Last-modified: 02 June 1998 18:30:38
Reason-for-last-modification: more changes to remailer info, many
Previous-modification: changed anon remailer information
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The questions: 1. How can I participate in assm? 2. What is acceptible in assm? 3. Where can I get an anonymous address? 4. Where are the stories archived? 5. Hey! I saw some spam in assm. What's up? 6. (Advanced) What do you use to moderate the group? 7. (Advanced) What are some problems that may keep me from reading assm? _______________________ The questions and answers: 1. How can I participate in assm? If all is working well at your site, then just posting normally will cause the newsserver to forward the article to me for approval. If things are not working well any of several things could happen. your post appears on the group immediately Your site doesn't properly handle moderated newsgroups. Contact your system or news administrator. you get a a bounce from tdr.com Your site has an out of date INN moderators file. Contact your system or news administrator. you get a bounce from UUnet Something odd is wrong. Send me mail. any other bounce Dunno. Probably something weird with mail somewhere. Try sending it again. At this point let's assume that the article made it to me. I will do one of three things with it. i. Approve and post it. ii. Reject it and send mail saying why. iii. Determine it to have an invalid return address and reject it without an email explanation. Spam falls into this category. Once I have injected it into the news system, it will take some time to propagate back to your host and other hosts. If you don't see the post at your site or at either of DejaNews or AltaVista within a few days contact me. Assm propagatation should be pretty good now, the groups seems fairly well established. If it is easier for you (as might be with an anonymous remailer) you can bypass your local newsserver when submitting things for approval by sending the article to <email@example.com> directly. _____________ 2. What is acceptible in assm? _From my original policy announcement:_ A. Stories only. No requests for stories, no ancedotes. No ads or web page announcements, etc. Basically the same material as rec.arts.erotica. B. Valid email address of submitters. It can be through a anonymous remailer, so long as it can be replied to get to the submitter. For now (at least) anti-spam munging of addresses is allowed. C. No HTML, MIME, or other unreadible junk; no poorly formatted posts. (eg lines over 80 chars, whatever). I may reformat these for you. D. All postings must be free for non-commercial distribution and archiving. Ie, no copyright notices that say "Do not archive." It is fine to say "You may not sell this story" however. Main differences between my rules and the rules of rec.arts.erotica: A. I am not going to be reviewing stories. I do reserve the right to post other peoples reviews (eg Celeste) if presented to me. B. No restrictions on violence, spelling, or grammar. C. Reposts allowed. D. Submitter need not be author. _____________ 3. Where can I get an anonymous address? There are serveral services which offer web-only based replyable anonymization. There are also at least two others which can do it by email. I. www.NetForward.com gives users free mailboxes which can hide their real address. NetForward is descended from the old POBoxes.com. II. mail.Yahoo.com is another good source for free web-access mailboxes. III. www.DejaNews.com has also entered the free mailbox game, and gives access to the newsgroup as well. IV. www.Nymserver.com offered free and commercial anonymous remailing. Abuses by spammers forced it to be commercial only. It can be operated entirely by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). V. www.MailAnon.com is another commercial anonymous remailer. It seems to be descended from the EDTec remailer. I think it can be operated entirely by email. Nymserver has an excellent anonymous resources page at <URL:http://www.nymserver.com/resources/>. The newsgroups alt.anonymous and alt.privacy.anon-server are also good places to find out about other services. The Huge Cajones remailer and any other one-address-fits-all anonymizers by virtue of not having replyable addresses are not allowed. It is too easy to get free two way anonymization for me to feel these are necessary. _____________ 4. Where are the stories archived? You can get them at <URL:http://www.qz.to/erotica/assm/>. The archive is free and not always available, but I do my best. _____________ 5. Hey! I saw some spam in assm. What's up? Your newsserver may be misconfigured and accepting posts that should have been mailed to me for approval. Turn on the verbose headers or show all headers option in your newsreader and copy the "Path:" and "Message-ID:" headers. Note that the Path: header is often more than one line. Mail those headers to me at <email@example.com>. _____________ 6. (Advanced) What do you use to moderate the group? I use a hacked version of jmdigest (<URL:ftp://ftp.netusa.net/users/eli/>) and and a procmail scoring recipe (<URL:ftp://ftp.netusa.net/users/eli/>) to pre-filter everything. You are welcome to try to use this technology for other purposes, but be warned that jmdigest is slow. _____________ 7. (Advanced) What are some problems that may keep me from reading assm? Simple story is there are at least tens of thousands of usenet news servers around the world. Normally when you post it appears first on your local server, and then it distributes it to its neighbors and they continue the distribution. (The path header records the path it took.) The result is that you can post and see something immediately, but it might not be seen by others for hours or days. With a moderated group everything happens at the newsserver the moderator uses, not your local server. This delay is quite noticible. And if there is poor connection (for the group[s] involved) between your server and the moderator's server you can miss articles altogether. There are four things required for an article to move between two "peering" (directly sharing) news servers. Let's say an article is trying to go from X Industries' anvil newsserver to Waterbuffalo Breeding Inc's bnafh news-server. 1. "bnafh" must not appear in the Path: header 2. bnafh must carry at least one group the article is crossposted to 3. bnafh must not have seen any article with that article's message ID in the past month 4. if the Distribution header is being used, anvil must think banfh is part of one of the listed distributions and bnafh must think that anvil is allowed to give it articles with that distribution Distribution is rarely used. Some newsservers add additional checks like counting the number of crossposts or making sure the file is not too large, but those are fairly uncommon. Rule 2 from above can seriously hamper an article's distribution. Let's say you have a map like this, boxes denote newsservers, lines denote peering. +-------+ +-------+ +-------+ +-------+ | bnafh |--| vodka |--| books |--| boing | +---+---+ +-------+ +-------+ +---+---+ | | +---+---+ +-------+ +-------+ +---+---+ | anvil |--| green |--| money |--| fibre | +-------+ +-------+ +-------+ +-------+ Say anvil gets an article for alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork, it will try to give it to green and bnafh. Let's say every machine but bnafh in the map carries a.s.c.b.b.b, green will accept the article, but bnafh will not. So to reach vodka, which is pretty close for some groups, that article will have to go through green, money, fibre, boing, and books before it will be even offered to vodka. On a much bigger map or on one where some of those connections are small/slow it is possible the article will never reach vodka due to news expiring. It also may be pertinant to point out once your newsreader has marked an article as read, it may hide if from you even if it is there. So "catching up" / "punting" / "marking all as read" (different terms I have seen in different newsreaders for the same thing) on a group with a lot of noise, eg a.s.s, will result in another group 100% cross posted to a.s.s, eg a.s.s.m, to appear empty.