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    ADMIN: various
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 Jan 21, 14:35 -0800

    A few administrative issues...

    I mentioned previously that I was considering starting a new message number series. We're at message numbers over 22000 in the current series and they're relatively unwieldy now. This numbering sequence began in 2006. There is an earlier message numbering sequence that covers messages from 1996 through 2006. It ranges up to over 28000 though usually by steps of 2 from one message to the next. There's no ambiguity since there's a leading letter on message numbers in the full archive, and it's never happened that anyone has referred to a message from six years ago by number only.

    My thinking is that we should start a new messaging sequence soon. Referring to messages by number offers no convenience and clutters the subject lines when they're five digits long. Also, I'm thinking we should have a shorter message tag for the same reason. For example, a message might be labeled "[NL 102] Re: sextant mirror" instead of "[NavList 23092] Re: sextant mirror".
    By the way the current occasional doubling of "Re:" tags and occasional extra "[NavList ...]" tags are temporary and will be cleaned up soon. I would be happy to hear any opinions on this message numbers question, off-list preferred.

    You may recall that Gary LaPook's email sent a spam message about a month ago. Naturally this wasn't his fault. Someone, probably on the other side of the Earth, gained access to his email password and then sent out a message to everyone in his inbox. This has become a common attack on email services. The risk from this sort of thing is really quite high. If they send you to a misleading web address, it can easily host all sorts of malicious software capable of infecting your machine just by visiting even if the visible content appears innocuous. A not uncommon outcome is a false "virus infection" which appears some period of time later that renders your computer effectively unusable until you pay for a "virus service" which is nothing more than more malicious software and a recurring billing on your credit card. Normally you wouldn't visit such sites, and you wouldn't visit them by following links from some random spam email. But when they come from a "trusted" source, it's much more likely that you will click through. That's why this sort of online crime is becoming much more popular and dangerous. It is especially problematic for communities like NavList where messages can be posted by email and then are re-distributed by email if the email account has been approved as a known member. There is no way to prevent this when a well-established member's email has been hacked, as was the case with Gary's email. But there is something that I can do with other NavList members. I have gone through the full membership and noted all members who have not posted a message in a year or more. Any of those that were not set as "moderated" (because they were active in the past) have been reset as "moderated" meaning that their messages will be manually reviewed before posting. For those of you who are lurking and may wish to post again, don't worry: as soon as you post a relevant message, it will appear after a brief delay (an hour or two) and after that you will be marked as "no moderation" meaning that messages will appear without review within a minute or two. For active NavList members, this will have no effect. I just wanted to let you know that I am trying to put in place procedures that will reduce the possibility of hacked email messages getting through. On a general note, change your email passwords regularly and use nonsense words, numbers, and special characters when creating new passwords for your email accounts and other online accounts. Automated systems are hitting your email accounts all day long trying out simple combinations of words and names (primarily American English) until they find one that works.

    I wanted to share a short URL that some of you may find useful. If you want to see the latest message list without the usual headers and the rest of the archive that appears on the main NavList web page, try using this address:
    If you visit the NavList message boards from a mobile phone or other small device, you may find this more convenient under some circumstances. Please do not treat it as a replacement for the main NavList web page. Note that the main NavList web page displays the above "short" page as a sub-unit. There is no content there that is not available directly from the main page here:

    Specifically for Paul Hirose and maybe Marcel Tschudin, the messages you are receiving now have the "In-Reply-To" header. Has that helped the grouping/threading functions in your email reader?


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