For the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, San Diego, California, 16 March 2005
and diversity lets all kinds of innovative stuff happen: if you go to nytimes.com and "send a story to a friend," the NYT can convincingly spoof your return address on the email it sends to your friend, so that it appears that the email originated on your computer. Also: a spammer can harvest your email and use it as a fake return address on the spam he sends to your friend. Sysadmins have server processes that send them mail to secret pager-addresses when something goes wrong, and GPLed mailing-list software gets used by spammers and people running high-volume mailing lists alike.
You could stop spam by simplifying email: centralize functions like identity verification, limit the number of authorized mail agents and refuse service to unauthorized agents, even set up tollbooths where small sums of mo
Excellent diagnosis - insightful without pretending to have an answer
Cory Doctorow is probably one of the best writers today, not just one of the best writers on the Internet phenomenon. This is just another example of his insight on what most of us overlook -- the "Big Picture" view of the biggest creation of mankind, the Web. He writes so that we can follow along, without expecting us to know what he knows going in. Wonderful stuff, worth your time.
Nice Essay. Thoughts on DRM/spam/etc. as seen through a biological metaphor.