Question from a pine user

Lloyd Wood (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 01:52:44 +0100 (BST)

I Swear, This Is Completely True. Someone asked me:

"Every time I send an email, this PINE thing you said I should use
says 'Writing FCC'.

Is this some sort of American surveillance of my emails? Do they
get sent copies of everything I write?

Anyway, this interface sucks. Should I switch to hotmail instead?"

What, and let Microsoft (who acquired hotmail a while back) accumulate
his emails in a really big database?

Hmmm, big databases of emails sent to and from Joe Public. Imagine
being able to index and query on all emails sent through a
hypothetical consumer-driven content database you owned. It would be
the ultimate consumer poll, in your hands; a couple of of simple
string searches and word counts could tell you whether 'Hanson' was
more or less popular than 'George Michael' at any given time, and you
could invest accordingly. You could see how the Democrats and
Republicans were viewed, and invest - sorry, contribute to party funds
- accordingly, too.

It would be a very useful tool, come the next election. Those Gallup
poll things are inaccurate and way too much trouble and expense to set

Of course, this is a completely hypothetical scenario. It would be
completely unethical. It's unthinkable business practice. It would
never happen.

Remind me why large companies are giving free email accounts away,
will you?

Oh, related ObBookRecommendation: 'Interface', by Stephen Bury (aka
Neal Stephenson and J Frederick George - his uncle?)

Has anyone read 'The Cobweb', by same? Is it any good?


now, _my_ question on searchable databases of emails: why do I have to
have another terminal window standing by to grep my mailbox contents
in, when I'm using pine? Can't pine manage full body-text grep itself?