New company to stuff spam:
- On Monday, Phil Goldman, whose career as a software designer has included stints at Apple, General Magic, WebTV and Microsoft, will introduce a service that he says will permanently end e-mail spam for consumers who are being driven to distraction by unsolicited pitches for diet schemes and offers of great wealth from Nigeria.
Mr. Goldman, 38, who is self-financing his company, Mailblocks, said that the falling cost of new technologies and the slumping technology economy are making it relatively easy to enter new markets.
“It’s incredibly inexpensive to buy computers, and network bandwidth is essentially free and there is surplus equipment,” he said. At the same time, innovation has been frozen because Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists are largely sitting on the sidelines.
“It’s like a guy crawling in the desert who sees the oasis, but who can’t quite get there,” he said.
Mailblocks, based in Los Altos, Calif., is entering the crowded e-mail market with the premise that consumers will pay a small annual fee for a solution to spam.
….The Mailblocks antispam service is based on a so-called challenge-response mechanism to block bulk mail sent automatically to e-mail accounts. When a customer receives a new message from an unknown correspondent, the system will intercept the message and automatically return to the sender a digital image of a seven-digit number and a form to fill out. Once a human being views that number and types it into the form — demonstrating that he or she is a person and not an automated mass-mailing machine — the system will forward the e-mail to the intended recipient.
….”It’s a really nice product, and it’s pretty easy to use,” said Jim Nail, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, a computer and communications industry research firm. “The question is how big a market. Do people want to pay anybody anything for these features?” [NY Times]
Are you kidding Jim? If it’s easy and it works and it doesn’t filter out stuff you want or make it too hard to get mail to you – you bet your ass they’ll pay a small fee for the service.
- Mailblocks will charge an annual fee of $9.95 for its personal e-mail service, which will give users 12 megabytes of mail storage and 6 megabytes of allowances for attachments. Charter members will receive two additional years of free service.