Discussion:
bit torrent survey results and Google/Yandex search link Firefox fix
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Thad Floryan
2014-05-29 02:17:16 UTC
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We had a lot of techies at Monday's Memorial Day BBQ which was held in a
neighborhood in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto; it wasn't until later
almost at the end of the day's festivities that I remembered I wrote here
that I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term. This
was a very informal survey and people had been drinking a lot of beer,
but still ....

Early in the afternoon my best friend and I were conversing with his
neighbor who works for YouTube. That neighbor became a bit "testy" when
I discussed what's below which I also now realize I never posted here in
ba.internet based on a search of my local archives and a search on the
eternal-september site for this group; eternal-september is the free
Usenet NNTP provider I use:

http://www.eternal-september.org/
http://www.eternal-september.org/serverstatus.php?language=en

The neighbor also didn't take kindly at the name of my program: fug.
Guess what 'fug' means. :-)

Note the YouTube neighbor stated (paraphrased) "click the Google-result
link then get the clean URL from the page to which you were redirected".

No way! That suggestion requires more work and it only benefits Google
who now owns YouTube. Besides Google slurping-up the tracking info for
ads from the mangled URLs it returns for searches, it further burdens the
Internet with extra DNS lookups and HTML traffic.

So, with that written and with the following posted to many other groups,
I hope you'll find the information below helpful and useful.

Thad

BEGIN "Post from the Past":

For those unaware, until several years ago Google would provide clean
URLs as part of the search results. For example, if you Googled using
the following search term:

MAPUG

you'd receive this result along with this URL (via right-click and a
"Copy link location" in the context menu in Firefox and similar in other
browsers) as the first hit:

Archive of Mapug-Astronomy Homepage ...
http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/

Today you'll receive a 219-character-long URL embedded with tracking
info and who knows what else that looks like this unholy mess:

2014.02.02 20:11 Archive of Mapug-Astronomy Homepage ...
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1& ...

I write a lot of technical papers and I cite references via URLs so
folks can corroborate my writings. What Google has been returning
for several years now is totally unacceptable for writers who need
"clean" URLs to their sources.

So I wrote a kwik'n'dirty C program that accepts the mangled Google
URL and returns a clean version per this example:

$ fug http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source= ...
http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/

whose output, "http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/", could be copy'n'pasted
into whatever document I was composing.

The fug program worked fine but became extremely tedious to use 100s
of times a day. Yes, I write a lot of articles nowadays.

And then I "stumbled upon" a Firefox addon that does the same cleaning
of both Google and Yandex mangled URLs (noting Yandex is Russian search:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yandex ).

The Firefox addon is named "Google/Yandex search link fix" as you can
see in these 2 small screenshots (Linux and Windows):

Loading Image... 91kB

Loading Image... 107kB

I don't know if the add-on is available for other browsers since I only
use Firefox on my *BSD, Linux, OpenIndiana, Solaris, UNIX, and Windows
systems.

For Firefox the plugin is available here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-search-link-fix/

If you've been pulling out your hair in frustration of Google's mangled
results, this add-on should allow you to keep what hair is left. :-)

Thad
Bhairitu
2014-05-29 17:58:26 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
We had a lot of techies at Monday's Memorial Day BBQ which was held in a
neighborhood in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto; it wasn't until later
almost at the end of the day's festivities that I remembered I wrote here
that I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term. This
was a very informal survey and people had been drinking a lot of beer,
but still ....
Early in the afternoon my best friend and I were conversing with his
neighbor who works for YouTube. That neighbor became a bit "testy" when
I discussed what's below which I also now realize I never posted here in
ba.internet based on a search of my local archives and a search on the
eternal-september site for this group; eternal-september is the free
http://www.eternal-september.org/
http://www.eternal-september.org/serverstatus.php?language=en
The neighbor also didn't take kindly at the name of my program: fug.
Guess what 'fug' means. :-)
Note the YouTube neighbor stated (paraphrased) "click the Google-result
link then get the clean URL from the page to which you were redirected".
No way! That suggestion requires more work and it only benefits Google
who now owns YouTube. Besides Google slurping-up the tracking info for
ads from the mangled URLs it returns for searches, it further burdens the
Internet with extra DNS lookups and HTML traffic.
So, with that written and with the following posted to many other groups,
I hope you'll find the information below helpful and useful.
Thad
For those unaware, until several years ago Google would provide clean
URLs as part of the search results. For example, if you Googled using
MAPUG
you'd receive this result along with this URL (via right-click and a
"Copy link location" in the context menu in Firefox and similar in other
Archive of Mapug-Astronomy Homepage ...
http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/
Today you'll receive a 219-character-long URL embedded with tracking
2014.02.02 20:11 Archive of Mapug-Astronomy Homepage ...
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1& ...
I write a lot of technical papers and I cite references via URLs so
folks can corroborate my writings. What Google has been returning
for several years now is totally unacceptable for writers who need
"clean" URLs to their sources.
So I wrote a kwik'n'dirty C program that accepts the mangled Google
$ fug http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source= ...
http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/
whose output, "http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/", could be copy'n'pasted
into whatever document I was composing.
The fug program worked fine but became extremely tedious to use 100s
of times a day. Yes, I write a lot of articles nowadays.
And then I "stumbled upon" a Firefox addon that does the same cleaning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yandex ).
The Firefox addon is named "Google/Yandex search link fix" as you can
http://thadlabs.com/PIX/CentOS_Firefox_addons.png 91kB
http://thadlabs.com/PIX/Firefox_addons.jpg 107kB
I don't know if the add-on is available for other browsers since I only
use Firefox on my *BSD, Linux, OpenIndiana, Solaris, UNIX, and Windows
systems.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-search-link-fix/
If you've been pulling out your hair in frustration of Google's mangled
results, this add-on should allow you to keep what hair is left. :-)
Thad
I've been using that Addon for a number of years.
David Kaye
2014-05-29 20:29:28 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term.
But honestly, is the BitTorrent protocol even necessary in today's world of
high speed? Sure, when people had 2400 baud dial-up modems downloading any
file of size was a horrible experience for anybody having a speedy
connection. But today, when you can download an entire operating system in
a minute or two, is it really necessary?

How many torrent users are really REALLY moving legal software?




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Roy
2014-05-29 22:09:34 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term.
But honestly, is the BitTorrent protocol even necessary in today's world of
high speed? Sure, when people had 2400 baud dial-up modems downloading any
file of size was a horrible experience for anybody having a speedy
connection. But today, when you can download an entire operating system in
a minute or two, is it really necessary?
How many torrent users are really REALLY moving legal software?
Yes, its necessary.
Eli the Bearded
2014-05-29 22:13:35 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
But honestly, is the BitTorrent protocol even necessary in today's world of
high speed? Sure, when people had 2400 baud dial-up modems downloading any
file of size was a horrible experience for anybody having a speedy
connection. But today, when you can download an entire operating system in
a minute or two, is it really necessary?
I've posted, recently, here some scenerios where torrent is a huge win.
The general scenerio that torrent is best at is large number of
downloads starting at about the same time.
Post by David Kaye
How many torrent users are really REALLY moving legal software?
Hoe many youtube streams are really legal legal videos? How many image
sharing sites (flickr, imgur, ...) are really legal jpegs? How much
usenet traffic is really legal content? I didn't check your Path: to
see where you post from, but "binary retention" is one of the big ways
usenet providers get compared. Panix is a very poor usenet provider by
that metric.

Elijah
------
baby and bathwater both accelerate at 9.8m/s^2 from the window
Thad Floryan
2014-05-30 03:35:38 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term.
But honestly, is the BitTorrent protocol even necessary in today's world of
high speed? Sure, when people had 2400 baud dial-up modems downloading any
file of size was a horrible experience for anybody having a speedy
connection. But today, when you can download an entire operating system in
a minute or two, is it really necessary?
How many torrent users are really REALLY moving legal software?
Hi David,

In the predecessor thread "Blocking Bit Torrent" either Elijah or Roy
mentioned that large companies use BT for internal software deployment.

I haven't the time at the moment to search that thread, but that usage
sounds like it could be very useful. But, note, that usage is likely
over 10G (or faster) fiber/wire internal networks distributing entire
preconfigured OSs to 1000s of servers which is a far cry from Billy Bob
in his Mom's basement downloading pirated PS3 games similar to the
Comcast incident you posted that began the "Blocking Bit Torrent" thread.

I still found it amazing, though, that of the 15 people I queried at
the BBQ, 13 thought it was solely a pirate's tool which has been my
impression of it, too, for a long time.

I thank both Elijah and Roy for their contributions to the two recent
bit torrent threads because the server-center software deployment scenario
is very interesting -- I could have used that kind of procedure back when
I was maintaining both an East Coast and a San Jose data center for one
client.

Thad
David Kaye
2014-05-30 07:25:39 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
In the predecessor thread "Blocking Bit Torrent" either Elijah or Roy
mentioned that large companies use BT for internal software deployment.
Okay, through their own internal networks, sure.




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Roy
2014-05-30 21:19:56 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
In the predecessor thread "Blocking Bit Torrent" either Elijah or Roy
mentioned that large companies use BT for internal software deployment.
Okay, through their own internal networks, sure.
I don't think I said that.

When I did work for a large company, they were worried about machines
becoming inadvertent BT servers. I had to get special permission to use
BitTorrent on my XP laptop. I filled out the request form and sent it
in and got the OK immediately. I should note that the network didn't
care. BitTorrent was detected by audit software running on the laptop.
Eli the Bearded
2014-05-30 23:05:02 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
In the predecessor thread "Blocking Bit Torrent" either Elijah or Roy
mentioned that large companies use BT for internal software deployment.
Okay, through their own internal networks, sure.
I don't think I said that.
I posted in in <eli$***@qz.little-neck.ny.us>.

Elijah
------
hasn't lived in NY in a long time, but still uses his NY ISP account
Roy
2014-05-30 23:33:41 UTC
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Post by Eli the Bearded
...
Elijah
------
hasn't lived in NY in a long time, but still uses his NY ISP account
I left NYC for school in 1966 :-)
Thad Floryan
2014-06-01 00:13:44 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by David Kaye
Post by Thad Floryan
In the predecessor thread "Blocking Bit Torrent" either Elijah or Roy
mentioned that large companies use BT for internal software deployment.
Okay, through their own internal networks, sure.
I don't think I said that.
Hi Elijah,

For more info about such deployment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent#Others

where we read (and note the last paragraph where many home routers get
hosed by bit torrent providing another reason to *NOT* use bit torrent):

" [...]
" Facebook uses BitTorrent to distribute updates to Facebook
" servers.
"
" Twitter uses BitTorrent to distribute updates to Twitter
" servers.
"
" The Internet Archive added Bittorrent to its file download
" options for over 1.3 million existing files, and all newly
" uploaded files, in August 2012. This method is the fastest
" means of downloading media from the Archive.
"
" As of 2011 BitTorrent had 100 million users and a greater share
" of network bandwidth than Netflix and Hulu combined.
"
" CableLabs, the research organization of the North American cable
" industry, estimates that BitTorrent represents 18% of all
" broadband traffic. In 2004, CacheLogic put that number at
" roughly 35% of all traffic on the Internet. The discrepancies in
" these numbers are caused by differences in the method used to
" measure P2P traffic on the Internet. [NOTE the CableLabs and the
" Cachelogic info is "dated" and obsolete]
"
" Routers that use network address translation (NAT) must maintain
" tables of source and destination IP addresses and ports. Typical
" home routers are limited to about 2000 table entries needed while
" some more expensive routers have larger table capacities.
"
" BitTorrent frequently contacts 20–30 servers per second, rapidly
" filling the NAT tables. This is a known cause of some home
" routers ceasing to work correctly.

Thad
Eli the Bearded
2014-06-01 04:42:12 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent#Others
where we read
" The Internet Archive added Bittorrent to its file download
" options for over 1.3 million existing files, and all newly
" uploaded files, in August 2012. This method is the fastest
" means of downloading media from the Archive.
I will note that I tried to download the four CD "Conet Project"
(collected numbers stations recordings) from the Internet Archive
by torrent last year and it completely failed. No one else was in
the swarm over a two day period. So much for saving them bandwidth.
I resorted to traditional download.

The Conet Project - Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations
https://archive.org/details/ird059

Elijah
------
has been thinking about using some of those as ringtones
David Kaye
2014-06-01 07:08:52 UTC
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Post by Eli the Bearded
I will note that I tried to download the four CD "Conet Project"
(collected numbers stations recordings) from the Internet Archive
by torrent last year and it completely failed. No one else was in
the swarm over a two day period. So much for saving them bandwidth.
I resorted to traditional download.
Looking over the usage of various files on archive.org it's hard to see
where a torrent would be useful for most of it. There are just too few
downloads. Numbers stations...wow. I haven't listened to those in years.
I happened upon some recordings of numbers stations on YouTube and even with
a website as popular as YouTube there were very few people listening to the
files.




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Keith Keller
2014-05-30 04:12:29 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
We had a lot of techies at Monday's Memorial Day BBQ which was held in a
neighborhood in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto; it wasn't until later
almost at the end of the day's festivities that I remembered I wrote here
that I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term. This
was a very informal survey and people had been drinking a lot of beer,
but still ....
It wasn't a ''survey'', it was pointless wanking. Ask those same 15
people what pops into their head when they hear "number theory". How
many of them will know it's the basis for public key encryption? Does
15 of them not knowing make number theory useless?

Many people provided many examples of legitimate BitTorrent use. What
the uninformed public thinks of it is completely irrelevant.

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
(try just my userid to email me)
AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
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Thad Floryan
2014-05-30 04:36:13 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Thad Floryan
We had a lot of techies at Monday's Memorial Day BBQ which was held in a
neighborhood in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto; it wasn't until later
almost at the end of the day's festivities that I remembered I wrote here
that I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term. This
was a very informal survey and people had been drinking a lot of beer,
but still ....
It wasn't a ''survey'', it was pointless wanking. Ask those same 15
people what pops into their head when they hear "number theory". How
many of them will know it's the basis for public key encryption? Does
15 of them not knowing make number theory useless?
Many people provided many examples of legitimate BitTorrent use. What
the uninformed public thinks of it is completely irrelevant.
Hi Keith,

Bad assumption. The attendees work at Google, Nest, YouTube, Cisco,
HP, Box, Stanford, Intersil, and some other companies I don't know
because I haven't asked them.

They are not the "uninformed public" when they're making 6-figures at
some of the leading tech companies in Silicon Valley.

I wrote, which you seemed to have missed, "very informal survey and
people had been drinking a lot of beer".

I wouldn't be surprised if a formal survey produced similar results
given all the bad press bit torrent has received in the press and
at many computer magazines' web sites which is what gave me my very
negative opinion about bit torrent until Elijah's comment about the
software deployment aspect of it.

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-05-30 04:47:39 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Bad assumption. The attendees work at Google, Nest, YouTube, Cisco,
HP, Box, Stanford, Intersil, and some other companies I don't know
because I haven't asked them.
If the first thing that pops into their head is piracy then they are
indeed uninformed (or misinformed), no matter where they work.
Post by Thad Floryan
I wrote, which you seemed to have missed, "very informal survey and
people had been drinking a lot of beer".
I did not miss it.
Post by Thad Floryan
I wouldn't be surprised if a formal survey produced similar results
given all the bad press bit torrent has received in the press and
at many computer magazines' web sites which is what gave me my very
negative opinion about bit torrent until Elijah's comment about the
software deployment aspect of it.
I wouldn't be surprised either, but that's because most of the public is
uninformed (or misinformed), especially by all the bad misinformation
that the press puts out. When I want real data about something, the
last place I look is "the public".

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
(try just my userid to email me)
AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
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David Kaye
2014-05-30 07:28:44 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
It wasn't a ''survey'', it was pointless wanking. Ask those same 15
people what pops into their head when they hear "number theory". How
many of them will know it's the basis for public key encryption? Does
15 of them not knowing make number theory useless?
With "bit torrent" people already have an opinion based on what they've read
or heard. With "number theory" they likely have no opinion because number
theory doesn't show up in news stories. Big difference.





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Thad Floryan
2014-05-31 23:45:32 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Keith Keller
It wasn't a ''survey'', it was pointless wanking. Ask those same 15
people what pops into their head when they hear "number theory". How
many of them will know it's the basis for public key encryption? Does
15 of them not knowing make number theory useless?
With "bit torrent" people already have an opinion based on what they've read
or heard. With "number theory" they likely have no opinion because number
theory doesn't show up in news stories. Big difference.
Hi David,

BINGO!

For reason(s) unknown to me, the pirate community was very quick to
embrace bit torrrent and that stigma will be difficult/impossible to
remove given all the derogatory bit torrent material in the press
which is still ongoing -- recall this URL I posted here Wednesday,
28-May-2014:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/isps-sent-1-3m-copyright-infringement-notices-to-us-customers-last-year/

Given bit torrent doesn't [then] provide anonymity, my guess is the
pirate community felt "safer" using bit torrent than direct downloads
since there wasn't a single intact instance of the pirated material
available at any site -- bit torrent parcels the pirated material into
small chunks which then appear on multiple sites scattered over the
Internet none of which (presumably) have a full copy of the pirated
material that could clearly be deemed to be illegal or pirated.

I still see no compelling reason [for me] to ever use bit torrent for
anything since, for example, direct downloads of linux distro ISOs
takes only minutes at 3.5MB/S vs. waiting perhaps days or even weeks
for all the bit torrent wanker leech sites to power-up and distribute
their warez.

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-06-01 00:13:54 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Post by David Kaye
With "bit torrent" people already have an opinion based on what they've read
or heard. With "number theory" they likely have no opinion because number
theory doesn't show up in news stories. Big difference.
BINGO!
Great, another uninformed opinion for your ''survey''.

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
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Thad Floryan
2014-06-01 00:40:08 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Thad Floryan
Post by David Kaye
With "bit torrent" people already have an opinion based on what they've read
or heard. With "number theory" they likely have no opinion because number
theory doesn't show up in news stories. Big difference.
BINGO!
Great, another uninformed opinion for your ''survey''.
Your comments in this and the prior BitTorrent thread strongly
suggest you have some vested interest in it, and your tone is
very unfriendly -- I will remember that.

Thad
Keith Keller
2014-06-01 00:47:24 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Your comments in this and the prior BitTorrent thread strongly
suggest you have some vested interest in it
I think I've used BitTorrent maybe three times in my entire life.
Post by Thad Floryan
and your tone is very unfriendly -- I will remember that.
I have little patience when someone equates misinformed opinion with
informed opinion. If you want to read more into it than that then
that's your own mistake.

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
(try just my userid to email me)
AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
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