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  • Charlie Hansen
    ... The CR review is actually for SAProxy from Stata Labs, who also have a separate e-mail client program Boomba. The URL on the CR rating page boomba.com is
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 14, 2003
      On 14 Sep 2003 Judith wrote:

      > This morning on CTV, there was a report based on Consumer Reports that
      > indicated www.bloomba.com had the best-rated anti-spam software.

      The CR review is actually for SAProxy from Stata Labs, who also have a
      separate e-mail client program Boomba. The URL on the CR rating page
      "boomba.com" is for Boomba. I have copied some information about Boomba
      from their site at the end of this e-mail. SAProxy is a Windows
      implementation of the SpamAssassin spam filter. You can read about
      SpamAssassin at:


      SAProxy, like some other spam filters, tags each e-mail considered spam
      after downloading it and before passing it on to to your e-mail reader..
      You have to use the filters (rules) of your e-mail program to delete the
      spam. SpamAssassin performs a large number of tests, including heuristic
      tests and an optional naive-Bayesian-style classifier. See the list at:


      I have some concern that all these tests would cause a noticable slowdown
      of retrieving e-mail compared to some other spam classifiers, although
      they might explain the good rating by CR. I note that all the reviewed
      add on programs are commercial offerings, although SAProxy is free at
      present as is the current beta version of Boomba.

      > Two others were mentioned - including one that eliminated 20% of GOOD
      > email in their tests!
      > Anyone have any experience with it? See my pro/con comments regarding my
      > present tools & what would concern me most about a possible move to a
      > bloomba product.

      Boomba appears to have extensive filtering and search capabilities for
      users who need more or better features than Outlook or OE, but there are
      many other e-mail clients available.

      > MailWasher:
      > --------------
      > Good:
      > * I'm presently using MailWasher in conjunction with Outlook. Good thing
      > about it is that it "learns" which e-mail addresses (or generic addresses
      > such as *.earthlink) are my "friends" and which are blacklisted or
      > viruses.
      > * it checks my e-mail WHILE on the server, so if I delete/bounce a
      > message, that happens before it ever reaches my hard drive. After using
      > it for about 4-5 months, I've not had ONE virus attempt on my hard drive.

      Mailwasher has had a lot of good reviews and reports. One of its strong
      points, especially for dial-up e-mail users, is its ability to delete
      suspected spam before downloading all e-mails.

      > Ineffective in some ways:
      > * Despite the fact that blacklisted addresses apparently are sent back a
      > 'bounce' message, I continue to get a lot of mail from those sources. So,
      > I don't think it's as effective as I'd like it to be.

      Spammers either use fake source addresses or never read the replies.
      Sending messages will often generate an invalid address response from
      some ISP, both just contributing to bandwidth overload on the net. I have
      given up trying to stop spam ( I used to use SpamCop for reporting spam)
      but now just detect and delete it.

      > * retrieving e-mail is a two step process; first reviewing the arriving
      > messages on the server using MailWasher, second receiving them in Outlook

      I have tried MailWasher and still have it on my system. My e-mail program
      (Pegasus) allows me to selectively delete and download e-mail on the
      server if I wish, although it does not support generating bounce e-mails.
      The current Pegasus version has extensive built-in POP3 (on server) and
      content filtering as well as regular filtering, so I do not have any need
      for MailWasher. (I use POPFile and AVG with Pegasus regular filters and
      they catch over 98% of spam.)

      > Possible Concerns about the Bloomba product:
      > * I'd need to download the good/bad to my hard drive before it reviews the
      > messages (it seems to replace Outlook as the e-mail application)

      You are correct about having to download all your e-mail messages for
      SAProxy to classify it. You could use SAProxy with Outlook if you want to
      try a different spam classifier. However I would recommend POPFile or K9.

      > * I worry that it might only work well with spam (and ignore the virus
      > blocking aspect)

      You should certainly have both an anti virus program and a spam
      classifier working, as well as a firewall. A good chaining of these
      programs would be:

      ISP|---->AntiVirus(Norton?)---->Spamclassifier---->Outlook w/rules
      |----> Mailwasher?

      Of course your can use your regular AV program and e-mail client in the
      above diagram.

      Hope this helps all in the battle against spam.


      Extracted from bloomba_datasheet[1].pdf
      Bloomba Compatibility

      Available for public download today at www.bloomba.com, Bloomba is
      compatible with PCs using Microsoft® Windows® 2000 and Windows
      ® XP. Bloomba can be used as an indexer alongside any other email
      client configured for POP3, or perform as the default email client,
      importing email messages directly from Microsoft ® Outlook ®, Eudora®
      or Netscape®.

      About Stata Labs

      Stata Labs, Inc., is a personal computing software company
      developing products that will significantly improve personal
      productivity and interpersonal communications. The first product
      from Stata Labs™, Bloomba™, is creating an entirely new email
      experience, based on a powerful, user-centric personal content
      database. With inspired business managers and engineers, Stata
      Labs will continue creating and marketing a family of products
      that organize, manage, and retrieve digital information and
      content. Stata Labs is a privately held company funded by
      prominent angel investors.

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