Inventor Takes On Spam, Fatal Blood Cancer

Spam comes first, says Steven Kirsch of his short life expectancy
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2007 4:16 PM CST
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(Newser) – Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steven T. Kirsch will save his own life right after he’s done eliminating spam email, he says. Kirsch has a rare form of blood cancer with a 5-7 year life expectancy, but he says, “I just look at it as a problem…you have four years to solve it or you don’t get to solve any more problems,” according to The New York Times.

Kirsch’s new company, Abaca, takes the unusual approach of profiling spam’s recipients, rather than the sender. The ratio of spam to real email received by most people can serve as a unique identifier, he says, and allows Abaca to filter out emails whose recipients don’t match the user’s profile.