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Volume 5, Issue 509: Wednesday, June 18, 2003

  • "Anti-Spam Proposals Get Tougher"
    Washington Post (06/17/03) P. E1; Krim, Jonathan

    Lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives are proposing anti-spam bills that impose stricter rules on spammers in response to current proposals that have been criticized as insufficient. A bill introduced in May by Reps. W.J. Tauzin (R-La.) and F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) drew fire following disclosure that lobbyists from the Internet-provider, marketing, and retailing sectors contributed to its formulation. This week will likely see the introduction of a proposal from Reps. Heather A. Wilson (R-N.M.) and Gene Green (D-Texas) that would grant wider enforcement powers to federal and state authorities, take a heavy stand against pornography, and limit marketers even further than Tauzin and Sensenbrenner's bill; furthermore, Wilson declared that her bill broadens the definition of spam to include any undesired commercial email. Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) of the Energy and Commerce Committee is backing Wilson and Green's bill, and said he and Tauzin are engaged in "friendly" discussions about resolving the differences between the two measures. A bill authored by Sens. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) incorporates many provisions of Tauzin and Wilson's bills, while a separate bill by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently drew the endorsement of the Christian Coalition of America and the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE). Provisions of Schumer's bill include the establishment of a national do-not-spam registry, the labeling of spam with "ADV," and special designations to indicate pornographic spam, the last of which was particularly lauded by the Christian Coalition. CAUCE co-founder John Mozena said his group finds Schumer's bill especially appealing because it allows consumers to sue bulk emailers who refuse to stop sending spam even when an opt-out policy has been enacted.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Music Pirates Should Face Destructive Counterattacks, Hatch Says"
    Associated Press (06/18/03); Bridis, Ted

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) declared at a June 17 hearing that he approves of technology that would remotely destroy the computers of people who download copyrighted music files without authorization, for lack of a better option. Such systems would issue warnings to users the first two times a file is illegally downloaded, and then destroy their computers the third time a copyright is violated. Committee member Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called Hatch's suggestion "Draconian," while George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr said he strongly doubts that Congress would pass such a measure, given the likelihood that innocent users could be misidentified as copyright violators. Jonathan Lamy of the Recording Industry Association of America said that Hatch was sending a warning to peer-to-peer networks that Congress could enact stiffer penalties if they fail to make a solid effort to protect copyrighted material. Hatch agreed that approving his proposal would require copyright owners to be absolved of all liability for damaging computers. Legal experts have argued that such countermeasures would break federal anti-hacking statutes.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "The Cult of Free Software Finds Willing Devotees"
    Financial Times (06/18/03) P. 11; Waters, Richard

    The open-source software movement is growing in the corporate sphere, with a number of core infrastructure projects capitalizing on the success of Linux and gaining the backing of key sponsors. Some early backers of open-source development in the commercial sector say a second wave of open-source software is taking hold with a better business model to support it. Benchmark Capital's Kevin Harvey, who was an early financier of Red Hat, says projects such as the MySQL database are key to the future success of open-source software. MySQL of Sweden is trying to build a business from the open-source development of its product, which is released under both a free GPL and a commercial license. Large industry vendors have supported different open-source projects for competitive reasons, such as IBM's backing of Linux, which undercuts both Microsoft and proprietary Unix vendors such as Sun. SAP and MySQL have formed a partnership, which strengthens SAP from the encroachment of database sellers Microsoft and Oracle on its enterprise applications turf. Government buyers are also increasingly wary of proprietary software and want to examine the source code of programs for security reasons. Open-source expert Eric Raymond says these projects are gaining ground because of their link to Linux. Raymond also refutes accusations that the open-source approach inhibits innovation by noting that most of the development energy goes into "the under-the-hood bits," not the user front-end. In fact, Marc Fluery, founder of the JBoss open-source application server, argues that such infrastructure software has been "key to the ubiquity of computing and the birth of the Internet."
    http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=030618000727

  • "Researchers Create Wireless Sensor Chip the Size of Glitter"
    ScienceDaily (06/16/03)

    The "smart dust" chip developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, combines sensors and transmitters into a 5-square-millimeter package that will form the basis of Spec, a mote technology that could be used to build self-configuring wireless sensor networks for a wide array of applications, including wildlife monitoring, building integrity scanning, troop movement surveillance, and biochemical agent detection. "[Spec is] a major step towards sensors that cost less than a dollar a piece and that are integrated into the products that we own, the buildings that we live and work in, and the freeways we drive on," notes researcher Kris Pister. Pister's contribution to Spec was the minuscule hardware developed under the aegis of UC Berkeley's Smart Dust Project, while the TinyOS operating system that provides the means for mote-to-mote wireless communication was the work of a research team led by David Culler. The key development was the integration of these two technologies on a tiny silicon chip, which is credited to former graduate student Jason Hill. The power consumption of Spec's radio transmitter component is 1,000 times smaller than that of a cell phone, while more efficient electron distribution reduces the power requirements of the chip's micro-radio. Testing at the Intel Research Laboratory revealed that the chip possesses a transmission range of over 40 feet at 19,200 Kbps in the 902 MHz band, but Hill wages that its range could possibly be doubled outdoors. Hill also believes that a Spec mote measuring 2.5 cubic millimeters could be developed in a few months to a year. Pister says he plans to commercialize Spec into an aspirin-sized product within the coming year.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Support for Nanobots Shrinking"
    Wired News (06/17/03); Shachtman, Noah

    Foresight Institute Chairman Eric Drexler's vision of nanoscale robots that can self-replicate and build cheap yet sophisticated machinery, cure diseases, and increase human longevity seems more like wishful thinking than practical, according to many current nanotechnology experts. The nanobot revolution predicted by Drexler in his book, "The Engines of Creation," was sharply criticized by Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, who argued in a famous essay that self-replicating nanobots could conceivably overwhelm humanity and devastate the biosphere. Meanwhile, many scientists doubt that the construction of molecular machines is within science's capabilities, given Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the continuous movement of atoms and molecules. Rice University's Richard Smalley, who once advocated atomic manipulation, later reversed his opinion, contending that such control was impossible to achieve. Drexler countered Smalley's argument in an April letter, in which he posited that neither natural nanobots such an enzymes nor their artificial counterparts require "fingers" to precisely assemble them. Drexler acknowledges that laudable nanotech research is being done to improve medical diagnosis, develop waterproof and stain-resistant clothing, fortify construction materials, and build flexible computer displays, but laments that "The only work focused on the goal [of molecular machines] is low-level, bootleg research being done by people in their spare time." Rice University's Kevin Ausman concurs, noting that not even the beginnings of a comprehensible nanobot research strategy have been formulated.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Debate Over Future of 'Simplified' Java"
    Computer Business Review (06/17/03); Clarke, Gavin

    Panelists at a JavaOne roundtable spoke about the difficulty in producing easy-to-use Java programming interfaces that also ensure scalability and interoperability. Nearly every vendor at the JavaOne conference markets some sort of rapid application development (RAD) environment for Java, but few gave serious thought to fundamental issues such as scalability, according to Tibco senior architect Jon Dart. He said thousands of simplified Java applications would have to sync with the rest of the enterprise computing infrastructure or else systems will bog down. Meta Group senior program director Tom Murphy said many simplified programming interfaces were modeled on application development tools tailored for the desktop alone, such as Visual Basic, Power Builder, and RAD. This type of approach needs to adjust to the Web services ideal where nearly every computer node now has to deal with business data housed on central servers. Besides scalability, development tool vendors need to persuade casual developers to use disciplined methodologies such as Model Driven Architectures (MDA) based on Unified Model Language (UML). Other issues of concern for the panelists were the need for interoperability between different Java solutions and Microsoft's .NET, as well as the increasingly slow response of the Java Community Process.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Are Open Source Databases Following in Linux' Footsteps?"
    InternetNews.com (06/13/03); Boulton, Clint

    The open-source database movement led by MySQL is small compared to the Linux push, but some experts predict it will follow a similar developmental path; opinion is split throughout the industry whether MySQL or other open-source database providers might become formidable challengers to low-end database market suppliers such as Oracle, Microsoft, or IBM. The motivation for moving to an open-source database as well as an open-source operating system is the same--to reduce total-cost-of-ownership, an important consideration in a turbulent economy. MySQL freely distributes the database software under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and can also sell it under conventional commercial licenses because the company owns the software, explains MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, who adds that his company views such products as a complement to specialized offerings from high-end providers; Oracle's Ken Jacobs agrees with this contention. Both he and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison believe open-source products represent the greatest threat to Microsoft, because for one thing they are cheaper. "Although the huge majority of MySQL usage today derives from free open-source downloads, MySQL hopes to move from the geek community to the business community through the embedded database model, and they are counting on this channel as a key to future revenue growth," states International Data's (IDC) Carl Olofson. Josh Berkus of Aglio Database Solutions says open-source technology is making its deepest and fastest penetration in the small-to-medium business (SMB) market. The reasons for this is the low cost, "hands free" reliability, and customization capabilities of open-source solutions. "For the next few years, we don't see open-source databases as a threat to Oracle, but over time Oracle must morph into a software platform provider that offers a complete managed environment, in order to be picked apart from the bottom by this new disruptive force in the market," notes Olofson.
    http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/2221901

  • "Technology Elite Are Focusing Next On Human Body"
    New York Times (06/16/03) P. C1; Harmon, Amy

    The recent Tedmed conference in Philadelphia was a showcase for advances in biotechnology that aim to give people an unprecedented view of their health, which could translate into a financial windfall for vendors, scientists, and pharmaceutical companies. Such innovations are especially appealing for participants of a national health care system beset with rising service rates, which is prompting them to seek alternative solutions. Technologies highlighted at Tedmed included a computerized armband from BodyMedia that can measure a wearer's caloric consumption, and a "life shirt" from VivoMetrics that records stress levels. Many of the current and projected tools discussed or demonstrated at the conference are being planned or marketed because many Americans spend enormous sums on behavior-related rather than genetics-related health care. For example, many people realize they need to diet, exercise, or abstain from smoking to improve their health, but are not in the habit of doing so; biotechnology solutions can ostensibly help people change their habits by allowing them to precisely monitor their health or send critical data to health care professionals. Potential revenues stemming from biotechnology could not only boost the bottom lines of technology providers, but also pharmaceutical firms seeking to personalize drug treatment, and technology companies serving customers that need to process a large amount of data for new drug discovery. However, Tedmed highlighted some of the hurdles that need to be overcome if an interdisciplinary balance is to be achieved: Pharmaceutical companies argued that researchers were churning out too much data, researchers alleged that drug firms are giving too much priority to financial concerns, and technologists complained that product adoption rates by physicians and drug companies is too slow.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/16/technology/16NECO.html
    (Access to this site is free; however, first-time visitors must register.)

  • "W3C, Unicode Move to Head Off Character Clash"
    IDG News Service (06/17/03); Legard, David

    The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Internationalization Working Group and the Unicode Technical Committee released a joint study on June 13 acknowledging some points of contention between the Unicode and Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards and announcing their intention to resolve such conflicts. Unicode outlines a set of nearly 66,000 characters including all worldwide alphabetical and syllabic letters, exotic characters typical of pictorial languages, diacritical markers used to textually indicate vowels or voice tones, characters that define the direction text should be read, paragraph separation codes, and symbols that address the representation of fractions and other unusual items. XML and Unicode have begun to overlap and clash chiefly in the last three areas. In choosing between the standards in order to settle such conflicts, the two organizations have mostly opted for XML, which they generally agree is more durable and practical than Unicode character encoding. W3C and Unicode noted that XML can support a larger vocabulary and boasts greater extensibility than Unicode, XML markup can more efficiently accommodate required control characters between sender and receiver than character encoding and is usually concurrent with styling needs, and markup's hierarchical architecture is better suited than character encoding's linear scheme for sustaining the context of sophisticated documents. The strategy defined by the joint report favors the "and" markup tags rather than Unicode's line and paragraph separator; supplants language tag codepoints with tags; and replaces musical notation with customized XML language.
    http://www.itworld.com/AppDev/1179/030617w3c_unicode/

  • "Allen Claims Success in Work on Computers That Can Reason"
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer (06/14/03); Richman, Dan

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen continues to believe in the possibility that computers will be able to think and reason. Allen says Project Halo, an AI initiative of his privately held investment arm, Vulcan, has scored a success. Noah Friedland, project manager of Project Halo, says researchers have developed a language that computers can use to understand advanced-placement inorganic chemistry and to answer questions on the subject matter. The idea behind Project Halo is to create a Digital Aristotle, which would be able to answer any question, just like the Greek philosopher. Allen's secret project is a more modest effort than previous AI projects that sought to put all human knowledge into a computer-readable form. Although Allen has just completed the first phase of Project Halo, he envisions the resulting technology being used in areas such as customer service or education. "There's so much knowledge out there that it's impossible for a human to know everything, but we need that [ability] more than ever before," says Friedland. The next phase of Project Halo will be to make it easier to create knowledge bases and the questions for interrogation.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Linux Lab Lands Torvalds"
    CNet (06/17/03); Spooner, John G.; Shankland, Stephen

    Linux Torvalds, inventor of the open-source Linux operating system, is taking an indefinite leave of absence from Transmeta to work for the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), where he will make a full-time effort to develop future Linux iterations for the business space. "OSDL is the perfect setting for vendor-independent and neutral Linux development," Torvalds declared in a statement issued by the consortium. Among the projects OSDL is undertaking is one to modify Linux for data centers and telecommunications environments. The project could directly benefit Transmeta, which wishes to sell more chips to those sectors. "OSDL is a leading Linux-industry advocate with the single-minded focus of accelerating its use throughout the enterprise," stated consortium CEO Stuart Cohen, who wants to swell OSDL's membership. Founding members of OSDL include Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Intel, IBM, and Caldera Systems. Torvalds and Linux are currently entangled in a lawsuit filed by SCO Group, which is seeking a minimum of $3 billion from IBM for alleged infringement of its copyrighted Unix code. SCO maintains that Linux versions 2.4.x and 2.5.x incorporate protected Unix code, and singles out Torvalds' aversion and/or inability to fully disclose Linux's source code.
    http://news.com.com/2100-1016_3-1018057.html

  • "New Way to Make Realistic Shadows for Computer Images, Animation"
    Ohio State Research News (06/17/03)

    Ohio State University doctoral student Caixia Zhang has developed new software algorithms that can produce soft, realistic shadows for translucent 3D objects or substances such as fire, clouds, water, and smoke. The algorithms, which simulate how light passes through such objects, can render shadows whose quality is comparable to Hollywood animation while taking up less computer memory. Zhang exploited splatting, a widespread rendering technique, to produce the algorithms. Although the object is three-dimensional, the calculations can be done as if for a two-dimensional object because splatting infers that the object will be visualized against a 2D surface. Zhang says, "The advantage of splatting is that you can keep track of relevant voxels, and it's less expensive in terms of data storage." Zhang's innovation could be used to improve computer game graphics and animation, or applied to software that models surgical procedures. Meteorological simulation is another area that could benefit from the algorithms, which could be programmed to take air temperature, wind velocity, cloud moisture density, and other factors into account when modeling climate. Ohio State computer information science professor Roger Crawfits explains that Zhang's work is an important step toward "super-accurate, super-fast, low-memory image rendering." Crawfits says Zhang's algorithms could soon be incorporated in graphics cards and hardware designed for home PCs.
    http://www.osu.edu/researchnews/archive/shadow.htm

  • "Controversy Surrounds Employees on L-1 Visas"
    Dallas Morning News (06/15/03); Godinez, Victor

    The L-1 visa program has drawn criticism following claims that employers are using the program to replace American employees with cheaper foreign labor. Immediate past president of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) LeEarl Bryant argues that there are valid motivations for a company--especially one with international resources--to transfer foreign workers to the United States, including their specialization, cross-training, and management preparation. However, Bryant admits that certain companies are tapping a loophole in L-1 visa law to bring in foreign workers and outsource that talent to other firms, often resulting in the ouster of domestic professionals. "It's even worse [than H-1B abuses] because it's manipulating the system to avoid paying those people prevailing U.S. wages," Bryant notes. Chris Bentley of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that his agency is evaluating the L-1 program and probing incidents of possible abuses. He also says the economic slump appears to be leading to a decrease in both L-1 and H-1B visa holders. Meanwhile, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) proposed a bill to seal the L-1 loophole in May. His office issued a news release indicating that sometimes employers can threaten to reduce their American employees' severance pay if they refuse to train their L-1 replacements.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Nanotube Chip Could Hold 10 Gigabits"
    New Scientist (06/17/03); Knight, Will

    Nantero announced that it has fabricated a prototype carbon nanotube chip that can theoretically store up to 10 GB of data and pave the way for nonvolatile nanoscale random access memory (NRAM). NRAM, which would retain data while turned off and enable computers to boot up almost immediately, could boast more storage capacity than existing types of RAM and outpace Flash and other current forms of nonvolatile memory. Nantero is convinced that its nanotube chip has an edge on other nanotube-based processors because the chip can be manufactured cheaply using existing silicon fabrication techniques. Other companies are trying to grow nanotubes in the proper alignment, but Nantero's strategy is to deposit the nanotubes randomly on a silicon substrate, and then use present-day lithographic gear to carve away misaligned nanotubes. The remaining nanotubes are clustered across electrode pairs, and the application of an electrical field can induce two conductivity states that can represent a binary "1" or "0." Cees Decker of Delft University acknowledges the feasibility of Nantero's manufacturing method, but notes that there could be difficulty in separating semiconducting and metallic nanotubes. "The creative breakthrough is to put nanotubes everywhere," explains Nantero CEO Greg Schmergel, who thinks that NRAM memory with a 4 MB storage capacity will be ready within a year and a half, while products that could rival current RAM types should emerge by 2006.
    http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993838

  • "Macs to Drive on HyperTransport Links"
    CNet (06/12/03); Kanellos, Michael; Fried, Ian

    Sources indicate that Apple Computer may discuss plans to embed the HyperTransport high-speed chip-to-chip communications technology into new desktop Macintoshes at the Worldwide Developer Conference in late June. HyperTransport 1.0 boasts a combined data transfer rate of 6.4 GB to 12.8 GB that should generally boost performance, and an even faster 2.0 version should debut next year. HyperTransport port shipments will hit 30 million this year and 200 million by 2006, according to estimates from International Data (IDC). Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) executives attribute the improved performance of the company's Opteron chip to HyperTransport connections, while Transmeta's upcoming TM8000 processor will also incorporate the HyperTransport standard. Microprocessor Report senior editor Kevin Krewell says it is unlikely that Apple will use HyperTransport in the same way Opteron chips do. Other additions to the Mac desktop Apple may announce or discuss at the conference include a new version of the Mac OS X operating system called Panther. Sources also hint that the company may reveal intentions to adopt IBM's PowerPC 970 chip, which can run both 32-bit and 64-bit software. The HyperTransport standard is supported by a consortium co-founded by Apple, and whose other members include AMD, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco Systems.
    http://news.com.com/2100-1042-1016770.html

  • "Captchas Eat Spam"
    Computerworld (06/16/03) Vol. 31, No. 30, P. 32; Vijayan, Jaikumar

    Researchers have been using tests to block robot programs from exploiting online services since 1997, when Digital Equipment employed character-recognition tests to protect the integrity of its AltaVista searches. Called captchas, for "completely automatic public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart," the tests present either a distorted word or audio clip that is easy for humans to recognize, but difficult for computer programs to decipher. A famous captcha is Gimpy, which Yahoo! uses in different forms to keep robot programs from invading its chat rooms and signing up for free email accounts. Scientists at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) are developing captchas as well as programs that can defeat them, and using their studies to develop better computer vision systems. Future computers using visual recognition will be able to identify a person in a crowd, or pick out a particular piece of furniture in a cluttered room, for instance. University of California, Berkeley, computer vision specialist Jitendra Malik, who has written programs cracking both Gimpy tests, says captchas provide a controlled environment in which to test character recognition systems. For example, captchas help researchers understand which types of background noise are more troublesome than others. University of Hong Kong researchers are developing an audio captcha that overlays a human voice with background noise, and PARC has come out with a new character distortion captcha called BaffleText. PARC's work with BaffleText will improve its optical character recognition technology, and PARC scientist Henry Baird says it will also help artificial intelligence and computer vision research.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Innovation, Lego-Style"
    Business Week (06/23/03) No. 3838, P. 74; Burrows, Peter

    Computers are becoming a commodity resource, but off-the-shelf components are being put together in innovative ways that promise to deliver dramatic gains for users. IBM Deep Computing Institute director William R. Pulleybank explains the situation for leading technology companies today: "The challenge we face is how to do extraordinary things with affordable components." IBM and other computer makers are using technical advances in commodity components, such as Intel and AMD chips and Microsoft's Windows operating system, and freeing themselves to think about more expansive issues. Blade servers, for instance, address high operating costs in data centers, while grid computing pools existing resources to leverage untapped capacity. Even technical, chip-level innovations are based on the plentiful increase of transistors a la Moore's Law. Sun Microsystems is working on what the company calls "throughput computing," which fits eight processors on a single chip; the idea is to make better use of semiconductor advances by allowing a single chip to do more tasks simultaneously and give Sun a competitive edge, according to Microprocessor Report editor Peter N. Glaskowsky. IBM, Intel, Sun, and the U.S. government are supporting University of Texas research into flexible computing that's designed to make chips more versatile. The Polymorphous TRIPS architecture divides the chip into 100 reconfigurable parcels and uses software instructions to change chip structure on the fly; chips with this capability would be able to perform one task especially well, while accomplishing other work satisfactorily.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Thin, Flat, and Low Power"
    EDN Magazine (06/12/03) Vol. 48, No. 12, P. 59; Prophet, Graham

    After a prolonged period that has seen little innovation, innovative display technologies are hitting or are about to hit the market. Most leading liquid crystal display (LCD) providers have been boosting the adaptability of their products thanks to the addition of transflective full-color panels. Drawbacks to this method include viewing angle limitations and high incident-light levels to support readability. Meanwhile, forthcoming super-twist-nematic (STN) devices from companies such as Zenithal Bistable Devices (ZBD) will be an option for users with modest power budgets who want the display to preserve the image indefinitely. Furthermore, the image is unaffected by mechanical jarring, according to ZBD. Certain industry observers predict that organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays will one day overtake LCDs: OLEDs' advantages include thinness, efficiency, wide viewing angles, emission of all three primary colors, and no need for backlighting. Perhaps OLEDs' greatest potential is their ability to be deposited on flexible substrates. However, there are still hurdles to overcome, including OLED chemistry's susceptibility to air and water vapor, and their difficulty in generating and sustaining the color blue, compared to red and green. DuPont Displays, Densitron, and Philips are just some of the companies that are shipping or who are planning to ship OLED products.
    Click Here to View Full Article

  • "Spam, Spam, Spam, Lovely Spam"
    American Scientist (06/03) Vol. 91, No. 3; Hayes, Brian

    The general view is that spam--defined as unsolicited bulk commercial email--has skyrocketed in the past few years, a conclusion borne out by several surveys: Brightmail estimates that spam accounted for more than 40 percent of email traffic by the end of 2002, while Postini pegs the figure closer to 60 percent. Brian Hayes writes, however, that only 26 percent of the email in his in-box is spam; he also notes that distinguishing spam from legitimate email can be a complicated proposition, depending on the identity of the sender, if the sender is identifiable in the first place--some spam is obvious, while other email solicitations may come from sources the recipient is familiar with, or has previously done business with, for example. Hayes also recommends that spam regulation strategies should not be too closely aligned to spam's commercial nature, given that there are plenty of noncommercial solicitations that are just as irritating. There are a variety of methods available to block or filter spam--a system administrator can program Internet routers not to accept traffic from sites known for spamming, such as those included on the Realtime Blackhole List. The drawback of this technique is that legitimate email could be unintentionally blocked. Another tactic is to build spam profiles by setting up "honeypots," or email accounts specifically designed to draw spam, while cooperatives such as SpamNet recruit thousands of users who copy the spam they receive to a central repository to be used as filter criteria; the problem is that as ISPs and developers build more sophisticated spam filters, spammers get more creative in figuring out ways to subvert such measures. Hayes notes that there are legal and economic anti-spam strategies: 26 U.S. states have passed spam regulation laws that require spammers to include opt-out policies and legitimate Internet addresses in their messages, while others have proposed taxing senders for each piece of spam. The success of such measures depends on their acceptance by most email users, as well as organizing an enforcement methodology that covers all jurisdictions.
    Click Here to View Full Article