The obscure world of spam

After updating to Fedora Core 11 I noticed a new feature, the automatic font download system. Essentially it works like the automatic codec download system we have in GStreamer, but for fonts.

So judging by how often the font download box pops up the spam I am getting these days seems to be mostly in 3 languages Coptic, Syriac and N’Go :) I have to assume the spams are using random character sets to confuse spam filters, as I doubt that for instance either the ancient egyptians or their Coptic descendants of today are a big enough demographic for the spammers of the world :)


#1 bochecha on 06.19.09 at 16:08

That’s “Fedora”, not “Fedora Core” anymore.

We dropped the “Core” when we merged the “core” and “extras” repositories.

This might seem childish, but the abandon of the “Core” in the name represents the full opening of the main repository to the community. So that’s rather important ;)

Anyway, I don’t really like this new “auto-font” feature. Only with spams, it transforms into a very invasive popup (who will install a font only for spam messages ?). In the 2 months I’ve been using Fedora 11, I never installed any font when the dialog popped out, and it pops out way too often…

#2 Luke on 06.20.09 at 01:06

The same languages seem to pop up if you just ‘cat’ a binary file in the terminal. Maybe the language detection for those languages is over-eager?

In general it would be good to have an option in user-oriented software (a desktop environment, or a web app) that lets you put in languages you can read, and languages you want to be able to write. This would allow gmail for example to flag anything as spam that comes in as an email message in a language you don’t understand, or would allow a browser to call out to Google Translate anytime it gets a page the user can’t understand.

#3 Oded on 06.20.09 at 01:29

I have a similar problem – sometimes I dump a binary file to the terminal, at which point all kinds of junk show on the screen and the font downloader decides that I’m missing some fonts. Very annoying.