Why would I use 256-Bit SSL Encryption with Newsgroups?

Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:00:16 GMT  Message-ID: <[email protected]>  From: [email protected] (Mark Moraes)  Subject: Rules for posting to Usenet  Newsgroups: news.announce.newusers    Archive-name: usenet/posting-rules/part1  Original-author: [email protected] (Mark Horton)  Comment: enhanced & edited until 5/93 by [email protected] (Gene Spafford)  Last-change: 16 Jan 1998 by [email protected] (Mark Moraes)  Changes-posted-to: news.misc,news.answers    This message describes some of the rules of conduct on Usenet.  The rules  vary depending on the newsgroup.        Some newsgroups are intended for discussions and some for announcements  or queries.  It is not usually a good idea to carry on discussions in  newsgroups that are designated otherwise.  It is never a good idea to  carry on "meta-discussions" about whether a given discussion is  appropriate -- such traffic mushrooms until nobody can find articles  that belong.  If you are unhappy with what some user said, send him/her  mail, don't post it.      Before posting, think about where your article is going.  If it's posted  to a "comp", "humanities", "news", "misc", "soc", "sci", "rec" or "talk"  newsgroup, it will probably go to the sites on every continent with an  estimated audience of more than 3 million potential readers.  Certain  articles are only of local interest (e.g. used car ads) and it is  inappropriate to post them to the whole world.  Use the "Distribution"  feature to restrict distribution to your local area.  If you don't know  how to use this feature, read the "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions  about Usenet" in another article in news.announce.newusers. (Note,  however, that some sites have broken software or improperly configured  news systems, so sometimes use of a "Distribution" header may not work.)      Be considerate with your use of network resources.  Your individual  usage may not seem like much compared to the net as a whole, but in  aggregate, small savings in disk or CPU add up to a great deal.  For  instance, messages offering thanks, jibes, or congratulations will  only need to be seen by the interested parties -- send these by mail  rather than posting them. The same goes for simple questions, and  especially for any form of "me too" posting.    To help minimize some transfer load and disk usage throughout the  Usenet, consider not only how many groups should carry your posting  over what distribution area, but also how long it will be useful. Many  kinds of postings -- such as those making announcements or offers --  have an obvious useful lifetime. Posted questions that aren't answered  within a decent interval probably won't be answered at all, and  announcements will have a limited lifetime. All such postings will be  using bandwidth to no purpose after a certain time.  When making such  postings one should determine what that time interval is, based upon  the nature of the posting, the volume of articles on the newsgroup(s)  involved, and the habits of the audience, if known. Then include an  expiration date in the posting. This will mark the date after which  the article should not be retained at each site.    To include an expiration date in an article, when posting insert a  line in the header below the "Newsgroups:" line with the expiration.  For instance, type "Expires: 5 Feb 92" to have the article expire  after Feb 5, 1992.  Most news software will also accept expiration  dates of the form "Expires: +5days".  Please do NOT set expiration  dates far into the future simply to have the article stay around.  Many sites expire old articles no matter what the header indicates, so  you are unlikely to achieve much other than clutter the disk on a few  sites.  Default expiration is normally in the range of 7 to 21 days,  depending on disk space at each site.      Don't post announcements regarding major news events (e.g. the space  shuttle has just exploded!) to news groups.  By the time most people  receive such items, they will long since have been informed by  conventional media.  If you wish to discuss such an event on the net,  use the "misc.headlines" newsgroup.      Announcement of professional products or services on Usenet is allowed,  provided suitable restraint is exercised. Since someone else is paying  the phone bills for this, it is important that it be of overall benefit  to Usenet.  One of the few groups where such information is appropriate  is comp.newprod.  comp.newprod is a moderated group; you can get the  submission guidelines from the article "Welcome to comp.newprod", posted  periodically to comp.newprod and news.answers.  You can also get this  article by sending a mail message to [email protected] with the  single line:  	send usenet-by-group/news.answers/newprod    If your posting is really relevant to some other newsgroup, particularly  one of the *.announce newsgroups, you may consider posting it there; some  moderators allow product announcements in the *.announce newsgroups. e.g.  an announcement about an Amiga product could go in  comp.sys.amiga.announce.  Before you post any such announcements, make  sure that you carefully read all of the administrative documents for the  group.  Also, read the regular messages in the group itself for at least  a week to make sure that your announcement is consistent with what other  people post.  Of course, this is true for *any* post, but especially true  for commercial announcements.    General guidelines: Clearly mark your article as a product announcement  in the subject.  Never repeat these -- one article per product at the  most; preferably group everything into one article.  Advertising hype is  especially frowned upon -- stick to technical facts.  Obnoxious or  inappropriate announcements or articles violating this policy will  generally be rejected.  This policy is, of course, subject to change if  it becomes a problem.    There exists an alternative hierarchy called "biz" specifically for  commercial postings.  See the articles "Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies,  Part ...", posted periodically to several newsgroups, including  news.lists.misc.  You can also get these articles by sending a mail message  to [email protected] with the lines:          send usenet-by-group/news.answers/alt-hierarchies/part1          send usenet-by-group/news.answers/alt-hierarchies/part2      Some newsgroups are moderated.  In these groups, you cannot post  directly, either by convention or because the software prevents it.  To  post to these newsgroups, send mail to the moderator. Examples:    Newsgroup		Moderator		Purpose  ---------		---------		-------  news.announce.important [email protected]	Important announcements for everyone.  comp.std.unix		[email protected]	Unix standards discussion.  rec.food.recipes	[email protected]	Sharing favorite recipes.    Some newsgroups have special purpose rules:    Newsgroup		Rules  ---------		-----  news.announce.important	Moderated, no direct postings, important things only.  misc.wanted		Queries, "I want an x", "Anyone want my x?".  No  			discussions. Don't post to more than one xxx.wanted.   			Use the smallest appropriate wanted (e.g. used car  			ads to nj.wanted.)  			Requests for sources, termcaps, etc. should go to the  			"comp.sources.wanted" newsgroup.  rec.humor		Clean humor only; anything offensive must be rotated;  			no discussions -- humor only.  Discussions go in  			rec.humor.d  rec.arts.movies		Don't post anything revealing part of a movie  			without marking it (spoiler) in the subject.  rec.arts.*		Same as movies -- mark spoilers in the subject line.  news.groups		Discussions about new groups: whether to create  			them and what to call them.  Don't post yes/no  			votes, mail them to the author  misc.test		Use the smallest test group possible, e.g.  			"test" or "ucb.test".  Say in the body of the  			message what you are testing.      If you're thinking of posting anything that was written by someone else  (eg. article, song, picture), make sure that you are familiar with the  copyright issues.  If you're not sure about the copyright issues, then find  out before posting.  For instance, you must not post anything that you were  allowed to see only because of a confidentiality agreement, such as a UNIX  source license.    It is generally considered rude to post private e-mail correspondence  without the permission of the author of that mail, and furthermore, it's  likely a copyright violation as well.    All opinions or statements made in messages posted to Usenet should be  taken as the opinions of the person who wrote the message.  They do not  necessarily represent the opinions of the employer of that person, the  owner of the computer from which the message was posted, or anyone  involved with Usenet or the underlying networks of which Usenet is made  up.  All responsibility for statements made in Usenet messages rests  with the individual posting the message.      Posting of information on Usenet is to be viewed as similar to  publication.  Because of this, do not post instructions for how to do  some illegal act (such as jamming radar or obtaining cable TV service  illegally); also do not ask how to do illegal acts by posting to the  net.      If you have a standard signature you like to append to your articles,  and you are running a form of news software that supports automatic  inclusion of a signature file, it is usually enabled by putting it in  a file called .signature in your home directory.  The posting software  you use should automatically append it to your article.  Please keep  your signatures concise, as people do not appreciate seeing lengthy  signatures, nor paying the phone bills to repeatedly transmit them.  2  or 3 lines are usually plenty.  Sometimes it is also appropriate to  add another line or two for addresses on other major networks where  you can be reached (e.g., CompuServ, Bitnet).  Long signatures are  definitely frowned upon.  DO NOT include drawings, pictures, maps, or  other graphics in your signature -- it is not the appropriate place  for such material and is viewed as rude by other readers.      If you post an article and remember something you've left out or realize  you've made a factual error, you can cancel the article and (if canceled  quickly enough) prevent its distribution.  Then you can correct whatever  was wrong and post a new copy.  In "rn", "trn", "nn" and "readnews", (and  probably most other newsreaders) an article that you posted can be  canceled with the "C" command.  In "tin", use "D" (delete) to cancel an  article.  Newer newsreaders typically offer "Cancel" from a menu.  Be  aware, however, that some people may have already read the incorrect  version so the sooner you cancel something, the better.      Before posting a question to the net (especially one that you think  will be easy for experts to answer), consider carefully whether  posting is the most appropriate way to get the answer.  There are many  ways to find answers without using up network resources and forcing  thousands of people to read your question (and several helpful  volunteers to spend time responding).  Many newsgroups have a  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list that is posted periodically  (usually every few weeks), and they are also usually cross-posted  to news.answers.  They usually have explicit expiration dates set, so  they shouldn't be expired until a new version has been posted, so if  you can't find the FAQ in either the newsgroup or news.answers, there  probably isn't one (thus, it's probably not useful to post a question  asking whether there is one).  If you have local experts (or simply  more experienced users than yourself) at your site, try asking them  before posting.  If you're trying to find where you can FTP software  or a newsgroup archive, try using the Archie service; see postings in  news.answers for details.  Many newsgroups are also archived in Wide  Area Information Service (WAIS) databases; WAIS client software may be  FTPed from ftp.think.com, or you may use WAIS by telnetting to  quake.think.com and logging in as "wais".  Finally, you should also  check the manuals for your system; if you don't, and you post a  question that's answered there, you'll likely receive a number of  responses that scream "RTFM" (Read the F*ing Manual).      Usually, it is sufficient to post any article to a single newsgroup; the  one that's most relevant to the subject of your article.  If the article  is really relevant to multiple newsgroups, then "cross-post" to the  relevant newsgroups by posting the article only once with all newsgroups  named on the "Newsgroups" header line.  For example:    	Newsgroups: comp.fish,misc.sheep,talk.ketchup    would cause an article to be posted to comp.fish, misc.sheep, and  talk.ketchup simultaneously.    If you are using TIN, please do not use the "crosspost" function to  accomplish this.  This is a misleadingly named command that really should  be called "repost."    By posting a single article to all the newsgroups you wish to reach, the  news software is able to transfer a single copy.  Furthermore, users with  "smart" newsreaders will see the article only once.  Making separate  postings of your article for each newsgroup you wish to reach tends to  annoy readers rather than emphasize the message content as well as waste  computational resources.      All newsreaders should have two ways to post a news article.  First,  there is an original posting; this is used whenever you are starting a  new topic.  Second, there is a "followup"; this is used when you are  posting a response to another news article.  In several newsreaders,  including "rn", the "f" command usually generates an original posting  if your current position is at the end of the newsgroup, but a  followup when you have a current article; you can also use the "Pnews"  command outside of rn to make an original posting.    The news posting software does special things in the second case that  indicates to the news system that this article is "related" to the  article to which you are following up.  First, the newsreader adds  "Re: " before the existing subject line to tell people that this is  "regarding" a previous article.  Second, the software adds a  "References" line that contains the Message-ID of the article you are  following up.  This header is used by threaded news readers such as  "trn" to follow "threads" of discussion.    It is important that these two posting methods not be confused.  Don't  follow up to articles without using the newsreader's "followup" mechanism.  Conversely, don't use the followup mechanism to post an article that is  an unrelated thread.  Violating this convention sometimes leads to  confusion and annoyance of users with threaded newsreaders.    When posting a followup, be careful about newsgroups.  The article  that you're responding to might have been cross-posted to several  newsgroups, and by default your followup will go to ALL of those  newsgroups.  Or the article might have a Followup-To line in its  header, and in that case, by default your followup will go where the  Followup-To line says -- which might not be the newsgroup where you're  reading the article.  You should ensure that your article is posted  only to newsgroups where its actual content is appropriate.  Sometimes  it's better to leave the newsgroups on your own article the same as  they were, but put a Followup-To line in its header to confine  followups to an appropriate group.  In any case, it's best for  articles that have a Followup-To line to be posted to whatever groups  are mentioned in that line, and to mention in the text of the article  that followups are redirected.  The idea is for the threads of  articles to make sense in each newsgroup where the articles appear,  for people who don't read the others.      If you don't see your posting immediately, don't assume it failed and try  to repost it at once.  Some sites have set up the local software to  process news periodically.  Thus, your article will not appear  immediately.  If you post again, you will have multiple copies of the  article in circulation.      If the news system rejects a followup due to "more quoted lines than  new text," please do not use "filler" lines to make up for this.  Instead, if after careful editing, you have more to quote than to  write, change the citation character.  For example, in the display  editor vi, you could use the incantation:  	:%s/^>/</  Be careful not to do the very similar:  	:%s/>/</  which will affect >'s that are not being used as the citation  character.  (In particular, it will damage the "References" line in the  article header.)      In preparing an article, be aware that other people's machines are  not the same as yours.  The following is a list of things to keep  in mind:   * Keep your lines under 80 characters, and under 72 if possible (so that     the lines won't get longer than 80 when people include them when     responding to your postings).  Most editors have a fill or format mode     that will do this for you automatically.  Make sure that it     actually puts ("hard") newline characters into the file, rather     than just wrapping the displayed lines on your screen.   * Right justified text may look "prettier" in some sense, but it     is almost always harder to read than leaving ragged right     margins; don't justify your articles.   * Most special control characters will not work for most readers.     In fact, the  space character is about the only one     you can be sure will work consistently. Even tabs aren't always     the same from machine to machine, and should be avoided.  Many mail     agents will strip or remap control characters.   * Pictures and diagrams should not use embedded tabs.   * Refer to articles by Message-ID, and never by article number.     Article numbers vary on every news system, Message-IDs are always     preserved throughout the network.   * What you think is the previous article is unlikely to be so elsewhere.   * Submissions in a single case (all upper or all lower) are     difficult to read.      In general, when a mailing to somebody fails, DON'T post a message  about it!  Think for a moment: you are trying to send something to  someone on ONE system.  Your message might go through (at most) TEN  systems on the way there.  Posting a message in the news sends it to  many tens of thousands of systems throughout the world!  There is no  way to justify adding to the news load of all those machines simply  because you cannot determine how to get your mail through.    If your message is important, contact someone who knows more about the  mail system and who might be able to help you get your message  through.  Your local system administrator, for instance, or the admin  of the next site "upstream," might be able to help. You can also send  mail to "postmaster" at one of the major Usenet sites.  Almost all of  these people would rather see an occasional plea for help in their  mailbox than read another broadcast in the news system.  If your  message is *really* important, pick up the phone and try to call the  other person.