Spambayes knows about Acai berry

Posted In: Misc by graham

I've been using the terrific anti-spam plug-in Spambayes for years now in Outlook. It takes a very short time to install and configure. What I like is how I tell it how to "train" itself, pointing it to my good email folders - the "ham" - and keeping my "spam" in a separate folder. After the initial training, I just have to help it make some decisions about junk email suspects, by making the final "ham" versus "spam" decision. In the process, my Spambayes gets even smarter.

Only today did I try the option "Show spam clues for the current message"

The results really show me what Spambayes is using behind the scenes to score my messages, based on my personal "ham" and "spam" folders. Not so surprisingly, not one legitimate email I've received has included the term "Acai", and 506 junk email messages have included it. A little surprising to me, 4222 junk emails have been sent using Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2180 (or at least identifying themselves as using that software), but only 6 legitimate emails I've received come from that software.


As a follow-up to my earlier post, recover a FileZilla password online, it only applies to version 2 of FileZilla. FileZilla 3 now does not obsfucate the passwords you save in the software, and relies on the operating system security to protect the plain text passwords (there's a scary thought).

At the time, I didn't quickly find an online form that decrypted a password nice and quickly, though since then I found at least one online form implemented in JavaScript. I have also found other versions of the decryptor function ported to PHP, so I'm adding mine below. It's a complete rewrite of the function in FileZilla. I think it's more staightforward than other solutions, but maybe that's just because I'm familiar with it because... I wrote it. I'll let you, the reader, be the judge of how readable it is. If you get a reason to use it somewhere, let me know.

function filezillaDecrypt ($password) {
  $keyArray = str_split($key, 1);
  $clearText = '';

  // Remove everything but digits from the password
  $password = preg_replace('/\D/', '', $password);
  // Only continue if a password was supplied
  if($password != '')
    // Split the password into groups of three characters
    $passwordArray = str_split($password, 3);
    $passwordLength = count($passwordArray);
    $keyLength =  count($keyArray);

    $i = 0;
    // The fun decryption happens below, using bitwise operator
    foreach($passwordArray as $char)
      $keyIndex = ($passwordLength+$i)%$keyLength;
      $clearText .= chr($char ^ ord($keyArray[$keyIndex]));
  return $clearText;

Last week I attended the MySQL Conference & Expo in Santa Clara. I came away with attaining my Certified MySQL 5.0 Developer designation, a relief once the testing was over. I was MySQL Core certified years ago, and now I'm upgraded.

Overall, the sessions got me thinking outside of the little box I work in - the office - to explore all the great things people are doing that I don't get to see everyday. Some things I really enjoyed hearing about:

  • Memcached
  • Gearman
  • The giving of the "MySQL Acquirer of the Year" award to Oracle, from the previous year's recipient Sun
  • Drizzle
  • RightScale presentation about automation of load balancing in Amazon EC2, to pay an "average" use rate, and not get out of bed to launch new servers
  • Michael "Monty" Widenius' presentation of MariaDB, including opinionated barbs about the new Sun acquision and release announcement of MySQL 5.4 (very entertaining)

Aside from technology, I was in the right place at the right time later in the week in Berkeley to see a documentary film: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (trailer). I was blown away by how good it was, and the trailer does not do it justice. I, and the other thirty or forty viewers in the small theatre, was fortunate the director Sacha Gervasi answered questions after the "sneak preview". He conveyed some stories about his history with Anvil, about the filming, and Dustin Hoffman at the Los Angeles premiere, etc. The trailer portrays it like a real-life Spinal Tap (a good way to get people in the door), but it is funny and serious. I think anyone would enjoy it, so go and see it if you can (i.e. you do not need to be a big heavy metal music fan).

What was so inspiring was to see how Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and Robb Reiner had not given up after so many decades. I wish I was in the Bay area this weekend, because on Sunday (May 3rd), the showing at the Bridge Theatre in San Francisco will conclude with a live Anvil performance! The film is now opening on more screens now, you can check out the web site to find where to see it if you don't live in the select theatres.

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