A revolution in leaf-blowers and other garden equipment

I just met a gentleman named Captain Bernardo J. Herzer, CEO of a LHER. Bernardo that has created a set of new “green” internal combustion engine technologies, all designed to run using propane. I love new technologies that work to improve the environment and this guy really seems to be on to something.

You might be wondering, as I was, “What can propane do for me?”

Here are some facts from the LHER website:

Why propane?

Propane is:

  • Eco Friendly
  • More Economical
  • Lower fuel cost
  • Lower maintenance cost
  • 2 hours run time on one canister
  • Easier to use/ safer to purchase and store
  • No messy mixing of gas and oil
  • No unwanted trips to the gas station
  • No gas cans to transport or store
  • Canisters are readily available
  • Zero evaporative emissions
  • Zero ozone depleting hydrocarbons
  • Non toxic to ground water and soil
  • 97% fewer particulates
  • 96% fewer carcinogens
  • Over 85% of propane used in this country is produced domestically
  • Exceeds 2011 EPA emission standards

Going Green: How Environmentally Friendly is your Company’s Anti-Spam Solution?

I originally posted the following at CIO.com (http://tiny.cc/Pvz1g)

Last week McAfee, in conjunction with ICF International, published The Carbon Footprint of E-mail Spam Report, a report that details the “carbon footprint” of sending, receiving, and viewing spam. A novel new concept – the environmental impact of spam?

One of the most significant findings of the report was that nearly 80% of the energy consumed by spam comes “from end-users deleting spam and searching for legitimate e-mail (false positives).” The act of sending a spam message, consumes less than 1% of the GHG emissions associated with any given spam message – and the real “damage” so to speak is done once the spam message hits a user’s inbox (27% of GHG emissions are a result of false positives and 52% of emissions are a result of viewing spam).

I have to beg the question here, if the “damage” being caused is more or less in our hands (i.e. once the spam message reaches our inbox), is there such a thing as a “green” anti-spam solution we can implement to address the problem? Logic would say yes – anti-spam solutions that are able to eliminate false positives, and minimize the amount of spam end-users receive and view, are by course of reason and logic “green” solutions.

Here, lets explore the three criteria organizations can use to determine how “green” their anti-spam solution is: number of false-positives, spam messages viewed, and methodology used to stop spam.

False Positives
Twenty-seven percent of GHG emissions resulting from a typical spam message are the result of false positives. Anti-spam solutions that may block a high percentage of spam (98 or even 99%), but result in a high number of false positives, are usually more trouble than they are worth. While your end-users may not have spam in their inbox, the time spent searching for legitimate messages in a junk folder is costly in terms of lost productivity and environmental impact.

False positives are typically a problem that is inherently associated with filter-based anti-spam solutions – solutions that are built to avoid false-positives, and don’t rely on a “spam-filter” to scan the content of a message are more effective in addressing this “environmental” concern and time eater.

Spam Viewed
A staggering fifty-two percent of GHG emissions resulting from any given spam message are a result of viewing that piece of spam. This piece of criteria couldn’t be any simpler: the higher the spam stop-rate (i.e. 95, 96, 97 %) of your solution, the more environmental friendly it is. If your solution doesn’t allow spam messages to reach end-user’s inboxes, then your users aren’t spending time viewing or deleting these messages, and ultimately the GHG emissions associated with any one of these messages is eliminated.

Or, even better, select a solution that won’t allow spam through, period. Here, I’m sure to hear a resounding… “easier said than done!” However this point comes back to the methodology behind your solution and how it addresses the problem of spam.

Let’s discuss…

Solution Methodology
Sixteen percent of GHG emissions associated with a spam message can be traced back to the spam filter that worked to stop that spam message. Needless to say, without any anti-spam filter in place, emissions would increase dramatically in other areas (such as spam viewing), and any solution is better than none. However, some are better than others, and today organizations have a plethora of choices when it comes to selecting an anti-spam solution – and no longer need to rely on filter-based solutions to solve their spam problem.

Increasingly, organizations are moving away from “filter-based” solutions, to solutions that focus on the trustworthiness of the sender, not the content of the message. Although spam filters have gotten “better,” they still create an arms race – spammers are continually looking for new and innovative techniques to break or circumvent the filters and filtering companies are continually creating updates to combat these new attacks. This ping pong effect results in more spam, more management, and a problem that isn’t solved.

Sendio (for the enterprise), Earthlink, Spam Arrest, and Boxbe (for individuals) are all companies that have rolled out solutions that adopt an “Opt-in Model” to stop spam. Similar to many popular social networking sites, (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) these solutions utilize something similar to the “friend request,” allowing users to build their own network of trusted contacts instead of relying on a filter to determine what is and isn’t spam. By adopting an approach that puts users in control, organizations can truly address their spam problem – and totally eliminate false positives as well as spam viewed. To eliminate the time and carbon emissions associated with these two components eliminates nearly 80% of the carbon emissions associated with spam!

Ultimately, how environmentally friendly your anti-spam solution is, is directly correlated to how effective that solution is – and implementing anti-spam solutions that are highly effective, will be both good for business and for the environment.

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/sendio & http://twitter.com/talgolan

McAfee report says: Spam e-mails killing the environment

While I can’t comment on the science behind McAfee’s study, if it’s to be believed, that would make Sendio the single most eco-friendly anti-spam product on the planet!

Hot off the digital presses… Spam e-mails killing the environment, McAfee report says

McAfee’s Avert Labs recently reported the significant impact that spam is having, not just on our inboxes, but on the environment. The novelty of this angle aside, shouldn’t people be asking themselves how is it possible this problem has been allowed to get so bad? Let’s assume we like the idea of elevating spam to a place where it is considered to be an environmental hazard (I think its even worse — more like an environmental disaster — but the promotion is long overdue), clearly the time has come to ask “who has been asleep at the switch?”

Back in the 1970’s it became obvious that air pollution was caused, to a large extent, by exhaust from automobiles and trucks. Once this fact had been established, the question became… “What are we going to do about it?” If air pollution had been addressed like email pollution, we would have simply trusted the auto manufacturers to make things better. In light of today’s study from McAfee, I think it is safe to say that anti-spam filters = auto manufacturers. While the automobile industry has certainly made great strides in the areas of fuel efficiency and emissions, they have never come close to getting ahead of the curve or actually fixing the problem.

Just like the US auto industry has failed to keep pace, from an innovation perspective, with their competitors around the globe, the developers of anti-spam filtering technologies have, obviously, failed to keep pace with spammers. As Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same things, over and over again, expecting different results.” Like the US auto industry, the US anti-spam filtering industry is bloated, stuck in the past, is stagnant, and is losing the arms race to the bad guys.

Fortunately for us, the challenge to improve air quality was not simply “trusted,” or handed-over, to the auto industry alone. We realized that individuals needed to get involved. We, the people, needed to make changes to the way we did/do things. We came to understand that to help ourselves we needed to actively engage; not simply sit back and hope some passive system would make everything better.

The time has come, once and for all, for “we the people” to take a stand against spam! Clearly, the mammoth companies, like McAfee, Cisco, Symantec, Google, Barracuda Networks, etc., that make anti-spam filtering tools have failed to save our environment from this polluting scourge. If we, as individuals and collectively as businesses, don’t start looking beyond the status quo with respect to failed anti-spam filtering, we are not only going to loose e-mail as a tool, we are going to hasten the deterioration of our physical environment.