Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Happy spamiversary! Spam reaches 30

Whoa! I didn't know that spam was this old. I can't remember the first time I received spam meesage; It was perhaps a few days after I set up my first hotmail account - I quickly moved over to Yahoo as a result of them being more proactive in blocking spam messages.

However, I can certainly remember writing my first unwitting spam message; as I have the vivid memory of a lecturer (at the Univeristy I attended) scolding me - by reply of the email - for abusing my email priviliges for being an I.T. Support assistant. I didn't know what the big deal was about, and didn't quite understand his indignation for me trying to find buyers for my previous semesters course-books. I thought new students would appreciate a new method of advertisinfg second-hand books, away from the dreary looking A4 notices outside the I.T. Lab. It was soon after being bombarded by vulgar messages from various 'friendly' foriegn pharmascists that I realised that unsolicited mail was generally a bad thing, especially to those who don't really know you.

Time has moved on since my days at Uni, but things haven't changed much only that instead of emails offering a cut-price cocktail of organ enhancing drugs, I'm repeatedly offered to re-enter my log-in and password to 'my bank's website'; thanks to these emails I'll probably contract RSI in my forefinger for pressing the delete key umteenth times a day!

Anyway here's a great article from New Scientist packed with info and history of Spam email messages - Mohamed:

Thirty years ago next week, Gary Thuerk, a marketer at the now-defunct computer firm Digital Equipment Corporation, sent an email to 393 users of Arpanet, the US government-run computer network that eventually became the internet. It was the first spam email ever.

That commercial message, sent on 3 May 1978


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