First off, let me apologize for sending a message that has nothing
whatsoever to do with Rubik's Cube. But I know from private electronic
mail that many of you were very annoyed by the six copies of the "magazine
club" advertisement that were distributed through Cube-Lovers during the
last month. I've been urging people to just sit tight and ignore the
messages, because it wasn't entirely clear where the mail was actually
coming from. All that appeared certain was that the ads were being
gatewayed through an Internet Service Provider in New York named "American
Network, Inc" (domain name IXC.NET).
Recently I've been talking to the responsible folks at American Network.
They are quite apologetic about the whole thing, but apparently the
miscreant is working through accounts that they give away free for the
asking. So they actually have no way to track the jerk down. They don't
even know how many of their accounts might all belong to the same person!
This whole experience has apparently woken them up to what a -bad- idea
that is, and they're going to stop.
Besides cleaning up their act about granting free anonymous accounts,
they also tracked down the post office box number that the miscreant uses
for his business. And they have a request:
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 1995 01:00:07 -0500 (EST)
From: Kathryn Kelly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We wish you to do something for us.
We have the address where the individual sending out this
material receives his physical mail.
Please send a letter of complaint to the postmaster at
Staten Island NY 10312
Regarding the person at this address:
Magazine Club Inquiry Center
Att. Internet Services Department
P. O. Box 120990
Staten Island NY 10312 0990
So those of you who really want to complain to somebody, here's your
chance. Compose a nice letter to the Postmaster at the address above
explaining that the folks running the business at that P.O.Box are engaging
in anti-social behavior on the Internet. Unfortunately, I don't believe
there is anything -illegal- about what this jerk is doing (although it is
closely analogous to some things that are illegal to do with a telephone),
so it wont work to demand that the Postmaster actually -do- anything, but
work up a good complaint anyway.
Finally, I urge you all -not- to respond to this message in public. If you
have further thoughts on Internet advertising, electronic mailing list
administration, or clever acts of revenge, you can send them to -me-, but
don't CC your message to Cube-Lovers as a whole. The whole point here is
to keep Cube-Lovers relatively free of off-topic mail. As the list
administrator I get to send out occasional administrivia such as this
message because I do actual -work- to keep the list running.
And yes, I am still working on some new list management technology that
should eliminate problems like this in the future. (And yes, I know all
about MajorDomo, listserv, and their relatives -- you don't need to
enlighten me about them.)
- Alan (Cube-Lovers-Request@AI.MIT.EDU)
(I never imagined when Dave Plummer and I started this list in 1980 that
one day I'd be spending significant time trying to prevent people from
using it to sell magazines. Amazing.)