Anniversary of first internet E-mail Spam

or, Never trust any Spam over 30 years old.

On (or about) May 3, 1978, a representative of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO, sent an Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE), a.k.a., Spam message, though neither term had been coined yet. The message was an invitation to view a demonstration of new DEC hardware at a couple of locations in California, and it was sent to nearly every address on the West Coast.

There was, of course, a huge backlash against the message. Interestingly, not only were there objections to the commercial content of the message, but in the days of connection speeds being measured in baud and kilobytes/second, the size of the message header was a significant load on resources.

This event predates my first hands-on personal computer experience by several months, and it also predates the birth of many people now in the game industry. It is a shame that we still do not have a solution to the problem (which has reached levels as high as 4 spams per second for extended periods on our server here). Unfortunately, most attempts to stem the flow, however well-intentioned, tend to simply make delivery of legitimate messages less reliable.

The time is ripe for a sender pays (recipient earns) system. At an average of upwards of 3000 spams per day, that could be a nice bit of residual income for us.

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