In the good old days (and I wuz dere):
a) "spam" referred to multi- or cross-posted material (cf Breibart Index)
b) Ads were very much allowed in specific (for-sale) news.groups
c) Ads in other news.groups were ok under quite restricted circumstances.
Examples of ok: (note that on-topic is always present)
1) In answer to a request. (e.g. "Where do I buy an xyz?")
2) A single non-commercial mention - i.e. selling this kind of item
is not the person's business.
3) A notice of availability - i.e. information
4) A brief mention in a .sig
I'm sure that the "nettiquette" docs are still around and can be
consulted on these points.
But, bottom line, I'm pretty sure that if a locksmith posted about the
availability of a new version of the code software she uses that it
would have been ok. It wouldn't even have been considered an "ad". If
the manufacturer of the code software posted the same thing - it would
probably have been considered borderline - and then the size and
frequency of the post and its information vs. ad content would have been
considered in determining which side of the border it fell on.
Back to today - I don't believe that "Kathy" is a locksmith
unaffiliated with Tres... But if she is - then I'd consider the post to
be totally acceptable. If she is just an alias for Tres..., then I'd
consider the post to be an ad - but given its appropriateness, brevity
and lack of puffery, still quite acceptable.
None... We fought the commercialization of the net, but we were essentially
powerless... Then they came up with the WWW so we thought "cool, hopefully
the spam will go there and leave the the older parts of the net (USENET,
IRC, etc) alone..." Still, all in all, nothing is as contaminated as the
WWW, but that's pretty much what it was designed for.
Commercialization need not in and of itself be a bad thing. Spam as most people
define it exists for the most part because of technical diffeciencies which
make it possible to spoof the origin of a message to varying degress. Eliminate
that possibility or even make it very difficult and you would eliminate most