C-Command Software Forum

Two features I'd love

Hi Michael,

Love the app. I’m a new émigré from Purify, which is sadly about to disappear. SS does nearly everything Purify did, and quite likely better. However there are two features of Purify I’m going to really miss. I’m wondering if you’d be open to adding something similar …

  1. Country filter: a user-configurable panel to block all messages from selected countries early in processing.
  2. Reporting feature: (may be a bit complex to add??) ability to select one or more spam messages within the client interface, and generate an abuse report to the relevant ISP etc.

My experience has been that the country filter can almost get it right on its own. And I definitely notice a drop in spam if I report consistently (not to mention the sense of satisfaction in helping frustrate the spammers).

Thanks for the suggestion. I’m considering adding a feature like that.

In my opinion, reporting (at this level) is not necessarily that helpful. ISPs already receive many reports, and they have more detailed information from the messages passing through their own mail servers and spam filters that you would be able to forward to them. Thus, if you want to report, I would suggest using one of the existing AppleScripts to report messages via a service such as SpamCop that specializes in spam reporting.

Yes, I thought you might say that. I could live with using SpamCop or similar, but not ideal IMO. From my 5+ years using Purify, preceded by 2 years doing SpamCop reports, I’d observe as follows:

  1. SpamCop reporting made no discernible impact on my spam volume
  2. Purify reporting made a substantial impact, to the point where I’ve had periods up to a week totally spam-free
  3. I’m not aware of any reporting method based on SpamCop or similar that’s as user-efficient as ‘select message/s --> hit a key --> reporting done!’. It needs to be that efficient if people are going to do it in their normal daily workflow.
  4. Admittedly most reports received only an automated reply, BUT I’ve received many direct responses informing me that account ‘x’ has been blocked / deleted …

So I think there’s still a lot going for it. Although admittedly, more and more ISPs are now switching to only accepting reports via online forms. But I imagine it would be possible to design a reporting mechanism that could handle that too …

My guess is you’ll say you have better things to do, and who am I to challenge that? But I still reckon it’s worth it.

I think you may have been lucky or that there was something else going on, e.g. server-side spam filtering that caught the messages during that time. Based on research, personal and customer experience, and knowledge of how spammers operate, my opinion is that reporting is generally not very effective at reducing the amount of spam that one receives. (However, if done very quickly, in the aggregate it can help reduce the number of messages sent.)

I believe there are scripts to do that in the SpamCop forum. I do have a feature request logged to optionally do this sort of thing when the user trains messages as spam. That would eliminate the need for extra steps.

Hmm … That would have to have been one amazing coincidence, I’d have thought, especially given it happened consistently for Purify users and not for others. But anyway this is not the place for slug it out ad infinitum :wink: … Happy to leave it there.

I believe there are scripts to do that in the SpamCop forum. I do have a feature request logged to optionally do this sort of thing when the user trains messages as spam. That would eliminate the need for extra steps.

+1 for that feature request, then.

Hi Michael,

I’d like to revive this thread, now that I’m a few months into using SS.

While acknowledging that I’m rather a minnow in this rather large pond, my anecdotal experience does support my earlier contention that immediate automated reporting direct to ISPs is more effective than using spamcop or similar. I did find a couple of Applescripts to facilitate spamcop reporting, and have been using them daily. But its a sufficiently cumbersome process, that I’m sure the only people who’d bother with it are detail-obsessed folks like me :wink: . I guess there may be a way of scripting the spamcop reporting process to make it less cumbersome than these scripts I’m currently using provide (and maybe you have such a function in mind?), but it doesn’t look to me like there’d be any way of doing it that would get it down to ‘select + single key command’.

Plus - I’ve now got more spam coming in consistently than I got 90% of the time using Purify with auto reporting.

I may even be able to check whther the guy who developed Purify woulkd be willing to share some code with you (??). I won’t keep pestering you; but is there a chance you’d reconsider this one?

I already said that this was on the list of new features that I plan to investigate. It probably won’t be in 3.0, but I will look into it soon after.

Which mail client are you using?

Ok, but just to clarify … You’ve said you plan to look into a country filter and also reporting via spam cop. But I’m not clear whether you mean fully automated (select + click = done) reporting, or something like the existing applescripts for spamcop which are not very efficient for daily use. Also for clarification - Would your investigation be limited to reporting via spamcop or similar, or could it include direct reporting?

Which mail client are you using?

I’m using Mail (Mountain Lion).

I would prefer to make it as smooth and easy to use as possible.

Both.

Odd about the spam…
I’ve been using SpamSieve for many years, and the same e-mail address for nearly 20 years. All the spammers know me…

Thanks to SpamSieve I hardly see any spam in my inbox, though I get hundreds of spam messages on a typical day. You might want to review the training instructions, it could be that you don’t have enough data to accurately identify your spam.

The other thing I wanted to mention was that I think you could automate your SpamCop reporting by using the “drone configuration” of SpamSieve. I’m pretty sure it works on a single machine (and it’s awesome if you read your mail from multiple machines / devices), you would just need to modify the script to also send the message off to SpamCop.

Newbie Who Wants Spam not Only to be Identified, but to Cease!

Hi, Michael,

After reading this thread, I’m not sure of the best way to deter spammers. I don’t want to just ignore spam on my email accounts, I want it to stop. What’s your opinion of the best way to do that now that SS works so well at identifying the spam? Tedious individual message handling via SpamCop or some other method? Spam@uce.gov seems to be of no help.

Thanks for a great product and thanks in advance for your response,

Lambanlaa

Unfortunately, I don’t know of a good way to deter the spammers. I think pretty much the best you can do is to avoid buying what they’re selling. And, hopefully, spend as little of your time as possible dealing with spam so that you can concentrate on more important things.

Hi Michael,

My last post to this thread (which of course I started) was nearly 18 months ago, so hoping a follow-up now won’t constitute stalking or pestering …

Is the reporting feature still a serious contender for development? Or is it more on the back burner, or even in the trash now? Just wondering …

Yes, though there are important infrastructure changes and some frequently requested features that have higher priority. Also, users of the Apple Mail - Report Spam script have discovered a complication, which is that some ISPs will shut down your account if you send too many abuse reports. So I would want to find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen before releasing a feature like this.

Thanks Michael. Wow, I’m so glad I read this. Can you point to somewhere where this is discussed? It sounds like it might be exactly what I’m experiencing right now, to my mega frustration. Emails sent from my desktop with Apple Mail keep piling up in the outbox and never being successfully sent, regardless of which of 3 separate smtp servers I try. And it does happen I’ve had an increase in spam lately - and am therefore reporting quite a lot to spamcop. Only become a problem in past few months, since relocating jobs involving a different ISP.

I’ve not seen a discussion of this online, just heard from customers who experienced it. It makes sense—from the ISP’s point of view, you are sending lots of messages with spammy content. Plus, most providers also have hourly and daily quotas for how many messages you can send.