[opendtv] Re: Start-up glitches

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "jmwillkie@xxxxxxx" <jmwillkie@xxxxxxx>, opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx,opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 08:53:38 -0500

At 12:10 PM -0800 4/1/04, jmwillkie@xxxxxxx wrote:
>I'd characterize that as an intemperate remark.  It sounds to me that most
>of the people who didn't want their in-boxes swamped opted to leave the list
>instead of setting up the new list for digest mode.

Watch it BOY.  You might get unsubscribed along with the rest of 
these folks. And the new list has the ability to block certain 
addresses from re-subscribing...


There were a multitude of sins at work here. Many of these folks were 
in a mode that allowed them to view the list online without receiving 
messages. Unfortunately there was way to determine this via the 
Topica list management software. And there was no way to know which 
addresses were in the black hole.

>Also, some people who thought they were done with the list saw it reappear
>in their inboxes.  Either way, it wasn't THEIR fault.


Surprise, surprise!

The intemperate remark came after dealing with one gentleman in 
Philadelphia who was particularly upset. He claimed he had never 
subscribed to Topica, then proceeded to send me 15 e-mails saying:

Take me off the list! Take EVERYONE off JERK.

After a few e-mail exchanges we managed to clear the air and settle 
down. He only wanted to read Mark's Monday memos.

But this whole affair is very telling in terms of what has happened 
to the Internet and e-mail in particular during the years that the 
list was hosted at Topica.

When I first started using e-mail back in 1992 - to work on the SMPTE 
Task Force Report on Digital Image Architecture, e-mail was like 
unbelievable magic.  People all over the world working together to 
create something nearly in real time.

I used to sit in the family room reading e-mail while the rest of the 
family was  watching TV. Occasionally  would have emotional outbursts 
when reading messages. E-mail was a new experience with vast 

Then the web happened and the Internet experience was enhanced again.

Then the entrenched media started to see the ways in which the 
Internet could disrupt their exclusive franchises and disintermediate 
their ability to control media commerce. Things have been going 
downhill ever since.

What I find really interesting in all of this is how the powerful 
interests are using the legal system, legislation and regulation to 
control their destiny. We are now looking at the very real 
possibility that virtually everything that touches media bits will be 
regulated. We are looking at consumers spending billions of dollars 
to protect these bits so that the entrenched interest can be propped 

Yet we cannot come up with a law or a technology to restore some 
sanity to e-mail. I can fully understand why some people were upset 
when I moved the list. Rather than anticipating "You've Got Mail," we 
now approach our computers with apprehension. How many hours do each 
of us now spend filtering through the garbage to find the few 
messages that we want?

My how times have changed!

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

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