[e2e] (no subject)

David Andersen dga+ at cs.cmu.edu
Wed Sep 14 14:54:59 PDT 2005

On Sep 14, 2005, at 4:30 PM, Alessandro Vivas wrote:
> Jon,
> I dont agree with your message. About yahoo mail  and hotmail  
> address isnt true. I live in Brazil and many universities dont have  
> have mail accounts for all students. Im a phd student and I use  
> gmail account because my university dont provide e-mail account for  
> me.. only this. So, please dont use examples with countries like  
> when you talk about China.

I shouldn't jump in on this thread, but to try to inject a little bit  
of CS:

This is a problem of reputation management between un-introduced  
parties on the Internet.  And it's a serious one.  As a well known  
networking researcher, Jon is probably subjected to a constant stream  
of "random" emails.  \footnote{When I was at MIT, we were subject to  
a constant stream of in-person visits from crackpots who believed  
they'd broken RSA and wanted to talk to crypto experts, people who'd  
figured out the grand unified theory, ... }  As a well known  
networking resource, end-to-end is subject to a fairly constant  
stream of emails that -- from a high level read of the email -- sound  
for all the world like they're asking for the solution to a homework  

I hit delete on an enormous number of threads on e2e, particularly  
lately.  How do I decide which threads to actually read?

   a)  The subject line
   b)  Who initiated it and is participating in it

(No, I'm not going to say what features influence deletion or reading).

When an email comes in from random_student at cs.well_known.edu, I have  
a few bits of information about them.  They're more likely to be  
active in my research area.  They're more likely to have some  
background to ensure that their question isn't going to be yet- 
another tarpit discussion.

On the other hand, when email comes from  
terminator_sex_god at yahoo.com, the bits of information are a little  
different. john_q_public at gmail.com gets binned in the intermediate  
category:  gmail users are frequently more technically savvy, no  
offense intended to Yahoo mail users, but it's still a relatively  
anonymous address.  I do know quite a few researchers who use  
gmail.com for their primary email, though -- not including the vast  
numbers at Google labs. :)

If you want the situation to be better, give me a nice distributed  
email reputation system that I can use to rate the "bozo-factor" of  
incoming email.  That way I can stop using my often incorrect domain- 
based heuristics, and instead look at the mail and see "ahh,  
Crowcroft vouches for Foo who vouches for Bar who vouches for  
dude at yahoo.com.  Guess I'll read the mail."

I'll let people return to drilling tunnels through the earth,

    (I'm sure I just lost several points on the email credibility  
scale for contributing to this thread...)

> Bye,
> Alessandro Vivas Andrade
> On 9/14/05, Fan Ye <fanye at us.ibm.com> wrote: Jon,
> This is the first time I ever post on e2e list, although I've  
> subscribed
> to it several years.
> I'm really astonished to see your technical discussion on ns  
> drifting, or
> "accidentally dropping",  onto some language attacking an ethnic group
> (see below quoted text). You may not have the intention, but what you
> wrote seems to imply that all these guys are clueless chinese  
> students who
> dont know a better way to plagiarize.
> > (I have no idea where they are really from - are they using such
> > addresses because they are afraid their university will catch them
> > plagiarising,
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > or are they blocked in china?) and they do more harm than good.
>                                                ^^^^^^
> I'm very, very upset to see this kind of language, not to mention at a
> least expected place, a technical discussion list.
> I have little clue about why these people use hotmail or yahoo address
> either. My guess (from my own, limited experience 6+ years ago), is  
> that
> many schools in china simply do not provide an email address to every
> student, or the habit of Internet users in china differs from here  
> a lot,
> people (including graduate students) simply use one email address for
> everything, they consider this a convenience. I've got emails from  
> such
> students as well, and they asked valid, technical questions. I  
> didnt have
> the chance to check out their publication, but I would have a hard  
> time to
> believe they are just poor plagiarizers without a better means to  
> conceal
> identity.

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