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BIOSCI/bionet miniFAQ & Fundraiser

BIOSCI Administrator biohelp at net.bio.net
Wed Nov 12 11:51:06 EST 1997

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

Dr.Christoph G.Grevelding    Tel.:(49)-211-81-13070
Genetic Parasitology         Fax :(49)-211-81-12333
Institute of Genetics             (49)-211-81-12279
Universitaetsstrasse 1                  
40225 Duesseldorf
e-mail: Christoph.Grevelding at uni-duesseldorf.de                      

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