Andrew Fitzgibbon

Computer Vision Researcher

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anti-spam-tomfoolery-considered-foolish

Annoying and pointless anti-spam devices

July 2014

There seems to be a trend emerging not to put one's email address on one's webpage, or to use some onerous obfuscation technique. “To email me, replace the second letter of the first word of the title of my favourite album with the Latin name of my favourite sport”. All this information is available on the page, so it's not impossible, but really? Have you ever actually tried to leave your email publically visible? I've been doing so for decades (yes, awf@robots.ox.ac.uk still reaches me), I have extremely lax spam filters, and yes, I get dozens of spam emails a day, and I would say I deal with each in significantly less than a second[*].

Equally annoyingly, paper authors now point to a website, say joebloggs.com, instead of an email address. This is of course a good idea. The bad idea is that the website again contains no contact information. And postmaster@joebloggs.com is rarely answered, despite RFC 822. You may say “facebook me”, “twit me”, but I don't want to do that. I probably need to use equations in my mail for one thing.

OK, this rant has now taken 9 minutes. I'd better stop.

* In fact, I derive enjoyment from deleting dealt-with emails, so I probably gain in wellbeing from the process.

anti-spam-tomfoolery-considered-foolish.txt · Last modified: 2015/06/02 14:09 by awf