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What Do You Fight Spam With?


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#26 OFFLINE   eksimba

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 09:00 PM

I use SpamNet by Cloudmark with Outlook. It seems to work pretty well, though it's still officially in beta. It's biggest drawback is also its greatest strength; for even though it uses a database built by a community of users who collectively brand messages as Spam, I'm amazed at how many of my opt-in newsletters get labeled as Spam. I don't think Scot's Newsletter has ever gotten dropped in the spam folder, but many other newsletters I get do.There is a capability to whitelist particular senders with SpamNet, but I haven't used it yet because I am curious about how many of these opt-in newsletters get labeled as false-positives. It seems to be a common practice to opt-in, decide you don't want the newsletter anymore, and then brand it as Spam instead of taking the time to cancel the subscription...All in all, though, I like SpamNet.

#27 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 25 March 2003 - 03:15 PM

My personal email account is with a company that recently started using SpamCop. I have to tell you, I wasn't impressed when they first started using it. It caused more problems than it solved. Many valid emails where being bounced back at friends because their ISP had their email virus checked at a central location and that location had somehow been blacklisted (or something like that, who knows for sure).  It was a big mess.That particular situation has since been resolved, at least until someone goes and complains again.I have not seen too many spams recently in my personal mail box now that SpamCop has finally settled in.  But I always wonder what I am not getting that I should.  I think I might go take a look at my web based personal email client to see if these emails are bounced entirely or put into a box that I can get to to review them.Recently a spam filter was made available for some other email accounts that I monitor, but I have not enabled them and I don't think I will.If I can't get the emails here to sort through and decide for myself which ones I don't want, there is always a chance that a perfectly good email will be squashed.If something is definitely spam, I use the block sender in OLE and I never see anything from that Bozo spammer again.  Other emails that I wouldn't technically call spam, I just delete them but don't bounce them.Because of the antivirus issues with OLE's Preview Pane, I use the Message Source to help when it comes to identifying unexpected mail of any kind, or mail that has attachments.
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#28 OFFLINE   Big Jeff

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 04:33 AM

On average, I get about 3-5 spam emails a day. Not a serious problem but annoying nonetheless. What I wanted was a freeware notifier that would allow me to preview and delete spam from the POP3 server before I d/l'd the good mail with my email client. Sure enough, I found one at my favorite place to start a search for safe freeware solutions: Nonags.com. So, for the last few weeks I've been using PP MailCheck v1.7. I haven't tried any of the solutions mentioned in this thread, so I can't compare/contrast but I'll list some of the features:
  • Doesn't interfere in any way with the default email client but places a shortcut to the client on its toolbar.
  • Checks for mail at any interval you choose, automatically.
  • Manages up to 12 accounts.
  • Preview email on the server (POP3 only) and delete it or add the address, domain, or keywords/phrases to the spam filter.
  • Reply to or write and send simple emails.
  • Customize the UI and easy configuration of options.
  • Create and save event logs.
  • It even copies itself to a floppy so it can be used to check your mail from anywhere.
So far it works well for me but YMMV.

#29 OFFLINE   eksimba

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 02:43 PM

:D Has anybody read about "MailBlocks"? I read a C|Net news article about it, and it seems to be an 'interesting' way of avoiding spam, as long as you agree to receive some spam from MailBlocks itself. It seems to me to be less of an anti-spam tool than an "authorized spam concentrator". That's not how they are marketing it, though.  :D Make sure you read their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to see what I mean.

#30 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 03:14 PM

From what I could see from their privacy policy and terms of service, they do have 3rd parties that THEY give your infomation to and they have no responsibility to insure that these 3rd parties do what is appropriate with that information.And you will receive information from their chosen 3rd parties, through them, I guess.All in all, if I was in the market for hand-picked spam ... then and only then would I actually pay for this 'service.'   :D
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#31 OFFLINE   shoe

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 09:57 AM

I use Mcafee It works great http://www.mcafee.com/myapps/msk/

#32 OFFLINE   LadyL

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 03:32 PM

MailWasherPro. But then, I don't open any email from people I don't know and I don't 'surf' to places other than the 17 Forums and 2 game sites that are listed in my 'trusted zone' in IE !  :rolleyes:

#33 OFFLINE   Ragnar Paulson

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 05:22 PM

We've added SpamAssassin to our mailserver using a custom written Sendmail milter.  It's part of a product so worth the effort.  In this environment, SpamAssassin just scores the e-mail and the clients filter based on the score.  It's not perfect and the amount of missed spam seems to be increasing.  I think the SpamAssassin rules need regular updating and tweaking.Is there a content filter that adapts over time as the Spammers adapt?

#34 OFFLINE   GluedToTheScreen

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 11:26 AM

Alanmuk, on Mar 19 2003, 05:45 AM, said:

I have used several options in the past: various programs that hook into Eudora (my preferred mail client), or work separately from it. By far the most effective and easy to use is PopFile.http://popfile.sourceforge.net/PopFile is an Open Source automatic mail classification tool. It uses Bayesian filtering to learn what spam is, and then simply adds a header - 'X-Text-Classification' to the email, and passes it through to your email client. You then use your email client's filter capabilities to file off anything with X-Text-Classification=spam to a spam folder, and bob's your uncle.Training the software is simple, and even though I started out with 13 different email classifications and chopped it down to 2 (Work and Spam), it only took about 100 emails to learn the difference. I am currently getting 96.96% (and rising) accuracy on classification with the 2 buckets, and even when I had 13, it was 96%.  :blink:It is extremely stable, and runs on both Windows and Unix/Linux, as it is simply a collection of Perl scripts. A windows installer is available for download along with the Unix/Linux version.POPFile is currently (18 March 2003) the 4th most active project on Sourceforge, and the guys steering the project are a dedicated and friendly bunch.I liked it so much I donated $20 to the authors (John Graham-Cumming) donation link.Try it. You'll like it  :DrgdsAlan
I second that motion!I've tried many anti-spam programs with varying degrees of success, but even the best wasn't worth it (to me).A few weeks ago I installed POPfile... and have been both surprised and pleased with its results.  Surprised at how fast it "learns" how to identify spam; pleased at how little extra work it takes to accomplish it.You DO have to "train" the system, but it's pretty quick and easy... nice web interface, too.  I have it set up to tag suspected spam and Outlook puts it into a separate folder.   Not only have I simplified my inbox... but I'm no longer EXPOSED to the filthy, graphic emails nor have to wade through the repetitive appeals to refinance my mortgage, etc.I am now getting about 97% accuracy and receive about 500 emails a week (and multiple email addresses).Try it.  HIGHLY recommended.

#35 OFFLINE   Ziba

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 11:41 AM

Alanmuk, on Mar 19 2003, 09:45 PM, said:

By far the most effective and easy to use is PopFile.http://popfile.sourceforge.net/PopFile is an Open Source automatic mail classification tool. It uses Bayesian filtering to learn what spam is, and then simply adds a header - 'X-Text-Classification' to the email, and passes it through to your email client. You then use your email client's filter capabilities to file off anything with X-Text-Classification=spam to a spam folder, and bob's your uncle.
When I read Alan's post I thought "You've got to be kidding... how can you say POPFile is easy to use?" I'd looked at it before and put it in the too-hard basket. Then I re-read what Alan had to say, and decided to try it again (who says I'm not flexible?). Also, Scot had mentioned that it was more effective than MailWasher, which I had been using for quite a while. I had found MW to be very good for my needs, and I was happy with it.Well, surprise, surprise... when I persevered and got POPFile working properly, it was magnificent. It IS easy to use once it's set up, and it learns quickly. I've only been using it for a few days, but already it's making only one or two mistakes a day (I receive around 20 - 50 emails per day, and often 70-80% are spam). I think the only criticism I'd have of POPFile is that I end up with the spam emails on my computer, from where I need to delete them (unless I set Calypso to delete automatically all the email POPFile identifies as spam, and I'm not ready to do that yet). I'd prefer that I could delete them from the server, as I did with MailWasher.Overall, though, POPFile is easier to use than MailWasher. It works in the background, and only needs attention when it makes a mistake.Thanks Alan!  :)POPFile is my first line of defence. I've also begun a campaign to try to eliminate spam from my inbox. All of the spam I receive comes into two POP3 addresses which I unwisely gave out sometime back in the Dark Ages. I've begun to transfer all legitimate email to other addresses, and I'll eventually kill off the two offending addresses. It will take a little while because I keep finding legitimate newsletters and some irregular mail still addressed to those two addresses. I began this campaign about a month ago, and I'm almost to the stage where I can discard the two unwanted addesses. Now, if I can just keep the other addresses away from the spammers...   :oAs a third line of defence I use (Spam Gourmet (already mentioned in an earlier post) and SpamMotel which both provide free disposable email addresses, although in a slightly different way. An unrelated but relevant service is one provided by the registrar where I have my domains registered. The registrar hides my real email address in the whois record. It seems that spammers harvest email addresses from this source too, so my registrar's service is another deterrent to their adding me to their lists. No more spam! No more spam!  :P

#36 Guest_ComputerBob_*

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 11:59 AM

I've tried many, many anti-spam tools, but currently, I use a simple POPmail checker (PopTray along with Cloudmark's SpamNet.I've read many good things about POPFile, but I won't use it because it uses the "download and then filter" methodology that I don't like. The main reason that I haven't been happy with most of the tools that I've tried is that I don't want to download all that spam and then delete it -- I want to delete it off the mail server without ever downloading it at all.I used the free version of MailWasher for a month, and it worked exactly the way I would like my anti-spam tool to work. Like PopTray, it allowed me to automatically check for new messages every x minutes, but unlike PopTray, MailWasher also identified spam messages for me while they were still on the mail server, and gave me the option to delete/bounce them. Unfortunately, during the month that I used it, MailWasher caused my Win98 SE PC to completely lock up four different times in the middle of downloading messages. When I checked for a MailWasher bug-fix/update, there was one, but it would only work with one email account, and it no longer had the preview feature that my month-old version had. I realize that the MailWasher people have every right to do whatever they want with their software, and to charge whatever they think the market will bear for that software, but it appeared to me that they had intentionally crippled the free version of MailWasher in a kind of bait-and-switch effort to make their $29.95 MailWasher Pro look better by comparison. So, I stopped using MailWasher.After that, I tried using PP MailCheck, which works in a similar way to MailWasher, but I found its interface to be overly complicated and confusing.So, I'm currently using both PopTray and SpamNet. PopTray automatically checks my email accounts every x minutes. It tells me that I have xx messages, and allows me to view their titles, senders, size, etc. I can even preview any message in text mode, to see if it is spam or not. Then, I can select and delete the spam messages right off of the server, without ever downloading them. Then Outlook 2000 (with its Preview window closed and with SpamNet installed) downloads the messages that I haven't deleted from the server. On the rare occasion that I missed deleting a spam message, or one arrives in the few seconds in between using PopTray and Outlook, then SpamNet catches it and puts it into a separate Spam folder for me to deal with.

#37 OFFLINE   Ziba

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 12:27 PM

ComputerBob, you've confused me. MailWasher is a product from New Zealand, written by Nick Bolton. MailWasher freeis still available; MailWasher Pro is marketed by FireTrust, a New Zealand company.As far as I know neither has anything to do with Cloudmark, which is a Californian company. When I was using MW it worked perfectly with multiple accounts on my WinMe system, including preview. Was the bug you mention peculiar to Win98SE?

#38 Guest_ComputerBob_*

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 12:36 PM

OOOOOPS! :P You're right -- thanks for letting me know!As I stated in the first sentence of my post, Cloudmark is the publisher of SpamNet. I re-used their name later in my post, mis-identifying them as the publisher of MailWasher. I better go have some breakfast and get my blood sugar up to normal. :P I will go back and correct that earlier post, so as not to continue confusing people.Re: MailWasher vs. MailWasher Pro, I followed the hyperlink to their Web site that was in MailWasher itself. That's where I learned that the newer bug-fixed version of MailWasher Free was crippled, compared to the month-old MailWasher Free that I had been using. And that's the same place that offered me MailWasher Pro (that had my old MailWasher Free's features) for $29.95.Re: the four lock-ups that I experienced with MailWasher while using it for one month, I was able to confirm that other people had had similar problems, but I wasn't able to confirm whether or not the problem was specific to Win98SE.

#39 OFFLINE   miz_bean

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 05:48 PM

:D Surfing through this forum topic, I haven’t seen anything similar to my setup, so here goes:First off, I’m not an advanced user but I do have some computer savvy, and I try to keep my computer squeaky clean.  In the past I’ve used Symantec products, and others.  A couple of years ago I got interested in OnTrack’s products, and downloaded and installed their System Suite , which included a firewall and an anti-virus checker among other utilities.  (http://www.ontrack.com) but System Suite is now owned by V-ComSystem SuiteNot knowing much about them at the time, I proceeded very cautiously and somewhat suspiciously even  :D .  However, the more I used System Suite, the more I was impressed.  The firewall is custom made I believe by Sygate, and seems to be easily configurable both for novice users and more advanced users.  The AV software is from Micro Trend, with regular and timely updates.  And the amount of space taken up compared with Symantec was truly significant.For email I use OE, the latest version, as I’m running Windows XP Pro.  I never  use the preview pane, period.  I never open attachments unless I am sure of them, and I never reply to spam.  I also set up rules.  Recently I decided to go one step further and downloaded and installed Spam Inspector, the MS Outlook Express edition (Spam Inspector)   I had read a good review somewhere about it, and decided to try it.  I used to use Mail Washer, but with WinXP I was running into some funny complications.  Spam Inspector is working pretty well so far.  What it does is give the user the option to go through a “learning phase ”.  I turn off my "automatic empty deleted folder upon exit" option for this phase, and then I can keep a close eye on what Spam Inspector is tossing.  I can add either email addies or domain addresses to the “Friends” list, and others to the “Enemies” list.Spam Inspector is not free, but so far I find it quite helpful, especially since spam has stepped up so much in the past little while.  I also have one web mail address at this point where mail is forwarded to my ISP server, so I can use that when it seems advisable.  When necessary I can just change the name and email address.  There is a download trial version available, and if you decide to purchase it the cost is $29.95.My other line of defense is Ad-Subtract, (Ad Subtract) and every day I get rid of tons of tracking cookies and other footprints left behind.  Periodically I run Ad-Aware 6 , the free version (Ad-Aware) and The Cleaner from MooSoft  for trojan horses (The Cleaner).  I am also able to get rid of unneeded Internet Plugins, Activex controls, history files, etc. through System Suite.Miz_bean :D

#40 OFFLINE   sfink

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 06:14 PM

I use popfile it is a free open source software that scans for words and learns from your corrections. the web site is: http://popfile.sourceforge.net/It works with web based email. I think it is referred to as a bayseian type of scan?But it works 95% of the time. and I can correct mistakes as well as set specific buckets and paths to those buckets.  I use Outlook rules along with popfile to sort emails after they arrive too.

#41 OFFLINE   Gerard the farmer

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 07:08 PM

I'm a control freak so I don't use 3rd party software, only the rules in Outlook.I know who I should be getting mail/newsletters/etc  from, and their addresses are all added to my contacts.If it ain't listed there, the mail gets dumped in a Junk folder.It gets a final quick check there, I add the spammers to my blocked senders list,  before being dispatched to oblivion.This leaves my contacts list quite full, but I have a Personal Address Book for those I frequently mail.I know this only works for those who know who their senders should be, but for me it catches 100% of Spam.

#42 OFFLINE   cunn1ngham

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 07:46 PM

I started using Cloudmarks' Spamnet 4 or 5 months ago.  It removes about 75 to 80% of the Spam, with almost no mistakes.  I have enjoyed the accuracy to much I now I have the spam dumped directly to the trash.Two weeks ago, I added Spammunition to my Outlook's e-mail defenses hoping to catch the remaining junkmail.  It is fairly stable.  I do not like having to store the spam continuously for it to reanalyze.  After two weeks of "training" I have decided that it learns slower than PopFile and perhaps the results will improve with more time.

#43 OFFLINE   Maxlor

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 10:03 PM

I'm saving all my mail on an IMAP server at home. I do this because I use a variety of computers from different locations and having access to my mails from everywhere is nice.So, the setup looks like this. I have fetchmail querying all my pop3 accounts every 5 mins or so. Mail that is fetched this way is forwarded to my SMTP server (postfix), and delivered to my mailbox. On the way to my mailbox, the mails are filtered with procmail. This way, I can sort newsletters, mailing lists right on the server. I receive some high volume mailing lists, and it's nice not having it all pour into my inbox. Also, this is where I filter out the spam: I'm using a program written in C that uses a naive bayesian analysis as detailed by Paul Graham in his A Plan For Spam essay (and I implemented some of his ideas in the follow-up essay). I formerly used bayespam, a perl script, which I modified for my needs. Later I rewrote it from scratch in Perl, and then in C cause the Perl scripts memory consumption was a bit high :)I am completely rebuilding my word database every night. This means that the spam filter is very easy to use: I drop a mail into my spam folder, and during the next update it's counted as spam mail. If I take a mail out of the spam folder and drop it into another folder, it's counted as good mail. Since the database is rebuilt nightly (takes about 2 mins), there's no need to unregister or register mails with it, as there is with other bayesian filter solutions. One drawback is that I can't delete my spam. Doesn't worry me much though.The filter catches more than 95% of my spam, and so far hasn't catched a single good mail. The spam it doesn't catch is usually a new type of spam. Eg this week I started getting spam in an asian language... since the filter hasn't seen any asian words before, it'll take a few mails to adapt, but it should recognize them eventually.All in all I'm satisfied with the performance, and maintenance is virtually non-existing, since I never need to interface with the filter directly. It works silently in the background.If someone wants the code, drop me a message.

#44 OFFLINE   Grasshopper

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 12:43 AM

Stryder, on Mar 18 2003, 10:07 PM, said:

The best way I found to fight spam is to follow this formula. 1. Do not use your ISP email except for family, friends and business contacts. Be sure to let the previously mentioned know not to give that email addy out to any site what so ever. 2. Set up a "throw away" email account threw yahoo, hotmail, etc. Use this account when any website wants email info. Also inform your friends and family of this "throw away" account so if there is some site that they feel you just have to see the funny picture, or cute greeting card, or great news story, etc., that they can insert that email addy into the "send to" field. My grandmother is the worst about putting my email addy into everything that she wants me to see. I am sure we all have one of these in our families. This is a great way for them to get to send you the site and your "REAL" email to remain spam free.3. Whether it is a "throw away" or your "REAL" email account, never open spam. If you do not know who the sender is, delete it immediately. A lot of spam now-a-days sends a message back to the sender upon opening to help them analyze what "Subjects" got people to read their junk. Lets not inadvertently help them improve their tactics.If you follow those three rules, you should cut down the spam from your "REAL" email addy by 99%.
Common sense.
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Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.
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#45 OFFLINE   siebkens

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 03:30 PM

Quote

A lot of spam now-a-days sends a message back to the sender upon opening to help them analyze what "Subjects" got people to read their junk. Lets not inadvertently help them improve their tactics.
(Stryder  Mar 18 2003, 11:07 PM)If I use mailwasher or the new Outlook to preview header lines & delete or bounce back to the sender & don't download to my computer, I assume that this prevents a message from being sent back to the spammer telling them what was read.  Is this correct?I use 2 addresses like Stryder & also Mailwasher.

#46 Guest_ComputerBob_*

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 03:51 PM

siebkens, on Apr 5 2003, 01:30 PM, said:

If I use mailwasher or the new Outlook to preview header lines & delete or bounce back to the sender & don't download to my computer, I assume that this prevents a message from being sent back to the spammer telling them what was read.  Is this correct?
That is correct. :D

#47 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 06:34 PM

Mailwasher fan here !Used the free version, donated a few $ because I was so happy with it !Got a lifetime free update garanty for the money I did send.Now I recieved the pro version for free.  ;)

#48 OFFLINE   GolfProRM

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 04:01 AM

I'm kinda stuck with trying to figure out a good setup for PocoMail's junk filtering...  I don't think I should have to go through a bunch of work just to get my email...  I've got one account that goes on the internet (it's my college account that won't be around forever anyway)...  Everything else (3 accounts) goes out only to family & friends...I get probably 15-20 junkmail messages a day, so I don't want to go through the hassle of running an outside program to filter my mail (seems like a waste of time and system resources)...  It's a hassle getting pocomail to filter out the correct messages (I've only been using it for a day)...  It seemed to think that messages from my Yahoo groups were junk, but pornographic email wasn't...  Getting most of it straightened out, but figuring out the exact ins and outs of the filtering system is annoying...Is there anything (preferably free?) that would integrate with Pocomail and give me easier spam control?  Otherwise I'll just have to keep tinkering until I get the settings figured out

#49 Guest_ComputerBob_*

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 04:10 AM

GolfProRM, it sounds like you might end up with something to contribute to the Top 10 Most Annoying Things About Software thread. ;)

#50 OFFLINE   enigma-2

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 02:24 PM

I use Mailwasher, like it overall, doesn't really reduce spam to any real degree. Bouncing Spam is probably a worthless venture as most Spam is made with fake headers or dead-end post office addresses any ways. Going to look at POPfile, based on Andy's message.




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