BIOSCI/bionet miniFAQ & Fundraiser

BIOSCI Administrator biohelp at net.bio.net
Thu Jan 23 03:57:54 EST 1997

> This BIOSCI "miniFAQ" is designed to answer the questions that come up
> the *most frequently*.  The main BIOSCI FAQ (Frequently Asked
> Questions) is accessible on the World Wide Web at URL
> http://www.bio.net/.
> If you can not find an answer to your question in this or other
> documentation, the BIOSCI technical support staff answers e-mail
> queries sent to
> 		       biosci-help at net.bio.net
> We can only answer questions about the use of the newsgroups and
> mailing lists.  We unfortunately do not have the staff to do Internet
> information searches or answer scientific questions.  Please post
> those to the appropriate BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups.
> 	Contents:
> 	--------
> 	1) Using the WWW to access the BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups.
> 	2) What to do about "spams," i.e., junk mail, ads, etc.
> 	3) Examples of subscribing and unsubscribing to the mailing lists.
> 	4) The BIOSCI user address and research interest directory.
> ------------------------------
> BIOSCI's government funding has been expended, and we are now
> operating solely from advertising revenue that we have raised from our
> Web site at http://www.bio.net/.  We need just a few minutes of your
> time to help us serve you.
> You can do two important things which will take very little time for
> you individually and will immensely help us continue to help you.
> First, please use our WWW system at http://www.bio.net/ to access the
> archives.  You can post or reply to messages via your Web browser as
> described in item #1 below.  Your usage helps attract sponsors. If you
> contact any of our sponsors, please be sure to thank them for
> supporting BIOSCI. It is critical for them to get this feedback if
> they are to continue their sponsorship for the long term.
> Second, if you work for a company or organization that provides
> products or services of interest to the biology community, please pass
> this message on to your marketing or marketing communications
> department or other appropriate group.  Please ask them to help
> support BIOSCI by sponsoring our Web site and explain the uses and
> benefits of the system to the biology community. If they are
> interested, they can then contact us for further information at our
> tech support address, biosci-help at net.bio.net.
> 1) Using the WWW to access the BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups.
> --------------------------------------------------------
> As of 10 December 1995, all BIOSCI/bionet full newsgroups are
> accessible through the World Wide Web (WWW) at URL http://www.bio.net.
> One can read and reply publicly or privately to both recent postings
> and archived messages through one's Web browser if it is configured
> properly to send e-mail.  Each newsgroup is equipped with its own WAIS
> index.  The main BIOSCI home page also has access to the BIO-JOURNALS
> Table of Contents database WAIS index and the BIOSCI user address
> database described in another item further below.
> 2) What to do about "spams," i.e., junk mail, ads, etc.
> -------------------------------------------------------
> BIOSCI is a set of parallel USENET newsgroups (the "bionet" groups),
> mailing lists, and a hypermail archive at URL http://www.bio.net/.
> The same postings are distributed on all media (except for a small
> number of mailing-list-only groups at net.bio.net).  Unfortunately it
> is becoming a despicable practice on the Internet (by a few people out
> to make a fast buck) to do automated mass postings to thousands of
> newsgroups and mailing lists.  These attempts to grab free advertising
> are refered to as "spams" in the usual, somewhat boneheaded, net
> terminology.  USENET is more susceptible to this practice, and many
> spams originate on the USENET groups and then are passed on to the
> mailing lists.  However, spammers also get lists of mailing addresses
> and hit these too, so neither medium is immune.
> What should you do personally if you get junk mail?
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Just delete it and move on without reading it further.  Filing a
> protest is becoming increasingly useless because spammers are often
> disguising the addresses where the messages are sent from.  Unless you
> really understand Internet mail systems, your attempt at protest by
> sending replies to the message will often end up being sent to the
> address of an innocent person that the spammer is victimizing.
> What can BIOSCI/bionet do to protect its newsgroups?
> ----------------------------------------------------
> The only solution currently available is to moderate the newsgroup.
> If this newsgroup is already moderated, then you are in good shape.
> Moderation protects the USENET distribution from about 95% of the
> spams that are being sent to date and protects the mailing lists
> completely.  Moderation means, however, that someone has to take the
> time to review each message before it goes out.  We have set up
> software here that simply allows the moderator to forward to an
> address at net.bio.net messages that (s)he wishes to have distributed.
> This takes no more time than that needed to read the message and pass
> it on, say about 1 min. per message.
> Most newsgroups currently have a discussion leader who is responsible
> for their newsgroup.  The discussions leaders and their e-mail
> addresses are listed in the BIOSCI Information Sheet which is
> available on the Web at http://www.bio.net/.  If a newsgroup is being
> hit with too many junk postings, please contact the discussion leader
> for that group and see if there is interest in moderating the group.
> Please do not assume that by simply posting a complaint to the
> newsgroup itself, anyone on the BIOSCI staff will act on your
> complaint.  With close to 100 newsgroups to run, the BIOSCI staff has
> to rely on the discussion leaders of each newsgroup to report problems
> directly to us at biosci-help at net.bio.net.
> We will moderate any of our newsgroups if the discussion leader tells
> us that the readership of the group wishes to do so and if a moderator
> is willing to do the work.  For most BIOSCI/bionet groups, this
> entails only a few minutes of work each day.
> Moderating a newsgroup will resolve probably 95% of the junk postings
> on the USENET distribution.  Unfortunately there are easy ways for
> determined spammers to override the moderation mechanism on USENET,
> but we can protect our e-mail subscribers from unwanted postings if
> the newsgroup is moderated.  You can also access our newsgroups over
> the WWW at URL http://www.bio.net.  While this Web interface will not
> stop spammers from trying to post to the groups, this will give you
> yet another way, besides using USENET news, to keep the junk out of
> your personal mail files.  For those of you with local USENET news
> systems, the Web interface will also give you faster access to new
> newsgroups and recent postings.
> 3) Examples of subscribing and unsubscribing to the mailing lists.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> PLEASE NOTE: The BIOSCI management does NOT act on
> subscription/unsubscription requests that are posted improperly to the
> newsgroups and mailing lists.  People who do this only bother everyone
> on the lists to no avail.  Please be sure to follow the proper
> procedures below.
> Gory details are in the BIOSCI Information sheets on the Web at
> http://www.bio.net.  Below we give an example utilizing the
> METHODS-AND-REAGENTS list at both of our two BIOSCI sites:
> Users in the Americas and Pacific Rim countries who use the BIOSCI
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> node at computer net.bio.net:
> ----------------------------
> A) Determine the "listname" which is the <=8 character mail address
>                                          ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>    for the group.  These can be found in the BIOSCI Info. Sheet.  For
>    the METHODS-AND-REAGENTS group the mailing address is
>    methods at net.bio.net.  The listname is the portion of the address to
>    the left of the @ sign, i.e., "methods".  The listname is used with
>    the "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" commands illustrated below.
> B) Mail all commands in the body of a mail message addressed to
>    biosci-server at net.bio.net.  Do NOT send commands to the newsgroup
>    posting addresses!  Leave the Subject: line blank, any text on it
>    will be ignored.
> C) In the body of your message put one or more of the following
>    commands with an "end" command on the last line, e.g.,
>    subscribe methods
>    unsubscribe methods
>    end
>    Do NOT put your e-mail address or other text on these lines.  The
>    server only allows you to cancel your subscription if the address
>    on your mail header matches the address on our mailing list.
>    Please ask for help at biosci-help at net.bio.net if your address has
>    changed, e.g., if you know you are on the list but the server tells
>    you that you are not a member.
> Users in Europe, Africa, and Central Asia who use the BIOSCI node at
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> computer daresbury.ac.uk (also known as dl.ac.uk):
> -------------------------------------------------
> To subscribe and unsubscribe to/from the BIOSCI lists, you need to
> specify the full USENET newsgroup name with "bionet-news." prepended.
> The USENET newsgroup names are listed in the BIOSCI Information sheet
> on the Web at http://www.bio.net/.  For the METHODS-AND-REAGENTS list
> the USENET newsgroup name is bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts, thus the
> appropriate commands are
>     sub bionet-news.bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts
>     unsub bionet-news.bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts
> These commands are included in a message addressed to mxt at dl.ac.uk,
> NOT to the newsgroup mailing addresses.  As usual, include the text in
> the body of the message as text on the Subject: line is ignored.
> To unsubscribe from all the lists at the UK node, use
>     unsub bionet-news
> Please note that if the address in the list is different than the one
> in your mail message header, you will not be able to unsubscribe by
> this method. If you have problems, please mail biosci at daresbury.ac.uk.
> 4) The BIOSCI user address and research interest directory.
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Please take this opportunity to add your name, address, and research
> interest information to the BIOSCI User Address Database if you have
> not already done so.
> You can fill out the address form directly through our Web page at URL
> http://www.bio.net/adrform.html.
> The address database is reindexed nightly for WWW access (the URL is
> http://www.bio.net/).  If you are not directly on the Internet but can
> reach it by e-mail, please use our waismail server to access the user
> directory.  waismail use is described above.  You can also request a
> user address form by e-mail from biosci-help at net.bio.net.
> Please check your database entry from time-to-time to see if your
> address information is still up-to-date.  Because of our limited
> personnel resources, we ask that you resubmit a *complete* form to
> revise your entry; we only replace complete entries and do not have
> resources to edit old forms.
> 				Sincerely,
> 				Dave Kristofferson
> 				BIOSCI/bionet Manager
> 				biosci-help at net.bio.net

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