Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
Actually quite entertaining
on July 16, 2005
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.