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My #1 recommendations against popups, spam, ..

Joel, while I enjoy Mozilla Firebird (at least) as much as the next guy, for making the Internet usable again you should not have to look as far as binding yourself to certain applications.

I have recommended to others the following programs which works splendid for me. Thinking of how much time they've saved for me, it amazes me (especially since it would translate directly to saved money).

The first is which is a web-washer style application. You install it as a proxy. Installation is a breeze, even on Windows, all you have to do is put it in your autostart folder and add it as a proxy in Mozilla or IE.

The second is (which is for Unices) or its counterpart for MS Outlook, SpamNet on . The latter costs a bit money but is well worth it and integrates with Microsofts e-mail clients perfectly.

Jonas B.
Monday, June 2, 2003

>you should not have to look as far as binding yourself to
>certain applications.
>I have recommended to others the following programs

sorry, I just had to highlight that.
Monday, June 2, 2003

I've found that Proxomitron works well as a proxy-based web washer.  (Their website seems to be down at the moment:

Alex Chernavsky
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Cloudmark is clearly the best approach to spam blocking. The bayesian stuff in Moz and Apple Mail is very lousy by comparison.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

cloudmark looks cool, but i don't know how comfortable I am with them having my e-mail.... that is what they do, right? A sort of neilsen ratings for e-mail?
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

I've been using CloudMark since they launched the beta originally, and between it and the new junk mail handling in Outlook 2003 (beta) I now have maybe 2 messages slip through a week. It simply works.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Urg. I'm using Cloudmark these days, and I'm finding that it's just nowhere near as good as SpamAssassin. It gets 90% of my spam but leaves me to clean up a dozen or more messages a day. It takes a long time to run, because each incoming email must be signatured and sent to their servers, then you have to wait for a response before the message is deleted. So in the morning when I wake up and have 100 messages, of which 90 are spam, it takes three minutes before Cloudmark has cleaned up, and I still have a half dozen messages to remove...

As for the various proxy-based pop-up and ad removers, I've always found they generally cause a slowdown in all web browsing...

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

use a hosts file to get rid of 'bad' sites. has a huge one. just be sure to turn off the local dns something service on windows or you'll get occasionaly long delays while it reads the huge host file.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

My vote goes to mailscanner in combination with spamassassin and clamav anti-virus. It runs on your mail sever, so nobody has to install spam or virus tools locally to protect you from bad emails (Of course, there are ample other reasons to still run a local virus scanner). To sweeten the deal all these components are open source and free.

Thanks to having a public email address I get about 200 spams and 50 virus emails a day. I have set mailscanner up to delete all virus emails and 50% of certain spam on the server. All other spam is marked by adding {spam?} to the email subject. About 1% of all spams still get through and I have about 0.05 % false positives. The false positives are generally HTML newsletters that look or sound like advertisements.

Jan Derk
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

This fansite I visit every so often has taken anti-popup blocking measures: if you are blocking pop-ups or adds, then the site doesn't display at all.

Sigh. What will they think of next?

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

What about They have these huge - 570x570 pixel flash ads that you can't get rid of (the close button is at the bottom of the 570 pixels...). And then they come with sound too.. ugh.
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

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