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Bright Light offers free spam busting for the masses

The outift reckons the move will generate a word of mouth groundswell

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California e-mail outfit Bright Light Technologies has just made its spam elimiation service free to individual users. Previously available only to corporate accounts and ISPs, the company's Bright Mail service can be set up at their web page to intercept spam destined for any POP account. According to the company, Bright Mail has been shown to eliminate up to 90 per cent of spam without errors involving legitimate e-mail. Bright Mail's staff of digital dustmen use numerous dummy e-mail accounts to attract the offending substance, then enter its address of origin into their database. A tedious, thankless job, no doubt; but there is an advantage: it's far less likely to can a piece of legitimate mail than user-defined filters which only search headers for keywords. After all, "XXX" can as readily indicate a sleazy come-on from a porno site as hugs and kisses from Gran. The Register wondered how Bright Light can afford to make its services available free to the rude masses. The company sees in it not so much a giveaway as word of mouth advertising: the hope is that "satisfied users of free Bright Mail will encourage their ISPs and employers to implement commercial versions of the service," Bright Light CEO Sunil Paul explained. Not bad: composing the odd memo to the sysadmin seems a fair price to pay for a free digital dustman. ®

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