HTMLGOODIES EXPRESS (tm)
August 14, 2000-- Newsletter #93

By Joe Burns

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HTMLGOODIES EXPRESS (tm)
August 14, 2000--Newsletter #93
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Please visit http://www.htmlgoodies.com
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Greetings, Weekend Silicon Warriors,

I wrote in a newsletter not too long ago that ICANN was going to start working with new top-level domains. I wanted to list them but couldn't. Now I know why. There aren't any in stone as of yet. Next month ICANN will begin accepting proposals for new extensions. Before you begin revving up your email fingers, know that a proposal will cost you $50,000. The guidelines should be ready as soon as this coming Friday. If your name is chosen, you'll get to distribute it. The article went on to say that ICANN is setting itself up for trouble because nothing has been determined regarding the concept of trademark across the domains. Hey! That's what I said!

Did you hear

Internet Explorer 5.5 is out and ready for installation. I have mine. It was an 18 Meg download but remember that I have DSL. It took under four minutes. WooHoo! I have yet to see tremendous differences between this and my 5.0 version. I'll get back to you if I see some big leaps.

Speaking of Internet Explorer 5.5, you can get it along with the new Windows Millennium, nicknamed ME, operating system this September. What's more, the system will be cheap. Windows 98 used can get the upgrade for less than $60. The full deal only runs 209.00. The big improvement that I can see is a good deal of file protection and a home moviemaker.

Mafia Boy, Mafia Boy, Mafia Boywhat are we going to do with you? As of last week, 64 new charges were brought against the 16-year-old Canadian young man who attacked a slew of high-profile sites earlier in the year. He has pleaded not guilty.

I know this is old news, but did you hear that CBS.com posted the results of a Survivor episode five hours before it aired? Oops. I am addicted to that show! The world comes to a dead halt Wednesday at 7 (central). My prediction? Rudy to win, Susan to place, Richard to show.

Now on to today's topic

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Every day when I open my email folder I am amazed at how many women want to talk to me, how many people want to give me advice, how many people have become rich by sitting on a couch and placing classified ads.

Ah, the world of Spam mail is filling my in-box with everything to make me richer, happier, and thinner. I don't want the email, but it keeps coming. It piles up and I erase it. I learned a while ago that ignoring it is often the easiest method for limiting the amount of mail you actually get. Never reply to the email that suggests you can get off of the mailing list by replying. All you're doing is verifying you have a viable email address. More shows up.

Just like the Monty Python skit that gave Spam mail its name, the letters just keep coming. I use a blocker program on my personal accounts, but I can't on the Goodies mail because of how I receive it, right to the Unix server. I dislike it. Much of it is dirty. All of it is unwanted. But after saying all of that, do you what I feel most concerned for?

The rights of the Spammer!

Yeah! What about the rights of the Spammer? Who are we to tell the mail sender that he or she cannot fill our email boxes with tons of cyber-fliers and great deals of vacations that don't exist? How dare we! How dare you! What about the rights of the Spammer?

Poor, poor, misunderstood Spammers.

Don't laugh. It's happening. Those who send Spam mail are actually suing companies that use software to block the Spam. I'm not kidding. Here's the latest.

Harris Interactive Inc., which produces the Harris Polls, is suing AOL because the ISP put Harris on their ''Realtime Blackhole List'' maintained by the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS).

Harris is really cheesed and AOL seems to not care. MAPS, a non-profit group dedicated to stopping unwanted email, is also named in the Harris lawsuit. The claimed they put Harris on the list because Harris was sending email to people that didn't want it, plain and simple. Harris countered by saying that they only send email to people that asked to receive the email by committing that the online site.

What? All 2.7 AOL users blocked by MAPS signed up for the survey? Wow. That's amazing.

Here's another one. Yesmail.com sued MAPS after it was placed on the MAPS list of Spammers. The two sides are attempting to negotiate a settlement.

A settlement? Huh?

Does that mean that a deal will be made? It certainly sounds that way. A deal will be made that will allow a Spammer to do Spamming business. It may be on a much smaller scale than, but business nonetheless.

Here we go. The first crack has been allowed to form. Soon, people will start to sue and provide defenses that will widen the crack into an opening large enough that the Spam can flow through.

Harris is claiming that they only send mail to people who request to be part of a poll. The people signed up to get the mail. Somewhere in that statement lies the argument that will keep the mail flowing.

I can see arguments that suggest that people who buy on line have shown themselves to be consumers online and Spam mail must be allowed to get to them to be given a fair chance at future purchases.

How about this one, if people sign up to have one form of information sent to them, then they have shown that they like information to be pushed to them and they should be open to Spam mail.

Here's another. Who are you to say that my email is one the customer will not like? Let the customer decide for his or her self what they like or dislike. By stopping my Spam mail you could be harming my business.

The story of Yesmil.com looks to me to be the beginning of Spam mailers creating defenses that will stop companies dedicated to stopping the mail from doing business. Spam has just as much right to be in your email box, as does that letter from your Aunt.

You may have done something that legally allows Spam to show up in your mailbox and didn't even know it.

Darn.

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That's that. That's for reading. I really appreciate it.

Joe Burns, Ph.D.

And Remember: Have you ever written an IOU note? Did you think it stood for I Owe You and the U was just a cute way of writing you? Not so. The original text people put on notes was I Owe Unto. That looks about right.

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