From: tsalagi@netcom.com
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Organization: ...
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 10:11:52 GMT

In article , Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote:
>I've Been Spammed!

Not to be rude, but is this really worthy of a whole article in Time?

Millions of people, and hundreds of thousands of mailing lists, are mailbombed every day.

>The rest of the week was what my parents used to call a learning
>experience. The first thing I learned was how little I knew about Internet
>mailing lists.

You are the Senior Technology Editor of TIME magazine, and you don't know diddly about mailing lists, or even how to use procmail, or some other filtering method? And you don't consider this a problem, considering your job title?

Again, I ask: why is any person, who can't even figure out how to filter out a mailing-list attack, and has practically zero knowledge of mailing lists, worthy of a major article in your magazine... especially since their only real claim to fame in the article is a single mailbomb attack? (Let's leave aside, for the moment, the fact that the Senior Tech Editor is writing about himself... it looks a bit tacky).

And why is that same person writing articles that get waved around at Congressional hearings?

The only reason _this_ mailbomb got coverage was because you, Mr. Big, got hit. Aside from that, it was your everyday, boring mailbombing. Talk about a bunch of puffery...

I mean no disrespect, but my goodness... don't you think _you_ should know more than your average somewhat-net-savvy high-schooler?

And oh-by-the-way: why is it a "bomb" that "targeted the President", etc, but "spam" the rest of the time? Yikes. People can send bombs into your house, or even to the President, via the net, along with truckloads of porn? And you keep wondering why people have this bad image of the net...


From: jmeltzer@tiac.net (Jonathan Meltzer)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,alt.culture.usenet
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Date: 14 Mar 1996 15:18:04 GMT
Organization: The Internet Access Company

In article tsalagiDo95ns.I0q@netcom.com,  tsalagi@netcom.com wrote:
>In article ped-1003960850440001@ped.dialup.access.net,
>Philip Elmer-DeWitt (ped@well.com) wrote:
>
>>The rest of the week was what my parents used to call a learning
>>experience. The first thing I learned was how little I knew about Internet
>>mailing lists. 
>
>You are the Senior Technology Editor of TIME magazine, and you don't know
>diddly about mailing lists, or even how to use procmail, or some other
>filtering method?  And you don't consider this a problem, considering your
>job title?
>

And, I will add, why is this person claiming that the internet is dedicated to pornography when he is unaware of a vital and productive part of the internet - a part that carries important, scholarly discussion that will be impeded if not destroyed due to the hysteria spurred by his actions?

Why did some anonymous person have to commit an act of "terrorism" to make Elmer-DeWitt aware of the entire mailing list corpus, all tens of thousands of them?

Elmer-DeWitt reminds me of an old boss of mine that thought he knew far more about programming than he actually did, and considered any criticism an insult. ("Of course IF a != TRUE and a != FALSE will work! ")



From: hneeman@ncsa.uiuc.edu (Henry Neeman)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,alt.culture.usenet
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 07:34:15 GMT
Organization: Nat'l Ctr for Supercomp App (NCSA) @ University of Illinois

>The first sign that something was wrong came Sunday afternoon, when I
>logged on to the Internet to check my weekend E-mail and found that
>someone had enrolled me in ... [106] Internet mailing lists I'd never
>heard of. ... [O]n Monday morning ... [I] discover I'd been subscribed
>overnight to 1,700 more....

While there is no evidence to suggest that users who were subjected to this recent mailing list bomb access pornography more frequently than those who were not, one also cannot assume that a notable difference does not exist.

                                Henry Neeman
                                University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
                                hneeman@ncsa.uiuc.edu


From: ped@well.com (Philip Elmer-DeWitt)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,misc.news.intern et.discuss
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 06:44:58 -0500
Organization: TIME Magazine

In article <4i3ag1$35@crl.crl.com>, destiny@crl.com (David Cassel) wrote:

> What we have here is a public figure who publishes his address, and 
> doesn't know how to set up a filter.  "I had to get help from my local 
> Internet provider..."
> 
> You're a menace.

I know how to filter mail from bozos, like you for instance. But how do you bounce mail sent from thousands of unique addresses to hundreds of different mailing lists?

-- 
Philip Elmer-DeWitt                                           ped@well.com
TIME Magazine                                         www.pathfinder.com 



From: asdamick@unity.ncsu.edu (Andrew S. "Gurk" Damick)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,misc.news.intern et.discuss
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Date: 12 Mar 1996 13:45:08 GMT
Organization: Free Muffin Central

In misc.news.internet.discuss, Philip Elmer-DeWitt (ped@well.com) wrote:

: I know how to filter mail from bozos, like you for instance. But how do
: you bounce mail sent from thousands of unique addresses to hundreds of
: different mailing lists?

It's all in the headers, laddie. This is is basic email knowledge. Try typing "man clue" at the prompt sometime.

                                                     --Gurk

-- 
  WiSdOmInFeRnO *+* http://www4.ncsu.edu/~asdamick/www *+* WiSdOmInFeRnO
    "It seems you have lots of details, and Andy still has the wisdom."
                                    >Kevin P. "Disco Hair" Neal<
WiSdOmInFeRnO*+*http://www4.ncsu.edu/~asdamick/www*+*WiSdOmInFeRnO



From: destiny@crl.com (David Cassel)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,misc.news.intern et.discuss
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Followup-To: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,misc.news.intern et.discuss
Date: 12 Mar 1996 11:07:13 -0800
Organization: CRL Dialup Internet Access (415) 705-6060 [Login: guest]

Philip Elmer-DeWitt (ped@well.com) wrote:
: In article <4i3ag1$35@crl.crl.com>, destiny@crl.com (David Cassel) wrote:

: > What we have here is a public figure who publishes his address, and 
: > doesn't know how to set up a filter.  "I had to get help from my local 
: > Internet provider..."
: > 
: > You're a menace.

: I know how to filter mail from bozos, like you for instance. But how do
: you bounce mail sent from thousands of unique addresses to hundreds of
: different mailing lists?

If they're sent to mailing lists, they aren't being sent to ped@well.com.

Filter on the 'to' line.

Hope this helps! Next time, just ask me, instead of writing a whole article in "Time" to find out.

  destiny@crl.com   /\                   alt.aol-sucks FTP site
                  /    \        ftp://ftp.crl.com/users/de/destiny/aol/
==============================================================================
               /__________\     Now featuring 400K year-end review!!!



From: arromdee@gauss.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,alt.culture.usenet
Subject: Re: PED missed this
Followup-To: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,alt.culture.usenet
Date: 13 Mar 1996 17:14:26 -0500
Organization: Johns Hopkins University CS Dept.

In article , Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote:

>Ever wonder why Usenet has such a great rep in the rest of the world?

Because of people like you promoting studies like the Rimm study. It was directly involved in the CDA.

--

Ken Arromdee (arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu, karromde@nyx.cs.du.edu;
    http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~arromdee)

"An alien invader has entered our galaxy!  It has now entered our universe,
clearing Saturn...  radial velocity KMS minus 8.  It is now orbiting directly
for Earth."      --Bad American Dubbing #2 (quoting ???)



From: sethf@athena.mit.edu (Seth Finkelstein)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,misc.news.intern et.discuss
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Date: 13 Mar 1996 12:28:26 GMT
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In article <4i4b3b$ll4@rtpnews.raleigh.ibm.com> hobie@raleigh.ibm.com (Jason Herr) writes:
> I've seen a lot of attention being payed to a mistake DeWitt made
>and admitted to. It seems more attention is made to giving him crap
>than giving him data or fighting the CDA, which would have gone through
>with or without his mistake. People are speaking of menaces? What about

I won't say he's entirely responsible for the CDA. But he surely didn't help. And he remains to this day quite unapologetic given the magnitude of his mistake. It didn't matter at all for him as far as can be seen, after that massive goof-up he continues to be in position from which emanate many more minor (nearly weekly?) goof-ups. None of which even seem to *bother* him.

"Menace" is probably the wrong connotation, "disaster waiting to happen *again*" may be closer to the truth.

>those who created such a law, it scares me silly that someone who can ignore
>the constitution so freely is holding office.

You might consider part of the *reason* for this is the journalistic system where accuracy is very much irrelevant, constitutional concerns considered "radical" and "unobjective", and sensation-mongering is rewarded.

When was the last time you heard a reporter *ask* a politician "How do you justify this law given the [1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th] amendment?" Forget it. They'd be out the door. Which is really revealing about journalism.

--
Seth Finkelstein                                sethf@mit.edu
Disclaimer : I am not the Lorax. I speak only for myself.
(and certainly not for Project Athena, MIT, or anyone else).


From: sethf@athena.mit.edu (Seth Finkelstein)
Newsgroups: alt.internet.media-coverage,alt.culture.internet,alt.culture.usen et,misc.news.internet.discuss,alt.current-events.rimm-study
Subject: Re: From TIME: Elmer-DeWitt Gets Spammed
Date: 14 Mar 1996 20:27:53 GMT
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In article ped@well.com (Philip Elmer-DeWitt) writes:
>I know damn well that's why I was targeted. I'll carry the Cyberporn
>albatross around my neck until the day I die. But tell me this: if the

                And I had done an hellish thing,
                And it would work 'em woe:
                For all would bet, I had killed The Net
                That made the info blow.
                Ah wretch! said they, The Net to slay
                That made the info flow!

                Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
                Had I from old and young!
                Instead of the cross, the Marty Rimm dross
                About my neck was hung.

_The Rime of the Ancient Time Editor_, with apologies to Samuel Coleridge. [The original can be found at:
Linkname: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts
URL: http://boutell.com/%7Egrant/rime/index.html
just another one of those insignificant bits of non-porn around on the net]

What you don't seem to realize is that the size of the bird that will be flipped at you is also governed by your future actions. You have refused to render a sincere apology, defined as doing everything within your power to make amends. There is also at least the perception that you profited greatly in terms of career from inflaming the Cyberporn hype, using it as part of the process of getting a big promotion. That may not actually be true, but your mere denial of it doesn't carry a lot of weight.

Maybe it's another journalism thing "You guys actually *remember* what happened months ago? And you apply it to *now*???". You don't seem used to dealing with people with memory.

>listserv mailbomb was intended as a CDA protest, why were these addresses
>also attacked?

You may be on it for your role in the CDA. Others for other reasons. You can't be seriously trying to imply "This list may not not be all CDA, so oh me, oh my, whatever could I have done to earn a spot on it, I just can't imagine?"

--
Seth Finkelstein                                sethf@mit.edu
Disclaimer : I am not the Lorax. I speak only for myself.
(and certainly not for Project Athena, MIT, or anyone else).


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