(figures are to 1400 UTC 31 Oct 2009 - annualized estimates for 2009 would be 4464 offered, 2614 killed.) The number of articles that hit the filter isn't that far from my historical average, but the overall number of articles is down substantially. This makes it appear that the spam level is worse. The _ratio_ is, but not so much the absolute numbers. (This overall decline is true across Usenet.)
Very little is scored up - but I don't seem to miss much that I would be interested in. With this news tool, a single colon is an "AND" rule meaning all conditions for that rule have to be met before the score applies - the :: is an "OR" rule meaning that any rule match triggers the score.
Which is why my news reader automatically inserted that 'NOTE:' at the top of this post. One of the characters on Usenet - the late "Blinky the Shark" - operated "The Usenet Improvement Project" which used to be at
It's been mirrored elsewhere, so the shark's philosophy lives on.
Contrary to popular belief, googlegroups.com is not the only alternative.
ALL of google is an advertising service. Their data mining and archiving is done solely to better tailor the advertisements they are targeting at you. Regrettably, they intentionally ignore spam complaints - apparently they feel the increased number of items they are able to show will increase their sales revenue. This is in spite of the fact that they could virtually eliminate the abuse originating on their server with _trivial_ effort on their part. They have also ``improved'' their search engine in such a way as to destroy much of the usefulness it once had. You have no doubt seen responses to frequently asked questions referring the poster to 'JFGI' (Just F* Google It). I'm no longer recommending people try to search at google simply because it has become so useless. Hell, in some cases the ads they show don't even match the topic I'm looking for. There really are a lot of other search engines out there, and most are not as obnoxious as google. Google's time has passed.
If you think about it, this is somewhat true of advertising in general. Do you remain in your chair watching when a commercial comes on TV? Most people use that time to do more important things.
In some ways, google is looking like spammers, recognizing that the ads are (relatively) cheap to deliver, and that there is a huge potential audience. With some web browsers, you can control what is displayed - to the extent that you can eliminate the ads entirely. Eventually advertisers will realize they are going to have to come up with something better - either more appealing, or less obnoxious.
You are using an 'optonline.net' address - are you in the USA? If so, get onto your state and federal 'no-call' lists. See
If you are not in the USA, your country may have similar rules - some of which have teeth that can make it worth your while to complain.