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Monday, August 19 12:00 AM ET

Norton Releases Antiregret Software as Part of Norton Antivirus

By Nikolaj Borg and Brian Briggs

Cupertino, CA - Norton has added a new feature to their popular antivirus software which helps prevents computer users from sending embarrassing emails. 

Bill Rodgers from Symantec said, "If you've ever sent an email you regretted later? Maybe you fired off some drunken rant, or you just send a personal mail to the wrong person?  Our "antiregret" feature keeps these bad emails from leaving your computer."

The scanner evaluates the email, both content and recipients, and uses Bayesian evaluation and cross-checking with a vast library of dumb or regretted e-mails to help warn you before sending an e-mail.

The system learns as it monitors your outgoing mail.  If an email goes out that you later regret, you can mark it as "regret" so the next time it will be blocked. 

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"A user can bypass the blocking features, but only after 24 hours have gone by.   This gives them time to cool off, and to decide if they really want to tell their boss that he's a 'big hairy jerk that needs to use more deodorant,'" said Rodgers.

Initial user reaction has been positive.  Frank Hipple from Detroit, Michigan said, "I put 'I love you,' in an email to a girl I just dated.  The software noticed I hadn't sent her any previous emails and flagged it as potentially regretful. Thank you Mr. Norton."

The software has several user settings to set the level of regret.  If the user has a high tolerance for regret the software will only block death threats or illegal activity.  While the low tolerance setting will block all email to relatives and the opposite sex.
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