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Ending Spam: Bayesian Content Filtering and the Art of Statistical Language Classification Paperback – July 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1593270520 ISBN-10: 1593270526 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A highly recommended read for anyone in charge of controlling spam in a corporate environment. -- Midwest Book Review, September 2005 (http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/sep_05.htm)

Does a good job of addressing advanced, complicated issues, but putting it in terms that readers can grasp. -- Netsecurity.about.com, August 29, 2005, http://netsecurity.about.com/od/5/fr/aabrendspam.htm

Does a great job educating us on logic and thought taken to combat this SPAM blight on the Internet. -- MacCompanion, August 2005, 5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended read for anyone in charge of controlling spam in a corporate environment [and] on their own system. -- Readers Preference, readerspreference.com/reviews/endingspam.html

IT managers who want a better understanding of how anti-spam products work should shell out the $39.95 price at once. -- eWeek, July 25, 2005

If you’re looking for a primer on how the anti-spam battle is fought, you can’t do much better. -- InfoWorld, July 14, 2005,

Leads the charge against what has become a very significant challenge to both productivity and sanity -- Book News, September 2005 (http://www.booknews.com/issues/sci-current.pdf)

Not only enjoyable but actually captivating. -- Linux Magazine, October 2005 (http://www.linux-magazine.com/issue/59/Book_Reviews.pdf)

The first book explaining the fine details of the theoretical models and machine-learning algorithms implemented in these filters. -- Slashdot, August 15, 2005

This book is down, and dirty, loaded with information, and will make your head-hurt (in a good way). -- MyMac, August 29, 2005, mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=2074

About the Author

Jonathan Zdziarski is better known as the hacker "NerveGas" in the iOS development community. His work in cracking the iPhone helped lead the effort to port the first open source applications to it, and his book iPhone Open Application Development taught developers how to write applications for the popular device long before Apple introduced its own SDK. Jonathan is also the author of many other books, including iPhone SDK Application Development and iPhone Forensics. Jonathan presently supports over 2,000 law enforcement agencies worldwide and distributes a suite of iOS forensic imaging tools to obtain evidence from iOS devices for criminal cases. He frequently consults and trains law enforcement agencies and assists forensic examiners in their investigations.

Jonathan is also a full-time Sr. Forensic Scientist, where, among other things, he performs penetration testing of iOS applications for corporate clients.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593270526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270520
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,784,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The book is very entertaining and has a nice motivating writing style.
Nils Valentin
I recommend this book to upper-level undergrads and graduate students in linguistics who take an applied computational linguistic class I teach.
David L. Bean
In Ending Spam Jonathan A. Zdziarski provides a highly readable, while at the same time, technical treatment of the problem of spam.
Ignat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Lawrence VINE VOICE on July 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
The sub-title of this scared me a bit, because it sounds like heavy geek territory. A review of chapter titles raised my eyebrows a too: "Fifth Order Markovian Discrimination" - I visualized page after page of unintelligible mathematical symbols.

That's not the case at all. Actually Markovian Discrimination is a technique I've used in other programming efforts, and the author explains it in simple and entertaining language. There's nothing here that any competent programmer can't grasp.

I'm a little hesitant to call this book entertaining, although it absolutely is. I only hesitate because that might give the impression that it's more fluff than substance, and that's not the case at all. There's a lot of substance here, both in theory and in practical advice. And although the subject is definitely spam, some of the techniques and methods discussed here apply to other programming challenges as well.

The first part of the book is especially enjoyable. It's a history of spam, and I learned things I hadn't known before about spam's early days. It then segues into analysis; in a sense you get desert before the meat and potatoes.

Overall, worth reading, even by non-programmers wanting to understand more about what current anti-spam efforts are all about.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Author Jonathan A. Zdziarski starts this book by giving the reader a history of Spam as well as the historical approaches to fighting Spam. This is followed by a very practical guide for the serious Spam fighter; including details on statistical filtering, tokenization, Markovian discrimination, and Bayesian filtering. Although it is very technical in many respects most readers should be able to comprehend the text if they read carefully. Readers who already understand the basics of filtering and email analysis will find it both easy and educational to read.

The author includes an excellent section on spammer tricks and how they get past fileters as well as what to do about it. This section alone makes the book worth the price. Ending Spam is a highly recommended read for anyone in charge of controlling spam in a corporate environment as well as on their own system.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nils Valentin on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ending Spam from Mr. Zdziarski is a well written BASIC and easy to understand INTRODUCTION to get a technical overview of todays spam fighting solutions on the market.

Also it is written on the cover that it is f.e focused towards developers, network admins etc. I would consider the target customer to be IT Managers, or other curious people who want to get an overview.

Thats what it does and it does it very well in my eyes.

The book provides simplified, abstract overviews of some available spam filters solutions.

The book is provided into 3 parts

- An Introduction part to spam filtering (Chapter 1-4)

- A part describing "Fundamentals of Statistical Filtering" (Chapter 5-9)

- an the third part describing "Advanced Concepts of Statistical Filtering" (Chapter 10-14)

Its a bit confusing that Chapter 4 has the same title than Part II. So perhaps Chapter 4 should have been part of "Part II" ?

The Chapters which I found most interesting were:

Chapter 4 "Fundamentals of Statistical Filtering"

Chapter 7 "The Low down dirty Tricks of spammers"

Chapter 9 "Scaling in Large Environments"

I am sure the author could have easily filled the book with Chapter 7 alone. The book is very entertaining and has a nice motivating writing style. You might at times find some rant about the spammers which I have chosen to ignore as it doesnt contain any valuable information or anything which I didnt know already. While I might agree to some of the authors views, I believe that the rant does unfortunately do exactly the opposite in my eyes and does give spammers credit to how they do their work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By zz l on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was fun. I was doing some research on spam and found this book was exactly what I was looking for. This book covers (almost) all aspects of spam, including the history, the current status, the principles of anti-spam systems, statistical algorithms, case studies, etc. This book is a good start point for understanding spams and means to stop them, although it does not contain a lot of in-depth technical details. I was amazed by the author's style, which was quite energetic and entertaining. This book made my research a pleasant experience. I strongly recommend this book for those who are interested to know how spams came and how we fight them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diego VINE VOICE on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been watching the development of dspam for quite a while and was interested in the concept behind the new crop of spam detection engines.

This book gives you a lot of background on the growth of spam and the various type of spam on how each new variant of spam effects different type of spam detection with obvious concentration on statistical analysis and not the tradition aka "dumb" forms of regex matching and etc.

The only gripe I have is that I feel there is too much time spent on the growth/history of spam. It would be better if the entire book is dedicated at the art/science of statisical analysis and fighting spam.

Note that this book does not target the lowest denominator and some the science flew over my head. Well, I did flunk almost all my higher ed physics and stat classes so take this with a spoon of salt.
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