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TBTF for 1995-09-14: InterNIC'ed; the Spam-to-noise ratio

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Fri, 15 Sep 1995 00:11:42 -0400



A memo leaked out of Network Solutions Inc., the folks who administer the InterNIC, the czars of domain names. We've known they were planning to charge for registering names (see TBTF for 1995-07-30) and now, four days early -- the memo is a draft press release under embargo until Monday 9/18 -- we have the details and the rationale. And so does every other electron-stained wretch in cyberspace, such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Edupage. (The email I saw was timestamped 2:19 this morning. How did those print guys *do* that?)

New registrants will pay $100 for two years' registration. Those who have already registered names will be billed by email (only -- NSI does not and will not maintain a database of street addresses) for $50, payable on the anniversary of registration. Electronic payment will not be accepted: it's check only via snail-mail.

America Online will pay $50 for aol.com. I will pay $50 for impatiens.com. Procter and Gamble will pay $50 each for babydiapers.com, underarm.com, dandruff.com, bacteria.com, toiletpaper.com, and about 100 others: $5000 is chump change.


Trademark Research Corporation (info@cch-trc.com, 800-872-6275) is offering new services that make it easier to comply with new NSI policies requiring domain-name registrants to confirm their legal rights to a trademark, service mark, trade name, or company name. TRC has provided trademark services to lawyers for 50 years, and are now offering domain-name services as a complement. A basic InterNIC search across seven top-level domains (.com, .edu, etc.) for your proposed name and various cognates costs $20 to $50 depending on required turnaround time.


Some nomenclature: "spamming" refers to the practice of splattering unwanted and inappropriate messages or postings -- e.g., commercial solicitations -- across hundreds or thousands of Usenet newsgroups. The term can also apply to indiscriminate and inappropriate mass solicitations by email.

>>From Online Business Today (1995-09-11):

Would-be spammers now have had it tougher since the 1.8b release
of L-Soft international's LISTSERV electronic list management
software. The latest version of the software includes a new "anti-
spamming" feature. Listowners have reported that LISTSERV 1.8b
succeeded in catching such spams as the ubiquitous "Olga" spam
and the "A-Bomb" spam: LISTSERV's anti-spam feature even caught
the "mother of all spams"---a step-by-step primer on "how to spam."
For more information about LISTSERV(tm), consult L-Soft's Web
site at www.lsoft.com or write to sales@LSOFT.COM. The software
can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.lsoft.com/.

The "mother of all spams" refers, I assume, to the infamous Cantor & Siegel, who raised spamming to the fine art it is today. Listserv is one of three commonly used list processors on the net, the others being Listproc and Majordomo.


Spam-to-Noise Ratio

The email address of Impatiens Press has been listed in Adam Gaffin's Media List for two years. Adam's list clearly distinguishes listings of newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations from those of publishing houses, and requests users to use the list to target those organizations that would likely have an interest in the subject being addressed. In other words, Adam requests those who download his list not to use it for spam.

Aside from its presence on Adam's list, I have done no publicizing of Impatiens Press's Net presence.

Impatiens Press received its first unsolicited email in February 1995. Since then I've gotten 13 reasonably on-target inquiries and solicitations, and 32 spams.

Impatiens Press now gets around 1-3 spam messages per week.


>>Sources:

>>Online Business Today -- (ascii version) mail obt.text@hpp.com; PDF
> version: email obt.pdf@hpp.com .

>>Adam Gaffin's Media List -- send email to adamg@world.std.com .


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______________________________________________________
Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.