RSS to replace email? Nah.. I've heard a lot about how Outlook 2003, both alone and in combination with Exchange Server 2003, has been beefed up to fight the war on spam. From a client-only perspective, it doesn't look too promising. Apart from filtering messages that have been externally processed — for example, by SpamAssassin — the primary strategy appears to be blacklisting or whitelisting senders. As this screenshot illustrates, Sobig-like worms destroy that strategy. I can neither whitelist nor blacklist email appearing to be from Dave Ogle or Anne Manes or Tom Thompson or Lowell Rapaport. Quite likely, none of these folks has even been infected with the worm. Their names just happened to be chosen randomly from the address books of users who were infected.
There's been a lot of talk about replacing email with RSS. I don't buy it. Although I am a huge fan of RSS, and expect it to largely replace email for subscription-related purposes (e.g., mailing lists), I don't see it as a general solution for ad-hoc person-to-person communication. Nor do I buy the argument that we need to toss SMTP. Obviously, we need to use it in a slightly different way. Of the various proposals floating around, the RMX idea — a DNS-based solution that enables a receiving mail server to verify whether the sender's IP address is authorized to send from the domain within the sender's address — seems particularly interesting. (I mentioned RMX in the Canning Spam article last month.) But it would be nuts to throw out the SMTP baby with the spam bathwater, and I'd be really surprised if that were to happen. … [Jon's Radio]