Spam Cube Locks Spam Down

In a meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2004, Bill Gates was quoted as saying “Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time”. Three years later many of us still suffer from the daily inconvenience of deleting unwanted junk from our inbox. However, interesting solutions to this irritating problem are starting to appear on the market – one of them, which represents a novel approach to fighting spam on the consumer level, is called the “Spam Cube”.

In 2006, the N.Y. based Company Spam Cube, founded by Joseph P. Marino and Jonathan Fortin, started selling a $150 4.5’ (11.43 cm) cube that deals with spam on a different level. Instead of installing yet another anti-spam software on an already packed computer, the small cube is connected between the computer and the modem (or the router and the modem) and performs the screening process before the junk mail reaches the computer.

The obvious advantage of a hardware solution is that it requires no resources from the computer. Another advantage of such a solution is the fact that all the computers on the same network can enjoy the service (instead of separately installing anti-spam software on each machine). On the downside, the Spam Cube costs more than most anti-spam software and if you use just one computer buying anti-spam software may be more economical.

The Spam Cube includes what its creators describe as a sophisticated AI (artificial intelligence) capable of screening spam as well as learning on the go. The user only needs to install a small toolbar (which originally worked only with outlook and outlook express) and to let the software know if its decision to tag a particular e-mail as spam was correct. The company claims the product is successful in blocking up to 98% of spam mail. Although this statistic is disputable, the general feeling among users and reviewers (who have been using the device since 2006) is that for the most part the Spam Cube does a good job at blocking spam. The more difficult question is whether the cube also blocks legitimate e-mails. Even one important e-mail which goes by unnoticed might be intolerable for some people.

At the end of the day, the Spam Cube is an innovative idea that fulfills a real need. It might not be right for everyone but for people with a large home network who receive a lot of spam to their inboxes it may prove to be a good solution.

More information on the Spam Cube can be found on the company’s website.

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