BIOSCI/bionet miniFAQ & Fundraiser

BIOSCI Administrator biohelp at net.bio.net
Thu Jan 9 18:50:39 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.

>>	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.
>>				Sincerely,
>>				Dave Kristofferson
>>				BIOSCI/bionet Manager
>>				biosci-help at net.bio.net

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