An Internet mailing list is a way for groups of people with
common inerests to share information, by e-mail.
For example, Pat, Sam and Chris might all love mountain climbing, and set up a mailing list, MOUNTAINEERING-L possibly. Now they can each send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with their latest experiences, and everyone else who's connected (or subscribed in technical terms) will receive a copy by e-mail automatically.
Mailing lists are a good way to learn more about the things you like [or need]. They are often a better choice than Usenet newsgroups in terms of signal-to-noise ratio. All in all, they are a Good Thing. But it's often quite hard to handle the vast number of them, so we've gathered our favourites, each with a small description, to share with you. Feel free to email email@example.com or the writers of any specific minireview with questions or suggestions.
SANS is a mailing list about Internet security. The thing I like best about
it is that it is extremely lightweight, carrying only a brief description of
a topic (a newly discovered exploit, for instance) and some pointers for more
information if you need it. This way, you can stay aware of the whole picture
without too much clutter, and still find out more about the things that are relevant to you. Note, though, that
unlike many Internet mailing lists, SANS is not free. A yearly subscription of
$80 is required. SANS also organize conferences about security, and they use
the list for some very moderate self-marketing. SANS comes out eight times a
Bottom line: It seems a little expensive to subscribe to this list unless you're a computer/network security professional yourself, in which case it looks like a nice resource. I'm pretty sure you can ask for a sample issue to see for yourself.
Like SANS, Bugtraq is devoted to Internet security. It's very different from
SANS, though; the volume is much higher [expect around ten messages a day], the
discussion is much deeper, with some amount of noise. However, a very fast
response time -- this was THE place to stay updated about the Netscape browser
bug, for instance.
As you can probably guess, bugtraq is also slightly more of a community for security freaks - from both side of the law ;) .
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, put "subscribe bugtraq" in message body
The music and magic of words--that's what A.Word.A.Day is all about. It is a service from the wordserver at email@example.com which mails out a vocabulary word (in English) and its definition to the subscribers every day. You can think of it as a word trek where we explore strange new words. Words are usually selected around a theme every week.
CONTACT: click on the nice graphic above. You can subscribe at http://www.wordsmith.org/awad/subscribe.html. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org with
subscribe <firstname> <lastname>
Yes, you are a responsible citizen of cyberspace. You don't send email bombs, engage in sexual harassment, dig through other people's private files, or willfully disrupt and destroy discussion groups. On the positive side, perhaps you even take seriously the advice (not heard as often as a few years ago!) to treat newcomers kindly, share your ideas freely for the common good, and cultivate some sort of global consciousness, whatever that means.
But are there concerns and responsibilities, perhaps even more urgent than these, yet less present to mind?
Does it matter how we think about our machines, and how they affect our style of thinking?
Does it matter whether we consciously struggle to locate that subtle, elusive line between "the computer is responsible" and "I'm responsible"?
Does it matter how we form all those little habits that shape our interaction with computers -- from the way we scan the words of another human being, to the way we hammer out our own words, to the way we bow with our attention before the unfolding pattern of screen events, to the way we submit our senses and bodies to be trained by electronic technology?
CONTACT: Current and past issues of NETFUTURE are available on the Web:
subscribe netfuture yourfirstname yourlastname