How long does Mail take to learn to highlight Junk?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by micsaund, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. micsaund macrumors 6502

    micsaund

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #1
    Hi,

    I've been "training" the Mail.app junk filter for a while now and I have yet to see it highlight any mail in "disgusting brown" as I've read it should.

    Thus, I'm wondering how long (time/# of messages/etc.) does it take for the algorithm to learn to filter my mail? Just a rough estimate is OK.

    Thanks!
    Mike
     
  2. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #2
    Duff-Man says....it should learn very quickly. When spam is getting into your inbox are you manually tagging it as junk(Message -> Mark -> As junk mail) ? That is one of the ways that it learns.....oh yeah
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    Mike,

    The time it takes Mail to start to highlight mail as Junk depends enormously on how much the junk mail you get (and train Mail on by labelling it as "Junk") is consistent in some recognizable way. When you're training Mail, you're teaching it to look for patterns. If those patterns aren't consistent between pieces of Junk mail - increasingly true now that spammers are getting smarter - Mail takes longer to learn.

    Also, possibly, you just don't get a lot of junk mail, so it naturally takes longer to learn. That would be a good thing. ;)

    If you receive a "normal" amount of junk - a few pieces a day - it might take a week or more.

    There are alternatives, such as JunkMatcher, which are a bit smarter but more complex to learn.

    Joe

    PS Fort Collins is one of my favorite places - used to date a girl there and fell in love with the area.
     
  4. micsaund thread starter macrumors 6502

    micsaund

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    May 31, 2004
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    Colorado, USA
    #4
    I'm pressing the Junk button on the toolbar. Is that different than using the pull-down that you mention?
     
  5. micsaund thread starter macrumors 6502

    micsaund

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #5
    hahaha... i wish that I didn't get that much, but unfortunately, one of my accounts (the junk account I use for posting and other stuff), gets about 90-120 spams/day. I do spend a bit of time each day at work cleaning things out as well as the ComCrap filters doing their thing. So, I probably teach Mail about 10 messages/day.

    I seem to have trouble finding women to date here amongst the sea of "great place to raise a family" families, so I'd actually be interested in leaving, but that's my "single guy's perspective" speaking ;)

    Mike
     
  6. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    Dec 26, 2002
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    #6
    Duff-Man says...yes, they are the same function - I have it in my toolbar as well although very little spam makes it to my inbox anymore. jsw is right too...if you don't get much it will take longer to learn...but I would have thought that at about 10 per day it should learn relatively quickly. But the spammers are always creating new tactics to beat the filters too so it is a constant battle to stay ahead of them....oh yeah!
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    Ah, but it was 11 years ago that I was out there (God, was it really that long ago? man...). That was when the tidal wave of families was just starting to flow in. Back then, it was very much a young, single crowd. Sorry to hear it's changed. But you still have Brew Fest, right? I hope that's still around. With that, at least once per year you don't need to care that you're single! ;)
     
  8. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
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    Albuquerque, NM
    #8
    Duff-Man says....Brew Fest? Did somebody say Brew Fest? Sounds like an event Duff-Man would enjoy....oh yeah!
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    :)

    I am frankly surprised that you weren't there representing Duff beer, Duff-Man! However, it's a showcase for smaller breweries, and Duff would probably be seen as too large and successful a company to enter. Plus, they want others to have at least some chance to win the prizes. "Too much Duff is never enough" is certainly truth in advertising!
     
  10. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #10
    Duff-Man says....psssst....don't tell anyone....I don't want to get fired.....but I only drink micro-brewery stuff. we actually have a brew fest here in victoria too, but this is a not a huge town and on an island so it is not as big as it could be. but we still get some breweries from the pacific northwest as well as the western canadian ones...always a fun weekend....oh yeah!

    (a little off-topic now aren't we) :)
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #11
    :) A wee bit. But I think any discussion of Brewer's Festivals should be granted some sort of special dispensation....

    Back on topic: Mike, once I started using JunkMatcher, I found that most of my Junk mail was correctly filtered (not 100%, but better than Mail alone). You might want to give it a try, but be forewarned that it uses Unix-type "regular expressions". However (or, rather, because of that), it's quite powerful.

    I've also found that, regardless of junkmail filtering success, creating a number of mailbox folders, and writing rules to ensure that mail coming from places I expect it to come from ends up in a properly labelled folder, does a good job of helping me to (a) not overlook 'good' mail; and (b) reduce the size of my Inbox to the point that what remains is mainly junk. This lets me be pretty strict in what I automatically junk while still rounding up most of the junk mail.
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Back On Topic :D

    If anyone is interested in how Mail.app actually does there was a great artical on macdevcenter about this.
     
  13. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Tampere, Finland
    #13
    it is very frustrating now that they work smarter AND harder :mad:
     
  14. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #14
    My primary email account gets about 1 unwanted email message every 4 weeks. I've been training Mail for 4 months now, and it's still learned very little since I get so few junk emails.
     
  15. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #15
    consider yourself lucky. i get tens of unwanted emails every day... some of those get past mail filter but most will get caught. still, i'm getting annoyed. and it doesn't help to have an own domain which spammers tend to like very much ;)
     
  16. m.r.m. macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #16
    [offtopic] germany is the land of beer! much like switzerland is the land of chocolate. mmmmmhhhhh....... the land of chocolate..... [/offtopic] :D
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    Has anyone had a problem where the Junk Mail folder (in the non-training mode) shows new messages (is boldfaced with a (2) behind it) in the drawer, but there are no messages, new or otherwise in the folder? I started having this problem over the past couple of days. If I restart mail.app, then it clears, but it shows up again a few syncs later. I checked the mailboxes using the web access for all the accounts, including the one it said contained the msgs that aren't there, and there were no messages that showed up in those accounts or their junk folders that were not in mail.... strange!
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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  19. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #19
    Yes, actually - I helped another user in another thread with this very problem. The solution is to turn training mode on then off again.
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #20
    I think I finally found that thread after I posted in this one -- thanks! Unfortunately, I tried it already and it didn't work. Here's all I've tried:

    - Repair permissions, with Mail not running -- more permission fixes than usual, but doesn't help.

    - Run all the CRON tasks, just to be on the safe side

    - Rebuild all the mailboxes

    - Synchronize all the mailboxes

    - Go between Training and Automatic mode

    - Reset the Junk Mail filter

    - There are TOC and Index files in the MBOX folders, which are used for indexed searching (that's why searches are so fast compared to Outlook). A hint came up from elsewhere, that if you delete these, it will force some re-investigation of the folders and fix problems like this. This also didn't help. (This is sort of like deleting the plist files to solve Help Viewer problems).

    At best, what happens is that the Junk Mail count goes down to zero and then the bogus messages come back with the next sync. Today they're up to four, from two yesterday. :(
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #21
    Here's another strange aspect of the issue I have -- I now get a hierarchy triangle next to my Hotmail junk folder, within my Junk folder, but not only are there no junk messages, there are also no sub-folders within the hotmail junk folder. Strange!
     

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  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #22
    Arrghh! It's up to six now! :( Five in HM and one in Yahoo. And all completely non-existant as far as I can see. And I even went through the trouble of a reboot! Hopefully this'll just go away on its own...otherwise maybe with 10.3.5? Could be worse...at least its Junk Mail doing it and not the Inbox.... :rolleyes:
     

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