[TROLL Patrol] updated filters, and false positives alert

Several of the 'noise' filters at <http://www.r-bonomi.com/rec.woodworking have been updated.
There have been a couple of more-or-less-legitimate threads recently that have triggered the vulgarity filter.
One subject line was 'Miter Saws with Balls' -- poor choice of language by the original poster, since it was not a question about the type of bearings.
The other was a discussion of stand-offs for rail-and-style doors, and had 'space balls' in the subject line. Within the limits of the nFilter pattern matcher, there is, unfortunately, no way to pass the space balls reference, without letting -every- 'balls' reference go by.
I'm going to retain that check, as is, in the published filter. Individual users may want to consider editing it out, or changing it from 'drop' to 'flag'.
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I'm running totally without filtration and I don't see any sexually explicit posts here, anyway! Aren't they a thing of the past (for now)?
But then again, maybe I overlooked some posts?
dave
Robert Bonomi wrote:

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On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 18:12:56 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

Why keep it in? That's the same sort of reasoning that probably has cock in your list, too. While I was fixing the ballcock on my water system, the fire alarm went off half cocked, knocked my toupee into a cocked hat and got my pet gamecock crowing like a...well, you get the picture.
I was going balls to the wall with my list of honey-dos, juggling the time frame, trying to keep all the balls in the air, and what do you know, I find that they scheduled the cotillions of the adjacent cities on the same day; now I have two balls to go to on the same night. I'm sure I'll have a ball at both of them.
Good grief. That seems like more effort than necessary to avoid the possibility of offending someone's sensitivities.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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"LRod" wrote in message

Look out ... Epoxy at 54 degrees!
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/15/04
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That word is there, yup. EVERY word that is in that list, however, was added _solely_ because trolls were using it -- in numerous variations -- in offensive context.
I, for one, am not convinced that the Long Island troll is gone _permanently_.
And the advantage of having automatic defenses in place is that they _are_ just that, "automatic". If/when the next infestation occurs, people with the automatic procedures in place won't see _any_ of it, nor have to do anything.
This particular filter has been in use for more than a year. Until just over a week ago, it had had *ZERO* false positives.
To date, it has eliminated more than FORTY TIMES as many no-value, troll, messages as the number of legitimate ones that were erroneously caught. (Where a troll found a new news-server, mail-to-news gateway, anonymizer, or got a new paid account -- and did it *before* the source was identified and filtered on that basis.)
There is a time/effort/convenience trade-off, vs the occasional 'false positive'.
Considering the overall effectiveness, it does not seem like there is a compelling case for throwing that particular filter out, simply because it has been shown to be 'a little less than perfect'. Hell, I'm not sure there's a compelling case for bothering to 'alert' other users of the 'possible' problem. :) But, I did choose to. I believe that doing that is the right thing to do.
*NO*ONE*, not me, and not even you, is qualified to determine what is an appropriate trade-off for any other person.
_I_ do not regard a false-positive rate of less than one-half of one one-hundredth of one percent over the last twelve months as 'worth the trouble of doing anything about' on my system. The benefits of having had the place over that period have far outweighed the 'disadvantage' of having missed out on two threads (only one of which I might have read, anyway) That is a decision which affects *my* system only. You have no basis to criticize -that- part of my decision.
I alerted others who _already_ have their own copies of that filter that 'less than absolutely perfect' behavior had been detected, and advise them to make up their own mind.
Do you think I was _wrong_ to do _that?

The filtering engages _only_ on the subject line. and it is smart enough that _none_ of 'ballcock', 'gamecock', 'half cocked', or cocked hat' (used in the subject line) would trigger a match against the check for the common word for a male chicken.
That particular issue was addressed many months ago, when somebody made mention of a Cummins diesel engine in a subject line.

You know, I _could_ have just kept my yap shut about it, and *nobody* who was using those filters would have had any idea that they'd missed anything. (And, if I had done that, at least you wouldn't be bitching at me about it.)
Furthermore, it is far easier for someone with limited technical competence to _remove_ an expertly-crafted filter, than it is for them to _create_ that precision filter when the need arises.
Thirdly, anything I change on the files I make available for download affects _only_ those people who download the files -after- I make the change. Everybody who downloaded the fils previously must _still_ be made aware of the situation, and must make their *own* decision as to what to do about it.
The false positives represent a grand total of _seven_ mis-classified messages, in *two* threads, in the course of more than a year. In a newsgroup that averages several hundred new articles a day. That's an error rate of less than one-half of one one-hundredth of one percent.
Most readers of the newsgroup miss _far_more_ messages than that, just due to skimming.
So, just what _should_ I do to keep you quiet: 1) not monitor the behavior of the things I've made available for others to use? 2) _not_ tell the other people using those things, when I notice 'slightly less than perfect' behavior? 3) go and change the copy that exists on -their- machine without telling them? 4) completely remove a feature that it is trivially easy for the "not very competent" to disable, but beyond the skills of at least 98% of them to create? 5) or "leave it in", while letting people know "it isn't absolutely perfect, and you might want to disable it"?
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On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 02:38:33 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

Keep me quiet? Is that your goal? Just add "LRod" to your filter.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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