By David Ponce
It’s clear that spam is one the most hated elements of online life, and it’s nice to see people deal with it in creative (if not necessarily useful) ways. Bill Shackelford created the SpamTrap, a contraption that prints incoming spam mail, and proceeds to immediately feed it into a paper shredder. He used a
Pentium II computer connected to a wireless network, personal printer, personal shredder, aluminum rails, Spamtrap email addresses, automatic printing software, email client software, antivirus software, and a SpamCop user account. The paper is recycled after the spam email has been shredded.
What he means there by “SpamTrap email addresses” is that he uses email addresses he created specifically for the purpose of being spammed; he left them in forums and other online bulletin boards, luring spam. Once the spam is in, it gets printed, and immediately shredded, for your satisfaction. [ Update: True, the spam also gets sent to a blacklist, with SpamCop, so there is some actual use to this contraption. ]
The device is a one of a kind project at the moment, and there very likely no plans to commercialize.