Microsoft Anti-Spam Software To Stop AIDS?

from the good-luck-with-that-plan... dept

Remember how Steve Ballmer said Microsoft has a special research department just to deal with the spam he and Bill Gates get? While he was caught exaggerating how much spam they really deal with, Microsoft’s anti-spam researchers apparently think they’re really on to something. In fact, Microsoft is now hoping that their anti-spam techniques may be useful in finding an AIDS vaccine. Yes, you read that right. They think that the machine learning techniques they’ve come up with work well against mutating threats — which is the biggest problem with AIDS. Does this mean we should expect Microsoft AIDSstopper sometime soon? Will people know enough to at least wait until version 3.0, as it usually takes Microsoft at least three attempts to get something right?

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Comments on “Microsoft Anti-Spam Software To Stop AIDS?”

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nonuser says:

it occurred to me as well

Spam could probably be largely solved in a straightforward manner using some combination of authenticated email and sender micropay (e.g., by charging three cents to send an email to an address that hasn’t agreed to accept mail from the sender). Viruses could similarly be contained by re-architecting operating systems. But this would deprive us of a chance of learning a lot of useful information about intelligent viruses, some of which may be transferrable to the biological domain.

Koey London says:

Re: Bwa ha ha

Well, actually we’re not that far off. Remember, it only took us a few hundred years to get from throwing axes at one another to nuking each other. It’s a small step from understanding what DNA is to understanding what it does. And if we can take the enxyclopedia Britanica and fit it into my vest pocket at work, we can sure as hell beat AIDS and, more importantly, HIV, the virus responsible.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Bwa ha ha

Can we? For all the technological glory, we have not beaten the common cold virus. We have not beaten any of the herpes simplex viruses. The only viruses we have managed to defeat are those with unusually low rates of mutation, such as smallpox or polio virus. HIV is a high-mutation virus, which has resisted vaccines — more than one attempt has been made. Researchers expect to just make incremental progress, by treating it like a managed condition like Herpes. There have been plenty of false hopes, such as when secretary of HHS Donna Shalala said a cure for AIDS is 5 years away.

Jared (user link) says:

Re: Re: Bwa ha ha

Remember, it only took us a few hundred years to get from throwing axes at one another to nuking each other.

And we’ve devleoped nukes by studying axe throwing? Biological and binary are two completely seperate fields. This will not aid (pardon the pun) any research in combatting biological viruses because we don’t program bilogical viruses, while we do program digital viruses. Biological viruses have a nasty habit of “building up immunities” to our vaccines or drugs, and they will only continue to do so. Call it, the will to live, if you must, but at any rate the human race will always be sick in this world.

I don’t understand why MS brings themself down by stating one specific virus, AIDS. Why AIDS? Why not the common cold, or the flu? When they don’t live up to this, they’re going to say, “Oh, well, we didn’t really mean curing AIDS, we meant…uh…hold on a sec, I’m waiting for my queue.”

guest says:

No Subject Given

Why does nearly every mention of Microsoft meet with such sarcasm? It’s almost as if MSFT has become the habitual whipping boy for every geek out there.
Although it admittedly has its rough edges, what other companies compare in providing customer value, and a corporate leader willing to commit billions of dollars for humanitarian causes?
Perhaps we should save some of our sarcasm for them as well.

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