What's the Energy Cost of 62 Trillion Spam Emails?



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I dont understand the constant flood of political material that is constantly posted on this site and in the magazine. I realize that politics have implications on technology and vice versa. However, I stopped watching the news and listening to the radio because I was sick of politics. I read MaximumPC because I love computers and want the inside scoop on what's going on with computers, not so I can argue with people on whether or not my party of choice has the best policies with all the other politically uninformed morons on a technolgy forum. I realize that there will be important news that deals with both pc's and politics; and when it's big enough, I want to hear it. However, the constant influx of politically motivated trash that I am seeing on this site and in the magazine are making me reconsider dropping my monthly subscription.


And yes, this article is politically motivated trash. First of all, the big international study on CO2 that everyone was waiting on is in, and it found that there was no correlation between the temperature of the earth and the amount of C02 in the atmosphere. Secondly, no one can even determine what the optimal temperature of the earth is supposed to be, so how can you say if its too hot or too cold? The truth of the matter is that scientists dont know if we're having global warming or heading into an ice age. Anyone who says otherwise is merely expressing a political opinion, because no one knows the answer to this question. There are good political reasons to argue both sides of this issue with lots of money at stake on boith ends. It's purely political, period. Also, the labeling of CO2 as a toxin was also politically motivated (as there is no evidence to support this) and also happened in the political arena. So MaximumPC, please keep your politics out of my magazine or you will lose a dedicated reader.



...you could scroll right on by a news story that doesn't interest you. We post a ton of content each day, and it's impossible for all of them to be of interest to everyone.

Regarding politics, I think we've done a good job in staying neutral, even when the topic involves a political figure (such as Obama, McCain, etc). By and large, however, the vast majority of content doesn't cross over into politic figures or topics at all. For example, the next 8 items that appear on the site cover the Kindle 2, YouTube, NoBS Podcast, mouse for CAD work, Pirate Bay trial, a 'How To' article, DRAM prices, and the latest on Sun's takeover talks with IBM. Other items we've covered today include IBM's move to 28nm, an Android-powered set top box, the 20 best selling retail PC games, and more.

As far as the magazine goes, I would encourage you to drop a line to input@maximumpc.com, or post your thoughts in the Magazine and Book Feedback subforum.

-Paul Lilly



Hmm.  Quick, back-of-the-envelope calculation: it takes me about 2 minutes (on the high end) a day to filter out the spam I get in all my e-mail accounts (maybe 200 spam e-mails/day).  I am generally on my computer for several hours a day (let's make it 4 to be conservative).

So, 2 minutes on spam/240 minutes on computer = 0.8% of my computer's carbon footprint for spam.  Even with a heavily conservative estimate of 10 minutes filtering spam for someone who's only on their computer for an hour a day, that's still only 17% or so of that person's carbon footprint being dedicated to spam.

What does this mean?  Even if I'll agree with the amount of carbon dioxide produced per e-mail that they used, if our spam-filtering carbon footprint is "17 million metric tons" of carbon dioxide, then we're producing somewhere between 100 million and maybe 2 billion metric tons by our regular computer usage.

It sounds like McAfee's just trying to artificially pump up it's anti-spam street cred to make it's services more attractive to environmentally-friendly consumers: "Buy our spam-filtering products, and you'll decrease your computer's carbon footprint by as much as 50%!!!!"


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