Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Outsource Spam Filtering to Google

A friend of mine was bending my ear the other day about the amount of spam he has to deal with. Said he, "I have three mail accounts, two of which are widely available on the Web and I am averaging more than 800 pieces of spam a day. My ISV's spam filter is OK, but I still have to check it periodically for any false positives."

He added, "I am thinking of subscribing to one of those spam services like IBM offers where I can route my mail to them. They clear out the spam, and leave the rest in my inbox."

Why pay for what you can get for free? I suggested he create an account at Google Mail, which has excellent spam detection capabilities and has never had a false negative in my experience. Then route your accounts to your Gmail account, and set up your mail agent to poll the one Gmail account. Given the 2.8GB of space Google gives you, even huge amounts of spam are not going to overflow your mailbox.

Sure enough, my friend tried it and he says in an email full of gratitude, he is free from spam.

Additional note: This solution could be done with other 'free mail' services, such as Yahoo, but I recommend doing it with Google, because:

  • I find Google's spam filtering is superior;
  • because Google resisted subpoenas to reveal user data. This last point makes me feel comfy routing my mail to them;
  • and because of Google's superior webmail interface, which facilitates checking mail from the road.
Give it a try.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Porting C/C++ Development from Visual Studio to Eclipse: Does that make any sense?

This link is a long step-by-step tutorial on IBM Developer Works re porting C/C++ projects from Visual Studio .NET to Eclipse. You might wonder, as I did, why anyone who was using Visual Studio .NET would be tempted to port their development to a Java hosted environment to compile .NET code. I believe there is no good reason.

The article actually confirms my view , pointing out on several occasions that the Eclipse platform is indeed the wrong place for Windows development: "Neither Eclipse nor GDB understand the debugging information generated by Microsoft compilers. As a result, it is a challenge to select CDT as a full-time development environment for Windows development. However, you can use Debugging Tools for Windows for debugging side by side with Eclipse as a development environment." Ugh!

Eclipse CDT, as the article also points out, knows nothing about resources.

In other words, you'd be unlikely to ever migrate from VS.NET to Eclipse.

The article misses the opportunity to explain what Windows coding you would use the CDT for: porting code from other platforms to Windows when you don't have access to Visual Studio. That makes sense.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The new features of Java 7

With Java 6 set to be released, here is a peek into Java 7. It's a PDF of a slide deck by Danny Coward, the Java SE platform lead.

Among the interesting features are: BigDecimal overloads of arithmetic operands, strings in case/switch statements, better XML and Xpath support, and the invokedynamic instruction, which facilitates the use of dynamic languages on the JVM. (Note: in my September 1 post, I mistakenly described this instruction as a feature of Java 6. It is actually in Java 7, as a commentator thoughtfully pointed out in response to that post, and revisited by this presentation.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

How much of a nerd are you, really?

Some of my fans might be distressed to see that I'm a mere 59 on a scale of 100. Jeez, I barely missed a passing grade. So, what's your rating?

I am nerdier than 59% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Convert file formats on-line

This site makes it simple to convert file formats if you don't have the converter software at your easy reach--provided you're willing to send your file to a service.