Xref: helios.physics.utoronto.ca alt.folklore.computers:79223 alt.usenet.kooks:9007 alt.an

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Xref: helios.physics.utoronto.ca alt.folklore.computers:79223 alt.usenet.kooks:9007 alt.answers:4488 news.answers:29243 Path: senator-bedfellow.mit.edu!faqserv From: David DeLaney Newsgroups: alt.folklore.computers,alt.usenet.kooks,alt.answers,news.answers Subject: Net.Legends.FAQ (Noticeable Phenomena Of UseNet) Part 1/4 Followup-To: poster Date: 15 Sep 1994 13:24:07 GMT Organization: Brown Ajah, r.a.sf.w.r-j Division Lines: 1291 Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.EDU Expires: 11 Dec 1994 13:21:59 GMT Message-ID: Reply-To: dbd@panacea.utcc.utk.edu NNTP-Posting-Host: bloom-picayune.mit.edu Summary: This FAQ gives information on some of the more noticeable or notable people, places, and/or things occuring on UseNet. Not to be taken internally. X-Last-Updated: 1994/09/14 Originator: faqserv@bloom-picayune.MIT.EDU Archive-name: net-legends-faq/part1 Posting-Frequency: every 73 days Last-modified: 9/13/94 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 (, 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 , 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 . 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@.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 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: 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 #include 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. 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 . 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.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank