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Net.Legends.FAQ (Noticeable Phenomena Of UseNet) Part 1/4

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Archive-name: net-legends-faq/part1
Posting-Frequency: every 73 days
Last-modified: 9/13/94

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
 This... is the Net.Legends FAQ. Due to minutes^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hweeks of
unrelenting plagiar^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hresearch, we have gathered together here
some descriptions of those net.phenomena that one hears about in passing,
and (due to the collective memory of the Net being about one week, maximum)
wishes one had more information about (such as "Who *was* McElwaine,
anyway, and *why* is he still being talked about?). What follows is a list
of some of the Legends of the Net, along with descriptions,
semi-explanations, and (in some cases) a parenthesized catchphrase for
easy identification... not all of the following are completely factual
entries: in some cases the true facts are known only to one person, or lost
in the mists of time, while in others the facts pale in relation to the
mythology. In any case, the actual facts included, sparse though they may be,
are true as far as I know; if you have evidence otherwise, please contact me
and *tell* me (saying "This is wrong!" without actually saying *what* is wrong
with it is of little use to me, though...) (Note: "Myth" is canonically used
to refer to stories involving gods or other supernatural beings; "legend"
refers to stories involving humans that could be true.)
 The FAQ in each case should be considered to be "Who or what is ____ and
where can I get some [no wait.. umm..] why & how should I know this? [yeah,
that's it]". The miniFAQs mentioned are available by anon-ftp (as is this
FAQ) or gopher to cathouse.org, the awesome AFU archive, under
/pub/cathouse/urban.legends/net.legends, and are mostly composed of
representative posts... they are also available by mosaic to
http://enigma.phys.utk.edu, in my personal page (click on UT Particle Theory
Group at the bottom of the HomePage and then on David DeLaney, middle of page)
[they are *not* stored on enigma, so don't write angry letters to the sysadmins
*or* to the Boss and annoy them, please], at least as long as that personal
page stays there.... The FAQ and the miniFAQs are currently *not* available at
utk via anon-ftp; the FAQ's several places on Internet, most of which I don't
know, but one is ftp.umd.umich.edu, under /pub/text; another is in /pub/crd at
ftp.netcom.com, which is now a Hypertext/Mosaic link to the cathouse archive
mentioned above. If the posting to news.answers has worked, the FAQ will also
be archived at rtfm.mit.edu, in the appropriate subdirectory for news.answers,
alt.answers, alt.folklore.computers, and alt.usenet.kooks ... Have Fun!

Disclaimer(s):
 *Since* these are in fact net.*legends*, not much of a real attempt to verify
that these people actually do hold these opinions, exist at these addresses,
etc., has been made; in addition, much of this FAQ is in the form of, er,
"overheard" posts (fully credited at the end), to give some feel of what it
might be like to *have* heard a net.conversation about them, and to preserve
the "legend" style... The "Contrib. post"s are posts (or sometimes email) which
people have made, recalling what they remember about the subject, and are not
guaranteed to be accurate, but only what the person who posted them remembered.
 If you have better info on any of these, see the last bit of the FAQ (if
you *are* any of these, and wish to correct some info, by all means go ahead!
Lewis Stiller did, and won a new updated entry! Dan Karnes broke the chain,
and 2 weeks later got exiled to news.admin.*...).
 Any attempt to actually email any of these addresses may have results ranging
from complete silence to a perfectly normal conversation to mailbombing to
complaints to your sysadmin to sudden inclusion in a vast global conspiracy;
You Have Been Warned. Also, if you're one of the type who call up all the
phone numbers they see in movies (which is why the 555 exchange is universally
used in the USA now for these things ... but I digress) consider what it might
be like to have *your* name appear on one of these things... and wake up with
1,000 pieces of mail in your mailbx...
 This is *not* "the FAQ for alt.usenet.kooks" (motto: In Cyberspace Everybody
Can Hear You Scream), by the way; many of the people herein are here only
because they are or were *noticeable* in one way or another on various
(sometimes widespread) parts of UseNet. Some are loons, yes, or crackpots or
kooks; some are not by *any* stretch of the imagination. Some are probably not
very sane, while others are quite sane, and there's even some where it's very
hard to tell one way or the other; all, however, have *some* distinguishing
characteristic(s) that cause them to stick in people's memories. By the way,
the repeated use of "loon" and its derivatives in the quoted posts and some of
the descriptions comes mainly from the origination of this FAQ in a thread
entitled "Call For Loons" (which started on alt.folklore.computers), before it
became clear that *notoriety*, not looniness, should be the distinguishing
characteristic of those gathered herein.
 This is not a complete listing of Notable People Of Usenet - be serious! The
net's way too big for that. This is a selection (albeit a large one). This
FAQ is also biased, in most cases towards the humorous side; all FAQs are
biased, because they are ultimately written by people who are biased. There's
not enough room in the world's hard disks to present all sides of every
argument for every person and/or phenomenon noted in here, so some things are
inevitably gonna be left out. Deal with it. In most cases, if you want to
know more, you can either ask on the newsgroup(s) in question or ask the
net.legend themselves; many will be happy to explain (sometimes at great
length) their particular quirks, or why they feel the way they do. Some will
of course be acrimonious instead of happy; see above about emailing them...
 The information in here is inevitably somewhat or largely out-of-date,
simply because the Net (and even Real Life) keep moving on. No conceivable
FAQ could keep up with the *current* doings of even a small fraction of the
people listed herein. Updates will be accepted, and probably stuck on the
bottom of the 10,000 or so lines of other raw-data-to-be-smelted-into-FAQ-
entries currently in the possession of the FAQ-maker...
 And yes, the format is a bit difficult to find things in; it was hard to
write, so it should be hard to read, no? Search functions are your *friend*...

Table of Contents:
-----------------
1.0 The Good Guys
 Kibo
 tale
 Spaf
 the da Silvas
 Ron "Asbestos" Dippold and the UVV
 The Warlord
 The UseNet Oracle
 alt.fan.lemurs
2.0 The Rest Of The Stories
 McElwaine
 B1FF
 Gary Stollman
 Jack Schmidling
 L. Detweiler
 Abian
 Serdar Argic
 Jack Sarfatti
 Hannu Poropudas
 Dan Gannon
 Riley G.
 ted frank
 snopes & Lasner
 Ludwig Plutonium
 Ted Holden
 Shub-Internet
 Daniel Drucker
 John_-_Winston
 Dave Hayes
 Dick Depew
 John Palmer
 Bruce Becker
 Laurence Godfrey
 David Sternlight
 Pat Townson
 Daniel J. Karnes
3.0 Stupid Net Tricks
 Dave Rhodes & MAKE.MONEY.FAST
 Alt.adjective.noun.verb.verb.verb
 "Surveys"/"Homework"/"Email me!!"
 "Will you icky queers kindly go awaaaaaay!"
 Clueless newbies
 Death of UseNet/Internet predicted
 .sig viruses
 alt.religion.kibology
 Crossposted to *.test
 Posted separately to every newsgroup you can find
 Hitler, Nazis, nazis, and net.cops
 UseNet Rules #n
 Permanent Floating Flamewars
 Email Addresses of the Rich and Famous
4.0 Lesser Lights
 various and sundry, too many to list here; read! read!
5.0 Also Nominated
 but with little or no information attached, unfortunately...
6.0 Other Callings
 or, The Debris Of The Naming Straw Poll
7.0 Credits
 You know who you are ... or you *will*...

Net.Legends Roll Call:
----------------------
1.0  Let's start with the "good guys", chief amongst which is:

Kibo (You're allowed.           -- K.):
 Perhaps the single defining hallmark of genius is to do something that noone
else has ever done before, or even thought of doing, and make it look
blindingly obvious afterwards. James "Kibo" Parry, confronted with the vast
reality of UseNet, decided to begin `grep'ing his entire newsfeed for posts
containing his middle monicker, "Kibo", in order to look them over and see if
they were worth replying to. (Actually, he now uses `agrep', and I do not know
if he started out on `grep'.) As a result, any post mentioning Kibo became
suddenly apt to generate a followup from the Great One, or at least email from
him. As his art was refined, he started also grepping for "xvob" ("kibo" in
rot13 encryption) and anti-grepping for "ski boots", for obvious reasons (but
not for "kibosh"...). He has become a UseNet term, derived from this activity:
grepping your entire newsfeed is "kibozing", and one who does so is a
"kibozer" (or, depending on how you feel about them, a "kibozo"). Reference
has been seen on alt.folklore.computers to an operating system (not UNIX)
having to "kiboze its hard disk" to find files...
 He has his own newsgroup, alt.religion.kibology, which is also his own
religion (Kibo is a genuine net.god, along with tale and Shub-Internet (q.v.))
where odd posts happen (including regular postings from John_-_Winston (q.v.)
and, formerly, Lewis Stiller (q.v.)); alt.exploding.kibo (newgrouped by Kevin
L. McBride), its counterpart alt.imploding.kibo (a Carasso [tm] product), and
alt.politics.kibo also exist, at various levels of activity. Rec.kibo.hunting,
proposed by Joel Furr (q.v.), was never allowed into the RFD stage by tale
(q.v.)... Most people and subjects are Allowed to post or be posted about on
a.r.k . He has an imitator and opposite, xibo (q.v.); he has a dog, named
Spot, who (along with xibo and a few others) is Not Allowed [he's Just a Dog,
dammit!]. He has what is probably the canonical example of a supremely
warlordable .signature; however, he rarely uses it, preferring the terse
"        -- K.". Don't ask to see it unless you *really* want to know.
 Several other people have adapted or re-invented the newsgrep technique for
purposes of their own, including Serdar Argic (q.v.); Larry Wall, the creator
of the language perl (who does it, using Perl, to answer Perl questions);
Peter Trei (q.v.), who greps for Freemasonry references, and Daniel J. Karnes
(q.v.), who apparently does it to inflict himself on newsgroups talking about
him. (Reportedly) the National Security Agency was doing it long before Kibo
ever thought of it, so watch out...
 If you have ever received email from Kibo, your official Kibo number starts
out as 1; if you have not received email from anyone whose Kibo number is < n,
but have received email from someone whose Kibo # is n, then yours is n+1.
Fractional Kibo numbers are imposters (i.e., ted frank (q.v.)); Kibo's own
Kibo number is 0. Posts don't count for Kibo number purposes, only email. (A
few others have had Kibo number zero as well, earned in various ways; Kibo can
also assign a number to you, and came in 2nd in the "most evil
net.personalities" vote, so watch it.) Thom Grace claims credit for
originating these numbers. He's even been featured [Kibo, not Thom] in a White
Wolf gaming supplement (for "Mage"), and in Playboy (no pictorials yet
though)... His titles include "Great Leader" and "He Who Greps"; discussions
about Kibo tend to attract his attention unless specific precautions are taken
(e.g.: Quibeau [doesn't work, don't bother]), and such precautions, in general,
don't last very long... Kibo has no real "haunts" other than his group(s) and
UseNet in general, but *does* read alt.folklore.computers; HappyNet is ... not
yet implemented. Kibo celebrated September in 1994 by having his own death
faked by members of his newsgroup, possibly unbeknownst to him...
Contrib. post:
> I do not read a.f.c any more that I read other groups;  HappyNet is
> implemented, it's just that YOU'RE not connected to it because YOU have
> a wimpy site!  a.r.k is just about the only group I read *all* the
> articles in, except maybe control.  No, I'm kidding about control.
--
 FAQs for a.r.k, Spot, and HappyNet are available, as well as an a.r.k IAQ;
a.r.k is archived on world.std.com in /pub/alt.religion.kibology, along with
Kibo's .sig and Kibo's McElwaine and Plutonium archives, of which he is very
proud. Posts from kibo@world.std.com (James "Kibo" Parry).
--
> Also posts from other places and names, but they're secret and you can't 
> figure out where they are, la la la.
--

tale (... is an unmoderated newsgroup which passed its vote for creation
 by ...):
 David Lawrence spends time and energy selflessly to maintain order in the
news.* hierarchy. He moderates news.announce.newgroups, and has effectively
net.god status, in that sysadmins everywhere look for the tale seal of
approval on newgroups for the Big Seven hierarchies. Gods help us if he
ever has a stroke from holding in criticism of Dave Hayes (q.v.) too long.
A man who knows that silence is usually a *very* effective strategy; speaks
only when there's something important to say (entirely unlike the rest of
UseNet). Posts, rarely, from tale@ten.uu.net (David C Lawrence).

Spaf:
 Closely net.related to tale, Gene Spafford compiled the non-bogus group lists;
his decisions had such influence across the net that, so the saying goes,
`if a newgroup isn't "spaf", it won't be propagated'. This issue came up in
the SF-reorganization flamewar, as well as in the much less noisy
rec.arts.anime reorganization, with regards to things such as fanfic groups,
which Spaf would presumably not permit. If there were an actual head of a
Net.Control.Cabal, Spaf was *it* (however, see UseNet Rule #0); he taught
them all they know and wrote many of the FAQs appearing in news.answers...
he's also known as "Emily Postnews". He also only did really useful important
things rather than nutty noticeable things, and thus tended to fade into the
UseNet background. Unfortunately, he seems to be more faded than usual these
days, and it's generally accepted that he resigned and moved on to Real Life
things some time ago (a post from him was recently seen on news.admin.*
saying that he doesn't even *read* news these days)...

Peter and Stephanie da Silva:
 Also in the category "do many many useful things for UseNet and get noticed
very little". Provide voices of reason on news.*. Peter apparently maintains
some of the Guidelines; Stephanie maintains the List of Publicly Accessible
Mailing Lists, and is one of the few people with the ability to slap Kibo on
the nose and get away with it... Peter seems to have originated the "that
name is a crawling horror from the sewers of hell" Newsgroup Name Objection,
according to Stephanie. May be considered to be Cabal-members-if-there-
actually-were-such-a-thing-as-a-Cabal (again, see Rule #0). Stephanie posts as
arielle@netcom.com (email: arielle@taronga.com), Peter as peter@nmti.com .

Ron "Asbestos" Dippold and the UVV (The Knights Who Say Ack!):
Contrib. post:
 Since August of 1993, the USENET Volunteer Votetakers --- The Knights
Who Say Ack! --- have conducted polls for close to a gross of groups.
Co-ordinated by Ron Dippold, who has himself handled several dozen
proposals, they have provided a very valuable service to USENET by
bringing quality and consistency to a observably less than ideal group
creation process.  They do their jobs with no compensation but the
feeling that they are contribution something positive to the network
news community.  It's generally a job done without observable
gratitude, and I don't want it overlooked.
 Knights, on behalf of myself and many group proponents, users and
administrators everywhere, I say thank you.  Well done!
David Lawrence, moderator, news.announce.newgroups
--
 The UVV has pretty much put an end to the formerly-common flamewars over
vote results; biased vote-takers, vote floodings, and other Usenet Big 7 voting
rules violations have dropped remarkably since their inception. They will
also do straw polls on various subjects, in addition to their usual CFV
vote counting, if asked nicely.
 Ron posts from rdippold@qualcomm.com (Ron "Asbestos" Dippold); votes taken
by the UVV usually are done from voting@qualcomm.com; see also:
news.announce.newgroups ...

The Warlord:
 The original owner of the sword that appears in .sig files all over
UseNet, in various forms. Left this plane long ago, but passed on his flame
of inquiry and satire to George McQuary (of the McQxxx four-line .sig limit),
who in turn shared it with the alt.fan.warlord Inner Circle. They've been
doling out said flame in drips and driblets ever since, whenever an
especially "warlordable" .sig comes along. So be good little .sig designers,
boys and girls, or you may find yourself suddenly transported to a.f.w and
mercilessly mocked, and possibly have your .sig even animate itself to
death. [I'm putting this under the "good guys" for a good reason, ok?] Does
not post himself; others do his work for him.

The UseNet Oracle:
 Has its own groups, rec.humor.oracle and rec.humor.oracle.d . Will answer
questions if groveled to sufficiently. Querents are referred to the UseNet
Oracle FAQ; beware the "ZOT!". One may also mail oracle@cs.indiana.edu with
the word "help" in the Subject: line to get information, or with "tellme"
or "tell me" in the Subject: line if you have a burning question for the
Oracle...

Alt.fan.lemurs:
 What can we say (besides Frink!)? Check out the Frinkquently Asked Questions,
in six parts; bring along your grape soda. Several parts lemur humor, lemur
poetry, lemurs swinging from ceiling lamps and plotting to liberate grape
soda from supermarkets, and frequently saying "Frink!", to one part actual
lemur facts and how you can help this endangered species...

2.0  __________________________________________
That's the good news; now for the odd, bad, distinctive, memorable, or just
plain irreproducible (tm) news:

Robert E. McElwaine (UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this
 IMPORTANT information is ENCOURAGED):
Contrib. post:
 The nice thing about mcelwaine was that they acted as proxy for not just one
loon, but for every loon in the local galactic cluster. mcelwaine was sort of
a lightning rod for looniness, like some sort of device that tesla might have
dreamt up to concentrate and store the stuff. but frankly i stopped reading
mcelwaine's posts pretty quickly; it was all just too repetitive and too
pointless. but i never stopped reading those little one or two-line
introductions to the canned posts, tailored to each individual newsgroup,
explaining the reason for the cross-post. those were often priceless gems of
idiocy.
--
 Ahhh, McElwaine. Fun fellow. Completely and utterly loony.
His site-imposed censorship was a blow to comedically inclined
physicists around the world.
--
sissel@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu wrote:
>You almost have that McElwaine-ian touch, JF, by
>randomly capitalizing words, but you still haven't
>yet mastered the RM's decidedly brilliant method
>of randomly throwing in dollar $IGN$!
 McElwaine didn't "randomly" throw in dollar signs.  THere were
a few words that he consistently dollar-signed, and a few words
that had dollar signs every once in a while.
 Nor did he randomly capitalize words, although his capitalization
is indeed unorthodox.
 I have done some counting-up-of-words for the corpus of
McElwainiana, and I have some preliminary results.  Sooner-or-later,
I intend to post a summary of what I have found, along with a
program to implement McElwaining of arbitrary text.
--
>Does anyone know what McElwaine's position was at UW Eau-Claire?
>(BTW, he never responded to my email.)
 No, Robert never responded to anyone's email, and I'll bet he used to get a
bunch of it!  McElwaine was an undergrad student at UWEC who then graduated
from there and apparently hung around the school after graduation, either
working there part time or just hanging-out.  If he entered grad school
he never mentioned it, and since he was very fond of signing himself:
  Robert E. McElwaine
  Physicist and Astronomer B.Sc. UWEC
I'm sure he would have trumpeted any grad school work he was doing.
--
I am one of the lucky few, then - here's one I got back when hew first started
the posting binge.  Note that his famous capitalization style extends to email.
Makes you wonder what he sounded like in person.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 04 Feb 1993 17:44:07 -0600 (CST)
From: MCELWRE@CNSVAX.UWEC.EDU
Subject: Re: FREE-ENERGY TECHNOLOGY For Spacecraft
>Hello,
>       You posted this same article to sci.astro a few months ago.  There was
>a great deal of discussion about it at the time, but you did not reply to any
>of the comments.  May I ask why you would want to post the same big artile
>again if you don't want to participate in any discussion of it?
     I repost articles for the benefit of NEW READERS.  I do NOT have time to
argue about with CLOSED MINDS.  Interested readers should consult my cited
SOURCES.
--
 Apparently lost his account Some Time Ago for abusing net-access privileges;
has not been seen since... Kibo maintains an archive of McElwaine's postings
on UseNet,at world.std.com, under /pub/alt.religion.kibology/net-wackiness/
mcelwaine, for those of you who came in too late to $EE the real THING.
Joel Furr (q.v.) has released a McElwaine T-shirt. Posted from
MCELWRE@CSNVAX.UWEC.EDU (??).

B1FF (HEY D00DZ!1!!  THIS IZ K()()L!!1!!):
 extremely unorthodox (but somewhat consistent, and *easily* mimickable)
typography in his posts (ALL CAPS, I->1, O->0, E->3, etc.) "K00L, DUD3Z!",
plus much surfer-type slang. B1FF posts from a Commodore C-64, and is a Kool
Dude who Rilly Knows Net.Stuff. Has many imitators. Remembered semi-fondly by
millions. Had a girlfriend, Buffy (tee-hee! :-) :-) *giggle*! :-) :-) ),
[or possibly Muffy; rumors are flying that Muffy has been killed by kibologists
- I would remind people that Rumors are Treason and make The Computer unHappy;
have a Nice Day, Citizen...] who would probably blow Phil Gustafson's diodes
permanently were she to appear on afu... B1FF is *not* Kibo, nor is Kibo B1FF.
Nu-uh. Nope. B1FF was last seen proclaiming his new account, b1ff@aol.com (an
obvious forgery, of course - B1FF has no minuscules) and before that, his
BIFFSTER@DELPHI.COM account (and before *that* on news.groups, quickly
followed by buffy).
--
From the alt.religion.kibology FAQ:
"WHO IS BIFF?"
 BIFF IZ A REELY K00L D00D !!!!!!!!!!!!!1 HE P0STS 2 THE NET FR0M HIZ
BIG BROTHERS C-64 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 BIFF IS AWESUM
..........,,,,
"SAY, KIBO, ARE YOU RELATED TO BIFF?"
 N0 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"IS BIFF A KIBOLOGIST?"
 Everyone's a Kibologist... whether they know it or not!
--
Contrib. post:
5> STOP OVER-BIFFING.  BIFF is simply a YUNG D00D on his brother's
5> COMMODUR with poor spelling, grammar and typing skills.  He is not
5> dyslexic.  If i see someone use a 3 instead of an E in a BIFF post
5> i will claw my eyes out with a spork.
5> Don't overemote.  Keep BIFF simple.  He is a simple personality.
 He used to be.  But he got older and learned about RADIK()()L NEW
BBSES D00D WHERE EVERY 1 TALKS LIKE HIM!!!111
 BUT THEY UZED 3 1NSTEAD 0F E!!111
 THEY WER THE AWESUM K00L HAKERS AND B1FF WANTED S0 MUCH 2 B LIKE THEM!!!111
 THEY HAD ALL THE LATEST WAREZ!!!11
 S0 B1FF START3D T0 US3 3 INST3D 0F E CUZ ITZ WAY K00L3R!!!111
 N0W B1FF IZ A WAY-K00L HAKER D()()D 2!!!!11111
 WAY 2 G0 B1FF!!!1111
--
 Let me take a moment and explain the history of the Wacky Misspelling
Gag.  It started out as a parody of usage common in certain subcultures,
particularly those of teenage software pirates and crackers, and infantile
Usenet newbies.  You still see someone who types this way without irony
every once in a while, particularly in groups devoted to heavy-metal
bands.  In any case, at some point a number of different individuals
created a mythical entity named BIFF or BIFF@BIT.NET or BIFF@psuvm.psu.edu
or something like that, an enthusiastic but clueless adolescent who posted
from his brother's Commodore 64.  BIFF typed in all caps, often with
bizarre line breaks, and ended every sentence with a string of !!'s and
some ones mixed in for good measure (which really makes no sense
given the C64 keyboard, but BIFF's naivete exceeded even physical bounds).
 It is a very old joke and tired too, but now that's its charm, as
Mike Nelson as Jack Perkins would say.  Most of us started out as
BIFFs in some sense or another; we would put huge ASCII swords in
our .signature files, or misspell things intentionally so it would
be K00L, or respond in a puzzled manner to obvious bait and flame the
poster apoplectically in sentences ending in strings of exclamation
points.  We look back on our newbiehood, and BIFF helps
us remember.  Personally, one of the most embarrassing aspects of my
Usenet childhood was that I thought BIFF had at one time been a real person.
 In any case, now you know.  Kibo wasn't responsible, not originally, at
least.  I've asked him who was, but he says if he tells me he'll
have to kill me.
--
 [The true ID of the *original* B1FF is to be found in the Jargon File (which
spells it "BIFF"; this can be found at prep.ai.mit.edu (18.71.0.38), in
directory pub/gnu, as the file named jargon300.ascii.gz (gzipped); >1MB
unzipped, watch out! Also at netcom.com, in /pub/linley. I include it here:]
--
Lookup request: BIFF
:BIFF: /bif/ [USENET] n. The most famous {pseudo}, and the
   prototypical {newbie}. Articles from BIFF are characterized by
   all uppercase letters sprinkled liberally with bangs, typos,
   `cute' misspellings (EVRY BUDY LUVS GOOD OLD BIFF CUZ HE"S A
   K00L DOOD AN HE RITES REEL AWESUM THINGZ IN CAPITULL LETTRS LIKE
   THIS!!!), use (and often misuse) of fragments of {talk mode}
   abbreviations, a long {sig block} (sometimes even a {doubled
   sig}), and unbounded naivet'e. BIFF posts articles using his
   elder brother's VIC-20. BIFF's location is a mystery, as his
   articles appear to come from a variety of sites. However,
   {BITNET} seems to be the most frequent origin. The theory that
   BIFF is a denizen of BITNET is supported by BIFF's (unfortunately
   invalid) electronic mail address: BIFF@BIT.NET.

   [1993: Now It Can Be Told! My spies inform me that BIFF was
   originally created by Joe Talmadge <jat@cup.hp.com>, also the
   author of the infamous and much-plagiarized "Flamer's Bible".
   The BIFF filter he wrote was later passed to Richard Sexton [q.v.], who
   posted BIFFisms much more widely. Versions have since been posted
   for the amusement of the net at large. --- ESR]
--
 BIFF (not B1FF) was created by Joe Talmadge (of "Ten Rules for Flaming"
fame) of HP in 1988. Joe posted three postings by BIFF from his account,
and shortly after Richard Sexton began sending out BIFF@BIFF.NET postings
for about a year until he lost interest. At this time, because some idiot
had posted "How to forge a posting" to talk.bizarre, everybody and his
brother was now forging B1FF postings. Talmadge and Sexton never used
digits (C00L, B1FF) in BIFF postings. Most of the original BIFF forgeries
were done from psuvm1.psu.edu .
--

Gary Stollman:
pursued by aliens; was not seen for a while, but has turned up posting from
Netcom on alt.alien.visitors .
Contrib. posts:
 I remember Stollman quite well. However, I never did save them [his posts]
since I thought he was going to be Eternal. At least until the Aliens
got me, at which point I wouldn't care.
 He was manic, paranoiac, and a man of his convictions. I think he'd had
several convictions, though he was not guilty by reason of insanity...
--
 I do have Gary Stollman's long life story somewhere -- the
highlight of this is how he realized that people were following him
when he started staring at this family he saw at a rest stop, and they
became so discomfited at his staring that they left! Imagine!
--
 I remember Gary. I even flamed him once. It was kind of mean, it was
an indirect flame/rant about the lack of interesting nutcases (ie, Van
Gogh was a more interesting and creative mentally disturbed type of
person, you're no Van Gogh etc.)
 He responded in his usual fashion. "No, it really did happen!" etc.
I feel pretty sorry for him really. I remember seeing the fake gun
holdup on TV. It surprised me that this guy had gotten net.access.
Mind you, it says a lot about some mental illnesses-- you can be
intelligent and yet totally unable to deal with one facet of reality.
--
>From garys@netcom.com Sat Mar 19 01:21:44 PST 1994

Well, the account name looks similar...

>Article: 4028 of alt.alien.visitors
>Newsgroups: alt.alien.visitors

Posting to the same groups as usual...

>From: garys@netcom.com (Gary Stollman)
>Subject: INVASION!!!

His favorite subject-line...

>Summary: Yeh, I'm still around...
>Keywords: stollman, invasion, clones

Not sure about him adding keywords, but never mind...

>Date: Sat, 19 Mar 1994 02:51:58 GMT

>This is just to let people know that I am still around and
>functioning...I am curently taking a C programming class at Tallahassee
>Community College, currently I have an A in it, I just want to get it
>done so I can visit my mom in LA...Enjoy!!!!!
 Hmm.. Seems a little "upbeat" for Gary.  New medication?  It's a little
short to be able to tell if it is his style (the easiest way of detecting
forgeries, IMHO... anyone can forge an email address but forging style
is another thing entirely!) but it is close enough to what I remember.
>       Gary
>--
>Gary Stollman    Internet: garys@netcom.com     GEnie: G.STOLLMAN
>-----------------------------------------------------------------
>          The world is your playground.  Keep it clean!
>-----------------------------------------------------------------
Same .signature.  Brings back memories!  (sniff)  Well I would say that
it is about a 80% probability of being him.  Glad he's back, and that the
clones didn't get 'im after all... :)
--
Currently posting from garys@netcom.com (Gary Stollman), and possibly from
Gary Stollman <gary@freenet3.scri.fsu.edu>.

Jack Schmidling (I will be arrested for refusing to buy Israeli oranges):
Contrib. post:
>Jack was never widely known was he?  Certainly Jack would qualify for
>the Net.Legends list if he's posted all over the map.  Did he?
 He was pretty widely known in alt.revisionism; he used to post in a bunch of
other groups - the usual suspects for crossposts from AR: alt.activism,
alt.conspiracy, alt.activism.d, alt.discrimination, alt.censorship.
talk.politics.misc,misc.headlines,talk.politics.mideast,soc.culture.jewish...
(Contributor) thinks anybody who dares sign all their posts "ARF" in a group
scanned by the ZUMABOT qualifies for net.legend status.
--
 Jack is the reason I stopped reading t.p.m.  Well, one of the
reasons, anyway.  It should be noted that Jack shows up in
rec.crafts.brewing, from time to time, and is reported to be just
as obnoxious there, but in a different way.
 (A friend who graduated read rec.crafts.brewing often, and
mentioned Schmidling's presence.  You'd have to check r.c.b to make sure.)
--
>>>Are you sure it's the same guy?
>>One hundred percent positive.
> Jack Schmidling is not just a Usenet kook and a suburban-Chicago lawn kook,
>he is an internationally famous amateur radio kook also.  Anyone remember
>Jacks old .sig trumpeting his "ARF" (Amateur Radio Forum) on 14.313 MHz?
>Jack managed to use roughly 40 lines of text in that baby.
 The one with the lighthouse image?
> Anyway, Schmidling & Co. staked-out 14.313 as their personal turf and
>set up a swearing/yelling/threatening encounter group that, due to the
>magic of ionospheric propogation, interfered with the normal activities
>of amateur radio operators worldwide.  The last I heard, the FCC had
>cracked-down on the 14.313 mob, issuing $10,000 fines and such, and the
>frequency seems to be rather quiet now.  Anyone know if Jack got caught
>up in the dragnet?  Is that why he is now the master.loon of rec.arts.brewing
>rather than rec.radio.amateur.misc?
 He's back in alt.revisionism again, repeating his oft-disproved claim that
Barry Shein maliciously altered a post of his when reposting it in another
article.
 Dan "Karnes/Artimus and now Schmidling? McElwaine's return may be right around
the corner" Case
--
 Schmidling mini-FAQ available, thanks to Ted Frank (q.v.). He's also one of
the few net.legends to have his video publicized by Garbage magazine, and to
be interviewed by the CBS news; had some odd ideas about lawns... Formerly
sometimes believed to actually be the same person as Dan Gannon (q.v.);
seems to have settled down a good bit recently. A miniFAQ of some former
posts is available.

L. Detweiler (you are all TENTACLES of the CYPHERpunk anarchoSYNDICALIST
 pseudospoofing CONSPIRACY; everyone who contacts me via post or email is a
 tentacle of a single Medusa):
 All information relevant has been deleted (probably by the cypherpunk
pseudospoofers); ask around - old-timers can tell you about him, through
"safe" avenues (like email). Warning: attempting to disillusion him of
his theories usually results in threatening mail and getting incorporated
into said theories. Handle With Extreme Care. Appeared occasionally on
the news.* hierarchy (for instance, news.admin.policy), crossposted to hell
and back. Author of the Internet Anonymity FAQ and the InterNet Writer Resource
Guide, pre-legendary status... first name apparently Lawrence or Larry.
Contrib. post:
>I think this article was some sort of satire but I fell asleep on
>the spacebar and, ya know, I just don't get it.  Anyone care to boil it
>down to a sentence or two?
 Yes. L. Detweiler, the guy who posts as an12070, and who also posts
(now less frequently) under his own account
"ld231782@longs.lance.colostate.edu", is a paranoid psychotic (or
someone doing a good parody of one) who believes there is a nationwide
conspiracy out to get him, said conspiracy consisting of almost every
prominent cryptographer on the net. He periodically rants against this
conspiracy. He makes lots of extremely bizarre claims, such as stating
that every person posting articles saying he's nuts is in fact a
pseudonym of the great conpiratorial group. He's pretty much
ignorable, although he has sent death threats to a large number of
people that some have taken seriously.
--
 ...This *may* all be a "front"; he comes across as relatively sane in
email (just don't mention Nick Szabo or Tim C. May...). There's really no
way to tell, which may actually be the point of all this... Was peculiarly
insistent on wanting to become the poster of *this* FAQ as well (to the
point of my having to tell the news.answers team "Don't approve this unless I
send it to you"...). Posted as ld231782@<various>.lance.colostate.edu (L.
Detweiler) and an12070@anon.penet.fi (various constantly-changing identities)
- this last address has been disabled by the anon server's sysadmin, and was
been proven to be him on several different occasions, although he was hiding
it fiercely for a time... his Colorado address has gone also (2/94), according
to the sysadmin; this impending loss apparently prompted the Blacknet notices.
He's not been seen since from that address - but beware: anyone who "talk"s
you may actually be either Detweiler or a Tentacle incognito... MUAaahahaaa!!!
 The person posting to (among other places) news.admin.* as tmp@netcom.com is,
if not this entity, making a good run at attempting to imitate Detweiler
(posting to all the same old places, antagonizing Tim May, having S. Boxx and
Blacknet show up in tmp@'s constantly-changing .sigs, assuming a dizzying
variety of identities...) - but with somewhat better material this time
around... and given Detweiler's bee-in-the-bonnet, impersonating him
successfully would in some sense make somebody *be* him... Since netcom folks
are allowed to choose their own IDs, there's no real evidence that "tmp" is
any sort of a guest account (as some have postulated). Posted (maybe) as
tmp@netcom.com (various identities); has since been kicked off Netcom,
allegedly for posting, somewhat altered, a piece of email from the support
staff there. One nym@netcom.com (Sue D. Nym) got kicked off shortly later when
(as one Cypherpunks-list person apparently got notified via email) they
discovered that "the same person who had formerly paid for tmp's account was
now paying for nym's", thus garnering "And we *mean* it!" points... *May* be
also ldetweil@csn.org, but if so is not posting from there. Keep yer eyes
peeled, kids - he may be back at any time, in any disguise...

Abian (IMAGINATION IS THE ESSENCE THE REST ARE DETAILS - I deserve a Nobel
 prize for this):
 Hangs out in the sci.* hierarchy, as in sci.physics . "NASA's exclusive
goal, ambition and aim must be the reorbiting Venus [into Earth's orbit]
by the year 2004. Otherwise NASA will lose its viability. That wee should
not permit ! never ! never !" Is convinced that altering Earth's orbit
and tilt is the only way to cure humanity of its evil deviance; puts subject
lines in ALL CAPS. In Real Life tm, is a retired tenured math professor at a
Iowa State U. A miniFAQ of Abian, critiqued MST3K style, is available. Has
been interviewed by the BBC, and broadcast...
Contrib. post:
>Abian [from his .sig]:
>``TIME HAS INERTIA. EQUIVALENCE OF TIME AND MASS: (1/T)+(1/log M) = 1 (ABIAN).
Isn't that how time flies or crawls?  Certainly you've seen this effect around
the beginning and ending of your workdays/weeks, people!
>  ALTER EARTH'S ORBIT AND TILT - STOP EPIDEMICS OF CANCER, CHOLERA, AIDS, ETC.
Well, if you knock Earth out of orbit, the sky's the limit. (Although it
would be a darn shame if I couldn't spend a comfortable retirement in Florida
that's pending for me in, ohh, 2035?)
>  VENUS MUST BE GIVEN A NEAR EARTH-LIKE ORBIT TO BECOME A BORN AGAIN EARTH''
Nevermind. I should take up horticulture while I can...
>-- "waiting for the tag-team match:
>      Marilyn Vos Savant & Robert McElwaine vs.
>        Alexander Abian & Ludwig Plutonium"
Hmm...those team-ups could be destructive could they?  (I'd prefer an
ABIAN/MCELWAINE vs. Sagan/Plutonium match.)
--
>   I read an interesting short article in Omni a few years back.  Some
>   scientist (don't remember who) suggested that earth's environment could be
>   improved by nuking the moon.
>I think I read it -- or at least something similar.
Aiee. How Soon They Forget (tm).
The "scientist" in question was/is none other than Alexander Abian.
Yes, he may have moved on to "reorbiting Venus to make it a born-again
Earth", but he began on a smaller scale, closer to home.
--
 ...you forgot to mention that you can also find
Dr. Abian's work in the Weekly World News from time to time. Yes, the
bastion of supermarket journalism has indeed employed our own Dr.
Abian for what nefarious purposes I can not remember. But ooh, it was a doozy!
--
Posts as abian@iastate.edu (Alexander Abian).

Serdar Argic (What a bunch of turkeys):
 Common monickers: zumaBOT, "that d*mn*d turkey". Greps for "turkey" much
as Kibo greps for "Kibo", and follows up to many appearances thereof
with long rants about Armenian genocide as practiced on Turks, or Muslims (or
was it vice-versa?), which bear little if any relevance to the original post
other than (usually) quoting a line or two out of it. Will happily follow up
to Ken Arromdee's Stuffed/Leftover Turkey .sig bait... Usually crossposts
to hell and back, also. Widely believed to have been a script for
auto-posting for Some Time Now. Can be sighted on soc.culture.turkey and
alt.revisionism, usually. If you really wanted to. His sysadmin, Ahmet Cosar,
has been talked at, and is *not* cooperative in the least with the wishes of
the rest of UseNet that Serdar get a real life. Believed to have formerly
posted under the name Hasan Mutlu; see FAQ mentioned below. Other names
sometimes associated with it are Joachim Mattillo/Ilan Rabinowitz/Supric Gupta. 
Contrib. post:
 Actually, the repititious daily bombing of USENET in this manner
was started a couple of years ago ['92?] from the account of Hasan B.
Mutlu from an AT&T site.  The real Hasan B. Mutlu, based on an
examination of conferences and transactions by an author of that
name, is/was one of those AT&T software wizards.  The manual
reposting of files containing canned replies, preceded by a
custom-written reply-specific insult, could have easily been
coded into a program whether or not the two Mutlus were the
same person.  This Mutlu net.personality (referred to as such
in deference to the real Hasan who may be a different person
that may be suffering repercussions due to the USENET entity)
then moved around to a number of other sites, using that name
or masked behind other nicknames (either getting disciplined
by AT&T, or after the entity was discovered to have been a
hacker breaking into the real Hasan's account).  Whatever
the name, the behaviour is obvious.  For a while a running
joke was a weekly Mutloids analysis done out of Australia,
which tracked the infestations, ranked the appearance of
file repostings, etc.  Traffic was considerably higher for the
two weeks preceding the past two American Thanksgivings,
also popularly referred to as you-know-what day.
--
 One "Suha Artun", whose path also goes through anatolia.org, ("anatolia"
apparently translates to "Turkey", by the way) has shown up on soc.history
doing the same thing (xpost, Armenia, etc.) (2/94), and a Mr. RooT from
anatolia has shown up to protest the group alt.cancel.bots, formed specially to
carry cancel messages for the 'bot (subscribe if you want to automatically not
see the bot's posts at your site), in news.admin.* . Other recent arrivals
are meltem@rahul.net (Arif Kiziltug) and ephesus@netcom.com (Yalin Ekici),
although these two do not set followups to soc.culture.turkish, post much
less often (~ once/day), and don't crosspost *quite* as widely. Finally (?),
Argic apparently disappeared entirely in April '94, one step ahead of a
petition drive aimed at UUNet to ask them to ask him to tone things down;
a representative from UUNet said "the site anatolia has not existed on UUNET
since April 94."
 Does not answer posts directly; cannot be e-mailed to (although Cosar can be;
see the miniFAQ). Bleah. May actually be a small group of people who have taken
over maintenance of the posting script. Representative quote: "There are now
none left of the 2.5 million Turks slaughtered by Armenians in the early years
of this century" or some similar combination of templates/words to that effect.
 Because this FAQ includes the word "turkey", it may well be followed-up to if
it's ever posted, although cross-posting to a moderated group may slow it down
a bit. Minifaqs with a bit of info are available, as well as the
alt.fan.serdar-argic FAQ. One note: as far as anyone who's read history can
tell, the Turks slaughtered the Armenians, directly contrary to this entity's
multitudinous claims... Has (2/94) claimed to have virtual lawyers, quoting
their success record; possibly rented them from John Palmer (q.v.), and (5/94)
claimed to have a doctorate ("Dr. Argic") by one of the people railing against
the Uunet petition. Can be emailed to at cosa0001@gold.tc.umn.edu (Ahmed
Cosar); be warned that *any* mail to this address earns you a threatening email
to your sysadmin complaining of harassment... A person from anatolia (*not*
"Mr. RooT") showed up on news.admin.* in 2/94 asking how to set up mail maps;
this may be a sign that mail to zuma.UUCP may actually start going somewhere
(bit-bucket, most likely). Joel Furr (q.v.) has released a Serdar Argic
T-shirt. Posted from (among others) sera@zuma.UUCP (Serdar Argic). 

Jack Sarfatti:
 Posts long strange posts on physics, consciousness, and metaphysics, many
of which do not make much sense to practitioners of the above fields.
Used to crosspost to hell and back. Can be seen in the sci.* groups and
alt.consciousness. A small collection of posts is available. *Not* a "crackpot"
in the classic sense; has a Ph.D. in physics and understands the field quite
well - but tends to use it to delve into philosophical concepts and outre'
theories rather deeper than many other physicists care to read about. Also
posts on and off to sci.psychology about connectionism and perception, and
the neuro-psychological implications thereof.
Contrib. post:
 Jack Sarfatti is a physicist who posts on sci.physics.
He believes in faster-than-light communication through quantum effects
and backwards-in-time communication due to the existence of advanced
solutions of wave equations (which exist mathematically, but.... it's a
long story).  I post to sci.physics a lot as well, and used to take him
to task for various errors, and finally he got so annoyed at me he wrote
letters to me, the chair of my department, and a dean, threatening to
sue me for libel.  He has done similar things to a number of people [note:
Jack says the "similar things" did *not* include specifically writing to anyone
else's Dean/chair/superior]. I am not immensely fond of him, so I was amused
when Kibo picked up on a recent post of Sarfatti's in which he mentioned the
notion of "beables" as an alternative to the usual concept of "observables."
 Since then "beables" have become a bit of a fad; over on alt.sex there are now
some people under the impression that "beabling" is some sort of vile act
people do while watching X-rated movies, etc. etc..  One has to read
alt.kibology to get the total picture.
--
 Has written to at least one poster's dean and dept. chair, complaining about
their sense of humor in posting that the 4 moderators of sci.physics were
pretending to be Abian, Plutonium, Hannu and Sarfatti in order to drive folks
to sci.physics.research, leading the chair to start asking (in jest) in the
halls "Did you know <poster> was a vicious clown?"... Says that the rationale
for the letters (as mentioned in the Contrib. Post) was *not* the pointing-out
of supposed errors, but instead various libels and untrue anecdotes that
appeared concurrently with the "error-corrections". A story *was* going around
at least one physics dept. (which is probably at least as false as any of these
entries; Jack himself denies it utterly - but you know how urban legends grow)
that Jack used to tell people Murray Gell-Mann found his ideas interesting,
and that someone finally checked with Gell-Mann - and found the complete quote
was "Your ideas are interesting, but [looking at watch] I'm late for an
appointment." Posts from sarfatti@netcom.com (Jack Sarfatti).

Hannu Poropudas (Wanna see gifs of my daughter's theories?):
 Posts theories about space potatoes, made up of combinations of positive-
and negative-matter neutrinos, in sevens, to the sci.* hierarchy
(sci.physics). Somewhat entertaining. Had a leave of absence, due to his
sysadmin responding to protests about his changing his userid with every
post so people couldn't killfile him; he says it was actually because he told
Scott Chase (sci.physics FAQ person) that he was asking God to put Scott in
God's killfile... lost more credibility when he revealed that the
official-looking name he kept referencing was in actuality his wee daughter,
to whom much of this information had come in the form of dreams, and who gives
him further leads in the form of crayoned drawings. Has been "harrassed" by
Ludwig Plutonium (q.v.), who has decided Abian is an AI experiment. Posts as
haporopu@freenet.hut.fi (Hannu Poropudas).

Dan Gannon (Let me explain by reposting the *same* Holocaust-was-fake
 trash; I didn't write this, I just scanned it in. And you are all VILE
 LITTLE LIARS for saying so! don't forget my high IQ and my theory of the
 universe having 23 - nope, wait a minute, make that 25-dimensions):
 The original UseNet "let's post Nazi revisionist junk in quantity and
never reply to debunking, except by reposting the same stuff" person. Has
occasionally *tried* to answer posts debunking his anti-Holocaust views; was
normally not very successful, and quickly went back to crossposting his
articles to hell and back, followed by the self-appointed Dan Gannon
Cleanup Crew, who spend selflessly of their time and effort debunking
Dan *every* time (Dan posted to soc.college, as far as anyone can tell,
in order that maybe just *one* of his multiplicities of posts would catch
some uninformed person's eye and fool them into believing his articles...
similarly for the other, ever-changing newsgroups on his Newsgroups:
line. One is reminded of the IHR people who attempted to take out ads in
college newspapers across the USA, succeeding once [I believe; I may have
this confused with the CODOH and Bradley Smith's ads, which have been placed
successfully several times and laughed down many more times]).
 Alt.revisionism created mainly to have some place to redirect followups from
the cleanup crew; most old-time soc.history readers have killfiles because of
him and Serdar. Soc.history.moderated's creation also mainly motivated by him
and Serdar... Runs a BBS in Portland, OR that is known for attracting neo-nazi
punks of various varieties. For a while, long ago, posted under a multiplicity
of identities; retreated to only the Gannon one only when finally caught out.
A mini-faq of gannon rebutting this entry, and several others rebutting Gannon,
is available; eerily reminiscent of the "main event", without the negative
connotations thereof... Has posted as "Ralph Winston", "Maynard", "Pete Faust",
and "Foxy Roxy" in the past. Made #7 on the list of "most evil
net.personalities", just behind Serdar Argic.
Contrib. post:
>I'm new to this thread and don't know who Gannon is or what he is famous or
>infamous for.  Can someone give me a clue??  Why is what he posts considered
>drivel??  --KAC
 In a nutshell:
 Gannon and the now dissolved organization he patsies for, the IHR,
maintain the following thesis:
 1. No Jew, Gypsy or other person was purposely killed as part of a
national policy by the Nazi govt during WWII.
 2. That there certainly were no mass killing operations, no gas chambers,
no gas vans, no mass executions in Nazi Germany during the period 1933-1945.
 For example, they completely deny things like the Einsatzgruppen who
wandered the countryside in Eastern Europe executing Jews and others,
and certainly deny events like Babi Yar. How over 30,000 bodies got
into the same ravine, dead, in a few days is to them merely one of
life's great mysteries, perhaps they all tripped and fell...
 3. They assert that the massive deaths in concentration camps and
similar both did not occur (e.g. all the Jews and Gypsies actually ran
off to the USSR and lived happily ever after), and that they were the
fault of the Allies, particularly the US, UK and USSR.
 See, their theory is that it was Allied bombing that caused food
shortages, typhus, perhaps the noise made SS guards' guns go off into
lined up prisoner's backs, it's hard to know. But it was all the
Allies' fault, they're guilty of all the supposed Nazi war crimes. And
no one died anyhow. How this happened years before any bombing of Nazi
territory occurred is never quite explained.
 4. Gannon and the IHR are closely allied with bona-fide Nazis and
white extremist and virulent anti-semitic individuals and organizations.
For example, when Gannon is not busy claiming contradictory rewrites
of history he is often found typing in long tirades about how the Jews
are responsible for every conceivable evil that's occurred in western
history, including but not limited to the souring of milk and rain at
picnics. Seriously, it's your typical jews control the banks, jews
control the media, jews control all major western govts, etc. type of
rants. Some of the folks he likes to quote have written such notable
works as "The Hitler We Loved and Why". He's also promoted the typical
"Blacks have smaller brains than Whites" kind of garbage.
 There's more, but that should be enough for anyone who isn't two tacos
short of a combo plate.
--
 Formerly posted as dgannon@teleport.com (Dan Gannon). Started posting again
from maynard@banished.uucp, then dgannon@banished.com, in 12/93, apparently
from having lost the teleport account after request-bombing one Holocaust
information server...
 Update: Dateline: 3/4/94. Netcom.com (through which banished.com feeds) gave
Dan an ultimatum -  that in the future he may only post to the following
newsgroups through them:
 alt.revisionism, talk.politics.misc, soc.culture.german, soc.culture.jewish,
 soc.rights.human, alt.discrimination, alt.conspiracy, alt.illuminati,
 alt.individualism, alt.mindcontrol, alt.politics.correct, alt.politics.reform,
 alt.censorship (copied from a "Goodbye!" post Dan made on soc.history)...
 Dan *specifically* tells us netcom.com has forbidden him to post to
(or to post revisionist stuff to - he's not clear on this [but it seems it's
"post to" after all]) soc.history, soc.history.moderated [actually, this is
somewhat redundant], talk.politics.mideast, alt.activism,
 alt.society.civil-liberties, alt.society.civil-liberty, sci.skeptic,
 soc.culture.europe, soc.culture.austria, soc.culture.polish,
 soc.culture.soviet, soc.culture.usa, soc.politics, soc.veterans, soc.answers,
 alt.society.civil-disob, alt.society.revolution, alt.society.etrnl.vigilanc,
 alt.politics.usa.misc, alt.politics.libertarian, alt.politics.reform,
 alt.politics.media, alt.cabal, alt.journalism.criticism,
 alt.extropians.forbidden.topics, alt.flame.dan.gannon.nazi.scum      [Note:
I am NOT a Nazi!!!] (says Dan), alt.society.resistance,
--- And EVERY OTHER NEWSGROUP as well! --- (says Dan).
This has been a Net.Legend News Minute...

Riley G. Mat(t)hews:
Collated from various people:
>Oh, who was that ex-NYC cop over in sci.skeptic a few months ago who was
>offering to use his psychic powers to fix the Mars orbiter and the Hubble
>telescope? ...
 Riley, alias Riley G., alias The Thin Blue Line, alias Riley G. Mathews.
Proper skeptics (or, as Riley liked to call them, septics) never were
convinced he actually *was* an ex-NYC cop. ... can't remember
whether or not he posted from DELPHI.
--
 Ah, yes, "Riley G".  Although one of my personal favorites, especially
after Bob Ingria over on sci.skeptic challenged him to give Bob's personal
information and Riley got it *all* wrong, Riley is rather new, doesn't
cross-post into places like rec.gardens, and disappeared during ("my good
friend") Uri Geller's recent tour, so is mostly unknown.
--
 Ahh yes! Riley. Most of the sci.skeptic people ended up calling him Rile E
Coyote, I think. He sounded like he must have gotten his brain from Acme,
that's for sure. He used to post letters ostensibly from The Amazing Randi
and then flame, flame, flame away about them (the letters certainly sounded
like Randi might have written most of them -- they certainly took Riley
apart. Why Riley posted stuff against his own position just so he could
make (badly written!) retorts to them in public is a bit confusing to me...).
--
>Riley's touchiness about Randi knowing where he lives, and presumably his
>real name, motorcycle licence number, etc seem quite at odds with the very
>casual way in which he posted the names and phone numbers of people here,
>along with those of innocent bystanders he claimed to be neighbours of his
>targets.
 They're not really at odds.  If Riley is really as paranoid as he
sometimes seems to be (viz his claims to have ``phone traps'' on his
phone to list the originating phone numbers of all incoming calls, to
have ``motion trackers'' and video cameras around his house, etc.),
his knowledge of where his opponents live and what their phone numbers
are, etc., gives him a potential edge on them---an edge which he loses
if they know the corresponding information about him.  Also, Riley
posts purported information about people both to show off (and, in the
first few times he did this, to imply he got the information
psychically), and to serve as an implied threat (see his comments to
me that he could pay me an unexpected visit because he knew my phone
number).  It's the bully syndrome: he gets to do other people, but no
way do they get to do him.  And realizing that they can do him must
drive him even crazier than he already is.
--
 Has reappeared; was pleasant for a bit, then returned to flamebait...
Posts from psicop@pipeline.com (Riley G).

Ted Frank: (What's this about James "Trashcan" Kirk?)
 Alt.folklore.urban has *no* loons. Really. An a.f.u "old hat", ted
is considered the master (after Kibo) of the "trolling" post - one with
deliberate misinformation inserted in order to stir up endless followups from
unwary people. Generally crossposts, as a clue, to
alt.ted.frank.troll.troll.troll - but so *many* people ignore the Newsgroups:
and Followups: lines. ted (along with most of the rest of afu) regrets ever
reviving the Monty-Hall-gives-a-Chevy-Nova-to-Winston-Churchill thread ("1/2!"
"No, you idiot, 2/3!") that in 11/93 took over for a time a.f.u,
rec.arts.startrek.misc, alt.sex.bondage, alt.fan.hofstadter,
soc.culture.british, alt.(fan?.)rush-limbaugh, and maybe another I'm
forgetting; when that finally died down, a "Robbie the Robot" thread was
spawned from it with one simple touch from his newsposter - from a *.sig*
reference. (Kibo (q.v.) is also an acknowledged trolling expert, much to the
dismay of many newsgroups, including rec.org.mensa ...) Hangs out in a.f.u and
misc.legal a lot; also soc.college, denigrating fraternities (or possibly just
those who inhabit them). A perennial high-number-of-posts stat-list inhabiter.
Posts as thf2@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Ted Frank).

snopes and Lasner (Paul is dead!) (The sixties started in 149^H^H942!):
 Okay, I lied: afu *does* have a loon. However, in typical afu fashion,
our one recurrent loon is made up of two posters, who are rather harmless
when separated, but who attain critical posting-mass when both have net
access simultaneously... A.f.u veterans will recall the definitive refutation
of the Beatles' "Paul is dead" troll/myth by snopes, the incredible tenacity
of Lasner (even when massively proven wrong), and the amazing amounts of
cross-sniping between the two. Also the flamewars that erupted over the
UL Uncle Don/"That oughta hold the little bastards"... neither one admitted
to thinking it actually happened - but the fallout from snopes' trying to
deny Don ever existed and Lasner's arguing that he in fact had was vast...
Contrib. post:
 Charles isn't a bad person, except for a few annoying traits.  Unfortunately,
each of those traits has led to incredibly long flame wars because he will
never, ever, ever admit he was wrong or allow a subject to drop.  Those
traits are:
 1. Thinks that PDP-8s are the pinacle of computing technology, and will flame
anybody who thinks that C or C++ on a modern computer is better than
assembler on a PDP-8.
 2. Thinks that decades begin and end when he declares them to have begun or
ended.  I think he decided on this stance after he said that "The Battle of
New Orleans" song came out in the 60s.  When somebody pointed out that it was
released in 1958, rather than admitting his mistake, he redefined the 60s.
 Unfortunately, snopes will also not let the famous "snopes vs. Lasner" flame
wars drop, so I usually end up dropping both of them in my kill file for a
month or so when these things crop up.
--
Lasner, for instance, has strong feelings about "Strawberry Fields Forever".
--
 snopes has been seen on-net only rarely since shortly after the California
earthquake (he did survive it though); Real Life apparently reclaimed him for
a while, but he did return in spectacular fashion with a troll to the
rec.arts.startrek groups about shadows on the Enterprise in a vacuum which went
strongly for at least two weeks. Ted Frank is thought to be contemplating
countermeasures. Post as {snopes@netcom.com | vacsc02n@vax.csun.edu} (snopes)
(real name: David P. Mikkelson) and cjl@maestro.maestro.com (Charles Lasner).

Ludwig Plutonium (This newsgroup is contained inside a plutonium electron):
 A classic crackpot (in the scientific sense). Believes that the element
plutonium has a special significance in the universe, as well as existing
as one atom at the center of his brain. Floats around the sci.* hierarchy,
(sci.physics, sci.physics.fusion, sci.math) as well as (sometimes)
alt.religion.kibology. Kibo (q.v.) is rumored to have an archive of his
songs on science-type subjects set to popular tunes and carols. Can prove
or disprove any unsolved mathematical theorem in a matter of weeks, using
q-adic numbers (*don't* ask). Entertaining, once you get used to his style;
his songs are actually singable (although I wouldn't really want to try).
He's not at *all* happy with general relativity, but is content with quantum
mechanics, apparently...
 Currently set against both Abian *and* Hannu (q.v.) (has since apparently
made up with Abian, to the point of dedicating a Jurassic Park parody to
him, but still needles him on occasion)... Is apparently employed as a dish
washer, and has limited himself to 3 posts per day to the Net; is slowly
posting "Ludwig Plutonium, the Chosen One" (his massive autobiography) to his
newsgroup (alt.sci.physics.plutonium) and to a.r.k . Was off-net for a month
or so for allegedly posting some sort of Jewish slur against someone who
complained to Dartmouth, but apparently this has been cleared up, and he's
merrily posting away again. Posts as Ludwig.Plutonium@dartmouth.edu (Ludwig
Plutonium).

Ted Holden:
Contrib. post:
 Has Ted Holden got net access back yet? He lost it when someone on
talk.origins figured out that he didn't actually work for the site he
was posting through, and informed them of it. For those unacquainted
with the Tedster, his hobby-horses were:
 1) Immanuel Velikovsky (_Worlds_in_Collision_) knows more astrophysics
than all astronomers put together. God has been playing billiards
with the solar system during the last few millenia.
 2) The ADA language sucks.
What really set Ted apart was the invective he indulged in against
those who asked him to provide any scientific evidence for his claims
(well, actually, mostly just #1, there was some sympathy for his views
on #2), and the tired list of "astronomer jokes" he used to post.
--
 Ted only got boring once you realized he has a loop time of
about 6-12 months. Up until then he was quite a hoot.
--
 The good folks on t.o. tell the sad tale that Ted lost his newsfeed a couple
of months ago, when the company from which he was posting discovered he had
been using their site, even though they had never heard of him! Now that Ted
has to pay for net access, he apparently has no desire to post mega-messages
anymore.
--
 however, just to tide you over,
I'll point out that the inimitable Ted Holden is definitely back on the
net and is quite definitely posting the same huge reams of "arguments"
that he's been posting for years (still without modification or response
to the counter-arguments) and has recently declared total victory over
talk.origins because few people bothered to respond to all the "arguments"
in his n-th reposting of his proof that Venus had was recently ejected
from Jupiter, leaving that big red spot behind as evidence.
 However, no critique of Holden, the man, would be complete without an
examination of his own considerable programming talents, as demonstrated
in this truly impressive bit of code that he actually had published as
part of an article in support of Velikovsky's theories:
<begin included text>
Newsgroups: talk.origins
From: prl@csis.dit.csiro.au (Peter Lamb)
Subject: Re: Holden and the C programming language
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1992 23:40:20 GMT

 Actually, feel compelled to encourage Ted in his efforts to improve
his programming style. The program which he posted and has had criticised
in this thread is a *vast* improvement to what he had published in
Aeon 2(4), p115.
[Note: Ted has denied ever writing this code in this form, but admits the
"while" loop; Peter insists that this is what got published under his name, at
least, in Aeon. Last I heard, both of them had retired from the fray to
furiously dig through boxes of old magazines to try to find the Aeon issue in
question...]
---------------begin Ted code; indenting per original---------------
#include <stdio.h>
#include <math.h>
int i,j,k,l;
long ii,jj,kk;
double a,b,c,aa,bb,cc,dd;
double x,y,z,xx,yy,zz;
main()
{
xx = 550;
while(xx > 1)
{ printf("\n num of args was %d\n", ii);
exit();
}
xx=jj; yy=kk;
zz=pow(xx,.666);
aa=yy/zz;
printf(\n\n ratio = %f\n", aa);
}
---------------end Ted code---------------
The while loop in this program continues to fascinate me.
<end included text>
Something like this, you can imagine, would have been far more difficult
to program in Ada....
--
Posts from medved@access.digex.net (Ted Holden).

Shub-Internet:
 The lurking horror at the bottom of the TCP-IP protocol; where the bits go
after they hit the bitbucket. *Don't* call it up if you're not *sure* you can
put it down again... Last seen (3/94) incarnated as a pair of lawyers named
Cthul^H^H^H^Hanter & Siegel, posting GREEN CARDS & Spam!; before that (1/94),
giggling from orion.*.edu, having swallowed Clarence Thomas IV's brain; before
*that*, sighted on rec.arts.sf.starwars (12/7/93) [Dick Depew (q.v.), oddly
enough, was a great help in stemming that outburst]. (I know there's more, but
my backups seem to have evaporated...)
Contrib. post:
ObUL: .sigs over ten lines will awaken Shub-Internet.
--

Daniel Drucker (14 Year Old Learning-Curve Wizard):
Contrib. post:
 In 1992, Danny Drucker appeared on several newsgroups [for ~3-4 weeks],
alt.folklore.computers especially, with a signature that called himself a
"14 Year Old Networks Wizard". However, by his behaviour and general
cluelessness, it would be difficult to call him "larval stage", never mind
"wizard". When he got roundly flamed over that, he changed it to "C and
Lisp Wizard", and promptly demonstrated just how little he knew on either
of those topics. His sig mututated to several other "14 year old xxxx
wizard" variants.  As well as the self-proclaimed "wizard" title, he
always had eminently warlordable signatures - and the worst thing was
that they promised to add his ham packet radio id later, as if this sig
really needed something extra to make it just that much more terrible.
 I think he eventually got the hint and stopped calling himself a "wizard",
but not before the phrase "14 year old xxxx wizard" became a catch phrase
on alt.fan.warlord and several other places. (Like all catch phrases, it
had its lifetime, and now it's over, ok?)
--
>Seriously, was he really _that_ annoying for _that_ long that he gets
>to be in the Net.Legends list?
 No longer than a couple of weeks. Which is about three or four eras in
Usenet. Long enough for the phrase "14-year-old _____ wizard" to become
part of the Usenet vocabulary.
 Perhaps Mr. Drucker could go into the net.legends list for another reason
beside the above: quickest evolution from clueless newbie to normal Usenetter.
Where the normal response to flames is more flames (e.g. Barbara A[bernathy].),
Daniel quietly stored up the clues he received, thus becoming a properly
functioning member of Usenet in what I think is probably a record time. Have to
respect him for that.
--
 The elitism displayed then was both unusually pointed (maybe it was around one
of the exam periods, I forget) and much more ad hominem than it usually gets
when someone's clueless.  And Danny, er, Daniel, was only clueless for a week
or so after someone first jumped on him.  He'd been just fine for the previous
month, during which nobody objected to his participation.
 It was an interesting situation, sociologically speaking.
--
 He's still around; quieter, but there. A photo of him may be found at the
URL ftp://bombadil.ori.org/pub/akt/photos/daniel.jpg ... Posted from
xyzzy@panix.com (Daniel Drucker); now posts from dmd@panix.com .

John_-_Winston (Dear People Who Breath Air: ):
 John F. Winston (I have *no* idea what the F. stands for) believes
semi-passionately in alien visitors and UFOs; hangs out at those newsgroups a
lot in consequence thereof, as well as sci.skeptic. This in itself would not
distinguish him, but he frequently crossposts "interesting" articles from
those groups, or from Weekly World News, or from aliens from the future who
have travelled back to talk to him, into alt.religion.kibology, in the teeth
of He Who Greps. This if nothing else qualifies him for "legendary" status.
Likes (or possibly believes(!)) the X-Files for some reason.
--
From the a.r.k FAQ: "IS JOHN_-_WINSTON SERIOUS?  AND WHAT'S WITH THE `_-_'?"
I'd like to answer that question in two parts.  First, John_-_ is a
perfectly normal alt.religion.kibology household word. And second, the _-_
is actually a single letter in Chippewa meaning, approximately, "sideways
schwa". How this relates contextually to the information he posts about
UFOs is something only the Reptoids from Behind The Green Galaxy can tell us.
--
 Waitaminute. I thought that John_-_Winston was the same person as the
JOHNFW@SLACMV.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU. I'm sure he's signed a couple of times
as "John Winston", even if he was normally just "John F. W.". I've seen
him posting to alt.alien.visitors until summer 1991, when he disappeared.
Some time later John_-_Winston made his appearance to the net.
--
Photon belt?
Buckled.
Photon shoes?
Laced.
Thinking cap?
Off.
Okay, we're ready for "John"....
John_-_Winston@cup.portal.com wrote:
: Subject: What's The Buzz.
:   I always love a mystery and there is one I would like to check out in New
: Mexico, USA.  Here is some information about it............................
:   We'll start our trip by way of northern New Mixico, specifically the
                                                ^^^^^^
Me, I prefer the original Mixico.  Mmmmm....just thinking about that
authentic Mixican food gets my mouth watering.  I took Spinich for two years
in High School and a year in college, so I never have a problem getting
around Mixico City or the Axetek ruins nearby.
Spell-checker, anyone?
: tourist town of Taos.  Taos is best known to travellers for its excellent
: skiing and the Native-American beauty of the Taos Pueblo.
:   Yet there's something strange going on, hidden behind the artsy galleries,
: gift shops and ski lifts.  Whatever it is, it's in the air.  You can feel
: it - or better yet, hear it.  Especially at night when the town quiets down
: and the tourists are gone.  It is an ominous, low-frequency buzzing sound.
: The sound permeates businesses, houses, walls, windows and brain cells.  It
: is driving farm animals, pets and people in the Taos area out of their
: gourds.
Well then, "John", you'd fit right in.
:   No one knows what's causing the buzzing and no one can tell where it is
: coming from.  The sound is everywhere and cannot be traced to its source.
Whoops. Sorry. That's just me...that darn Thai food does it to me every time.
: Thinking that it might be part of a secret Air Force project, the town's
: leaders contacted the military.  The Pentagon claims they have no connection
: to the buzzing.
But, as we all know, WHATEVER the Pentagon says is actually the OPPOSITE!
Yes, folks, every day is OPPOSITE DAY with "John".
:   Not far from Taos is the super-secret city of Los Alamos, where government
: eggheads are busy developing new super-weapons and Star Wars projects.  Calls
: were placed to Los Alamos and, specifically, Sandia Laboratories, a
: government funded tech-company responsible for atomic weapons research and
: other dark projects.
GASP!  How DARE the U.S. Government have secret projects and not tell us!
:   Sandia denied having any connection; however, they did send a specialized
: team of acoustical experts to study the sound.  The Sandia studs brought
: in all their expensive toys and  high-tech gizmos.  After months of study,
: they issued their report.In a nitshell, it said that they didn't have a clue
: as to where the noise was coming from.
Well, perhaps if they took it out of the nitshell, they could get a better
look at it.
:   To this day, the buzzing continues and no one has come forward to claim
: responsibility.  Mean while, the people of Taos go on with their lives,
: trying to ignore the insessant buzz.  Everyone in town has their own theory
: as to what is causing it.  Some say it's wind rushing through the nearby
: Rio Grande Gorge, while others suspect the government.  Still other believe
: the sound may have an extraterrestrial origin, or even suggest that satanic
: cultists are at work.  Whatever the cause, the buzzing continues.
: JW Don't ask me what it is.
Don't worry.
: Source Of Information:  Far Out, winter, 1993.
                          ^^^^^^^
I'll say.
--
 Has also gotten a reputation on alt.conspiracy, alt.alien.visitors, alt.dreams,
alt.pagan, and alt.mythology... frequently gets his posts MST3K-ified on a.r.k,
as in the example above. Posted from John_-_Winston@cup.portal.com . Frequently.
(Unfortunately, he has finally discovered Delphi, and has lost his middle
thingy - however, he'll always be John_-_ to us...) Currently posts as
John Winston <johnwinston@delphi.com>.

Dave Hayes (Impeach the Net.Cabal!; Ignore it, it'll go away on its own):
 Self-proclaimed news.* (news.groups in particular) "Biggest Clown". Delights
in arguing with people over details there, apparently mostly for the
entertainment value. Has stretched several threads there beyond all logic.
Claims to have reasons for everything he does, and to be speaking for all the
"little people" of UseNet who do not, cannot, or will not speak for themselves,
leading to someone's coining the phrase "This is UseNet. Speak up for yourself
or Dave Hayes will speak for you...". Has been awfully quiet recently (1/93);
may be Up To Something [returned as of 4/93, espousing the Advanced form of
the "Hit the `n' key if you don't like it" Philosophy]. Posts from JPL (Jet
Propulsion Laboratories), as dave@elxr.jpl.nasa.gov (Dave Hayes).

Compilation copyright (only) dbd@panacea.phys.utk.edu (David DeLaney); this
does not claim that individual contributors' copyrights have been transferred,
only that the compilation and original portions thereof are copyright. Please
feel free to distribute freely, charging no-one.

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