Hacking Gmail to eliminate spam

Gmail comes with a very good built-in spam filter, so you might be wondering what the …. ?

Well, consider this scenario –

  • We use Google Apps as our mailing solution.
  • The mailing solution lacks some very basic features like setting up inbound filters for mailing lists.
  • We have a mailing list called xxxxx@burrp.com that reaches out to every inbox company-wide. Earlier, it used to just accept mails from the same domain i.e. burrp.com. But we needed to open it up to receive mails from other domains like network18online.com and infomedia18.in.
  • So we went ahead and made a simple change – “Allow anyone to send mails to xxxxx@burrp.com”. But, this set us up for massive company wide spam from the outside.
  • Setting up a simple inbound domain filter should be easy, na? Except you cannot do this for mailing lists using the Google Apps mailing solution.
  • So here’s the little hack that we did –
    • All xxxxx@burrp.com mails only get sent to a real mailbox -> filter@burrp.com.
    • The mailbox only  receives mails from within the same domain. So you cannot spam it from outside.
    • You can setup various filters on a real mailbox. We’ve setup a forwarding rule in the filter@burrp.com mailbox to only deliver messages coming in from the above mentioned domains. If the rule matches it gets delivered to another mailing list xxx123@burrp.com, which is now the real company wide mailing list.
    • So non matching mails are just dropped.

That’s how we did a little message routing to only accept mails coming from certain domains, even though the mailing list is open.

Hope this helps you think of other cool Gmail hacks for your enterprise needs.


Share price listings in newspapers

Don’t you agree that share price listings in the newspapers are bit anachronistic? In this day and age of realtime stock quotes being beamed into browsers, mobile phones and television sets, who really looks up the stock listings in the newspapers?

You can make the same points for the news too. News is also served in realtime now over various delivery channels. Infact online news can be personalized, so that I get to see only the news that I care about.

So the question is, should the newspapers be done away with?

*I personally like the feel of browsing through the morning newspaper with a cup of tea, though I look up my stock prices online.