HUMAN-NETS Digest V8 #32

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Charles McGrew, The Moderator

Oct 1, 1985, 8:06:00 PM10/1/85

HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 1 Oct 1985 Volume 8 : Issue 32

Today's Topics:

Queries - Voice Mail info &
Bboard Usage Within Companies,
Computer Networks - Email addressing (4 msgs),
Announcement - Social Impacts of Computers Curriculum


Date: Sunday, 29 Sep 1985 16:33:18-PDT
From: minow%rex...@decwrl.ARPA
From: (Martin Minow, DECtalk Engineering ML3-1/U47 223-9922)
Subject: Voice Mail info request

I'm trying to write a paper tracing the history of "voice mail"
systems and vaguely recall some work done in the '70's on ARPAnet
(ARPA Speech Project?) but can't seem to track down any references
(except for a few semi-annual reports from Lincoln Labs complaining
about memory errors on the TX-2.)

Any pointers to the literature would be appreciated. Please mail
to me and I'll summarize for TELECOM if there's any interest.


Martin Minow
UUCP: decvax!minow


Date: 30-Sep-85 21:45 PDT
From: William Daul / McDonnell-Douglas / APD-ASD
From: <WBD...@OFFICE-2.ARPA>

I would like to make contact with people that are using BBOARDS within
a comapny. I would like further information on how you use them and
for what purposes. Thanks in advance, --Bi//


Date: Sun, 29 Sep 85 14:48:48 edt
From: BostonU SysMgr <root%boston...@CSNET-RELAY.ARPA>
Subject: Towards a more 'human' method of e-mail addressing (SOLVED!)

Dave Taylor of HP suggests that the US Postal system method of
addressing be used as a model for electronic mail. The argument goes
that a child can manage to use the US Postal system.

The point that is missed is that humans do a lot in the delivery of
mail, far more than should be expected in electronic mail (probably
far more than we can endlessly afford to do in paper mail.) For
example, if that same child sends me a letter:

Barry Shein
Boston Unverstety
111 Cummington St.
Boston, Masachoosets 02215

I suspect it will get here in about the same time it would take if
everything was correct, because a human usually has little difficulty
dealing with minor errors (I can't even represent badly
formed/backwards letters that we always see in those cute notes to
santy claws.) We are unfortunately likely to have to conform to the
stupidity of these machines which, in an area like e-mail, aren't
likely to get a whole lot more human (oh, we could handle some little
spelling errors, but for the foreseeable future the cost tradeoffs
weigh heavily in favor of 'get it right or get it back'.

Actually, a more obvious candidate for a model that works quite well
is the phone system. Perhaps we need to consider whether or not AT&T
got it right the first time and this little foray into 'humanizing'
addressing has actually been a total failure. As you say, it takes
(for some reason) a techno-nurd to get most mail addresses right, but
it seems that little children use the phone system, as 'inhuman' as
addressing people by a string of digits is. The defaults are quite
rational (assume local area code if none etc etc, in office systems,
assume local exchange if none.)

What is really wrong with the idea of an e-mail system sending to me
mail 617-353-9071 (my office line)
or possibly
mail "Barry Shein"@617-353-2780 (the front desk here)

throw in a few mnemonics possibly (like 'Fieldstone 7-7779, the phone
# of my childhood, certainly BU3-2780 or some such could be arranged,
and more, like companies get (1-800-ATT-UNIX.) Add a simple list
processor into your mailer to set-up and automatically use 'frequently
called numbers' and re-dial perhaps and I personally think the problem
ends up just about solved (oh yeah, country codes too, I think ATT has
solved this whole problem, why are we re-inventing a very well
demonstrated wheel?)

In a commentary on the phone system and its use of digits, Harry
Reasoner remarked 'the most miraculous thing about our technological
systems are the people who use them' (ie. the way they adapt to them.)
I agree.

How many of you out there keep lists of people's phone #s and e-mail
addresses? A lot I bet, why not consolidate (and hey! you can then
maybe use 555-1212 and phone books to possibly get peoples e-mail
addresses, for a very small amount of $$ listings could be added like:

Boston University
CS E-mail 353-1010

right in with the other listings, it might even be a real phone (I
guess AT&T would require it to be, but certainly there are enough
phones around computers that one could be chosen and given a double

Solved, when do we start?

-Barry Shein, Boston University


Date: Mon, 30 Sep 85 11:25:05 EDT
From: "Marvin A. Sirbu, Jr." <SI...@MIT-MC.ARPA>
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V8 #31

The CCITT is currently developing a draft standard for electronic mail
names and a directory service to go with the X.400 standard for
message format and distribution. Copies of the latest draft are
available from Omnicom in McLean, Va. The standard is very similar to
the <name>, <company>, <location> system proposed by Dave Taylor.

Marvin Sirbu


Date: Sat, 28 Sep 85 22:18 MST
From: "Ronald B. Harvey" <Harvey%p...@CISL-SERVICE-MULTICS.ARPA>
Subject: Re: Information Overload

Mr. Taylor brings up some interesting questions regarding location of
individuals by computer. There is currently work going on in several
groups of ANSI/ECMA/ISO/CCITT on Directory Services. I believe that
the ANSI group is X3T5.4. I don't have any more information about
that group at this time (being at home) but by calling ANSI you should
be able to get the chairman's name/number and determine next meeting
info, etc.

What has been proposed so far (and I think this has consensus) is that
there would be a global naming tree that would be navigated based upon
things like country, company, department, title, name, address, etc.
All of the details of all of the attributes are not standardized, nor
do I believe they are meant to be.

Also, this directory system is meant to be distributed, so that not
every system has to know all of the tree, but instead can 'learn' more
about parts of the tree as it has to by asking the responsible parties
for the information.

Of course, there is the issue of directory costs, etc. Suppose you
accidentally invoke a search that causes your service to look for all
of the people named Murphy in Ireland? There is also privacy - should
you be able to find all of the women in France with (or without?)
company affiliations? These and more tough questions like them are
still open for discussion. I don't think that they have been
seriously addressed yet (except as a "yes, we will have to get to that

Note that I am not directly involved in this area of standardization,
nor is anybody that I talk to frequently. However, I do try to track
it to some extent.


Date: Mon, 30 Sep 85 13:18 EST
From: Spiros Triantafyllopoulus <spiros%gmr....@CSNET-RELAY.ARPA>
Subject: Re: Information Overload

I read the posting by Dave Taylor, and I found some parts
quite interesting. The objective is still down the road, though.
The main concern, as far as I can tell, is addressing. And here is
the good old argument about easy-to-use vs. hard-to-use ssystems.

I don't mind an address such as ihnp4!-ut-sally!usl!usl-pa!jihres10
for me. The address can be kept in a way similar to phone numbers,
i.e. in a rolodex or something. By attempting to make the system
use USnail addressing we only complicate it further without much
gain. If a person can't type all this string, then!. And, for a
large number of people, the rolodex is still good.

Using a paper mail-based addressing scheme does not do much good.
See, in the first place you have to remember the full address
and the way the guy spells the name (is it McDonnald or MacDonald or
Mc. Donnald, :-)). Having a unique code (i.e mcdonnald) helps
much more. Of course you need the rolodex, like:

| Mac Donald, Mike | ihnp4!here!there!and-finally!mcdonnald |
| : : : | |

At the worst case, a local front-end, specific to each user
can be maintained.

Dave's proposed system is superior to the one i suggested above
(and which i use for the last N years in USENET, CSNET, etc)
in terms of not having to know the address. That is, if you
have never mailed anything to the guy before or do not know
his address. To save your day, this can also be implemented as
the 1-XXX-555-1212 type of thing, like directory assistance
where you can dial in and search in the hub site. (kinda
like a net name server). Then, you can keep the
complexity only to the hubs and let the end computers (i.e.
PC's, MAC's and the such) only dial in to the name server,
find the address and proceed.

I think we should assimilate the hoped-for electronic mail
system more to a telephone system and less to a paper-based
system. After all, paper systems ARE ineffective and
inflexible (i.e no re-routing, redundancy, etc).


Spiros Triantafyllopoulos
GM Research Labs, Warren, MI
CSNet: Spiros@GMR
UUCP : ihnp4!sally!usl!sigma


Date: 26 Sep 1985 0911-PDT
From: Rob-Kling <Kling%UCI-20B@UCI-ICSA>
Subject: Social Impacts of Computing: Graduate Study at UC-Irvine
To: telecom@MIT-MC



Graduate Education in

Computing, Organizations, Policy, and Society

at the University of California, Irvine

This graduate concentration at the University of California,
Irvine provides an opportunity for scholars and students to
investigate the social dimensions of computerization in a setting
which supports reflective and sustained inquiry.

The primary educational opportunities are PhD concentrations in
the Department of Information and Computer Science (ICS) and MS and
PhD concentrations in the Graduate School of Management (GSM).
Students in each concentration can specialize in studying the social
dimensions of computing.

The faculty at Irvine have been active in this area, with many
interdisciplinary projects, since the early 1970's. The faculty and
students in the CORPS have approached them with methods drawn from the
social sciences.

The CORPS concentration focuses upon four related areas of

1. Examining the social consequences of different kinds of
computerization on social life in organizations and in the larger

2. Examining the social dimensions of the work and organizational
worlds in which computer technologies are developed, marketed,
disseminated, deployed, and sustained.

3. Evaluating the effectiveness of strategies for managing the
deployment and use of computer-based technologies.

4. Evaluating and proposing public policies which facilitate the
development and use of computing in pro-social ways.

Studies of these questions have focussed on complex information
systems, computer-based modelling, decision-support systems, the
myriad forms of office automation, electronic funds transfer systems,
expert systems, instructional computing, personal computers, automated
command and control systems, and computing at home. The questions
vary from study to study. They have included questions about the
effectiveness of these technologies, effective ways to manage them,
the social choices that they open or close off, the kind of social and
cultural life that develops around them, their political consequences,
and their social carrying costs.

CORPS studies at Irvine have a distinctive orientation -

(i) in focussing on both public and private sectors,

(ii) in examining computerization in public life as well as within

(iii) by examining advanced and common computer-based technologies "in
vivo" in ordinary settings, and

(iv) by employing analytical methods drawn from the social sciences.

Organizational Arrangements and Admissions for CORPS

The CORPS concentration is a special track within the normal
graduate degree programs of ICS and GSM. Admission requirements for
this concentration are the same as for students who apply for a PhD in
ICS or an MS or PhD in GSM. Students with varying backgrounds are
encouraged to apply for the PhD programs if they show strong research

The seven primary faculty in the CORPS concentration hold
appointments in the Department of Information and Computer Science and
the Graduate School of Management. Additional faculty in the School
of Social Sciences, and the program on Social Ecology, have
collaborated in research or have taught key courses for CORPS
students. Our research is administered through an interdisciplinary
research institute at UCI which is part of the Graduate Division, the
Public Policy Research Organization.

Students who wish additional information about the CORPS concentration
should write to:

Professor Rob Kling (Kling@uci-icsa)
Department of Information and Computer Science
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, Ca. 92717
714-856-5955 or 856-7548

or to:

Professor Kenneth Kraemer (Kraemer@uci-icsa)
Graduate School of Management
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, Ca. 92717


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