Lost and Found Emails

Posted by Samuel Phineas Upham

“Your Mail Has Vanished,” is an article by Michael Specter about the email travels. How does email get from one location to another? And more importantly, why do some get lost along the way? Specter goes on a journey to find the answers, starting with contacting the servers, his internet provider, and then AT&T who finally agrees to give him a tour. The article reveals how email travels from source to destination and even discloses why some emails never make it.

Along the way, Specter gives some interesting facts about email. According to the article, email reached its first ten million customers in a little over a year. In contrast, the telephone reached that many uses in 40 years, the personal computer made its way into ten million American homes within five years.

“It is sometimes hard to assess all the claims made for E-mail: that it has contributed to a renaissance in written communication, that it changes the way people relate to one another or think about time, that it eliminates hierarchies that have existed, literally, for centuries.”

Read entire article: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1999/12/06/1999_12_06_096_TNY_LIBRY_00001969

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