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Gibson Research Discussions Online



Updated: May 04, 2013 at 18:12Simply aim your newsreader at news.grc.com!

  Before Participating in Our Newsgroups
Please Take a Moment to Read This Page!
  

This page contains important specific and background information which will tremendously enhance your experience while participating in our newsgroups. Even though this page is rather lengthy, it contains a great deal of important information. We, therefore, strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with its material before proceeding to post into our newsgroups.

Thank you!

Click here for our
Quick Reference Guide
to the GRC Newsgroups


You are invited to participate in our online community:

Newsgroups
 news

 news.feedback

 news.latestversions

 leaktest

 privacy

 shieldsup

 spam

 sqrl
 security

 security.hardware

 security.software

 security.wireless

 securitynow

 techtalk.cryptography

 techtalk.packetsniffing

 techtalk.localproxies
 shieldsup

 spinrite

 spyware

 techtalk

 techtalk.dns

 techtalk.linux

 linkfarm

 wizmo

Click on the group name to choose the current group postings.

Everyone Benefits from
COMMUNITY!

If you spend any time in the newsgroups here at news.grc.com you will quickly discover something rather remarkable:

The eclectic array of widely different personalities
who inhabit this "CyberSpace" have formed a
true, cohesive, community of terrific people.

The security, privacy, spam, and technology discussion groups have become one of this site's most popular, useful, and important features. For those who are new to considerations of Internet security and privacy — as well as for "old hands" of the Net — these forums present a potent research and news resource.

The people inhabiting this "CyberSpace" are
interested in, and are unusually well informed
about, matters of Internet security and privacy.

You will also discover what many others continue to find: a community of terrific, interesting, and well-informed kindred spirits. Though we never expected this to happen, the newsgroups at news.grc.com have taken on a life of their own and have become a great place to hang out in cyberspace. You are invited to dip in for a specific purpose, to ask or answer a specific question, to find out what's happening in the world of Internet security and privacy . . . and to stay as long as you like.

Whether you choose to lurk and read, or voice your
own opinion, you will find plenty to think about here!




What's a Newsgroup?
Our forums are based upon standard Internet-style USENET newsgroups. Although reminiscent of eMail messaging, newsgroups add the powerful concept of "conversation threads" where people are able to reply to specific public postings and the newsgroup system keeps track of these individual conversation threads.

Another important advantage is that the software for reading these newsgroups typically downloads only the message "headers" for new notes, rather than the note's complete content. This allows you to decide which notes look interesting and which do not.

And finally, as you can see from the diagram to the left, news reading software "remembers" which notes you have already read (dimmed out) and which notes you have not yet seen. In other words, it helps you to "keep your place" in any number of conversations at once.


Newsgroup Reading Software:
An immediate — but much less powerful — way of accessing our discussion newsgroups is with the use of our web-based interface. (See "Web-Based Access" below.) Although our web-based interface is a quick and easy way to see how the newsgroups feel, and to get a sense for the information they contain, if you wind up spending much time reading and perhaps even asking questions or contributing to the newsgroups, you will probably find that using a local newsgroup reading client program — a "newsreader" — is vastly superior.

Newsgroup readers are available
from three general sources:

 Bundled with Web Browsers:
Though you may have never noticed, both Netscape's and Microsoft's web browsers typically include built-in news reading capabilities. You can determine whether your system is already equipped to read newsgroups by simply clicking this button:


Click here to see if you already have a newsreader!

If clicking the button above launches something that looks reminiscent of eMail, but different, you are already well on your way to interacting with our newsgroups in style! Finish reading the rest of this page which contains important background information, then configure your system's existing newsreader as shown in the "Newsreader Configuration" section. The following page contains detailed instructions for configuring:


 Outlook Express

If clicking the button above does not launch a newsreader, your system may not have one pre-installed. In that case you could either install the newsreading options available with the Netscape and Microsoft browsers, or use one of the many free and commercial solutions described next:

 
 Freeware solutions:
If you find that you enjoy haunting newsgroups, either as a "lurker" or an active contributor, you may want to use a stand-alone newsreader with additional 'power-user' features. I have been using the originally commercial but now completely free 'Gravity' newsreading for years:


 Gravity v2.7 Setup
2 MB download from GRC's server

Since many people in the GRC newsgroups are also using Gravity it's easy to get technical help and support.


Newsreader Configuration:
Whichever newsreader you choose, setting it up to access our newsgroups is as easy as 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4:

  Configure the "news server" address to:  news.grc.com
In the same way your eMail reader needs to know the names of your "pop" and "smtp" servers for receiving and sending eMail, your newsreader needs to know the domain name of the "nntp" server which will be hosting newsgroups. Our newsgroup server is located at the same 'news.grc.com' domain as our web server, so you must configure your newsreader to access 'news.grc.com' for its newsgroups.

Also, in the same way that some eMail clients allow the standard eMail "ports" of 25 and 110 to be changed, some newsreaders allow the standard port 119 to be changed. Our news server obeys the NNTP standard and should normally be set to the default NNTP port of 119. However, since some networks block or "traffic shape" port 119, we also serve the same (non-SSL) NNTP service over port 110 (normally POP3 eMail), port 563 (normally secure NNTP), and port 11911 (just a random high-numbered port). You may configure your news reading client to use any of those.
 
  Choose a personal, private, secret passphrase:
Our news server uses a secure authentication technology to prevent spammers from posting, prevent anyone from "spoofing" someone else's identity, and allow posters to cancel anything they have ever posted while preventing others from cancelling someone else's postings.

The system uses up to the first 29 characters of any user-chosen "passphrase", so yours should probably be at least that long.
 
  Set the Username & Password to your secret passphrase:
Set both the "Username" and "Password" fields of your news reader to your secret passphrase. This can be anything you wish, but you MUST enter the same secret passphrase into BOTH the username and password fields.
 
  Refresh or Reread all server newsgroups:
Once you have "connected" to the news server at 'news.grc.com', you should determine your newsreader's way of "refreshing" or "rereading" the names of the newsgroups available from the news.grc.com server. Also, if your newsreader provides the option to automatically notify you when new groups appear in the future, that's a handy feature to enable.

If you are setting up Netscape or Microsoft newsreaders,
please finish reviewing this page, then use either of these
links for detailed, step-by-step configuration instructions.



Web-Based Access:
If you prefer not using a separate program to access our discussion forums, or if you just want to take a quick look around before perhaps getting more serious about this whole idea, we provide a simple web-based reader that operates through any web browser. Since this runs entirely in our server and not in your computer, there is nothing to install or setup, but the web-only solution lacks many convenient features.

However, it can instantly give you a sense for the content of our newsgroups and it is a useful way to get your feet wet. Each of the newsgroup descriptions below contains a "Browse" link to its group and the "link block" at the bottom of every page lets you hop around among the groups.



~ CyberSpace Netiquette 101 ~
As is true with any community, newsgroups
have unspoken, assumed, rules of conduct.

We are pleased to frequently hear that our newsgroups are by far the "nicest" groups most people have encountered on the Internet. We believe this is true because most people here follow a few simple guidelines which we hope you will also consider adopting. Our groups are so active that a bit of "netiquette" goes a long way toward keeping everything in order.
Plan to take your time and try not to be in a hurry. This web site has numerous FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages which we've designed for "dip & dash" access. If you are in a super hurry those FAQ pages, and not these newsgroups, will be your best bet.
Try to keep in mind that the people here want to be helpful — that's really why they're here. But they are volunteering their time because they are interested in these topics. They don't "owe" you (or anyone else) anything. So, approaching everyone with respect is the best way to get what you want from the experience.
Try to read as much of the recent content of the newsgroup as possible. This will allow you to develop a feeling for the place before posting your own message or asking a question. Asking a question that was just asked — and answered — is not the best formula for success in any community. And since answers don't appear instantly (because someone must logon, update, read, and respond to your posting), looking back into the group's recent history is always the best plan.
Make sure you're in the right group! We have a number of very distinct newsgroups here, even one which is specifically intended for "off topic" conversations (and that one is very popular!) But for everyone's sake, please try to "stay on the topic" of whatever group you're posting into. Our Guide, below, lists every group and gives a bit of that group's intent, topics, and history. Please be sure to give it a look.
When you do make a posting, please try to give it an informative subject! With many hundreds of new postings per day, most people only have time to scan the subject lines and read a small percentage of the total traffic. So try to "sell your question or comment" by being specific, don't just say: "URGENT HELP NEEDED!" (And avoid using ALL CAPS!)
It is considered extremely bad form to quote all of the lines of a previous message and simply add "yeah, me too" to the end. This creates a huge waste of storage and downloading time. It is a sure way to annoy the entire community. So, please take the time to trim unnecessary text from any postings you are quoting.

If you're curious to know more about newsgroups, the newsreaders site has a collection of terrific resources, including this useful and important page outlining newsgroup "netiquette".

Or, for a humorous look at what can (and too often does) go wrong in public newsgroups, see the "Flame Warriors" web site.

And welcome to our terrific Internet Security and Privacy Cyber Community!



Deleting Articles You Have Posted:
Articles posted to the GRC newsgroups may only be deleted by someone logged onto the server using the same Username/Password passphrase as the article's original poster. Therefore you should use a logon "passphrase" that is secure, lengthy, and very unlikely to be guessed by anyone who might wish to maliciously and unilaterally cancel anything you have posted.

Simply use your news reader's built-in article "Cancel" feature to immediately remove any articles you regret having posted or wish to cancel and resubmit for any reason. Except for the "grc.test" group, articles in all groups live forever. Articles posted into grc.test self-expire after five (5) days.

Frequent contributors to our newsgroups appreciate having the option of removing mistaken or regretted postings. So we have a system for securely authenticating the users of our system and allowing them to delete their own posts — but no one else's.

Secure Authenticated Logon to Our Server:
Before posting any articles to our server you must configure your newsreader to logon with a Username and Password. You can NOT use the "anonymous" or "don't need to logon" mode of your newsreader if you wish to post your own articles. You CAN use anonymous logon if you only wish to read existing articles.

Choose a long and complex "pass phrase" for your logon and use the same phrase for BOTH the Username and Password fields of your logon. That's all there is to it. You can use anything you like for your Username and Password — but they must be identical. In other words, you must use the SAME string of characters for both your Username and your Password.

Please choose something LONG that won't be easily guessed.

The first 29 characters of what you choose will be securely encrypted and used by our system to authenticate your logon so that only YOU will be able to delete your own postings.



Our Profanity and Obscenity Policy:
As mature visitors to public, non-moderated, forums, we must — unfortunately — be prepared to encounter the unexpected obscene, profane, or hateful posting.

If there was a "censorship scale" for the posting-removal policy of corporate sponsored newsgroups such as these, we would deliberately place ourselves at the "extremely tolerant" end of the scale. But, by no means, does this imply that "anything goes" here.

Postings that are obscene, profane, or hateful — where that expression is deemed to be present for its own sake rather than in support of an otherwise useful statement — will be immediately removed from the newsgroups wherever they are found.

Anyone and everyone is encouraged to join in our dialog to share their thoughts and feelings, no matter how strongly they wish to express them, but postings which are purely abusive and intended only to be disruptive, will be removed.

This is not a free-for-all — anyone may go to the public USENET to find that — it is a site for the serious discussion of Internet privacy, security, and technology. By abiding by some simple tenets of respectful conduct, we all gain.



What's a "subscription"??
One of the coolest aspects of the whole newsgroup concept is the idea of "subscribing" (or not) to individual newsgroups. Although this idea is crucial for survival out on the main public "Usenet" — where more than 40,000 individual newsgroups are simultaneously screaming for your attention! — you may still find "subscription" useful during your visits here.

For example, you probably do want to subscribe to my own low traffic "news" group in order to keep track of my current project work.



To Subscribe or not to Subscribe?
THAT is the Question...


Whenever your newsreader logs on to a particular news server, it becomes "aware" of the groups being offered by that server. But, unless you ask to see the list of all possible newsgroups offered by that server, you are spared involvement with most of them. In other words, the decision to "subscribe" to a newsgroup is between you and your newsreader. The news server offers all of its groups, but you determine — and tell your newsreader — which of those available you have an interest in monitoring and reading.



Politics and Protocol:
In addition to the "CyberSpace Netiquette" issues discussed above, a few additional points bear mentioning:

 20 kilobyte posting size limit:
Since these newsgroups are intended to host a textual dialog among its readers (rather than binary images and programs), a 20k byte limit is imposed upon the length of any single posting.
 
 Disable the use of "HTML":  (please!)
It is our feeling that the slowly creeping increase in the use of HTML in eMail is a very bad thing. It adds no value to most communications, it allows web-bug-style "tracking" of its recipient, it is insecure, it is all flash and no substance . . . and for those reason it is a sure way to be seen as either a "rookie" computer user or a junk mail spammer. In either case, that's probably not how you want your communications to be regarded. So please take a few minutes to hunt around within your eMail and/or News clients to figure out how to turn off HTML in your eMail and News postings. Everyone will be much happier!
 
 These groups are 'unmoderated':
In other words, there is nothing to prevent anyone from posting anything at any time. This absolute posting freedom is occasionally abused, with the result that hateful and profane postings are sometimes made by newsgroup "trolls" (as they are called) for no purpose other than to annoy and upset the groups readers.

We will immediately delete any purely abusive postings which appear in the groups, and we would appreciating knowing of any that you may encounter. Please send a note containing the entire posting to '' and we'll zap it immediately.
 
 Please DO NOT FEED the trolls:
Trolls post annoying and abusive messages in order to incite anger and in an attempt to force reactions. Difficult as it can be at times, PLEASE AVOID REPLYING TO ALL SUCH POSTS and thus feeding the trolls. Since trolls exist only for the attention they can generate, they will leave only — and always — when they are simply ignored.

Click here for our
Quick Reference Guide
to the GRC Newsgroups

Welcome to the terrific
"CyberSpace Community" at
Gibson Research Corporation!


We believe you will discover a community of truly terrific people!


You are invited to participate in our online community:

Newsgroups
 news

 news.feedback

 news.latestversions

 leaktest

 privacy

 shieldsup

 spam

 sqrl
 security

 security.hardware

 security.software

 security.wireless

 securitynow

 techtalk.cryptography

 techtalk.packetsniffing

 techtalk.localproxies
 shieldsup

 spinrite

 spyware

 techtalk

 techtalk.dns

 techtalk.linux

 linkfarm

 wizmo

Click on the group name to choose the current group postings.
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of this page are Copyright (c) 2014 Gibson Research Corporation. SpinRite, ShieldsUP,
NanoProbe, and any other indicated trademarks are registered trademarks of Gibson
Research Corporation, Laguna Hills, CA, USA. GRC's web and customer privacy policy.
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Last Edit: May 04, 2013 at 18:12 (346.74 days ago)Viewed 298 times per day