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| Friday, July 30, 2004

So picture it, as a last resort you've taken a job for your local spam house. Your task is to harvest email addresses. They need a programmer to come up with some new ways to populate their database of known addreses. What is the first thing you do?

I'd go after:

Does anyone have any proof any of these techniques cut down on spam? The JavaScript solution is particularly bad since 10% of users *still* have JavaScript turned off.

So what would I do, I think the only real solution is something that can't be automated yet is still decipherable for a human. In addition anyone using a screen reader should also have no problem figuring out the address.

Using the same techniques developed by major consumer registration sites, an image containing your email address with the appropriate level of bluriness and scratchiness. Additionally, when you click on the email address, a sound file describing your email address should be played. An alt tag should be used on the image to instruct visually impared of this behavior. It should look something like this:

<a href="email.mp3"><img src="email.png"
alt="Please click to hear my email address." /></a>

Is anyone doing this? Are there any other improvements? As for me, I still like the partial anonymity of this site. My email address is out there somewhere associated with this site but its not its not easy to find.