[Beowulf] Some history an my theory (was Status of beowulf.org)

Alan Louis Scheinine alscheinine at tuffmail.us
Tue Jun 19 08:23:49 PDT 2012

I remember that post from Donald Becker but did not have a copy.
Thank you very much for reminding us, in particular potential
volunteers, how much time is involved.  The end result has been
of high quality over the years, thanks to Don.

Douglas Eadline wrote:
> All,
> When Don was running the list, moderation was there to
> eliminate spam, ever notice how clean this list has been?
> That is,  there is a list of white hats that could always
> post (old timers mostly) everything else was moderated to check for
> spam. I assume the list is now running on auto pilot (actually
> with no pilot) where over moderation is the rule to catch spam
> and no one has assumed Don's roll of releasing the few
> true Beowulf messages in the sea of spam (see below)
> You may find this helpful, (From my list archives, Wed,
> February 8, 2006 3:54 pm)
> -----
> After having a near-perfect record of keeping out spam and virus
> email, one slipped through yesterday.
> It's a good example of why mailing lists can't be auto-moderated.
> The current elaborate system requires heavy human moderation, and this
> message still slid past everything and was automatically approved.
> The message appeared to come from a subscribed user, so it passed the
> first check.  (This is actually common: spammers and viruses use pairs of
> addresses from the same source, so evil mail is likely to come from
> someone you have heard of.)
> The message passed both ClamAV and SpamAssasin (although a compressed
> zip file should have triggered something).  It didn't have any of the
> keywords that are configured in Mailman's "hold" rules.  And finally, that
> user was approved for auto-post for messages that passed all of the
> previous rules.
> Please keep this event in mind before you complain that your message was
> held for moderation.  95-99% (depending on the day) of inbound mail to the
> mailing lists is immediately discarded as obvious viruses and spam.
> Only very low scoring mail from approved subscribers is eligible for
> auto-approval  The rest is held for manual moderation. Only about 2% of
> those held messages are valid postings.  That means about 50 messages
> manually discarded for each manually approved posting.  And except for a
> few weeks scattered over the history of the list, I've been the sole or
> primary moderator.
> The bottom line is that we are considering a message board format to
> replace the mailing list.  It would have required logins to
> post, and retroactive moderation to delete advertising and trolls.
> Any opinions?
> --
> Donald Becker
> --
> Doug


  Alan Scheinine
  200 Georgann Dr., Apt. E6
  Vicksburg, MS  39180

  Email: alscheinine at tuffmail.us
  Mobile phone: 225 288 4176


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