Happy 40th F@&$/:g Birthday Spam!

The Mercury has reported on the 40th anniversary (you read that correctly… 40 years) of the first spam email.

“Almost 40 years ago, on May 1, 1978, Gary Thuerk, a marketer for Massachusetts’ Digital Equipment Corporation, wrote the very first email advertising message to more than 400 users of the system called Arpanet, an early iteration of the Internet. He was reportedly trying to flag the attention of the burgeoning California tech community. He hit send a few days later. As you might suspect, the backlash was almost instantaneous.”

In 2017, Spam is no longer a perhaps annoying but friendly call out to like-minded tech folk, nor is it confined to the basements of University dorms. It is mostly insidious in its nature and it plagues our home computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and anything we do under the title of “social networking”. It is arguably the great grandfather of the Nigerian Prince Scam, phishing, malware and the estimated 40-to-73% of messages sent daily, counting for terabytes upon terabytes of shit clogging up the arteries (much like its mystery-meat counterpart) of our global communications networks.

The Best Sci-Fi Novels to Get You Reading

The authority on nerd, Space.com, has published a list of its Best Science Fiction novels for all ages.

I am mainly a reader of non-fiction, so when it comes to fiction of any kind, I am no connoisseur. But my personal favorite sci-fi novel is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, which tells the tale of an interstellar war faught between man and a race called the “Taurans”; the novel is also a strong metaphor for the sense of alienation felt by returning Vietnam War veterans (Joe Haldeman was wounded and received a Purple Heart in the war), which perhaps also feeds my inner history nerd.

What are your thoughts on Space.com’s list? Feel free to post your personal list below:

World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees for 2017 announced

“The World Video Game Hall of Fame — located in Rochester, New York at the Strong Museum of Play — has announced its third class of games to be honored with induction: Donkey Kong, Halo: Combat Evolved, Pokémon Red and Green, and Street Fighter 2″…. “The other eight 2017 finalists were Final Fantasy 7, Microsoft Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, Myst, Portal, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Wii Sports” (polygon.com).

The first time that I saw Donkey Kong was on a black and white Rank Arena TV set and a console both built almost entirely out of wood. It is my earliest memory of seeing a video game. And I will never forget the rush of elation that I felt when I landed my first dragon punch in Street Fighter 2.

I have tried, but I cannot find rhyme or reason in the strobe-lit visual base-colour cacophony that is Pokemon. And to be honest, I’ve felt somewhat of an indifference towards first-person shooters since my mind exploded on my first play through of the original shareware Doom.

What game would you have inducted? And if it isn’t already in this list, tell us why the hell it should be.