Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why spam wins

Spammers have the best QA job in the universe: unlimited variations until you hit a win. It's not about being perfect, it's about not being blocked. And it's not like you need fantastic results. Just look at the latest spam that beat GMail today. And GMail is probably the best spam-blocker there is.

www SuggestionDeal com It is [Unknown Tag *$$thetime* Please Fix] [Unknown Tag *$$rest* Please Fix]
Just [Unknown Tag *$$come* Please Fix] And [Unknown Tag *$$most* Please Fix] [Unknown Tag *$$girl* Please Fix] can [Unknown Tag *$$give* Please Fix]
When you see [Unknown Tag *$$magic* Please Fix] Show Without paying any penny

marveling ophthalmia namability
oilway folklore kebabs ephyra amaretto
vitellose expressively alkalizate synodontoid juniorship
bopyridian horsedom fervor drips

Yes, there's nothing to really click on, and it really is mostly nonsense, notice how the spammer just has to hit a suggestion of a real link. Otherwise, it's just nonsense. There's something beautiful in this. I think it's the fact that they are using machines for brute force duplication, but, the strength is still in our power to bridge gaps automatically.

To me, there is a design lesson here: let the machine do what it does best, and let people bridge the right gaps. Things will happen — you don't always have to force people to see everything.

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