Thursday, July 27, 2006

REVIEW: Spam Sieve for Max OS X

For the sake of posterity only, here is my mini-review of a cool little Mac app that kills Spam dead:

I usually don't write reviews unless I am on the extreme end of the spectrum about a product, but Spam Sieve is so exceptional in every way that it deserves to have a review which says so.

My feelings about spam are something close to obsessive compulsive; we shouldn't have to pay extra money to weed out unnecessary clatter. And yet, it appears we must. Thus, if I am forced to find a good spam filter, I want the best one for the least amount of money and not a product I'll have to upgrade two years from now when the company goes out of business. When I commit to an application, I'm monogamous for life, so I make my decisions very carefully.

I am a Eudora 6 user and its junk mail filter is not 100% reliable. More importantly, its spam-labeling process, while it allows you to label some email as junk (and some email as not junk), is not transparent which makes it very hard to improve the filters. It's a "cross your fingers" type of approach and that doesn't work for me.

Spam Sieve, however, has already blocked 99% of all my spam in only three days of "training". This is enough to make me buy the program; I mean, come on -- if it's this good in only 3 days, then how good will it be in 3 months? Since it learns over time, I feel confident that $25 is a small price to pay to know I won't have to look at spam in my In Box ever again.

Bonus tracks: Spam Sieve is transparent by showing you how its "corpus" of words is judged: "$40 million" might be used 4 times for spam emails and 1 time for good emails—so you can delete the term (or not) if you think that's a bad word to use to judge spam. Also, its dock icon closes automatically when you close down Eudora. Oh, and you choose between photo-realistic and cartoon dock icons. Super swanky!

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