the Indian airports in their existing avatar fit the bill. That is just the starting point. The supporting infrastructure to host an event like this includes high speed connectivity -- either tube or expressway-- from the city to the circuit ( Sepang is connected to Kuala Lumpur through an eight lane highway), enough hotel rooms across the spectrum (seven star to budget), at the very minimum.

Nope. Definitely not yet..

Fed up with Spam? Here, have some Spim

Submitted by Karthik on 27 March, 2004 - 06:27

If Spam hasn't already forced you to rip every follicle off the top of your head, it's very likely that you will do so in the next few months - All thanks to Spim: Spam For Instant Messengers. Wired has a story on the rapid increase in the number of spim messages that are hitting instant messenger programs all over the world.

Spim is expected to triple from 400 million messages in 2003 to 1.2 billion messages this year, according to Sara Radicati, president of technology market research firm The Radicati Group

Spim is even worse as IMs are usually logged on all day long while emails are usually checked only every now and then; IMs are also proving to be invaluable at work places as well - This should be great for productivity :S

TM domain leads anti-spam charge

Submitted by Karthik on 26 March, 2004 - 11:14

The Register has an article that notes that the .tm registry has implemented the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) protocol into all its domains’ DNS records, in an effort to combat spam.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) itself is a very simple yet effective method of cutting down spam. Internet domains already have MX records tied in with their basic DNS information that say which mail servers receive email for that machine. All SPF does is provide MX records for the domain’s mail servers that send email.

Rather than implement ideas such as these, everybody wants to introduce email stamps :/

Software industry opts for subscription fees rather than one-off purchases

Submitted by Karthik on 25 March, 2004 - 09:02

An interesting news story in The Register talks about research indicating that software vendors are considering changing their licensing model to subscription based licensing rather than one-off purchases.

Currently, around 75 per cent of vendors' revenues come from traditional licensing methods, whereby a licence is purchased once and held in perpetuity. For the customer this means a large capital expenditure up-front, even if the software turns out to be obsolete, before it has justified its purchase price. For the vendor, this means a one-off payment for their product, even if the software is extremely productive for the client over a long period.

Isn't this what they are doing now anyways? Most companies release new versions of their software once a year, add a couple more features, and make it incompatible with previous versions, forcing you to upgrade. This just sounds like the same thing worded differently..

Can India plug it's brain drain?

Submitted by Karthik on 24 March, 2004 - 10:39

An excellent article in MIT's Technology Review details the current status of the IIT Bombay backed KReSIT's IT incubation centre. The centre's aim is to promote R&D in India, and opens up avenues for the students to establish their own entrepreneurial ventures that concentrate on innovation and creativity. A related story can be found here.

Three years ago, in an effort to slow this exodus, IIT Bombay (it retains the name Bombay even though the city is now called Mumbai) set up an information technology incubator at the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology, or KReSIT. The incubator is slowly building a culture of entrepreneurship by encouraging IIT's best and brightest to stay in India. The IIT connection ensures that these startups concentrate on high-value areas such as building intellectual property and products. This stands in contrast to the many Indian companies that focus on software services and business process outsourcing—the activities that are causing a U.S. backlash against India.

Swadeshi? Swaraj? Anyone?


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