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The Internet

Proposed Usenet Death Penalty for Australia's Largest ISP 240

supine writes "David Ritz has issued a request for discussion on applying a Usenet Death Penalty to Australia's largest ISP, Bigpond (and it's parent company Telstra)." This brought back to memory the time when AOL was facing similar charges.
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Proposed Usenet Death Penalty for Australia's Largest ISP

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  • Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by josh crawley ( 537561 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:07AM (#5457104)
    On usenet, there's too many propigation problems anyways. Many of us miss posts done by ISP's within 10-15 class A netblocks. Multiple pulls on multiple servers can help, but there's always that fighting to find the new news server.

    I used to pull from alt.control and alt.test and pull news server that looked like a FQDN and then ping tested them. Then it tried to connect and do a test. I then used them as my 'private news server'. Still, you wanna be careful doing this... cause the net.gods live in control groups. Piss them off, and you already have UDP.

    BTW, what's with all these slashdot server errors?????
    • Re:Big deal. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:51AM (#5457306) Journal
      I used to pull from alt.control and alt.test and pull news server that looked like a FQDN and then ping tested them. Then it tried to connect and do a test. I then used them as my 'private news server'. Still, you wanna be careful doing this...
      If anyone's interested in open news servers without doing the probing themselves, check out NewzBot [newzbot.com]. The site tracks a database of news servers accessible to the public. You can even search to see which servers carry a particular group. There aren't as many "big" servers (30K+ groups) as there used to be, but if your ISP's server misses an article, chances are you'll find a server at NewzBot that has it.
    • BTW, what's with all these slashdot server errors?????

      Apparently, Slashdot posted a story about the changes they were making to the slashcode. Unfortunately, they included a self-referential link. Hence, slashdot was slashdotted. :-)
  • And they said... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thinmac ( 98095 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:10AM (#5457117) Homepage
    The Geek Union [slashdot.org] was stupid.

    Why doesn't stuff of this nature happen more often? Why can't this same logic be applied (through different, although possibly similar means) to other Bad Things that happen on the internet? What could stop Adobe suing Russian hackers? What would put an end to bad patents? What could even stop the application of the DMCA? Large scale, cooperative denial of service (in this case denying to serve them, not flooding their lines) of the institutions which do these things.

    As an interesting sidenote, Katz specifically talked about applying this to Australian ISPs in the above linked /. discussion.
    • Re:And they said... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by archeopterix ( 594938 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @07:07AM (#5457440) Journal
      Why doesn't stuff of this nature happen more often? Why can't this same logic be applied (through different, although possibly similar means) to other Bad Things that happen on the internet? What could stop Adobe suing Russian hackers? What would put an end to bad patents? What could even stop the application of the DMCA? Large scale, cooperative denial of service (in this case denying to serve them, not flooding their lines) of the institutions which do these things.
      Usenet UDP is specific:

      1. Few parties involved - Usenet is much more hierarchical than the general Internet. Probably if less than 20 (my guess, it might be wrong) important parties agree on a UDP, it gets enforced. How many entities would have to boycott Adobe (or whoever) for them to actually feel it?

      2. Clear and publicly defined "abuse". Spam, rogue cancels & supersedes. You don't get UDP'ed for being nasty to whales or pushing for bad legislation. This makes agreement easier, if not automatic.

      Withouth the 2 above conditions, it ends in a parody: Bob from Smallville doesn't show his homepage to Adobe employees, Alice from Podunk drops all mail from Microsoft and the boycotted companies would laugh at this if they only knew that they are "boycotted".
  • by rf0 ( 159958 ) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:11AM (#5457122) Homepage
    You just need to know which groups to look at. For certain specialist things it can provide decent information and a reasonable community. Also the UDP does work as was shown with blueyonder.co.uk a year ago or so. They were threatened and quickly cleaned up their act when they saw the impact
  • Not Satisfactory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:12AM (#5457125)
    "...a simultaneous UDP of VSNL and SILNET...was instituted for their failure to even begin to control the usenet terrorist who calls himself "HipCrime" ...Currently, VNSL and SILET have enabled port 119 (news)blocks on all outgoing connections from their services with the exception of their own servers. "

    I would hardly call this a satisfactory outcome. Anyone with an inkling of knowledge can get around port blocks in a tick. If they are going to invoke a UDP surely the only thing that should lift it would be the prying of the spammers keyboards from their cold dead hands.
  • by Rooked_One ( 591287 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:14AM (#5457134) Journal
    Something like that takes a lot of participation. Think of it in a punk buster sort of way for quake3, and thats a pretty good metaphor describing it.

    I think it would be sort of like communism.... its great in principle but not in practice.

    • by rhaig ( 24891 ) <rhaig@acm.org> on Friday March 07, 2003 @09:05AM (#5457666) Homepage
      you know not of which you speak.

      to be effective "enough" a UDP only needs the participation of a couple dozen of the biggest usenet server admins. And for someone like Telstra, they will participate.

      The second phase of this proposed UDP, will only require the participation af a few cancelbots. While some servers ignore cancels, it is to their advantage to obey pgp-signed cancels, and cancels that can be verified as coming from a good source. Those who ignore these cancels, will simply be storing the extra articles themselves, and hurting only themselves and their peers.
      • Though it is precisely the existance of cancelbots that make it important for companies to NOT accept third party cancels .. signed or not.

        What about the sometimes nasty people / groups (riaa??) who poison the binary groups with cancels of 1 part out of 10 or 100 so that the entire file is at best corrupt and at worst unusable.

        anymore with Usenet .. there are so many commercial providers with peering arrangements out the wazoo that if a message gets to any of them the propagation goes up 100 fold.

        Now a UDP if you can lock off they're specific peering providers might be a bit more effective .. and that information is possible to get from some servers if they don't rebuild the header of every message like some are configured to do (seems like Twister is one such program .. or at least it can)
  • I say let 'em have it. The only issue is the possible backlash, and I say heck with it, they're obviously being bad netizens. There's really no discussion to be had.

    Other than all the haters posting about 'is usenet still around'...jeez usenet threads are almost as offtopic with haters as the sendmail ones...

  • by btempleton ( 149110 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:50AM (#5457203) Homepage
    It amazes me how much emotion spam brings out. I hate it as much as anybody, but that's not enough to violate fundamental principles, including the one that it's not moral to punish the innocent to get at the guilty, particularly when you deliberately punish the innocent because by association, they can be forced to put pressure on the guilty or those who can punish the guilty.

    It's like starving out a country to depose a dictator. Whoops. :-(

    It's just not something you do, and spam, while a royal pain in the ass, doesn't cut it. I wouldn't punish the innocent to get Usama bin Ladin, let alone spammers.
    • by PigleT ( 28894 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:36AM (#5457274) Homepage
      "to violate fundamental principles, including the one that it's not moral to punish the innocent to get at the guilty,"

      That rather depends on which version of ethics you're using at the time, doesn't it? There are considerably more valid users of usenet *outside* Telestra's borders than there are within, all of whom suffer from Telestra's bad approach to spam. Given that the whole reason for the UDP suggestion is persistent continual large-scale offence from them, it's not as though they've not had the chance to repair their ways. Cutting off a few for the sake of the greater good is very much a valid "moral" choice.

      "I wouldn't punish the innocent to get Usama bin Ladin, let alone spammers."

      OBL's daily activities don't impinge on you in any way, until you get an odd-one-out. Spammers' activities *do* impinge, through ISPs having to pass on bandwidth costs to someone, ie their users.
    • by pla ( 258480 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:45AM (#5457292) Journal
      it's not moral to punish the innocent to get at the guilty
      Historically, a UDP benefits the innocent-at-the-offending-provider (aside from a temporary iconvenience) just as much as it benefits the rest of the net. And, as far as I can recall, no UDP has ever lasted longer than a week, so we don't exactly talk about a long-term problem here.

      Or, to put it in a different (more familiar to the modern, non-usenet-oriented world) light, consider how much legit users in .tw, .kr, .ru, and recently .il suffer as a result of their ISP's sloth... If we had an email equivalent of the UDP (EDP?), perhaps we wouldn't all have to block those addresses by default, no doubt to the great relief of non-spammers in those regions.


      As an aside... DAMN! Someone fix Slashdot! I've typed this same blob in about five times so far, because I keep getting logged out, my messages dumped (blank screen loads), and bizarre error message. Aurgh!
    • when you're older, and have little kids, and your daughter says 'daddy, can I be banged by a 12 inch cock like the lady says in my email', perhaps you'll change your mind.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Look, if you want kids it's your responsibility to care for them. I don't like children, and I don't see any special need to care for children. This whole "won't somebody please help the children" is really beginning to piss me off, and I am someone who used to be very politically correct.

        If you want to help anyone, help the old folk who have been working their asses off to make a more comfortable world for you and me, not the whiny little shits who cry for more and haven't put a dime in. Children are nothing more than immature adults, with all the potential to do very much good or very much harm.

        There are a dozen valid arguments against spam, and, "It will hurt the children," is not one of them. Your argument is about as shit as arguing against child porn "in case other children see it".

        (And before you ask, I'm 22, not 65.)

        • I don't like children, I don't see any special need to care for children. [...] the whiny little shits who cry for more and haven't put a dime in

          Quick reminder: You were once a child, and enjoyed the many protections and benefits that come with that state. To say that others shouldn't have them is a bit hypocritical.

          Granted, a lot of people hide their agendas behind "save the children" rhetoric, when they really mean, "save me from thinking" or "save me from dealing with something that makes me feel uncomfortable". This is also hypocritical, and, as Mark Twain knew, it ends up being bad for the children.

          The only thing we all have in common is an unbroken line, eons long, of ancestors who took the time to have children. Suggesting that having children is some sort of quirky personal choice ignores the last few hundred million years of history and the essential nature of life itself.
        • Pretty troll. Nice troll.

          Look, if you want kids it's your responsibility to care for them. I don't like children, and I don't see any special need to care for children. This whole "won't somebody please help the children" is really beginning to piss me off, and I am someone who used to be very politically correct.

          How this post is insightful I don't know. Interesting, maybe, but still wrong. It is the responsibility of the collective society to raise and provide for children. This is "left-leaning" and "liberal", but also "reality". You may bitch about paying taxes to fund schools when you have no children, but the alternative is uneducated children dragging society down in street crime and woeful literacy rates (inner cities, anyone?). I don't think it is anyones responsibilty but my own to meter my children's television and entertainment. And I do protect them from what I consider the "unheathy" portions of society. Sadly, email is one of them. I don't want my boys getting invited to check out "Angela on her webcam" or reading of "super ejaculation distance" so they don't get email.

          They CAN browse the web, but I forbid name resolution. I add sites I approve of to their computers of via a hosts file. They are young enough that I can get away with that for now.

          And to say that no child deserves protections after you just got done having them yourself is selfish, at best.

    • This happens all the time. If a few members of a high-school basketball team keep brawling with the opposing team and the school does NOTHING. Eventually that school will not be allowed to play until they clean up their act. This my not be fair to the players who don't fight but it is reasonable.
    • Re:Not just annoying (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @06:21AM (#5457359)
      Span isn't just a pain in the ass. It costs shitloads of money.

      I can't remember the amount of bandwidth it takes to keep a news server updated, but it's a pretty big chunk. That makes it expensive to run a Usenet news server in the first place.

      Now consider that an estimated 60% of the crap coming out of Telestra is spam, and the issue doesn't just become one of an annoyance. Telestra is costing lots of people lots of money.

      Under this situation, I think it is perfectly acceptable for admins to stop listening to the noise Telestra is putting out over the pipes. Frankly, the UDP is the only real defense Usenet has against ill-behaved entities, and it is used rarely, and only when all other options have been exhausted and the provider being UDPd is still refusing to cooperate. Yeah, it sucks for Telestra users, but if they want their Usenet service to return to normal, they can vote with their money by going to another ISP, or they can pressure Telestra to start behaving.
      • Telstra get good money from spammers, it's big business.
        That's why almost every UDP either doesn't get past the threat stage, or is effective within 24 hours of its invokation - the ISPs are fully aware of the problem, and can solve it almost instantly, but while they can keep milking spammers they'll keep milking spammers.
        It's easy money until the Usenet Cabal points the finger.

        If you look at the UDP FAQ you'll see the snivelling language that they use to thank the ISPs after cleaning up their act, but it's bullshit. That's like thanking the bully for stepping _off_ your foot.

        YAW.
    • I wouldn't punish the innocent to get Usama bin Ladin, let alone spammers.

      Ah, yes... The 13 year-old decides to tell the world how to do things.

      There is no such thing as innocent. If you live in a waring country, you are supporting that country's war. The same goes for spammers. If you are getting service from an ISP, you are supporting that ISP's activities.

      Saying you should not punish the innocent is like saying that those who buy child porn should not be punished, only those who are actually making the child porn. The same thing applies to drugs, illegial gambling, etc.
    • Well as a Bigpond customer, I can tell you that there really won't be many people inconvenienced by Bigpond being UDP'ed as the service provided is SO dismally poor that anyone who uses Usenet already has a pay account somewhere else.

      Not that I ever go there (and when I do its for that articles) but the alt.binaries.* groups have about 50% completion and retention rates that ensure that anything that's larger than 1 part is guaranteed to be ungetable, PAR or otherwise.

      IMHO its a deliberate plan on the part of Telstra to ensure that people don't use the service. Quite simply you make the service so bad as to be useless; people stop using it and hey presto you can justify dropping an expensive, revenue losing, part of internet service providing. If anything, they permit the level of spam they do to guarantee that the bulk of it isn't filtered before it hits their servers.

      I say this as a Usenet user of many years and a Bigpond user for 4 of them. Their's is quite simply the worst feed I have ever used.

      On the other hand, they have the most incompetent bunch of techos I've ever had the displeasure to work with, so it could just be they have no clue how to run a newsfeed.
    • it's not moral to punish the innocent to get at the guilty,

      Do you object to boycotts? They certainly punish the innocent 99% of a company's employees to get at the tiny percentage of malginant or clueless decision-makers, and they also can harm the company's other customers.

      Personally, I think that it's bad to punish innocents, but it's also bad to allow innocents to suffer. In the case of a boycott like this, I think punishing the people who are, perhaps unintentionally, supporting a company whose actions harm innocents is an acceptable tradeoff. Not good, but less bad than any immediate alternatives.
    • I think you're just beginning to stumble on the very harsh reality of this world.

      War is all about using innocent people to fight/shield for evil people.

      Virtually ALL leaders, generals, dictators, tyrants exploit the concept of human shields, and like sheep, we usually go along with it. If people were smart, we would come to an agreement with our "enemies" and mutually kill the leaders who are using us as thier shilds.

      Reality shows us that there no simple answers, let alone perfect answers, to this type of problem. However, History shows us that ignoring/playing into tyrants who use human shields is a big mistake.

      From what I've seen, usually the best bet is try to kill/harm as few innocents as possible, but make sure you get the tyrant. In this case, I think it's worth pissing off a few Aussies is worth the benefits to force thier ISP to play by the rules.

      If we lived in a perfect world, we would killed Bush, and the Middle East would kill the terrorists
    • Companies understand only money. The only way to hurt them is to make the users leave. Those users are a part of the problem themselves. They won't switch companies (and tell the old company why). They'll sit comfortably until someone or something forces a change.

      Personally, I think assault is the right way to deal with spammers. A baseball bat to the chest is fitting treatment for people who know they're hurting everyone and keep on doing it just to make a buck. If a few of them met with painful ends the rest would think twice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2003 @04:51AM (#5457204)
    If only we could also have smtp bans for domains that don't have a valid abuse@ address. This includes many of the larger telcos around the world and annoys me to no end. Spamhouse in a netblock rented to spamhouser by telco. Quite often none of them even have a clear abuse handling system. Clearly the messenger is the problem not the spammer. They know it, they don't care and just try to deter people from complaining.

    Talk about netizenship.
  • . . . Until I figured out that's where a lot of spammers get their addresses, and until my ISP's gateway got flakey. In my opinion, Usenet largely gave way to the prevalence of web boards, which are far more inviting and appealing to users. I used to spend time on comp.sys.mac.system, for example, but MacNN Forums became a superior option. The major problem is, Usenet failed to evolve along with the rest of the Internet. One would think, though, that if it weren't for /. Usenet would be more popular than it is today. Usenet is pretty geeky, after all.
    • And this has exactly what to do with the impending UDP for Telstra?

      P.S. those web boards have no memory, irritating interfaces, long load times, and stupid graphics.

    • by PigleT ( 28894 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:29AM (#5457260) Homepage
      "One would think, though, that if it weren't for /. Usenet would be more popular than it is today. Usenet is pretty geeky, after all."

      Hmmmm. And evolution leads to less geekiness and this is a good thing?

      If the rise of web-based discussion systems means all the AOL weenies get *off* Usenet, I suppose that's a good thing. But don't say Usenet hasn't "evolved" as though it were a bad thing. After all, there's nothing to stop you setting yourself up with a perfectly decent news-reader and actually talking to people on it, even on windoze, is there?
    • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @09:46AM (#5457932) Journal

      Usenet failed to evolve along with the rest of the Internet.

      I find this an odd comment. With a decent newreader (MT-Newswatcher for you Mac folks), USENET has features that web boards can only dream of: it's still years ahead of anything else on the web for discussion. Can you imagine how much nicer /. would be with the ability to create intelligent scorefiles with color-coding? Or no more waiting for a web page to load? No blinking ads covering half the page?

      Through Google (nee Deja) I can get USENET postings back to the early 90s almost instantly. Web boards often don't archive, so everything there is lost after a few months

      I can't get USENET at my current work (save through Google) so I spend time on /., K5 and FARK. Other than the Photoshop contests on FARK, I can't think of anything any of these boards does better than trn+a good news feed did back in 1990.

      • Usenet needs a "quote" function. Crap like this:

        > On Mon, 03 Mar 2003 22:05:51 GMT, Timberwoof
        > wrote:
        >
        > >In article ,
        > > "Ice Queen" wrote:
        > >
        > >> "Mike" wrote in message
        > >> news:rlm56vck5u6mcfm0n4guvm0e1b9be2dfvm@4ax.com...
        > >>
        > >> > even AFTER my war, I STILL find the need to support my Country AND my
        > >> > President when called upon. With, or WITHOUT "proof absolute". I don't
        > >> > know, maybe I feel it's just part of the price we pay to call
        > >> > ourselves "Americans". I hear the whispers of doubt in my own soul,
        > >> > but I feel the need to stand and fight when called, right or wrong,
        > >> > not as part of Nationalism. But as payment for being free.
        > >>
        > >> If that's not nationalism, then what do you think nationalism is? A
        > >> weird
        > >> disease "other" people get? What you just posted is practically a textbook
        > >> definition of a nationalist statement.
        > >
        > >
        > >Let's just do it this way...
        > >
        > >> > even AFTER my war, I STILL find the need to support my Fatherland AND my
        > >> > F?hrer[1] when called upon. With, or WITHOUT "proof absolute". I don't
        > >> > know, maybe I feel it's just part of the price we pay to call
        > >> > ourselves "Germans". I hear the whispers of doubt in my own soul,
        > >> > but I feel the need to stand and fight when called, right or wrong,
        > >> > not as part of National Socialism. But as payment for being free.
        > >
        > >Think about all those Germans who heard the whispers of doubt, yet went
        > >along with Hitler, and then tell us that we must do the same.
        > >
        > >
        > >[1] Godwin has long since been invoked by comparing Saddam to Hitler.
        >
        > Not to rejoin this circus, but I AM glad to flush out your belief
        > that the U.S. Government is akin to Hitler & Germany! Good Lord, I
        > thought our history was just a tad better than that? Ah, what do I
        > know. On with the show...Mike

        Is unreadble! And thats only four layers of ">>>>". Some discussions get even more.

        Some basic bold and italitcs would be nice. I'm not asking for unlimited html functions or pictures or stupid smiley face emoticon pictures, but a few functions that are standard (and unobtrusive) in most web forums would be nice.

        I agree that the features you mentioned about usenet are nice, but there is no reason why they have to be the be all and end all.
        • You're looking right at your "quote" function. By default, any reasonable newsreader will automatically quote the post you're replying to, beginning each line with a ">". It's then up to the poster to trim the quoted text to a reasonable amount, usually just enough to give readers an idea of what they're replying to.

          Some newsreaders will provide color coding for different levels of quotes. My preferred newsreader, Microplanet Gravity (for Windows), lets me configure the color, font, style, of quoted text however I want to differentiate it from the new text. Mozilla's newsreader gives you even more control if you dig into userContent.css.

          The best thing about Usenet is that it's plain vanilla text. It's up to the client software to display it according to the reader's preferences.
  • ROUGE! (Score:2, Funny)

    by muzzmac ( 554127 )
    From the linked RFD: "At that time, I was attempting to de-peer Matt Middleton's rouge spam feed, in October, 1998." Cool. A "rouge" spam feed. The french commies are behind the spam! I knew it!
  • Too harsh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:14AM (#5457240)
    Death penalty for using usenet? Jeeze MPAA and RIAA are are extreme!
  • by gumleef ( 317605 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:22AM (#5457249)
    I doubt that this will be resolved by telstra if threatened with action; action will have to be taken.

    Telstra have been losing money for a while now due to shoddy work in all of their services. Consumers just wont stand for it any longer, and this is strongly reflected by their dropping share price.
    I believe they are losing money at such a rate that they refuse to outlay any on ressurecting this current spam problem - that, or they really are ignorant of the problem (due to incompitance).
    • by questamor ( 653018 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @07:17AM (#5457461)
      Telstra give a shit, I think. When i've dealt with them and only needed to handle one department, the service and people have been fine. The odd problem, but they've been on-par with anyone else.

      Problems come up when one department of telstra need to talk to another. There's just no useful communication between groups, no trust from one section to another.

      I once had a billing issue I had to contact telstra about. Billing attempted several times to contact the technical dept that did the work. That just didn't happen after 3 weeks, despite constantly calling Billing.

      After a day of phoning around I was able to get through to one of the engineering departments who performed phone work for me, and they immediately saw the error and attempted to get back in contact with Billing. It took another month, and *ME* faxing information sent to me by engineering, to actually get anything resolved.

      It could have been fixed overnight if there was appropriate communicationbetween departments. I get the feeling telstra like breaking up into little bureaucratic bundles, each with their own world.
    • by oni ( 41625 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @10:03AM (#5457984) Homepage
      I doubt that this will be resolved by telstra if threatened with action; action will have to be taken.

      I think we should give the inpectors more time!
  • Roast the bastards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by azav ( 469988 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:23AM (#5457251) Homepage Journal
    If you've read the link, these idiots are being irresponsible top level members of the community. Inexcusable that such negligence is allowed to go on. Why does it take 5 years(!) to get them to clean up their act and comply to respectible operational procedure for such an influential company.

    Roast em.

  • Redo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Evil Adrian ( 253301 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @05:40AM (#5457280) Homepage
    Same thing needs to happen for Usenet that needs to happen for e-mail. They have both grown larger than anyone ever thought they would, and the design was vulnerable to abuse. Ban this, ban that, block this, block that, it doesn't matter, because people whose primary goal in life is to make money by annoying the living shit out of other people will just find ways to circumvent the latest and greatest filter/banning/whatever.

    It's time to design newer, more secure infrastructures so we can scrap the old stuff and (hopefully) deal with less of this bullshit in the future.
    • [quote]It's time to design newer, more secure infrastructures so we can scrap the old stuff and (hopefully) deal with less of this bullshit in the future.[/quote]

      But then you'd break someones crappy 1979 unix newsreader, and we can't have that!
    • > Ban this, ban that, block this, block that, it
      > doesn't matter, because people whose primary goal
      > in life is to make money by annoying the living
      > shit out of other people will just find ways to
      > circumvent the latest and greatest
      > filter/banning/whatever.

      Newsguy has effective filters. My newsfeed is completely spam free and has been for years.
  • What It Is (Score:2, Informative)

    From the site:

    UDP, or Usenet Death Penalty, is a means by which site administrators and others around the world attempt to enforce the cooperative nature of usenet on an uncooperative member of that community...
    An Active UDP is one in which every message posted to usenet by the offending site is canceled or failed to be propagated.


    If it reduces spam, I'm all for it. I for one have read far too many ads for health plans, penis enlargements, low-interest credit cards and fabulous marketing opportunities!
  • Telstra don't respond to their own customers complaints so i doubt they will respond to some usernet talking about spam. My plan when from an unlimated 256/64 ADSL for about $65 AUD (maby $75), to a 3gb a month $96 one, with 18c an extra over they did speed it up to 512/128 but I think it was probally so people are more likly to go over. If i go 1gb over thats $180 extra. Problem is they had a monoploy over the entire market for ages although thats starting to break with iinet and internode with 12gb plans for the same price.
  • by BillGodfrey ( 127667 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @06:04AM (#5457334) Homepage
    I have one thing to say...

    Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    Please contact the server administrator, pater@slashdot.org and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

  • ... you'd think he'd be able to post an article without it appearing twice.
  • Could we please have a real death penalty for Daniel Min?
  • Mom and Pop (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xixax ( 44677 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @07:31AM (#5457489)
    It'll be interesting to see if Bogpond gives a shit. They lost most of their clueful customers to better value ISPs long ago and are running television advertising designed to appeal to Moms and Pops who don't know what a Megabyte is and think the Internet is Yahoo. They'd just get rid of more difficult customers who expect service in return for their subscription.

    Xix.
  • alt.luser.recovery (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wild Wizard ( 309461 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @07:56AM (#5457518) Journal
    Actually if you read a little more closely you will find that most of what he is basing his assumptions on is actually taking place in one news group that no one else even reads or posts in

    google groups alt.luser.recovery [google.com.au]

    some more is not even spam (found by just checking random message id's in spamhippo)

    ps fix the damned web server already (couldn't get preview to work so cross your fingers)
  • I can't imagine how bad Usenet would be without UDPs. It's totally overrun by spam as it is. You can't go into any unmoderated thread without seeing hundreds of Lolita and girl/horse sex adverts. I've never gotten a good answer to a tech question from Usenet either. Is Usenet even relevant anymore, being full of spam and the technical illiterates? I find sites such as Slashdot and the Futuremark boards to be much more informative.
  • Hypocritical ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmark ( 230091 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @08:48AM (#5457602)
    Yesterday, there was an article about the /. effect and most posters seemed to be arguing that /. should not be liable for /. effect-related charges, on the grounds that if you have a website, you're asking for traffic for the world, and that /. should in no way be responsible for notification of the /.'ed website.

    Yet when it comes to spam, most posters here are prepared to swing the heaviest hammer they can find at supposed offenders. But I wonder whether this is hypocritical.

    Let's consider the parallels:
    • email and websites under consideration are both available to the Net public at large
    • both spam and the /. effect may be unsolicited. While some sites may seek exposure on /., certainly many did not.
    • both spam and the /. effect can be great inconveniences, but the /. effect can force the victim to incur huge, one-time charges - at least spam costs are absorbable for the average little guy.
    • there is no good way to opt-out of spam, and no good way to opt-out of the /. effect
    • spammers and /. would probably both claim it is beyond the scope of their responsibilities to check whether their targets are willing/able to handle increased load due to their activities.
    • spam companies make money indirectly from inconveniencing their victims, because they provide some of them with useful information (people do buy things from spammers after all). /. makes whatever money it makes from /.'ing its victims by using the /.'ed website provide content for its own benefit.

    Is this a classic case of "do what I say, not what I do". ?
    • Re:Hypocritical ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @10:26AM (#5458198)
      > email and websites under consideration are both available to the Net public at large

      The difference being E-mail is usually considered personal communication, or one to one, where websites and USENET are mass communication, or one to many.

      > there is no good way to opt-out of spam, and no good way to opt-out of the /. effect

      Block http requests by referrer. /. effect minimized.

      > spammers and /. would probably both claim it is beyond the scope of their responsibilities to check whether their targets are willing/able to handle increased load due to their activities.

      It can be argued /. is a journalistic source, or an electronic newspaper. If a newspaper runs an article on someone, they can't be held liable for causing that person's phone to ring more often. Spammers are basically advertisers, sort of like telemarketers. If a telemarketer calls you twenty times a day, there *is* legal recourse.
    • most posters seemed to be arguing that /. should not be liable for /. effect-related charges ... Yet when it comes to spam, most posters here are prepared to swing the heaviest hammer they can find

      The slashdot effect is short term and exists because the end-users took an interest in what you presented to the world - if you are unprepared for the populairty of what you've presented that is not the world's fault - find and implement some way to limit the admission, and be happy that what you did had an impact.

      But, spam irritates forever and only continues to exist because the middlemen have an interest in presenting the material - the end-users have no interest.

      Usenet exists because it links multiple smaller networks. If Usenet is to have any value then the middlemen need to react to the end users complaints. Fortunately the UDP works because there is a hierarchal structure - all big ISPs are equal in their vote and all have an interest in their end-users - those big ISPs that don't have that interest because they have been compromised by the soft-money of spammers are cut off from the network and suffer in the only manner they recognize - financially.


  • (alligator tears)

    Boy, I know some newsgroups are going to get real empty...
  • by JThaddeus ( 531998 ) on Friday March 07, 2003 @12:12PM (#5459247)
    I'd love to see these guys get it, along with Orbitz. Kill them and most of my popup woes would go away. I especially hate that fact that, apparently, stuff out of ad.doubleclick.net is not checked against multiple browsers. On my Linux box, Mozilla 1.2.x can hang indefinately trying to pull in some image from those dummies at doubleclick while IE on Windoz works fine.
  • Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Anyway, I like the idea of a UDP. I don't believe it is censorship since an ISP doesn't *have* to honor a UDP cancel. So, for example, a UDP'd user's posts may still appear on deja-news or google groups, for example, if those archives chose to retain them. In many ways, it's no different than blocking calls on your phone. Plus a UDP'd user often can switch to a non UDP'd ISP (not always true, I realize).

    Also, while a person may have the right to free speech, that doesn't mean that everyone is obligated to listen to him/her. That's why it's not okay to go around screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of the night in most neighborhoods -- frat row is a different case, of course :)

    Anyway, I think it'd be worth trying. If it seemed like it wasn't working, it could always be repealed.

    • i dunno where you come from but where i'm from people either a.) call the police or b.) threaten you and in some cases c.) start shooting

      if you're going to skulk around at night i suggest stealth ;)

  • Are we against freedom now... I hate spam as much as the next person but ....first they come for the spammers then they come for the binary groups then they come for the political groups and so it snowballs..... Free USenet its not just for you and me its supposed to be free
    • first they come for the spammers then they come for the binary groups then they come for the political groups and so it snowballs.....

      Slippery Slopes are illogical, by defintion, and and, alternately, a way of life for some slashdotters. *sigh* There is no sufficient evidence to demonstrate that they (whoever 'they' are) will proceed from one step to the next down the slope.
    • It's free to the point in crosses th router port to my network. Once I'm paying for the bandwidth and storage, it's not free anymore. It's mine. And if I don't want to propigate articles that are binary and not in binary groups, that's my business. If I don't want to accept or propigate articles from a certain troublesome ISP, that's my business.

      spam costs money to receive. the costs are just hidden as something else.

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