The losing war on junk e-mail

Thursday, 2 August 2007, 1:09 AM EST

In the spring of 1978, an energetic marketing man named Gary Thuerk wanted to let people in the technology world know that his company, the Digital Equipment Corporation, was about to introduce a powerful new computer system. DEC operated out of an old wool mill in Maynard, Massachusetts, and was well known on the East Coast, but Thuerk hoped to reach the technological community in California as well. He decided that the best way to do it was through the network of government and university computers then known as the Arpanet.

At the New Yorker.

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