Customize Outlook View based on SpamAssasin’s tagging

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Read on if you use IMAP and Outlook and your IMAP account is configured to use SpamAssasin and it is configured with SpamBox. SpamAssasin can be instructed to put all mails that it tags as SPAM into a different spam folder. If you use Outlook, you might want to review this folder and check for false positives. Since I get almost 200-300 spam messages each day, it becomes difficult to browse through the spam folder looking for false positives. I would prefer some way to see messages that fall in the category of “MaybeSpam” – these messages would have SPAM scores upto a certain threshold. I have personally set up my account to treat anything above 2.2 to be SPAM and I personally consider a score between 2.3 to 10.0 to be “MaybeSpam” since I often end up with false positives in that range.
So I defined a view in Outlook that only shows me messages that have a higher probability of being false positives and hides all messages which get a very high spam score.

You may use this filter for the view for looking at your Spam folder. It is simple to set it up:

       

  1. Browse to your SPAM folder in Outlook
  2.    

  3. View > Current View > Define Views …
  4.    

  5. Click on “New…” and select the table type. You can name it as “MaybeSpam”
  6.    

  7. Click on “Ok” and you will be presented with a “Customize View” window
  8.    

  9. Click on “Filter” and move to the tab called “SQL”. Check the box called “Edit these criteria directly …”
  10.    

  11.       Copy and paste the following text into that window [Note: you might have to use CTRL+V since context menus are disabled in that window]
       

    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**2.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**3.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**4.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**5.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**6.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**7.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**8.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**9.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**10.%'
    OR
    "urn:schemas:httpmail:subject" LIKE '%**SPAM**11.%'
    

       

  12.    

  13. Click “Ok” and click “Ok” again.
  14.    

  15. You have just made yourself a new view which will only show you messages whose SpamAssasin score is between 2.0 to 11.9

Feel free to change the values of the numbers in the ‘LIKE’ clause in the SQL statments to suit your setting. Hope it works for everyone.

Second Life opens its source code

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Second Life has decided to open up its source code to get the open source community to work on it and help rapidly expand and enhance it.

“There are lots of handicapped people using Second Life. It’s one of the really inspiring things about it,” Rosedale said. “There are a lot of ways of connecting people to their computers, not just mice and keyboards but gaze detection and neuromuscular stuff” that Linden Lab doesn’t have the manpower to address, but he hopes outside programmers will.

Someone also could “hook up an exercise bike and fly around Second Life while exercising,” he said, or write a program for accessing the world from a smart phone.

“All that becomes extremely easy to do,” said Rosedale, who will speak tomorrow at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

[via MSNBC]

Microsoft Robotics Studio Released

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I had referred to this before and I was eagerly waiting for a release. Well, there you go, Microsoft has released the commercial Robotics Studio (1.0). It is quite exciting and I hope to be able to play around with it some time soon.
Yes, you can download it for free for personal use:

That means if you are student, educator, academic researcher, or hobbyist looking to try out or use the software without the objective of making money or running your business, the software is available for download for free.

Go ahead and play around!!!

The sanctity of a complete album

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Does having playlists of mp3s in random order mask the “full album” experience that we used to have a not so long time ago? Back in the tape days, I would have complete albums which I would play and get used to – discovering more songs, hearing the artists’ (or music label’s) version of what they value and in what order.

Anyone who has heard albums like “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd would probably feel unhappy when they meet people who have only heard an individual song from that album. Unless one has experienced the continuity of the entire album, the heart-beats and voices in between songs, one can not fully appreciate why it was one of the longest running albums of all times (It was on US Billboard Top 200 for 741 weeks).
But today, more and more people are listening to only individual songs. I always felt like an old purist debating the sanctity of the complete album, but I just became aware of how our listening behavior can actually destroy the concept of an album altogether. This gentleman has explained how the science of economics will catch up with our listening experiences.

Maybe individual songs could be priced in such a way that it would be cheaper to download a complete album; that would be one incentive to make people still download all songs from an album. Or maybe people can use one of the subscription services from Yahoo or URGE. [I am working on a comparative review on Yahoo Music Unlimited 2 Go and URGE All Access To Go. I have used them both, but currently am siding with URGE for reasons I will explain in the review]. These services do allow complete album downloads and URGE seems like a savior since it really retains the flavor of the complete album; it even throws in an album review from All Music Guide in the mix.

I sincerely hope the album does not die. But I am not sure if I am simply resisting a good new-age trend or am concerned about the loss of an experience which is too valuable to forgo.