Bill Gates Trying To Reinvent The Wheel To Stop Spam

from the been-there,-done-that... dept

Now that he's no longer running the business side of Microsoft, Bill Gates has apparently turned his attention to spam. That's right, in his spare time, he's been messing around with a variety of ways to solve the spam problem, though, it sounds like all of his ideas are already being tried elsewhere. I guess that's not all that surprising considering Microsoft's history. What will be more interesting is whether or not he can get any of these methods to really work. The first is using basic sender authentication via a challenge-response solution. His second idea is basically greylisting (making servers slow down emails from unknown senders to make it more difficult/expensive for spammers to send out so many messages), which seems to be getting some more attention these days. His final idea, though, which he seems to have the most faith in, is a money-based plan to charge unknown senders to email you. The idea is that you would set a price for unknown people to email you - but you have the option of waiving that fee if it turns out you really wanted to hear from someone. I've heard of people talking about similar plans, but have never heard of it being implemented.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Kevin, Jan 23rd, 2004 @ 11:56pm

    No Subject Given

    This is a riot considering that windows security flaws are responsible for a good sized portion of all the junk email out there. Also denial of service attacks, made possible by windows security, are punishing spamfighters. Every spamfighter out there is terrified that they will be the next target of a windows zombie DOS attack that they cant do anything about,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mark F, Jan 24th, 2004 @ 9:44pm

    Saw it once in a SF novel

    The system in which people pay you to read there email is discussed in Marc Stiegler's novel Earthweb. It a didactical novel about future tech and societies, the email system being one of them. I believe the novel had notes with references to the ideas behind that system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Edwin, Jan 25th, 2004 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Saw it once in a SF novel

    The pay-to-email idea has already been implemented, by

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Howard, Dec 19th, 2005 @ 1:42pm


    E-postage can't happen until two other things happen: 1) an inexpensive micropayment system, and 2) ubiquitous encryption of email.

    Actually, the spam problem could be pretty much solved with #2. If you had to get my public key, and use it to communicate with you, that would increase the cost of sending spam enough to eliminate it. The whole problem with spam is that it doesn't cost anything to do it.
    The Celtic Fiddler, violins for sale

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Steve, May 11th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    e-postage no - Sender Guarantees - YES!

    Nobody wants e-postage and rightfully so. But, Sender Guarantees are already implemented. It is the only way the average Internet user will ever be able to freely list their contact information and still have 100% control over unsolicited interruptions. It's called Personal Value Control and I predict it will be available to every Internet user in the near term.

    While the economic portion of this system is still not widely adopted (but it is growing) the underlying use of MTA signed messages to support the guarantees offers existing users assurances when implemented across multiple business units and or remote offices.

    Sender Guarantees and Personal Value Control are coming. Let's face, it is common practice to use economics to protect every successful other business portal so why not deliver this ability to the everyday average Internet user?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2008 @ 4:34pm

    Sorry Bill, but Google already beat you to solving

    Hey guess what. Problem is already solved. All you have to do is switch to Gmail. I haven't received any spam in my inbox since I've been with them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Josephine, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 8:11pm

    These is a Good News!

    Let see what bill can do since google already done it first maybe he'll make something better than google -- Josephine C. Swann - Email Address Directory

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.