Filed under book | Tags: · arpanet, botnet, captcha, history of technology, internet, malware, spam, technology, usenet
The vast majority of all email sent every day is spam, a variety of idiosyncratically spelled requests to provide account information, invitations to spend money on dubious products, and pleas to send cash overseas. Most of it is caught by filters before ever reaching an in-box. Where does it come from? As Finn Brunton explains in Spam, it is produced and shaped by many different populations around the world: programmers, con artists, bots and their botmasters, pharmaceutical merchants, marketers, identity thieves, crooked bankers and their victims, cops, lawyers, network security professionals, vigilantes, and hackers. Every time we go online, we participate in the system of spam, with choices, refusals, and purchases the consequences of which we may not understand.
This is a book about what spam is, how it works, and what it means. Brunton provides a cultural history that stretches from pranks on early computer networks to the construction of a global criminal infrastructure. The history of spam, Brunton shows us, is a shadow history of the Internet itself, with spam emerging as the mirror image of the online communities it targets. Brunton traces spam through three epochs: the 1970s to 1995, and the early, noncommercial computer networks that became the Internet; 1995 to 2003, with the dot-com boom, the rise of spam’s entrepreneurs, and the first efforts at regulating spam; and 2003 to the present, with the war of algorithms—spam versus anti-spam. Spam shows us how technologies, from email to search engines, are transformed by unintended consequences and adaptations, and how online communities develop and invent governance for themselves.
Publisher MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 026201887X, 9780262018876
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Filed under artists book | Tags: · spam
Booklet resulting from the workshop “Spam Publishing” held by André Castro and Silvio Lorusso at Transmediale 2013, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
Contributions by Laia Balasch, Yoana Buzova, Lasse Christensen, Lukas Grundmann, Joseph Knierzinger, Matthias Hurtl, Rosa Menkman, Roelof Roscam Abbing, Inga Schlömer, Vivian Schlömer, Nan Wang.
Publisher Spam Publishing Editions, February 2013
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License
via Andre Castro
Filed under book | Tags: · actor-network theory, africa, electronic waste, internet, mass media, net neutrality, networks, spam, web, youth
“The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country’s elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties–activities once limited to the wealthy, university-educated classes. The Internet, accessed on second-hand computers (castoffs from the United States and Europe), has become for these youths a means of enacting a more cosmopolitan self. In Invisible Users, Jenna Burrell offers a richly observed account of how these Internet enthusiasts have adopted, and adapted to their own priorities, a technological system that was not designed with them in mind.
Burrell describes the material space of the urban Internet café and the virtual space of push and pull between young Ghanaians and the foreigners they encounter online; the region’s famous 419 scam strategies and the rumors of “big gains” that fuel them; the influential role of churches and theories about how the supernatural operates through the network; and development rhetoric about digital technologies and the future viability of African Internet cafés in the region.
Burrell, integrating concepts from science and technology studies and African studies with empirical findings from her own field work in Ghana, captures the interpretive flexibility of technology by users in the margins but also highlights how their invisibility puts limits on their full inclusion into a global network society.”
Publisher MIT Press, 2012
ISBN 0262017369, 9780262017367
Acting With Technology series