I’ve been using postgrey for a while now in order to cut down on my spam. However, a few days ago, I realised that I hadn’t also killed my backup MX. So the greylisting, whilst helping, wasn’t being as effective as it could.

A few days ago, I decided to get rid of the backup MX and have my own mailserver handle the load on it’s own. After all, it’s been pretty reliable and I didn’t see much need for it.

I only connected the two events yesterday when I suddenly realised that my spam volumes were far, far lower than usual. But it makes sense. Backup MX’s reduce the effectiveness of greylisting. Doh.

Thinking about why, it’s because greylisting particularly hurts those clients (like zombie spam engines) which don’t implement proper queueing for mail. But a backup MX is much more likely to use correctly implemented software (like exim in my case). So it’s quite happy to wait the requisite 5 minutes until the greylisting wears off.


Comment Spam

Finally the spammers have found me. I’ve got about 30 comment spams in my moderation queue this morning. Good job I enabled the moderation in the first place…

Anyway, to help with sorting it all out, I wrote a <a href="javascript:(function(){var _1=document.getElementById('comments').getElementsByTagName('input');for(var i=0;idelete comment spam bookmarklet. If you run it on the wordpress comment moderation page, then you will set the action for every comment to be delete by default. If you get almost no comments, like me, then this is probably a worthwhile default action.

I know it’s not a perfect bookmarklet. It will stick an error into your JavaScript console when you run it on any other page. But it works well enough for now.


HP “Extended Capabilities”

I’ve just installed some printer drivers for an HP Officejet at work. Half way through, the installer popped up a question: Do you want to install HP Extended Capabilities? Well, I have no idea what they are, so I clicked on “More information”. This is what it said:

This software can help you get additional benefits only available to HP printer customers.

Once this software is installed, you will have an opportunity to help HP design new and better products by participating in brief surveys. An invitation will appear later on your screen and you can choose whether or not to participate.

You may receive invitations for special programs designed to help customers who do a lot of printing.

HP highly recommends that you install today since this will not be offered at a later date.

Participation is completely voluntary. This program will provide a full disclosure at the time of invitation. If at that time you choose to participate, the software may occasionally connect to HP when you are online, but will have a negligible impact on processing and connection speed. Personal information is never sent to HP unless you give permission. IP address will be used only to enable the connection and for security purposes. This software is governed by the HP Privacy Policy

So it transpires that “Extended Capabilities” is marketing speak for “Spam Me Harder, Please!” I don’t think so.



I use bogofilter for spam filtering. However, I’m getting quite unhappy with it. It has a nasty tendency to corrupt it’s db files resulting in messages like this:

bogofilter[9794]: error: the data base file size is only 16 pages
bogofilter[9794]:        below the resource limit. Cowardly refusing
bogofilter[9794]:        to continue to avoid data base corruption.
procmail: Program failure (3) of "bogofilter"
procmail: Rescue of unfiltered data succeeded

Not only that, even when it’s working, it’s not as effective at preventing spam as the system we have at work: dspam. So it looks like I’ll hav to invest an afternoon into learning how dspam works and getting it all set up. I hate being forced into wasting my time at the whim of other people on the Internet.