A sad day for SGI: it's now a spammer

February 28, 2006

I once quite liked SGI and have been following its slow decline with a certain regret. But I did not expect to see this day come; SGI has become a spammer.

Not directly, of course. Large corporations (which SGI still is, sort of) don't spam people directly. Instead they hire specialized places to do this for them, like the well known (one could say 'infamous') Responsys Interact.

SGI might argue that we have previously been an SGI customer so they could spam us with marketing. Well, no, I'm afraid that this excuse no longer flies, especially since we haven't been an SGI customer since before the turn of the century.

And this is a lovely, glowing illustration of why email is now such a hassle. Because I clearly cannot trust a vendor with any long term email address; regardless of why I am getting in touch with them, I need to always, always use a special, just for them email address. And then cancel the address promptly.

Sidebar: the fine details

The marketing spam message had an envelope origin address of Newsletter@sgi.rsc01.com and came from the machine om-sgi.rgc3.net, at IP address, a /24 inside Savvis allocated to Responsys. I did not bother to read very much of it; my scanning tools tell me that it includes, among other things, the address unsubscribe@sgi.com.

(We don't do 'opt out' things like unsubscribing around here. We just block spam sources. It's both simpler and more reliable.)

In a surprise, it contained URLs pointing to the website images.gyrogroup.com (as well as Responsys's domains rsvp0.net, rsc01.net, and responsys.com, and SGI's own website). This belongs to 'Gyro International', which appears to be some kind of marketing firm. In a lovely irony, their website proudly proclaims (in all caps text that's in a graphic; how accessible):

Gyro integrated brand communications build long lasting profitable relationships between people and brands.

Well. Not exactly in this case. Although if you leave out the 'profitable' it's certainly true; I find spam quite memorable, and it certainly builds one sort of relationship.

Written on 28 February 2006.
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Last modified: Tue Feb 28 17:42:46 2006
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