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New Eudora Includes Anti-Flame Technology 157

imac.usr writes "An intriguing feature of the new version of Eudora is its MoodWatch technology, which analyzes outgoing e-mail for inflammatory language and warns you before sending. The white paper on the subject is available as a PDF file. True, there's no Linux or BSD version of Eudora available, but might the algorithms involved one day make it into other mail programs?"
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New Eudora Includes Anti-Flame Technology

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  • by LS ( 57954 )
    The Ass-watch tool helps you measure the cleanliness of your ass after wiping: One peanut: You're wearing underwear. At least your pants will be clean. Two peanuts: Perhaps a bidet is in order? Three peanuts: Dude, so you're the one stinking up the hallways! Oh shit! Sorry, I guess Slashdot doesn't have a mood-watch. LS
  • "I've always found profanity to be refuge of the inarticulate motherfucker."

    :) I liked it anyway.

  • by Crutcher ( 24607 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @04:45AM (#786483) Homepage


    Are you implying that I would need stuff like that?
    Sug: Are you implying that I might require such algorithms?

    Take that back you miserable bastard!
    Sug: Recind your aqusation, canard!

    I have been on the Net for 13 years and know bloody well how to communicate with others.
    Sug: I have used the Internet for 13 years, and am well educated in proper etiquette.

    I don't need a stupid "AI" program to tell ME how to write damn it!
    Sug: In the course of my corespondance, I do not find the assistance of an artificial intelligance neccesary.

    You are of course an exception, huh?
    Sug: Do you fancy your own writing as deathless prose?

    Thinking "Yeah, let me give those slashdotters a hint --- there is way to much flaming there" right?
    Sug: Perhaps you say to yourself, "I should help to educate these brigands in civilised discourse?"

    Well let me tell you something: you suck!
    Sug: In such case, might I offer that, in this case, the teacher is not the elder of the student?

    Just because there are stypid minors out there that loves to spew there guts over things at /. to make themselves look cool to their friends does not make all of us spammers.
    Sug: The presenace of the precoscious does not, in fact, demonstrate ignorance of the entire assembly.

    Sug: I believe that my point is made.

    And Hemos, you better find an app for reading /. submissions and writing article blurbs, because what you do today stinks and I am sure a program could do a better job!
    In related matters, perhaps it is time for Hemos to retire, as this article has fallen well below the quality that we have come to know and expect from Slashdot.


    -- Crutcher --
    #include <disclaimer.h>

  • This is great! Now we can automatically detect the invocation of Goodwin's law, have the account yanked after so many invocations and tabulate a winner.

  • faites le porc ébruiter
    Make the pig scream? I don't get it.
  • ... is "AutoFlame" software.
    Why waste time and emotion responding to some knucklehead's diatribe? Just invoke the AutoFlame utility, which would spit out an editable response that you could send.
    Of course it would be customizable with user defined settings for Hatred, Bile, Profanity, IQ level, Grammar, and Insult. Now that would be progress!

  • Dear Sir or Madam:

    Thank you very much for the electronic notification of your new Internet based service for making money fast while working at home. As far as I'm concerned you may take this offer, print it on sandpaper and insert it into your backside rectal cavity. It's personages of incredibly low intelligence quotient, such as yourself, that give legitimate e-commerce a bad name. Perhaps you may consider opening the window on the top floor of a skyscraper and take a flying leap? Should these notifications continue, you illegitimate offspring of a female canine in heat, I'll be left with no choice but to resort to application of a tire iron to your obviously mentally challenged cranium.
    Your attention to this matter, you festering pile of pidgeon droppings, would be greatly appreciated.

    Have a nice day.
  • I installed in on my work box yesterday and turned it off. One guy used all percent signs as a delimeter in his sig file (%%%%%) and MoodWatch(tm) flagged it as possibly being inflamatory. I went and shut it off - in my opinion it's about as useful as NetNanny or CyberPatrol.

    The options you get for MoodWatch(tm) are:

    • message seems it might be offensive
    • message is probably offensive
    • message is on fire
    • never
    I had mine set to "might be offensive" when it flagged the sig file. *Sigh* more bloatware is just the thing we needed in Eudora.
  • Likewise, "With all due respect, ..." usually means "I have no respect for you at all."
  • The first time my email program tells me that I'm being too hard on the beaver, I'm going to snap. Throw the computer out of the 7th floor window; Pull the hard drive out of the remains and take a big magnet to it; And then throw the scrambled bits into the Gulf of Mexico.

    But I'll bloody well send the email first!
  • by Raindeer ( 104129 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:27AM (#786491) Homepage Journal
    I don't really like this feature to protect me from sending flames, I would rather have it help me to send flames. Just think of the enormous potential it could have if it would warn you that you're flame is not original enough. Also it should be able to detect where you have left enormous flaws in your logic, this way it can protect you from being ridiculed. Now this would bring joy back to flamewars, because it might just protect the flamewar from an AC sending 100 times FUCK YOU to you. Really a great invention if they would revert it a bit.

    I love the smell of a flamewar in the morning!

  • <madness>
    12 Sept 2000, Redmond: According to high-ranking Microsoft officials, the powerhouse of innovative software was nearly brought to its knees when it attempted to integrate into its Windows OS products what it calls "automated content analysis."

    "The dev team was putting the finishing touches on the product -- Microsoft IdeaWizard," reports one Microsoft employee who wishes to remain nameless. "That feature went way beyond our competitors' offerings, which simply analyze the user's text for inflammatory content. Our product does that, and more!" Microsoft claims that IdeaWizard, which scans text for original ideas not contained in Microsoft's corporate knowledge base, would "save the computing industry the billions of dollars incurred in corporate buyouts by simply uploading all original content to the MKB." In related news, the USPTO recently granted patents to Microsoft on all current and future content of the MKB.

    The problem came with the final integration of the IdeaWizard with the OS. According to our source, "as the new versions of Windows booted, IdeaWizard began analyzing the OS itself, creating a kind of introspection none of us had envisioned." The computer hung, displaying only 70-point white text on a blue screen cryptically stating, "Will not continue: This product makes Bill look like an idiot."

    With a reported US$3 billion invested, top Microsoft brass feared the worst. That's where the lawers came in. "We realized that, since we pretty much stole the idea of automated content analysis from the Eudora project, their developers are liable for our losses. They will be hearing from our lawers."

    Gods and Denizens of Slashdot, forgive me for this sinful prose. Never again a sleep-deprived-caffine-fueled post.

    If you're not wasted, the day is.

  • by phaze3000 ( 204500 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:30AM (#786493) Homepage


    Had a row with your girlfriend and said some things you didn't mean? No problem, with Auto-Apologiser TM an apology is sent before you even know you're sorry!
    Please note that in the free-to-use version, this option is sponsered by Interflora.

    Argument strategy advisor

    Having an argument with a cow-orker but not sure of the best strategy to take? Argument Strategy Advisor TM will let you know!


    Are you a wannabe President of the USA who has trouble remembering pesky little things like who runs Pakistan? With Fact-finder TM you need never worry, just type your emails and it auto-corrects you facts for you!

    Contract Negitiator

    No more worrying about how much you're really worth, with Contract Negotiator TM you'll get the amount you really deserve!

    -- Piracy is a vicitmless crime, like punching someone in the dark.

  • ofcourse it's real. and it's useful for everyone who isn't fluent in english trash-talk. I'll just use eudora and see if the flame I send is inflammatory enough.

  • by ameoba ( 173803 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:31AM (#786495)
    While we're writing software to enforce common decency, why don't they add something like:

    Are you sure you want to forward "fw:fw:FW: Chain Letter (FOR REAL!!)" to all 135 members of your adress book?
  • If it could keep a list of the addresses that it knows might return dubious content, I'd rather it merely flagged these, telling me that it might well get bumped back ...
  • I wrote a flame detector back in 1995 that appears to be more sophisticated than the Eudora one. See the PDF [], PostScript [], or HTML [] versions of the paper I presented at the Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) conference in 1997.
  • 1) Ok. Who can write the shortest flame with the most peppers?

    2) Will SlashDot adopt a similar auto-moderate system?
    Evaluating post...
    -1PenisBird AsciiArt detected
    -1reference to Hot Grit encountered
    -1Natalie Portman trigger activated
    Evaluation complete.

  • Does this mean I won't need the fire extinguisher on the wall now??
  • Companies can be held responsible for the actions of their employees, if it can be proven that they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the conduct. E-mails can be a form of harrassment, whether vulgar, sexually explicit, or threatening. While censorship is never a good thing, someone using a corporate e-mail system for any purpose can be considered to be representing that company. In that sense, corporations have a right to control what type of content is distributed over their systems.

    I guess if you want to send profanity to someone, and your company has one of these systems, then you should do it on your own time. Actually, you should do it on your own time anyways...but I should also read /. on my own who's kidding who ;)

  • I've tried out the Eudora beta, and I have to say that the flame-finder isn't all that great. It's actually a pretty fun challenge to make up the meanest possible message without getting a single chili-pepper (their marker for flame strength).

    The thing only finds certain words, so it's really not too useful for telling you that you're sending a potentially mean message -- that should be obvious to you.

    No, the good part about it is that it also scans every message that comes in and marks the ones that it thinks are flames. If you get some three-chili-pepper e-mails after posting a potentially controversial Slashdot comment, you can just delete them without reading them and getting the urge to set off some pipe bombs or something.

    Yeah, yeah, it's not real useful technology. But it's good for a few minutes of entertainment, and to warn you ahead of time when a message might hurt your precious feelings.

  • \begin{cranky}

    Bah. Humbug. Bring back old usenet, with its multi-day lags and flaming as an artform.

    We don't need programs to *warn* of inflamatory writing, but rather to *improve* it. Believe it or not, net.flame was often worth reading. Alas, most of the flamemasters are gone.

    While we're at it, ban mime!


    \ps{newbie! only 13? ;) }

    hawk, fka hawk@olivetti.atc
  • Great, yet another worthless feature which will make Eudora take even longer to load. *spit*

  • It is September. September, 1993, to be exact.

    Today is 2554 Setember 1993, I think -- I've lost my conversion script. Anyone want to correct me?

    (And yes, this "feature" does bring to mind the Pre-September Days on Usenet. When it was common to have a flame war that lasted for weeks, with nobody using any of the '7 deadly words'. As opposed, of course, to today's 'u r so gay' or whatever the mouthbreathers are using as an insult this week.)
  • Can't they just make an e-mail client that works? Don't they know that writing network software that analyses the e-mail you send just makes everyone suspicious?

  • Lars, I think you're overreacting. That's just the sort of thing that Hitler would do.

  • This is really for super DAUs! "Do you really want to flame? ". Now software really wants to make the user stop thinking. Just as a colorful operating system from Redmond.
  • It's like diplomacy: the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a manner that he thanks you for the directions.

    Heavy venom is only a few years old, He's been around long enough to know far better methods :)

    For an old-style flamewar, go back about three months to alt.folklore.computers and the exchanges between peter seebach (moderator of comp.lang.c or somesuch) and mark crispin (author of pine). Crispin wasn't bad, but seebach showed the ancient art in fine form

    The *real* beauty comes from the subtle setup where you allow your opponent (or victim :) to hang himself.

  • by hawk ( 1151 )

    Mime in your email: 3psi on your bloodpressure
    html in your email: 5 psi
    java in your email: 20 psi

    The look on bill gates' face when he sees these stupid ideas have caused his own email to spam the world: priceless


  • by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @11:56PM (#786510) Journal
    Inflammatory language? The eloquent ones among us are more than capable of flaming without using any foul language... Only people with an IQ lower than their shoe size have to revert to swear words to get their point across.

    Now I'd be more impressed if it bitched when someone tried to send out a mail that was badly spelt, all lower or uppercase and has no punctuation. THAT is a much better idea for a filter.


  • As maintainer of the comp.mail.eudora.mac FAQ, I follow Eudora-related developments very closely. A recent post to comp.mail.eudora.mac from Qualcomm stated that:

    1) Implimenting MoodWatch was a trivial addition to the program. It did not take months of man-hours to complete. The feature did not take away time from developing other features/bug fixes.

    2) Qualcomm is against censoring anyone's mail. MoodWatch is for informational purposes only. Currently, I do not think you can even filter a message based on its MoodWatch rating.

    Having talked with several people on the Eudora team, I do not think that they would ever allow MoodWatch to become anything more than what it is now - an interesting implimentation of a cool research finding.
  • (The author) makes it clear that this is not "big brother software" he is proposing

    No, but it's a Big Brother Tool (tm). What worries me about patches like this, is their potential requirement by the workplace or, more upsetting, the government. Then it is a threat to free speech.

  • by Chakotay ( 3529 ) <> on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:33AM (#786513) Homepage
    Lets look over its features:

    * Warns you if your drafted email contains potentially offensive language
    Do they mean I don't know what's offensive or not? Besides, the things that most profoundly offend most people are things that wouldn't be caught by a "bad word filter" anyway.

    * Alerts you to potentially offensive incoming messages
    So it scans the message for you before you read it, I presume? I smell possible exploits... But then again, anything can be exploited so that's not a big issue.

    * Graphically monitors tone on a graduated scale
    One, two or three peppers? Spice up your life!

    * Visual indicator is conveniently located in the user interface
    Peppers in the warning message, and on the toolbar too...

    * And it's a whole lot of fun - maybe you're the sort who will wear the chillies with defiant pride.
    I can see it already: "I just sent the VP a triple chillie message!" "Watch out for the flame that's gonna come out of his arse in a day or so".

    Q: Does this thing get ticked off if I use a few profanities?
    A: Yes, and so does your mother.

    How dare they claim to know what my mother thinks? :)

    Q: What if I get sick of it?
    A: Turn it off

    The first bit of sound advice I've seen so far.

    Q: If I don't use nasty words, will MoodWatch still notify me?
    A: MoodWatch looks at both individual words and phrases that are commonly considered offensive, dictatorial, aggressive, insulting and rude. You don't have to write a nasty word to get a chili pepper, but it helps.

    So it's somewhat intelligent too. But is it also intelligent the other way around? Will kinologists be able to talk about their prize bitch without being peppered? When I send a message to a fellow Pagan, will I be able to call him/her a witch without risking the chillies? Can fundamentalist Christians have a discussion about what colour Jesus' ass (as in donkey, you donkey) was without getting spiced up?

    In my opinion this MoodWatch thingy has about the same usefulness Clippy the Friendly Office Assistent: None Whatsoever.

    And the whole thing seems to be aimed towards kids, especially the last "benifit" and that one Q/A about mom disapproving aswell.

    Q: As long as I avoid commonly used offensive language MoodWatch will miss it, so what's the point?
    A: The point is, at least you were being careful about what you wrote. That's something.

    I don't need an electronic conscience in my mail/news reader. My own will do just fine, thank you.

    Never underestimate the power of stupidity
  • No this for real? It can't be real. If it was it's got to be one of the most lime-asked-dome-funked-sheep-herded ideas I've ever seen.
  • what the fuck is up with this bullshit?

    seriously though, at least they only warn you rather than refusing to send it. But, on the other hand, i always thought the whole point of language was to get your point across with as much brevity and clarity as possible. A word like fuck, if used properly, can be very effective in expressing exhasperation or dismay (see the mp3 ;-)

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • I guess this would have prevented me from writing my resignation letter from a company that moved from beautiful Scotts Valley to Silicon Valley in an ill-fated bid to attract more talent. []

    I used Eudora. Live Picture is just about done with its bankrupcy proceedings.

    I'm afraid I didn't save the letter (which I think was one of the best things I ever wrote), but I remember saying that Live Picture was special because it provided quality technical employment in Santa Cruz County [], but in Silicon Valley it would be just another software company in a sea of faceless companies stretching from horizon to horizon.

    I copied the resignation widely throughout the company (including the president) three hours after the president announced plans for the move. Later that evening I began collecting URLs to list in the first version of the above-linked web page and a few days later quietly passed out the URLs to my fellow employees.

    The president, (ahem) "resigned" after losing tens of millions of dollars.

    Usually my very best emails are flames...

  • What sort of technology is this? All this does is search your email for offensive words. Where is the technology behind that? It is just a simple search and find routine.
  • this will be used by kids:

    Kid A: Wow! I wrote some mail to school! 7 peppers!
    Kid B: That's nothing, I scored 8 for mailing mattel about their shoddy quality barbies with missing orifices.
    Kid A: Let's go write jack valenti and see if we can get 9!

    Hey.. a mail with only the word 'fuckface' scores higher than 'asshole'! cool! it must be a dirtier word!

  • I gathered it looked for more than just profanities but there isn't really any good way of spotting a rant that is indesinguishable from a normal rambling mail.

    more important to ensure you don't accidentally or drunkenly send an email to your boss telling him exactly why his idea is crap using words like mediore, pedestrian, clueless, certification, worthless, timewasting, etc. These are all words used in everyday mails and frequently even to project and other managers without problems but landed me in big trouble when sent to European IT director of a large logistics company.

  • For those who care:
    According to this page [] (#22), this was originally a quote from Lord Byron. Sans "motherfucker", of course.
  • If combined with a better than babelfish translator.

    I've worked with several non-native english speakers over the years and it would be truely great if I could have my email translated, and then have mood watch double check and make sure I didn't accidently slip in some offensive slang or something. Sometimes phrases that seem very innocent in the writers native language can end up being a slang term for something that the reader may find offensive....

    In that case MoodWatch actually has a point....
  • Among other services, Bloomberg provides a private mail service that is commonly used in the financial industry. About a year or so ago, they put in place filters that disallowed mail with the "wrong" words, with a message about inappropriate business language. As if an analyst is not intelligent enough to use different language wiht his key customer or his buddy from high school at another firm. This filter was imposed on all firms uniformly, with no way to turn this "function" off. However, the user soon learned to write "that research report is b+u+l+l+s+h+i+t", or "Micheal Bloomberg can s*u*c*k my d*i*c*k". Another facist attempt to restrict the thoughts you can have and express thwarted.
  • takes ordinary, routine, mundane, everyday business email and turns it into retina scorching, personally insulting, withering verbal abuse.

    Where's Don Rickles [] when you need him?
  • Ever use big words and proper grammar with someone who's arguing with you? They say something like "Screw you asshole!" And you reply with "Thank you. I'll be sure to take that into consideration. However, since there's an implied 'You' in your request, the direct object should really be 'yourself'. So I'd suggest that you perform an act of copulation upon yourself, a being of questionable paternity."

    Then you usually try to get away before they decide to kick your ass.
  • Damn it, you beat me to it.

    I love _Earth_, especially the section about how human babies are the worst thing ever invented.
  • I LOVE eudora. I still use v2.2, which works wonderfully (obviously for windows). It's stable, small, can me moved to another machine my just copying the directory, emails are saved in a text database. It's been holding all my emails for the past 4 years! (not to mention the lack of all that javascript/html/hyperlink BS)

    What console email program can I use for Linux that has similar good features? I use pine to check email before it get's POPped to Eudora, but I don't think pine would cut it with 4 years worth of email.
  • ...but might the algorithms involved one day make it into other mail programs?

    Now announcing FlameGuard 1.0 for all Linux clients:


    ;)Tough algorithm to implement.

  • yeah it is actually a good idea..

    but it can probably only detect calling somebody a c**t rather than mailing a manager with a pedantic but clean language rant about why you shouldn't send several meg word attachments to an entire global organisation.

    what would be really useful would be a warning mail from the mail server (where with any luck you can't reach it easily before you have calmed down) that waited ten minutes for a confirmation before sending a mail to your missus' parents or your bosses boss.

  • In fact, it is such a great feature that I'm worried about the day that M$ (or AOL, take your pick) copy it almost exactly, conveniently forgetting that pesky 'disable' checkbox.
  • What worries me about patches like this, is their potential requirement by the workplace or, more upsetting, the government. Then it is a threat to free speech.

    Hmm... Are you seriously saying that a requirement by your workplace not to send any flames from your office account is an infringement on your free speech?

    In my opinion, it is quite reasonable for an employer to require of his employees that they adhere to a minimum of politeness when representing the company.

    Now, if the employer required you to install the filter on your home PC, and to use it even in your unofficial correspondence, then we could talk about free-speech limitations.

    But, like it or not, when you accept employment, you must also accept a commitment to certain standards of courtesy while you're on "company time".

    One final point: The flame meter does not block a mail - it merely flags it, and asks you whether you really want to send it. It gives you a chance to think things over, before committing yourself to "print". In my opinion, this can never be an infringement of free speech, since it can be overridden by the user.

    - Ravn

  • It's just none of them are as good as 'fuck'.

    (Gratuitously ripped off from Billy Connelly)

  • I believe the modern day translation would be

    u r gay

    Oh, such shining wit... Oh I'm sorry, that was a spoonerism... Ironic you chose that remark after mentioning Wilde BTW:)

    Question is, what I just typed, would that get past the filter? (The translation, not the bit about Wilde:))


  • You've just been awarded the Eudora Honourary 4th Chillie!

    Never underestimate the power of stupidity
  • and we could then at least reward the most intelligent flames on this silly little news site.
    boris at darkrock dot co dot uk
  • This message was brought to you by the Phillup Morris corperation.
  • Of the messages marked as flames in Eudora, there are 27 with 2 peppers and 12 with 3 peppers, none of which are even close to being considered flames. One was a newspaper editorial. As far as I can tell, it has multiple criteria, but one of the parameters is if the e-mail contains shit, even once, it's a flame.

  • Inflammatory language? The eloquent ones among us are more than capable of flaming without using any foul language... Only people with an IQ lower than their shoe size have to revert to swear words to get their point across.

    And that, of course, is the whole point. There are teeming *idiots* out there who don't have a clue. Would be nice to help weed them out. Heck, a filter that threw out any message with a subject in all caps would probably do it. Or any message with more than five exclamation points.
  • The press release promised this! "[T]hree chilies will be a badge of honor."

    Perhaps /. will be next. Imagine a special moderation category for flamebait; flames could be original, nasty, brutish, lengthy, etc; you'd acquire "Dogma" for successfully moderated-up flames.

    I fuckin' love it. Sign me up.


  • Now, mind you I never use inflammatory language, but I keep some around for my friends who do.

    I actually use Eudora, and I like it for the most part. Except for the darned "paid mode" doesn't work real well. The durn thing keeps asking if I want to "upgrade to paid mode".

    But... I already paid, you stupid program! What's the problem?

    It would be nice if you could, like, invert the filter...

    "Hey, you asshole! There's not enough fucking profanity in this piece of crap you dribbled out! Get a fucking clue, you hoser!"

    Now THERE'S a filter!

  • > Having an argument with a cow-orker

    I sincerely hope you mean "co-worker" and not "cow-porker"
  • Most of the time there not directed at me, so i injoy watching the exchange, it's intertaining. However if someone really did have it out for me, i can understand how this might come in use.

    Looks like you could use Eudora's 'spell check' option. Heh, whoa got two chillies for that one! j/k All in good fun, my friend. :)
  • What you bring forth is also mentioned in the original article by Eudora. Maybe /. should let people take a test about the original article before they can post a message to make sure they've actually read it?

    Never underestimate the power of stupidity
  • Oh God, it's real. All an e-mail client needs is a spell checker and sometimes a grammar checker. I don't need some new bug, er, feature telling me if I'm going to offend someone.

    I know when I'm going to offend someone! That's the point! When I say you're a Jesus raping, donkey licking, shit faced, cock sucking, uncle fucking, ass spelunking, corn-holing, vaseline smelling, penis puke, mother fucking, son of bitch, gosh darn-it, I mean it!

  • "Hi it appears you have used the word 'fuck' in your email. Would you like me to replace it with the word 'fudge'?"

  • You made a good job avoiding:
    shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, tits and motherfucker (seems profoundly stupid to me to list both 'fuck' and 'motherfucker' in a list of banned words. After all, does that mean that I can say "fuckhead" on TV?).

    Otherwise, your post might have been moderated doen...

    /me says goodbye to his hard-earned Karma
  • ...for Linux!
  • The nature of the internet and email, allowing people to communicate with others with the shield of anonymity means that people feel none of the need to be polite that governs our conversations in the real world, and instead feel safe in expressing their opinions in abusive, derogatory language that their mothers wouldn't approve of. We see it here every day on /. after all. Maybe if emails were filtered to block messages that were too flamey then people would get the chance to "cool down"
    However flame != foul language. It is an over-generalisation which makes the technology useless.

    In really this is just a foul language scanner.

  • I fail to see the usefulness of such a function. Firstly and most importantly, how can analysis of language pretend to pick up the tone of language that is found to be insulting by a human? I think you can see this in the example Eudora provide on their site, ranking a only slightly insulting message (IMHO) with three of their chillies. This is supposed to be for the most offensive language, yet their analysis of the sentence structure or whatnot indicates otherwise.

    The most obvious flame signs (swear words etc) are mostly used by those new to the net, who use flames without considering fully the consequences. These are also most likely to turn this function off, or ignore the messages (often in the heat of anger) rendering the device useless.

    But once again, my point is, don't complain that Eudora is going nowhere with their new version if you are not helping to create some project that is pushing mail clients forward. Eudora is working to do just that, and if you think it is the wrong direction, put your thoughts into code and write a better client!
  • Maybe Rob can include this feature in slashcode...

    ---- ----
  • Eudora told me today that a new version was available so I upgraded.

    The first email I sent was a love letter. As I was typing it there was this little icon of an ice cube in the corner. Eudora was telling my that my love life is frigid. (Thanks Eudora)

    The only way to spice up my love life was to add a bit of naughtness. I guess the software knows whats its doing. :-)

    Does anybody else find it ironic that "Eudora" gets underlined in red by the spell checker in Eudora?

  • What worries me about patches like this, is their potential requirement by the workplace

    First of all, your employer has the right to retain editorial control over messages you send using company equipment, bandwidth, and time. They are paying for those things afterall. Email sent by an employee naturally reflects on the company, so there right to ensure that messages sent are not damaging to the company should not be an issue here.

    or, more upsetting, the government. Then it is a threat to free speech.

    True, if the government were to mandate the use of such software, it would be a threat to free speech. That, however, is a sign of a very flawed government decision, and not the fault of the software simply because of its existance. Many technologies have the potential to be abused by the government. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be invented or used by people. It means we need to keep our government under better control.

  • When I was running a bulletin board about ten years ago I remember that used to do this in a very basic form too.

    Type in too many exclamation marks!!! or keep the CAPS LOCK key on too much and the editor status line would come up and say helpful things like "Flame mode on" and stuff.

    I guess they won't get a patent on it then, huh.


  • When I first saw the headline, I thought that Eudora was implementing something like Hotmail's bulkmail feature. Any emails that don't have your email address in the 'To:' field are automagically sent to either another BULKMAIL folder, or deleted immediately. A very nice feature for those of us that hate to spend time tweaking rulesets in our mail programs (let's not even get into having to redo them after a reinstall.. ARGH!). That would have been nice. (Ever wonder why more programs don't have a feature like this??)

    This anti-flame thing sound like a load of malarky. A feature that no one else has, that Eudora can market; regardless of the fact that it has no real worth to the end user.

  • Well, quite, agreed.

    Some of us have used emailers-cum-news clients where we can write this sort of thing in lisp and hook it into the send routine if we want. I think the fact that Gnus [] doesn't do this says a lot for what the geekier ones amongst us don't need in a mailer, myself.

    Alternative thought: "I can't use the word fuck? FUCK THAT!" and expletives would probably increase as a direct result ;)
    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,

  • I actually used the beta of Eudora 5.0 for a while until I got sick of it crashing. It's not very stable yet.

    The feature, in my opinion, is not very useful. In addition to evaluating email you send out, it also tags incoming email for offensiveness. I get (long story -- I was working on a book about televangelists in the Middle East, a project I have now largely abandoned) regular emails from Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. These were often marked with a flame or two, whereas the common "remember me? I'm Jenny and I'm hot for you!" spam never merited a peep.

    It seems to me that human communication is not something that can be analysed well with current technology, and even if it could this application would be of questionable value.


  • by Dazhel ( 171866 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:06AM (#786573)

    I mean, there's not a lot of cool new features you can add to an email client without it becoming silly.

    On the other hand Microsoft haven't been doing too badly integrating cool new features into Outlook Express, all freely downloadable! So far there's been Melissa, ILOVEYOU, the KAK worm...
  • "Your a USian arn't you? A Mars Bar to the first person who can tell the Yank who failed Geography which language the speak in Luxemburg."

    I'm not "USian". I'm from Luxembourg. I speak Luxembourgish. The only language in which they drop the "o" from the name is German, as far as I know, but certainly not English. Therefore your attempt to correct, flame and/or make funny failed.

    To get this on topic again, though, anti-flame technology might prevent the usage of strong language. But I am more offended by childish remarks, irrelevant ramblings and careless (full of errors) usage of a language. And I doubt the Eudora team, or anybody else for that matter, could come up with a "stupidity filter" that just delays messages until they reach a given thresold of meaning and intelligence. :)

  • What we need is not less flame but better quality in the flame we have!

    Lets face it, you can never find the right insult when you really need it.

    To that end, I predict the rise of MailRazor 1.0, an add-on that monitors your email messages and offers suggestions to make your point with razor-sharp wit instead of blunt profanities.

    I see at least three modes :

    • New York Cabbie : Largely intelligible mixture of pidgin english and native tongues. Amazing passion, high insult-density but requires target to also be a New York Cabbie for full impact.
    • Irish Fishwife : Clever but empassioned diatribe amusing for bystanders but guaranteed to belittle its target. Insults related to inadequate sexual performance or virility a speciality.
    • British Gentleman : Bone-dry, passionless wit delivered like an epee wound to the heart. Savage minimalism.
  • The only real practical application this could be used for is when your really, really drunk. Market a breathalyzer to plug into your USB port to integrate with the email client.

    A nice pop up that says 'these are pretty strong words to email your boss or ex-girlfreind, you can't send this until your BAC gets closer to 0'

    Somehow, I don't see anyone integrating this with ELM any time soon.

  • by Lars Arvestad ( 5049 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:00AM (#786585) Homepage Journal
    True, there's no Linux or BSD version of Eudora available, but might the algorithms involved one day make it into other mail programs?

    Are you implying that I would need stuff like that? Take that back you miserable bastard! I have been on the Net for 13 years and know bloody well how to communicate with others. I don't need a stupid "AI" program to tell ME how to write damn it! You are of course an exception, huh? Thinking "Yeah, let me give those slashdotters a hint --- there is way to much flaming there" right? Well let me tell you something: you suck! Just because there are stypid minors out there that loves to spew there guts over things at /. to make themselves look cool to their friends does not make all of us spammers. SO THERE!

    And Hemos, you better find an app for reading /. submissions and writing article blurbs, because what you do today stinks and I am sure a program could do a better job!


  • by sidesh0w ( 32371 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:01AM (#786588) Homepage

    New alert box in Eudora 2001:

    I'm sorry, Dave. I can't let you send this email. I can tell from the tone of your writing, Dave, that you're upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?
  • Chakotay... Nice to see you being original with your name...

    Well, Anonymous Coward, at least I came up with one.

    Never underestimate the power of stupidity
  • No this for real? It can't be real. If it was it's got to be one of the most lame-assed-dumb-fucked-shit-headed ideas I've ever seen.
  • This seems like yet another little add on that I, for one will have turned off most of the time..
    I don't know whether it's just me, but I find the idea of a 'flame detector' on email weird..
    When I write an email, I pretty much think of what I want to write overall, then just fit the words in to say it...
    It's much like having a conversation.
    Those people who delight in being a little offensive wouldn't give two hoots for this either (except, maybe trying to increase their chilli rating)...
    I wish they'd spent more of the time porting the client to Linux/BSD, although, to be fair, it does seem as though they're investing in ideas, no matter how strange, and allowing the user (shock of shocks in this day and age) to disable this functionality if it annoys them.

  • Don't you all realise that this is really the work of the MPAA trying to cut down on the trading of Hollywood movie scripts over the internet? You better be careful if you turn it off, they might sue you under the DMCA for illegally bypassing a copy-protection feature. (And it's locked with an "Are you sure?" dialog box. Anyone who presses "Ok" is committing a felony.)

    hrmm... I wonder how Eudora is doing on Whoops! I just got a red pepper.
    (PS. I kinda like red peppers. Anyone got some guacamole?)
  • Like, for example: - Hierarchical thread displays, including *replies*, so you can see a big picture of threads (handy for list traffic). - Smarter search capabilities. - Compatability with database engines, for those with *really* large mail archives (I've got every mail I've ever sent since '92) - Speedups. Lord knows, Eudora could use a few of those... Can't think of anything else, but surely there's gotta be better features than this lame-ass big brotherware?
  • The Federal Communications Commission's transcript of the George Carlin monologue "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" at issue in FCC v. Pacifica: []


  • [Message censored by Slashdot anti-flame filter]
  • "unconscionable cunt?"

    Webster's defines unconscionable as "Excessive, unreasonable" ...


    An interesting experiment is to translate such latinate/vulgar pairs as you suggest into vulgar/latinate pairs. It shows how much more satisfactory having a real vocabulary is in terms of real expressiveness. Unfortunately I know from long experience how unsatisfactory an unconscionably literate insult is to the typical truculent fucker. That's why flame wars were so fun in the days before AOL came and ruined everything -- the Internet used to attract a better class of assholes.

  • by cnj ( 87028 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:42AM (#786610) Homepage

    I've been using the betas now for several weeks, and I was a little surprised when I did a logic proof (submitted via email). . .

    I got three chilli peppers (on fire) . . .


  • Eudora is bloated, but not as much as e-mail client in Mozzila.
    Can't they just split those things (browser, e-mail...) apart ?
  • by Dan Hayes ( 212400 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @12:07AM (#786616)

    The nature of the internet and email, allowing people to communicate with others with the shield of anonymity means that people feel none of the need to be polite that governs our conversations in the real world, and instead feel safe in expressing their opinions in abusive, derogatory language that their mothers wouldn't approve of. We see it here every day on /. after all.

    Maybe if emails were filtered to block messages that were too flamey then people would get the chance to "cool down" and really think about what they're doing. Rather than an increasing amount of "internet rage" coming from an exchange of increasingly virulent mail, a rational discourse could be established. After all, in public speaking forums there are rules of conduct to be followed, and where is the difference here?

    Why should the online world be subject to knee-jerk reactions and childish name-calling from people too petty to behave in a reasonable way?

  • Most of the time there not directed at me, so i injoy watching the exchange, it's intertaining. However if someone really did have it out for me, i can understand how this might come in use.

    But how well will it really work? Remember that bullshit a while back about the comapny that had the "porn detection" app, the one that looks at photos and can tell if it has a nipple in it? ya, like that worked.

    Id like to see how well it works on, say..

    No, fuck you man. I'm going to come over to your house and kill your dog, but first i'm going to rap your girlfriend and piss in your mouth! You cock sucking fag!"

    no offence of course, i'm just trying to think of how it could know with out a doubt this is flame mail. I mean what if it said...

    No (way), fuck you (that dude). I'm going to come over to your house (help) you (feed) your dog, but first i'm going to (help) you kill the borden your girlfriend (is giving you), and (clean) your (toilet)! You cock sucking fag!, (hehe)"

    maybe that one is too easy. but anyway, i don't really trust a computer to understand the "meaning" of any of this, and i have doubt any system is going to figure it out.


  • When will society at large actually get a move on, and stop trying to throw technology at things that should really be dealt with in education/learning.
    Really, you should know full well what is inflammatory or not from a lifetime of talking to people, and knowing how they react...
    'Twould be a sad day if someday you had to carry round some electronic device to act as your conscience...

  • I'm using Eudora 5 now. Until last year, I used Marcel Beck's YAM [] on the Amiga (both real hardware and emulated on the PC via WinUAE). When I fully moved over to the PC, I was thinking that, surely, mail programs must offer better features, more control and better useability, seeing how they are not written by hobby programmers in their spare time. I guess I was wrong.

    Even though Eudora 5 offers some new features and bugfixes, I'm disappointed that the major headlight in this version is a "mood watch", which seems to me like nothing more than a filter that displays an small image whenever it stumbles across a potentially offensive word.

    I don't know how large the Eudora team is, but I'm sure there would be better things to implement or reconsider than a basic algorithm that controls the user's language. I am rarely in the mood to use any words Eudora might consider as offensive, but if I am, I still feel that I would be a better judge of what can be said and what can't than any mail program could possibly be.

    Besides, what about multi-language users? I typically write emails in four different languages. While I'm sure French and German will get implemented, I somehow doubt that the team would know enough Luxembourgish to build up a suitable database.

    One thing it does though, I have to admit, is that it offers a pretty reliable filter for any "free xxx" spam mails I receive. :)

  • ...let's be reasonable.

    If you actually bother to read the PDF-file referenced in the story, you will see that the author of the white paper, David Kaufer, makes it clear that this is not "big brother software" he is proposing.

    "The use of a flame meter needs to be a voluntary act," he points out - and underlines his point that the purpose of the algorithm is to assist a writer in identifying potentially hurtful text, not to prevent him from writing it.

    In my experience, one often has a completely different view of one's text than the readers. Having created the text, and knowing what it was intended to communicate, one can easily become blind to the other interpretations that the recipients can put on one's words.

    I'm not sure I'd use a flame meter filter, myself, but I certainly can't see that it's a threat against anyone's free speech. On the contrary, it can probably be a very valuable tool to assist writers in making sure that they are getting their message across to others.

    - Ravn

  • Have you ever noticed that whenever someone ends a sentence with ", thank you" (as in "I don't need an electronic conscience in my mail/new reader. My own will do just fine, thank you."), they never mean it? Same with sentences that begin with "I'll thank you to..."
    Maybe someone could write a program that would filter for that...
  • by Tony Shepps ( 333 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @04:27AM (#786633) Homepage
    "Anyways, I was your friend at the beginning of this, really thinking that you were a true friend. I was willing to be sitting there and put you next to me. At that time you were sweeter than me. I'm not a very openly nice person. I'm just frank, foreward, and tell ya it the way it is. To have you sit there next to me, and me lose $900,000 just to stomp on somebody like this [pointing to Rich]. But as the game went along and the two tribes merged, you lied to me, which showed me what the true person that you are. You're very two-faced and manipulative to get where you're at anywhere in life. That is why you fail all the time.

    So, at that point in the game I decided then to just go out with my alliance to my family and just to hold my dignity and values in check, and hoping I hadn't lost to many of them, and uh... play the game just as long as possible and hang in there as long as possible.

    But, Kelly, go back to a couple times Jeff said to you what goes around comes around. It's here. You will not get my vote. My vote will go to Richard. And I hope that is the one vote that makes you lose the money. If it's not, I'll shake your hand, and I'll go on from here, but if I were to ever pass you along in life again, and you were laying there dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water. I would let the vultures take you and do whatever they want with ya... with no ill regrets.

    I plead to the jury tonight to think a little bit about the island we have been on. This island is pretty much full of only two things: snakes and rats. And in the end of mother nature, we have Richard the snake who knowingly went after prey, and Kelly who turned into the rat, that ran around like the rats do on this island, trying to run from the snake. I feel we owe it to the island's... spirits... that we have come to know to let it be in the end the way mother nature intended it to be, for the snake to eat the rat."

    Eudora Score: 2 red peppers

    "I fuckin love you man! You are the shit!"

    Eudora Score: 3 red peppers

  • And in addition to nuking chain letters, how about turning off the one thing worse than HTML email:

    That fscking piece of crap known as MIME-type text/enriched.

    What dr00ling m0ron at Qualcomm thought it was a good idea to embed HTML-style tags in email that aren't HTML, in order to combine the cow-felching ugliness of HTML mail with Microsoftian interoperability?

    And I'll go one better - lose the goddamn spyware/adware "business model", Qualcomm. Lose it NOW. The day you went this route is the day Eudora stopped being an email client and started being a Trojan.

  • I dont know, Lars. After 13 years on the net, I'd have thought you might get a little venom in there...


    White Rabbit +++ Divide by Cucumber Error ++

Forty two.