SSCC Summer Training Schedule

SSCC's summer training schedule is now available on SSCC's training web pages. Later this month we will be offering Introduction to SPSS and Running Large Statistical Jobs Using Condor. In June Chris Thorn, from The Wisconsin Center for Educational Research, will be offering a new class called Queries and Coding in Qualitative Research Using NVivo 7. Summer is a great time to learn new software like SAS, Stata, and Dreamweaver. Be sure and register early before sessions fill!

Using Your SpamAssassin Folders

The changes we made to SpamAssassin last month have resulted in significantly faster mail delivery. This is mostly because the new system relies on one SpamAssassin database rather than accessing a separate file for each user's account. This database contains the words used in the email SpamAssassin filters, and keeps track of how often each word occurs in real email and in spam. It then checks new mail against this database, and assigns it a probability of being spam based on the words it uses.

You can improve the database by putting any misclassified messages in two special folders. The not legit folder is for messages SpamAssassin thought were legitimate but are in fact spam. The not spam folder is for messages which SpamAssassin thought were spam but are in fact legitimate (though this is extremely rare). Every night SpamAssassin examines these folders and corrects its database. Messages in not legit are then deleted, and messages in not spam are returned to your inbox. In the long run, if everyone puts their unfiltered spam in their not legit folder rather than just deleting it, SpamAssassin will get better at identifying spam. However, please don't expect immediate results. Just because you put a message in not legit does not mean SpamAssassin will be able to identify messages that are "just like it" as spam with 100% accuracy.

Detailed information about SpamAssassin is available in our publication, Spam Filtering at SSCC.

Proper Spam Management for List Owners of Closed Lists

Are you plagued with numerous Listar "approve post" requests being delivered to your mailbox from non-subscribers (mostly spammers)? If so, we have a simple solution for you. You simply need to have the option called closed-post-blackhole in your closed Listar configuration set on. With this option on, messages submitted to a closed-post list by non-members will be thrown away. You will still receive valid Listar messages, i.e. subscribe, approve post from list members, etc. It is very important that you do not put Listar messages in your “not legit” folder as this could stop you from receiving any Listar mail, including SSCC’s email to other Listar lists like sscnews and all users. This is because all Listar messages run through SSCC’s SpamAssassin. SSCC Publication, Administering a Listar Mailing List, has instructions on setting this option. Please contact SSCC's help desk, or call 262-9917, if you would like help enabling the above feature for your closed Listar list.

Tip: Removing Hidden Data from Documents

Electronic documents contain hidden data or metadata. Whenever you create, open, or save a document in a program like Word or WordPerfect, metadata is written to the document. Sometimes this metadata is not information you want to share with others. For example, your name is metadata. If you are doing a "blind" review of a paper for publication or submitting a document anonymously, you certainly do not want your name included in your document. A new SSCC Publication tells you the kinds of metadata stored in documents generated by Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, and Adobe Acrobat, and how to remove the metadata.