May 13th 2004

November 21, 2017 | By Andy | Filed in: Uncategorized.

How long does it take to fill up 1 Gig of storage with spam? How well do Gmail’s junk filters work? Let’s find out! Spam my shiny new G-mail account at prattboy@gmail.com Give my address to spammers, newsletters, annoying people, whatever, and let’s see how long it takes!

May 13, ’04
May 14, ’04
May 15, ’04
May 16, ’04
May 17, ’04
May 18, ’04
May 19, ’04
Delivered to
Inbox
478
332
293
372
428
537
609
Messages Marked as Spam
156
209
181
202
284
355
433
Non-Spam Conversations
13
28
23
51
12
11
14
Actual Spam
Messages
621
513
451
523
700
881
1028
Total Number of Messages
634
541
474
574
712
892
1042
Spam Filtering
Accuracy
25.1%
40.7%
40.1%
38.6%
40.6%
40.3%
42.1%
Total Space
Used
30 MB
90 MB
208 MB
212 MB
224 MB
231 MB
243 MB
Sponsored by:
More Statistics
Last Week (View)
1886 messages were received, totaling 16 MB. 1851 were spam, and Gmail correctly identified 19.6% of these messages.
Cumulatively
6755 messages were recieved totaling 243 MB. 6568 were spam, and Gmail correctly identified 32.6% of these messages.
Related Articles
>Taint.org’s Spam Stats
>Gmail Stress Test
>Is spamming me legal?
>Want a Gmail invite?
Archives
Current Week
Week of May 13, 2004
Week of May 6, 2004

As of May 19, 2004, I am using 24% of 1000 MB (243 MB). Another week, another 4800 plus emails.

Looking at my results, one could assume that Gmail’s spam filters are not ready for everyday use (and at times I have been critical of Gmail’s abilities). However, this isn’t necessarily the case. The idea that one can request spam isn’t entirely scientific. Spam by its very nature is unsolicited. I do receive a lot of emails that allow me to opt in or opt out of newsletters. I don’t ever opt in, but messages that allow me to opt out are probably legal under the CAN-SPAM act. Even so, the idea that someone is able to subscribe me to a newsletter that I don’t want is certainly annoying. If organizations all switched to a double opt-in procedure, I bet I would see fewer messages in my inbox every day.

So what can we learn from these tests? For one, Gmail does not seem to adapt right away to user input on what its customers consider to be spam. It’s possible that Google updates their spam filters all in one fell swoop. Such an update may have occurred on May 14th. Since that time, it has been identifying 40% of the messages that I don’t want and moving them to my spam folder. It should be noted that I have not been defining custom filters in Gmail. If I were to use custom filters, I would certainly be able to cut down on many more unwanted messages. After all, no email provider will be able to eliminate 100% of spam for 100% of its users without using some custom settings. The real question is whether Gmail will be able to combat Hotmail-levels of spam and provide users a positive experience. The jury’s still out on that one, so keep visiting this site for updates and spamming away at prattboy@gmail.com.

Spam subject of the day: Eliminate Your Bills the Christian Way
Through prayer? Divine intervention, maybe? Does communion eliminate my bills?

As of May 18, 2004, I am using 23% of 1000 MB (231 MB). That’s right! I said 23%! My account is back to showing that I have 1000 MB, rather than 1 TB of storage. Thanks goodness! What would I have done with all that space?

Gmail still is not detecting e-mails with ADV and SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT in the subject. Another interesting quirk: if I report a message as spam, it is moved to my spam folder. You would think that any future messages from the same sender with the same subject would go to my spam folder, as well. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. Sometimes Gmail will think that a new message from the same spammy sender with the same spammy subject line, is a continuation of a conversation. It will then thread the original spam message and the new message and show them both in your inbox. This tells me a couple things: firstly, it does not seem if input collected from messages marked as spam is initially interpreted into your own filters. If it were, I would expect that these future messages be marked as spam, too. Seondly, this tells me that Gmail has some quirks that still need to be addressed.

By the way, I’m glad that Gmail’s back to its 1000 MB self. A terabyte of data is a lot of information to have sitting in one place, just waiting to be hacked. And what if someone were to perpertrate a Gmail stress test, like mentioned yesterday, on multiple 1 TB accounts? Sounds like potential disaster to me! Keep spamming away at prattboy@gmail.com.

Email subject of the day: cowslip
You should always use spaces. What’s the meaning of this message: “cow slip” or “cows lip”? They both have entirely different meanings, you know

Mid-day Update, I am currently showing that I have a terabyte of storage (1 million MB) rather than the standard 1000 MB. Did Google add more hard drives? Does every user now get essentially unlimited storage? Is it just a fluke in the system? Stay tuned to find out more. I do recall reading that employees at the Googleplex are given 1 TB of storage for their mail, so my best guess is that someone accidentally labeled me as an employee. I’m not the only one with the increased quota, though. Check out this blog. In the mean time, how long does it take to fill a terabyte with spam?

As of May 17, 2004, I am using 22% of 1000 MB (224 MB) in my Gmail account.

Someone brought up a very interesting point in an email to me today. If Google is blacklisting particular domains or senders, I would not be receiving some messages that are addressed to me. Since I’m not receiving these messages, there’s no way that I can take them into account in my statistics.( Of course, my means are by no means scientific, and I’ll delve into that a little more in a future post.)

I certainly hope that hope that Gmail is blocking messages from known spammers. It would be costly to them to deliver all of these messages, and it is certainly costly to users to sort through advertisements. It would alos be nice if Gmail were able to detect malicious bulk mailings that are intended to flood an individual’s account, too. At this point, I’m not sure it is able to. Take a look at this link for an experiment that was run to stress test Gmail’s system. It’s more than a little alarming that such heavy loads can be placed on Google’s mail system with seemingly little effort. Note: I do not encourage anyone running this stress test on anyone’s account but your own.

Email Subject of the Day: Win a New Penis!

As of May 15, 2004, I am using 21% of 1000 MB (212 MB) in my Gmail account.

Gmail is showing similar spam filtering accuracy rates for the past few days, but why the seemingly declining numbers? It’s probably because someone requesting to be spammed is not normal. An email account not used in this fashion would most likely receive spam similar in structure or from similar senders. Publishing prattboy@gmail.com subjects the address to the widest range of spam, and in some cases, legitimate email. Therefore, a pattern indicating what is or is not spam might be slower to emerge.

And for the record, Erick Thomas Gjerdingen has photogrpahic evidence proving his girlfriend’s dad looks like spider hole-era Saddam Hussein.

Spam Subject of the Day: Why do you keep sending me emails?
No… why do you keep sending me emails???

As of May 14, 2004, I am using 9% of 1000 MB (90 MB) in my Gmail account. Apparently sending me MP3’s is all the rage, now. I haven’t been opening them, however, still for fear of viruses. Gmail seems to allow attachments of 6.95 MB, not 10 MB due to compression overhead.

Gmail’s spam filters continue to do better, but Google is mum on how exactly they work. According to a message from the Gmail team that I received today, “Keeping spam out of users’ inboxes is something we take very seriously, and we are continuously working to improve our filtering system so that spam doesn’t reach your inbox. We have filters in place to prevent spam from reaching your inbox, but beyond this, I cannot disclose specifics about our anti-spam technology. To help with this process, we ask that you report any unsolicited messages. To do so, check the box next to the unsolicited message and select ‘Report as spam’ from the ‘More actions…’ drop-down menu. If you decide an email is spam after it has been opened, simply select ‘Report as spam’ from the ‘More actions…’ drop-down menu along the top of the message. Please note that all spam will be automatically deleted from your account after 30 days. We appreciate your help in keeping your inbox free from spam. By reporting unwanted messages, you send valuable data to help our spam filters eliminate unwanted email.” Looks like I have a month to store junk mail in the spam folder. If I want to keep it, I’ll have to recategorize it. I think this makes sense for most users. Who but me is trying to keep spam? Based on the mail from the Gmail team, it’s not clear whether the development of Gmail’s spam filtering system is purely algorithmic at this point or if the data that you send is, at some point, reviewed by Google’s staff. Any privacy policy experts that can shed some light on the topic?

I’m still perplexed that Gmail shows advertisements on some messages that it marks as spam. If Google has determined that I won’t want to purchase the good or service advertised in the email, why would they think that I would want to purchase a similar good or service that Gmail advertises?

Keep that spam (and any stories you have about Gmail) coming to prattboy@gmail.com and decide for youself whether spamming me is legal.

Spam Subject of the Day:
Pooper Family Insurance Notice
Whoever signed me up using the alias “Billy Pooper” has found a source that is very effective at spamming individuals.

As of May 13, 2004, I am using 3% of 1000 MB (30 MB) due in part to a couple more 3 MB movie attachments. Just for the record, I am not opening attachments in case they contain viruses so I cannot confirm that these messages are actually spam. If you’re concerned as to whether or not Gmail is able to handle large attachments, the good news is it can handle large attachments! Now we’ll have to see if Yahoo! Mail can handle large attachments when it launches its 100 MB email service.

Today marks a noticable improvement in Gmail’s spam filtering capabilities. While it’s probably not yet on an acceptable level for every day use, it’s a start. So why the improvement? Maybe it helps that I’m getting more messages (keep ’em coming guys!). Or does Gmail use some sort of Bayesian filtering system that’s adapting to my input? Has Google updated their system? Is it just a fluke? We’ll see what happens, so keep spamming away at prattboy@gmail.com.

I would like to note that some people have been reporting that Yahoo! Groups invitations are automatically filtered as spam by Gmail’s system. I have not witnessed this, however. Up to this point I have received three Yahoo! Groups invitations, and all have been delivered to my inbox.

For those interested in Gmail’s advertising and what triggers it, a 30 word message with a 17 word footer (grayed out) triggered three sponsored links today. That’s an awfully short message to trigger relevant ads, and the links were, in fact relevant.

And just for the record, the word “spam”, no matter how many times you type it, does not seem to trigger Gmail’s spam filters. Nor does a picture of Hormel Spam (and believe me, someone has tried).

Spam Subject of the Day:
Don’t Sprinkle While You Tinkle
Best Subject From Someone Testing Spam Filters: Sexy girls offer mortgages for your viagra


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