From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) 
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #1
Newsgroups: fa.human-nets
Date:  1983-01-13 00:42:47 PST

HUMAN-NETS Digest        Tuesday, 4 Jan 1983        Volume 6 : Issue 1

Today's Topics:
           Response to Queries - Computers and the Blind &
                       MIT Hacker's Dictionary,
                     Programming - Unix (5 msgs),
        Computers and People - Human Memory Capacity (4 msgs)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 31 Dec 1982 0104-PST
From: GRANGER.RS at UCI-20A
Subject: Computers & the Blind

Sommers at RU-GREEN asked about micros and the blind. You should get
in touch with Ted Sterling at Simon Fraser Univ. in Vancouver -- he
knows a lot about this.

------------------------------

Date: Saturday, 1 January 1983  18:37-EST
From: MROSE@MIT-OZ at MIT-MC
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest   V5 #111

In reference to a message asking about an MIT hackers dictionary--
there used to be such a thing on MIT-MC in the file gjs;jargon.  I
don't know if it still exists.....

martha

------------------------------

Date: 30 Dec 1982 1343-PST
From: Henry W. Miller 
Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest   V5 #111

        I prefer the DEL key to either control-h or control-a
(control-a was the default delete key on our EXEC.)  I modified the
EXEC to use DEL, and the users loved it.

-HWM

------------------------------

Date: 30 Dec 1982 14:31 EST
From: clark.wbst at PARC-MAXC
Subject: UNIX user interface

It is true that UNIX comes with it's configurable options in a
rather difficult to use state, almost a blank state.  It would be
easy to change this, but doing so would tend to bias a given
installation towards that philosophy.  This  environment may not be
particularly well suited to the installation, but would tend to be
followed because it is a new system, and everyone would adapt to it
because it is new... they expect it.  As it is now, when the system
is new, there is an uncomfortable time, but before long it has been
taylored according to the local way of thinking, with additions of
nice ideas from other unix systems; ones that are new to the new
unix users.  After that, a new user to our now old unix system may
start with a blank account, but quickly picks up the appropriate
local configuration and lore, again biased by his experience.

The point is that no one is forced into something because it is
there.  The only people left out in the cold are the very first
users, and to me, that is to be expected.

As for slow, I don't know what it is that makes distribution unix
slow, but most of my unix work has been on a system that is anything
but slow, with many more than 15 users.  I suppose this is not the
place for it, but I would LOVE to hear an explanation of why it gets
bogged down and how it can be fixed.

                --Ray

------------------------------

Date: 30 Dec 1982 15:06 EST
From: clark.wbst at PARC-MAXC
Subject: Use of keyboard characters and EFFICIENT user interfaces

First, a rebuttal... my general philosophy in a minute...

        Control-H playing delete character on input does not
        preclude it's use as a backspace character on output.

So why not delete?  Well, it has to do with moving your hands... I
am sure you will get the idea from the following:

I have wanted to say this for a long time, this point merely got me
going...

I have done the majority of my editing on an adm3a (no extra keys,
ctrl next to the A) running the RAND editor.  The funny command key
strokes were control characters.  Why do I like this cryptic
environment ?

I am a touch typist.  If I have to move my hand from their 'normal'
position, first, it takes time, and second, I have to realign them.
It slows things down.  By using a control character, I can press the
control key and another key simply by wiggling my fingers.  I can
edit like crazy, with no wasted effort or delays.  It does make a
big difference, and that is why I like it.

As for cryptic, you learn; very quickly.  People have done studies
(I would guess that people on this net have seen them) that show
that you can pick almost any random commands, and before long people
learn them.  When a person is using a computer, they don't sit there
and think "I want to copy a file... the command for copy is xxx, the
arguments go in this order... etc." Before long, in fact after very
few times, most of this gets routed around.  you have barely
realized that you want to copy a file and your fingers are already
moving... something in there does all the processing... it works
sort of like a cache (you forget if you don't use it for a while).
Someone once asked me if I really knew what buttons I was pushing,
or how did I think of what to do so fast.  The honest answer was
that I really didn't know what buttons I was pushing.

It does not take long to learn either - a few hours to be usable,  a
few days to be pretty good, and a few weeks to almost be a part of
it.

In general, the people who use computers tend to use it on a regular
basis.  You want to have as efficient a translation from the first
glimmer of an idea to action as you can.  Extra strings, characters,
arm movements don't help.  Remember the letters that came to the
conclusion that a real fancy menu type interface is only wanted by
beginners, not old users?

People are much better at adapting to computers than computers are
at  adapting to people.  Since the idea is to get the job done, you
don't want any extra bottlenecks.

This is not to say that we should not try to make the computer
easier to use, just that we should realize when the efficiency of
the interface is being drastically reduced at the expense of making
it more recognizable to someone totally unfamiliar with the system.
After all, who uses the system, one who never saw it before or one
who uses it every day ?

Perhaps what we need to develop is:

        1) efficient interfaces between brains and action.

        2) good interfaces to (1) for very occasional users which
           are capable of teaching him to use the 'native' mode if
           desired, and performing at more efficient, less
           'naive-user-friendly' levels in between.

        3) The idea of a menu command interface that can be used or
           not used or called up when you want it was an excellent
           example of this.  The beginner used the menu, the veteran
           used the command interpreter directly.

        4) My RAND editor had a simple keyboard map that could be
           called up with one finger wiggle, and put back just as
           easily.  It was sufficient 95% of the time it was
           necessary.

Anyway, to me all these nifty user terminals with all the buttons
all over the place only make my job harder, and craftily designed
rather than  concise commands actually just make MORE for the new
user to remember and keep straight, and that extra information is
not really easier to remember, since even though it may look nicer
printed on paper, it is not any easier to guess when you can't
remember.  It is fine to make a system easy to use for beginners,
but by definition, beginners do not use a system much.

I would greatly appreciate comments or questions or disagreements
(or agreements for that matter), as I think this is important.

                --Ray Clark

------------------------------

Date: 30 Dec 1982 15:37 EST
From: clark.wbst at PARC-MAXC
Subject: One hand

This is to "RWK at SCRC-TENEX", who my machine never heard of...

1)  I have two hands.  So do that VAST majority of computer users.
    There are facilities to change the erase character for those who
    do not.

2)  I can type all control characters with one hand, all but three
    comfortably.  With practice I am sure I could get good at it.

BOTH of these points are immaterial to what key is used to delete
characters.

A well designed keyboard/computer combination (varying placement of
keys makes them inseparable)  has an erase key which can be easily
typed without large movements of the hands or careful placement of
the fingers, be it control-h, del, or blamo.

It would be nice if keyboard were semi-standard, but that will never
happen because I will always disagree with you and you will always
disagree with me.  So, we must modify what key we use according to
what is convenient on our keyboard, since we are the one who has to
type it 859,364 times a year.

        --Ray

------------------------------

Date: 2 January 1983 20:41 est
From: Frankston at MIT-MULTICS
Subject: Re: DEL vs ^H

If one must resort to ASCII toargument DEL vs ^H, remember that DEL
is supposed to be used to RUBOUT mistakes and paper tape and
therefore the proper interpretation of DEL is to ignore it.

There is NO "delete last character command" in ASCII.  Personally, I
prefer ^H (Backspace) because it is closer to the standard
correction function on a typewriter.  If you want accented
characters you can use some other method of entering it.

Remember also, that what you type on the keyboard and what appears
in the files has only an accidental relationship.

Systems MUST preempt control characters.  Unfortunately, there is a
paucity of shift keys on keyboards and people have resorted to use
the control key as a "code" key.  It often works.  One shouldn't be
surprised it if doesn't always work.

------------------------------

Date: 30 DEC 1982 1702-PST
From: RTXENM at AMES-67
Subject: "RE BROADCAST OF BEYOND HUMAN MEMORY"

Danny's query (danny at mit-od) about the "size" of human memory
sparks me to pose a number of questions I have recently thought about
at UC Santa Barbara (grad school).

Rather than just looking at the "size" (in bits) of human memory, I
wish to also consider the extensions of human memory in the form of
personal libraries containing books, records, video tapes and disks,
computer media, etc.  My motivations are from some discussions with my
grad adviser, Kay and Goldberg's idea of Dynabook, and the movie TRON.

The question is this - How many bits of data does a person need to
keep throughout a life time?

My discussion at grad school consisted of a number of office talks
concluding that 32-bit addressing such as on the VAX might not be
adequate for future "home" needs.  Here at the Ames research center,
we are looking for a machine in the near future (ten years) to perform
10 GigaFLOPS (Floating pt. operations) per second (Or about 10,000
times that of a VAX-11/780).  The machine must have 256 MBytes of
physical memory and have data transfer rates in excess of 500 Mbits
per second.  When might something like this be available to fit in the
palm of one's hand?

Personal computers are flooding the market place (perhaps
prematurely).  Many people posit the change from static hard media
such as paper to the Dynabook.  I have worked on the "interim
Dynabook:" the Xerox Alto and I concur.  In the movie TRON, the
computer characters (sic) carried "disks" which contained all of their
information.  If a disk was lost, the character would be "derezed."
Perhaps our personal libraries, stereo recordings, VHS tapes, video
disks, etc. will all fit on a TRON "disk."  We might read this disk
using a Dynabook.  The question evolves: what is the capacity of this
disk?  Is human memory the cache for this disk?  What are the
requirements for storage (in bits) for one human lifetime?

An initial simplistic stab at an upper bound might be:  suppose human
sight might be a window (from computer graphics) which might be a 1024
by 1024 color raster with a refresh rate of 30 frames per second.
Assume 24 bit color.  Assume the average human is awake 16 hours per
day (grad students slightly more!).  Times 70 years for an average
life span.  This of course does not take into account other senses
(Sight is the primary sense.), forgetting, masking, etc.

The above might interesting in the light that CMU and others are
requiring advanced PCs for attending school.  Atari 800s would come no
where near the capacity to adequately satisfy future needs of people.
This is especially important in the light that the GRiD Navigator
executive computer is about the size of the Dynabook.  I ultimately
hope that I could reliably store my entire personal library (books,
records, tapes, images) in a small booksized box.

--eugene miya (rtxenm at ames-67)

------------------------------

Date: 31 Dec 82 03:35:35 EST  (Fri)
From: Chris Torek 
Subject: Re: Human memory capacity

You might note that some people are very good at remembering one
"kind" of thing yet poor at another, e.g. someone who can remember
things like the phone number of some store called once while in
California ten years ago, but who can't remember the name of the
street he/she lives on.  I, for example, have particular trouble
associating names with faces.

As an aside, I suspect that those who have eidetic memories are
better off keeping the fact to themselves.  While I don't have a
photographic memory, I do have a good one for many things, and I've
noticed that people in general become annoyed with me when I
"remember too much".
                                        - Chris

------------------------------

Date: 2 January 1983 00:14-EST
From: Zigurd R. Mednieks 
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest   V5 #113

The calculation of memory capacity from an estimate of raw data
taken in is very clearly wrong. That data could never get to one's
memory in the first place. There isn't the bandwidth down the optic
nerve. What gets to our brains, from our eyes, is heavily
preprocessed. Our eyes are not only receptors, they are organs for
seeing.

To play back a scene from our memory, we run through our minds the
mind's own coding of that scene. The raw bits were lost as soon as
the eye saw the next thing. Roughly the same thing goes for hearing.

This all has a lot of consequences for AI researchers. In
particular, we may be hoping in vain to "see" using
fourier-transform boxes attached to low resolution TV cameras with
god-awful optics. All sorts of things get done for us by our eyes,
like lighting and color correction, before we even get to
contemplate what it is we are seeing. I am not suggesting that only
humans can process information like humans can, or any mumbo-jumbo
like that. I am suggesting, however, that certain architectural
considerations have not been taken into account in the construction
of systems that hope to cognate.

For more information on this branch of thought see David Marr's
book, "Vision". If you are at MIT and want an interesting terms
worth of the same, take 9.36.

Cheers,
Zig

------------------------------

Date: 2 January 1983 20:41 est
From: Frankston at MIT-MULTICS
Subject: Re: Human memory capacity

I tend toward fairly low estimates of memory size because I feel
that the human brain would tend to be relatively efficient.  Storing
a lot of information can be better done by storing the information
compiled.  One can store a lot more information by remembering "Joe"
than having to keep track of every bit of a visual image.

Marvin Minsky has a good story (I would like to find the original
source) about use of hypnosis to find details.  The problem with
such experiments is that no one usually bothers to check the
remembered details against reality.  It turns out that a twenty year
old is able to remember his thirty fifth birthday just as well as
his fifth.

------------------------------

End of HUMAN-NETS Digest
************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #3 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-01-24 05:47:40 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 20 Jan 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 3 Today's Topics: Administrivia - TCP Where Are You? Technology - WorldNet (4 msgs), Programming - Unix (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 17 Jan 1983 2307-EST From: Mel Subject: Administrivia Hi folks, just wanted to let everyone know that the Human-Nets digest has made it through the TCP changeover. There are a few things everyone should know. Persons running on systems that now support the TCP protocol should continue to use the addresses HUMAN-NETS@RUTGERS for submissions to the digest and HUMAN-NETS-REQUEST@RUTGERS for administrative requests. If your site is still using the old NCP protocol, you'll have to send messages to me through an NCP-to-TCP gateway. Submissions should be mailed to HUMAN-NETS%RUTGERS@ECLC - administrative requests to HUMAN-NETS-REQUEST%RUTGERS@ECLC. During the changeover, some of you might not have gotten a digest or two. The last issue in December was Volume 5 Issue 113. If you've missed any issues, just drop me a note and I'll get those issues to you promptly. -Mel ------------------------------ Date: 31 December 1982 04:00-EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing... I make a living writing about that subject (actually, I don't; I make a living writing science fiction. But I do get paid pretty well to write about the future of micros) so I won't spend a lot of time on this, but: The notion that "It's too late for the parents" is goofy. Bill and Sibyl Grieb have packed classes at everywoman's Village on using computers; they teach CP/M and customization and all that. The problem with adult learners are the ones I had: no one seems to know how to explain things in English. You have to learn a lot more than you really need to in order to be able to do much of anything. Some of us, though, are trying to change that, and a few of us are not only doing something about it, but getting paid to. Patience: it took far longer for the "average citizen" to learn enough mechanics to be able to be comfortable using cars than it is taking for people to get used to computers. The High Priest mentality in which one accepts whatever a highly paid computer technician tells you, is dying away in industry already, and the micro world ain't going to let it get a foot hold... ------------------------------ Date: Sunday, 2 January 1983, 22:48-EST From: David Vinayak Wallace Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing... Date: 31 December 1982 04:00-EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle (I re-ordered some of your statements) The notion that "It's too late for the parents" is goofy. Bill and Sibyl Grieb have packed classes at everywoman's Village on using computers; they teach CP/M and customization and all that. Patience: it took far longer for the "average citizen" to learn enough mechanics to be able to be comfortable using cars than it is taking for people to get used to computers. I think this example shows why it IS too late. You can always find a few exceptions to the rule; these exceptions are a tiny (>.5%) part of the actual computer user. I doesn't take mechanical knowledge to drive a car, it takes mechanical knowledge to modify or repair an automobile. most people (me included) would rather buy a vanilla car and just have it work all the time. I change the oil (more than most people do), but have a mechanic do the real work. The problem with adult learners are the ones I had: no one seems to know how to explain things in English. You have to learn a lot more than you really need to in order to be able to do much of anything. Some of us, though, are trying to change that, and a few of us are not only doing something about it, but getting paid to. The High Priest mentality in which one accepts whatever a highly paid computer technician tells you, is dying away in industry already, and the micro world ain't going to let it get a foot hold... I'm biased, but I don't think this will really work. You can't discuss complex concepts without the proper language. I agree that there is a bit of High Priest mentality and that there is no good effort to teach the JARGON, but every "normal language" explanation of anything having to do with computers comes out muddled, long-winded, and ultimately, unclear.. Some of us even do it for free. david ------------------------------ Date: 2 Jan 1983 1738-PST From: GRANGER.RS%UCI@UDEL-RELAY Subject: WorldNet Services I'm a kind of new-kid-on-the block and need to get knowledgeable about Arpa, WorldNet, and all the neatsy-sounding things you folks are always talking about on here...so could anyone recommend and tell me how to get hold of some kind of background document on everything? Is there something on line on one of these hosts? I would sure appreciate it. I have some ideas about services which could be classified in the pipe-dream category, but would like to withhold them until I gain a bit more knowledge about the proposed goings-on. Thank you, Rob Segelbaum ------------------------------ From: "KENNETH G. GOUTAL at ELMO c/o" Date: 9 Jan 1983 1503-EST Subject: WorldNet services poll Ref: Robert Maas in HUMAN-NETS #5:112 "Consumer information exchange"? Gak! The lawyers will get richer on that one! Consider all the gut reactions and undocumented experiences that people would be committing to 'paper', right out in front of God and everybody; lawsuit city, here we come! A great idea, though, if we could avoid that problem. I'm not really sure where I'm getting this feeling, but seems as though it's pretty dangerous to say what you think about a product (or person or company) in public. Naturally, if people stick to facts, they'll probably be okay, but the net as it has been evolving does not seem to engender sticking to facts -- people happily flame on about anything and anyone, as if they were sitting in the privacy of their dens (which they are), talking with friends (which they are). Unfortunately (?), the network is a glass house. Have I got the legal picture all wrong? If not, how do we get there from here? Any legal types reading this? (Yes, I know, this isn't really WorldNet, but this is where it's starting.) (Say, Robert Maas, whatcha doing out at Stanford? I thought you were at MIT-MC.) --Kenn ------------------------------ Date: 11 January 1983 12:10-EST From: Gail Zacharias Subject: VAX VMS vs UNIX As far as I am concerned, the major difference between Unix and VMS is that there are Unix simulators for VMS, and no VMS simulator for Unix. So if you get VMS, you can take advantage of the features of either system, and run programs developed for either one. ------------------------------ Date: 11 Jan 1983 2041-EST From: ZALESKI at RU-GREEN at RUTGERS (Mike Zaleski [Secular Humanist]) Subject: UNIX and the Rest Re: Comparisons of UNIX and Tops-20 I read the comparisons of UNIX and various other operating systems on Human-Nets with some interest and would like to add my own thoughts. First, I am not sure comparisons of this sort are meaningful. I view UNIX more as an environment. The OS, shell (command interpreter), compilers, and tools all interface together in a mostly nice way. My experience with Tops-20 at two different sites is that this is not completely true under Tops-20. However, the fault (if one is to be laid) is that most sites have a variety of non-Dec standard tools which, not surprisingly, do not always know about each other. Second, UNIX differs from other systems I've used in the kinds of system programs it includes. Programs like "grep" or "find" could be written for other machines, yet I only see them on UNIX. The lack of these tools on other machines can be gotten around (like with PCLs under Tops-20), but the task then becomes troublesome. (Example: How can you do a directory listing of files with one specific protection under Tops-20? UNIX provides a number of tools which make this easy.) Third, the ever popular UNIX I/O redirection is also something which can mostly be done with little extra programming effort on other machines. True, there is a difference between little effort and no effort, but I have yet to meet a machine which constrained its output to the terminal. The only aspect of UNIX I/O which I have not encountered on any other machine is ability to set up communications "pipes" between two programs. This allows, for example, the trivial implementation of an Emacs command to run a program (like a compiler) and save the output (error messages) in a buffer. (If anyone knows how to do this under Tops-20, please send me mail about it!) Fourth, one aspect of UNIX that I do like and which has not previously been mentioned is that there is not a ton of expensive documentation. Standard 5.0 UNIX documentation consists of 3 manuals (one of which is a collection of console messages unneeded by the average user), and a two volume set of "Documents for use with UNIX" (consisting of memos on the various more sophisticated UNIX tools). The C book is also handy. Fifth, regarding the initial-state "problem" with UNIX. At least UNIX lets the user do something about it, like resetting the erase and kill characters. This can be done automatically at login. Tops-20 does not provide any such facility that I know of. By the way, there are various "editing shells" for UNIX floating around which would (or should allow) resetting any function to any key. This, however, is not part of standard UNIX. Incidentally, UNIX system managers can (and do) custom configure their systems. There is a file in /etc which is executed on login time. I am actually quite happy that when I log onto an alien system, at least I know that the erase and kill characters will be where I expect them (even if I don't like that location). All things considered, I don't consider this initial state thing a big deal. Some quick thoughts on other UNIX items: - The Control-D logout is, if I am correct, going to be changed in an upcoming UNIX release. - Not all sites have the source code online, contrary to what one message might have implied. - Performance of UNIX vs VMS vs ... I'm sure a test can be generated to "prove" it either way. Supposedly, 5.0 UNIX shows improvement in this area. - Berkeley UNIX and Bell Labs UNIX are not identical. When reading a message from someone flaming about or raving about some UNIX feature, remember that it may not be Bell (or Berkeley) UNIX. - To the person who asked for a comparison of VAX VMS and UNIX. This question could take volumes. One suggestion: Attend a DECUS conference and look for the UNIX users and VMS users and talk to them. (My personal recommendation is UNIX.) UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories. DECUS, VAX, and Tops-20 are trademarks of Digital Equipment Co. (Keep those lawyers happy.) (Personal opinions of Michael Zaleski, UNIX Systems Development Dept, Bell Labs, Murray Hill.) -- Mike ------------------------------ Date: 12 January 1983 05:44-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: Unix Initial State / EMACS initial state bad?? I find that the initial state of EMACS is quite usable. With the freeze-file-version and compare-windows added, it's almost wonderful, the only major pain being rubout (the most common noise character on dialup lines) being non-undoable delete-backwards, requiring customization in a few input characters. Keyboard macros are very nice and I don't consider them to be system customization since you can do them at any time without knowing anything about the internals, and they work completely at the source (keyboard input in this case) level. I've used EMACS only here on ITS and there (IMSSS) on TENEX which doesn't have freeze-file-version (too old a version, it's standard now) nor compare-windows (I miss it every so often there). When I refer to initial state I refer to the TENEX version since it has less than the ITS version, doesn't seem to have any of the extra packages that have become standard here. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #6 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-01-27 16:09:01 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 25 Jan 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 6 Today's Topics: Technology - Combinations of Telephones and Terminals & WorldNet (5 msgs), Computers and People - Human Memory Capacity (2 msgs) & New Interactive Job Search Service ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: "REX::MINOW c/o" Date: 27 Dec 1982 1930-EST Subject: Touch-Tone to Ascii Conversion Several recent Human Nets messages have discussed generation of Ascii by means of a DTMF (Touch-Tone) keypad. I've done a bit of work on this and hope the following might be of interest: First, holding multiple buttons down at the same time probably won't work in the real world. There are several companies offering DTMF decoders (coupled with FCC approved telephone line interfaces) which are generally set to reject single frequencies as required by the AT&T specifications. Using multiple keystrokes seems to offer the best of a bad situation (clumsy, but workable). Several such systems have been done. For example, there is a very nice automated weather forecast system using synthesized speech and DTMF control done by the FAA. Also, Lauren Weinstein implemented a telephone interface to Unix at UCLA, using the Unix speak program (text to speech for a Votrax ML1) and a Bell 407 telephone line interface. With much help from Lauren, I implemented a telephone interface to RSTS/E about 3 years ago using the NRL text- to-speech system. All three systems used essentially the same DTMF to Ascii encoding method: Letters are entered by pressing the button containing the letter, followed by a button indicating which of the three (left, middle, or right) letters is desired. Thus ABC would be 21, 22, 23. The FAA system accepted only 1/2/3 for the second button, while the other systems allowed "any number in that column". Thus, on the UCLA and DEC systems, "HUMAN" could be encoded 45, 88, 64, 21, 65. There are two letters missing from the keypad. The DEC system put them on the '1' key as "QZ" (The other systems used something similar, but I felt that 11 was a good way to encode space.) Digits were encoded in the DEC system by combining them with the ZERO key. Since I could never remember whether the zero came first or last, my program accepted either encoding. Now, the fun begins... The SHARP key was used for control characters: #1 Z == end of file (CTRL/Z at Dec), #2 C == CTRL/C, #3 D == Delete (rubout), #6 O == CTRL/O (Cancel output) #7 R == Retype line (CTRL/R) #7 U == CTRL/U (Delete line) ## == Carriage return. The STAR key was used for control functions. Lauren and I implemented case shifts and locks and numeric, control, and 8-bit octal input. There was also a punctuation mode (courtesy of Lauren) whereby the next three button pushes were interpreted as a graphic character. For example, 365 (DOL) for '$', 758 (PLU) for '+', 277 (BSP) for backspace, etc. Many characters had several definitions. For example '<' was both 522 (LAN) and 535 (LES). Finally, there were a few predefined messages: 910 Logout 911 MAIL 990 run games:dungeon While it was a nice toy and a fun demo, and once in a while was very useful, the amount of button pushing you had to go through was extremely frustrating. Also, the quality of the Votrax voice was not satisfactory for anything more than games playing. I'd appreciate hearing with anyone with ideas on improving this system; especially someone who would have no other access to a computer. Finally, the IBM voice mail system uses the keypad to enter user names. They use the digits (MINOW would be entered 64669) as a hash function. On the IBM system, Q is on the 7 key (PQRS) and Z on the 9 key (WXYZ). Martin Minow ------------------------------ Date: 20 Jan 83 16:42:43 EST (Thu) From: Chris Torek Subject: Worldnet & Lawyers I feel that if there is to be a legal stand on whether computer mail is to be considered the "written word" or the "spoken word", we're going to have to call it the latter. I certainly wouldn't write down a lot of the things that I type in. (But then, I don't like writing anyway. I type everything -- it's easier [at least with a computer!].) ------------------------------ Date: 21 January 1983 04:08 est From: SSteinberg.SoftArts at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Changing face of u-Computing. I have to agree with POURNE at MIT-MC, it is NOT "too late for parents" and one of the biggest problems is that a lot of stuff is not explained in English. Arguing that most of us are not automobile mechanics is not valid, using a car effectively does NOT involve knowing how to take it apart, but rather how to make it do exactly what you want. Anyone who tells me I cannot direct dial to London because I don't even know if my call is sent via cable or satellite is incorrect, because I can, just as I can use calculus with almost NO knowledge of analysis. As far as language goes I keep finding that I can rephrase things in English and make myself understood, even when explaining rather complex issues (e.g. data compression, garbage collection, inheritance of procedural information). The description often does sound "funny" and possibly stilted and reminds me of the plain language automobile insurance policy my insurance company sent me. Not only did they leave out all the "pursuants" and give the sections names instead of numbers but they actually made it clear that they would pay for my new windshield and not stick me for the $250 deductible. Let's face it, I can tell a carpenter that my door is off the hinges and let him worry about the gudgeon and the pintel. ------------------------------ Date: 21 January 1983 04:47 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing... Anything not worth doing is not worth doing well. Anything worth doing well is worth doing for money ------------------------------ Date: 23 January 1983 03:57 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: changing face of Micro-computing / have to learn too much Subject: first It seems to me if information databases were properly structured and had adequate access methods, one wouldn't have to "learn a lot more than really necessary" to get some task done. It should be possible to ask a question "how do I do ...?" and get back a precise answer. If any terminology is unknown or if the overall frame is unfamiliar, it should be possible to ask for definitions of the terminology or for general background information or to ask specific questions about the frame. It shouldn't be necessary to first learn immense crud and only then get an answer to the original question. The world-net should include an information system that includes everything precisely known by anyone who either published it traditionally or added it directly to the information database, and which permits top-down learning, ask the question and get a direct answer and fill in any gaps immediately later rather than first learn all the gaps and last the precise answer. Has anybody experimented with a top-down question-answering database, on the net or elsewhere? I'd like to see the idea tried. ------------------------------ Date: 23 January 1983 04:05 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing / jargon vs. english Regarding the dilemma, if you use jargon nobody can understand it, if you don't the answer comes out muddled. The solution is: (See my top-down answer-to-question message I sent to Pournelle and humnet.) Answer with jargon when necessary, but plenty of precise technical language. True hack jargon like half the junk in the AI Jargon file (glork, jiffie, state-of-the-worldP, etc.) shouldn't be used, but nice precise words like "algorithm" and "process" and "pipeline" certainly should be used where appropriate rather than trying to find common English words to replace them. Then provide definitions for any terminology (jargon or technicalese) the student doesn't already know and can't guess at from context. -- It'll take some training for a student to get used to filling in the blanks by his/her action of asking a lot of questions, rather than just accepting the definition as presented without understanding it, but ultimately this teaching method should work fine. ------------------------------ Date: 20 Jan 1983 09:35:16-EST From: John McLean Subject: infinite memory Assuming that memory works by changing a (finite number of) discrete parts (neurons, atoms, or whatever) of a human in one of a finite number of ways, then memory must be finite. Further, I'm not sure how else memory could work. However, neither am I sure what a claim of finite memory amounts to. My confusion stems from the fact that I can *in theory* recognize an infinite number of integers. (Of course the above argument establishes that, in fact, there are numbers large enough that even if I could live long enough to compare them digit by digit, I could not tell them apart). It may be objected that I only memorized a finite number of rules that enabled me to "memorize" an infinite number of integers, but that's what conceptualization is all about. The point might be more convincing if I learned the integers by being shown all of them and memorized them all by subconsciously abstracting the rules for myself. But how could I ever be shown an infinite number of integers in a finite time, given that I need a discrete amount of time for each one to register? More generally, how can anyone ever be exposed to an infinite amount of discrete information that must be memorized? Since I assume that psychologists must have the concepts of memory, information, etc. more pinned down than I do, I would appreciate any response that would clear up my confusion. Thanks, john ------------------------------ Date: 20 Jan 1983 0935-PST From: LAWS at SRI-AI Subject: Dot Pattern Memory I have read about a man who has memorized the entire night sky as visible through powerful binoculars. He scans the sky for hours nearly every night, and has discovered several comets and other events. (He regrets one near miss where a patch of the sky just didn't look right, but he was unable to identify the interloper. A Japanese astronomer got credit for the discovery.) I am sure that the variable brightnesses of the stars, and particularly the visible/normally invisible distinction, were a great help in learning the star patterns. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: 22 Jan 1983 1533-EST From: "FLOPPY::MRBILL c/o" Subject: New Interactive Job Search Service Of course, it was only a matter of time... A new radio add has been blitzing the Boston area this week, advertising a new job search service. The adds sparked my curiosity, and I called up the service for further information. This new service is a dial-up computer. A job seeker simply logs into a "large mainframe computer," and starts searching the "electronic data base" for a dream job. They claim to have listings from companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to new startups. Strict confidentiality is guaranteed. To register for the service, simply call up the service, and they will provide you with an account number (not name!) and password. From that point on it's you, your terminal, and their computer. (And $15 for every 2 hours of connect time.) When you login, the service is menu driven. You can enter the type of job that you are looking for. Presumably, it is a "check of the box(s) that most closely match what you are looking for" type of thing, but with a menu structure. Any job descriptions matching your interests will be displayed. If you have any additional questions on any of the listings, you can send electronic mail directly to the company that submitted the listing, and receive a reply "within minutes(!???)" If you are interested in the job, you can release your resume to the company. (There are on-line resume creation aids.) Your resume is strictly your own. It will not be released to any company unless you request it. Computers have often been used by job services and headhunters, but this is the first that I have heard of job seekers allowed hands on interactive computing. Has anyone out there ever used a service like this? -mr. bill ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #7 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-02-07 23:58:33 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 7 Feb 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 7 Today's Topics: Technology - EFT (2 msgs) & WorldNet (3 msgs), Programming - Unix (5 msgs), Computers and People - Human Memory Capacity ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 5 January 1983 06:39-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EFT etc. Tonight I got robbed at knifepoint. They took my wallet with cash and credit cards after threatening me with the knife and then punching me in the face giving me a big bloody nose. I yearn for the days when we'll not have to carry cash or credit cards, when finances will be done electronically by password, so there'll be no incentive for street robbery. ------------------------------ Date: 6 January 1983 23:24-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: along the lines of EFT?? Sigh, I got my broken nose fixed up (just a little chip broken loose near the top) then renewed my driver's license to replace the one in the stolen wallet. I then went to Macy's to try to buy a new wallet since it was a pain to keep dollar bills loose in a pocket and coins in a little paper envelop in another. But with my automated teller card stolen I couldn't draw out cash, and Macy's wouldn't let me pay by check (need two forms of ID, one with picture and other a major credit card) nor by Macy's credit card (by the time initial footsying around with them was done it was after 5pm so they couldn't even set me up with a temporary credit card), so I'm still without a wallet. I don't like the current system where one must carry around papers to prove you are a valid person and if you get robbed you are a non-person for several weeks until your driver's license (6 weeks) and credit cards (2-3 weeks) are re-issued. Why can't they accept thumbprints as an alternate way of identifying people? Or why can't they connect with TRW or other major credit firm and identify I'm really me by asking me personal questions that aren't known to anybody except me and the credit agencies? I hope things get better not worse in the future. Of course like I said before, not having to carry around cash would reduce the incentive to get robbed in the first place, and as I'm adding now, if everybody carried around a little radio transmitter that detected your pushing a button (explicit emergency) or falling to the ground or losing vital functions (implicit emergency) and sent out a call for help, maybe we'd be able to deter crime by catching all muggers immediately when they try anything. Anybody want to brainstorm about how such things might be done with packet radio or whatever, using current technology plus the effort to create an actual network in various high-crime areas and high-population cities? Anybody want to warn about some of the Orwell-style misuses possible with what I claim I want? ------------------------------ Date: 27 January 1983 04:50 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: Changing face of u-Computing. Well said. My point precisely, stated somewhat better than I put it. My father owned radio stations most of his life, but he never knew anything about electronics. I can change sparkplugs without knowing much about the theory of Kettering ignition and how the distributor works. The Epson QX-10 is a case in point. The software isn't implemented yet, but when it is, damned near ANYONE will be able to use the machine to do a LOT.. ------------------------------ Date: 31 January 1983 02:58 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Worldnet & Lawyers I'm afraid I have to disagree and say that keyboard entry and CRT reading is more like written word than like spoken word because it uses representations of written letters an spelling conventions instead of representations of spoken phonetics. Of course in languages that have phonetic written languages this distinction breaks down, but if we use English and other non-phonetic languages as testbed we indeed find they all use written language rather than phonetics. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) ------------------------------ Date: 6 Feb 83 17:40:35 EST (Sun) From: Chris Torek Subject: Re: Worldnet & Lawyers From: Robert Elton Maas I'm afraid I have to disagree and say that keyboard entry and CRT reading is more like written word than like spoken word because it uses representations of written letters an spelling conventions instead of representations of spoken phonetics. Of course in languages that have phonetic written languages this distinction breaks down, but if we use English and other non-phonetic languages as testbed we indeed find they all use written language rather than phonetics. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I think that's irrelevant. The trouble is that keyboard entry is more like written things since it is easily reproduced. Once you've said something, then (unless someone has a tape recorder) it's gone. If you've written it, then it's there on paper, evidence. This makes (for example) the distinction between libel and slander. Something you've said can be slanderous, whereas if you'd written it it'd be libelous. (I could easily have those backwards. I'm not a lawyer.) You might claim this is splitting hairs, but it's what makes lawyers rich. Anyway, my point is that while stuff I type is more like something written than something said, in that it can be reproduced, it's less like it in that I'm much more CAREFUL about what I write than what I type in. I'd rather not be charged for libel against Foobar if I sent e-mail to the net saying "Foobar's widgets are worthless." ------------------------------ Date: 24 Jan 1983 1136-MST From: Walt Subject: Re: TOPS-20 vs VMS vs UNIX One OS environment that Tony forgot to enumerate is real-time process control. VMS appears to me to be superior to Unix for this application. The ideal combination in this environment would be, as Gail Zacharias pointed out, VMS with a Unix emulator to keep the hackers happy. ------------------------------ Date: 24 Jan 83 09:13:38 PST (Mon) From: sdcsvax!sdchema!donn at Ucb-C70 Subject: VMS emulation on UNIX Speaker-to-Animal's point (Vol 6, #5) that no one would want to use VMS facilities when they had UNIX is not quite enough to explain why VMS has never been emulated under UNIX. There are in fact some utilities that VMS has which users miss under UNIX. One of these is VMS's highly optimizing FORTRAN compiler. Unfortunately DEC is much more secretive about source code than Bell is, so much so that it is close to impossible to buy machine-readable source for most VMS programs. Hence the route which most UNIX emulations on VMS follow fails for VMS emulations on UNIX: you can't get the source. Our group at UCSD has coveted the FORTRAN compiler for some time and at one point we proposed to DEC that we would write a program for UNIX which would take VMS object modules and convert them into UNIX modules which we could then load with a compatibility library and run under UNIX. This would allow DEC to sell VMS FORTRAN and other compilers to UNIX sites which they would otherwise fail to make any money off of, and it would specifically let us dump VMS on the only remaining machine here which runs it. DEC in its infinite wisdom foresaw that they would make less money from sales to UNIX sites than would cover the costs of many sites dumping VMS (like us), so they have refused to give us objects or even symbol table layouts. So much for VMS emulation. Donn Seeley UCSD Chemistry Dept. RRCF ucbvax!sdcsvax!sdchema!donn (619) 452-4016 sdamos!donn@nprdc ------------------------------ Date: 27 Jan 1983 1937-PST Subject: VMS vs Unix From: Mike Leavitt Why would I want to run VMS under Unix? Well, I would like it because there is commercial applications software that I need that is not (yet) available under Unix, and the systems types (pace JB) who make such decisions for our agency's leaders have determined that Unix running under VMS is "just too slow." Give me one or the other -- that's not too much to ask! ------------------------------ Date: 29 Jan 1983 2306-PST Subject: [Michael C. Greenspon : Re: RSTS Subject: dies?] From: Ian H. Merritt I received this interesting tidbit this evening, and thought it relavent to the recent discussion on the subject of UNIX vs VMS vs TOPS-20 vs ... <>IHM<> --------------- Return-path: @MIT-MC:ZZZ.MCG@MIT-OZ Date: 29 Jan 1983 2321-EST From: Michael C. Greenspon Subject: Re: RSTS dies? To: NCP.EGK at SU-GSB-HOW at STANFORD-GATEWAY cc: gutfreund.umass-coins at UDEL-RELAY, info-rsts at MIT-MC, merritt at USC-ISIB Hey, watch it! I'll be the first to admit that RSTS is old, generally ugly, and very stupid about lots of things, but it IS hackable. UNIX is equally, if not more, ugly, stupid, etc., and is also hackable. The difference is that in order to get UNIX to do ANYTHING even REMOTELY USEFUL it MUST be hacked. Of course, if you like case significance and an operating system designed around the same mindless philosophy, go ahead and use stock UNIX. For now, on PDP-11s, I'll stick to hacking RSTS. Flame, flame, MCG P.S. I suppose when the [rest of the] world gets color workstations, someone will hack up a UNIX shell that is not only case significant, but font significant, color significant, etc... Lotsa luck. ------------------------------ Date: 30 January 1983 16:57 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: TOPS-20 vs VMS vs UNIX Funny how the meaning of "hacker" changes from day to day according to the needs of the person writing the message or article that contains that word. By some standards I'm a hacker, yet I don't spend lots of time modifying my user interface (HACTRN and init files here on ITS). I wonder if there's any real concensus what the word "hacker" means? Does it mean: - Somebody who spends long hours modifying the user interface? (Used this way in the message I'm replying to) - Somebody who learns the innards of programming systems in order to take advantage of optimizations and special methods that aren't described in an documentation? (A favorite MIT definition I've heard.) - Somebody who likes computers and dislikes humans so much he avoids all social contact? (Used this way in an article in a trade journal last summer.) - Somebody who writes programs by hook or crook to make them work without necessarily organizing the programs in clean ways and without conforming to any programming standards or using standard algorithms for solving the tasks? (My favorite definition.) Meta comment -- A common way to lie is to have a word defined two different ways. First we prove one definition fits the circumstance at hand. Then we start using the word without reminding people which definition we're using. Finally we start slipping to the other definition, "proving" things based on that definition. I fear this practice, already common in politics, may slip into our discussions if we aren't careful. So, I'd like to hear from you all, what you think the best definition of "hacker" should be. Send your replies directly to me and if I get enough of them I'll edit a summary and send it out to the list. ------------------------------ Date: 30 January 1983 1649-EST (Sunday) From: Alex.Rudnicky at CMU-CS-A Subject: human memory Some time ago, someone on this list stated that the ability to memorize large random-dot patterns provides evidence that humans can store large amounts of (visual) information. In fact, there is considerable doubt that this is the case. The experiment in question is reported by Stromeyer & Psotka [Nature,1970,v.225, p.346]. The experiment involved the binocular fusion of Julesz patterns ( two slightly different random-dot patterns are presented, one to each eye, the disparity is such that viewers see a (binocular) three-dimensional figure emerge from the pattern. Same principle as 3D movies, only a meaningful image cannot be extracted from just one pattern.) "Normal" viewers can integrate such patterns presented in temporal sequence, but only if the patterns follow one another within about 150 msec. The individual described by Stromeyer&Psotka claimed to fuse patterns presented up to 3 days apart (depending on the number of dots involved). The experiments have never been replicated. I have also been told, by someone acquainted with the individuals involved, that there is a good chance that the young woman in question, by all accounts exceptionally intelligent, may have been able to bluff her way through the whole thing (in any case, shortly after the experiment, she claimed to have "lost" her ability). Even if no deception was involved, it is by no means clear that the amount of information retained by the viewer is equal to the number of dots in a pattern. In his own work, Julesz reports that fusion effects can be obtained even when the patterns are substantially blurred (ie, every single dot need not be remembered, low-frequency information is sufficient.) Incidentally, several people have described memory capacity in terms of the number of (eg) pixels in a glance, etc. This is not the correct way to describe how humans gather information. Think about it. You do not perceive the world in terms of pixels. You are not aware of the individual receptors on your retina, nor of the impulses traveling along the optic nerve. Human processing is highly selective, it does not retain the raw products of sensation. You experience and remember objects, ie meaningful entities, but not their meaningless (and much more numerous) constituents. In a slightly different vein, I find that discussions of "how big is human memory" are essentially beside the point. Mere capacity is not what makes human memory interesting. How is it organized, how is knowledge stored and retrieved, how does forgetting take place? These are the questions that need to be answered. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #8 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-02-11 01:42:54 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 8 Feb 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 8 Today's Topics: Queries - CrossTalk, Technology - Networking (2 msgs), Computers and People - Turing Test (3 msgs) & Information Systems & Definition of Algorithm, Humor - VALGOL & Real Programmers ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 31 December 1982 04:01-EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: CrossTalk I have heard that CROSSTALK was originally written by Larry Hughes. I have no confirmation of this. Anyone KNOW the situation? JEP ------------------------------ Date: 22 January 1983 04:23 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: Personal computers used now in newspaper writing I can now send in my BYTE columns by computer, although it is a bit cheaper to send them by mail, given the distance to Hapshire even at middle of night 300 baud slowness costs.... ------------------------------ Date: 25 Jan 83 13:11-EST (Tue) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: ScienceNet Does anyone know about ScienceNet? It is due to come up this spring with many universities and government institutions (NASA, etc.) It is a mail-only system based on TelNet. I guess my query really is: Will it be possible to talk to them via ARPA or the CSNET/TELNET gateway? - Steven Gutfreund ------------------------------ Date: 3 Jan 83 19:27:13 EST (Mon) From: Bruce Israel Subject: Turing Test finally met! As you are probably all aware, TIME magazine normally reserves its year-end issue for its man of the year issue. This year, TIME has chosen the computer for this honor. Since the editors of TIME have chosen the computer as their ' "man" of the year ', they obviously cannot distinguish between a computer and a human being. Therefore, the basic conditions of the Turing test (that an intelligent human finds a computer indistinguishable from a human being) has been satisfied. ------------------------------ Date: Fri 7 Jan 83 19:56:56-PST From: Richard Treitel Subject: Re: Turing Test finally met! :-) Well, I take exception to Bruce Israel's claim, on rather obvious grounds (see the penultimate word of the penultimate line of his message). Moreover (treading on thinner ice here) it can hardly be claimed that the Turing test has been passed, if there is one human who cannot be distinguished from a computer by other humans (though I admit this wasn't what Time magazine was saying ...) - Richard ------------------------------ Date: 9 Jan 83 10:47:09 EST (Sun) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: Re: Turing Test finally met! Who says that the editors of TIME are intelligent humans? ------------------------------ Date: 24 Jan 83 14:42-EST (Mon) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: EPCOT and WORLD-KEY information system I recently visited Disney's EPCOT (Experimental Planned Community Of Tomorrow) and I recommend taking the time to go there. There are many things of interest to a Computer Scientist, (or just your average human-type). But, of particular interest to WORLD-NET enthusiasts among HUMAN-NETS readers will be the information system: WORLD-KEY. WORLD-KEY was designed by "the BELL system" and it basically looks like there has been some heavy borrowing from DATALAND type systems like Negraponte's and Christopher Herot's. All information is basically pictoral and organized as a network. One can browse via four different perspectives: keyword, context, physical location, or category. For instance: In physical location mode, one can wonder around a map of the physical grounds, enter a pavilion, find a restaurant in the pavilion, then choose to look at the menu. If one likes what one reads, you can then get a human operator on the screen and ask her for a reservation, (or any other questions you may have). Interface is via a touch sensitive screen. There are many terminals scattered through EPCOT, all are tied via fiber optics to videodisks and central computer (honeywell). Videodisks are used because of their fast random access seek time, and the need for exciting animation. The Introductory lesson on WORLD-KEY usage is a typical Disneyism: A Yellow square with a cute voice, no face or body but big hands, says "TOUCH-ME", and zings around the screen telling you about the WORLD-KEY features. This sort of animation would have been very tough if it had to be computer generated. The Video disks allow them to have high-quality graphics and animation and still support many terminals. For many years I have been "soap-boxing" and preaching the DATALAND approach. So, technically I did not find WORLD-KEY that novel. Indeed I could see the Bell engineers have a lot to learn, and would probably benefit greatly by reading WORKS. Nevertheless, it is extremely satisfying to actually see this approach out in the public and being used. Indeed, I got many opportunities to watch people (long lines would form near them). And even I was impressed at how quickly and skillfully people of all ages (including a hefty percentage of florida retirees) could master such a system and were regularly using it for practical purposes. ------ Most of EPCOT is now finished. There still remains some international exhibits to be built (and HORIZONS: and exhibit about about space colonies). Some of the exhibits are your typical sit down and listen while GM tells you how great wheels are. But there are many standouts: Kodak has computer assisted do-it-yourself artwork and design, Kraft was into novel agricultural experiments, etc. and international exhibits like China and Japan are bound to attract (though they tend to be made mostly of imported stores staffed by native employees). All-in-all I heartily recommend the trip, especially if you mix in a trip to Daytona Beach or the Kennedy Space Center. (Orlando is your typical burgeoning high-tech area. I went there 4 years ago on a plant interview and things have skyrocketed since then, I was most impressed). Steven Gutfreund ------------------------------ Date: 15 January 1983 03:24-EST (Saturday) From: _Bob Subject: Definition of 'Algorithm' There is a local BBoard on RU-GREEN called ENGLISH, which tries to track down the source and meaning of computer-related natural language. The following entry there might be of general interest to the readers of HN. _Bob The following is the OED entry for 'algorithm.' An attempt is made here to reproduce in ASCII the typographic content of the original, using the conventions of SCRIBE. Special pronounciation key characters and Arabic characters are omitted. Two special Anglo-Saxon characters are shown as 'th.' Note that 'algorithm' means something quite different from what is intended in common usage: A numbering system that employs zero. It is a man's name. And it is usually mispelled because of conflation with the root of 'arithmetic.' @b{Algorism} ... Forms: @g{a.} 3-6 @b{augrim(e, 4 -ym, 5 -ime, -yme, awgrym, algram, 6 agrym(e, -ime, 7 agrum, algrim.} @g(b.) 4-6 @b{algorisme, 5 -ysme, algarism, 6 algorosme, aulgorimse(e, augrisme, 7-9 algorism, algorithm.} [a, OFr, @i{augorisme, algorisme, aurgorime}; ad. med. L. @i{algorism-us} (cf. Sp. @i{guarismo} cipher), f. Arab. ... @i{al-Khowarazmi}, the @i{native of Khwarazm Khiva}), surname of the Arab mathematician Abu Ja'far Mohammed Ben Musa, who flourished early in the 9th c., and through the translation of whose works on Algebra, the Arabic numerals became generally known in Europe. (Cf. '@i{Euclid}' = plane geometry.) @i{Algorisme} being popularly reduced in OFr. to @i{augorime}, the English also shows two forms, the popular @i{augrime}, ending in @i{agrim, agrum}, and the learned @i{algorism} which passed through many pseudo-etymological perversions, including a recent @i{algorithm} in which it is learnedly confused with Gr. @g{arithmos} 'number.'] The Arabic, or decimal system of numeration; @i{hence}, arithmetic. @i{Numbers of algorism}, the Arabic or Italian numerals. @i{Cypher in algorism}, the figure 0; a 'mere cipher,' a dummy. c@b{1230} @i{Ancr. R.} 214 [He] maketh therinne figures of augrim, ase theor rikenares doth the habbeth muchel uorto rikenen. @b{1340} @i{Ayenb.} I The capiteles of the boc.. byeth ywryte..by the tellynge of algorisme. c@b{1391} @c{Chaucer} @i{Astrol.} (1872) 5 Ouer the wiche degrees ther ben nowmbres of augrym. @b{1393} @c{Gower} @i{Conf.} III. 89 Of arsmetique the matere Is..What algorisme in nombre amounteth. @b{1399} @c{Langl.} @i{Rich. Redeless} IV. 53 As siphre..in awgrim, That noteth a place and no thing availith. @b{1483} @i{Cath. Ang.}, Algarism (@i{v.r.} Algram); @i{algarismus, abacus} @b{1530} @c{Palsgr.} 476/2 I cast an accomptes with counters after the aulgorisme maner. @i{Ibid.} 684/2, I reken, I counte by cyfers of agrym. @b{1532} @c{More} @i{Conf. Barnes} VIII. Wks. 1557, 772/1 Mysse-prytynge those fygures of Algorisme, because the figure of .9. and the figure of .6. be in all maner one, if thei be contrary turned. @b{1542} @b{Recorde} @i{Gr. Artes} (1575) 40 Corruptlye written.. Augrim for algorisme, as the Arabians sounde it. @b{1549} @c{Chaloner} @i{Erasm. Moriae. Enc.) L iij b, Other men stande for no more than Ciphres in Algorisme. @b{1561} @c{T. N[orton]} @i{Calvin's Inst.} (1634) Pref. 3, I have.. quoted the Sections also by their due number with the usual figure of Algorisme. @b{1553-87) @c{Foxe} @i{A.&M.} III. 265 As a Cypher in Agrime. @b{1566} @c{Drant} @i{Hor. Sat.} ii. B 2 As well by augrisme tell the gravell of the sea. @b{1591} @c{Garrard} @i{Art Warre} Good knowledge in Mathematikes specially in Algarosme, Algebra, and Geometrie. @b{1593} @b{Peele} @i{Edw. I}, 84 Neither one, two, nor three, but a poor cypher in agrum. @b{1625} @c{L'Isle} @i{Du Bartas} 140 The treasures hoard of Algrim mysteries. @b{1699} @i{Phil. Trans.} XXI. 262 The Indian Algorism (or Calculation by the Numeral Figures now in use). @i{Ibid.} 263 The Algorithm or Numeral Figures now in use. @b{1774} @c{T. Wharton} @i{Hist. Eng. Poetry} 46 The first who brought the algorithm from the Saracens. @b{1837} @c{Hallam} @i{Hist. Lit.} I. I. ii. Sec. 30. 114 Matthew Paris observes tht in Greek..any number may be represented by a single figure, which is not the case in Algorism. @b{1852} @c{R. Grant} @i{His. Phys. Astron.} Introd. 9 The ingenious algorithm of the Indians. @b{1861} @c{T. Wright} @i{Ess. Archeol. II. xv. 70 The figures of the algorismus are identical in every respect with the characters of the abacus. @i{Attrib.} @b{algorism-stones}, counters. c@b{1386} @c{Chaucer} @i{Millere's T.} 24 His augrym stoones, leyen faire apart. @g{a} @b{1535} @c{More} @i{Let.} (J.), I send now to my good daughter Clement her algorisme stone. * * * @b(Algorithm), erron. refashioning of @c{Algorism}. The Oxford English Dictionary ('OED') is a revision of ''A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by the Philological Society,'' published between l884 and 1928. It is the principal research dictionary of the English language. The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, 1st Ed. (basis for the 2d. Ed. and the current 3d. Ed.) is essentially an abridgement of the OED. ------------------------------ Date: 25 Jan 1983 at 0852-PST Subject: VALGOL From: zaumen at SRI-TSC Re: Ondrya Wolfson's message about VALGOL It would appear that VALGOL is the first computer language based on a content-free grammar, as opposed to the more common context-free grammars. ------------------------------ Date: 3 February 1983 01:47 EST From: Richard P. Wilkes Subject: Real Programmers Thought that you all might find this interesting... 'Real Programmers' Don't Eat From Vending Machines by Jean Tricebock, ComputerWorld Nov 1, 1982 We are all aware now, thanks to the book by the same name, that Real Men don't eat quiche. The premise of the book is that a Real Man is the male individual who successfully copes with all the assaults of modern society on his sanity, private life, personal space, and wallet. Well, all that's fine, but how does all of this relate to the Real Programmer? At one time, the Real Programmer worked quietly in his own provate world, unhindered by the necessity to maintain congenial interpersonal relations or to explain his work to some interested party (such as an analyst). But now the programmer must cope with group leaders, quality assurance analysts, walk-throughs and performance reviews, not to mention structured specifications, time-sharing services, interdepartmental communications, dress for success and recalcitrant soda machines. Are you a real programmer? - Real Programmers don't number paragraph names consecutively. - Real Programmers do not grumble about the disadvantages of Pascal when they don't know any other language. - Real Programmers print only clean compiles, fixing all errors through the terminal. - Real Programmers are kind to rookies. - Real Programmers are secure enough to write readable code, which they then self-righteously refuse to explain. - Real Programmers don't play video games; they write them. - Real Programmers do not eat breakfast from vending machines. - Real Programmers punch up their own programs. - Real Programmers have read the standards manual, but won't admit it. - Real Programmers don't dress for success unless they are trying to convince others that they are going on interviews. - Real Programmers do not practice four syllable words before walk-throughs. - Real Programmers argue with the systems analyst as a matter of principle. - Real Programmers drink too much coffee so that they will always seem tense and overworked. - Real Programmers always have a better idea. - Real Programmers can do octal, hexadecimal and binary math in their heads. - Real Programmers do not write memos. - Real Programmers do not utter profanities at elevated decibel levels. - Real Programmers do not apply DP terminology to non-DP situations. - Real Programmers do not read books like Effective Listening and Communication Skills. {Tricebock is a systems analyst} ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #9 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-02-16 22:25:16 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 14 Feb 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 9 Today's Topics: Queries - Intelligent Interfaces to Operating Systems & PC Uses for the Handicapped & Unix on Burroughs, Response to Queries - Crosstalk, Programming - Unix (5 msgs), Computers and People - Information Systems (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 8 Feb 1983 at 1322-CST From: KM< Subject: Reply to: human-nets digest v6 #8 I am compiling a bibliography of intelligent interfaces to operating systems (intelligent help systems, programmer's assistants at an OS level, self adapting user interfaces, command language "coaches", etc.). A pointer to your favorite work in this area would be appreciated. If there is enough response, I will summarize and post the results. Thanks- Kim Korner korner at utexas-11 cc.korner at utexas-20 ------------------------------ Date: Fri 11 Feb 83 10:59:49-PST From: Guillermo A. Loyola Subject: PC uses for the handicapped. I'd like to hear from anybody doing work in the area of Personal Computer uses by handicapped persons. We have a coworker with cerebral palsy. Some software has been written for him using a speech synthesizer but a lot more is needed. The guy who wrote the software (who has no access to the net, but I can set up the contacts) would really start a dialog with people working in this areas. Please replay to me directly with a U.S. Mail address and/or phone number. Thanks. Guillermo. ------------------------------ Date: 9 Feb 83 0:07:46-EST (Wed) From: Randall Gellens Subject: Unix on Burroughs? I've heard, at various times, rumors of attempts to get some sort of Unix running on Burroughs (large) systems (B5000, B6000, B70000). Anyone know of any actual attempts? ------------------------------ Date: 13 Feb 83 17:00:26-EST (Sun) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford Subject: CrossTalk Les Freed and Bob Strong wrote the first version of CrossTalk in 1978 for a Northstar computer. The first CP/M version was circa fall 1980. The current version of CrossTalk runs on over 80 CP/M machines, and a major revision is currently underway, principally for 16 bit micros. Les has been the maintainer of CrossTalk for years. Les Freed's company which markets CrossTalk is Microstuf 1845 The Exchange Atlanta, GA 30339 (404) 952-0267 Larry Hughes is the author of C-Link, another terminal emulator for micros. -- Gene ------------------------------ Date: 7 Feb 1983 12:46:20-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: re VMS vs UNIX I'm not sure what you mean about real-time process control; I've just spent a weekend tying up several terminals on a VMESS because even the hacker who wrote a chunk of the typesetting system I was using couldn't get stuff to run in the background (the way I trivially can on UNIX). Also, I don't think of myself as a hacker (if I did, the people I work with would soon correct me) and I found several other disfeatures about VMESS---very limited typeahead, poor choice of editors and the best of those subject to unpredictable hangups (on cmd typos instead of just beeping that they don't understand), etc. This seems true even on VAX VMESS as run at a DEC plant. ------------------------------ Date: 7 Feb 1983 1114-MST From: Walt Subject: Re: re VMS vs UNIX I had specifically in mind the type of automated warehousing systems I built for five and a half years. The main requirement was that the behavior of the system be highly predictable AFTER the software development phase was finished. Features such as demand paging and "fairness" schedulers tend to make a system less predictable. Thus if the system is required eg. to divert a pallet moving on a conveyor belt within N milliseconds, having to share the processor or main memory with an unpredictable software development load may cause the pallet to be mishandled. This type of error can be extremely expensive. Of course, the limited typeahead, bad editors etc. also raise costs, specifically software development costs. Hence my vote for a highly predictable OS with a better user interface and utilities. ------------------------------ Date: 7 Feb 1983 14:43:16-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: Re: re VMS vs UNIX In response to your message of Mon Feb 7 13:17:24 1983: I see we stumbled over the meaning of the word "process"---you were speaking of mechanical processes rather than computer ones. I would have thought that control on that level would not involve a high-level OS at all, given the general trend toward distributed processing (obviously different companies have different ways of attacking CAM, but this is what I got from interviewing with Gould-Modicon, which was specifically pushing programmable boxes to replace hardwired relay setups). ------------------------------ Date: 7 Feb 1983 1456-MST From: Walt Subject: Re: re VMS vs UNIX Good point. The company I worked for installed a number of such distributed processing systems. However the big payout of the systems that I worked on came from keeping inventory records literally up to the millisecond. The micros attached to the material handling machines were attached by fairly fast communications links to the machine that maintained the inventory database. The database machine in turn made all the material movement decisions that required inventory information as either an input or an output; for example, if a pallet of widgets was to be detected and diverted down a conveyor spur, the inventory records needed to be consulted to determine that pallet NNN was the one with the widgets, and then the inventory records for widgets in stock had to be updated as soon as the divert had taken place. If it seems hard to understand why anybody would do things this way, the reason is simple: money. One of the major costs in a material handling operation is the cost of the uncertainty in how much inventory you have, and where it is. Thus if you need to have quantity X of a part to run your factory, and your material handling method introduces an uncertainty of deltaX when it starts to move your parts around, then you have to buy and pay for X+deltaX parts. The system I described reduces deltaX by a factor of about ten over manual methods, ie. it saves about .9*deltaX of your inventory. This translates into a payback period as short as eighteen months in some multiM$ systems that we put in. However, note that the whole thing hinges on the CPU's being able to respond quickly and predictably to the demands of the industrial process. ------------------------------ Date: 9 Feb 83 00:03:15 PST (Wed) From: UCBARPA.fair@Berkeley (Erik E. Fair) Subject: Fortran under VMS vs Fortran under Unix The Computer Systems Research Group at UC Berkeley (The people who brought you 4.? BSD Vax/Unix) were or are working on a version of f77 which is supposed to be comparable to Fortran under VMS. The last I heard about it was 6 months ago, and it was (I think) in beta test, but it was supposed to be just a shade slower than VMS Fortran. For info, contact David Mosher, Technical Manager for CSRG at mosher@Berkeley, ucbvax!mosher or (415) 642-7780. Besides, this gives me the chance to relate my VMS horror story. I was trying to use a tape drive to change a 600' tape in 1600 bpi, into two 600' tapes in 800 bpi. I came out with one 1/4 full 600' tape in 800 bpi, with half the data that was left on the tape being trashed. I have never touched VMESS since. Erik E. Fair ucbvax!fair fair@Berkeley ------------------------------ Date: Mon Feb 7 1983 18:27:23-PST From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: EPCOT and UNIX I'm not too sure where the big Honeywell computer fits into the EPCOT framework, but... I had a phone conversation fairly recently with one of the Bell Labs persons who worked on the EPCOT information display systems that were discussed in a previous digest. He told me that they were controlled by a large number of VAX 11/750's, all running Berkeley's flavor of UNIX. There was also a presentation regarding the EPCOT systems at the most recent UNIX ("Unicom") conference, so it appears that UNIX is well entrenched in the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 8 Feb 83 05:52:01 EST (Tue) From: Mark Weiser Subject: WorldKey at EPCOT. World Key was cute, and it did help me find a place to eat one night when my family was very hungry and every place was supposedly closed. But it had a crucial flaw: it was a hierarchical menu system, and some of the menu trees were rather deep, and there was no way to get quick access to deep in the tree even if you knew where to go. One could not walk up to one of these things with an interest in an exhibit and get information about it without wandering through a bunch of irrelevant questions first. Furthermore, it had the classic problem that has been exhibited experimentally in the British teletext systems: no multiple pathing. The teletext experiments (Maguire, pp. 350-354, conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems, March 1982) cite the case of someone looking for the Red Fox Inn. Early in the teletext menu they had to choose between looking for restaurants or looking for hotels. It turns out that the Red Fox Inn was known to some people as one and some people as another, but could only be reached down the hotel path. (Looking again at the proceedings I notice that this anecdote is only hinted at, so it is something I am remembering from the talk.) World Key had the same problem. One could not simply scan everything at a given geographical location, but had to decide between entertainment and food (and some third category) early on. But it was fun to use the first couple times. ------------------------------ Date: 12 February 1983 23:33 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EPCOT and WORLD-KEY information system Return-path: <@MIT-AI,@MIT-MC:gutfreund.umass-coins@UDEL-TCP> Date: 24 Jan 83 14:43-EST (Mon) From: Steven Gutfreund [Reply to message on WORKSTATIONS digest, re the "WORLD-KEY" information system available at EPCOT:] One can browse via four different perspectives: keyword, context, physical location, or category. I have long been aware that neither category (tree-structured subject classification) nor keyword methods of access are sufficient in themselves, and that physical location is often a useful third access method or limiting method. In an integrated system, citation links and reverse links are also useful. XANADU's approach of being able to create citation links to segments of quoted text instead of only to complete quoted documents, seems to be a winner, and I hope other systems adopt it. When you refer to context, what do you mean, citation links and the like, or something totally different? [I took the liberty of CCing to HUMAN-NETS instead of WORKSTATIONS because I'm discussing the information-retrieval aspect instead of the fancy-display aspect.] ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa (Pleasant@Rutgers.arpa) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #10 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-02-17 04:34:50 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 15 Feb 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 10 Today's Topics: Technology - EFT (6 msgs), Humor - Systems Analyst & Valgol ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 8 Feb 1983 0158-EST From: ZALESKI%RU-GREEN@RUTGERS (Mike Zaleski [Secular Humanist]) Subject: EFT as a Crimestopper? I am prompted to write by Mr. Maas' recent experiences with the criminal element and his expressed interest in Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT - the so called "cashless" society), and in some sort of emergency signaling device that people could use in the event of similar attacks. First, noting that it is not reasonable to expect every candy machine and video game is going to accept a universal master credit card, let us instead examine the idea of a "less cash" society. Now, I don't argue that less cash might lead to less crime, but I have serious doubts that EFT is likely in the near future. Three reasons: (1) The cost of setting up and maintaining such a system. [Who will pay and why should those who pay - merchants and bankers - be motivated to do so? After all, they pay a large initial cost for a rather small gain.] (2) The technology for an UNQUESTIONABLY reliable nationwide network is simply not there. [This is money, not network mail that will be lost or stolen.] (3) The public does not seem to have much demand or interest in such a system. [In fact, we would be well advised to be wary of any system with the potential for monitoring our every expense, our spending habits, and ultimately our every movement. Second, the emergency signaling device idea. The technology may be available for this, but again I am wary. Again, something that can monitor my every movement makes me nervous. But even a transmit only device has its problems. First, the technical one of monitoring and sorting out all the distress signals. The 911 number in New York has problems with this now and I see no reason to expect that any emergency paging system would have different results. Second, unless the long arm of the law is right around the corner, signaling for help will serve no purpose, as the perpetrators will probably flee quickly. Finally, without some way of indicating some detail about the emergency situation (i.e. auto accident, fire, heart attack, crazed killer) such a device is unlikely to be of much value. Just reporting "emergency at 7th Avenue and 34th Street" isn't enough. What I found most interesting about Mr. Maas' message is his interest in the use of technology to make us less vulnerable or less attractive to the criminal element. Yet, even if he had no cash, Mr. Maas might still have been a prime target because he had a fancy watch, an expensive jacket or some other article which cannot be electronically filed away. Or, perhaps to the urban psychopaths with whom he tangled part of the joy of the criminal act was simply in beating him up. If I read the original message correctly, there must have been at least two people taking on Mr. Maas - one armed with a knife. Presumably under such circumstances little resistance was offered and the only explanation for the bloody nose is that the urban psychopaths enjoy beating people up. (Perhaps my analysis of this particular incident is wrong. Nevertheless, there are criminals out there who enjoy hurting others.) So what am I leading up to...??? I suggest an application of 19th century technology is required here. A rope, with a noose at the end, placed round the neck of anyone convicted of three violent or armed criminal acts. Note that the noose is at a height somewhat higher than the neck of the multiply convicted criminal. This ultimately leads to the permanent reform of those criminals who present the violent menace to our society. I do not argue that this idea will reform, nor do I argue that it will deter the first and second time offender. But what it does - unquestionably - do is permanently remove a repeat offender from society. And if repeat offenders are responsible for most crime, every one that is executed makes society just a little safer. Awaiting the backlash, -- Mike^Z (Zaleski%Green@Rutgers or ..mhtsa!pwbcc!mzal) ------------------------------ Date: 8 February 1983 22:42 EST From: Thomas L. Davenport Subject: EFT etc. Robert, I understand how awful being robbed is. I have also been robbed. However, I don't ever want to see the day that I can't use cash, and must use some form of EFT. I don't want my identification tacked on to every transaction that I make. Three cheers for the underground economy! -Tom- ------------------------------ Date: 9 Feb 83 00:06:09 PST (Wed) From: UCBARPA.fair@Berkeley (Erik E. Fair) Subject: EFT Theft Around here, there is a new columnist in the paper, who recently did a column on EFT theft. Modus Operandi: Thief comes up to you (behind you, from side, etc), with some lethal weapon, and says "Yer money, or yer life!". You, being a non-confrontational soul, hand over your wallet. You, also being no dummy in \this/ part of town, have no cash. Thief espies your Automatic Teller Machine card, and demands your secret (password, number, ID, etc). You tell him. Highly (intelligent, experienced, lucky, etc) thief takes you to the nearest branch of (your bank here), up to the ATM, puts in your card, and punches in your number. What you told him had better be right, since your life depends upon it right now. Thief can now draw on LOTS of money in $20 increments, up to your limit, whatever that may be, until you can get to the bank, and cancel the card. Point: EFT isn't really safe either. Erik E. Fair ucbvax!fair fair@Berkeley ------------------------------ Date: 10 February 1983 00:00 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EFT etc. No, I don't want to outlaw cash, I just want another option, doing 95% of my transactions using non-cash. Currently only about half my transactions can be done by written check, which is time-consuming and uncomfortable, and works only at stores that know you, and almost none can be done by credit card. (Ever try to buy groceries on Mastercard or VISA or any of the less common credit cards?) ------------------------------ Date: 8 Feb 83 23:50:00-EST (Tue) From: Randall Gellens Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #7 In order to reduce crime, no one uses tangable instruments of negotiation, relying instead on validated access to central credit information and financial processing centers? Sounds awful to me. Sure, we can eliminate crime to an arbitrary extent by correspondingly eliminating personal freedoms, privacies, and perogatives; sacrificing these to a powerful central authority. I think too much has already occurred along these lines. If victimless crimes were legalized, most of their ill effects would vanish. If drugs could be freely purchased in pharmacies, assuring the customer of standards of quality and price, then the violent crime, disease, etc now associated with their present illegal use would be gone. If prostitution were a legal, licensed, professional practice, then the current conditions of exploitation, corruption, and disease could be eliminated. On the other hand, if someone gives me a check, I have trouble cashing it (even at the bank on which it is drawn) without presenting id and answering irrelevant questions. Supermarkets, department stores, apartments, etc, all refuse to establish accounts (check cashing cards, credit accounts, leases) without disclosure of my social security number. Even though all information necessary for the account (bank account, bad check history, previous credit, lease etc handling) can all be verified without it, they insist on it. In a society such as REM desires, there would be no easy way to make a private transaction (buying certain substances, publications, or services) nor prevent disclosure of virtually all private information (bank balance, credit history, transaction history, etc) form persons both authorized (the "authorities") and not (clerks etc). [Hey, Senator Sam buys "Orgies in the Casbah" magazine, buys $850 of booze a week, and transfers $5k to "Jack Armstrong" every 2 weeks!] ------------------------------ Date: 13 Feb 83 17:35:14-EST (Sun) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford Subject: Mugging I finally saw the news item about your mugging. I don't think EFT is going to take the place of cash, nor do I think it will decrease the incidence of the type of crime you experienced. First of all, there are so many types of transactions which depend on pocket money I doubt that any form of EFT would meet with enough approval to be successful. For instance, think of the whole class of people who live on gratuities. With EFT they would be less likely to get "keep the change" tips. They'd even have to account for it to the IRS! How about vending machines? Is it going to be worthwhile to set up electronics and communications for each soda machine and every cigarette machine? Doubtful. How about phone booths? Here in Atlanta the trains and buses are entered with coins, not tokens. How about all those nice tollway booths on the roads in NJ and Virginia and the like (if you've never travelled up I-95 then you may not be aware of how many quarters it takes for all those cars). We also have our alternative economic forms to worry about. How are pushers and pimps going to deal with electronic funds? Fences? Car strippers? Politicians taking bribes? This is just a first reaction. I'm not sure how many people would feel secure knowing that their life savings have been reduced to magnetic bits on disk somewhere. I realize that this is the current state for some, but it is not the general case. And even if all our funds and finances were to be done electronically, you would still be worth mugging. There will always be types out there who will not be able to afford your clothes, your watch or your shoes. There will always be some who will covet your escort and want to take out their hostility on you. In fact, if all you were carrying was credit cards you might have been killed; that way, they could do a little shopping spree without you reporting the cards as missing. You made a suggestion about some kind of emergency beeper. I don't think it is practical. It might be someday, or for very high-risk individuals, but I doubt it. How would you determine if somebody was eligible for one? Who would pay for it? If I were after somebody with something like that, I'd just have four or five friends in the area have theirs go off by "accident." By the time things were sorted out, I'd have scored. I also know 20 or 30 ways of incapacitating someone so they couldn't press a button, but they wouldn't have any change of vital signs to trigger an implicit alarm. Crime is a problem that we need to solve, and not by minimizing our losses, but by minimizing the criminal element. We don't do much in this country to deal with the rage and frustration of people in their 20's and 30's with families and no job. We spend billions on weapons we never hope to use to "protect" them. We spend billions more to prop up petty dictatorships in other countries. And our poor see that their benefits shrink, more of them are unemployed, their funds for education are cut, and their is talk of taxing what little they are given. I'm sorry you got mugged, and I hope you suffered no lasting damage. I don't believe there is any excuse for one person to do damage to another. I believe that our funds might be better spent eliminating the things which drive people to crime, rather than developing systems which would minimize our losses. ------------------------------ Date: 8 Feb 1983 2106-EST From: John S. Labovitz This was from some issue of ComputerWorld between July and November 1982, in another column by Jean Tricebook. I don't know how applicable it is to the `hacker world,' but I think it's amusing. ***** `REAL ANALYSTS' DON'T LOST SLEEP OVER WALKTHROUGHS The person who was once a Real Programmer and is now struggling to become a Real Analyst has a difficult transition to make. Like it or not, he must organize and plan projects, attempting to please such diverse groups as operations, programming and users. He's probably already noticed that yelling at a programmer elicits a response he never experienced when cursing at a terminal. If he's been an analyst since the days when his work was mysterious and his word was law, the analyst needs new guidance now. In this age of structured walk-throughs, standards manuals and tech bulletins, how is an analyst to cope? Guidance is here. The suggestions below should help the systems analyst get his act together -- and they are listed in unstructured format: - Real Analysts speak English. - Real Analysts have read at least one Yourdon book (with which they did not fully agree). - Real analysts are not baffled by complex equipment, such as the copier or telephone. - Real Analysts do not lose sleep before a walk-through. - Real Analysts say ``I don't know'' when they don't. - Real Analysts understand the more exotic Cobol verbs, but cannot get a simple WRITE statement to work. - Real Analysts write in English. - Real Analysts know who does what in operations. - Real Analysts do not read code. - Real Analysts always leave the user smiling. - Real Analysts know what they are doing. - Real Analysts know each of the unique names by which operations, programming, users and management refer to the same system. - Real Analysts lack facility with TSS commands. - Real Analysts can maintain a cooperative relationship with quality assurance. - Real Analysts can install a software package without psychiatric treatment for hostility and anxiety. - Real Analysts are not intimidated by contractors. - Real Analysts can attend a meeting of the Technical Standards Committee and still work the rest of the day. - Real Analysts don't work on weekends. - Real Analysts can't write JCL. - Real Analysts don't tell war stories about the good old days. - Real Analysts are kind to programmers. - Real Analysts dress for success when they have a walk- through. - Real Analysts read books like ``Effective Listening and Communication Skills.'' ------------------------------ Date: 9-Feb-83 11:52 PST From: WBD.TYM@OFFICE-3 Subject: The TRUE History Of VALGOL From: Don Andrews (dia.tym@office) VALGOL I and II were developed by Val Shorre about the ed Compilers). The VALGOL's were ALGOL-like languages implemented in Val's Meta II compiler writing system. All were revealed in "A Syntax-Oriented Compiler Writing Language", D. V. Shorre, but my hardcopy does not have the name of the publication on it!! Ah, here we go-- it's the Proceedings of the 19th National Conference of the ACM, 1964. --Don ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #11 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-03-27 01:28:39 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 25 Mar 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 11 Today's Topics: Queries - BYTE Issue on Handicapped & Devanagiri Text Editor, Computers and People - Human Memory Capacity & Hackers and Bit Memory Computers and the Law - Computer Crime ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 14 Feb 1983 14:25:08 EST (Monday) From: Roger Frye Subject: BYTE Issue on Handicapped The September issue of Byte was devoted to computer aids for the handicapped. Does anyone else have further information, specifically for quadriplegics. I am trying to help a college educated man who was paralyzed in a car accident. He controls his wheelchair and phone with a sip-and-puff device. Roger Frye 617-497-3155 ------------------------------ Date: 17 February 1983 1914-EST From: Vijay Saraswat at CMU-CS-A Subject: Devanagiri Text Editor I am interested in developing a system to input , process and display Devanagiri characters and running text . Essentially , I am interested in developing a text editor for a language based on the Devanagiri script, like Hindi . The system will input characters from a standard keyboard , process them for display (on a bit-mapped screen ) which may involve superposition ,subscription and superscription of characters and also convert them into a press file suitable for printing on a device like the Dover. Since I am not happy with the current SANSKRIT10 font on the Dover , this may also involve the design of a new Devanagiri font . Since I do not want to reinvent the wheel , comments , advice , pointers to existing work are solicited . Thanks in advance . Vijay.Saraswat@CMU-CS-A ------------------------------ Date: 12 January 1983 11:57 mst From: RSanders.Pascalx at DENVER Subject: re: Dynabooks with all my memory in them. No thanks - I would rather have real books around (even LP's and analog video-disks) until someone comes up with a sure-fire method of backing up all my (off-line ?) memory. I've been around computers too long to believe in the infallibility of disks, tapes, core, semi-conductor memory, etc. Can you imagine what a few good alpha or beta particles could do to a Dyanbook crammed with a few gigabytes of storage? Especially if you live next door to a nuke plant or MX missile warhead factory? What happens if someone steals my Dynabook? Will it self-destruct without my retinal patterns staring at the display? Will it accidentally self-destruct when I get a black eye in a barroom brawl? (Boy, aren't fantasies great!) What about historical records? What will happen to history when everyone's thoughts are recorded on an ancient form of silicon (or whatever) memory that no-one uses any more? Who can say that the rocks in your backyard aren't the Dynabook memories of ancient astronauts, scattered around for us to decipher. (I think I'm going off the deep end). My main point is I won't trust all my life's records to a 8 1/2 by 11, 3 pound device of any nature. Maybe I'm getting old and cranky. -- Rex ------------------------------ Date: 17 February 1983 06:57 est From: SSteinberg.SoftArts at MIT-MULTICS Subject: hackers and bit memory I always thought that being a hacker was a matter of attitude and behavior. A hacker is curious and playful and will try things out to see what happens. Hackers will then use their knowledge to make their work easier. Unlike most people, hackers tend to stay awake. The industrial revolution would have been impossible without hackers. The presence and importance of hackers has been at the center of almost every great civilization. Homer appreciated a good hack; Jesus did not. Zorba the Greek and Roger Bacon were good hackers. Hacking certainly antedates computing and might antedate mankind. I doubt that it is reasonable to put a specific number on the bit equivalent of human memory. How many bits does it take to ride a bicycle? If you want to discuss how many bits a person can recall then it might be easier, but remember, a lot of memorizers don't have full random access. Memory is really strange stuff. An acquaintance of mine is dyslexic, but has an eidetic memory and can remember several pages of a book and then struggle through reading them hours later. I do this with sounds. Often when I can't understand something I had just heard I find that repeating the sounds out loud will make the words understandable. ------------------------------ Date: 17 Feb 1983 1711-CST From: Clive Dawson Subject: Texas Legislature to consider a Computer Crime Law Texas State Rep. Lloyd Criss from Galveston has introduced a bill which will add a new category of computer crime to the Texas Penal Code. The bill is currently in committee. A transcription of this bill, together with a news release and summary, can be found at the end of this message. (I understand that some recent changes to the bill will raise some of the offenses listed as Class B misdemeanors to Class A.) What bothers me most about this bill is its definition of a "computer system". If the bill passes in its present form, somebody could theoretically be prosecuted for erasing the memory of my microwave oven or even for pushing one of the buttons on my digital watch. I'd like to suggest a better definition, but coming up with one is not easy. If you have any comments on the bill, particularly about how a computer system should be defined FOR PURPOSES OF THIS BILL, please send me mail at Clive@UTexas. Thanks, Clive ==================================================================== Texas House of Representatives NEWS RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: December 15, 1982 GREG ENOS (512) 475-5749 Today's computer whiz kids may be less likely to group up into tomorrow's computer criminals if a bill introduced by State Representative Lloyd Criss is approved by the 68th Legislature. Criss has prefiled a package of computer related bills including a computer crimes law. "These bills are designed to catch state law up with the advances in technology," Criss said. Criss' House Bill 193 adds a new category of computer crimes to the Texas Penal Code. "Computer crimes cost American government and business an estimated $1.5 billion last year," Criss said. He noted that the average computer crime loss is $500,000 compared to $3,200 for the average bank robbery. "Many kinds of computer abuse would be extremely difficult to prosecute under existing penal statues written before the microchip was invented," Criss said. House Bill 193 also empowers the Attorney General to assist local prosecutors and law officers in investigating and prosecuting computer crimes. House Bill 66 by Criss would apply the state sales tax to the sale of computer programs. "Sales tax on computer programs is a perfect example of how law often lags behind technology," Criss said. "The Comptroller collected sales tax on computer programs until the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that programs are intangible and so exempt from the tax." "So now no tax is collected on millions of dollars worth of computer programs and records and cassettes," Criss said. "This is not a tax increase but rather an instance of the Legislature correcting an unfortunate judicial decision." Criss' house bill 114 specifically defines computer programs as goods under the Texas Commercial Code. "This will extend legal protection to consumers and especially businesses who contract to buy computer programs," Criss said. Criss predicts his computer package will be supported by banking, insurance and business groups. "Those people depend on computers and will want the legal protection my bills provide," Criss said. ------------------------- BILL ANALYSIS House Bill 193 By: Criss Background Information: Considering the great reliance of government and business on computers, the potential for criminal abuse of computers is great. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that losses resulting from computer crime amount to $100 million per year. One study states that the average proceeds from a computer crime are $450,000 while the average bank robbery results in a $10,000 loss. Eleven states have adopted computer-crime laws. Problems the bill addresses: Many computer crimes can be prosecuted under existing laws relating to theft, fraud, etc. However, certain crimes such as unauthorized access or destruction of data do not fall easily into traditional categories of crime. For example, students at a New England prep school recently used their school's computer and a telephone to penetrate the computer memories of several Canadian insurance companies. Millions of dollars worth of information was destroyed. Had such a crime occurred in Texas, it is doubtful any convictions would have resulted. Local law agencies and prosecutors typically lack the training and experience to investigate and prosecute technically complicated computer crimes. How H. B. 193 solves the problem: H. B. 193 clarifies the Penal Code, making virtually all computer crimes prosecutable. H. B. 193 also empowers the Attorney General to assist local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes. Section by Section Analysis: Section 1. Amends Title 7 of the Penal Code by adding a new Chapter 33 which: 1. defines terms 2. makes access of a computer system for a fraudulent purpose a class A misdemeanor 3. makes breach of a computer security system a class B misdemeanor 4. makes unauthorized or harmful access of a computer system a class B misdemeanor 5. makes intentional interference with a computer system a class B misdemeanor Section 2. Amends Article 4410b of Chapter 4, Title 70, Revised Statutes, mandating the Attorney General to assist local agencies in the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes. Section 3. Act takes effect September 1, 1983. Section 4. Emergency clause. ------------------------- A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the creation of offenses involving computers. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Title 7, Penal Code, is amended by adding Chapter 33 to read as follows: Chapter 33. COMPUTER CRIMES Sec. 33.01 DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: (1) "Computer security system" means the personnel, procedures, computer software, equipment, or other means used by the operator of a computer system to restrict access to a computer system, its software, and its services to authorized users. (2) "Computer software" means instructions or statements that permit a computer system to perform a useful function. (3) "Computer system" means a device or set of devices that stores data in an intangible form, or that, in response to instructions or data given to it, analyzes data, converts data from one form into another, or produces new data. (4) "Computer system services" means providing or using a computer system to perform work of value, allowing another person to use a computer system, or storing, analyzing, converting, or producing data on a computer system. (5) "Operator," with respect to a computer system, means the person who manages, controls, or directs the operation and use of the system. Sec. 33.02 ACCESS FOR FRAUDULENT PURPOSE. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally uses or allows another to use a computer system for the purpose of devising or executing a scheme or artifice to obtain property or services with intent to avoid payment for the property or service. (b) In this section, "property" and "service" have the same meanings as are given those terms in Section 32.01 of this code. (c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. Sec. 33.03. BREACH OF SECURITY SYSTEM. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the operator of the computer system, he intentionally: (1) uses a computer system in order to breach a computer security system; (2) breaches a computer security system; or (3) gives information concerning a computer security system to another person. (b) An offense under this sections is a Class B misdemeanor. Sec. 33.04. UNAUTHORIZED OR HARMFUL ACCESS. (a) A person commits an offense if he: (1) users a computer system in a manner not permitted to him by the operator of the system; or (2) without the effective consent of the operator alters, damages, or destroys a computer system, computer software, or data contained or provided by a computer system. (b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor. Sec. 33.05. INTERFERENCE WITH COMPUTER SERVICE. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the operator of the computer system, he intentionally interferes with or interrupts computer system services to one authorized to receive the services. (b) An offense under this section is a class B misdemeanor. SECTION 2. Chapter 4, Title 70, Revised Statutes, is amended by adding Article 4410b to read as follows: Art. 4410b. ENFORCEMENT OF COMPUTER CRIMES PROVISIONS. The attorney general shall assist state and local law enforcement and prosecuting agencies in informing computer users of the provisions of Chapter 33, Penal Code, and in investigating and prosecuting violations of Chapter 33, Penal Code. SECTION 3. This act takes effect September 1, 1983. SECTION 4. The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three separate days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended. ==================================================================== ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #12 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-03-27 03:00:35 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 26 Mar 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 12 Today's Topics: Queries - Network Protocols & Electronic Mail Resource Usage Statistics, Technology - EFT (2 msgs) & WorldNet (2 msgs), Computers and the Law - Stay-Home Ankle Bracelet (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri 7 Jan 83 03:41:54-EST From: Marc Shapiro Subject: Request for info I need info on the following topics: * Are there any implementations of either TCP/IP or TCP alone *above* X.25 for DEC-20 and/or Vax/unix * all possible info on Ethernet/X.25 gateways, supported protocols and what they are worth. Thanks. Please reply directly to SHAPIRO@MIT-XX. ------------------------------ Date: 9-Mar-83 16:42 PST From: WBD.TYM@OFFICE-3 Subject: Electronic Mail System Info Wanted Does anyone have a list of references for EM system usage? Has anyone done any studies on electronic mail usage and comparisons of mail systems? Thanks, --Bill ------------------------------ Date: 14 Feb 83 23:28:39 EST (Mon) From: Ron Natalie Subject: EFT Charles Osgood (CBS News) tells a story of a man who gets angry at a malfunction 24-hour teller machine and starts beating on it. A couple of days later the police come and arrest him for criminal damage of property (or something like that). The moral being... ...Before you hit a machine, make sure it doesn't know where you live. ------------------------------ Date: 15 Feb 83 10:59:13 PST (Tuesday) From: Poskanzer.PA@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Bleeding-heart Libertarian objection to EFT. Please don't object to EFT of the basis of Big-Brotherism / infringement of personal freedoms. The current non-cash systems (checks, credit / debit cards) are far more prone to mis-use and error than any reasonable EFT system would be. It is certainly true that EFT systems will leave audit trails for all transactions. However, these audit trails \need not/ be available to {insert favorite bogeyman}. The crucial element is a proven trapdoor encipherment scheme. Here is a scenario: You pull into the Mustang Ranch for some good clean fun. Since you're on the board of directors of the Moral Majority, you don't want your "indiscretion" to become public. But not to worry - you're carrying the American EFTpress card. The card contains an encrypting circuit, your private key Ypri, your bank's public key Bpub, some storage, a clock, and a numeric keypad. You punch the amount of the transfer into the card: $50.00. It composes an inner message saying "pay bearer $50, the time is 030015feb83 and this is transaction #5678". It enciphers that using Ypri, and adds a preamble saying "this is from Jef Poskanzer and the time is 030015feb83". This message it saves, enciphers with Bpub, and adds another preamble saying "send me to DataBank of Kansas". Now you're ready - you plug the card into the appropriate receptacle. The card transmits its message, which is basically equivalent to a $50 check made out to CASH. Now the whorehouse's computer enciphers and sends the message to its bank, Clearinghouse of Nevada. (I'm leaving out some steps now.) That bank deciphers, verifies the whorehouse's identity, and sends to your bank. Your bank deciphers with Bpri, sees your name and the date, deciphers with Ypub, checks that the two dates match, checks that your transaction #5678 has not already been used, and then debits your account and transfers $50 to Clearinghouse of Nevada. There the $50 is credited to the Mustang Ranch's account and a confirming message is sent back to the ranch, where a little green light comes on. All in less then ten seconds. Now, note that \no-one/ knows both who you are and where you are. The ranch and its bank know that someone with an account at the DataBank of Kansas likes a little fun. The DataBank knows that you just paid $50 to someone with an account at Clearinghouse of Nevada. Of course, the banks could conspire and pool their information, but then why are you banking with a company you can't trust? And remember that the point is not to achieve perfect security and privacy, but to have \better/ security and privacy than we have right now. And if you're still not happy, you can always use cash! As long as you don't worry about fingerprints... Jef ------------------------------ Date: 7 February 1983 07:35 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: Worldnet & Lawyers I think the way of distinguishing libel slander and free-speech will have to change. (I.e. I want it to change.) Instead of the distinction being on whether it was spoken, handwritten, typed, typeset, or computer-mailed, the distinction should be on whether the utterer allows the victim reasonable redress. If I send out a message to HUMAN-NETS saying "John Doe is a rotten programmer and shouldn't be trusted to write a 10-line program", and if John Doe is on this mailing list and has the ability to reply to rebut my claim, then he has been offered reasonable redress and although my statement might be nasty and unsociable it's within the range of free discussion. But if I print up 10,000 leaflets and distribute them around town, making the same statement, and I don't offer John Doe a chance to rebut my statements in the same manner, or if I broadcast my statement on television or radio and the station or network doesn't offer John Doe a chance to speak in rebuttal, then I'm not offering reasonable redress, and it's slander or whatever. If I broadcast my statement on nationwide TV, but then offer a chance to reply, it's borderline, because the harm to his reputation may have been already done by the time he can reply. Perhaps on future networks the law can be that anyone making a derogatory claim about anyone else is subject to slander suit unless he first offers the slandered person a chance to reply. If the reply is given, ten counter-reply is allowed, etc. until one or the other passes. Then all the back and forth stuff is put in the public domain at the same time. Like bills to be signed by the President, if the offer to reply isn't answered within a prescribed time (2 working days?) then it's an automatic pass. ------------------------------ Date: 8 February 1983 04:43 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: Do we really want a worldnet? Robert, I read your message with interest, but I don't think my attitude is quite the same as yours. From: Robert Elton Maas "Anybody want to warn about some of the Orwell-style misuses possible with what I claim I want?" I spent five (5) minutes listing all the abuses I could think of. I have let my fantasy run wild, so please do not mail me responses of the form "THIS CAN'T HAPPEN HERE." Thank you. In all fairness I should note that most of the abuses listed here are the result of improper control of the information capability which might be offered by worldnet. Of course, proper control can never QUITE be guaranteed. "I don't like the current system where one must carry around papers to prove you are a valid person . . ." Instead we can create a system where you must have a worldnet account to be a valid person. What if you lost your worldnet card? You'd be the worst kind of unperson without the proper worldnet validation. What about people who haven't been able to join worldnet for legal (undocumented aliens) or practical (illiteracy, poverty) reasons? Are these people unpersons in the worldnet economy? This also brings to mind an interesting way to screw people over in the worldnet economy -- just delete their accounts. ". . . not having to carry around cash would reduce the incentive to get robbed in the first place . . ." Have you ever had trouble with your bank account? It's not pleasant even today, but with worldnet it could prevent you from eating. In the cashless society, credit problems are serious business. What good does the cashless society do about crime anyway? Someone can always force you to transfer money to them. Do you intend that credit transfer outlets are to be restricted? I can just see having to visit the bank to lend a friend money. Also, people can still take your car, or break into your home. Or do you intend that major expensive objects would be inventoried in worldnet as well? (Clearly all major objects should be equipped with location tracers to assure against theft.) It has been pointed out before (in HUMAN-NETS, I think) that there is great potential for tracing the everyday activity of an individual (or perhaps I should say, "account-id") when all transactions are EFT. I'd like to also note the wonderful potential for regulation and planning of the economy. Why fill out tax returns when the IRS can simply assess charges against your worldnet account? They can surely do a better job than you can -- they have all your records! And what better method for enforcing the law than a computerized record of what you've been doing recently? There are already laws about the amount of cash you can take out of the country in one year. What about enforcing the minimum wage laws for a change? How about really cracking down on illegal gambling? Which reminds me, who needs a search warrant? Why should the police need to ask anyone about looking into your personal effects, when everything anyone would want to know is available on file? "Why can't they accept thumbprints as an alternate way of identifying people?" Why not voiceprints, for that matter? This sounds like another excellent way of keeping track of everyone's personal movements. And if fingerprint and voiceprint identifying equipment is sufficiently widespread, there is no need to carry ID. There's also no way to hide your everyday movements from anyone, either. "Or why can't they connect with TRW or other major credit firm and identify I'm really me by asking me personal questions that aren't known to anybody except me and the credit agencies?" Here you must mean "aren't known to anybody except me, TRW, and people who can connect with TRW to read this information." "if everybody carried around a little radio transmitter that detected your . . . losing vital functions . . ." Do you really expect to be rescued in time? Instead of creating an incentive for people not to rob you, rather they will shoot first and remove your wallet later! Of course, equipment like this makes all the previous computer work at finding your location rather useless, as all the data is right there for the taking. Making medical data available on-line makes for some interesting possibilities. Data connections are two-way, so you could have a remotely-controlled sedative inducer when you got too excited. Another possibility is described in the SF story, "Shadrach in the Furnace," by Robert Silverberg. Lest you think I haven't been sufficiently paranoid, I draw your attention to the synergetic effects which can be obtained from widely available voiceprinting, recording devices, psychological stress evaluators (a form of "lie detector"), and AI word-recognition techniques. Not to mention the potentials of subliminal advertising and color display terminals. I hope I'm just kidding, -- Steve ------------------------------ Date: 15 March 1983 22:47 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: The future is now? NEWSWEEK, March 21, 1983, p. 53: ``WEARING A JAIL CELL AROUND YOUR ANKLE'' It's waterproof, two inches wide, worn on the ankle and it tells your probation officer when you've left home. Beginning this week in an Albuquerque district court, small-time criminals will have a choice: go to jail or agree to wear an electronic device that will alert authorities when they are more than 200 feet from their home phones. ``The idea is to substitute a curfew at home for jail,'' says Judge Jack Love, who got the idea for the anklet from a Spider-Man cartoon. Whenever offenders leave home -- or try to remove the anklet -- a transmitter planted in their telephones will send a special signal to a probation-department computer. If the offender doesn't have a good excuse for leaving, he could go directly to jail. Public defender Bruce Kelly opposes the anklet and will challenge its constitutionality as soon as one of his clients is asked to wear one. ``The idea of having Big Brother monitoring people at all times should be resisted,'' he says. But the New Mexico Civil Liberties Union endorsed the anklet as a way to reduce jail crowding. And the company that makes them, National Incarceration Monitor and Control Services, hopes that the 30 units New Mexico has purchased will lead to sales of 200,000 nationwide. ------------------------------ Date: 15 March 1983 23:31 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: The future is now? I think the stay-home ankle bracelet is a great use for technology, making easy something that was totally impossible 200 years ago when this nation started. But it shouldn't be used in any case except as an alternative to jail/prison. Perhaps *all* nonviolent convicted criminals should be kept at home with these devices instead of jail, being sent to jail only after they have broken this computerized curfew. ------------------------------ Date: 16 Mar 1983 0106-EST From: ZALESKI@RUTGERS (Mike Zaleski) Subject: Stay-home Ankle Bracelet Although this seems like a good idea, I wonder how well it will work in practice, since presumably the criminal working in the privacy of his/her home will be able to work out some method of circumventing this device. (Such as building a radio transmitter which transmits on the same frequency and "looks" like the real thing.) -- Mike^Z ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #13 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-03-28 03:08:24 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 27 Mar 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 13 Today's Topics: Programming - Unix, Technology - WorldNet (2 msgs) & EFT (4 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 14 Feb 83 21:32 EST From: Stephen Tihor Subject: Typeahead buffers While I usually prefer to avoid religious disputes one of the comments in the current VMESS vs. Eunuchs debate got me wondering: our VMS machines are configured with between 80 and 255 characters of typeahead buffer and frankly I rarely use more that 100 characters even when doing very standard operations where I can predict the necessary input well in advance (but not so well that I make a shell script/command file to do it.) At least one person's comments (csin!sjh@CCA-UNIX) implied that this is way too few ... although I haven't heard word one in complaint for the user comunity maybe they don't realize that it is easy to adjust. About how much typeahead can people use, leaving aside the cases of when you are inside of an screen editor or other RAW mode program? ------------------------------ Date: 23 February 1983 03:48 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Do we really want a worldnet? IMP44 has been providing absolutely terrible service to MIT-MC for several weeks, blocking data from MIT-MC for 15 seconds at a time, causing typing at normal rate to fill up the 64-character TAC buffer and lose subsequent typeahead; this occurring several times a minute, making it impossible to maintain one's train of thought when typing a message. I have consequently delayed trying to answer this message because I needed to have some train of thought. I am now answering mail on other systems, MIT-ML currently, which don't suffer that 15-second-blockage problem, thus I can now finally get on with replying to this message: Date: 8 February 1983 04:43 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky [Re using EFT to replace cash in most cases, thus allowing a person to get by without carrying more than perhaps $5 cash at any time] In all fairness I should note that most of the abuses listed here are the result of improper control of the information capability which might be offered by worldnet. Of course, proper control can never QUITE be guaranteed. It's important for us brilliant Arpanet/Internet people to make sure WorldNet is designed properly, especially EFT and other aspects that can really hurt people if mis-designed. Instead we can create a system where you must have a worldnet account to be a valid person. What if you lost your worldnet card? I don't propose having to carry a card that if you lose it you become a non-person. Perhaps a card would be the primary and easiest means of identification, perhaps fingerprints would, perhaps both would be required for quick access, but if the card is lost or the fingerprints are damaged it should be possible to get the card replaced and some other physical identification such as tongueprint registered, and then have quick-access available again. What about people who haven't been able to join worldnet for legal (undocumented aliens) Let them suffer the pains of having to carry cash. I don't feel sorry enough for them to avoid EFT just to avoid putting them at a slight disadvantage. or practical (illiteracy, poverty) This is silly. People can be taught how to put a card in a machine then to press their thumbprint in the glass window. Even a severely mentally-retarded person who would have a conservator anyway can be taught this kind of simple thing, and that's a lot easier than counting change to avoid being cheated as is now the case (with EFT-net, there'd be a record of every transaction, computed by the computer not the human employee, thus not only would cheating not happen in the first place unless the computer were programed to cheat retarded people, but if cheated the conservator could later take the case to court). reasons? Are these people unpersons in the worldnet economy? Just in the EFT-net. Illegal aliens could still use cash or barter, or go back where they belong. This also brings to mind an interesting way to screw people over in the worldnet economy -- just delete their accounts. I would hope we'd have enough audit trail to prevent such misuse from going undetected or unprovable in court. Have you ever had trouble with your bank account? It's not pleasant even today, but with worldnet it could prevent you from eating. I would hope we could have simple food staples available for free to anyone who wanted them, thus solving both your EFT-net herring and the "crime-to-eat" problem some claim we currently have. Thus money would be needed only for food beyond the basic staples, such as Chinese restaurants and your choice of soft drinks etc. A balanced diet of surplus food would be free under REM's term as world-leader. What good does the cashless society do about crime anyway? Someone can always force you to transfer money to them. Do you intend that credit transfer outlets are to be restricted? I can just see having to visit the bank to lend a friend money. The customer (account-holder) could set any rules on access that were understandable to the computer, such as "no more than $100/day and no more than $400 total between special authorizations". There'd be a complete audit trail so later you could show you were coerced into giving away your money for nothing in return, and sue to get it back. Also, people can still take your car, or break into your home. Not if they are adequately protected with security systems (see preceding message to HUMAN-NETS about calling up the local militia/citizenry if a crime wave or false-alarm wave breaks out). Or do you intend that major expensive objects would be inventoried in worldnet as well? (Clearly all major objects should be equipped with location tracers to assure against theft.) Yup. Re keeping track of your personal business by the transactions you do, you can always withdraw cash for anything you want secret, and thus risk robbery at such times. (But if hardly anyone carries cash, and you don't tell anyone you're an exception, the potential robber won't know to try hitting you, so you'll be safer than you are now when robbery is rampant.) Re enforcing tax and minimum-wage laws, I guess I'm in favor of that. After all, why should the dishonest people get to rob me by not paying their fair share of taxes and thus having the tax rate go up to compensate so I have to pay more than my fair share? ------------------------------ Date: 26 Mar 1983 0909-EST From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: worldnet and non-persons [enter rabid fascist mode - flames to /dev/null please] Well, if someone is illiterate and there has been state provided education his whole life, then tough. Having non-persons might be a good way to weed out their genes from the gene pool and thereby improve future generations. Hmm.... Better yet, we could take away worldnet cards from everyone who has genes for nasty genetic diseases. And take them away from repeat offenders. And since they [people without worldnet cards or info about them in the computers...] aren't real people, they aren't protected under the law, so.... (see Fred Pohl's Bipohl (first story (I can't remember the name of it right now...sorry))) Hoboy! Let's implement it today! [exit rabid fascist mode] ------------------------------ Date: 15 Feb 83 18:07:40 PST (Tuesday) From: Purvy.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #10 With respect to Gellens' remark that "Supermarkets, department stores, apartments, etc, all refuse to establish accounts (check cashing cards, credit accounts, leases) without disclosure of my social security number": I've often refused to give my social security number and gotten away with it. What do I mean by "gotten away with it"? I mean that I got the credit card, rented the car, got the apartment, or whatever, without giving them the number. In fact, I believe I even got my American Express card that way. Try it! Where the form asks for social security number, I write "(Privacy Act)". If the clerk asks about it, just tell him/her that federal law prohibits ANYONE from requiring a social security number, unless they really require it, where "require" is strictly defined, i.e. they are an employer, bank, brokerage house, or other institution that reports tax information to the government. This happens to be true. Bob ------------------------------ Date: 19 February 1983 2323-EST (Saturday) From: Thomas.Newton at CMU-CS-A Subject: EFT/Crime No one "drives" a person to crime, except maybe another criminal. It's about time that people stop dismissing crime as the result of our society. Human nature is such that there will always be people willing to rob/maim/kill others for money or even just for the "thrill" of it. The way to deal with criminals is to punish them, not to tell them that it isn't their fault. It seems to me that EFT is safer only when the robber isn't smart enough to make you give him your password--which is unlikely. There have been reports of robbers who wait by teller machines at night waiting for people to come by, then rob them as they withdraw their money or leave. On the other hand, EFT is convenient. I would not like to see a total EFT system, but I would like to see more stores that accept EFT cards as well as cash. ------------------------------ Date: 19 Feb 83 22:00:57-EST (Sat) From: Henry Dreifus Subject: ''Electronic cash: The Smart Card'' Henry Dreifus The Wharton School of Business University of Pennsylvania Let me begin with a few useful references: K.H. Humes, The cashless/checkless society? Don't bank on it!, The Futurist, October, 1978. pp. 301-306. M. Turoff and I.A. Mitroff, A case study of assessment applied to the cashless society concept, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 7, 1975. pp. 317-325. {see also: Hiltz and Turoff, The Network Nation.} Arthur D. Little, Inc. The Consequences of Electronic Funds Transfer, a Technology Assessment of Movement Towards a Cashless/Checkless Society, Cambridge, Mass. 1975. The lubricant of the American economy is the electronic transaction. Whether we physically have our VISA card embossed on a four part carbon, or write a check, nothing "physically" happens until a computer somewhere, someplace is given this information. It classically has been this translation process, from paper to computer data which we class "The computer made a mistake with our billing". This even happens literally right under our noses! Once an associate rented a car in Denver, and upon returning the customer service person punched in return mileage: 1010240 when she should have said 10240, thus charging him (he found later) for 100,000 extra miles. Had this and other information been captured and recorded automatically, a $27,000.00+ bill may not have occurred. Imagine driving 100,000 miles in two days. One study hazards a rough guess of 15 million retail transactions per hour take place in America today (from Colton et. al., Computers and Banking, Plenum Press, 1980). I place the number somewhat higher. If indeed we are at the mercy of a transactional economy, moving at very high speed, how can the consumer protect himself? Legally the issue is far from controlled. At present it is state-by-state legislation of EFT and electronic cash. Socially consumer preference, given a choice between paying cash and using a credit card, tends strongly to use the credit method. Protecting the public is a problem. In case of a stolen card the maximum liability an individual must assume is $ 50.00. Most stolen credit cards never surface again into the economy. The equivalent amount in cash will always be honored in our economy. The real concern is protection from the electronic jungle. A number of proposed solutions revolve around providing a two way credit (or debit) card, which store a second copy of the transaction. This electronic receipt is consumer protection. VISA corporation, a marketing company, will soon be distributing a read/write credit card, which will store information on the magnetic stripe. The capacity on today's cards is at most 1,800 bits. The new VISA card will have approximately 100K bits. My feeling is a card will need to store at least 1.5 to 2.0 megabytes. If a card can record every transaction, the consumer can have a legal form of proof for his protection. If this card contained his private key, the transactions can also be encrypted - as a part of a transaction's validation. Personal questions, a bit encoded signature pattern, and other improved forms of identification could also be encoded. If a card is stolen, it can be programmed out of the system, and immediately suspended (and tracked down). Burroughs corporation, G.T.E., Smart Card, Inc., Payment Systems, Inc., and other high technology companies are moving into this field. There is a large push taking place in the industry to innovating the smart-card. Jerry Drexler's Drexler Technology Corporation has a 1 mb laser stripe which has the same geometry as the magnetic stripe. Unfortunately, the terminal reader does not exist as of yet. There is a good deal of quiet competition taking place. The major issue to tackle is standardization. At present, there exist no standard "universal transaction", which ultimately will be needed for these cards. The French and British have been using Smart Cards since 1979. The reaction thus far has been mixed. Clearly, these cards are useful, and people are willing to use them. There are numerous applications which this card can be used in place of cash. Direct purchase of oil and gas is one such field receiving much attention. I would personally not be surprised if ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Corporation) does not offer a debit form of electronic card for point of sale operations. They have removed the "credit" dumb card, and are probably the only company in a position to offer such a service at this time. With human intervention necessary for transaction keying and processing, the cost per transaction can be as high as $ 2.50. A totally electronic transaction should cost no more than $0.18 to $0.25. Unfortunately, to handle a completely electronic transaction, many things will have to occur. Retailers will have to install terminals capable of handling the cards. The 1980 median cost for such a terminal was $ 1,975.00. The cost will have to drop to between $ 250.00 and $ 400.00 before retailers will be willing to cooperate. Cash will never disappear. The smart card will happen. I only hope it is done correctly. Henry Dreifus ------------------------------ Date: 22 Feb 1983 2047-CST From: Werner Uhrig Subject: Cost of Credit Card Purchases to Merchants WHAT ARE THE REAL COST TO THE MERCHANT OF CREDIT CARD PURCHASES? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Does anyone out there KNOW for certain? (I know, but only from hear-say) - what charges the banks make in each card-transaction to the merchant? - are there fixed charges to the merchants (startup, periodic)? - are charges always a fixed percentage of the purchase, or are there variations? - how do the costs of handling checks and cash compare with cards? If anyone remembers having seen anything in print or electronic media regarding this topic, by all means, let me know, too. ---Werner (cs.werner@utexas-20) P.S.: Send replies to me. If I receive more than 5 requests for copies, I assume there is enough interest for this information to send a summary to the BBOARD ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #14 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-03-28 02:09:56 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 28 Mar 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 14 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Information Systems, Definitions - of Weaving & of Algorithm, Technology - EFT (2 msgs), Computers and the Law - Computer Crime (2 msgs) & Electronic Anklet ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 15 February 1983 13:14 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: WorldKey at EPCOT. Aha, so EPCOT needs some more design work before it'll be more than a toy. It needs to permit orthogonal indexing methods (physical location and category as separate indexes but ability to intersect and de-intersect those modes at will), and it needs the ability to use a keyword expression to jump into the middle of the indexing system without needing to to go thru the levels to it but without losing the ability to proceed along the indexing system once the keyword-jump has occurred. Systems for handling both keyword-jumps and hierarchy, including multiple paths (one special topic under two different major topics), already exist. For example, the INFO program (part of EMACS) here on ITS. But does anybody know of a system that also has orthogonal indexing modes properly implemented? (I'd like to hear about such a system and get a demo.) ------------------------------ Date: Tue 15 Feb 83 13:56:39-EST From: Susanne Humphrey Subject: weaving Regarding derivation of the word "system" as coming from "syn-" (together with) and "histemai" (to weave): I don't think so. A colleague here cites the Greek dictionary as follows: under systema - "that which is put together - from synistemi"; under synistemi - "to place or set together". The derivation is syn = with + histemi = to stand or to cause to stand (from sta- = to stand). Maybe Granger is thinking of histion = something woven, from histos = the webbeam of a loom that stands (histemi) upright. By the way, there are five entries for "I weave": hythaino, pleko, empleko, histourgeo, and spathao. ------------------------------ Date: 15 February 1983 12:41 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Definition of 'Algorithm' Although it's interesting to learn how the word "algorithm" came about from the earlier word "algorism", it's silly to attempt to force all new usage for the word out, to try to roll back to pre-math pre-computer usage. The word with its new spelling now has a very useful meaning established in mathematics and computer science. Rolling back the meaning would be rather like forcing people to not use "sparkplug" in any way other than how it was used before the internal combustion engine was invented. I abhor random sloppy new uses when a better old definition exists, but I like new definitions that are much better (more useful) than old ones. Let's all decide that "algorism" means a number system that includes zero while "algorithm" means a precisely-specified method for solving a task, regardless of what they may have meant 500 years ago, ok? ------------------------------ Date: 22 Feb 1983 2053-CST From: Werner Uhrig Subject: a case for EFT ?!! DOES ANYONE care to AGREE or DISAGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING? --------------------------------------------------------------- - The cost of the merchandise should be listed seperately from the overhead caused by the form of payment? (just like tax) - Any savings or additional costs due to the form of payment should be passed on to the buyer. - Considering that a) CASH needs to be counted and handled with more security, and that losses can occur due to forgery, theft, fire, etc and that it presents a special health problem and that it presents additional insurance needs b) CHECKS can be "hot", forged, lost due to accidents c) CREDIT CARDs have similar problems as checks, plus the banks are taking an additional bite in form of a percentage from the merchant and an annual charge from the user d) both Checks and Cards require too much information to be disclosed to the merchant (the banks know anyway, which is a whole different bag of worms) Considering all that, there must be a better way. - one that is safer from loss due to accident and crime - one that is more economical in terms of overhead costs and human time spend in transaction and accounting - one that enables the customer to prove his "wealth" and "ability to pay" without disclosing all kinds of personal data which can be "abused" - one which provides the merchant as well as the customer to, automatically, gather information machine-readable, for record-keeping and evaluation. The Solution must come from an advance in the technology of Point-of-Sale Equipment and EFT. And through modifying procedures and laws, to protect the rights and interests of all parties involved (the consumer, the merchant, the bank, and the government), by avoiding monopolies and by keeping the government responsive to everyone's needs, I am certain that competition, finally, will get us an environment where even the consumer gets a fair deal. Elimination of cash, check, and card may never become desirable or neccessary But wouldn't it be nice to be creditworthy on account of one's fingerprint, voiceprint, look or smell, and not have to show 2 ID's, 2 credit cards, driver's license, SSN, birthdate, address, home and work-phone, plus patience, to wait for all that information to get HANDWRITTEN down by a barely literate -- something similar most of us have experienced -- Therefore, here is my vision and proposal: 1) EFT, where my creditworthiness is shown by either or all of: a) fingerprint or voice-check (or whatever I can take with me with the same ease) b) by responding correctly to a prompt for information which only I can provide, and which should never be repeated again. this prompt should be coming from the remote EFT-site c) some kind of physical item like a magnetic card, which would require a correct prompt-reply sequence (or self-destruct, maybe) 2) an interface, between the merchants Point-of-Sale equipment, and my miniature portable data collector, where I get to record all information about the transaction, for later account-balancing and automatic bookkeeping (why should THEY get all the benefits) 3) laws to guarantee that information about my spending habits are not used or made available to anyone, without my explicit consent for each transaction (why make it any easier for THEM). I guess, some binding form of consent could also do, but who ever heard of behavior like that from government, banks, or whoever wants to get hold of the consumer's money. 4) a system which will allow me to have my computer double-check with the EFT-computer, to make sure that all transactions are correct. ---Werner (cs.werner@UTEXAS-20) ------------------------------ Date: 23 February 1983 03:04 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Mugging, security-system design Date: 13 Feb 83 17:35:14-EST (Sun) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford You made a suggestion about some kind of emergency beeper. I don't think it is practical. ... ... If I were after somebody with something like that, I'd just have four or five friends in the area have theirs go off by "accident." By the time things were sorted out, I'd have scored. Obviously the simple call-the-police design wouldn't be practical. I'd rather have citizen involvement. If a single beeper goes off, the nearest on-duty security guard is notified electronically. If more go off than there are nearby on duty guards, off-duty guards are called in. If more than the total number of guards, the computer declares a local emergency and wakes up normal citizens telling them to get together with their neighbors to go out to investigate the crime wave that is going on at that very moment in their neighborhood. It's unlikely the number of criminals in any area would be more than about 10% the total number of citizens, thus massive calling up of the citizenry ought to be sufficient to locate all the false alarms and the one real alarm and put all the under mob attack, not just the ones doing the actual robbery. But it takes a computer network to provide this sort of massive instant calling up of reserves. Like you say, a group police dispatchers just can't handle the sudden load in a timely manner, and thus would be vulnerable to false alarms to mask the principal crime. ------------------------------ Date: Saturday, 26 March 1983, 01:50-EST From: Christopher C. Stacy Subject: Texas Legislature to consider a Computer Crime Law Although I am completely ignorant of law, there are no laws that I know about which concern themselves directly with the misuse of vacuum cleaners. The same goes for automobiles (although there are special laws about using automobiles and guns to commit separately described felonies). So why are people concerning themselves with laws about computers? Moreover, why do they think that the role of computers in society is understood well enough to write laws about their use? Sec. 33.01 DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: (2) "Computer software" means instructions or statements that permit a computer system to perform a useful function. ------------ I wonder what "useful" means? (3) "Computer system" means a device or set of devices that stores data in an intangible form, or that, in response to instructions or data given to it, analyzes data, converts data from one form into another, or produces new data. ------------ It seems to me that humans (and other animals, and plants) are included in this definition. So are telephones, thermostats, and vacuum cleaners. Sec. 33.03. BREACH OF SECURITY SYSTEM. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the operator of the computer system, he intentionally: (3) gives information concerning a computer security system to another person. ------------ I don't understand how this last can be reconciled with free speech. What precedents are there (perhaps excluding Government classified information) for making information sharing between people illegal? Besides, what "information" are they talking about? I imagine that if I decided a random fact (such as "grass is green") was a part of my computer security, that I could attempt to have anyone who repeated the fact criminally prosecuted. This bill hardly bears discussion as a reasonable sort of law to pass. It loudly proclaims how confused and scared the public and lawmakers are of technology which they do not understand. These people are scared enough to resort to completely random acts in attempt to make everything all better and get their view of the world under control. I find this sort of thing basically terrifying. Chris ------------------------------ Date: 26 Mar 1983 0822-EST From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: Re: Texas Crime Law Re: Computer crimes in texas Holy bitblit, batman! Well, it looks like the new fascism has taken root in texas. Under these statues, if I have been forbidden to write and play games and do so, I could be persecuted. What a mess. Hopefully bills like these won't be passed... The worst part about these is that they seem to prey upon the hacker mentality - ``Gee, let's try this and find out what happens'' <- if a breach of `security' (I don't think that that was defined) happens, that hacker can be persecuted... What's worse is that none of the legislators understand the bill... (i would guess). -andy p.s. remind me not to be in texas if this bill is passed... ------------------------------ Date: Sun Mar 27 1983 18:18:22-PST From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: electronic anklet When I first heard about this device, I immediately began wondering exactly how it was implemented -- so I did a little checking. Apparently it is pretty straightforward. A clever crook could presumably get around it -- but probably would not want to -- since the result of slipping up would be jail instead of home! The people for which this device is envisioned are the non-violent "county jail" types -- not the hard-core "state prison" type criminal. Apparently the anklet transmits a digital signal to a fairly simple decoder box (locked) which is plugged into a standard phone outlet. The decoder simply records the periods when the anklet "vanishes" through being out of range of the decoder (1000 feet or something like that). About once every 24 hours, the decoder dials the central computer (some pay-tv systems have operated in this same manner) and dumps the data regarding the anklet's comings and goings. The computer compares the data with the prestored information regarding "authorized" come/go times (for going to work, etc.) If there is a discrepancy, a report is sent to the probation officer, who then takes whatever action he/she sees fit. There are presumably special codes recorded to handle exceptional conditions such as "AC power fail", "decoder unplugged from phone line", "anklet/decoder tampering", etc. Whether or not such a system could be easily defeated would depend largely on the sophistication of the digital signals being sent from the anklet to the decoder and from the decoder to the central computer. A system using good encryption, a local realtime clock, and similar niceties, could be reasonably secure. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #15 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-03-30 00:39:49 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 29 Mar 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 15 Today's Topics: Queries - Novel Computer Applications & Where to Order Documents & Resource Requirements, Response to Queries - Typeahead buffers, Technology - EFT (4 msgs), Computers and the Law - Computer Crime (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 15 March 1983 02:48 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: novel non-network computer applications I'd like to discuss some computer applications that don't necessarily have anything to do with networks, thus probably aren't appropriate for HUMAN-NETS. Some of these might be: - Entertainment center that keeps track of what you like and what you don't like or are tired of, and thus plays for you random selections mostly of things you like plus a few new things you haven't reviewed yet. These might be music or TV-movies, thus the system would sort of be the "optimal disk jockey" or the "optimal TV station" as far as the individual consumer is concerned. - Nutrition&diet system that keeps track of what you have eaten and knows what you like and dislike and what you have in stock, even knows prices of things you might need to buy. When you're hungry it suggests things that you need to balance today's nutrition, from things you like an have in stock if possible. It prints shopping lists for things you're running short on that are likely to be eaten if only they could be put into stock, so when you go to the store you don't even have to spend time making a shopping list. My question is, what would be the best forum for this kind of discusion? ------------------------------ Date: 20 March 1983 00:48 mst From: Schauble.HDSA at M.PCO.LISD.HIS Subject: Where to order documents Reply-to: Schauble%PCO-Multics at MIT-MULTICS Can someone please supply with the addresses from which I can order NBS, ISO, ANSI, and CCITT standards documents. Thanks, Paul ------------------------------ Date: 23 March 1983 21:35 EST From: Benjamin Kuipers Subject: What does it take to write a paper? Does anyone know any formal research on: (1) How much computing resources, on average, does it take for a person to write a paper using a text editor? I'm actually interested in whether anyone has studied a university population, presumably looking separately at undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. If I were doing the study, I would measure output in printed, double-spaced pages, and resources used primarily as connect-hours. I would also assume the answers would be very different depending on whether people were using screen editors versus line editors. But I'm interested in any statistics you know of. (2) How does this compare with non-computer writing? Do people spend more or less time producing a paper when they use a text editor? Is the quality noticeably different? (My own guess is that they would spend MORE time, do MORE drafts, and that quality would thus be considerably higher.) Are there statistics? Thanks. Ben Kuipers ------------------------------ Date: 28 Mar 83 18:52:44 PST (Monday) From: Hamilton.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Typeahead buffers In systems such as Xerox's Star, Smalltalk, Interlisp, and Mesa Development Environment, where you can select and stuff into a TTY-emulation or other window a huge selection of characters using only a couple of mouseclicks and keystrokes, the amount of typeahead that you can use at a remote computer is effectively unlimited. --Bruce ------------------------------ Date: 26 Mar 1983 0438-EST From: Robert W. Kerns Subject: Bleeding-heard Libertarian objection to EFT. I'd like to call your attention to a potential problem with your scheme. It may be a little more complex than you picture under some circumstances. If someone (big brother) has access to the banks records (i.e. has the keys both banks use for encrypting their record of your account AND the account of the Mustang Ranch), and an audit trail is left (as I believe is standard accounting practice?) matching every input of money with every output of money, then your money can be traced from your bank's reply, debiting your account, being credited to some unknown account at the other bank. Looking at the other bank's records, you find that credit, and find out what happens to it in the reverse process. Note that none of this has to do with being able to see the contents of the check. It does depend on several things which may suggest how to avoid it: 1) It depends on an identity being associated with an account. (Thus, a numbered account would solve the problem). 2) It depends on bankers recording balanced pairs of credits and debits. They probably need this to protect against fraud. 3) It depends on big brother having access to both banks records. The current state of affairs often requires access to only one bank, so this is an improvement. 4) All actors handling money between the ends have audit trails accessible to the particular bogeyman you're trying to avoid. (This means a laundering operation might do a good business if they can keep their records secure, and are careful to randomize the times of their transactions. But dealing with such an outfit could be suspicious itself). 5) Audit trails are retained long enough to be used against you. (If they were destroyed after being used for electronic audits every hour, you'd be pretty safe. Maybe this might be possible someday.) Hopefully, the records have a finite lifespan, so a college-days fling couldn't be brought up during your presidential campaign. 6) Computers and networks are available to obtain and wade through the amount of information available. (No help here!) I think limiting access to audit trails, and NOT GIVING SIMULTANEOUS ACCESS TO ACCOUNT IDENTITIES is the most tractable approach. This would protect against IRS snooping, I think, but probably not the NSA. But that's better than we have now. ------------------------------ Date: 26 March 1983 19:26 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EFT Re: banging on a malfunctionning ATM... The frustration level would be less if there were a means for the poor mistreated customer to file an official protest of the bad machine on the spot, which protest would be given to prospective new customers until such time as the company (bank) resolved the situation to the satisfaction of the customer or a mediator. One simple way would be to supply OUT OF ORDER stickers so the customer could leave a message "this damn &%$'"@&$ machine wouldn't let me withdraw $20 to take my girl to dinner so she jilted me for a guy who uses a different bank whose machines are more reliable" or whatever. Perhaps if customers could communicate their gripes to each other and to new potential customers, to at least protect others from the fate they suffered, and also to punish the bank for its poor service, they could vent their anger that way instead of by damaging the machine? By the way, a couple years ago there was a news story to the effect that somebody who broke hir foot kicking a faulty vending machine at hir place of work was granted workman's (oops, workperson's) compensation since the injury was in the normal course of activities related to work (lunch break is in the contract). Unfortunately this doesn't apply to ATMs because they aren't at ones place of work etc. ------------------------------ Date: 28 Mar 1983 12:10:02-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: re real cost of credit card purchases The New England Science Fiction Association started accepting credit cards a few years ago for payments associated with our annual science fiction convention. (The bulk of these payments are for purchase of artwork but we also take cards for registration and publications sales.) Our present bank takes 2.75% off the top (don't know whether that's before or after state sales tax) for Visa and Mastercard charges. When we had a check verification service they charged 2.89% and cheated (e.g. they wiggled out of most of the bad checks the supposedly were covering); this figure may be higher than for operations with a higher/smoother throughput of checks but the charge %age is typical. Note that this applies only to the revolving, interest-bearing debit cards; Amex wanted more, wanted a steadier throughput, and (worst of all) wanted us to eat the float (i.e., 6-8 weeks between invoicing and payment) ------------------------------ Date: 28 Mar 1983 1308-MST From: Walt Subject: Re: a case for EFT ?!! - The cost of the merchandise should be listed separately from the overhead caused by the form of payment? (just like tax) - Any savings or additional costs due to the form of payment should be passed on to the buyer. I vote in favor. ------------------------------ Date: 26 March 1983 09:04 EST From: Zigurd R. Mednieks Subject: I like the part about intangible information storage So if I resurrected one of those storage tube memories for registers and used a write-once optical mass storage device, or better yet, used ONLY the optical disk memory, I would have a "computer" that stores information in tangible form. If I sold non-software for my non-computer in Texas, would I need pay tax? Sounds like they're legislating the value of pi again. The edge between intangible and tangible is the most intangible and unmeasurable thing about computer systems. An optical disk could be read like a book by someone used to reading front panel lights, or disassembling in his head. I believe there is an emulsion you can apply to magnetic media to "develop" a visible manifestation of the magnetic fields storing the information on it. If I burn a stack of documents typed in OCR-A before they reach the reader, have I committed a computer crime? Actually, the typeface need not matter at all. If a server at a secure site spazzes and scribbles all over the disk instead of just refusing me access, have I committed a crime for TRYING to access that site? What if was trying to break in? What if I wasn't? Who could tell what my attitude really had been had I done such a thing and been arrested? Yow! Is it 1984 yet? Cheers, Zig ------------------------------ Date: Sat 26 Mar 83 14:54:43-PST From: Edjik Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #11 Hmm, the definition of a computer system in the texas bill 193 seems awful vague. the way its stated my hp-25 calculator would be considered a computer system. Hmm, i can't wait till some student in some texas college picks up someones calculator to do some math problem and then finds himself arrested for using a computer system against the operators wishes. sigh. -- Edjik ------------------------------ Date: 28 Mar 1983 0958-PST Subject: Re: Silly legal definitions in texas From: Ian H. Merritt Perhaps somebody should take a copy of the digests on this subject, strip off any indication of their source, and leave only first names or nicknames. Then forward the result to the media with a partial explanation, and to the texas authorities responsible for this as well. A little input from people who have some knowledge of the subject they are trying to define wouldn't hurt. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #16 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-03-31 02:35:54 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 31 Mar 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 16 Today's Topics: Computers and the Law - Texas Computer Crime Law (8 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 29 March 1983 04:24 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Texas Legislature to consider a Computer Crime Law Date: Saturday, 26 March 1983, 01:50-EST From: Christopher C. Stacy ... there are no laws that I know about which concern themselves directly with the misuse of vacuum cleaners. ... So why are people concerning themselves with laws about computers? I agree. We should be careful to make special laws for special tools only when those special tools permit kinds of crime not covered by older laws, and only in ways appropriate to the level of threat involved. In many cases I'd rather see old definitions adjusted (like amend the definition of "property" to include confidential data stored in a memory device) instead of creating a whole class of "computer crime" separate from existing theft laws. Sec. 33.01 DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: (2) "Computer software" means instructions or statements that permit a computer system to perform a useful function. I wonder what "useful" means? I think you're being too picky. "Useful" means it accomplishes some purpose that a human or pseudo-human (company, government agency) wants performed. For example, adding the contents of register 4 to the contents of register 6 and depositing the results in register 6 isn't useful, but accepting input from the terminal until end-of-line and parsing that line of text as an arithmetic expression an printing out the result of evaluating that expression IS useful. Thus the ability of the PDP-10 CPU to execute the instruction ADD 6,4 isn't useful in itself, but the Macsyma program is. A bunch of random instructions generated by noise, that don't do anything useful, just hang the cpu after a few microseconds, wouldn't be considered "software" under this proposed Texas defintion. -- In summary, the definition seems to hit the nail on the head, even if it's not mathematically perfect (hardly any legal definition is anyway). (3) "Computer system" means a device or set of devices that stores data in an intangible form, or that, in response to instructions or data given to it, analyzes data, converts data from one form into another, or produces new data. It seems to me that humans (and other animals, and plants) are included in this definition. So are telephones, thermostats, and vacuum cleaners. Yes. This definition needs to be amended to exclude biological units. Telephone headsets aren't computer systems, but the central office and the relaynodes *are* and ought to be included. That way if you tap into the telephone system's computers to disrupt communications and cause many people to die due to inablity to contact their doctor by telephone, you'd be subject to this new law wheras under old law you might get off because "all you did is talk to the telephone computer, and freedom of speech is protected". -- I rather doubt thermostats and vacuum cleaners store data. They take input from a dial or switch, and continuously react to it, but they never store the setting internally, they just keep reacting to the current setting, and as soon as you change it they act like the old setting never existed. Sec. 33.03. BREACH OF SECURITY SYSTEM. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the operator of the computer system, he intentionally: (3) gives information concerning a computer security system to another person. I don't understand how this last can be reconciled with free speech. I agree, this ought to be limited to secret keys, not info about the general algorithm. For example, if I told somebody that Crocker Bank used plastic cards plus 4-digit identification numbers manually typed in, as I am doing right here, I'd be violating that new proposed Texas law! But if I started passing out pepole's 4-digit numbers without their permission, that'd be something the law should cover. I wonder if anybody in the Texas legislature is on this mailing list? We'd make a good sounding board for any laws relating to computers, to see if they have serious flaws like this. Besides, what "information" are they talking about? I imagine that if I decided a random fact (such as "grass is green") was a part of my computer security, that I could attempt to have anyone who repeated the fact criminally prosecuted. Hmmm, ordinarily I'd say this is frivilous, but recent cases with national security where somebody doing independent research happens to come up with a system similar to some secret system, and suddenly this independent research is declared top secret, get me to worrying. ------------------------------ Date: 29 March 1983 04:50 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #11 Yup, a pocket calculator with memory would certainly (in my opinion) be a "computer" under both this proposed Texas law and under the proposed USA law a couple years back. There ought to be a way to prevent baiting. Like if you leave your calculator on a desk and somebody comes along and presses one of the buttons to see if it worked, that would be a crime under both proposed laws. But it really shouldn't, because you didn't take adequate security measures. If it's in your purse or briefcase (etc.) and somebody gets in there without your permission and uses your calculator, that probably should be a crime, because people aren't supposed to get in your purse or briefcase in the first place. (What if you pass out on the street, somebody looks in your purse to see who you are so they can notify your family and doctor, and they see your calculator and play with it. I wonder if that should be a crime? I think if you had some valuable program on it (suppose it's an HP-41c) and they accidentally deleted it they ought to get fined and/or sued for the loss you thereby suffered? That'll teach them to keep their finger off computers that don't belong to them and which they don't understand what to do and what not to do.) What if you are working out your income tax, and you go to the store for a refill for your pen. While you're out your apartment manager comes in to fix something, and sees the papers and not realizing they're important throws them away. You come back and find a week's work lost. -- This has nothing to do with computers, yet you've suffered a similar loss to if your disk file were deleted by some intruder. I think the law is too specific to computers and ought to cover all sorts of data or work loss regardless of whether a computer was involved or not. I.e. the law is aiming at the mystique of computers instead of where the problem really lies, damage or theft of valuable data and other products of work/labor, or interference with legitimate operations. ------------------------------ Date: Tue 29 Mar 83 02:41:10-PST From: Edjik i think the real problem is having laws made that deal with highly technical issues, by people who have an extremely limited technical background. ------------------------------ Date: 29 Mar 1983 10:39:03-PST From: Robert P. Cunningham Reply-to: cunningh@Nosc Subject: Texas bill 193 Section 33.05 of the bill (Interfering with computers) appears to apply to an electrical utility which sends power spikes and thereby glitches a computer system. Similarly, it also might apply to a phone company which allowed its lines to become noisy and interfere with telecommunications involving computer systems. In fact, since phone company switching systems (ESS) employ embedded computers, the bill's definition of a 'computer system' may also incidentally apply to the phone system. Will that make it a misdemeaner to give out an unlisted phone number? Bob C. ------------------------------ Date: 29 March 1983 14:18 cst From: Heiby at HI-MULTICS (Ronald W.) Subject: Texas Computer Crime Bill Effective consent is not defined in the bill. I assume that the phrase is defined somewhere in Texas or common law. If I find a list of the user ids and passwords lying around un-protected and un-encrypted in a public system directory where the system administrator left it, have I been given effective consent to look at it? To make use of the information in it? An area that the bill does not address at all is the entire issue of protecting customers of a computer service bureau from the service's operator or his/her staff. Ron H. ------------------------------ Date: 29 March 1983 16:04-EST (Tuesday) From: Paul Fuqua Subject: Texas Computer-Crime Laws (70+ lines) That's my home state. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but the lawmaking *does* become a bit strange sometimes. What other state needed to pass a constitutional amendment to legalize bingo for non-profit groups? When I first read the computer-crime bill, I was somewhat dismayed. It was so broad, so vague. I felt all those concerns already voiced. Then I read it again. It's not a *bad* bill. Finesse the definitions for a moment (rely on intuitive meanings), and read it again. "Access for fraudulent purpose" is written just fine. "Unauthorized access" part 2 (alteration or damage of the system, software, or data) is OK. "Interference (*intentional* interference) with service" is also written properly. What doesn't work? The sections concerning "breach of security system" and the initial part of "unauthorized access" (using the system in a manner not permitted by the operator). Why don't they work? Because the definition of "computer system" is vague. The concepts themselves are roughly akin to trespassing. If someone wishes to fence their property and not allow you to walk across, they can do so; so can a computer operator refuse you access to his machine (I don't want to talk about easements and discrimination). I'm somewhat of a hacker, too; nevertheless, it's "trespassing." So, the crux of the whole issue is the definition of "computer system." Some (old) unabridged dictionary I leafed through a moment ago defined "computer" as "a mechanical or electronic device capable of performing repetitious mathematical operations at high speed." It's not great, but it's better than the vague definition given in the bill. At least a vacuum cleaner doesn't qualify. Digital watches and microwave ovens could slip in, if they contain processors (as most of them do). That "intangible" business is also a problem, but I suspect it is necessary either because of the judicial decision mentioned, or to be compatible with the software-sales-tax bill. Storage is not necessarily intangible, but legislators are not computer people. "Computer system" is not an easy thing to define, however. We want to include the systems that banks and other institutions use to store their records, but exclude processor-containing objects such as calculators, watches, and microwave ovens. We cannot define by example, because that is incompatible with the supposed timelessness of law. I propose "a mechanical or electronic device or set of devices that, in response to data or instructions given to it and/or stored in it, analyses data, converts data from one form into another, or produces new data, at a high rate of speed." I hope that covers processors without covering microwave ovens (although it could be said that they work fast, too). Perhaps a specific exclusion is needed. I wanted to include the phrase "through mathematical and logical operations," but I think it's too restrictive. There are also days when DEC-20s do not work at a high rate of speed (try mit-xx between 4 and 6). My proposal still doesn't handle the problem of "what if someone uses my calculator and I don't want them to", but somehow there is made a distinction between trespassing on land and borrowing a tool without permission, both of which involve the concept of property.. Let's steal from that. Of course, the Dynabook will mess that idea up. Help. I realize I've thrown around a lot of terms in an imprecise or incorrect way, and there are a lot of items still needing definition. If we come up with something good, we can send it in and keep the Texas Legislature from screwing up. pf ps Regarding the "emergency" provision: will avoiding two readings of the bill in each house really make a difference in time-to-passage? pps Many laws exist not to prevent actions, but to allow governmental action against an offender when they deem it necessary. In both Cambridge and Dallas, it is illegal to park on the street for longer that 24 hours without moving, but it is only rarely enforced in Dallas, because there are still plenty of parking spaces. I hope the "breach of security" provision, if passed, is treated in such a manner. ------------------------------ Date: 29 Mar 83 21:35:15-EST (Tue) From: "Peter N. Wan" Subject: Re: Texas computer law The Texas computer law reads very much like the one that was passed as the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act. My initial reactions after reading the Georgia law were pretty much the same as the ones expressed here; i.e., that freshmen playing games on their computer course accounts could be prosecuted for misuse of the system, etc. The way that I see it, present laws would probably be sufficient to rectify criminal activity if our judges and jurors were knowledgable enough about computers and information technology to apply them. For instance, stealing someone's password and logging in would correspond to breaking and entering, etc. Proving theft would be another matter, however. Our current concepts of theft involve the change of possession of something; stealing a computer program does not deprive the original possessor of possession. It just allows someone else to have control of essentially the same item. I feel that we need laws to address only those areas that cannot possibly be covered by current legislation. And we certainly do not need the ambiguous, poorly-worded pieces of legislation that we are currently getting to address computer problems. ------------------------------ Date: Wed 30 Mar 83 10:49:08-PST From: LAWS@SRI-AI.ARPA Subject: Computer Systems I looked up the IEEE definition of "computer system". It is basically a communicating configuration of computer hardware. "Computer hardware" is hardware for processing computer data. I didn't follow this all the way down (or around), but "computer data" seems to be easier to define than the other terms; it has to do with information that is not directly usable by humans. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #17 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-02 00:46:11 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 1 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 17 Today's Topics: Replies to Queries - Where to Order Documents & Resource Requirements, Technology - EFT (4 msgs), Computers and the Law - Electronic Anklet ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 29 Mar 1983 0747-PST From: Wmartin at OFFICE-3 (Will Martin) Subject: Addresses request The address inquiry previously appeared on Msggroup; here is an answer which was sent in reply. (You'll probably see twelve of these...) Return-path: Date: 21 Mar 1983 0839-PST Subject: Re: Where To Order Documents ? From: SABATINE at USC-ISIB To: POSTEL at USC-ISIF Jon, Here are the appropriate locations. I'm sending this to you in the hopes that you'll forward it to the original requestor. ISO and ANSI standards are both ordered from: American National Standards Institute 1430 Broadway New York, NY 10018 (212) 354-3300 It's best to call first and receive price quotes and info re the correct method of payment. They also have an ISO catalog that can be obtained. NBS publications are ordered either from the Superintendent of Documents, US. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20204, or from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). I always go through NTIS because they are fast and accept phone orders. Their address is Port Royal Road, Springfield Virginia, 22161. (703) 487-4650. Both agencies only accept orders via a GPO SuDoc number, or an NTIS accession number. To find out the available publications from NBS, and the corresponding order numbers, it may be best to contact them directly. The NBS address is simply: National Bureau of Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C. 20234. I'm sorry, I don't have a phone number. CCITT: International Telecommunication Union General Secretariat Sales Service Place des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 20 Switzerland They, too, can be contacted for publications lists and order forms. I hope this helps, Alicia ------- (Forwarded by Will Martin, WMartin@Office-3) ------------------------------ Date: 29 Mar 1983 1235-PST From: Wmartin at OFFICE-3 (Will Martin) Subject: Comparing Electronic Mail Systems One reasonable reference source I've been reading for a while on the subject of electronic mail is a newsletter called "EMMS - Electronic Mail & Message Systems". It comes out twice a month and is printed on light green paper. Though it is expensive ($235 / year, back issues $10 each or less if you buy a year's worth in a binder), they seem to be amenable to sending out free samples. Look for Business-Reply cards from them in the packets of cards you get along with subscriptions to freebie trade magazines ("Computer Design", etc.) or drop a note to : International Resource Development, Inc. 30 High Street Norwalk, CT 06851 Telephone # is (203) 866-6914. Of course, since this is a private-industry-oriented publication, a lot of the fax, telex, ECOM, and suchlike stuff discussed is fairly inferior to the real computer-based electronic message systems we are used to. So you have to wade through a lot of dross to find the information of interest to us. There is more of a marketing than a technical orientation. Will Martin (WMartin@Office-3) ------------------------------ From: allegra!rba@ucbvax Date: Wed Mar 30 14:52:39 1983 In reply to the questions of Ben Kuipers (HN vol 6, #15), John Gould of IBM has conducted several studies comparing how letters are composed in different modalities. In one of these studies (Gould, 1981) he found that letters written with a text editor (REDIT) were composed more slowly than handwritten letters although if the time for a secretary to type the handwritten letter was included, the text editor came out slightly ahead. In another series of studies (Gould, 1978) dictation and "spoken letters" are found to be much faster than handwriting. However, in both studies letter quality was not affected by the way the letters were composed. Bob Allen BTL - MH Gould, J.D. How experts dictate. \Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance/ 4, 1978, 648. Gould, J.D. Composing letters with computer-based text editors. Human Factors/ 23, 1981. 593. ------------------------------ Date: 29 Mar 1983 0305-EST From: Hobbit Subject: EFT cards Somehow I don't think a writeable card would be too secure. I have had cards from which the mag stripe has been bashed simply by riding around in my wallet for six months. If high-density stripes are going to work, they have to physically protect them better. _H* ------------------------------ Date: Mon Mar 28 1983 13:00:01-PST From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: EFT, etc. My friends, Some of you are fooling yourselves. We can sit around our terminals and mumble about security systems and encryption until doomsday, but the real security parameters of future EFT systems will be *politically* determined, *not* simply technically determined. Right now, today, we know how to build systems that could provide virtually "perfect" security of transactions from the customer's standpoint (I'm not addressing the issue of how much these systems could *cost* in today's market, however.) But I'll make you a bet. Such "perfect" systems would always have legally mandated "holes" implemented to allow for "special situations". Does anyone seriously believe that an EFT system that effectively "obscures" all transactions from scrutiny will be permitted to exist on a large scale? I can think of half a dozen governmental agencies which would scream bloody murder at the very idea. Of course, each agency would claim that only *they* needed access to the data, and of course *nobody* else could ever touch such data. Poppycock. By the time the various exceptions are implemented, our "perfect" EFT system will have as many holes as the proverbial swiss cheese. As was stated by someone in a previous digest, it is not the systems themselves that are the real danger -- but rather the *misuse* of information that these systems generate and collect. It is my belief that *only* a system with the potential for misuse (where "misuse" can be defined in various ways by different persons) will be legally permitted to appear. I also might suggest that the dangers of such a system might well overshadow the "convenience" benefits we could derive from its use. The "unrealistic" tone of some of the proposals recently presented in this digest is obvious. "Free food under REM's term as world leader" --- gimme a break! "Send the illegal aliens back where they belong" -- a one line phrase which many "leaders" spout at election time but perpetually find extremely complicated to handle in reality. Such pie-in-the-sky statements (if indeed they are "pie") belong over in the POLI-SCI digest, not on HUMAN-NETS where, presumably, we are seeking "realistic" solutions to complex technical issues which face society. I fear that there are those among us who would willingly set up a society where you had to use your thumbprint (or tongueprint? What a disgusting idea, REM...) twenty times a day just to handle the normal transactions of living. Sometime ago, I sent to this digest a "humorous" scenario of what the printout from such a "tracking EFT" system might look like. I was not just "kidding around" with that message -- I consider EFT abuse to be almost a certainty in many of the large scale operations now being envisioned. I also suspect that, by convention and eventual edict, cash will become less and less acceptable as time goes by under such a system, simply because it *is* so much easier to keep track of electronic transactions -- and we can be sure that somewhere, someone other than "us" will be keeping track. Convenience is one thing. But frankly, I don't want to have to show my thumbprint (or lick some damn EFT terminal!) simply to allow such "conveniences", and I wonder how long it would take for "necessities" to also be brought under the umbrella of these systems. I hope that there are those of you who agree with me. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 29 Mar 1983 1715-PST From: Lynn Gold Subject: ATMs and records No matter whether or not they keep old records around, aren't there statutes of limitation which take effect after a certain period of time after a crime is committed (seven years or so)? If this is the case, it wouldn't matter if someone had a college-days fling that was discovered fifteen years after they finished college, since it would be too late to prosecute. --Lynn ------------------------------ Date: 29 March 1983 21:21 EST From: Barry Clifford Neuman What good does the cashless society do about crime anyway? Someone can always force you to transfer money to them. Do you intend that credit transfer outlets are to be restricted? I can just see having to visit the bank to lend a friend money. One solution to this problem is to take a step backward. We shouldn't restrict credit transfer outlets, but we should restrict locations where credit can be turned into cash. This means that you can transfer money to you friend at any time you want, but to withdraw cash, and give it to someone, you should have to go to a bank or similar establisment. If the whole society were cashless, there should only be need for small amounts of cash, and obatining it should not pose any great emergency, since for almost everything, you can use EFT for the transaction. Do away with the automatic tellers that allow you to withdraw cash. This shoud essentially eliminate this type of crime, since a theif obviously gives away his identity if he forces you to transfer money to him. Cliff ------------------------------ Date: 29 Mar 83 10:34 EST (Tuesday) From: Damouth.Wbst@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Electronic Anklet Weinstein's additional description of the electronic anklet stops short of pointing out the obvious next step: Our large cities are all installing cellular radio systems for mobile communications. Some cities already have a similar but more limited transponder system for automatically keeping track of location of police cars. The anklet could easily transmit to such a system, providing a continuous record of the location of the person. For the police car locator system, accuracy is a fraction of a city block. The cellular radio, not being designed for this purpose, might only localize the person to a particular cell, which is much larger but still useful. Going a bit further, the radio navigation receivers now being sold for yachts can automatically provide location to within about 50 feet most places in the country (or maybe it is presently limited to a few hundred miles from navigable water - the newer satellite-based transmitters will fix this, and will also provide elevation plus or minus one floor in a high-rise). Such a receiver is presently a bit too big and too power-hungry to be mounted in an anklet. A more specialized unit, which simply receives the navigation signals and transmits the raw data and an identification code, via cellular communications systems, to a central computer, could be reduced to a few chips and mounted in an anklet. Viewed by itself, this prospect appears horrifying. Viewed as an alternative to prison for convicted non-violent criminals, it seems far more humane and far cheaper than the prison. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #18 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-05 02:46:07 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 2 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 18 Today's Topics: Technology - EFT (9 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 31 Mar 1983 1332-EST From: ZALESKI@RUTGERS (Mike Zaleski) Subject: EFT Security In view of the recent discussion on Human-Nets regarding the privacy and security of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Electronic Banking in general, the following, from the February 1983 issue of The Communications of the ACM, "Regulation of Electronic Funds Transfer: Impact and Legal Issues", pages 112-118, might be of interest: "The United States Supreme Court in U.S. vs. Miller in 1976 ruled that the notion that an individual's expectation of confidentiality in his bank is not legally enforceable or even warranted. Further, the Court ruled that the records are property of the bank, not the depositor [4]. [4] Colton, K. W. and Kraemer, K. L., "Computers and Banking", Plenum Press, New York, 1980." Although these notions might be distressing, consider the other side of the issue. Is it desirable that individuals with bad credit ratings be allowed to hide in a maze of confidentiality laws? People who pay their bills must also shoulder the responsibility of those bad risks. Perhaps the biggest concerns of pro-EFT forces should be directed toward security from criminal intervention and toward consumer convenience. I would use EFT today even if there were no privacy safeguards, but not it there were no safeguards against outright criminal misuse of the system. -- Mike^Z ------------------------------ Date: 1 April 1983 05:30 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EFT, etc. - another strawman idea below... Under my ideal system, you wouldn't have to show your thumbprint (or tongueprint; ugh, unless the sensor tastes nice; gee what a 1984ish way to entice people to use the system, addictive tongueprint sensors!) twenty times a day. There are three kinds of transactions: (1) You physically travel to a store where a human checks you out; (2) You physically travel to a bank where you interact with a device; (3) You sit at home and call up your orders directly from your workstation without having to physically travel anywhere. Type (2) will die as soon as everybody has workstations. The whole idea of having to travel downtown just to press buttons on a machine is stupid. We do it now only because the "dumb" banks haven't yet made it possible for us to do everything from home. So let's discuss (1) and (3). In the case of (1), you insert your ID card or punch your username, the computer calls up a picture of you, and the storeclerk compares you with your picture to verify your identity. Just like showing an ID with picture, except it's harder to forge the ID. In the case of (3), you identify yourself when you wake up and start using the system or when you return home. If anybody visits you (or breaks in) your automated home automatically cancels your password unless you have authorized the visitor to be present while the password is active. When the unauthorized visitor leaves you re-identify yourself. Unless you have lots of unauthorized visitors, you don't have to identify yourself often. Thus you may never need your thumbprint (or tongueprint) except for coroner's files in case you die and somebody needs to identify your body. ------------------------------ Date: 1 Apr 1983 0916-CST Subject: Re: EFT, etc. From: CS.TEMIN at UTEXAS-20 I would like to voice agreement with Lauren, that any EFT system will be \\designed// with the potential for misuse explicitly embedded in it. And it seems that no contributors to this digest who advocate EFT would put up with such an EFT system. A comprehensive EFT system would put more information in one place than there is currently. For example, the IRS keeps tax returns privileged from criminal prosecutors in general. EFT could undermine all the laws that currently exist regarding freedom (and secrecy) of information. I enjoy the luxury of having several different ways to pay for a transaction -- cash, bank card, store-specific credit card, check. Integrated EFT sounds like it would do away with such methods. I think that EFT is a case of the public falling in love with technology. There is no real need for this. EFT works fine for transactions between financial institutions. And if the current methods for detecting fraudulent checks and credit cards were a bit more reliable, the current system for making personal monetary transactions should be acceptable to everyone (vendors and purchasers). /aaron temin ------------------------------ Date: Fri 1 Apr 83 09:29:18-PST From: LAWS@SRI-AI.ARPA Subject: Statute of Limitations I disagree with Lynn Gold about the statute of limitations providing protection from misuse of old data. It currently offers some protection from prosecution, although that can be revoked at any time (e.g., to allow us to get at Nazi war criminals). Much more common, however, is persecution outside the legal system. The Commie witchhunt/blacklist history is an example. Anyone who declares bankruptcy, is convicted of a major crime, or is even acquitted of a morals charge may be similarly branded by his past. (We still remember Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll's interest in nude little girls, don't we?) Sixty Minutes has reported that police (near St. Louis?) have allowed landlords to screen prospective tenants via on-line databanks. These records often show fugitive warrants that have not been purged after the suspect has already been found and released. Neither the statute of limitations nor uninforced laws against misuse are of any help in these situations. Data that are not purged may become part of your public identity, either now or for future generations. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: Fri 1 Apr 83 11:28:42-PST From: Paul Martin Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #17 Re Lauren's view of the political nature of EFT implementations: I believe he is right. The current efforts to keep track of the transfer of funds inside this country include so many restrictions and record-keeping (and, at least with a court order, record-supplying) that only the biggest crooks can afford the privacy provided by "offshore" banking. The popular perception of the balance of privacy vs. ease of law enforcement is such that the mere ownership of a numbered Swiss account is considered "proof" of financial wrongdoing (at least tax evasion; probably laundering of mob money too!). Until the electorate recognizes the need to legislate privacy even in cases when it could be potentially inconvenient to some finger of the long arm of the law, we can expect the outlawing of any private form of EFT. Re Lynn Gould's reference to the statute of limitations: The Mustang Ranch example was a case where no law was broken; the problem for a Moron Majority leader having the old wild weekend surface goes way beyond any restriction on the time limits for broken laws. The example of Tom Eagleton being kicked off the Democratic ticket for having sought the aid of a shrink in the distant past gives us a clue as to how the mere record of payment transfers can become a liability if it is obtainable by the wrong folks.... Paul (SSN-is-none-of-your-business) Martin ------------------------------ Date: 1 April 1983 14:36 est From: Dehn.DEHN at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Realism of EFT Proposals It is not at all unreasonable to consider "perfectly secure" EFT systems. I agree that the current trend is not very encouraging; the more information gets into computer-readable form, the more reasons the politicians think of for using it. We can see where this will lead, but can the politicians see any alternative? One reason for discussing and building secure systems is to see if they do provide an alternative. If the nation were presented with a choice between the current trend and a situation where everyone was safe (in this domain) from both criminals and the government, it might at least give a little consideration to the latter possibility. Yes, "perfectly secure" EFT is inconsistent with today's practices, but that doesn't have to stop it. New technology often requires changes in practices. A change in human nature is not required, but rather a change in people's conception of their rights. History provides many examples of such changes. For documentation of a few examples, see our Constitution. In this case, we may not even need a new idea, but rather simply a recognition that a right that people thought they had is being threatened in a new way, and that there is an alternative to simply watching it vanish entirely. The government activities that pose the threat are not some sort of fixed environmental specs that technical solutions must comply with. The political process provides mechanisms for change, and technical demonstrations can be part of that political process. They may even change in a favorable direction for other reasons. For example, in the tax area, there is currently interest in alternative forms of taxation (flat tax, VAT, etc.) that might require less information collection for enforcement. There may also be technical ways of reducing the danger even more, such as by building some aspects of the tax system into the EFT system itself, making it unnecessary to make detailed information available to anyone. -jwd3 ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 1 April 1983, 11:49-PST From: Richard Lamson Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #17 From: Lynn Gold Subject: ATMs and records No matter whether or not they keep old records around, aren't there statutes of limitation which take effect after a certain period of time after a crime is committed (seven years or so)? If this is the case, it wouldn't matter if someone had a college-days fling that was discovered fifteen years after they finished college, since it would be too late to prosecute. Yes. Remember Chappaquiddick? How about when Teddy Kennedy was found to be cheating on an undergraduate test (or whatever -- I don't remember the actual scandal, just that it gets publicity every time EMK runs for office...)? There are ways to persecute without prosecuting. -- Richard ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 1 Apr 83 13:49:58 EST From: Jerry Leichter Subject: EFTS, Privacy, etc. Lauren's fears about possible abuse of EFTS systems - and his reminders about the political elements of the decisions involved - are well taken. The history of technology clearly indicates that political arrangements drive and control technology at least as much as technology drives such arrangements. The United States has maintained the greatest degree of separation between the two spheres; as a result, the connections, probably as powerful here as elsewhere, are hidden and non-obvious. The US is just about the only country in the world that allows private enterprise to run the phone system; it's almost universally a function of the local post office. An example of where this can lead is in France: The Paris phone system as originally designed included a simple method for the police to tap in to any conversation. No inconvenient physical taps to install, no court orders; it was understood that control over this new communication medium would have to be maintained. Today, the PTT's (Post, Telephone, and Telegraph) are trying to control all computer networking as well. Consider that in just about all of the world, TV is a state-provided, state-controlled enterprise. In Fred Hoyle's "Fifth Planet" - an interesting but not particularly memorable book otherwise - one of the characters starts speculating about devices that would allow a central computer to keep track of where you are. He sees the introduction of such devices as proceeding from high-status positions - "I'm so important that I must be reachable & protectable immediately at all times" - on gradually downward, to the point where everyone is required to wear the things at all times. No one objects because at each point in the evolution of the system it looks like the new class of people who have to wear the things are being awarded higher status. This was written about 15 years ago; I find it fascinating to compare to the evolution of "beepers" - devices I would absolutely refuse to accept. Finally, on a positive note: EFTS will not TOTALLY displace cash in the forseeable future. Reason: It costs way too much per transaction. Take a look at the December 1979 CACM - a special issue on EFTS. Here is a table: Transactions/year Total cost Cost/transaction (billions) ($billions) ($) Cash 264 3.274 .012 Check 32 17.048 .53 Credit card 5 2.580 .52 (1976 data) Most cash transactions are small (75% <$1, 95% <= $10). It's difficult to imagine the EFTS cost coming even close to the cash cost on a per-transaction basis. (Unfortunately, there is - or was in 1979 - no good data on EFTS costs.) Clearly, the big win is in taking over for checks, at least for quite a while to come. -- Jerry decvax!yale-comix!leichter leichter @ yale ------------------------------ Date: 1 April 1983 23:59-EST (Friday) From: _Bob Subject: Question: EFT and Fingerprints Hi, Several recent messages to HN have assumed, without describing, reliable fingerprint recognition as part of an EFT scheme. Just what do the best fingerprint recognition programs do, exactly, and how well do they do it? I've had occasion to read the testimony of human fingerprint experts, and I'm not sure it is stuff you'd want to trust your money to. In the examples I have seen the expert looks for between 10 and 15 'points of correspondence,' arches whorles and the like, between the candidate and exemplar prints. Correspondence is a judgment call, else the fellow wouldn't have to be an expert. The humans seem to be trying for unique identification from a 15-bit word, with an error-checking algorithm that is far from obvious. Maybe some AI construct could handle this task. But, something written in bankers' COBOL? _Bob ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #19 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-05 02:51:51 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 3 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 19 Today's Topics: Computers and the Law - Texas Computer Crime Law (5 msgs) & Electronic Anklet ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 31 March 1983 05:38 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Computer Systems Date: Wed 30 Mar 83 10:49:08-PST From: LAWS@SRI-AI.ARPA "computer data" seems to be easier to define than the other terms; it has to do with information that is not directly usable by humans. Gee, under that definition all information in the brains of any species other than Homo Sapiens would be "computer data". Also any information locked in a vault such as a safe-deposit box would be "computer data" during the time it's under lock. Also anything written in a lost language such as ancient Mayan would be "computer data". I think we better try again with that definition. ------------------------------ Date: 31 Mar 1983 12:54:13-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: re computers and the law Enter Flame Mode: I'm a bit surprised at the naivete with which most people are approaching the Texas Computer Crime Law; although I don't recall seeing msgs from the wight on Poli-Sci who was proclaiming himself and his reactionary buddies the source of all hard truths, it should be obvious (especially considering where the laws are first appearing) that the major issue here is MONEY. (This was briefly mentioned as an introduction to the debate and has since disappeared.) The issue isn't assorted minor inconveniences, and it certainly isn't personal rights; it's the fact that the average money-yielding attack on a computer system (i.e., not hacking but -"computer theft"-) yields something like 20 times as much loot as the average robbery/burglary (and those figures may be suspect because the ones I've seen don't indicate whether they include crimes against homes as well as crimes against business). Worse (from the point of view of the people who own some of the legislatures), some computer thieves have managed to wriggle out of any charges through loopholes in current laws, to the extent that computer theft often goes unprosecuted due to the unlikelihood of conviction, the even smaller likelihood of getting anything back, and the great likelihood of unfavorable publicity for companies which depend heavily on public confidence (e.g. banks). If you want to deal with the fallacies of a law you have to allow for the objectives of those who framed it. Leave Flame Mode. Note on the landlord-destroying-tax-returns case: in Massachusetts it's illegal for the landlord to enter your place without an appointment except in an emergency, and the courts aren't lenient in their definitions of emergency. (But then, Mass. is a good place for tenants.) I'm more worried about destruction by my sister's cats. ------------------------------ Date: 31 Mar 1983 10:44-PST From: Greg Davidson Subject: Computer Laws It always disturbs me when laws define crimes in terms of the methods used to perform the crime instead of in terms of the nature of the crime. This is one of the things that keeps our legal system so complicated that even lawyers trip over it. I would assert that no new laws need or should be passed, ever, to cover crime involving computers. Regardless of the tools used, harming someone physically should be a crime. Regardless of the tools used, stealing someone's property should be a crime. Regardless of the nature of the property, its theft should be a crime. In addition to theft, unauthorized use should also be a crime. It is the owner's privilege to specify what uses of his or her property, if any, are to be permitted by others. It is the owner's responsibility to clearly label or restrict access to his property so that people can respect his or her wishes. Issues of enticement come up, and so on, but such issues have nothing to do with computers, per se. Any person who commits a crime is certainly responsible for any damages that ensue. Its probably also necessary to be able to slap their hands even if no damage ensued from their action. Also, if there is reason to believe that they were trying to cause damage, its necessary to take strong action. I could go on, but there's nothing about computers here. It should be made clear that information can be property like anything else. It can not only be stolen or damaged, it can also be copied. Copying information whose access is restricted against such, is just another example of unauthorized use of someone's property. It does not make any difference what form the information is stored in. I would challenge the whole group to come up with anything new which needs to be added to existing laws to extend them to cover computer crime. Also, I would like people to find cases where existing legal definitions are tied to some particular method, and suggest how they should read instead. I've always found it hard to believe that a society can expect people to obey its laws when they are so complex that they can't be known to everyone. Can anyone think of any good reason why the laws of this country couldn't be reduced to the size of a paperback book? Suppose they were legally required to fit in such a book (word count, not page count)? Suppose that learning the laws was required of all high school students, and the legislature was required to keep them simple enough that at least 80% of the students passed a standardized achievement test on them? -Greg ------------------------------ Date: 31 Mar 83 18:39 EST (Thursday) From: clark.wbst@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #16 Suggested Definition: Computer System: "Contrivance intended to manipulate information." Information: "{data, facts} and {ideas,algorithms,concepts}" (something like that) A microwave oven manipulates Hot Dogs, A Vacuum cleaner manipulates air and small particles, A digital watch I don't know about... SO... a Washing Machine with a CRAY I in it to optimize the motion of the parts to maximize the effectiveness of washing while minimizing the wear and tear on the cloths would NOT be a Computer System, because it is intended to wash cloths. An ATM manipulates information, the result of such manipulation being to run a mechanical gadget to feed you $$. It falls under the category of computer system because it manipulates your magic number to decide whether to give you $$ or not. If it simply gave $$ to everybody who pushed a button, it would not be because it's main purpose was to manipulate $$ and the dispensing mechanism. A process control computer manipulates information, the result being used to control motors, etc. Note that the process control system WOULD be a computer system, since it is intended to manipulate information, whereas the Steel mill is NOT a computer system because it is intended to manipulate Metal. A mechanical device to shuffle huge card files around is manipulating information, and so it would be just like a computer. Does this make sense? Without knowing one whole heck of a lot about law, It seems to me that if the people involved understand the technology that the application of laws for material objects to computers is obvious. If you do damage to the other party, or run off with something that he/she did not want you to, you ... well... did something wrong ! Notice in my definition of information, it does not matter HOW it is encoded, or if a person, no matter how sharp, can read it. If the OWNER can get some use out of it, or extract the information, it must be useful! Favorite point: The (*& about information being directly useable by humans... any amount of gibberish is directly useable by humans, it just takes us a little longer. First, because it is not in a very efficient form for us, and second, because we are not used to doing it. At one time I could read, modify, and debug 8080 code with a hex memory editor just as well as the source. Just because Joe Blow off the street can't, doesn't mean it is not useable. That would mean that German language information is not information because it is not usable by *all* humans. Actually, using MagnaSee, while I would not want to do it, it is conceivable that a person could read a book directly off of a mag tape! Actually, I don't see what it matters if it is directly usable by humans or not... if the information is encoded there, it must be there for a reason... The fact that people put it there in that format is in itself proof that it is usable by humans, and that they can somehow profit by it's use. Does anyone have a good (or bad) explanation FOR the stuff about not applying laws to things not directly useable by humans? The only source for such ideas I can think of is the manipulation of technically ignorant legislators by technologists who want to make it legal to steal other people's information. Anyways, this has been much longer and sweeping than I had intended... --Ray ------------------------------ Date: 31 March 1983 21:19 EST From: Clifford Neuman A few (more) of the provisions of the Texas computer crime act have points that either need clarification, or that should be totally rewritten. To start with: Sec. 33.01 DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: "Operator," with respect to a computer system, means the person who manages, controls, or directs the operation and use of the system. Operator should be defined in the plural, or at least used in that way. Most systems are operated by more than one person, and approval required from the operator may be granted by any of these people. Sec. 33.03. BREACH OF SECURITY SYSTEM. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the operator of the computer system, he intentionally: What is meant by effective consent? If one of the people who operates the computer does something covered by the act (totally legitimately) does he have effective consent. Does he have effective consent of "The Operator" to perform this act? For the purpose of this letter I define "The Operator" to be the single person responsible for overseeing the computer and its staff. Well maybe he does have the effective consent based upon the privileges granted to him by "The Operator", but then what about people to whom he has given consent to perform specific actions. Clearly they have not receive consent, from "The Operator", but from some "subordinate" member of the the systems staff. Perhaps effective consent is defined to include implied consent. Maybe "The Operator" is allowed to delegate his authority to grant consent for certain actions. In fact, maybe it can even be delegated to a process which continually runs on the system whose sole purpose is to grant permission to users for specific actions. This sounds very much like an Access Control Job. Does this mean that anything that the ACJ allows you to do has implied consent based only on the point that you were able to do it? Sec. 33.05. INTERFERENCE WITH COMPUTER SERVICE. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the operator of the computer system, he intentionally interferes with or interrupts computer system services to one authorized to receive the services. This seems like an interesting issue for sites which have a fairly lenient tourist policy. It is occasionally the case that when tourists are logged in during peak hours they are asked to leave. They are even on occasion forcibly logged out if they do not heed the warning. This is clearly a case of interrupting the computer system services to those authorize to receive them. It can probably be argued that the person performing the action has the implied consent of "The Operator" since the tourist policy does mention that tourists are not to use the system during peak hours or at other times when the load is high, but the definition of peak hours or high load is not the same for everyone. Of course as Paul Fuqua mentioned in his response, systems may not be considered computers when the load is high because of their slowness. Cliff ------------------------------ Date: 1 April 1983 13:07 cst From: Heiby at HI-MULTICS (Ronald W.) Subject: Thermostats not computers? By the way, Honeywell, Texas Instruments, and at least one other firm (JS&A distributor) make thermostats with microprocessors. At least one of these is smart enough (according to the ads) to figure out when to turn the furnace on in order to get the house up to the desired temperature at the desired time. I can see changing a thermostat set-point being a crime here in Minnesota, but I can't see it for Texas. (Ha ha.) Ron H. ------------------------------ Date: 1 April 1983 20:57 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: a jail cell on your foot From: Damouth.Wbst at PARC-MAXC.ARPA ``Viewed by itself, this prospect appears horrifying. Viewed as an alternative to prison for convicted non-violent criminals, it seems far more humane and far cheaper than the prison.'' This can only mean, ``If this were applied to me, I would be appalled, but since it will only be applied to people I don't know, it is A.O.K.'' The aspect of the position-sensing anklet, or "jail cell on your foot," which is worst is (again) its potential for misuse. In this case it is being applied only to parolees, in place of prison. But will that be all? The next judge to read Spiderman comics will probably realize that prisoners held on bail could also wear the anklet, in place of prison. It is not a difficult step to administrative supervision, and automatic application to anyone whose movements "we" might want to watch. (Would you feel comfortable if this included people with security clearances?) A "jail cell on your foot" is still a JAIL CELL. Of course it is more humane! That is the very aspect which is most dangerous. Humane weapons are more likely to be used, and humane jail cells are more likely to be applied, and to more people. (Recall REM's world, where everyone has one.) It is cheaper, too. An easy solution is to declare that the position-sensing anklet IS a jail cell, and can only be applied where a prison sentence would be. But that takes away the technological "miracle," doesn't it? Technical solutions are not the final word -- they are a great deal of /help/, but by themselves won't /solve/, hard social problems. -- Steve P.S. If you used NAVSTAR, you could be very, very accurate. $$ ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #20 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-06 03:49:51 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 6 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 20 Today's Topics: Computers and the Law - Electronic Anklet & Texas Computer Crime Law (6 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 3 April 1983 18:21 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: a jail cell on your foot Hey, it's not my world where everyone would have an anklet. But I rather like the idea of enforcing bail (a mechanism for making sure people come to trial while allowing them access to lawyers and not disrupting their daily life such as going to work) this way instead of with gun-toting bail bondsmen. (Ever jump bail after getting it from a bondsman, and try to stay alive?) An accused person shouldn't have to report to court physically until actually convicted of a crime serious enough to require prison. At the point of arrest the person should be given the option of (1) immediate anklet, with no booking procedure at all, or (2) regular booking procedure; thus the anklet couldn't be used en masse to enslave the population, but would be an alternative to booking. Court appearances could be done by remote terminals or in person at the choice of the accused. I could imagine somebody accused of murder (but not convicted yet) having an anklet programmed to prevent access to firearms (which would have their own transponders for that purpose), maybe. Not sure. Anyway, with the accused sitting at work assembling widgits while watching the trial on TV, the prosecutor would be eager to have a speedy trial! Perhaps after the prosecution is done, if there's a sufficient primae facie case then the accused could be taken into custody until such time as the primae facie pendulum swings back (if the person is really innocent). Thus open and shut murder cases would have a very fast prosecution-half, and the defense not having any case would not be able to delay imprisonment, while in the case of an innocent person the imprisonment would be from the time the prosecution ends until the time the defense has gotten an alibi, about 10-20 minutes, hardly worth quibbling over. Also, the jury should be able to vote at the start of deliberation whether the case is leaning toward guilt or not, and thus whether the accused should be confined or not while awaiting the final verdict. -- Just ideas, might work, might have problems, send quibbles/nits to me... ------------------------------ Date: Sun 3 Apr 83 10:47:36-PST From: Robert Amsler Subject: Texas Computer Crime Bill I find nothing wrong with the definition of Operator. The bill would be designed to protect the owners of the computer--they are in fact the operator. The person hired to run the computer is their employee and merely one extension of their operation of the machine. One point which I think the bill is addressing is the ability to prosecute for the theft of CPU cycles, or any of the other less tangible computer resources (e.g. line time, disk space). Existing laws would seem to have a great deal of trouble with such intangibles and I think a new bill dealing with computer resource theft is probably reasonable. However, as everyone has said... These definitions aren't adequate. An interesting problem is whether "computer system" can be adequately defined in terms of what it DOES, rather than what it is made of. I tend to doubt this is entirely reasonable, as it seems to imply that there aren't alternate means of doing the things computers can do. Of course, defining a computer system in terms of what it consists of is likely to last only a few years... who would venture to say there will be silicon chips in the year 2000? I'd even be worried about "microelectronic components" existing by then... we're likely to have genetically engineered neural nets. But a bill that deals with technology and lasts 10 years ought to be sufficient. ------------------------------ Date: 3 April 1983 17:48 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: re computers and the law If the purpose of the law is to prevent theft of money by remote control (telling commands to a computer via a dialup port, rather than being physically present), then that's how the law ought to be worded. It should be worded in such a way that pressing a key on somebody's pocket computer is a crime subject to jail or prison. It should be an amendment to the definition of theft, to include remote control, and to breaking&entering, to include deliberate bypassing of security measures with attempt to use the computer in ways that aren't unauthorized or permitted by whoever is in charge of authorizing access (the owner or lessee, or someone such as an operator or administrator carrying out the owner's or lessee's access policy). But it should be made clear that an unsecured system is the same as an unlocked door, an open invitation for anyone to enter for a visit (but not to steal something); someone must either break through security measures, or steal something whether secured or not, to commit a crime. -- So how come the lawmakers can't hit the nail on the head? Or they only pretending to be after theft, really they hate computers and want them not to be usable at all? ------------------------------ Date: 3 April 1983 17:56 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Computer Laws Hear! Hear! I agree with you almost completely (see amended paraphrase following). The basic outline of laws should be easy enough for everyone to understand, with clear pointers to all special laws for special groups of people, such as regulations for driving, regulations for installing electrical conduits, regulations for nuclear power plants, ... The total laws that anyone has to learn should be n+1 paperback books, where n is the number of special professions the person is in. We shouldn't have to make up a new law for each way of committing the same crime. Is it possible? ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 5 Apr 83 11:07:17 EST From: Jerry Leichter Subject: Do we need new laws to deal with computers? It's contended that we don't need new laws, only protection of property rights that happen to be embodied in computers. This is naive. "Property rights" are exactly what the law DEFINES. You have a property right exactly when the law is willing to protect some "thing". Consider patents and copyrights. These are specific legally constructed property rights. They've been around so long that they now seem natural to us; but they are only a couple of hundred years old. Note that the Constitution contains an explicit statement that the Congress may create, if it wishes, patent and copyrights. The authors did not think this was inherent in anything else they said. If I am a sculptor, do I have some sort of property right in my artistic work even after I sell it? Certainly I have some copyright protection; but what about the work itself? Well, in France I DO have a property right. I have some control over what the purchaser can do with my work; he can't destroy it, for example, if I don't give him permission. If he resells at a profit, I am entitled to a certain percentage. I believe California is experimenting with a similar law, at least with regards to sharing profits. These are new (about 20 years old) property rights that never existed before. Technology often creates new property rights, or changes how we view old ones. Probably the oldest property laws deal with real estate. Does my control of land I own extend upward arbitrarily? No; airplanes can fly by all they like, and I have no say in the matter. With interest in solar heating, all sorts of new "property rights" issues have appeared. Can you build a house on your land that puts my solar collecter in the shade? Can you cut down trees on your land that provide me with a wind-break? New law - new property rights - are being created right now in these areas. Computer technology is full of such issues. Example: I maintain a data-base of Federal government publications (which anyone is entitled to copies of). What makes my data-base valuable is the selection and indexing. Can you use or copy my data-base without my permission? The actual data you see is all public-domain...clearly there is something there we would like to protect, but what exactly is it? Suppose I break your encryption key and read your private files. What "property" have I stolen from you? The analogue would be my looking through your window with a telescope and reading papers on your desk. While I could probably be prosecuted for SOMETHING, it most likely would not be theft or anything particularly serious. Again, in asking for legal protection in a case like this, you are asking for a definition of a new kind of property. -- Jerry decvax!yale-comix!leichter leichter @ yale ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 5 Apr 1983 19:46 EST From: SJOBRG.ANDY%MIT-OZ@MIT-MC Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #19 Golly, a microwave oven with a memory that's used to start cooking at a pre determined time is a computer... (it manipulates information... and produces a result (like an atm does..)) Would this mean that it is a crime for the electric co to interrupt service? ------------------------------ Date: 1 Apr 1983 0212-CST From: Clive Dawson Subject: Latest Status of Texas Computer Crime Bill Well, I take it all back. I was going to send a message chastizing everybody for non-constructive responses, but the latest Digest arrived with quite a few well thought out replies and good suggestions. Somebody mentioned that HN should be used as a sounding board for laws like this. That is precisely what's happening, in an unofficial way, of course. Some of us here at UTexas (just up the street from the state capitol) have been invited to meet with the sub-committee and present our views on this bill. Some of the points we brought out in the first public hearing have already resulted in changes to the bill. It turns out that the Bill has now made it through one pass of sub-committees, and has been simplified considerably. There are still some problems with the definition section, including the fact that "software" is defined but never used! There is also some awkward wording which needs to be fixed. But probably the main improvement is that the section which mentioned the use of computers for fraudulent purposes has been removed. Fraud is fraud, regardless of whether a computer is used or not. I thought of a good guideline that sums up my views pretty well: I would be against a law which put a crime into a special category just because a computer is used to help commit it. But I'd be in favor of a law which provided more protection for computers themselves (or their users) as VICTIMS of crimes. Breaking into a computer should be at least as serious as breaking into a house. (Hmmm...does anybody know if any laws exist to prevent somebody from handing out keys to my front door?!) Here, by the way, is a definition used in a federal Computer Fraud and Abuse bill: 'computer' means a device that performs logical, arithmetic, and storage functions by electronic manipulation, and includes any property and communication facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such a device; but does not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, or any computer designed and manufactured for, and which is used exclusively for routine personal, family, or household purposes including a portable hand-held electronic calculator. I think this definition may go too far in the other direction, by excluding too much. What kind of protection do I want or expect for my personal home computer? It's unclear what "routine personal purposes" are. What if I'm running a business with it? Anyway, here is the revised text of the bill. It is also available by anonymous FTP from UTexas in NEWBILL.193. (The old text is OLDBILL.193.) If anybody has further comments, please send them to me and/or the digest. I'll certainly do my best to see that they do some good. (By the way, Section 3 is apparently a routine clause which gets put onto just about every bill these days...) [*** Editor's note: For ease of access, the files mentioned above have been moved to local machines on the following networks: PARC-MAXC: [Maxc]Bill193.new [Maxc]Bill193.old MIT [MIT-AI]duffey;humnet oldbil [MIT-AI]duffey;humnet newbil ***] ------------------------ A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the creation of offenses involving computers. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Title 7, Texas Penal Code, as amended, is amended by adding Subsection 31.14 to Chapter 31. Subsection 31.14. Computer Crimes (a) For purposes of this Section: (1) "Computer system" means a device, or a set of devices, that stores data in an intangible form, or that, in response to instructions given to it, analyzes data, converts data from one form into another, or produces new data. "Computer system" includes a network of two or more computer systems that are interconnected to function or communicate together. (2) "Computer software" means an ordered set of instructions or statements that permits a computer system to perform a specified function. (3) "Computer security system" means the design, procedures, or other measures that an owner has taken to restrict the use of a computer system to persons the owner has selected to have access for limited purposes. (b) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, and with intent to harm the owner or some other person he intentionally or knowingly: (1) uses a computer system with intent to harm the owner; (2) breaches a computer security system; (3) gives information regarding a computer security system to another; or (4) interferes with or interrupts the service of a computer system to a person authorized to receive the service. (c) An offense under this Section is a Class A misdemeanor. (d) The attorney general, may, upon request, assist state and local law enforcement and prosecuting agencies in investigating and prosecuting violations of Chapter 31, Subsection 31.14, Penal Code. SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 1983. SECTION 3. The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended, and it is so enacted. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #21 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-09 02:45:32 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 8 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 21 Today's Topics: Technology - EFT (8 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2 Apr 83 15:31:45-EST (Sat) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford Subject: EFT and such My apologies for these comments being a bit out-of-date; March has been a very bad month for me. Re: Tracking your activities with EFT. Isn't it a pity that we have an attitude in our society where we have to hide so many things? We are ashamed of how much or how little we make. Having "flings" seems to be a liability in some quarters. Being human seems to be a problem, doesn't it? We don't want people to know about us because they judge us not for what we may be but by how we appear. If we are going to dream up EFT and change the world, why not dream up a situation where people wouldn't be hurt by others knowing about them? I worry more about people who want to hide everything than I do about people who admit to being human and having human activities. But as long as we sell so much mouthwash and perfume and makeup and ... I guess people will want to hide the fact that they are buying the stuff and aren't what they seem to be. And as long as people are insecure in themselves and need to look to someone else for an image, then I guess the moral majority guy who goes to the Mustang Ranch will want to hide what it is he's really been praying for. Re: Automatic Teller machines. Please note that I'm not advocating the following, but if you have had any experience with the following I'd be interested in hearing the results. It seems to be human nature to get upset with these teller machines which don't work after you've driven halfway across town for money from the suckers. Therefore, it is no surprise that people come up with methods of venting their frustrations on the machines. The secret, as with getting mad at people and institutions, is not to lose your temper and kick and scream. Rather, be clever. I have heard that cutting a piece of cheese to the size of a teller card and pushing it into the teller slot does amazing things to the machine. It takes in the cheese and that's all it does for quite some time. Hit 4 or 5 machines in the vicinity on a Friday evening and the bank will have a lot of irate customers who may wish to change their accounts. Another method is to take a can of that compressed freon (or even foam or epoxy) and spray it in through the slots. Freon under pressure comes out at something like -40F and does wonders to hot thermal printer parts and electronics. I know of one institution that had to scrap an employee ID system that the employees hated due to acts like this. There are more, but I don't want to suggest acts of vandalism, merely point out that the more sophisticated we make our mechanisms, the more sophisticated the vandals will become. Spur of the moment may decrease a bit (how many of you carry Freon around with you?), but acts by angry consumers may actually become more widespread because now there is even more challenge. We are building more impassive, heartless companies and institutions and increase the feelings of rage and helplessness in the consumer. I seem to detect more of an undercurrent of defiance to the systems (did YOU fudge your income tax a bit...drive 55 all the time), more anger, and more books appearing on how to disrupt your favorite target. More electronics and more hardware isn't going to solve all our problems. People already distrust computers, I don't see how full EFT would ever be accepted. Maybe the next generation raised on video games and home computers can deal with it. I really don't know. I'm not sure I asked a question in any of that, but does anyone have any comments? ------------------------------ Date: 3 April 1983 01:27 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: privacy of banking records It is unfair to cite U.S. v. Miller without also noting that it has been disapproved by the legislature. Scant two years later, Congress in response enacted the "Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978," Pub. L. No. 95-630. This Act provides that any subpoena for financial records must be served on the customer, who may then challenge it in court. A judicial order must be obtained (the equivalent of a search warrant) to void the notice requirement. It looks like Congress, at least, believes that financial records are within the individual's "reasonable expectation of privacy." As well they should be. In any event, we on HUMAN-NETS should be discussing the interactions between people and computer networks. One aspect of the information revolution is the discovery of problems which were only minimal before the advent of new technology. This gives us an opportunity to examine these problems and to build appropriate safeguards into the technology so that the problems do not become magnified beyond our capacity to control them. Ignoring these problems won't make them go away. -- Steve ------------------------------ Date: 3 April 1983 02:26 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: EFT, etc. Date: 1 Apr 1983 0916-CST From: CS.TEMIN at UTEXAS-20 And if the current methods for detecting fraudulent checks and credit cards were a bit more reliable, the current system for making personal monetary transactions should be acceptable to everyone (vendors and purchasers). I disagree. From my point of view the current method is already good enough in the areas you list, yet I dislike the current method for other reasons: - Once a month I have to physically write out cheques for routine bills like telephone, apartment rent, newspaper, credit card account, medical insurance. Also each time I buy groceries with a cheque I have to write out a cheque then wait at the approval window to have it verified. (I presume you propose automating the verification process; but the chequewriting would remain.) - I'd rather have my personal computer handle this kind of stuff automatically. Each time a bill comes in my computer would insert it in my queue of things to cheque off. I'd look at the queue several times a day, because it'd include incoming electronic mail, appointments and dates, television and radio programs, regular clubmeetings and dances, even bus schedules and computed optimal routes for bus-transfer including time I have to start getting dressed to meet the bus; all the sorts of things I have to remember at the right time but my human memory just doesn't work that way very well at all. When a bill-payable appears, it'd be shown with not only the company-name and purpose of the bill but also a note as to the previous payment to that same account, and it'd automatically cheque to make sure the bill was reasonable (if not, a bright flag to warn me to look more carefully). I'd press one key to clear that item, causing the cheque to be written automatically. That would cover all the regular billings. For grocery store I'd just charge it and pay the bill at the end of the month automatically. -- But equipment to interface to the physical-cheque industry is too expensive for a single person to own, and I've never heard of a service bureau willing to perform this task. -- Meanwhile it takes several minutes of my attention to write each cheque (I have to get out the stuff, including envelop and stamp, sit down and start writing out stuff, then put all the stuff back when done, then make a trip to the mailbox to post it.) The only alternative currently is very very expensive, hiring another human to do it, an executive secretary, a few thousand dollars month I estimate. - I'd rather have EFT that I can invoke from my personal-computer using public-key cryptosystems. - Once a month I have to balance my chequebook, to make sure some employee at the bank didn't goof. I'd rather the bank sent me the info in machine readable form so I could balance it electronically. Until EFT is up and running, what's the chance of automating the bank-statement/consumer interface? That's all for now. Unburden me of those and I'll be able to perceive more subtle deficiencies with the cheque & credit-card method. ------------------------------ Date: 3 April 1983 02:46 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Realism of EFT Proposals Ah, a voice in the wilderness who also wants to change things for the better rather than throw up hands in despair to "political realities" that seemingly prevent anything from getting better. Indeed perhaps a demonstration that a workable EFT system can be done would increase its chance of being accepted. (Maybe Arpanet could set up a prototype system that handles "funny money"? Just an idea. Maybe PCNET or somesuch will set up a real prototype someday...) As for collecting taxes automatically as part of the EFT system. I don't like the idea of taxing money every time it changes hands, but I think a value-added tax would be acceptable to me and workable. The EFT system could keep total track of income and expenses in any venture, and compute the correct value added, a fixed percentage of which would be the tax, computed and paid automatically. As for how to make this work, here's my proposal. Each financial transaction would have to go through a gateway, a part of the program that is public. The data passing thru the gateway wouldn't be public, but the source program would. Thus the tax authorities could inspect the source program to verify it complies with taxation laws. The rest of the program would be private, so nobody would know your heuristics for approving and denying payment (like you might want bills to your masseuse to be paid automatically and listed in all hardcopy output reports as "entertainment" or "health care" without specifics). ------------------------------ Date: 3 April 1983 02:58 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EFTS, Privacy, etc. Your figures don't support your claims. You claim EFT will not be done because it's too expensive. You show figures that indicate cheques and credit cards are much more expensive than cash. The reason is that a lot of paperwork has to be done with cheques and a lot of risk has to be absorbed with both methods. With EFT neither of these would apply. I think the cost of EFT when fully available will be comparable to cash, and more convenient in most cases. Simple example, when an EFT transponder costs $5.00, every public transit bus will have one, and instead of standing at the front of the bus looking for loose change while the bus driver holds the bus and other passengers stand in line to board, you simply identify your account by card or whatever. Since this one card handles all your transactions, you don't have to look for it, it's right there where it always is in your pocket or wallet or purse etc. in the canonical place where it's easy to find instantly. Alternately if you don't want your identity to be known, you can use an anonymous prepaid account, similar to a rapid-transit (BART etc.) card. ------------------------------ Date: 4 April 1983 07:50 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: EFTS, Privacy, etc. It's silly to cite the cost of a secretary putting a bank card in an envelop and mailing it, just to replace a worn card, when the ATM could dispense replacement cards at a cost of comparatively zero. In fact the ATM could automatically warn you when it's starting to wear, and if you ask for replacement charge you a nickel or whatever it costs when fully automated (blank cards in machine, magstripe recorded on the spot). I betcha the wear and tear on the printer that makes the receipts is more expensive than the wear and tear on a magnetic cardstripe initializer. This is an example of where if you do it wrong it costs a bundle, but if you are bright enough to think of an alternative, it's cheap. Of course for new cards to first time customers, as well in case of stolen/lost cards, you have to send them thru the mail. But that's not necessary for simple wear&tear replacements where the old card is still available and readable on retries. ------------------------------ Date: 4 Apr 1983 12:24:26-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: fingerprint recognition The last time I read anything about this, fingerprints were increasingly a problem anyway, since there are only so many possible points of difference; the estimate was that (for identification purposes) there are something like 14 other people with your prints (or perhaps that was 14 other people whose Xth print matches your Xth print, which would make the problem still solvable, but with difficulty). Note that this is somewhat better than the 15-bit word that _Bob proposed; this would give 2**13 people in this country alone who match each of your fingers (current population is pushing 2**28), but a point of correspondence usually amounts to more than one bit of information. ------------------------------ Date: 5 April 1983 02:51 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: EFTS, Privacy, etc. Right. When the magnetic stripe on the cards instead of the embossed name is the primary means of use, having a supply of blanks in each ATM won't be any problem. The embossing will be only to allow you to sort out your card if you drop it or your spouse's and your card are in the same purse, to be sure the storeowner didn't hand you the wrong card back, etc. It'll be the secret ID numbers on the card that are the true identification, which the supply of blank cards won't impact. Even knowing the system for recording on the card, and making a false account, won't work, since every transaction will call the main computer to verify the account and its status. In fact it should be possible for a person to create a duplicate card just by visiting an ATM instead of having to phone or write the company and have a human send it in the mail. That should actually be more secure, since (1) it won't get lost in the mail or stolen (standard trick, call up bank pretending to be somebody else, ask for a dupl card, then watch that person's mailbox for the card to arrive; the theft isn't reported because the victim didn't even know there was a duplicate card arriving), and (2) next month's bill shows the purchase of the duplicate card (5 cents surcharge or whatever), also (3) each card has a different duplicate-index, so if you pass out cards to your spouse and children an one of them misuses it you can identify which clone was the problem and punish the misuser or split the accounts so you'll no longer be responsible for debts by so and so. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #22 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-09 22:19:28 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 9 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 22 Today's Topics: Technology - EFT (3 msgs), Computers and the Law - Texas Computer Crime Law (6 msgs) & Electronic Anklets (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 5 April 1983 02:56 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: EFTS, Privacy, etc. Re wear and tear on printers, yup, that's a cost. Perhaps someday we'll have semiconductor lasers that last for tens of years without wearing out, and the cost of receipts will go down. Actually physical receipts are a nuisance, because they occupy space and can't be copied easily. Better to have a trapdoor-encoded message you can save in your electronic checkbook and copy to your personal database when you get home (more likely, the copy to your home is sent automatically, and a reply is encrypted with your private home key, and then your electronic checkbook verifies the signature of your home, so before leaving the store you are sure your home has a copy of the receipt, which is the only receipt you really need). ------------------------------ Date: 1 Apr 83 15:18:52 PST (Friday) From: Poskanzer.PA@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: ATMs and records Date: 29 Mar 1983 1715-PST From: Lynn Gold No matter whether or not they keep old records around, aren't there statutes of limitation which take effect after a certain period of time after a crime is committed (seven years or so)? If this is the case, it wouldn't matter if someone had a college-days fling that was discovered fifteen years after they finished college, since it would be too late to prosecute. --Lynn 1) I believe the statutes of limitation only apply to criminal offenses, not civil. 2) They certainly don't apply to "moral" offenses, which our society delights in persecuting (not prosecuting) for. Remember how Thomas Eagleton was forced to give up his vice-presidential slot on the democratic ticket in 1976 when it came out that he had been treated at a mental hospital? Just imagine, if McGovern had been elected and then left office for some reason, we would have had the first president in history to be certified ->sane<- by the A.M.A.! Obviously unacceptable... Jef ------------------------------ Date: 4 Apr 1983 1710-PST From: Lynn Gold Subject: ATMs, confidentiality, and defamation I've received many messages mentioning Kennedy and Chappaquiddick (which STILL didn't keep him out of the Senate), and ESPECIALLY Tom Eagleton and seeking psychiatric help. In the latter case, it seems to me that people need to be re-educated as to their values (Eagleton is probably a lot saner than anyone who gave him trouble). The fact is, though, that most of us have some kind of dirt in our past which would get dug up by our opponent if we ever ran for President or many other public offices. One guy in Florida got defeated by someone who accused him of being a "philatelist" and "a practicing homo-sapiens." I'm convinced it's the IMAGE a candidate plays up that can make or break an election. Reagan was caught telling derogatory jokes about blacks, yet he got away with it by coming off as "Mr. Average Guy"; `most of us are white, and most of us tell black jokes, right?' --Lynn ------------------------------ Date: 5 April 1983 23:35 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Do we need new laws to deal with computers? Good analysis. Hmmm, if copying computer data by remote control (over dialup port for example) is similar to reading papers thru a window with a telescope, then should both be considered the same legally? Perhaps the analogy should be emphasized, instead of writing up "computer crime" as some mysterious new kind of crime? Like a law forbidding eavesdropping on private files of any kind owned by another person without permission of that person. Data is regarded a priori as your property if you create it from scratch (not plagarizing anyone else's data) in any form and put it in what you think is a relatively safe place (in your home or computer, not posted on a public bulletin board; left behind in a purse or brief case at a bus stop is a borderline case, you were careless and perhaps innocent browsing is ok but using the info for profit isn't?). If you index somebody else's data, the index belongs to you providing you had legitimate access to the original data, and although you can provide the index for hire without paying royalaties to the original dataowner, you can't release the original data to your customers without permission/royalities. For example, if you make an index to ads you see on a free bulletin board at a coin laundry, you can sell access to that index, and since the original ads were free you can resell the info at a profit providing you tell customers where they could go get it for free if then wanted to save your surcharge, in which case they'd pay only for your indexing and locating service. (Note I've said nothing about computers. You can compile the index by hand and sell "Leichter's index to local wantads" in bookstores if you want.) Anyway, there's part of how I'd like this all rewritten. Xanadu seems to be heading in that direction, although it's not clear their method will agree with law unless *all* their info consists of original contributions by customers who have signed an agreement to submit to this new charging method. ------------------------------ Date: 5 April 1983 23:46 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Latest Status of Texas Computer Crime Bill I think if somebody hands out keys to your front door, and one of the customers enters your house without your permission, thus doing criminal trespass, the person who handed out the keys can be considered an accessory before the fact and subject to any crime actually perpetrated except one that goes so far beyond what the key-hander expected that he couldn't reasonably be considered an accomplice. Thus the key-hander could be guilty of accessory to trespassing, burglary, grand-theft, assault&battery, vandalism, etc. but probably not to rape, murder, extortion, espionage, treason, etc. unless the key-hander had some reason to believe you were vulnerable to such a crime (attractive woman, very rich, government worker, etc.) or to believe one of the key-takers was particularly likely to commit such a grievous crime. At least that's how I'd see it (I'm not a lawyer; can a lawyer on this list comment on my analysis?) ------------------------------ Date: 6 April 1983 00:01 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Latest Status of Texas Computer Crime Bill Gee, an audio tape recorder or dictaphone stores data in an intangible form, for example if you record a list of things to do so you can play it back later to remind you or so you can transcribe it into another form. Thus a simple tape recorder is a "computer" by that definition. Ok, you say I'm nitpicking, the stuff on a tape recorder is analog signals, which aren't considered data. Well, a video tape recorder can store the full TV signal including the teletext and network-time signals, which are true data. Thus a simple manually-controlled video tape recorder, with no processing capability, only storage capability, is a "computer" under the absurd Texas definition. When they define computer software as an ordered set of instructions, do they mean a sequence (linear ordering), or do they permit something more complicated like a tree structure or linked list or a database of autoloadable functions such as used by LISP/MACSYMA/MAINSAIL? The part about intent to do harm is redundant. "If ... with intent to harm ... and ... he (1) ... with intent to do harm ...". ------------------------------ Date: 6 Apr 83 10:40 EST (Wednesday) From: Marshall.WBST@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #20 New York has a law prohibiting "theft of services" which is used for telephone fraud and could be used for computer cycle stealing etc. Rather than define special situations that are illegal one should define classes of activities that are undesirable. I feel that this kind of law is the right way to go about it. The injured party should only be allowed to collect damages. Defining special situations that are illegal makes the law unmanageable. --Sidney Marshall ------------------------------ Date: 6 Apr 1983 1357-MST From: Walt Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #20 If the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse law defines a 'computer' as a "device that performs logical ... functions by electronic manipulation" then it doesn't cover computers constructed with transphasor (Fabry-Perot interferometer) logic components, since they aren't electronic. ------------------------------ Date: 6 Apr 1983 13:32-PST From: Greg Davidson Subject: Re: Do we need new laws to deal with computers? I see from Jerry's article that special laws are required to REDUCE people's existing property rights (such as an existing right to build as high a structure as one might want), or to create DEFAULT property rights (such as the rights enjoyed by French artists over their creations sold normally). Special laws are also required to limit people's ability to create legal contracts. But note that in the absence of such special laws, nothing keeps someone from requiring a contract with a buyer that leaves them with some rights over the sold item. Except where laws have specifically disallowed certain kinds of contracts, a seller can sell anything he can define, and define selling as anything he likes. The selling of mailing lists is an interesting example. When one ``buys'' a mailing list, one typically does not get to read its contents, one merely gets to have a (presumably trustworthy) third party mail one's brochures to the people on the list. Owning a computer is nothing special, as its just a physical object. Creating ownership over such abstractions as the information in it, copies of information in it, etc., is up to the owner of the computer to specify, if desired, in the contracts required of people allowed to use the computer. If a customer of a computer system has copied information off of that system in violation of a contract, then it doesn't matter if that information is public domain or not. I would ask the following: Given that owners of computers can create any abstractions they like (for example the idea of a file copied from one source differing from an identical copy from another source), what useful abstractions ought they to be considering, for use in writing up contracts governing computer usage? Should any of these abstractions be given legal meaning outside of contracts which define them explicitly? Also, what special laws ought to obtain by default in legal situations (buying, selling, murdering, etc.) involving computers? Which should be unchangeable by contract? How should our ordinary property rights over physical object we own be reduced when those physical objects are computers? I still am inclined to believe that there need be no special laws made about computers. However, computers, although they cannot do anything fundamentally new, are a valuable test for existing laws. If having a computer allows me to think of a new way to commit a crime, I can probably then think of a way (perhaps very awkwardly) to use that method without using the computer. It should still be illegal. As an example, think of the various questionable practices big businesses have used with consumers (such as snowing them with required paperwork when making a complaint) that were available to them because of their large secretarial or legal staffs. Now that anyone with a good computer system can do the same thing, these practices may become illegal through new or modified laws. It is important that what makes these things illegal not depend on their being done with a computer. Nevertheless, whether useful or not, computer laws are going to be written. Ideally any such laws will have a sunset clause (default expiration date). In fact, I think it would be a good idea to recommend that all computer laws have a sunset clause requiring them to be renewed after, say, the first and fifth years and every ten years thereafter. This should help protect against mistaken laws, obsoleted laws, and simply unnecessary laws. -Greg ------------------------------ Date: 6 Apr 1983 1018-EST From: Clifford Neuman Subject: Re: a jail cell on your foot Date: 3 April 1983 18:21 EST From: Robert Elton Maas ...Also, the jury should be able to vote at the start of deliberation whether the case is leaning toward guilt or not, and thus whether the accused should be confined or not while awaiting the final verdict. It has always been the Judge, not the Jury that set and revoked bail. As such I do not think that the jury should have to decide at the beginning of a deliberation whether to confine the person during its deliberation or not. This could actually affect the decision that they finally reach, if they have to make some kind of decision before considering all the facts. Also, what is done while the jury is deliberating whether or not to confine the defendant while they decide the actual issue of guilt or innocence. If the judge were the person to decide whether the defendant should be confined, or allowed to wear the anklet, the anklet becomes an alternate form of bail which is more equitable than todays methods since the amount of money the defendant has is irrelevant. Cliff ------------------------------ Date: 6 Apr 1983 1415-PST From: Lynn Gold Subject: Anklets for the accused It's unconstitutional for someone who is ACCUSED of a crime and is on trial to wear an anklet; this assumes they are guilty. The same goes for asking a jury where their partialities lie. Why? Because in our system of justice, you are (supposed to be) "innocent until proven guilty." I agree that people who are deemed not to be a menace to society (i.e., small-time white-collar criminals, people who don't pay off their speeding tickets for doing 66 miles in a 55-mph zone, perhaps petty thieves as well) ought to be given such an option, along with others, such as weekend work camps (they do that out here for such criminals, esp. people who are arrested for drunk driving). It costs us less to pay for an ankle bracelet than to keeps someone in jail fed, clothed, and housed. Here's one ergonomic question, though: the ankle bracelets were obviously designed for MALE criminals; they can be worn inconspicuously under pants where nobody will see them. What about FEMALE offenders? Try putting on a pair of panty-hose with something on your ankle sometime! If you're female, you find it doesn't work very well. Seriously, where could you inconspicuously and DISCREETLY put such an item on a woman? --Lynn ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA (Pleasant@Rutgers.ARPA) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #23 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-04-11 00:37:26 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 11 Apr 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 23 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Facilities for Software Developers, Technology - Automatic Mail Sorters & EFT (7 msgs), Computers and the Law - Electronicx Anklets (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 29 March 1983 14:34 cst From: Heiby at HI-MULTICS (Ronald W.) Subject: Facilities for SW Developers I am currently in a fight for what I consider to be a decent working environment for software developers. This is being prompted by my management moving me from an area where I share my cubicle with one person to an area where I will be sharing (a larger cubicle) with two or three other people. We are all degreed software engineers with (mostly) 2-6 years of experience. I'd like very much to know in what kind of environment software development gets accomplished in your facility. Specifically, how many people per cubicle (or office), what size cubicle, how many people share a terminal or desktop computer workstation. Other concerns include noise suppression techniques, lighting, plants (green, growing), ventilation, etc. In addition to this information, anything on productivity differences based on type of environment would be great ammunition for me. Please reply directly to me (Heiby @ HI-Multics) and I'll summarize to the net. Thanks much. Ron H. ------------------------------ Date: 8 April 1983 02:32 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: [FJW: [Tim.UPenn: automatic mail sorters]] This should be of interest to this mailing list: -- Steve Date: 29 Jan 1983 21:57-EST From: Tim Finin To: msg-group, header-people Re: automatic mail sorters I'm working on a project involving user-constructed mail "filters". What we would like to build is a rule-driven expert system which will ORDER one's electronic mail on the basis of the message attributes. We don't want to actually filter out unimportant messages, just rank the current (or incoming) ones. The kinds of attributes we are imagining using are things like: - has the message been read?, header seen?, answered? - age of message - sender's identity (e.g. RPG@SAIL), address (BBNA), local vs. network - keywords in subject field and message body - apparent "type" of message body (e.g. pascal code, lisp code, - manner we became a recipient (e.g. only addressee, one of several addressees, as a member of a mailing list, a carbon copy, forwarded...) - size of message - etc. We expect to rank messages with along several dimensions, such as INTEREST, URGENT and IMPORTANCE, and then have rules which combine these rankings to produce an overall ordering of the messages. A crucial aspect to this project would be to provide an environment in which it would be easy for the USER to examine, understand, specify and modify the rules which drive the system. We are aiming for a class of users which includes those technically oriented but having no programming knowledge of experience. We might, for example, allow rules like: if the sender is TIM.UPENN@UDEL ; this fellow sends very then INTEREST is VERY LIKELY to be HIGH ; interesting messages. if the RECIPIENT is a MAILING LIST ; if the mail is not personal then URGENCY is LIKELY to be LOW ; then it's prob. not urgent. if the source is LOCAL ; local (non network) mail has then the IMPORTANCE MAY be HIGH ; many important messages. if the SIZE is > 200 LINES or the TYPE is PASCAL ; very big messages and then the URGENCY MAY be LOW ; programs aren't urgent. if the URGENCY is > MEDIUM and the IMPORTANCE is NOT LOW ; rank from other then the RANK is VERY HIGH ; measures I know that there has bee a fair amount of work in the area of automatic mail filters, routers and the like. I'm interested in getting pointers to people, projects and relevant publications. I'd also like to talk to people who have to deal with a large number of incoming messages (e.g. > 20). I would like to know how they manage the task of reading their mail (old and new) already and what features they would like to see in an mail-sorting expert system. I would greatly appreciate any information, advice or ideas you could give me. Thanks, Tim Finin ------------------------------ Date: 8 April 1983 19:15 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: EFT and such No, I don't think acts of vandalism are right (cheese in ATM card slot). Better to carry around a number of stick-on OUT OF ORDER labels, and whenever you find a malfunctioning machine you stick on one of these stickers and write a short explanation on it of how it is broken (vending machine doesn't return change, vending machine door is stuck, ATM is out of cash on too many occasions, ATM light is out so you can't see the labels on the buttons you're supposed to press, etc.). If those stickers are hard to remove, the bank or vending-machine company will get the message that customers are dissatisfied but still want the service offered if only it could be improved. ------------------------------ Date: 8 Apr 83 14:59:16 EST (Fri) From: Fred Blonder Subject: Re: EFT, etc. From: Lauren Weinstein . . . I also suspect that, by convention and eventual edict, cash will become less and less acceptable as time goes by. I've already run across a clerk in a major department store who honestly didn't know how to handle a CASH sale. She had to call in the manager to handle the transaction. ------------------------------ Date: 8 April 1983 23:30 EST From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: magnetic bank cards Robert, Doesn't this bring us full circle? If all your credit ("money") is recorded on a bank card, the card can still be stolen and many of the anticrime advantages you mentioned are out the window. On the other hand, EFT is far more convenient than paper (your remarks are right on the money there), so this is not a real complaint. Let me propose my own engineering solution to the EFT/privacy problem: PERSONAL SCRIP. Digital signatures can be used to create unforgeable messages which say something like "SASW owes the bearer $xxx.xx". Each person could carry a "smart card" which sends and receives this kind of message (with appropriate card-to-card protocol). You can bring your card to the bank, which will then debit the accounts of people who have given you their IOUs, crediting your account or giving you a bank IOU. There is already a legal doctrine to handle this: negotiable promissory notes. Taking one of these is no more risky than taking a personal check or credit card. Notes of the form "xxx BANK owes the bearer ..." or even "xxx FEDERAL RESERVE BANK owes the bearer" (look at old dollar bills) are the equivalent of cash. If you don't want a check you can take (electronic) cash. Notes can even be post-dated for credit. Your card can still be stolen, since it is now an "electronic wallet." It is also an electronic checkbook. When paying bills you may elect to record an audit trail or not, as you choose. But note that you could literally wire money to people. That allows you to pay your bills by phone, in "cash" if necessary. In addition to the convenience of EFT, you might be able to invent creative new forms of money (such as checks which must be cosigned) for your convenience and protection. I know how to make messages unforgeable using digital signatures (if Rivest-Shimon-Adelman really works) but I'm not sure about making them induplicable. Any comments? -- Steve ------------------------------ Date: 9 Apr 83 0:42:54-EST (Sat) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford Subject: Re: EFT and such When people resort to acts like putting cheese in ATMs it is generally not for such simple reasons as lights being out or temporarily out of cash. Generally, it is an act against the philosophy of the machine or actions of the bank. One of the local banks, First Atlanta, has a policy at the local branch of not giving customers their account balance unless they stand in line and see one of the two overworked people ata a desk. That is, the tellers refuse to check the balance. Instead, they send people to the ATM machines to get their balance. However, such a transaction costs 25 cents and the link to the main computer is often down resulting in a charge but no balance. Enough run-ins like this and you begin to get rather upset with the bank. Some types like to over-react. Me, I just switch banks where they treat me a little nicer. Just because I'm a student doesn't mean I don't rate some respect. However, I had a friend who decided to try something like the cheese because of a continuing problem with "bounced" checks -- the bank doesn't credit deposits made at ATMs in the same way as at the bank. Grrrr... ------------------------------ Date: 9 Apr 1983 16:54 EST (Sat) From: Paul Fuqua Subject: More EFT Questions I have read somewhere of the existence of "debit" cards, which, as opposed to "credit" cards, do not extend loans to be billed, but rather deduct money from a {checking, saving, special} account. Sounds awfully EFTish to me. Anyway, since I'm not up on these things (the only cards I have are teller cards to the credit union back home and a bank here), I would like to know (1) are these debit cards in use? (2) are they common? (3) is their per-transaction cost the same as that of credit cards? (4) is their use growing? Regarding receipts: the reason one has to pick up the silly things after each ATM transaction is that the lawmakers/banks/customers are overly concerned with the reliability of the transaction-recording mechanisms in the ATMs. Paper is still considered more permanent than electronic storage, so if one has paper, it is remembered forever. By the way, my credit union doesn't send me canceled checks, because the checkbook includes a carbonless copy with each check. Less paperwork, in a way, but they still microfilm all the checks, just in case. The bank here, however, does send them. Any knowledge of the trends there? pf ------------------------------ Date: Sat Apr 9 19:37:43 1983 From: decvax!watmath!bstempleton@Berkeley Subject: EFT and privacy You fear people who want to hide what they're doing more than those who don't? That may be true for criminals, but there are real reasons for privacy. Some people just plain like it, for one thing. The main thing to consider, though, is that while you may not feel that what you are doing (be it purchasing mouthwash or contributing to a political party) there may be others who do think it is and might act against you if they had a list of your transactions. Can you imagine if the Moral Majority could get a list of what you bought and decided to move against you because you bought a Pay-TV channel that included some program they didn't like??? Brad ------------------------------ Date: 9 Apr 83 20:17:47-EST (Sat) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford Subject: ATM issuing new cards When I want to order a new card from First Nasty of Atlanta (excuse me, First National), they require me to show some positive form of ID and enter my old secret code on the request form. The new card is generally mailed within a week. The waiting time serves a purpose, I'm sure, and the requirement of ID and the code seems pretty secure. I don't see how the ATM could issue a blank card with just the magnetic strip encoded. I mean, that might work part of the time, but the only times I needed a card replaced were times I lost my card (and thus could not activate the machine to request a card), or else my card was so badly damaged it either would not go in the machine, or could not be read. Again, the machine could not be activated to issue me a new card. Also, the embossing is useful for me -- it contains my account number, which I can never remember (I have so many other things to remember). It also can be used in check verifying machines to identify me. The embossing can serve other purposes too, I suppose. ------------------------------ Date: 9 Apr 83 20:02:55-EST (Sat) From: the soapbox of Gene Spafford Subject: Anklets on Women Actually, I think the idea should be to make the anklets as conspicuous as possible, even under pants, boots, floor length gowns, flannel nighties... The purpose of the anklet is as an alternative to a jail sentence. I may be wrong, and some of the things currently done in our judicial system make me wonder, but I thought conviction of a crime entailed some form of punishment which included some form of public recognition of the conviction. I don't think we should use something like this on anyone but a convicted felon, but if we do it should be a collar or other prominent badge of wrongdoing. Punishment is also supposed to be a deterrent to potential criminals. Would you be so likely to ignore your traffic tickets if you knew you might end up wearing a 5 pound ugly green collar around your neck for a month? Same idea as the "Boston boot" for you car.... ------------------------------ Date: 10 Apr 1983 1128-EST From: Siggy (Alexander B. Latzko) Subject: Anklets on women In response to Ms. Gold's letter referring to putting pantyhose on over an anklet three solutions come to mind: 1> Wear slacks. Perhaps things are different in different parts of the country; however, standard day wear for most persons of the female gender in this area includes trousers of one form or another. 2> Individual stockings which could then be slid between the anklet and leg are a possibility (yes I realize that negates the ease in wearing panty hose). 3> Move the transponder. It could be worn as a wristlet or as a necklace although the idea of it in neck borne form strikes me as a harkening back to times of slaveholding in connotation. /S* ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #32 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-07-09 13:15:38 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 9 Jul 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 32 Today's Topics: Queries - Request for Famous Bugs & Keyboards (2 messages), Programming - Debuggers, Computers and People - Jobs in the future, News Articles - DOD To Join Co-Op For Semicon Research & AP article on Computer Security, Announcements - 1984 National Computer Conference: Call for Papers & Bulletin Board For Micro Users Set Up By NBS ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: John Shore Date: Mon, 6 Jun 83 11:17:14 EDT Subject: Request for Famous Bugs In discussions of software and software engineering, it sometimes helps to cite famous bugs. To this end, I am collecting a list. I have in mind bugs that caused major problems as well as bugs that could have but were prevented by suitable human intervention. Some examples of bugs I've heard about but for which I don't have documentation: (a) bug forced a Mercury astronaut to fly a manual re-entry; (b) bugs were problems in the first two Apollo moon landings; (c) bug caused NORAD to alert U.S. forces about incoming Soviet missiles (the moon); (d) process synchronization bugs delayed the first space shuttle launch. Can you help? I would appreciate receiving brief descriptions of famous or should-have-been famous bugs of all types (space program, banking, nuclear power, census, etc.). If possible, please include references that will help me to filter out the apocryphal bugs. Please pass this message on to others who might be interested. I will send a copy of the resulting bug-list to all who contribute. Thanks in advance. John Shore Code 7591 Naval Research Laboratory Washington, D.C. 20375 (202)767-3056 shore@nrl-css ------------------------------ Date: 3 Jun 1983 1200-PDT From: Lynn Gold Subject: Keyboards Is there an ANSI standard on this? If so, could someone please direct me to it? My husband and I have been debating over where a few keys are supposed to be placed. --Lynn ------------------------------ Date: 4 Jun 1983 0:51-PDT From: Greg Davidson Subject: Keyboards are a very personal thing Spare me from having to use anyone else's ideal keyboard. I'd much rather use their toothbrush! In fact, having to use two different keyboards that I both like is terrible. I think that the best thing that could happen to keyboards is for ANSI to define a standard ASCII keyboard interface, so that people can own their own keyboards & plug them in anywhere. Once I can count on not having to go back, I'll eagerly try chord keyboards, DSK keyboards, etc., until I find the one I like best. -Greg ------------------------------ Date: 14 Jun 1983 03:20:13-PST From: whm.arizona@Rand-Relay Subject: Debuggers I have developed a recent interest in debuggers for high-level languages. I'm looking for references on source-level debuggers of various sorts. The primary interest is in novel ideas in debuggers, for instance, screen-oriented debuggers, and debuggers written in the language they serve as debuggers for. Also of interest are debuggers for unconventional languages. A secondary issue is that of interactive program development environments such as those associated with Lisp, APL, and Mainsail. I'm familiar with the various debuggers under UNIX (4.1bsd), I've used some Lisp debuggers, and I've had excruciating amounts of experience with "symbolic debuggers" of various types. I've heard about a recent (last year) conference on High-Level Debugging and understand that the proceedings are due out in a couple of months or so. That's about all that I know of in the line of debuggers. As for interactive development environments, I know of the ones mentioned; are there others? So, if you know of articles, books, etc., concerning debuggers or interactive development environments, I'd like pointers to them. If you have something in mind, please try to reply by about July 7 and I'll report my findings about a week or so after that. Thanks, Bill Mitchell whm.arizona@rand-relay {kpno,ihnp4,mcnc,utah-cs}!arizona!whm ------------------------------ From: "CACHE::TS1::BURROWS Jim Burrows c/o" Date: 7-JUN-1983 00:38 Subject: Jobs in the future I doubt things will go much like the experts in the articles Lauren submitted expect. The guy who said: "If anybody told us in 1933 that only 3 percent of the labor force would be in agriculture today, we would have foreseen all sorts of cataclysmic problems in terms of what would those poor farmers do with their skills in the big cities," is probably the most realistic of the bunch. I'm especially skeptical of the union spokesman who claimed that strong government backed union action is needed to avert the coming disaster. Somehow I just can't shake the notion that he has a vested interest in that course of action. I think the real trend was pointed to by the ex-steel-worker who's studying to be a computer technician, who said: "There's a trade-off. My income won't be as high, but the computer industry won't collapse overnight like the steel or auto industries. The future is what I'm shooting for." and the quote that Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist with the Urban Institute, predicts workers will "increasingly trade off higher wages for various kinds of non-wage benefits," such as better working conditions, job training and mobility, more flexible hours and locations and day care facilities. These demands, she says, will be caused in part by an increase in the number of two-earner and single-parent households, "where conflicts between work and family responsibilities loom large." What I see in my crystal ball is more lower paying jobs, many of them created by the high tech industries. There was an ABC (?) news report a couple of weeks ago about the "false promise" of high tech. Their main point was that high tech industry produces low tech jobs. They showed how many low paying assembly jobs were created in Austin, Texas by the computer and electronics moving there. What they failed to notice was that virtually all of the workers and city government people interviewed were really happy that there were any new jobs at all. They emphasised how much less the workers were making in their new high-tech/low-tech jobs, missing the fact that they were really thrilled to be working at all. What I think is happening is the American worker is finding that he has to compete with workers in other countries, and that in order to compete he's going to have to settle for a wage more like theirs. This cheaper labor, and automation could put us more in competition with other high tech countries (where the wages are coming up towards ours). I expect the lowering of individual incomes will cause the trend towards multi-income families to continue. I also suspect it will head off the shortening work week. (You ain't gonna be happier about working few hours for fewer dollars per hour. Finally, just to be heretical, I am also skeptical about some of the claims made for the degree to which computers will dominate our lives. Specifically I am not expecting either the predictions that Office personnel eventually will simply dictate into a machine that will type the letter itself. or that the need for sales clerks will decline as consumers start using home computers to make purchases. I, for one, don't trust machines enough to let them shop or take dictation for me. ------------------------------ Date: 20-Jun-83 15:38 PDT From: WBD.TYM@OFFICE-2 Subject: DOD To Join Co-Op For Semicon Research i just read that the DOD will be joining the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) within the next 2 weeks. Does this mean that research done by the institute will have to be cleared by DOD before it can be published? --William Daul ------------------------------ Date: 6 July 1983 00:06 edt From: TMPLee.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: AP article on Computer Security Sometime between June 24th and July 5th the Associated Press put out a story on their wires about a recent article written by a couple of Naval lieutenants dealing with computer security. The article, which appeared an an obscure publication called the Naval Institute Proceedings is entitled "The Eagle's Own Plume" and deals with a hypothetical set of scenarios reflecting the results of subversion (trap doors and trojan horses) of Naval combat computer systems. Has anyone here seen either the article or the AP story, and, if so, could they please comment. (comments directly to me; I'll summarize/redistribute to HNets and to my Security-Forum if that seems appropriate). It would be even more interesting if one of the sites that seems to be plugged into the AP wires managed to capture the story. Ted Lee ------------------------------ Date: Fri 17 Jun 83 05:09:09-PDT From: Jim Miller Subject: 1984 National Computer Conference: Call for Papers The call for papers for the 1984 National Computer Conference has been released; a copy of it is enclosed below. As the program chair for the artificial intelligence / human-computer interaction track, I hope that you will give serious thought to preparing papers and sessions for NCC. This meeting offers us a real voice in the conference's program, as six program sessions will be devoted to these topics, far more than in the past. Proposals on any aspect of AI or human-computer interaction are welcome; I would only note that most of the people attending the conference will have little familiarity with these topics. Consequently, extremely technical papers or sessions are probably not appropriate for this meeting. I am particularly interested in sessions that would summarize important subareas of AI or HCI at an introductory or tutorial level, perhaps especially those that that are beginning to have an impact on the computer industry and society at large. Please contact me if you have any questions about the conference; my address, net address, and phone are below. Jim Miller ------------------------------------------------------------------ A CALL FOR PAPERS, SESSIONS, AND SUGGESTIONS 1984 NATIONAL COMPUTER CONFERENCE July 9-12, 1984 Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada E N H A N C I N G C R E A T I V I T Y You are invited to attend and to participate in the 1984 NCC program. The 1984 theme, "Enhancing Creativity," reflects the increasing personalization of computer systems, and the attendant focus on individual productivity and innovation. In concert with the expanded degrees of connectivity resulting from advances in data communications, this trend is leading to dramatic changes in the office, the factory, and the home. The 1983 program will feature informative sessions on contemporary issues that are critically important to the industry. Sessions and papers will be selected on the basis of quality, topicality, and suitability for the NCC audience. All subjects related to computing technology and applications are suitable. YOU CAN PARTICIPATE BY: - Writing a paper * Send for "Instructions to Authors" TODAY. * Submit papers by October 31, 1983. - Organizing and leading a session * Send preliminary proposal (title, abstract, target audience) by July 15, 1983. * After preliminary approval, send final session proposal by August 30, 1983. - Serving as a reviewer for submitted papers and sessions Authors and session leaders will receive final notification of acceptance by January 31, 1984. Send all submissions, proposals, correspondence and inquiries about papers and sessions on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE or HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION to: James R. Miller Computer * Thought Corporation 1721 West Plano Parkway Plano, Texas 75075 214-424-3511 JMILLER@SUMEX-AIM Send all other proposals or inquiries to: Dennis J. Frailey, Program Chairman Texas Instruments Incorporated 8642-A Spicewood Springs Road Suite 1984 P.O. Box 10988 Austin, Texas 78766-1988 512-250-6663 ------------------------------ Date: 17-Jun-83 16:42 PDT From: WBD.TYM@OFFICE-2 Subject: Bulletin Board For Micro Users Set Up By NBS WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An electronic bulletin board that will inform microcomputer users about upcoming conferences, seminars and workshops, as well as update them on the latest telecomputing services, publications and users groups, has been established by the Commerce Department's National Bureau of Standards (NBS). Dubbed the Microcomputer Electronic Information Exchange (MEIE), the service will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both federal and nonfederal users with Asci terminals that communicate at 300 bit/sec with eight data bits, no parity and one stop bit can reach the exchange by calling (301) 948-5718. Further information on MEIE can be obtained fom the NBS. From June 13th issue of COMPUTERWORLD ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #33 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-07-13 05:28:42 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 12 Jul 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 33 Today's Topics: Administrivia - New Moderator, Queries - Command Syntax(es?) & ICONS, Reply to Query - Keyboards, Computers and the Law - New Mass. definition for stored info & DOD and Ownership, Computers and People - Effect of Automation on Jobs (3 msgs) & Young Computer Users ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 11 Jul 83 21:42:09 EDT From: Charles Subject: Hello! Hello, I am the new moderator of Human-nets. I bid you all welcome to the continuation of human-nets, and hope for many a happy flame from one and all! I will probably make a few mistakes early on with this. For instance, I accidently put out a second -- different -- V6 #32 as my first issue of Human-nets; both issues are valid. Please bear with me... I am sure that I can live up to the fine job that Mel has done. Charles ------------------------------ Date: 15 June 1983 14:46 cdt From: Heiby at HI-MULTICS (Ronald W.) Subject: Command Syntax(es?) I have a question about the philosophy of the user interface. I am implementing a program on two systems which is/has been implemented on several others. The program has basically the same function on each system on which it is implemented. Also, each implementation has similar abilities for having its behaviour modified by command line arguments. The question is, where command line syntax differs on different systems, should the implementations conform to each other or to the system on which they are running re command language syntax and conventions. The main argument for having all of these tools support the same identical command line syntax is that of least confusion. If a user learns how to invoke the tool on one system, the user can invoke it on any other in the same way. The main argument for having the tool match the system is that of least confusion. If a user learns how the command language on a particular system works, the user can use that knowledge to invoke this tool. I tend towards the tool matching the system point of view. I'd appreciate the opinions and comments of the group. Thanks. Ron H. ------------------------------ Date: 22-Jun-83 00:50 PDT From: Vongehren@OFFICE-12 Subject: ICONS: Passing Fad or New Found Wisdom? My current work has brought me to the question as stated in the subject. Rather than elaborate on it in this message, I would like to make contact with others who would be able to contribute to the discussion. I will, however, briefly state a few of the questions which fall out of this: A - Do you think that the current interest in the use of icons on terminals and computer displays is just a passing fad? B - Aren't some of the current 'graphics' just a little too 'cute' e.g. IBM upper-case 'lock'. Is this just a sign of an immature field? Will the marketplace tolerate this long enough for growth and maturity to occur? C - What must happen for this field to mature? D - Standardization of Signs and Symbols has occurred in other fields, e.g. Traffic. Is there any effort to standardize within the computer field? Should this be done? E - Are there any obvious indicators for when it is inappropriate to use an icon in place of a word? F - What would you offer as guiding principles for the use of icons in computer displays? Will these differ for icon use on keyboards? I'll be glad to hear from you if you are willing to do some (or have done some) thinking on these issues. Ed vonGehren, Bell-Northern Research ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 9 Jul 1983 19:04 EDT From: SJOBRG.ANDY%MIT-OZ@MIT-MC Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #32 I don't know about an ansi standard, but there apparently is a european standard...the one that IBM followed when they did (=~ totally brain damaged =-) keyboard for the IBM PC. ------------------------------ Date: 15 Jun 1983 12:42:03-EDT From: csin!cjh@CCA-UNIX Subject: more on "computer crime" A rag called TECH, which recently appeared in my in-box proclaiming its attraction to the New England high-tech community, says that Massachusetts has elected not to define computer crime per se (thus avoiding the morass of technicalities) but is defining electronically-stored information as property --- so if you take some info that isn't yours you can be prosecuted for larceny. This answers the worries a number of HNers have raised; how many problems do y'all expect it to produce? ------------------------------ Date: 6 June 1983 00:23 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: DOD's STARS The current climate is that if you invent something totally on your own, no military funding, no direct military use, if the military decides it's of military use they will clamp it in secrecy so you can't get it patented (for example, mathematical trapdoor functions and encryption methods suitable for general commerce more than for military messages). I would be reluctant to submit any programming technique to the DOD for consideration. If it isn't useful to the military, you've wasted yor time and theirs; If it is, you may find yourself forbidden to discuss the method with anyone else or publish or use it even, even if it's just a powerful way to develop reliable programs that the USSR might use for reliable weapons control. ------------------------------ Date: 6 June 1983 00:56 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Although "eventually" we'll just dictate to a machine that does the typing for us, that's skipping a step. First we'll have machines that do most of the dictation automatically but have a lot of trouble and make a lot of mistakes. The secretary will become a proofreader who will simply scan the computer-generated file looking for obvious errors, and correct them without having to refer to the digitized voice in most cases. Once in a while the computer data will be messed up enough to be ambiguous, and the secretary-proofreader will ask the computer to play back the digitized-voice segment marked as a region of text in the edit buffer (the computer will maintain links between the digitized voice and the edit to facility automatically retrieving any desired segment of text), listen to it, and then make the correction. This could be here in 2 years if some big company (IBM, Xerox) started working on it now; existing semi-AI software should suffice for converting voice into a close-enough-to-guess-at transcript. Some executives may even prefer to send the pidgin-transcription without editing, if they're sending it to somebody who can do the guesswork at his end and not even bother actually correcting the transcript. Where it's ambiguous, the recipient could ask the mail-monger to go fetch the digitized voice segment via WorldNet, again with the links between edit buffer and digitized voice kept by the message system. ------------------------------ Date: 6 June 1983 01:06 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: job outlook It sounds like with the aging population and needs for health care, computer (mycin) assisted health care would allow relative novices at medicine to provide health care, starting with the computer doing just about everything including calling for assistance any time the computer is worried, and gradually getting more experience so the semi-novice nurse can know when to call the expert-nurse, until after a few years of experience the trained-on-the-job nurse is ready to become a fullfledged expert-nurse. Perhaps some formal nursing education could be given during idle moments on the job (probably 50% of nursing work is idle wait-for-something-to-happen, be available in case needed), so that after a few years the nurse not only has lots of practical experience (not to mention a source of income all this time) but also enough education to take a formal certification examination. Full-fledged nurses could then use idle moments to train to be surgeons or nutritionists or doctor- paramedics or any other medical speciality. Even full-fledged doctors could have the computer feed them during idle moments with the latest techniques and dogma, since all routine tasks including general examinations could be handled by the computer-assisted nursing staff so the doctor wouldn't be so overworked as at present. ------------------------------ Date: 7 Jun 83 01:02:57 EDT From: Ron Subject: Re: "requires political intervention..." I hope I don't sound too libertarian here (affected by my office-mate no doubt) but I cannot imagine any good coming from the GOVERNMENT making laws about how factories can and cannot auomate. Wow. Let's regulate automation to kill industry (when it can no longer compete). Marvelous. (ron) PS- What was that message doing on Human-nets? ------------------------------ Date: Sat 2 Jul 83 11:03:39-PDT From: William "Chops" Westfield Subject: Computers and kids BC-COMPUTER-KIDS (Art en route to picture clients) By RICHARD SEVERO c. 1983 N.Y. Times News Service NEW YORK - It was the usual computerese one hears around the new cognoscenti - talk of chips and programs, pixels and peripherals, hardware and software, commands and graphics. The only difference, really, was that the nine conferees were all between the ages of 6 and 16, with a decided clustering around the age of 7. And if the graduate students and teachers who gathered to hear them Friday at the Teachers College at Columbia University in Manhattan were impressed by what the nine children had learned about computers, they seemed delighted also to learn that among the nine there was a love of such non-computer things as parents, humor, baseball and good music and, most important to the teachers, of words written on paper and bound into books. The occasion was the end of a three-day national conference conducted by the Teachers College and entitled ''Microcomputers, Electronic Toys and Genius Machines in Early Childhood Education.'' The conference promised to take a critical look at what the computer age was doing for and to children, without dodging the possible negative psychological effects of obsession with the machines. But apprehensions were allayed when Erik Hueneke, who is 7 years old, said that although he liked computer training, he preferred ''reading a book.'' Patricia Vardin, the conference director, asked Erik why he liked books. ''It's because I like to read,'' Erik replied, ''and also I find out more things, just like a story.'' The scholars gathered around - worried at the national decline in reading skills and the emergence of young people who play videogames and seem to relate far more to the pictography of video terminals than the kind of imagination and intelligence nurtured by words - burst into applause when Erik said that. In the course of the discussion, it became clear that Erik was by no means alone. Robert Schlesinger, who is 14, said he played the violin and liked baseball and reading, but emphasized there was ''nothing wrong with learning about computers.'' ''If people don't learn,'' he said, ''they won't be able to go anywhere in the year 2001.'' The children, most of whom are studying computers under Karla Pretl at the Fleming School on Manhattan's East Side, were asked what they would have the computer do if they were allowed to have it do anything they wanted. Robert said he thought it would be nice to ''break into Government computers'' to see just what they held, while Erik said he would ask the computer to ''find a baby deer for me to take care of.'' Then Robert added he would like it to ''change my grades.'' When asked by Miss Vardin, all the children said they thought they were ''smarter'' than the computers they programmed, but when asked if she thought she was smarter, Dierdre Cohen, 7, replied, ''I don't know.'' Using computers is not all fun. Katherine Redfern, who at age 6 was the youngest participant, said staring at a screen ''makes you very tired.'' Jonathan Niborg, who is 8, acknowledged that once in a while computer work gave him ''a very small headache.'' Gary Caldwell, who at 16 was the oldest participant, said that he was convinced computer use had strained his eyes, and that he would probably have to wear glasses for the rest of his life. But he said he loved computers anyway and would like to learn more about them at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His advice to those thinking about getting an education in computers was, ''Don't get it out of fear of being left behind - get it out of a desire to get ahead.'' But for most of the others, careers seemed a long way off and they preferred to think of the computer as a source of amusement now. Eric said he liked using computers because ''no other activity includes machines.'' ''You are the boss of it,'' he said, ''and it's the one that does the work.'' Robert said he found using computers satisfying because it was something he could do and his parents would not have the slightest understanding of what he was up to. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #34 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-07-20 20:04:31 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 18 Jul 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 34 Today's Topics: Reply to Query - Command Syntax(es?), Computers and the Law - property rights for stored data Technology - text and sound for messages (2 msgs) Computers and People - Personal Information Systems ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 15 Jul 83 01:12:04 EDT (Fri) From: Mark Weiser Subject: Re: Command Syntax(es?) As to whether the syntax should match the system or the tool: its basically a matter of analyzing the user population. If there are features of the tool which use syntax which everyone using the system must know (like how to backspace a character), or if the tool will (can) only be used by people who are pretty familiar with the system, then the tool should conform to the system. On the other hand, if the tool is one which someone might only use the system for, and not be familiar with any other aspects of the system, then the tool can afford to offer uniform syntax regardless of the system. This pretty much means that the tool must supply a complete operating environment. For instance, apl and emacs environments ought to be the same everywhere, because they insulate you from you operating system and because you might use the machine for only them. A compiler or a mailer would be different (not so sure about the mailer). ------------------------------ Date: 14 July 1983 03:06 EDT From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: property rights in stored data Chip, Do you have any more info on this topic? Is the legislature insane, or is this an attempt to foist the problem off on the courts? Do you know the story of the Mass. "right to privacy" bill? -- Steve ------------------------------ Date: 14 July 1983 10:21 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: text and sound in the network? Date: 14 July 1983 03:15 EDT From: Steven A. Swernofsky It's silly to use sound as a backup for text. Just send the sound directly! If infinite data storage were free so the sound could be kept forever, and if listening to sound were as efficient as reading text (remember people can read or skim-read at over 700 wpm while they can talk at only 200 wpm), then your statement would be valid. But for permanent storage of memos and documents voice is too expensive and slow to access. Besides, if you never convert it to text or other abstract form you can't index it by keywords for later access by subject. It's also silly to require a secretary-proofreader. Just display the text for the speaker as he speaks, and allow him to be his own proofreader. Adding a secretary just makes for another error in theloop. I agree, except that a lot of executives think their time is too valuable to waste doing that so they have secretaries do it for them. (My boss is an example. For a simple reminder message to himself he calls his secretary in for dictation instead of sending himself a message on his terminal.) ------------------------------ Date: 15 July 1983 23:01 EDT From: Steven A. Swernofsky Subject: text and sound in the network? Robert, [SASW] It's silly to use sound as a backup for text. Just send the sound directly! [REM] If infinite data storage were free so the sound could be kept forever,. . ., then your statement would be valid. But for permanent storage of memos and documents voice is too expensive and slow to access. I was thinking of short memos or phone messages. (1) Short messages of this kind are not usually kept forever. (2) Short messages don't take very much storage space. Speech research has shown that the amount of storage required is not so huge anyway. (3) Long documents would be transcribed to text for review and revision before they were sent anyway. Besides, if you never convert it to text or other abstract form you can't index it by keywords for later access by subject. So what? Short messages (as noted) aren't usually saved and aren't usually worthwhile to access by keywords anyway. I just find that they get in the way. Another good reason to send the sound directly is that inflection and other nuances of speech are difficult (if not impossible) to transmit via text. It's also silly to require a secretary-proofreader. Just display the text for the speaker as he speaks, and allow him to be his own proofreader. Adding a secretary just makes for another error in the loop. I agree, except that a lot of executives think their time is too valuable to waste doing that so they have secretaries do it for them. This is the wrong way to think about the topic. Provide the capability and SOME people will take advantage of it. When those people find it to be convenient, they will spread the word and it will become more common. Planning for prejudice to last forever is also silly. A short note on execs vs secys -- it's LOTS cheaper for my secretary to do dull work like this than for me to. I had in mind the situation where the spoken version was too ambiguous to transcribe, not the typical proofreading situation. In the ambiguous-verbiage case, the exec will have to clear up the text somehow anyway (as by telling his secretary what to insert in place of the meaningless drivel he caused). So having him do it immediately isn't too unreasonable. -- Steve ------------------------------ Date: 18 Jul 83 14:41:56 EDT From: Ron Subject: Fear and loathing of personal information systems I am trying to consider the consequences of widespread use of personal information systems. Imagine a large segment of the world population owning the rough equivalent of Alan Kaye's (sp?) Dynabook, a portable information manipulation device about the size of a notebook. It would include every spiffy accouterment known to computer science. Imagine them interconnected by the infamous "Worldnet" concept so often lauded here. Here we have a machine that can hold encyclopedia, technical manuals, histories, images, sounds, and communicate them to anyone else with a similar machine, etc. Aside from the question of what happens to those who cannot own such a device... My basic concern was: with such ready access to information would our desire to ask questions be stifled? Knowing that an answer is only a keypress away might keep one from making that movement, the same way that having reference texts on a shelf lulls one into a false sense of "defacto understanding." At another end of the spectrum: might academia fall into the trap of rearguing each other's theses indefinately, with a significant percentage no longer doing original or empirical work? Redundancy is a healthy thing in research. By asking the same question again new viewpoints may be discovered. By challenging existing ideas, directly or indirectly, we come upon new truths. Are there limits to this media that might have an impact on our way of thinking? Might limits be imposed that would somehow do this? The latter is something of a horror scenario and may be ignored by the sensitive respondent... :-) Further: might we become conceptually "xenophobic?" I.e. afraid of things that our little boxes could not explain? Please consider carefully. I believe that this is a deeper problem than "meets the eye" and also has a serious component of reality. I worry that easy access to incomplete systems of information may cause a television-like stupor to descend upon us, ultimately decreasing our involvment and interaction with knowledge. (ron) ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #37 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-07-27 06:56:49 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 25 Jul 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 37 Today's Topics: Query - Is Technology Worth It?, Technology - Re: Text and Sound for Messages, Computers and People - Personal Information Systems (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Jul 1983 10:54:17 EDT (Monday) From: Erik Sherman Subject: Civilizing technology? The debate over the usefulness of WorldNet has uncovered a question. Has any technological development fundamentally changed men and women for the better? If so, what was the development, what was the change, and how can you demonstrate the change? If not, why is further technology desirable in and of itself? Erik Sherman (ESHERMAN@BBN-UNIX) ------------------------------ Date: 24 Jul 83 11:37-EST (Sun) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: Secretaries and Managers There was a note in here a few days ago about a manager who preffered to use his secretary as a reminder/calendar system than his terminal. There was a conclusion drawn that he had some sort of "secretarial dependency disease" or computer xenophobia. I would put it to you that the real reason is a much more common one in office situations: blame and responsibility. If the secretary forgets to remind him, there is someone to blame, if he forgets to look at his terminal, he can only blame himself. Covering your ass is a very common office politics trick. Furthermore, some people perfer to trust thinking people who have an understanding of the importance of the reminder, than a dumb machine. In the long run, until your machines become well rounded psychological substitues for secretaries, you will have an uphill battle. - Steven Gutfreund ------------------------------ Date: 22 July 1983 12:45 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Fear and loathing of personal information systems - oracle? Date: Thu, 21 Jul 83 12:01 EDT From: MJackson.Wbst@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Given a wide data base, one would expect that even simple queries would yield more than one response; would not the multiplicity of "answers" tend to educate the user toward a more inquiring (not to say skeptical) attitude? I am assuming that the information-retrieval mechanism would not give "oracular" responses but rather a series of pointers into relevant files. This depends on the type of system (fully-automatic such as Dialog or Mycin, fully-human with computer merely being a communications medium such as HUMAN-NETS, or truly hybrid systems such as computerized conferencing or Hypertext or Generalized Computer Dating). Early fully-automatic systems for general info retrieval would have to be like Dialog, having no capability for understanding English or other natural language text in enough detail to synthesize an answer. They would indeed give just a list of citations, and hopefully present the text onine rather than require you to order microfiche like Dialog currently does (either you order fiche, or spend time looking thru local libraries, or you don't see the full text at all). But advanced systems should be able to collate the available answers to your question and construct a summary such as "most sources indicate Einstein's general relativity is valid, but some alternate theories have been proposed and not yet refuted" which indicates the most-likely-correct answer but also indicates the margin for doubt. This relieves the user of having to read all the cited articles and construct the summary in hir mind. The citations would of course be available if the summary wasn't sufficient for the user's needs. Mostly-human systems would suffer the opposite problem currently. Whoever the "expert" is, everybody believes that person. Like if Lauren Weinstein says the quality of CBS Teletext in Los Angeles is shoddy, everybody takes that as fact. Even if somebody else says it was good, Lauren is believed. Typically there won't be enough experts to have a true difference of opinion that the user will believe, rather the one expert will be believed absolutely, and without a way to check the expert's alleged facts, well what can you do? With systems that direct you to an expert, rather than posting your query on a whole mailing list of random people, you'll get only one reply and there'll be no room for alternative views, so this effect of believing the expert will be even worse. But eventually with good systems that send your query to more than one expert and which allow you to look up references, this problem will be alleviated. Eventually the two systems will converge. You'll get a summary, written by an expert or a computer, you sometimes won't know which; and you'll get a list of references, facts and expert opinions cited by the summarizer entity (expert-human or computer). By the way, I would not like a system that ALWAYS replied with two opposing answers, one from respected scientists and one from flatworlders or occultists for example. This "point/counterpoint" method of disseminating knowledge, such as on various TV programs and in the ballot proposition booklet in California, usually results in two extreme views, neither of which is correct. I'd rather have one generally-accepted answer with alternative views listed as secondary. Example of query: Does vitamin C cure the common cold? Example of point/counterpoint answer: Yes it does -- Linus Pauling No it doesn't -- AMA Example of what I'd prefer: The question is hotly debated, but some general conclusions seem warranted. Vitamin C strengthens the membranes causing lessening of symptoms, but doesn't totally stop the virus. The extent to which it lessens symptoms is still up in the air, from hardly at all to very much. Example of query: Is the Earth flat? Example of point/counterpoint: No, spaceflight photos show clearly the Earth is round - NASA Yes, spaceflight is staged in Disney studios - flatworld society Example of what I'd prefer: The question is firmly decided in the negative. The Earth is a nearly-spherical body orbiting the Sun. The Earth is so large (7600 miles in diameter) that to a person standing on its surface it appears flat. There is one group claiming the Earth is flat, but other than claiming all evidence of roundness is falsified, they have no valid point. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 25 Jul 83 09:34 EDT From: MJackson.Wbst@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Fear and loathing of personal information systems - Subject: oracle? It seems to me that after the two systems converge (dumb computer and mostly-human) you have the same problem as with the mostly-human system. The list of references, facts, and expert opinions cited will be selected and summarized by one "expert," although in this case it may be a computer. I'm a bit dubious of the proposition that the computer expert is, a priori, less subject to bias (whatever that is) than the human. Since most queries are not either/or, suppression of a minority/unfavored viewpoint can be pervasive while remaining relatively subtle. Example of query: What are the effects of Vitamin C on humans? Example of response from AMANet: Vitamin C is necessary for life. In inadequate amounts. . . Example of response from Pauling InfoService: A major effect of Vitamin C, given in adequate quantities, is the suppression of the common cold. . . The solution that comes to mind is to accomodate multiple "expert" services on the net, so that the user could shop around and sample the prejudices of several. Of course, just as many persons read only the magazines that reflect their personal viewpoint, some users would focus solely on the expert service that told them what they wanted to hear. Example of query: Do UFOs exist? Example of response from a popular, hence profitable, expert service: UFOs definitely exist; visits from space creatures are well-documented, but the evidence has been systematically suppressed by the Air Force. -- National Enqiry Service Executive The drawbacks are obvious--but I see no acceptable alternative; other options lead to objectionable pruning or have excessive potential for abuse. Of course, some of us make a point of reading literature from "the other side" even when we hold strong opinions. And on-line access to sources tends to speed up the task of uncovering falsification, misstatement, and questionable interpretations. This kind of diversity would help keep the system as a whole from being viewed as an oracle--defending against (but hardly eliminating) some of Ron's major concerns. "Objectivity" tends to be a myth; I suspect the best one can do is try to put the options, and the tools to evaluate them, in the hands of the users. Mark ------------------------------ Date: 24 July 1983 17:31 EDT From: Zigurd R. Mednieks Subject: "You will be asked to leave the future immediately." We already have the means to study what will happen when some people cannot use modern tools. The modern tool I'm refering to is the library. Dynabook is to the library what a Vic20 is to an 1130, it's something you can cart around with you and is much easier to use. The people who can't use libraries can afford to use what is free. Money and our economic system are not the problem. The problem is that even today there are large numbers of people who just cannot read and unless some dictator decrees that all illiterates be shot, the problem won't go away. But it will get worse: I was listening to NPR news recently, not the sort of news show that often admits that there are problems that more public spending won't cure. The feature I was listening to was about a job placement program. What nearly made me gag on my oatmeal was the casual remark that about half the people in the placement program had "reading deficiencies". When you work every day at a job where if you just apply yourself a bit more diligently you'll find that bug, it becomes difficult to accept that fact that there are problems without solutions. What is even more depressing is that being illiterate before the printing press was invented was a common condition, before the recent explosion of technology it didn't mean you could not make a living as, say, a laborer, but now that human muscle is a vanishingly small part of what creates wealth, illiteracy can be more crippling than blindness. Solutions? Not from me. Perhaps we should just let the welfare state mentality take over. Let's give then bread and circus, we can afford it. Let's just whoop it up 'till the barbarians invade. Cheers, Zig P.S. Isn't it great how "Cheers" just expresses the right thing every time? Thank you Roger Duffey, wherever you are. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #38 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-02 21:17:20 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 27 Jul 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 38 Today's Topics: Announcement - New Newsgroup, Response to Query - Is Technology Worth it?, Computers and People - Personal Information Systems & Automation and Jobs, Technology - New White House Electronic Mail System ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 24 Jul 83 16:44:18 CDT From: Mike.Caplinger Subject: Sun newsgroup Reply-to: Sun-Spots-Request.Rice@Rand-Relay A new newsgroup has been formed to talk about software and hardware issues relating to the Sun Workstation. This will be an edited list, sent out about once a week. Requests and Problems to: Sun-Spots-Request@Rice (CSNet) Sun-Spots-Request.Rice@rand-relay (ARPAnet) Newsgroup Articles to: Sun-Spots@Rice (CSNet) Sun-Spots.Rice@rand-relay (ARPAnet) Everybody who sent add requests to me already: you're on the list. We don't have facilities yet to FTP archives, but we'll be happy to mail copies to people requesting them. Our ARPAnet connection through CSNet/TELENET is probably only 2 months away. Of course, there are no archives as yet anyway! ------------------------------ Date: 27-Jul-83 13:29 PDT From: Kirk Kelley Subject: augmented global consciousness Postal Address: P.O. Box 1037, Los Altos, CA 94022 Re: Erik's question about technology, I would be more interested in the question "Has any technological development fundamentally improved the viability of earth life?" The evidence may be less ambiguous than for "changed men and women for the better". The answers may be the same. Anyone interested in starting an "augmented global consciousness" where we tele-collaborate on a model of "Gaia" that models its own viability as a WorldNetworked technique-teaching mathematical simulation (adventure), let me know. -- Kirk Kelley ------------------------------ Date: Wed 27 Jul 83 10:19:42-PDT From: Richard Treitel Subject: bias on Worldnet, and technology Since different people have widely differing views of what constitutes a biased answer to a question, it is inevitable that there will be bias on Worldnet, even if it confines itself to reporting facts (because selective reporting of facts you regard as "important" is also bias). But at least with Worldnet there will be more likelihood of alternative sources of opinion being quoted, and easily accessible, so that if you distrust the first answer you get, there are others. "More likelihood" does not mean "certainty" though. What the hell does it mean to ask whether technology has made men and women "better"? I claim that it has made my grandfather better: he is still alive and active at the age of 83. It has made my father better: by reading printed books he becomes a vastly more informed scholar than he could be if most of the information he needed was handwritten with only about 3 copies made because of prohibitive labour cost. And it has made me better: I have access to Human-Nets. - Richard ------------------------------ From: "OBLIO::CROLL c/o" Date: 25-JUL-1983 17:15 Subj: jobs in the future Anyone interested in this topic should check the July 1982 issue of "The Atlantic". There is an article in it called "The Declining Middle", by Bob Kuttner (who is a contributing editor of "The New Republic"). Kuttner's thesis is that most new jobs are being created are at the top and the bottom of the ladder. The high-paying, middle-class jobs are the ones being automated, because they're the ones that have the biggest payoff from automation (in labor savings, mostly). Jobs at the lowest rungs of the ladder will take the longest to automate, because wages are very low there, anyway, and there is little incentive to automate them. Very interesting viewpoint. Kuttner has a lot to say about the future of automation, both by robots on the factory floor, and by computers and networks in offices. John ------------------------------ Date: 25 Jul 1983 21:52-PDT Subject: Executive Data Link. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow n015 0807 13 Jul 83 BC-LINK (ART EN ROUTE TO LASER PHOTO 2 CLIENTS) By DAVID BURNHAM c. 1983 N.Y. Times News Service WASHINGTON - When President Reagan or his staff wants to rush a written message to one of the members of the Cabinet, they no longer dispatch a messenger in a car through the traffic-clogged streets of the capital. They send the memorandum at the speed of light by a computer 431 miles away in Columbus, Ohio. The new electronic mail system, which has been operating for several weeks, is called the Executive Data Link. It now connects 60 of the most influential officials in Washington to one another. By October, 200 officials will be hooked into the system and its planners believe it will ultimately be an important new tool in what the Reagan administration calls Reform 88, a drive to increase the efficiency of the federal government. ''This will be a lot faster,'' said Joseph R. Wright Jr., the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. ''It used to take two days to get a piece of paper back and forth between the White House and one of the agencies. Now it can be done in less than30 minutes.'' Wright added that the Executive Data Link would eventually be put to work on a number of different chores. ''Already, however,'' he said, ''it has proved very useful for negotiating with an agency over congressional testimony, writing important press releases and other matters.'' He said a policy could be established at the White House, for example, and an agency would write proposed congressional testimony. ''Then,'' he said, ''the agency sends the testimony over, we can edit it and send it back very quickly.'' While almost all new communications systems are promoted on the neutral ground of improving efficiency, they often have farreaching and unarticulated side effects. The decision to establish the Executive Data Link was an outgrowth of one of the problems of the modern-day presidency. Many Americans think of the separate agencies that make up the federal government as a disciplined army that marches together in the direction chosen by the man in the White House. Recent presidents have complained, however, that this is a false picture, that the tendency of the agencies is to ignore White House directives. Craig L. Fuller, secretary to the Cabinet, contended that by helping the Cabinet get involved in the decision-making process at the earliest stages, the Executive Data Link ''strengthens Cabinet government.'' He said he used a portable computer to tap into the network and work with Cabinet members when he was at home or traveling with the president. Other top officials of the Reagan administration are enthusiastic, he reported. Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan has a terminal at his desk and Agriculture Secretary John R. Block carries a portable terminal when traveling. The system connects 50 of the highest officials in government agencies with 10 people on the White House staff through a computer data center maintained in Columbus by Compuserve Inc. With this computer, the variety of word processors and terminals in various offices in the White House and at the agencies are able to communicate with each other through existing telephone lines. Wright, a former executive of Citicorp in New York, said that while the security of the Executive Data Link was considered sufficiently rigorous to protect the domestic secrets of the government, it was not used for national security matters. In fact, a warning is automatically printed at the top of each message: ''This system is not to be used for classified information.'' Although the system is now being used for such purposes as drafting executive orders, legislation, congressional testimony and press releases that need to be cleared by top officials, both Wright and Jim Kelly, the deputy associate director of the management office who is in charge of its management reform division, expressed hopes that it would ultimately contribute to another goal. ''This project is the initial step in a much more expansive project to upgrade the automatic data processing and telecommunication on a governmentwide basis,'' Wright told Cabinet members last month. The potential hazard of unifying the computerized data bases of the major federal agencies has long worried civil liberties advocates and was a factor in the enactment in 1974 of the Privacy Protection Act. Some congressional experts, too, are worried about making it easier for agencies to compare information about individuals whose data are contained in different government computers. They fear that such matching might, for example, be used to track political opponents, or that information from tax returns, provided by taxpayers in the belief that it would be used only for tax purposes, might be used for unrelated matters. One of the provisions of the privacy law is that federal agencies must publish the Federal Register details about all new computer systems and what information will be stored in them. But because the Executive Data Link does not create a new set of records about individual citizens, it was not subject to the public notice provision of the privacy act. With 66 officials in 22 agencies sending an average of 500 messages a month, current expenses for the Executive Data Link average $18,500 a month. As the system is enlarged, the costs will increase. But Kelly said an analysis showed that sending written material by messengers, regular mail and Express Mail was at least twice as expensive as sending it electronically. nyt-07-13-83 1104edt ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #40 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-07-31 14:28:29 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 31 Jul 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 40 Today's Topics: Computers and Peole - Personal Information Systems (2 msgs) & Worth of Technology (2 msgs) & Secretaries and Managers, Programming - Debugger Query: Summary of Replies ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 27 July 1983 20:22 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: "You will be asked to leave the future immediately." - Subject: illiteracy The first that public terminals have to do is entice random passersby and then teach them how to use the system. Part of this will be teaching illiterates how to do some primitive reading. Perhaps cartoons and icons can be used at first, with gradual teaching of English words as needed. Of course the expert/literate should be able to quickly skip the unneeded novice/illiterate lessons and get into the expert stuff. ------------------------------ Date: Sunday, 31-Jul-83 01:24:52-PDT From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: "Experts" Greetings. Why is it that people seem to always use me as an example? Oh well, such is the price of "high visibility", I guess. I would think that most people will always tend to largely rely on one or two experts when they wish to gather quick, useful opinions on a particular subject. Having the technical ability to reach lots of people is kinda nice, but we all tend to rely upon those persons whose opinions we've found valuable in the past, rather than spend too much time testing out "unproven" ground. I'm not saying that this is necessarily good, but most of us behave in this fashion much of the time. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 29 July 1983 2049-PDT (Friday) From: marcus at AEROSPACE (Leo Marcus) Subject: benefits of technology Some of the responses to the question of relative benefits of technology are hard to leave unanswered. For example: Who would want to fight a war if they have all the goods and services they would ever need or want? The author of this comment obviously was not considering religious wars, wars stemming from nationalistic jealousy, depraved leaders, etc. He also thinks that people would quite easily achieve a state where they have all the goods and services they would ever need or want. The true test of the benefits of technology, in my opinion, is whether the human race can make it from one threat of omnicide to the next, without having any of them materialize. The first item on this list is nuclear war. Just as the threat is not due solely to technology, the solution cannot come solely from technology. U ------------------------------ Date: Sunday, 31-Jul-83 01:24:52-PDT From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: "Human Change" One does indeed wonder how much all of this shiny technology will really change any fundamental aspects of human beings. I have my doubts. In the final analysis we've changed very little in the last 10,000 years or more, and I suspect that the inner drives that keep us going will change very little, fundamentally, in the next 10,000 years. We're still the same competitive, warlike, and perpetually horny creatures we've been for a long, long time. The name of the game may change, and the rules of the game may even vary somewhat over time, but the game itself remains much the same. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 29 Jul 83 15:56-EST (Fri) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: re: secretaries and managers Personally REM, I am probably closer to you than to the managers. Especially when it comes to mundane things like ATM's. Still, I think you are slightly hasty or mistaken that it will only take time for managers to shift their allegiance from secretarial responsibility to machines. I believe that there are certain different personality types in the world and that even with great passage of time only minor shifts occur. Look at the interest that "human" operator telephones can develop, or human staffed restaurant versus automats and vending machines. No, REM, it will take more than the passage of time for human services such as secretarial work to fade into quaint obscurity. - Steven Gutfreund ------------------------------ Date: 28 Jul 1983 05:25:43-PST From: whm.arizona@Rand-Relay Subject: Debugger Query--Summary of Replies Several weeks ago I posted a query for information on debuggers. The information I received fell into two categories: information about papers, and information about actual programs. The information about papers was basically subsumed by two documents: an annotated bibliography, and soon-to-be-published conference proceedings. The information about programs was quite diverse and somewhat lengthy. In order to avoid clogging the digest, only the information about the papers is included here. A longer version of this message will be posted to net.lang on USENET. The basic gold mine of current ideas on debugging is the Proceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT/SIGPLAN Symposium on High-Level Debugging which was held in March, 1983. Informed sources say that it is scheduled to appear as vol. 8, no. 4 (1983 August) of SIGSOFT's Software Engineering Notes and as vol. 18, no. 8 (1983 August) of SIGPLAN Notices. All members of SIGSOFT and SIGPLAN should receive copies sometime in August. Mark Johnson at HP has put together a pair of documents on debugging. They are: "An Annotated Software Debugging Bibliography" "A Software Debugging Glossary" I believe that a non-annotated version of this bibliography appeared in SIGPLAN in February 1982. The annotated bibliography is the basic gold mine of "pointers" about debugging. Mark can be contacted at: Mark Scott Johnson Hewlett-Packard Laboratories 1501 Page Mill Road, 3U24 Palo Alto, CA 94304 415/857-8719 Arpa: Johnson.HP-Labs@RAND-RELAY USENET: ...!ucbvax!hplabs!johnson Two books were mentioned that are not currently included in Mark's bibliography: "Algorithmic Debugging" by Ehud Shapiro. It has information on source-level debugging, debuggers in the language being debugged, debuggers for unconventional languages, etc. It is supposedly available from MIT Press. (From dixon.pa@parc-maxc) "Smalltalk-80: The Interactive Programming Environment" A section of the book describes the system's interactive debugger. (This book is supposedly due in bookstores on or around the middle of October. A much earlier version of the debugger was briefly described in the August 1981 BYTE.) (From Pavel@Cornel.) Ken Laws (Laws@sri-iu) sent me an extract from "A Bibliography of Automatic Programming" which contained a number of references on topics such as programmer's apprentices, program understanding, programming by example, etc. Many thanks to those who took the time to reply. Bill Mitchell The University of Arizona whm.arizona@rand-relay arizona!whm ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #41 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-03 07:38:35 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 2 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 41 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Value Systems & Personal Information Systems (2 msgs) & The Worth of Technology (2 msgs), Computers and the Law - Information as Property ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Steven M. Bellovin Date: 29 Jul 83 13:22:51 EDT (Fri) Subject: value systems A local group is trying to encourage teenagers to read more by rewarding those who read books on their own. The reward? Free computer time.... ------------------------------ Date: 31 Jul 83 20:33:24 EDT (Sun) From: Randy Trigg Subject: worldnet fears, etc. Regarding the recent worldnet discussion, I thought I'd briefly describe my research and suggest how it might apply: My thesis work has been in the area of advanced text handlers for the online scientific community. My system is called "Textnet" and shares much with both NLS/Augment and Hypertext. It combines a hierarchical component (like NLS, though we allow and encourage multiple hierarchies for the same text) with the arbitrary linked network strategy of Hypertext. The Textnet data structure resembles a semantic network in that links are typed and are valid manipulable objects themselves as are "chunks" (nodes with associated text) and "tocs" (nodes capturing hierarchical info). I believe that a Textnet approach is the most flexible for a national network. In a distributed version of Textnet (distributing Hypertext/Xanadu has also been proposed), users create not only new papers and critiques of existing ones, but also link together existing text (i.e. reindexing information), and build alternate organizations. There can be no mad dictator in such an information network. Each user organizes the world of scientific knowledge as he/she desires. Flatworlders in a far different style (probably) than the rest of us. Of course, the system can offer helpful suggestions, notifying a user about new information needing to be integrated, etc. But in this approach, the user plays the active role. Rather than passively accepting information in whatever guise worldnet decides to promote, each must take an active hand in monitoring that part of the network of interest, and designing personalized search strategies for the rest. (For example, I might decree that any information stemming from a set of journals I deem absurd, shall be ignored.) After all, any truly democratic system should and does require a little work from each member. ------------------------------ Date: 31 Jul 83 21:08:24 EDT (Sun) From: Fred Blonder Subject: Re: "You will be asked to leave the future immediately." - From: Robert Elton Maas The first that public terminals have to do is entice random passersby and then teach them how to use the system. . . . Aha! I KNEW there was some purpose behind the wave of video games. It's to make the public literate in the skills they will need (pushing buttons and reading rapidly-changing readouts) to survive in an information-oriented world. :-) ------------------------------ Date: 2 August 1983 19:21 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Civilizing technology? Date: 25 Jul 1983 10:54:17 EDT (Monday) From: Erik Sherman Has any technological development fundamentally changed men and women for the better? Biologically/evolutionarily speaking, a body is merely a gene's tool for making more copies of the gene, mixing those genes with genes from other compatible organisms so as to achieve beneficial symbiosis by means of novel gene-mixing experiments, tending for those new gene mixtures until they have made their own bodies, and tending for those bodies until they can function independently. Thus a human body is merely an extension of the genes that program its basic structure, consisting of essential organs for genomes (testicles, ovaries) organs for life (lungs, heart), standby organs for copulation (penis, fallopian tubes) essential organs for organized activity including mating (lower brain, limbs), extra organs for enhanced intelligent activity (upper brain) etc. Hookups into computer networks, data files, processors, software, etc. fit into the class "extra organs for enhanced intelligent activity". Although terminals aren't yet physically integrated into the human body, they and associated compute power are in effect extensions of the human body, really part of the human-being functionally. In answer to your question, yes, my body stretches over 3000 miles in computer mode, 20,000 miles in TV-watching mode (and sometimes 200,000 miles or even a few million miles), and yours does too. We are more intelligent creatures than we were before networks (computer and TV), and we'll be even more intelligent creatures when we include World-Net as part of our effective bodies. -- Note that the idea of discrete bodies may soon be obsolete, the same way discrete organs in the body isn't exactly correct. There will still be parts of our bodies we consider totally ourselves, but most of our bodies will be shared or intimately intertwined so that we can't say whose body some video disk is part of except to say it's part of the overall system. - Radical opinion by REM - FROM:37'28N122'08W415-323-0720, about 3 miles from Stanford ------------------------------ Date: 2 Aug 83 13:04:36 EDT (Tue) From: Charles L. Perkins Return-Path: Re: Robert Maas' comments on Dynabook with WorldNet, etc. I think he is being a little too optimistic, especially about when he states that scientific inquiry would be helped by almost never re-doing experiments... See, for an extreme example, the imperial society described by Isaac Asimov in the Foundation trilogy; it is collapsing from just exactly this problem: no scientific research is done based on anything but old experiments and theory. The idea is that the "greats" of the past were so much more perceptive than we, why should we presume to begin with any other data? There was too great a reverence for the past. This was brought about, in part, by the vast information banks of that time... Also, do not forget that such a large volume of information easily accessible may be an oppressive influence to many creative minds. How can some help but feel that with so very much having been done already, that their contributions will pale in comparison to the overwhelming amount of existing information which they can "feel" around them (due to quick and easy access). Already, the widespread dissemination of paperback books is affecting the way people learn information and, presumably, is affecting those who write it. The point is not to be so sure that the effects are predictable; any new technology of such widespread effect should be carefully watched... And I think it is naive to say that because we, who are among the more technologically and research-oriented people in the work-force, might have few problems with Dynabook/WorldNet, that this implies anything about whether the technology is good / bad / not worth worrying about. The average man in the US will have to deal with whatever we come out with, and how it effects the life of an average person is the important issue; remember that some of the most ingenious people came "out of nowhere" from the crowd of average people to do creative work (e.g., Einstein). We should consider what effect these new technologies will have on ALL people, as well as on the early development of children. We cannot afford to make a mistake that may reduce our creative potential as a whole... This is not to say that Dynabook or WorldNet necess- arily limits us, but certain kinds of those technologies, not designed to be as open-ended as our minds, might. Charles L. Perkins ...decvax!genrad!wjh12!clp ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 2 Aug 83 14:40 EDT From: David Axler Subject: Information as Property Did anyone notice one comment in the recent issue of "Time" that focused on Japan? I refer to the fact that, according to "Time", many American companies will no longer apply for patents in Japan because the amount of public disclosure required by Japanese law is so great that, by the time the patent is issued, so much has been revealed that the company will almost certainly have its product (and, along with it, all subsidiary manufacturing processed) copied. Dave Axler ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #42 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-05 06:27:59 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 4 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 42 Today's Topics: Computers and People - The Worth of Technology & Icons and Direct Manipulation, News Article - Non-ionizing radiation effects? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 3 Aug 83 21:06-EST (Wed) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: Technology and the MIND I think there have been strong connections made between how technology can change the way we think. At the lowest level, the technology of language causes changes in the way we think. (see Sapir-Whorf theory) At an intermediate level I think a strong case can be made that literate people think different than illiterates. (or merely the existance of paper to supplement Short Term Memory) Morton Hunt has several stories in his book that illustrates this. The most striking is the inability for illiterates to solve syllogisms. I can't think of anything more indicative of ones thinking patterns than ones ability or inability to use Logic. For an indication of how computer technology can restructure the mind, read "Mindstorms" by Seymour Papert. One really does approach problem solving differently given different tools. - Steven Gutfreund ------------------------------ Date: Thu 4 Aug 83 10:15:30-PDT From: Ken Laws Subject: Icons and Direct Manipulation The August issue of IEEE Computer contains (as a special feature) "Direct Manipulation: A Step Beyond Programming Languages" by Ben Shneiderman of the University of Maryland. The author is fairly persuasive that manipulation of icons can and should turn the office of the future into one vast video game. He presents examples of screen editors, Visicalc, spatial data management, CAD/CAM, industrial plant monitoring, interactive Plato experiments, etc. I am not persuaded, however, that scrolling through a simulated Rolodex file is more productive than scrolling through a text file. The advantage of the icon system is not really in the graphics, but in the existence of a customized subsystem for this one application. The user loses the power of a full text editor, but is protected from screwing up the data fields. This is the same goal sought in database systems and in structured- code editors. The disadvantage is that, even with "directly manipulable" icons, the user must learn a different interface for each subsystem. It remains to be seen whether "dragging a directory tree node to the printer icon" is easier or easier-to-learn than typing a print command. I hope we will finally get past this "user-friendly man-machine interface" fad so that we can concentrate on what happens to the information once it is in the computer. The friendliest interface is one requiring (almost) no interaction--just state the high-level task and let the computer figure out how to perform it. The interface should model an administrative assistant, not a filing cabinet. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: Tuesday, 2 Aug 1983 02:17-PDT Subject: Non-ionizing radiation effects? -- Newswire story This information, as inconclusive as it is, might be of at least passing interest to HUMAN-NETS readers... --Lauren-- -------- n073 1541 01 Aug 83 BC-RADIATION-II 2takes: Science Times (The second of two articles.) By PHILIP M. BOFFEY c. 1983 N.Y. Times News Service NEW YORK - Unlike the dangerous ionizing radiation emitted by nuclear fission and X-rays, the non-ionizing radiation that issues from radio transmitters, radar, electric power lines, microwave ovens and a vast array of modern devices has long been considered relatively safe. But a spate of recent scientific reports has raised concern that low doses of non-ionizing radiation can cause subtle biological effects in humans and animals that might, conceivably, cause health damage as well. The evidence is murky, contradictory and inconclusive. No one is suggesting that the nation is about to discover a new public health catastrophe of major proportions. Indeed, there is no conclusive evidence that exposures at current levels pose much danger at all to the general public. But some scientists believe that enough warning flags have been raised to justify a more vigorous research effort and judicious caution until the results are in. The issue has enormous political, social and economic implications, because life in a modern industrial society would grind to a halt if all sources of non-ionizing radiation were shut down. Public-affairs groups fearful of potential health hazards are currently opposing a Con Edison substation in Manhattan, a proposed Navy transmitter in Wisconsin and upper Michigan, and various power lines, television transmitters, microwave towers, laser installations and satellite communication stations in scattered locations around the country. Microwave News, a New York-based newsletter devoted to all forms of non-ionizing radiation, reports a sharp rise in litigation related to non-ionizing radiation and increased efforts at state and local levels to control exposures. The chief concerns involve three different kinds of non-ionizing radiation. -Electromagnetic radiation from power lines and other electrical sources. -Electromagnetic radiation from communications networks and other modern devices that operate at radio-frequency and microwave energies. -Mechanical radiation from medical ultrasound, a diagnostic procedure used to detect abnormalities in the fetus in the womb. The common thread among these kinds of radiation is that they are non-ionizing, that is, they lack the energy to knock electrons away from atoms and molecules in the human body. For most of the 20th century, radiation concerns have focused on the more potent ionizing radiation from nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors and medical X-rays, which clearly can produce cancer and other diseases. Virtually all scientists agree that non-ionizing radiation is not nearly so dangerous as the ionizing form. But some experts worry that the apparent harmlessness of non-ionizing radiation has led to a relative neglect of studies of its biological effects. ''We're at the point today where the ionizing field was 40 years ago,'' says Zory R. Glaser, a senior scientist in radiological health at the Food and Drug Administration. ''And keep in mind that the effects of low levels of ionizing radiation are still being debated. Until recently, nobody was even looking at low doses of non-ionizing radiation as a potential problem.'' That oversight is being remedied by a rush of new studies. New York state, the Federal Energy Department and the electric utilities have started programs that will cumulatively support millions of dollars' worth of research related to the biological effects of power lines, and other federal agencies and industry sources are supporting extensive research on electromagnetic effects relevant to communications frequencies. The sharpest scientific debate at the moment concerns the effect of electrical and magnetic fields generated by electric power lines and related facilities. For example, Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper of the University of Colorado Medical Center reported in 1979 that a group of Denver children who developed leukemia generally lived closer to electrical transformers and secondary lines than did a control group of children without leukemia. In 1982 they concluded that adult cancers were also related to electrical wiring. Their findings stimulated a spate of follow-up reports over the past year suggesting that Swedish children living near power lines might have high cancer rates, and that workers in jobs that placed them near electric or magnetic fields in the state of Washington, Los Angeles and Britain appeared to have an increased risk of leukemia. However, other epidemiologic surveys of children and workers have found no adverse health effects at all. The chief weakness in most such reports is that there are no good data on the amount of radiation the subjects actually received. Just because there is a power line outside, some scientists say, does not necessarily mean the electric and magnetic fields inside a home are particularly high or are the cause of any health problems among the residents. The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, concluded in an editorial in January that ''at this stage it is impossible to know what the observations mean, although the cluster of reports relating to acute myeloid leukemia is worrisome.'' But the journal added that, since all of us are exposed to some electrical and magnetic fields, ''it is important to know what risks, if any, are entailed.'' Leading scientists from the electric utility industry find the data suggestive but not frightening. ''When you add it all up, it does appear that something is going on,'' said Leonard Sagan of the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility-supported group. ''But I don't think there is any reason to alarm the public. At the moment, I think you have to conclude that the question is unsettled and deserves further investigation. To the best of my knowledge, there are no animal data anywhere that would support a relationship between electric field exposure and cancer.'' The most thorough recent review of the growing literature on biological effects appears to have been done by Dr. Ascher Shepard, assistant research professor of physiology at the medical school of Loma Linda University in southern California, under contract with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, which had to evaluate the health hazards of a 500,000-volt transmission line. Shepard's report, published in February, said that recent research was finally concluding that electric fields of the magnitude found around high-voltage power lines, and perhaps even the lower field strengths found in many homes, can indeed cause biological effects, a matter that had long been in dispute. However, Shepard's report stressed that ''while effects occur, they are not generally of a pathological nature.'' The far less definitive data on humans includes reports that certain Soviet and Spanish electrical workers suffered headaches and fatigue, and that certain Swedish electrical workers suffered a high rate of chromosome breaks and deformed children. Suicides have also tentatively been correlated with transmission lines in England. However, virtually all of these studies are difficult to interpret because of complicating factors, and are flatly contradicted by other studies that find no effects at all. Summing up all the evidence, Shepard's report concludes that, while biological effects occur, it is ''not very likely'' that any of them will be ''strongly expressed'' in humans and ''even less likely'' that they will be pathological and produce disease. ''It's very murky,'' Shepard said in a telephone interview. ''There are a number of interesting effects that occur and must be understood.'' A second major area of scientific attention is the radio-frequency range, which includes radio, television, radar and microwave radiation, among others. For many years, Western scientists assumed that the only important effects from radio-frequency radiation were caused by heating, much as as microwave oven cooks the insides of a hamburger. High doses were known to cause cataracts, burns and temporary sterility, but low doses were considered relatively benign unless they caused subtle changes by heating biological tissues. In recent years, however, the consensus has swung toward recognizing more low-level effects, even at doses too slight to cause measurable heating. Low-dose animal studies by Western scientists have reported changes in the immune system, behavioral effects, neurological effects and possible synergism between microwaves and certain drugs, as well as the release of calcium ions from brain tissue at radio-frequency levels too low to produce heating. However, much of the information is still in dispute. The gradually shifting consensus led the American National Standards Institute to issue a new safety standard for radio-frequency exposures last September. The standard sharply reduced permissible exposures in the range of frequencies from which human beings absorb the most energy. Some scientists consider the new standard highly conservative. But Nicholas H. Steneck, a professor of history at the University of Michigan who has been studying microwave developments, told a microwave power symposium in Philadelphia last month that the values underlying the standards reflect military-industrial interests rather than the interests of people exposed to the radiation. Scientific opinion on potential hazards remains divided. ''While some biological effects have been observed in animals and others claimed to occur in animals and humans as a result of exposure to microwave-radio-frequency fields within the prevailing exposure criteria,'' Sol M. Michaelson, of the University of Rochester, told the same conference, ''none of these effects, even if substantiated, could be considered hazardous or relevant to man.'' But Przemyslaw Czerski, a Polish expert now working at the Food and Drug Administration, told a conference in June at Boulder, Colo., that microwave radiation at relatively low levels can cause chromosome damage and abortions in mice. And he told the Philadelphia symposium that some recent data are disturbing enough to justify still further reassessment of permissible exposure levels. Concern over ultrasound has been voiced by Alice Stewart, a British epidemiologist who heads the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancers. She said in an interview last month that there are some ''very suspicious'' hints that children exposed in the womb to sonograms appear to be developing leukemia and other cancers in higher numbers than unexposed children. Stewart acknowledges that the numbers so far are small and could be a statistical fluke; it will take another three years at least to determine the truth. But two dozen American health experts have signed a statement urging the United States government, which has helped support the Oxford survey, to continue because it is ''on the threshold of determining the relation of obstetric ultrasound to childhood cancers.'' nyt-08-01-83 1944edt End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #43 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-06 08:20:51 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 6 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 43 Today's Topics: Computers and the Law - Information as Property, Computers and People - The Worth of Technology (3 msgs) & ICONS ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 4 Aug 1983 13:16:17-EDT From: csin!cjh@CCA-UNIX Subject: Information as property, again. A number of people have "written" asking about my posting on the new Massachusetts law covering theft of information. I haven't had anything more than I gave in the original posting, and I'm not in a position to go digging for more; however, there was more in the BOSTON GLOBE for 2 Aug 1983: COMPUTER THEFT LAW GOES INTO EFFECT (Associated Press) As of yesterday, a new state law added "electronically processed or stored data" to the legal definition of property, so stealing those bits of electronic information is now a crime in Massachusetts. The law also expands the definition of trade secrets in business to include "anything tangible or electronically kept or stored" that represents a secret commercial process or invention. Previously, thefts could be prosecuted in Massachusetts only if the target were a tangible object such as a blueprint, a payroll check or a magnetic tape. "Our intention and hope was to plug a gap in the existing law," said state rep. Paul White (D-Boston), the House chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Criminal Justice. "Massachusetts as a high-tech state was dangerously exposed to misuse of computer property." The law is expected to have its greatest impact on banks and insurance companies that store vast amounts of financial information in computers as well as the growing number of high-technology companies in Massachusetts that design computers and write programs. During testimony on the bill this spring, witnesses told the Legislature that theft of information through computers was a serious and growing problem. Sanford Sherizen ,who runs Data Security Systems of Natick [suburb ~13 miles from downtown Boston], described computer theft as "the white-collar crime of the 1980's" but conceded that very little is known about the extent of the problem. Nationwide, the US Chamber of Commerce estimates that computer theft involves the loss of at least $100 million annually. More than a dozen other states have recently adopted similar laws protecting data stored in computers and US Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) has introduced a federal computer crime bill in Congress, but no action has been taken yet. Under the Massachusetts law, signed by Gov. Michael Dukakis on May 31, the section of the state code defining property in connection with larceny now includes "electronically processed or stored data, either tangible or intangible" as well as "data while in transit." that's all, ffolks. . . . ------------------------------ Date: 4 Aug 83 10:18-EST (Thu) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: A shitty perspective on life RE: The body is merely a gene's tool for making more copies of the gene. I can't resist the following spoof of that theory a friend once told me. ------ "From my perspective, one does not view the body as the gene's tool but that of the asshole. Biologically/evolutionarily speaking, the entire purpose of evolution has been to produce better shit makers and better shit movers. The highest forms of life on this planet are those best capable of producing and transporting excrement. The body is merely the best way nature has found yet for taking in produce and producing shit. " ----- - Steven Gutfreund Gutfreund.umass@udel-relay ------------------------------ Date: 6 August 1983 06:24 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: A shitty perspective on life Date: 4 Aug 83 10:18-EST (Thu) From: Steven Gutfreund RE: The body is merely a gene's tool for making more copies of the gene. I can't resist the following spoof of that theory a friend once told me. ... The body is merely the best way nature has found yet for taking in produce and producing shit. That's literally true except for one important and *CRUCIAL* aspect - the body derives energy and materials for making more body and genes from this produce. If the body merely converted product into excrement without deriving useful energy, it wouldn't survive. Whereas plants survive by converting sunlight into produce plus useful energy, animals survive by converting produce into dung plus energy. Bacteria survive by converting dung into methane plus energy. If becoming "terminal men" makes us more effective at utilizing produce to obtain biochemical energy and bodystuffs, for example by giving us a group intelligence sufficient to design and build interstellar ships for escaping the eventual burnout of our Sun and moving instead to other places in the Universe, the *horay*, we're smarter than those many creatures that are too dumb to realize the Earth won't be habitable forever. -- I think it's virtually impossible for a non-technological civilization to figure out the way stars work, and realize the Sun will burn out someday, then to do something to escape the fate of staying trapped on Earth to the fatal end. Thus technology may very well make us the only species on this planet to leave it by choice as free creatures (others may leave with us as parasites cattle or collector-specimens, but all others will die here on Earth). Thus technology will increase our eventual fate from dead-on-Earth to live-in-space, which I consider a definite improvement. (For detailed discussions of this sort of stuff, see SPACE mailing list for getting into space, ARMS-DISCUSSION for avoiding nuclear war in the meantime. Re the above, I'm not trying to get into those subjects here on HUMAN-NETS, I'm only answering a question that was brought up here: If World-Net is supposed to be so wonderful, then what about all the past technology, what has it done for us? Answer, it's given us the ability to survive longer than 10,000,000,000 years if we can just hold out the next 100 years.) ------------------------------ Date: 5 Aug 1983 23:59:58-PDT From: Robert P Cunningham Reply-to: cunningh@Nosc Subject: Re: worth of technology? Lewis Mumford wrote this in his 1934 book: "Technics and Civilization": "Here, beyond what apears at the moment of realization, is the vital contribution of the machine. What matters the fact that the ordinary workman has the equivalent of 240 slaves to help him, if the master himself remains an imebecile, devouring the spurious news, the false suggestions, the intellectual prejudices that play upon him in the press and the school, giving vent in turn to tribal assertions and primitive lusts under the impression that he is the final token of progress and civilization. One does not make a child powerful by placing a stick of dynamite in his hands: one only adds to the dangers of his irresponsibility. Were mankind to remain children, they would exercise more effective power by being reduced to using a lump of clay and an old-fashioned modelling tool. But if the machine is one of the aids man has created toward achieving further intellectual growth and attaining maturity, if he treats this powerful automaton of his as a challenge to his own development, if the exact arts fostered by the machine have their own contribution to make to the mind, and are aids in the orderly crystallization of experience, then these contributions are vital ones indeed. The machine, which reached such overwhelming dimensions in Western Civilization partly because it sprang out of a disrupted and one-sided culture, nevertheless may help in enlarging the provinces of culture itself and thereby in build- ing a greater synthesis: in that case, it will carry an antidote to its own poison. So let us consider the machine more closely as an instrument of culture and examine the ways in which we have begun, during the last century, to assimilate it. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 5 Aug 83 11:18 PDT From: WILLIAMS.PA@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Icons and Direct Manipulation In response to Date: Thu 4 Aug 83 10:15:30-PDT From: Ken Laws Subject: Icons and Direct Manipulation WRONG! The smart machine paradigm (make the machine do more and more of the work) is not the obvious way for people to get useful work out of machines. I conjecture 2 principle arguments for this: 1. Opacity. As the machine takes on more and more of the work its internal workings become successively more opaque to the user. This is not a problem as long as the machine always does the right thing. The difficulty comes when the machine does the wrong thing and the user needs to recover. UNDO is not enough, the user needs to know how to modify his request/command to achieve his/her purpose. As we bring compuational machinery to succeedingly more complex tasks, we find that ERROR RECOVERY becomes the central activity people perform (Indeed, Lucy Suchman, a PARC anthropoligist, argues that 'management of trouble' is most of what people do in the world). In some sense the smart machine paradigm is a excuse for infinite research and a ready account for any problems encountered with systems build under its umbrella. The standard senario, the system fails in some pretty awful ways, the builders say, "Aha, we need to make it smarter." 2. Goal uncertainty. In may circumstances the major problem people are trying to solve in any situation is what they are trying to achieve (for example in bringing a 'query' to a database, people often times know only a very general goal, e.g. "I want to buy a car." "I want to go to a restuarant." Imagine a smart machine (say a Natural Language interface) what does the user do? Ask "What car should I buy?" What is the correct machine response? BUY A FORD LTD STATION WAGON ON SALE AT FRED'S WITH A/C, A/T, POWER STEERING, AND TWO TONED DESIGNER COORDINATED BUCKET SEATS. or maybe I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT QUESTION. or HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HAVE? or what. [p.s. even the later two options here are the opening ploys in a negotiation]) Most work that people get done out of social systems (our principle case of people trying to get work out an information processing system), is achieved by negotiation. Even buying a hamburger at MacDonald's is a complex negotiation (what if the burger will be late, what if you didn't specify flavor of shake, what if this is your first time in MacDonald's, what if you didn't mention needing an apple fritter,...). One final comment. Consider how you get an admistrative assistant to do work for you. Consider how much of that activity is negotiation. Mike Williams ------------------------------ Date: Fri 5 Aug 83 10:47:08-PDT From: Richard Treitel Subject: Icons debate Why in the world do we need icons of Rolodex files and other things which are probably going to be obsolete before long anyway? Does the gas pedal in your car have an icon of a horse on it? My own view is that many of these icons are like Cobol syntax: they conceal an enormous and probably unwarranted contempt for the intelligence of managers, while actually attempting to restrain rather than assist the exercise of that intelligence. However, I've never used one of these systems ... - Richard ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #44 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-08 23:00:33 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 8 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 44 Today's Topics: Administrivia - Lost Submitter Name, Computers and People - Office Automation (2 msgs) & The Worth of Technology & Icons and User Friendliness ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 7 Aug 83 17:49:56 EDT From: Charles Subject: Administrivia In Vol. 6 #42, there appeared a news article on non-ionizing radiation and its possible effects. Due to an error, the 'From' portion of the message was lost. The article was submitted by Lauren Weinstein. ------------------------------ Date: 30 JUL 1983 14:30 From: "TS1::BURROWS Jim Burrows c/o" Subject: Secretaries and Managers -- whom to blame I personally take the opposite view. I'm more concerned with the satisfaction of actually getting something accomplished, and the "power trip" in being able to do many things that many others can't do, rather than covering my a-- when those inevitable mistakes occur. Thus I prefer the machine, which I can trust will do exactly what I commanded it to do once it has verified it got the command correctly, to the human, which will often give some ambiguous verification leaving me uncertain whether it (he/she) understood my command or not and whether it (he/she) will do it today or next month or ever. If I insert a word in a file, it's really deleted, but if I ask a human to delete it, well maybe ... maybe not ... Excuse me but if you "insert a word" it most probably isn't "really deleted", unless the machine isn't running up to snuff. That kind of obvious mistake is exactly why many people prefer to trust people, who understand the intent and detect the error, than machines which are unlikely to realise that "insert" means "delete" in certain circumstances or to recognise those circumstances. Me, I trust human beings, and am deeply skeptical of machines. Oh, I love to work with them, and use them. But given the choice, if I have to count on something being done, I'll choose the human. Of course, machines work cheaper, and don't talk back. ------------------------------ Date: 6 Aug 83 21:41:36 EDT From: Mike Zaleski Subject: Fear and Loathing of Office Automation Periodically, the issue of whether executives will or won't accept office automation systems and reasons why they will or won't has been discussed on Human-Nets. A recent article in MIS Week (8/3/83, p. 28) discussed this issue, especially with the viewpoint of trying to get employees to accept office automation. I do not remember seeing some of these points and so I present an excerpt from this article: "The question is, then, why do so many white-collar workers furtively - and openly - resist the new technologies that could make their jobs infinitely easier? "The answer, pure and simple, is fear; the clerical worker who fears change, the unknown, and of being de-skilled; the middle manager who fears losing control of his job or department, since total automation means everyone, including the president, will have immediate access to information and will no longer have to call on the middle manager to present it to him; the executive who trembles at the thought of putting his fingers on a keyboard (Me, type?); and those who fear losing thier jobs altogether. "These very real human fears can cause anxiety, depression, job alienation, boredom, low morale, and outright sabotage. One thing they won't cause is productivity." The article also details the (probably ficticious) story of a secretary who, having been office-automated in the "wrong" way (wrong in the sense of the way the article believes it should be pursued), grows increasingly unhappy and finally hands in her resignation (after deleting the company's year-end report. The secretary was unhappy because her work with a word-processor had removed much of the human contact in her work. And although the article does not mention it specifically, the reduction of human contact because of increasing use of office automation may be yet another reason why people resist. -- Mike^Z ------------------------------ Date: 03 Aug 1983 From: "JOHN CROLL at OBLIO c/o" Subject: Has technology changed humankind for the better? Answering this question would make an interesting book. I think a better way to phrase the question is: How have advances in science in general changed humankind? How did the invention of the printing press change things? How did the rise of the mechanistic view in physics change things? How did the advance of the scientific method change things? How did the rise of the quantum theory change things? Given the state of the world six or seven hundred years ago, before science and technology became something done for its own sake, the answer to the question is obvious (at least to me). I would much rather be sitting at my desk quietly avoiding the legwork necessary to fix the race condition in the driver I just wrote, than spend all day working my ass off just to get barely enough food to keep me alive. Assuming I managed to survive to the ripe old age of 27, of course. Are things better than they used to be? Hell, yes! John ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 6 Aug 83 11:26:23 CDT From: Bob.Warfield Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #42 'I hope we will finally get past this "user-friendly man-machine interface" fad so that we can concentrate on what happens to the information once it is in the computer.' -- Ken Laws This is an interesting philosophy that is prevalent but unproductive. Ken advocates that it would be better to program an administrative assistant rather than a filing cabinet, a position I sympathize with. What he overlooks however, is that programming an administrative assistant is an AI problem and is much more difficult to accomplish than improving the man machine interface on the system. The point I'm making here is that too often projects get started before the proper tools are available. If AI is ever going to be tackled successfully we need the best non-AI tools possible. This means improving the quality of the man-machine interface in order to increase the bandwidth of information transfer between machines and men. Judging from the number of window managers and such available for LISP machines (not to mention that Xerox PARC is no lightweight in AI) I would say that the majority of AI researchers have realized their tools are probably not yet adequate and they are desirous of improvements. The ultimate parody of the situation is just to say, "I don't understand why anyone bothers with programming language research, let's get on and write some AI stuff in assembly language." Bob Warfield ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #47 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-18 01:46:11 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 18 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 47 Today's Topics: Responce to Query - Who contributes to HN?, Computers and People - National Database & Technology and Civilization (2 msgs) & System Limits and People & "Calling Channel" mailing list ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed 17 Aug 83 12:30:06-PDT From: Richard Treitel Subject: Who contributes? One of our local BBoards here at Gotham City U. is used for unfettered general discussion, and is dominated by a group whose composition changes, but rarely has more than about 10 people at the core. Some numerical data have been collected, but I don't have them. Most of what goes on (apart from used cars for sale) consists of semi-private arguments between these people. They tend to forget about the rest of their audience, which never says anything. On HUMAN-NETS, it seems to me that the writing is rather less exclusive, but it would equally be interesting to know who does the reading. I wonder if this knowledge would dissuade some of us from making our usual contributions ... - Richard ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 17 Aug 83 01:33:47 PDT From: fair%ucbarpa@Berkeley (Erik E. Fair) Subject: Re: HN V6 #46: Doesn't anyone know about us? Clearly that clown hasn't ever heard of the ARPAnet or CSnet. Or he's fishing for new money, based on Congress' short memory for such things. Has Argonne done anything significant recently? Obviously they're not reading the literature in computer science... For that matter, what is the deputy directoro of Argonne doing testifying to congress about 5th Generation computers and Networks? Erik E. Fair ucbvax!fair fair@ucb-arpa ------------------------------ Date: 17 August 1983 01:40 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: The influence of technology to our well being Although it's true that the median living human today isn't much better than 2000 years ago, when you start at the top and compare person for person you find people are much better off now than then. There are millions alive today who are living much better than the top millions back then. Further down the line there are billions living today in poverty who wouldn't have been alive at all back then. Pick any level of quality of life, from barely-living to very rich, and you'll find more people living above that level today than back then. It would be trivial to bring the median person up to our level. Just kill off the bottom 80% of humanity. There'd still be more people living today then back then, and they'd be way up in quality of life too. Now give those bottom 80% the choice of death or poverty. Which would they choose? It's always possible to lower the apparent median by including more of the unfortunate people in the survey. That's what you're in effect doing by comparing the billions who are alive today with the mere millions who were alive back then. To be fair you should include all the billions back then who were never even born. Then the median back then would be dead while the median now would be poverty. When comparing apples and oranges, there are many "correct" ways to interpret the data, yours and mine included. Perhaps we should simply choose which world/society we'd prefer, where 4.6 billion humans can live, mostly in poverty, a few in luxury, or where only a few million can live, where probably you and I wouldn't be among the chosen few to live. (Remember you can claim "well, I'd be alive, it'd be those other guys who'd be dead"; but to be fair you have to consider that maybe you would be among the dead if we reverted to pre-industrial society.) ------------------------------ Date: 27 July 1983 14:12 cdt From: Bibbero.PMSDMKT Subject: Technology and Civilization In reply to the question raised by esherman at BBN Has any technological development fundamentally changed men and women for the better? The answer to this question depends so much on what you define as "better." If you mean a better life-style for the common man/women in the sense of more leisure, more access to knowledge and more development of the intellectual and physical resources of the human body, to say nothing of better health and longevity, there is no doubt that nearly every technological development has helped. At least those preceding the ages of nuclear and chemical pollution in which we are now residing. The ultimate result of the industrial revolution was more goods for all and, indirectly, a better status for the working man or woman. We tend to forget all to easily that the Middle Ages were a time when life was "short and brutal" for most people. So far as health is concerned, it is obvious that more people are surviving diseases that killed them off just a few decades ago (like TB and pneumonia) and that infant mortality has plummeted as longevity has risen. Although it is not perhaps immediately clear that a longer life is a better life, the opposite is certainly true. It is hard to be "good" or to enjoy life when you are not around. >From a longer range standpoint, that is, genetically, it is probably too early to say whether the change in life-style from survival, food-bound to a motive-bound economy has any lasting effect on the fundamental patterns of the race. Generally, these changes take millenia rather than years to become obvious. But it seems that the gene pool is bound to change when the emphasis is altered from survival of the most powerful physically to that of the most agile mentally. There are no doubt more geniuses surviving today (like the conductor Perlman, for example) who would have perished in the bad old days. And these live to transmit their superior characteristics to the race. The history of the Jews might be an indication of what a few thousand years of intellectual emphasis does to a gene pool. As far as the "spiritual" aspect of technology's effect on making a person "better" this is beyond my sphere of expertise. I don't know what a spirit is much less what makes it better, or even what is better. But it seems reasonable that a more relaxed physical life would offer personal opportunities to be kinder and more considerate of one's fellows. Rather than "spirit" I prefer to think of the advancement of the human race as a trek toward cooperation, even cooperation between "machines" (computers) and humans. If this is the future of the human race, and one to be desired, there is no doubt that technology is a major driving force in shaping that future. ------------------------------ Date: 17 AUG 83 16:55 PDT From: Hathaway@AMES-TSS.ARPA Subject: Re: system limits and people I'm afraid our "outrage" at the 80-character company name limitation is caused simply because we realize the origin of the seemingly rather arbitrary value of 80 (presumably screen width). There have of course always been limitations on company names: a few years ago I tried to 3 register the name T ["T cubed"], and was turned down on the grounds that superscripts and subscripts were not allowed; I would have had to register "T3" (and that was not available because somebody else had already registered "3T"!). And obviously there are "arbitrary" limits on countless other things and we accept them quite well (e.g., I am only allowed to have seven letters on my personalized license plate). I'm afraid this is like the joke about the dude propositioning a woman for a million dollars and then dropping to five bucks: I think we all agree on the need for some sort of limits, we're just haggling over the price. Wayne PS: I too had a hard time relating the 80-character limit to the pi=3 episode, as well as to the lousy programming of a billing system. ------------------------------ Date: 17 August 1983 22:25 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: "Calling Channel" mailing list One major problem with mailing lists like this is that there's no control on how many people see a message after it's obsolete because the first person to see it already answered the question. Sometimes several people answer the same question. Sometimes everybody figures this is going to happen to avoid duplication they don't answer the question, and the result is nobody answers at all. It would be nice to have a way to send a query to say ten different people. Any subset of these ten can answer the question, but if fewer than two answer then the question is sent to ten more or twenty more or whatever. Ideally only three should get the question but each of the three who doesn't answer it should forward to somebody more knowledgable in the subject matter. Even more ideally as soon as one of the three has forwarded the message to an expert OR answered it directly the question should dissappear from the other's mailboxes. Or, ... lots of parameters to adjust to achieve good performance, but simply having a BBOARD mailing list doesn't seem at all the right way. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #48 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-23 10:48:24 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 22 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 48 Today's Topics: Computers and People - The Worth of Technology (2 msgs) & Impact of Computers on our Culture (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 12-Aug-83 11:50 PDT From: DRH.TYM@OFFICE-2 Subject: The influence of technology to our well being It is truly gratifying to see a comment on this subject which reflects the truth of the real world, not just the wished-for reality of the technocrats. Often it seems that in our efforts to expend our energy on new technology, we fail to look into the philosophical ramifications of what we are doing, the impact not just on ourselves, but others too. The point is well taken regarding the reality that human beings haven't changed one bit. That is, their persons haven't changed. Their natures certainly have. In the context of philosophy (as opposed to normal linguistic usage), nature refers to all the things that can be said to describe an entity. Such things as hair color, height, weight, behavioral characteristics, attitudes, all are part of ones nature. Person, on the other hand, cannot be described. It is the indescribable essence of the individual which exists apart from that individual's nature. Thus, any aspect of a human being that can be described is part of nature, not person. Now, the advent of modern technology has certainly not changed our persons one bit. But the environment does markedly change the nature of the persons who are part of it. When I stop to think about the differences in the attitudes and behavior of my parents (who grew up in a fairly sophisticated technological age) and my grandparents (who were primarily concerned with survival, food, shelter from the elements, etc.) I seriously wonder whether our technology has made any improvement in our natures at all or rather has produced generations which are morally, socially and philosophically confused. After all, the more technologically optimistic people are now saying that wonders from the laboratory are making nuclear war a survivable option! Our government is now encouraging citizens to make plans for evacuation of major cities in case of a thermo-nuclear explosion (the implied assumptions being that there will be someone left to be evacuated, and that the survivors will find an environment worth living in). The government is once again making noises about cleaning up toxic waste dumps all over the country, toxic waste that was produced by the very technology that is supposed to clean it up (talk about the fox guarding the hen house)! Medical science is producing a society which is more and more dominated by retired people, whose life expectancy is growing dramatically. Wonderful. But twenty or thirty years or fifty from now, who is going to pay the price? Demographic projections show that eventually the proportion of working people supporting the elderly will be such that Social Security (if it even exists) will take a larger chunk out of payrolls than the IRS! Technology is changing our natures, but is it for the better? Are we any better off? No. We are just learning how to use our technology to reduce the standard of living for some while raising the standard of living for those cultures which produce the technology. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Colonialism is not dead, just computerized. ------------------------------ Date: 12 Aug 83 1539 PDT From: David Lowe Subject: The value of technology The answers given so far to the question of whether technology has improved our lives have tended to ignore the distinction between individual choice and effects on society. So while most of us choose to buy cars, computers and electricity--and therefore obviously prefer to have those things rather than go without them in our social context--the long-term effects on our happiness and social conditions are far less obvious. In fact, there are many arguments which can be made to the effect that several hundred years of technological development have not improved human happiness or satisfaction with life. The incidence of suicide and clinical depression have generally risen greatly, although there are of course many complicating factors in using these statistics as a measure of unhappiness. I have seen some statistics which claim that in opinion polls people would generally say they are less happy now then they would have one hundred years ago in Western countries. And this discussion has generally ignored effects on the majority of humans--those living in the Third World--who have often had actual decreases in living standards with loss of land and with cash crop farming, and have certainly often had decreases in political welfare. My own opinion is that the overall human condition is no worse and often quite a bit better than it was several hundred years ago. But it is remarkable that the large advances in technology and ability to control nature have not had a better effect than they have. I would lay part of the blame on scientists and technologists who do not care much about how their work is applied. It is rather sad to think that even hundreds of years from now, after the great advances in science and technology that we are working on, it is quite possible that the world will be no more pleasant to live in than it is now. A factor in human happiness that many people ignore is that it is often relative rather than absolute wealth that makes people satisfied with their economic condition. So saying that even poor people can now have things that the richest king in the Middle Ages could not afford (and so they should shut up and stop complaining?) is not addressing the important factor. And, of course, economic wealth is only one factor in human satisfaction. The unfortunate thing is that many people trade things which are important to their social well-being for economic rewards (as when they accept split shifts that cut them off from social events, or move away from their friends for a better job, or accept an unrewarding, meaningless occupation). And if they turned down these offers for economic improvement, they would also suffer social loss through reduction in self-esteem, reduced status as compared to their neighbors (important for securing friends and partners), and so on--as long as their neighbors continue to take the other direction. The obvious solutions to some of these problems, such as working towards economic equality or deemphsizing the importance of economic wealth, are not technological problems and we cannot expect improved technology to solve them. In fact, the demands of technology can exaccerbate them in political and social ways that I'm sure you all understand. Well, isn't technology necessary for the world to avoid famine and feed itself? Yes, but we could do that now and we don't. There is one objection to this argument that I'll try to answer before anyone makes it. I think most people intuitively realize that greater wealth does not in itself increase human satisfaction, so the argument for technological growth that is most often given is the impact it has had on medicine and life expectancy. Who could argue against life and health? However, the same argument holds to some extent that satisfaction is relative. You are content with a life span that is above average. For example, a person in their 90s might feel satisfied with the length of their life as much as a person of age 60 in the previous century. One valuable contribution that modern medicine can make is a reduction in the amount of physical pain that people must suffer, but unfortunately people are often still made to suffer extreme pain in modern medical practice. A basic contribution of modern medicine is that it has tended to equalize life expectancy, so the tragedy of early death is less frequent. While I think medicine has made important contributions to human welfare (to that fraction of the world's population to which it is available), there is a tendency to greatly overestimate its value by concentating on individual rather than social impact. In summary, I think technology has been a good thing overall, but far less than individual choices in the current social context would indicate. It is also not going to solve all our problems. ------------------------------ Date: 12 Aug 1983 1620-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: Impact of the computer on our culture One of the most important differences between computer networks and the other forms of cultural memory is that the computer network is, at least potentially, a much more unified cultural memory. Printed libraries take months to diseminate new information, whereas bulletins such as newspapers and the electronic news media usually present information organized on the basis of how current the information is. A few specialized systems, such as the stock exchange and the airline reservations systems, have made some special kinds of current information indirectly available for reference by the public. It will be interesting to see how the voting public will be affected when at any moment each voter can look up, for example, what economic theory Politician X advocated in the past and how that theory has subsequently fared. Right now this information is available to the public only if a publication like Newsweek decides to put all the facts together in an article. I know that I for one would like to be able to access up-to-the minute data on whoever was running for office, or whatever major purchase I was about to make, among other things. Incidentally the Bureau of Reclamation makes available a dialup data base which allows you to find out the current flow in the various rivers around here. This service is vary popular with the local river runners. ------------------------------ Date: 20 August 1983 07:08 edt From: Ithiel de Sola Pool Subject: Wyland (Ag 11) on Impact of Computers on Culture Wyland makes a number of excellent points in his August 8 meassage on the impact of computers on culture including the speeding up of diversity and therefore change. Certainly he is right and the Orwellian view wrong because "the usefulness of computers go up in proportion to their numbers, not their size." However, I believe he minimizes the importance of network effects in what he calls the "improvement in the capabilities of public, cultural memory." These are points I deal with at some length in a new book "Technologies of Freedom" just published by the Harvard University Press, most particularly in the Chapter on Electronic Publishing. The explosion of individual cultural products in constantly modified form on personal computers with large knowledge bases does not make a workable culture. The ability to interact on line, and to find conventions for limiting the things to be taken seriously is also essential. Certainly "our computer networks ... are different from telephone/telegraph/mail/newspaper systems because of the capability to store and manipulate messages: to select and abstract the information", but the two functions are intextricably intertrwined in complex ways. Certainly, "the 1984 style central computer will give way to individual personal machines, as the railroad gave way to the car and the truck", but cars and trucks don't work without road systems, gas stations, and standards. Incidentally, I'd be very grateful for any comments on the book from the informed population of Human-Nets members, to the extent that this population is still reading books (which would be an interesting subject to survey.) P.S. 8/20/83 Since sending the above, Richard Treitel (Treitel -at SUMEX-AIM) has suggested a different survey of the message reading and writing habits of Human-Nets members. Do the members think a small on-line survey would be a good idea? ------------------------------ Date: 21 August 1983 14:44 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Impact of computer on culture/advantages of personal computer I don't agree that personal computers give you total security of data, although they do help. If you don't live in a fortress, somebody can break into your home and access your data. If it's not encrypted, you're unprotected. If you use your computer for any sort of communications, it's possible for somebody to plant a trojan horse program in your system by one means or another (deceit, or break-in) and then any time you are connected to another computer there's the chance the trojan password will be entered and your system will enter slave mode and give out any info the other computer asks for. If you have any truly valuable data on your computer, these scenerios aren't farfetched. If you store military data of course you can be personally tortured until you reveal your encryption key. But still you're better off than on a timesharing system I agree. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #49 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-23 21:50:19 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 23 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 49 Today's Topics: Queries -- Public Reaction to WarGames & On-line tech reports & Mathematic Typesetting, Computers and People - Calling Channel & Bboards (2 msgs) & The Worth of Technology & A Flame on Micros, Keyboards, and Users ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 19 August 1983 03:27 edt From: TMPLee.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Query -- Public Reaction to WarGames It is with some trepidation that I send this, but here goes. Does anyone know of any public opinion polls that were done in the wake of the movie WarGames? Some of you may know that back in about 1978 the Lou Harris organization, under the direction of Prof. Alan Westin of Columbia did an opinion poll that discovered that 54% of the sample felt computers were a threat to their privacy and that 63% of them felt that their security was so poor that future use of computers should be curtailed. (The study has many more details, such as breaking the poll down between the hoi polloi and those who knew something about computers and those who were executives (which may or may not have known about computers.) Anyway, I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who knows POSITIVELY of any such opinion polls conducted in the wake of WarGames to see whether the public felt more or less (presumably) comfortably about computer security as a consequence of it. Please reply to me directly. I do NOT, repeat, do NOT want comments of any sort about the movie itself, merely whether anyone knows and can report on any valid study of public opinion about computer security. I also do NOT want anything about arms control, the liklihood of accidental nuclear war (unless it involves a failure of computer security). Thanks all #Ted Lee p.s. -- this is also being sent to some addressees that won't show up in the header fields; privacy and security, you know. ------------------------------ Date: 19 Aug 83 19:21:34 PDT (Friday) From: Hamilton.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: On-line tech reports? I raised this issue on Human-nets nearly two years ago and didn't seem to get more than a big yawn for a response. Here's an example of what I had to go through recently: I saw an interesting-looking CMU tech report (Newell, "Intellectual Issues in the History of AI") listed in SIGART News. It looked like I could order it from CMU. No ARPANET address was listed, so I wrote -- I even gave them my ARPANET address. They sent me back a form letter via US Snail referring me to NTIS. So then I phoned NTIS. I talked to an answering machine and left my US Snail address and the order number of the tech report. They sent me back a postcard giving the price, something like $7. I sent them back their order form, including my credit card#. A week or so later I got back a moderately legible document, probably reproduced from microfiche, that looks suspiciously like a Bravo document that's probably on line somewhere, if I only knew where. I'm not picking on CMU -- this is a general problem. There's GOT to be a better way. How about: (1) Have a standard directory at each major ARPA host, containing at least a catalog with abstracts of all recent tech reports, and info on how to order, and hopefully full text of at least the most recent and/or popular ones, available for FTP, perhaps at off-peak hours only. (2) Hook NTIS into ARPANET, so that folks could browse their catalogs and submit orders electronically. RUTGERS used to have an electronic mailing list to which they periodically sent updated tech report catalogs, but that's about the only activity of this sort that I've seen. We've got this terrific electronic highway. Let's make it useful for more than mailing around collections of flames, like this one! --Bruce ------------------------------ Date: 22 Aug 1983 16:17:01-EDT From: Joseph I Pallas Reply-to: joe@cvl Subject: Typesetting mathematics I don't know if anyone's raised this before.... In Knuth's introduction to TEX, he compares three systems for typesetting mathematics--one used by typesetters, EQN (Bell Labs), and TEX. Both EQN and TEX claim to be easy to learn. What I'd like to know is whether anyone has some data (not speculation) on how easy it is for (a) secretaries with little or no math background, (b) computer science types, and (c) mathematicians with little or no computer experience, to use these two systems. Does either one have a particular advantage in either learning time or normal usage error rate (i.e., error rate after learning curve has reached plateau)? The reason for this inquiry is fairly simple. We've recently started using EQN quite a bit, with secretaries doing some input, and authors doing some. The verbosity of EQN is one problem. The overall inability of TROFF to produce output as well-arranged as that of TEX is another concern. Any real evidence to support a decision either to stay with EQN or switch to TEX would be appreciated. Joe Pallas joe@cvl.arpa joe@cvl.uucp {rlgvax!cvl!joe} joe.cvl@umcp-cs.csnet ------------------------------ Date: 19 August 1983 04:12 edt From: TMPLee.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: calling channel & bboards There is an NBS standard or whatever concerning electronic mailsystems that defines a "circulate-to" field -- the msg is supposed to be sent seriatum to each addressee; presumaly one who answers passes on to the successors both the query and his answer, thus eliminating multiple answers (unless the later recipients really want to say something) ------------------------------ Date: 21 August 1983 20:29 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Finding your way in the InterNet / design of "calling Subject: channel" I'm not caught up on my mail-reading, so this may duplicate somebody else's idea, but here it is anyway: Let's set it up this way. First a bunch of people submit questions. They are examined (computer or human-with-editor or truly-hybrid system) for keywords, which are attached to them. (Or submitters can be required to supply keywords initially; probably a good idea to eliminate the need for software development or labor at this point in the process.) These keyword&query items are accumulated until the keywords themselves are enough to warrant a digest. Just the accumulated keywords are sent out. Readers of the digest who see keywords in subjects where they have expertise then send back the keywords and are sent the corresponding questions. They then send in the answers, which are distributed to the person who asked them. Since original submissions, requests for full questions, and answers, all pass through the same point, it's easy to collect statistics on who actually answers questions and which questions remain unanswered etc. Three pseudo-in-mailboxes need to exist: (1) for submitting original questions, (2) for requesting full text of questions, (3) for answering questions. (A fourth, the -REQUEST, is also useful.) One out-distribution-list needs to exist, for distributing the latest list of keywords at regular intervals and for occasionally distributing statistics and from-the-moderator info. A refinement would allow answerers to have a standing order for all questions with certain keywords or combinations. If a question fits somebody's standing order, it goes there immediately upon submission. If a question doesn't fit any standing order, or the person with the standing order doesn't answer the question, then the keywords are sent out with the next batch as in the first design. ------------------------------ Date: 22 Aug 83 21:06:45 PDT (Monday) From: Hamilton.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Techno-philosophy As long as we're flaming... I'll keep it (relatively) short and sweet. I see two major problems threatening civilization as we know it. Both are indirect effects of higher technology. (1) POPULATION. When are the media going to stop ranting and raving about "poverty", "hunger", "injustice", etc., and focus on the real problem: why are all those crazy peasants having all these kids that neither they nor their environment have the means to support? Will the media ever dare to suggest that every statement the Pope makes against birth control is at least as dangerous and immoral as all the infanticides we read about in China? (2) PURPOSE. With a sense of purpose, man can endure the most unspeakable horrors. (Witness the survivors of the Gulag and the Concentration Camps.) Without that sense of purpose, even the greatest wealth and the adulation of millions can only lead to self-destruction. (Witness Elvis, Janis, ...) In the bad old days, Survival was enough of a challenge that relatively few people needed the challenge of a higher purpose. But in this brave new world of "safety nets" below and "golden parachutes" above, the only challenges some people can find are to either trip out or to put their brains (or somebody else's) to the wall with a .44. We live in a culture which constantly bombards us with morally contradictory messages. And the public schools are scared to death to help students develop the tools (philosophy and morality) to sort out those messages, because they don't think people trust the schools to separate from . WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH HUMAN-NETS: Sure, most of us 140+ IQ R&D Netlanders can find satisfaction in intellectual or artistic pursuits, even if the robots take over. But what about Joe Average, who used to take pride in assembling that car or whatever. He probably doesn't give a **** about all the great information and flaming discourse available on WorldNet. Do we really want to define some sort of anarchic, bread-and-circuses hedonism to pacify the masses, with all its attendant violence, ugliness, and degradation? HOW CAN WE HELP JOE AVERAGE DEFINE A PURPOSE -- other than with some sort of religio-political brainwashing? Ayn Rand's "life of the mind" is great, but like most idealistic systems, she assumes a model of human that only describes a small minority. I'm still looking for a system that is rooted in , not "faith", but doesn't assume that the human race is composed entirely of rational, enterpreneurial, geniuses. --Bruce ------------------------------ Date: 19 August 1983 02:00 EDT From: Keith F. Lynch Subject: Losers Date: 17 Aug 1983 0308-PDT From: Eric P. Scott To: Info-VAX at SRI-CSL Most of the time the losers will simply screw themselves up, but when they send me MAIL with BACK SPACEs in it, *I* get pissed. What is REALLY obnoxious is when someone uses the left arrow key on a VT100 instead of a delete. Most users don't seem to look at their outgoing mail. I think the mail documentation should be changed to emphasize that the normal way to use mail is (or should be) to edit a file and then mail the file, rather than to just type the message in at the keyboard. I am so tired of messages where glaring typos in one line are apologized for in the next, or which stop in the middle and have an apology in a second message. (I.e. "SORRY HAD TO GET OUT OF MAIL TO ANSWER A SEND"). One of my tasks is to sell management on the concept that the vax is useful. I often have to deal with people who have no computer background or, much worse, an APPLE ][ background or an IBM background. The APPLE people are upset that the arrow keys don't "do the right thing" and have a hard time understanding such concepts as the need to link (or even to compile) programs and the need for an editor or for the TYPE command. APPLE people (actually I guess I mean mostly microcomputer BASIC people) seem to have a very hard time learning ANYTHING. They particularly seem to have mental blocks when it comes to the notion of data types (they have a very hard time understanding the difference between integers and floating point numbers, or they insist that this is just an artifact of the language being used. Not one that I know of has ever been able to understand why -1 to the integer 3 is -1 but -1 to the floating 3 is undefined.) or has fully understood that an equal sign has two totally different meanings in a line of BASIC depending on context. IBM people have their own special problems. I once spent several hours trying to implement fixed column sequential line numbers in Gosling's Emacs because an IBM type wanted to be able to edit the numbers and then use the VMS SORT command on the resulting file to get the manually renumbered lines back into order. It seemed like a strange requirement, but... It finally turned out that he wanted this so that he could MOVE A LINE AROUND IN THE FILE. I nearly gave up computers that day. ...and of course these people then decide that the vax is not usable. Sigh. Maybe I'm just not a very good teacher. But it is hard to teach someone when the mistakes they make are just so bizarre you never could possibly have made errors like that (but you never TOLD me not to put ketchup in my ear!). I guess it comes from different people having radically different mental models of what is going on in the machine. Better education (preferably early) is the only cure. GET THOSE &(@&#%^ APPLES OUT OF THE CLASSROOM NOW!!! One solution is to patch the terminal driver to convert BACK SPACE to DELETE except in PASSALL. How is this done? ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #50 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-24 20:41:13 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 23 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 50 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Personal Information Systems, News Article - Computer Security ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 23 Aug 1983 0747-PDT Subject: Computer networks vs. media From: WMartin at Office-3 (Will Martin) It seems to me that the intrinsic difference between the current situation, where people get their information from a variety of mass media and a relatively limited amount of personal interaction, and a future situation where the information comes mostly off computer networks, is not the enhanced ability to manipulate and process that information, but the feedback mechanisms inherent in the computer networks. Right now, if you have the right resources (clipping services, research staffs, secretaries, cooperative public libraries, subscriptions to newsletters which summarize current data related to specific fields, etc.), you can get just about all the advantages that have been ascribed to computerized processing and extraction of information from on-line databases. Of course, you have to be rich, or have a company to support your activities, or be unusually lucky in the extent of local public library funding and facilities. Having the computer to do this puts it within the reach of many more people, and, perhaps, the more computerized data inquiries are made, the more data will be available on-line so that the searches get better and better as the process continues. However, this just puts the same results within the capabilities of more users. The thing the networks offer that we do not have now is the ability to contribute; to rebut or contest false or misleading information, to add comments or bring up points left uncovered in the original, or to reinforce arguments or conclusions presented. To me, this feedback is the key difference, and the primary improvement provided by moving into this form of information distribution. I also fear that it is the main reason that the traditional media will fight this change. They are so used to having total control of the content of distributed information that I cannot envision them willingly giving this up. Suppose you read something in your local newspaper that you strongly disagree with. What can you do about it? First off, nothing -- any action you could possibly take is too late, no matter how early you read the item. You can discuss this with people you know; this usually is worthless, unless your circle includes the paper's editor(s), or other media people who could broadcast immediate refutations or otherwise counteract the original publication of the offending item. You can write a letter to the editor; this may or may not get published some days later, and, even if it was, has miniscule effect. (As an aside, does anyone's local paper do anything with "letters to the editor" except publish them without comment? Many times I've seen a letter asking a specific question regarding an earlier article, and the paper never answers the question along with printing the letter! What a waste!) If you felt strongly enough, you could try to buy space in the paper to carry your own rebuttal, but the paper can choose to sell you space or not, as it desires, and also controls the location your space will occupy. In any case, this will appear some time later, and, in order to let people know what it is you are rebutting, you have to give more publicity to the original offending item! (I often feel such actions work more to SUPPORT the original position than to counteract it!) With the networks, you have a chance to get your comments, etc., included or appended with the original item BEFORE everyone else has already seen it, if you see it soon after posting. Even if you see it late, there can be mechanisms that inform those that read this earlier that a follow-up has appeared. You can see other contributors' added-on comments before you send yours, which can reduce duplication and inspire more detail or deeper probing of the subject. Essentially, this eliminates editorial control. I can't see any editor agreeing to this, of course. They all feel that they know better than the readers, and they have to determine what is included, what gets more emphasis, and what attitudes to take. Wiping this out will do more for information interchange than practically any innovation since printing! Will Martin ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 19-Aug-83 02:18:39-PDT From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: Computer Security The following wire service item was graciously sent to me by AMSLER@SRI-AI. I believe it is important enough to be submitted to this digest, even though it is rather long. Many of you know how I deplore the way the press tends to handle computer security stories, particularly in the wake of "Wargames". In most cases, they make mountains out of molehills, and totally obscure the real issues involved (e.g. confusing non-secure systems with dialup lines and secure systems which do not have conventional dialup capabilities). However, the following story is fairly well written and tells of a potentially very serious problem. It's the first "computer security" news item I've ever seen that literally made a chill run down by spine. I'm afraid that the only way to deal with the sorts of situations described below, apart from technical means, will be some vigorous prosecutions of offenders. --Lauren-- ------- a090 18-Aug-83 18:30 By DENA KLEIMAN c. 1983 N.Y. Times News Service NEW YORK - One or more young men, using a home computer to break into larger ones around the country, gained access to the computerized radiation-therapy records of cancer patients at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, hospital officials said Thursday. The officials said they were almost certain that none of the records had been altered and that no treatment had been affected. They said, however, that they could not entirely rule out those possibilities. ''They have nothing to gain by getting into the computer, just thrills,'' said Dr. Radhe Mohan, director of the medical physics computer service at the hospital, which is on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Sloan-Kettering said it became aware of the tampering in June and notified the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The hospital even left messages in the computer system begging the culprits to stop. In an affidavit made public Wednesday in federal district court in Milwaukee, the FBI named 21-year-old Gerald R. Wondra of West Allis, Wis., as a suspect in the case. Wondra has not been charged. Sloan-Kettering is the latest institution to be identified as a victim of computer tampering. A loosely knit group of young computer enthusiasts in Milwaukee - who refer to themselves as the ''414's,'' after that city's telephone area code - has been linked to tampering with a computer at a government nuclear-weapons laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. According to the federal document, Wondra used an Apple II computer - which costs about $1,200 - to plug into the hospital's computer directory through Telenet, a popular computer time-sharing system used by more than 1,000 companies throughout the country. Sloan-Kettering subscribes to Telenet, as do the 90 customers who use the hospital's computer for legitimate medical reasons. Those customers have secret passwords to give them access to the computer. How these intruders were able to crack the password system, which consists of six-letter combinations difficult to determine at random, remains a mystery. The first sign that there was something wrong at Sloan-Kettering came when Chen Chiu, systems manager of the medical physics computer service, walked into his office on the morning of June 3. The computer system had broken down briefly the night before, and there was a record of five new computer users. Chui deleted those names from the computer file of those authorized to use the directory. He also changed all the passwords of those having ''privileged'' access to the computer, which allows a user to change a patient's records. He thought this would put an end to it. But it did not. ''When I came back on Monday,'' Chiu said, ''I discovered more things.'' What Chiu discovered, he said, was that someone had not only broken into the computer system but had succeeded in reprogramming so that other users unknowingly revealed their passwords. Authorized customers would type in their secret passwords, Chiu explained, and the computer would type back ''User Authorization Failure.'' When the customer typed the password again, it was immediately transferred to the intruder. In this way, the intruder had access to the most-privileged medical records and could have changed them. ''It was panic,'' Mohan said. ''It meant there was another way to get into the system. We have some very unusual passwords. There was no way you could guess them by sheer luck.'' That Monday, Chiu tried to contact the intruder. He wrote a message. ''I asked him to identify himself and please stop,'' Chiu said. There was no reply. The next day, an associate tried one last time. ''You have done some harm to our system,'' the message read. ''Please call us and help us repair the damage.'' About an hour later, someone who sounded like a young man called back. ''He said that he was sorry,'' Chiu said. ''He said he did not realize he had done any damage and that he would try to help repair the damage. But when we asked how he got into the system, he refused [and] asked him not to use any of the accounts and told him that if he really needed to use the computer we would assign to him a separate name and password.'' Chiu then asked the caller what password he wanted for his own use, and the caller told him ''DEMO.'' This password can now be used to gain access to the computer. Hospital officials repeatedly pleaded with the intruder to stop and even offered him free use of computer time provided he did not alter records. Hospital officials said Thursday that they remained perplexed about how the intruder had broken into the system and how such tampering could be prevented in the future. ''What we would like to know is how they got into the system,'' Mohan said. ''No harm was done, but someone who was up to big mischief could have conceivably caused harm.'' The hospital's computer, a Vax 11-780, which is manufactured by Digital Equipment Corp., maintains the radiation records of 6,000 current and past cancer patients. The computer keeps a record of the amount and kind of radiation therapy prescribed for a particular patient. The hospital's computer is hooked to the machine that actually dispenses the radiation and acts as a kind of safety catch for treatment. Before any radiation is dispensed at the hospital, its dosage must be consistent with the amount recorded on the hospital computer. According to Mohan, the only damage committed by the intruder was a deletion of records billing customers for use of the computer at an estimated cost of about $1,500 and ''a lot of anxiety.'' Wondra, the man named in the affidavit, could not be reached Thursday for comment. When telephone calls were placed to his home, a woman answered and said he was not home. He did not return repeated messages. Chiu said that during the correspndence with the intruder, the hospital contacted the FBI and the police and a tap was placed on the call to the hospital. But because the caller was using MCI, an alternate long distance line, Chiu said, the number could not be traced. Since that time, there have been about 20 efforts to make use of the computer, including once last week. At one point, someone typed a message to hospital officials naming two youths in the Milwaukee area as being responsible for the intrusion. The message read in part: ''This is Dr. Jim Miller. I heard about your system, and I am interested in knowing what it does.'' He invited the hopsital to call him and gave what he said was his telephone number. He also gave what he said was the number of ''the guy who gave me this account.'' He said that person's name was Steve Rendul. Chiu said the FBI had pursued these leads, but they had turned out to be a hoax. ''At this point we're not sure if one person or many people are involved,'' Mohan said. Referring to the access code, he said, ''He might have given it to his friends or put it on some bulletin board.'' According to the court affidavit, which was filed by John G. Sauls, an FBI agent as part of an application for a search warrant, Wondra and several other individuals were interviewed in connection with this and other computer-tampering cases and admitted having been involved. The affidavit states that Wondra was interviewed on July 28. It says he conceded that he had made contact with the hospital and had identified himself as ''the guy who gets on the system.'' When told that his unauthorized actions had to stop, the document states, he responded that ''he and his friends would be stopped in a couple of years by technological improvements in the computer systems.'' The document, however, does not specify how or why Wondra was approached in the first place. nyt-08-18-83 2124edt ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #51 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-25 18:56:26 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 25 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 51 Today's Topics: Responces to Queries - Who reads Human-nets & On-line Tech Reports & Typesetting Mathematics, Computers and People - Personal Information Systems & Re: Teaching About Computers & The Worth of Technology (4 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue 23 Aug 83 11:12:30-PDT From: Richard Treitel Subject: On-line survey Although it's possible that the Moderator knows things I don't know, my guess is that a survey of the type I suggested (of who reads Human-Nets) would be difficult and/or costly. At this site, and many others I suspect, Human-Nets is delivered to a BBoard where anyone can read it without anyone else knowing (except for system wizards, maybe). But if the list of sites (rather than individuals) receiving Human-Nets is available and will fit on one screenfull, I wouldn't mind seeing it. - Richard ------------------------------ Date: Wednesday, 24 Aug 1983 08:54-PDT Subject: Re: On-line tech reports? From: guyton@rand-unix The issue of electronic distribution of Rand reports has recently come up and we've decided to start experimenting with it to see what the problems are. I'm interested in contacting other people who are interested in this topic (and moving it off human-nets). If enough people are interested I'd be willing to maintain a small mailing list. My own interests on this topic include: o) Software for catalog perusal & document ordering o) Possible legal issues of electronic reproduction o) Multi-media document representation o) Availability to non-arpanet computer users A query: Does anyone on the Arpanet (other than the NIC) routinely provide electronic document distribution? -- Jim Guyton Guyton@Rand-Unix ...!decvax!randvax!guyton ------------------------------ Date: Wed 24 Aug 83 15:15:43-PDT From: Ken Laws Subject: Re: Typesetting mathematics Sorry, I have no hard data. I have used EQN quite a bit, though, and I have some experience with TeX. I would say that EQN is very easy to use unless you have very fancy formats. The TBL table processor that comes with it is also exceedingly easy to use. TeX offers better defaults and finer control for many things, but you need to have at least one wizard around to deal with the complexity of raw TeX. The kicker, however, is that EQN must be run with troff. This was a fine formatting system for its day, but it is a royal pain to use. You have to be a wizard to format a document in raw troff. Naive users can get by with the MS macro package for simple documents (and the MAN macro package for UNIX man pages) or with the Berkeley ME macro package. With either set of macros, however, there are many things that you just cannot do without wizardry. Raw TeX is almost as difficult to use well, but if you add a good macro package it becomes far superior to troff. My experience here is with Leslie Lamport's LaTeX package (and SLiTeX for making slides); it is reasonably good and getting better. TeX with a macro package is almost as easy to use as SCRIBE, although not yet adapted to as many different output devices. It gives you default formatting and fine control that are superior to anything else I've seen. I claim that the resulting ease of document formatting far outweighs any slight differences in ease of math formula setup. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: 24-Aug-83 23:30 PDT From: Kirk Kelley Subject: Re: Textnet Randy Trigg mentioned his "Textnet" thesis project (V6 #41) combining hypertext and NLS/Augment structures. He makes a strong statement about distributed Textnet on worldnet: There can be no mad dictator in such an information network. [The Gaia adventure (V6 #38) attempts to provide a global modeling playground for evaluating statements such as that.] I have spent most spare minutes for the last ten years designing a distributed hyper-service using NLS and Augment as a development tool. We can simulate, via electronic mail, the beginnings of an on-line market called the "Publish adventure". The Xanadu project's Hypertext, because of its devotion to static text, is a degenerate case of the Publish adventure. If you might be interested in collaborating on the design of the protocol, let me know. -- kirk ------------------------------ Date: 24 Aug 83 10:04:12 PDT (Wednesday) From: Hoffman.es@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: On teaching about computers Keith Lynch (in V6 #49) flames about "losers", that is, about micro BASIC users who can't understand data types, compiling, etc. I sympathize with him just a little -- it is time-consuming at best and frequently aggravating to have to return to fundamentals for each person. But, I have two comments. As he mentions, it is a matter of teaching. It sounds to me like he isn't interested in truly teaching these people about the problems they are having. That's OK as long as it's recognized by both parties, and the novice is given referrals to those with the patience to teach, while the busy and impatient wizard is sheltered from the masses. As a part-time teacher of just those "losers", I can testify that, with patience, they can indeed learn all those wizardy concepts. However, on another level altogether, the novice's intuitions are frequently quite correct! We, the builders of future computer systems must pay close attention to their complaints. This is precisely the motive behind user-friendliness, and all those other marketing buzzwords. Discovering a concept that is difficult for the uninitiated usually is a major spur to progress: researchers mull it over, teachers and students struggle with it, new ways of thinking about it are born, and finally better ways of working with it, generalizing it, simplifying it are developed. --Rodney Hoffman ------------------------------ Date: 23 Aug 1983 1050-PDT Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #48 From: Ian H. Merritt Re: Doug's (DRH.TYM@OFFICE-2) comments, "The influence of technology to our well being" Remember the effect on the collective consciousness, an entity in itself, which is evolving at perhaps a faster rate than the entities which are our individual persons. Perhaps the effect on the person is minimum, if any, but the effect on the entity (humanity) made up of our individual persons is profound. It is difficult to discuss the notion of a person in the context of your rather abstract definition ("...cannot be described. It is the indescribable essence of the individual which exists apart from that individual's nature. Thus, any aspect of a human being that can be described is part of nature, not person."), therefore, I will assume you mean the individual consciousness. That is to say the consciousness itself, not what it has experienced, nor what it knows or feels. The collective consciousness of all humanity (call it "ALL") can and does change in form as a result of relatively major changes in society and the attitudes of individuals. While the individual person may not be mechanically changed, "ALL" undergoes major structural changes. The person of "ALL" is indeed structurally changed. It is faster, more accurate, and considerably different as a result of computers, medical advancements, transportation, etc. Our veins and arteries still carry blood the same was as they did a century ago, but we are carried far more efficiently than people of the earlier time. Our individual minds process data more or less in the same way, at the same speed as 100 years ago; the higher level processes may have changed (i.e. thinking in terms of new technology, etc), but the basic operation is the same. The manner in which "ALL" processes information, however, is radically changed. Our own artificial resistance to physical disease provided by medicine has perhaps wiped out many once-common ailments. Sociological problems (diseases of "ALL") are common, however. We are no less, in fact perhaps more, a creature at war with itself, than 100 or 200 or 1000 years ago. The point of all this is that the implications of our new technology may not have fundamentally changed the person, individually, but that doesn't really matter. The radical fundamental changes in "ALL" are what must be dealt with. ------------------------------ Date: Tue 23 Aug 83 11:18:44-PDT From: Richard Treitel Subject: Technological changes This is a partial response to the contributors who have asserted that technology has not changed the "fundamental essence of a person" or whatever. Modulo the obvious fact that there are many ways to define this essence, I would like to know whether anyone thinks that technology should have been able to change it, and what things may be able to change it if technology can't. Should the answer be "another 1,000,000 years of evolution", perhaps people should stop getting down on technology for being unable to do the impossible. Otherwise, can someone recommend technological advances which we should try to achieve in order to change this "essence"? - Richard ------------------------------ Date: 23 August 1983 20:25 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: The influence of technology to our well being The solution to increased life expectancy is to permit the elderly to work instead of forcing them to totally retire. If the elderly do useful work, it'll be the same as if they were young people working. ------------------------------ Date: Wed 24 Aug 83 14:54:58-PDT From: Ken Laws Subject: Re: Techno-philosophy I agree completely with Bruce Hamilton's comments on population and purpose. Too bad I don't have any answers. Life will get even worse if AI succeeds in automating true creativity. What point would there be in learning to paint, write, etc., if your home computer could knock out more artistic creations than you could ever hope to master? (This has always been the problem of the wealthy classes: they can buy better quality than they could ever learn to make.) We will all be reduced to spectators and dilettantes. Creation of such artificial creative intelligence may be the last great purpose of mankind. People just don't realize the danger ... -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #52 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-27 01:28:04 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 26 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 52 Today's Topics: Computer Security - Tampering with Sloan-Kettering VAX, Computers and People - Teaching about Computers & The Impact of Computers on our Culture & The Worth of Technology ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Aug 1983 1333-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: Tampering with Sloan-Kettering VAX If the intruder came in by Telenet, the CALL REQUEST packet would show the calling Telenet address. This would probably be a port on the Telenet public PAD, presumably the Milwaukee one. The right system could trace the number that was dialed in to this port and report it to some appropriate authority pretty quickly. ------------------------------ Date: 24 Aug 1983 14:07-PDT From: Greg Davidson Subject: Why blame users for losing software? I found Keith Lynch's message about ``losers'' quite disturbing, and would like to respond point by point: 1. Users who send you mail with embedded control characters. If your mail reading program does not filter control characters into something harmless & printable, then it is the worst reading program I've ever heard of. Its more than just an annoyance, though: Havn't you heard of the famous security hole where you send the operator a message with embedded codes to reprogram his terminal's function keys to execute your trojan horse program? If your users' mail editing program allows them to insert invisible control characters, and does not make it clear that some keys REALLY backspace, but others ONLY APPEAR TO backspace, then they have been given truly lousy software. 2. Encouraging users to edit their messages. Gee, on our system (4BSD VAX UNIX), all three of the mail systems (Berkeley's mail, UCSD's snd/msg & EMACS rmail) allow users to edit any message without prearrangement. Of the two popular ones, snd invokes your favorite editor automatically (if you defined your favorite editor) and rmail is integrated into the powerful EMACS editor. On Bell UNIX systems, I'm always irritated by the standard mail system which traps me in a state from which I can't correct a typo without abandoning the text I've so far put in. My solution is always to port over some better software. 3. Vaxes useable, Apples & IBMs terrible. I can't see that the hardware makes all that much difference. One can certainly run UNIX on the VAX, on the Apple (its available on a 68K plugin board) and on IBM's Series I, PC or any IBM 370 lookalike. The rankest novices can run LOGO on the Apple or IBM PC. As far as the VAX, lots of users run COBOL, FORTRAN, BASIC and use VMS or even UNIX in a completely superstitious cookbook fashion. I don't see that the fact that its a VAX is much of a help. User interfaces are primarily software creations. 4. Seriously mixed up users Many users have been seriously mixed up by earlier computer experience. Most of what they know is wrong, and they're filled with superstitions which do not transfer to new systems. I will grant you that these are the real problem users. Nevertheless, these users are not unable to learn, and calling them losers and treating them as such only makes the problem worse. Both inexperienced and confused users need two things: (1) easy to use, easy to learn software, and (2) clear, simple tutorial documentation. There is a severe scarcity of both of these commodities. What is the solution? (1) Write such software, and (2) write such documentation. With a carefully designed initial keymap, I've found that EMACS is teachable in 15 minutes. With appropriate documentation, users could grow into the more advance features, and fuller keymaps, though I havn't written such documentation yet. With a preface I wrote to the Vi document, a subset of that crufty editor is teachable in 20 minutes. Users who are able to read the Vi Tutorial can grow into the rest of the commands. The UCSD Pascal Screen Editor is teachable in 10 minutes. With all of its faults, it is the best editor for novices I've ever encountered, and the ACE version is extensible for experts. I would love to hear about other easy to learn, but powerful and extensible editors, especially for UNIX. BASIC is a very hard language through which to learn decent programming skills. Pascal, with its superficially arbitrary syntax and semantics, requires great dedication to learn, and I've noticed that infrequent programmers quickly forget it. Some dialects of LISP, such as LOGO, do not have this problem, and moreover have (so I hear) fairly good tutorial texts. I've had good luck teaching Franz Lisp, although I had to extend it a bit to make this possible. What other programming systems are good for beginners? Well, I've gone on long enough. Let me sum up by saying that the best way to maintain a steady supply of ``losers'' is to blame the users for poor software and poor documentation. -Greg ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 24 Aug 83 13:33 PDT From: Schroeder@LLL-MFE.ARPA Subject: Re: Impact of the computer on our culture Date: Mon 8 Aug 83 15:55:52-PDT From: WYLAND@SRI-KL.ARPA Subject: Impact of the computer on our culture I think that these two viewpoints are valid but miss the importance and direction of the contribution of the computer (assuming that the computer is one of the implied subjects of these comments). The computer is not simply another machine: it will change our cultures as profoundly as the invention of phonetic writing and the printing press. This is because it provides a radical change/improvement in the capabilities of public, cultural memory. . . . * There will be little speed advantage to the "big" machine * There will be little, if any, cost advantage to the "big" machine. The cost of a computer with useable, respectable performance and disk space is approaching commodity levels. I agree with the basic premise that one basic aspect of the computer is memory and it therefore provides another quantum leap in the storage of and (potentially the) dissemination of information for our societies. But another basic aspect of the computer certainly has to be its arithmetic capability. In many applications, the usefulness of a computer does go up with its speed and size more than with their numbers. At the Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center (LLL-MFE is a node on MFEnet) and many other large scientific computer centers, we do numerical modeling of physical systems. These models can be as complex and slow as you want and always are as complex-slow as tolerable. Many simulation programs now work in two dimensions. When the machines get a bit bigger and a lot faster we'll do three dimensional simulations and/or add more aspects to the model and/or reduce the time step and/or do more parameter studies. Reality is infinitely complex. This chart, prepared by various people at MFECC one or two years ago, describes the relative speed and costs of various computers : 1 Computer PDP-11 VAX DEC-10 CDC-7600 CRAY-1 CLASS VII Cost $20K $220K $480K $4.5M $11M $10M Bytes of Memory 128K 4M 1.1M 3.7M 16M 256M Multiplies per sec 200K 1M 2M 10M 20M(scalar) 50M(s) 80M(vector) 250M(v) Typical Commercial Cost per Hour $140 $200 $250 $1050 $2500 $2270 Cost of One Billion Multiplies $190 $55 $35 $29 $35(s) $13(s) $9(v) $3(v) Notes : 1. All Class VII figures are estimates. CLASS VII computers should be available within a year or two. These figures are somewhat out of date and rough (the cost of a VAX in particular seems to be too high) but the conclusion is correct. Large scientific computers can do long sequences of arithmetic calculations cheaper. Supercomputer technology as well as PC technology will progress. The CRAY-1 is 7 year old technology. The advantages that you point out for the smaller computers are certainly valid. In MFEnet's environment, the smaller, more common computers also have the advantages of lots of free or cheap software, more interactivity (being designed for timesharing more than number crunching) and experimental data can be analysed without overloading a limited bandwidth network. But all these advantages do not foretell the end of centralized computing. A hybrid system consisting of small interactive computers (PCs, VAXes etc) and large number crunchers, connected in thru a reasonable network would seem to be the ideal. Even if Cessnas were commodity items, there would still be a market for 747s. In computer technology, when Cessnas can match the speed of 747s we'll build Starships. -- Wayne Schroeder ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 26 August 1983, 11:17-EDT From: Robert W. Kerns Subject: Re: Techno-philosophy Date: Wed 24 Aug 83 14:54:58-PDT From: Ken Laws Life will get even worse if AI succeeds in automating true creativity. What point would there be in learning to paint, write, etc., if your home computer could knock out more artistic creations than you could ever hope to master? Why shouldn't your home computer feel the same way? After all, he will be competing with the likes of Bach, Michelangelo, or Rembrandt; the best the human race has had to offer over the last 1000 years, and they'll be expected to do it in a few minutes. The answer, of course, is that art is ACT of expression. Just because I don't have the genius of Johan Sebastian Bach doesn't mean I'll just give up my own composition and just play his. I personally doubt that we will ever design intelligent machines that have the desire to express artistic ideas (as opposed to embodying artistic ideas in programs and setting them in motion). But if we do, the human experience is likely to be very different from the machine experience. Can you doubt this will be reflected in their poetry? ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #53 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-29 22:16:24 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 29 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 53 Today's Topics: Query - 68000 protocol implementations, Computers and People - Electronic Mail comes of Age & Computers on TV & Calling Channel & Bboards (2 msgs) & Teaching about Computers & The Worth of Technology (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon 29 Aug 83 09:29:05-EDT From: Marc Shapiro Subject: 68000 protocol implementations query Planning to implement high-level protocols on a 68000-based card attached to a 10 Mb/s Ethernet, I would like to get in contact with people who have implemented eihter TCP-IP or XNS protocols on similar hardware (preferably in C). We could exchnage experiences and possibly programs. ------------------------------ Date: 26 August 1983 14:43 edt From: TMPLee.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Electronic Mail comes of Age I assume I'm not the only one to notice this, but I just got a routine mailing from the IEEE computer society asking for updates on the mailing list for its technical committees (they are *shudder* converting over to a new computerized database). Anyway, this is the FIRST time I've seen such a mailing that in addition to the usual street address, title, phone number asked for electronic mail network and mailbox address (if any). Ted Lee ------------------------------ Date: 27 Aug 83 11:18:40 EDT From: SOMMERS@RU-GREEN.ARPA Maybe this should go to SF-Lovers, but I thought it might interest Human-Nets readers. TELEVISION FOLLOWS IN THE WAY OF WARGAMES Reading my local paper this morning, I came across an article from Gannett News Service. It seems that one of the new shows for the Fall season is a Hardy Boy's type mystery - with a twist of course. This one is about four high school freshmen who build themselves a "sophisticated computer" [on the order of a Vax maybe?] and use it to solve mysteries. Well, I guess it is nice that computer programmers are considered to be role models... liz// ------------------------------ Date: 26 August 1983 22:11 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: calling channel & bboards There's a problem with "Circulate to" -- the mailsystems on the Arpanet aren't reliable enough. If a message passes thru ten recipients there's a good chance at least on of them will be unable to do the circulation automatically and will have to do it manually and have a good chance of munging it, and there's a reasonable chance that one of the "automatic" methods will randomly fail in some unpredictable way. It would be an interesting experiment to have ten or so people in one of these rings and see whether a message can make one cycle before getting munged or lost. EMACS/RMAIL makes it easy to do this, providing the "Circulate to" is in the body rather than the header (I don't know if that field is known to this system, but I can manually manipulate text between header and body easily to fake it out), so I volunteer to be one of the ten if somebody wants to give it a try. ------------------------------ Date: 26 August 1983 23:55 edt From: TMPLee.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Re: calling channel & bboards Your point is well-taken, 'though I can't remember any more what my original comment was in answer to! But I should note, that the same problem arises in the paper world: it is more frequent than I want to admit that I have circulated something around the office only to have it lost for a very long time or even for ever. I won't volunteer for the experiment, if only because the mailsystem I use on Multics is ancient, awkward, and inflexible (unless perhaps one is an expert Multician, which I am not.) I suspect some of the theoretical and practical work on distributed databases (commit points, etc.) and recovery mechanisms are relevant here. Ted ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 29 Aug 83 10:33:15 EDT From: Eric Albert Subject: So-called "losers" This message is a response to the following message: Date: 19 August 1983 02:00 EDT From: Keith F. Lynch Subject: Losers Keith Lynch's message about his difficulties teaching users struck me as a perfect example of the kind of arrogance and lack of empathy (note the wonderful subject heading -- how would YOU feel about a teacher who charactersized their students as "losers"?!?) that turn off non-computer people from learning computers. What's lovely about this example is that the subjects he complains about are precisely those where I would expect people to have trouble. ... They particularly seem to have mental blocks when it comes to the notion of data types (they have a very hard time understanding the difference between integers and floating point numbers, or they insist that this is just an artifact of the language being used. ... The distinction between fixed and floating point is very non-intuitive. I never encountered the concept, despite numerous math courses, until I started using computers, and I remember thinking it an arbitrary distinction. Furthermore, it IS "an artifact of the language" -- some computer languages don't distinguish. Users find these languages much easier to understand. ... Not one that I know of has ever been able to understand why -1 to the integer 3 is -1 but -1 to the floating 3 is undefined.) ... I'm not surprised users don't understand this; I find it downright weird! Again, many languages will do the automatic conversion to FIXED here (perhaps warning you if they have to round). ... or has fully understood that an equal sign has two totally different meanings in a line of BASIC depending on context. ... The use of "=" for two very different functions (one of which involves statements such as "X = X + 1" which is mathematically impossible!) can be bewildering. Here too, many computer languages use different symbols precisely to avoid this confusion. Why can't Keith understand that many people have not spent years with computers? Every point he complains about is an example of a problem that ANY intelligent, computer-naive user would have. When a scientist complains that numbers in computers don't work the way numbers in mathematics work, he is pointing out a flaw with computer systems, NOT demonstrating his own stupidity. Keith, with his inability to see beyond "that's the way computers work and that's all there is to it" is the one who displays lack of depth. ... I once spent several hours trying to implement fixed column sequential line numbers in Gosling's Emacs because an IBM type wanted to be able to edit the numbers and then use the VMS SORT command on the resulting file to get the manually renumbered lines back into order. It seemed like a strange requirement, but... It finally turned out that he wanted this so that he could MOVE A LINE AROUND IN THE FILE. I nearly gave up computers that day... This story is also instructive. Clearly, Keith was totally unable to determine what the user actually wanted, and so went off to implement a bizarre program whose purpose was incomprehensible. This attitude of "humoring" the user, rather than determining what is the (usually quite sensible) thing they really want to do, comes from a general lack of respect for users. This lack of respect is, of course, totally unfounded: it is based on the fact that the user doesn't understand computer science (which is important to Keith), even though the user may understand business, or chemistry, or some other field (which is not important to Keith) expertly. Solipsism at its most pronounced! What we have here is a person who is so deep in his field that he can no longer distinguish between what is "intuitively obvious" and what is merely a bizarre artifact that he has become accustomed to. This complete lack of empathy leads him to an obnoxious "blame the victim" stance. Having done it many times, I know that one can explain these concepts (weird as they indeed are) to people. ... Sigh. Maybe I'm just not a very good teacher. ... Precisely. I feel sorry for the people with whom he works, who may now believe that there is something wrong with THEM. --Eric Albert (ealbert @ BBN-UNIX) ------------------------------ Date: 26 Aug 83 13:16:51 PDT (Friday) From: Wedekind.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Techno-philosophy "Life will get even worse if AI succeeds in automating true creativity. What point would there be in learning to paint, write, etc., if your home computer could knock out more artistic creations than you could ever hope to master? (This has always been the problem of the wealthy classes: they can buy better quality than they could ever learn to make.) We will all be reduced to spectators and dilettantes." Ken, You make it sound like we'll be looking around for things to do. To me it seems like we'll have our hands full and can use all the help we can get. How about finding out about the world as a purpose? In our spare time, we could make art or useful things or figure out better ways of living together. It seems like these are natural outlets for the curiosity and manipulative urges that so far have mainly kept our stomachs full. The fact that AI might outclass us soon (or that extraterrestrials might now exist who can do these things better) shouldn't slow things down. The same goes for Bruce Hamilton's "average" people - lots of the stuff we do will have been done already (maybe even by other people); so what? Most people are "outclassed" in everything by someone, most learning isn't research, most traveling isn't exploration, etc. Should I have skipped my last Grand Canyon trip because other people saw it first, or sold my chess set when I read about Belle (or maybe I should wait until Belle beats Fischer and then sell it)? Does this mean that weekend tennis players should trade their racqets in for Wimbledon tickets? I'm sure you know that fulfillment often comes from personally taking part, even if other people could have produced a better end product than you personally. How will this change when it's machines that can produce a better end product than anyone in your race? cheers, Jerry ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 29 Aug 83 08:33:49 EDT From: Natalie Dehn Subject: Ken Laws's human chauvinistic comments re AI and Creativity Even without AI, there are other people (namely, humans) who are creative, other people who are intelligent. Is this so horribly threatening? Personally, I'm all for increasing the number my "competitors", be it through educational innovations or through AI research and, eventually (we've a long ways to go), development. Exposure to the products of "competing" intelligences and creative beings has always served to stimulate and develop, rather than stiffle, my own intelligence and creativity. Same goes for personal interaction with such people. Is there really some advantage to limiting intelligence and creativity to humans? Or perhaps it would be better if we could limit it to U.S. citizens (that's one way of handling the Fifth Generation "problem")! Or to people from one's own state or town, or university or department. Ethnic group or gender, anyone? This is not to say that the development of AI creativity is just another way of acquiring intellectual companions and benefactors; nay, it serves an even MORE important purpose (given that we already HAVE humans available to serve in this first capacity) -- namely, as a very promising methodological means of determining how creativity WORKS. (I'm curious; aren't you?) In the process, we are also learning a great deal about reconstructive memory mechanisms and many other psychological/implementational questions of human mind. If there's some good reason why AI creativity research should be halted, let me know, convince me. But until then I, for one, am ploughing ahead. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 26 Aug 83 17:35 EDT From: MJackson.Wbst@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: The influence of technology on our well being From: Robert Elton Maas The solution to increased life expectancy is to permit the elderly to work instead of forcing them to totally retire. If the elderly do useful work, it'll be the same as if they were young people working. Fine moves in this direction are only to be applauded. However, this only works if the aged are in good health. More generally, advances in medical science have enabled such life-saving feats of treatment that over 10% of our GNP is going for medical care, and the percentage is rising. How do we bring this burden under control? I'm extremely uncomfortable with money as a rationing mechanism for this particular resource; on the other hand, who would you like to see empowered to tell a dying person, "Sorry, society can't afford the cost of your treatment?" Mark ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #54 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-31 21:16:06 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 31 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 54 Today's Topics: Computer Security - The Sloan-Kettering VAX security, Computers and People - Teaching about Computers & The Worth of Technology & Computers and culture ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 29 Aug 1983 1202-MDT From: Walt Subject: Sloan-Kettering VAX security Sloan-Kettering probably made their VAX vulnerable to penetration from Telenet by interfacing to the network by the most popular method. This method works as follows: RS232 +-----------+ lines +-----+ | TP4000 |---------| | Telenet <==== X.25 line ====> | interface |---------| VAX | | box |---------| | +-----------+ +-----+ The X.25 line runs to the Telenet packet switch and is probably about 4800 baud. Incoming calls are multiplexed onto the wire by the rules of CCITT Recommendation X.25. The purpose of the TP4000 is to demultiplex the incoming calls and make the network appear to the VAX as if it were a set of dialups. The RS232 lines coming out of the TP4000 go into the VAX exactly as if they came from so many modems. TP4000 is a Telenet trademark, and there are in fact several other interface boxes that may have been used. They are all pretty similar. I am guessing at a TP4000 on the basis that it's the most popular box for this purpose. When a virtual call is placed over Telenet to the VAX, the network hands an INCOMING CALL packet across the X.25 line to the TP4000. The TP4000 inspects the INCOMING CALL and replies with either a CALL ACCEPTED packet, or a CLEAR REQUEST packet to reject the call. The TP4000 can be programmed to make various judgements; I'm not sure exactly what its capabilities are in detail. If the TP4000 decides to accept the call, it indicates to the VAX that a call is present, and the VAX responds with the system herald. The security of this method of connecting to Telenet is limited by the amount of scepticism you can program into your interface box, and also by your ability to do the programming. Most Telenet customers seem to have relatively little sophistication about the X.25 standard and the network that they're connected to. Anyone with a terminal and a 300 or 1200 baud modem can dial up the Telenet public PAD (Packet Assembler/Disassembler) conveniently located near them and request that a virtual call be placed to whatever network address they type. For example, to connect to UTAH-20 you would type to the PAD: @c 80153.30 However, when your call came in to MY interface box, it would be rejected with a CLEAR REQUEST packet. The reason for this is that when you give the CONNECT command to a public PAD, the PAD builds a CALL REQUEST packet which requests the REVERSE CHARGING option. My interface box is programmed to reject any such call. In order to connect to 80153.30 you have to agree in advance to pay for the call yourself. You do this by giving what Telenet refers to as a "password-ID" to the public PAD. This specifies a Telenet account to be charged for the call, and requires you to provide a password before the CALL REQUEST packet will be sent. The command looks like this: @ID ;80153.30/account PASSWORD=password UTAH-20 will not print its herald until it sees a CALL REQUEST which does not request reverse charging. My interface prints out the calling address from each CALL REQUEST packet that comes in, so I'm able to get some idea of how many people are trying to connect without a password-ID. There seem to be quite a lot of people dialing into public PADs and connecting at random. This is the network equivalent of the hacker practice of dialing numbers and listening for a carrier. To the best of my knowledge, most Telenet sites are vulnerable to the kind of penetration that Sloan-Kettering experienced. If you are in this catagory I encourge you to switch to the way we do it here. Cheers -- Walt ------------------------------ Date: 30 Aug 1983 10:17-PDT Subject: "Losers" From: KIETZMANN@USC-ISIE I fully agree with Greg Davidson's feelings about "Losers" being nothing more than poorly trained users. I don't know of anyone that has ever learned to walk without learning to crawl first. A teacher or trainer must begin with something that is known by the trainee or student and then proceed to more complex items. Within any office, whether it is military, commercial, or educational in nature, there is always a certain degree of turnover of personnel. The reasons may be promotion within the company, a company (or military) directed transfer to another location, or just an individual just switching jobs. This turnover and movement of people leaves nearly all offices with a continuing need for an ongoing system of training their replacements. My office went from 5 experienced, trained people to 2 plus an empty slot. At the time when an office is already in a busy situation, (covering the duties that would be done by the occupant of the empty slot, for example) the additional job of training the person to fill that empty slot can sometimes be frustrating. It is sometimes difficult to find much time in a small office to do justice to training someone when the normal requirements of the job always have first priority. Training of the replacements will then catch the lowest priority and result in "losers" as the output of your training program. I have some ideas about a tutoring system I would like to see in a program for someday. It has 2 parts. The first part would let an "expert" write the tutorial frames (the text, question, and desired answer) for a tutorial lesson in his area of specialty, whether it might be administrative procedures, basics of using a certain text editor, or just generalized procedures used in an office. This portion of the program would allow the "expert" to create the tutorial frames in an interactive mode or would accept properly formatted frames created by a text editor. The second part of this tutorial system would show all of the subjects available to a prospective student (possibly as a menu) and walk the student through the selected topic interactively. The details of handling wrong answers, stopping in the middle and continuing later, feedback to the student, etc. have many possibilities and could be worked out later. This type of a system would give the "losers" better training. Changes in the contents of the tutorial could be updated easily and in a timely manner. The training of new people would not be an additional burden or receive low priority because of the high priority of the normal duties of that office. For quite some time, I have wondered about the availability of interactive tutorials on the ARPANET. I know of a couple, one to teach the basics of EMACS and another to teach some of the uses of control characters in TOPS-20. I would be willing to compile a list of tutorials and publish the list later in the Human-Nets Digest, if anyone would be interested. If anyone knows of tutorials available, send the information to KIETZMANN @ USC-ISIE. I suggest the information desired about tutorials might be as follows: SUBJECT: LOCATION: (where it can be found presently) CURRENT OPERATING ENVIRONMENT: (USC-ISIE is a DEC machine running TOPS-20) LANGUAGE OF THE SOURCE CODE: AVAILABILITY: (arrangements for use by or transfer to other ARPANET people) CONTACT POINT: (for someone interested in obtaining the program) ------------------------------ Date: 24 Aug 1983 1255-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: Techno-philosophy ...the public schools are scared to death to help students develop the tools (philosophy and morality) to sort out those messages, because they don't think people trust the schools to separate from . Bruce Hamilton.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA This is especially hard when local potentates go around making speeches to the effect that morality can only come from religion, as one did here not too long ago. My own opinion is that morality and religion are mutually exclusive - that is, if you are attempting to follow the dictates of a religion, then as a result you will end up doing immoral things. The best discussion of the population problem, and why it is a problem, that I have ever found is in the book /Managing the Commons/, by Garrett Hardin. Hardin discusses what he calls "the tragedy of the Commons", which is a situation in which a group of people, each of whom is pursuing their own best interests, produces a result which is tragic for all of them. The classic example is the common pasture. Suppose, for example, that you have a community-owned pasture that is capable of supporting 100 cows. There are ten herders, each of which has ten cows grazing on the pasture. At this point the pasture is producing as much as it is capable of. Now one herder decides to improve his lot in life, and adds an eleventh cow to his herd. There are now 101 cows grazing on a pasture which can support 100 cows. Actually the sky does not fall, of course; all that happens is that each cow gets a little less than it needs, and so produces a little less milk and meat than it should (say about 1% less, for simplicity). The result is that the herder who added the extra cow is receiving about 9% more milk and meat, and the other nine are each receiving about 1% less, than before. The herder who added the cow is richly rewarded for his enterprise, and so has an incentive to add yet another cow. So does each of the other nine herders. If they all do what they individually have an incentive to do, the result will be mass starvation! There are two basic approaches to dealing with the problem, both of which are commonly used: 1) Establish an authority which limits the size of the herd to what the pasture will bear, and a system of allocation which allows each herder a certain amount of the pasturage. Pastoral societies generally have some such system. 2) Enclose the common pasture into ten private pastures, so that if one herder adds an eleventh cow to his pasture, only his other cattle will suffer. This social institution is called "property". Agricultural societies generally use this approach. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. One advantage to the "allocation authority" approach, for example, is that it makes it possible to utilize grazing lands that are highly seasonal. Much of the grazing in southern Utah, and in other arid lands, needs to be done at lower elevations in the winter and higher elevations in the summer. The cost of several complete sets of pastures would be prohibitive if they were privately owned. On the other hand, common pasturage makes it impossible to do selective breeding of your own herd. Human population is, of course, one of the thorniest "common pasture" problems. Most traditional societies have institutions to limit the number of kids you can have. For example, it is common to have strongly negative sanctions against "illegitimate" child bearing. Many societies forbid marriage to men who have not yet accumulated enough land or cattle to support a family. New technologies can and do create and remove "common pasture" type problems. One obvious example is the allocation of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is a classic common pasture situation solved by an allocating authority (which is the FCC in the US). An example of removing a common pasture problem by technology is the decline of native population which is taking place in virtually all of the industrialized countries of the world. It is now so expensive to buy the technology needed to make your kid self supporting, and so cheap to buy appliances that do the few jobs a kid is capable of, that lots of people find it more to their advantage to have few or no kids. One of the things we need to ask ourselves as we invent new technologies is, what "common pasture" type problems will be created and removed by any given technology? ...because that is one of the major determinants of the resulting changes in social institutions. Cheers -- Walt ------------------------------ Date: Mon 29 Aug 83 11:26:33-PDT From: WYLAND@SRI-KL.ARPA Subject: Computers and culture - Schroeder's comments I didn't mean to imply that central computers nor large computers were dead or dying, just that they were no longer the focus of the developing idea of the computer. A net of personal computers still requires a central computer for store and forward of the net messages, and a central computer is also required for any organization (of 2 or more people) that has common files. Large computers are required for special problems such as modelling. These problems will continue to grow in size and importance, and their machines with them. I still think that memory is the essence of the computer. The fastest scientific calculator, without memory, cannot solve the modelling problems that a large computer can; however, a large, fast memory (say, 1 gigabyte at 10 nanoseconds) should be able to do a respectable job with the crudest (add and subtract integer only?) arithmetic unit. I compared the large, central computers to railroads and the personal computers to automobiles and trucks. I think this analogy holds. A railroad carries huge quantities of bulk material at low cost. They are, and will probably remain, the prime method of handling the bulk of things to be moved from point a to point b. Their disadvantage is that they represent a fixed, relatively inflexable net of transportation. The car/truck represents flexibility: transportation driven by the individual user. The user determines the what, where, and when of the transportation problem. Like the railroad, the large, central computer may be the most practical approach to handling very large problems, scientific or commercial, but with the disadvantage that the user must adapt to its capabilities and limitations. Like the car/truck, the personal computer is adapted to the user and the user's changing requirements. I think that the personal computer is the new focus of the computer idea because the personal computer is where the next great growth area in total computer power (Mips x computers) and total memory (in terabytes) should occur. Although the personal computer usage may be 1-10% rather than the 50+% of a central computer, the total activity should be HUGE! ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #55 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-08-31 23:03:06 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 31 Aug 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 55 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Electronic Mail comes of Age & Teaching about Computers ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 30 Aug 83 17:26 EDT (Tuesday) From: Denber.WBST@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Electronic Mail comes of Age "asked for electronic mail network and mailbox address" The membership application in the registration materials for AAAI this year asked for that also. - Michel ------------------------------ Date: 30 August 1983 03:25 EDT From: Keith F. Lynch I have received several flames in response to my message in HN issue 49. I am afraid I didn't make myself very clear. I am not "blaming the victim". Far from it. I am blaming the victim's environment. The subject, "losers", was unfortunate. It was from the message I was replying to. I had meant to put it in quotes. My point (not terribly well expressed) was that there is an enormous amount of bogus software out there, and much of it is actually doing more harm than good. I would not go so far as Djikstra, who seems to believe that exposure to Basic or Cobol can lead to permanent brain damage, but I do think that many concepts are much more easily learned by people who have not been exposed to those languages or to such operating systems as IBM's TSO, or APPLE's whatever-you-call-it, or various word processing oriented systems. I am certainly not blaming the people who are the victims of this. I DO blame the people who are unwilling to learn, or to get along with other people. I don't care if someone wants to use the losing SOS editor rather than Emacs or EDT but I will object if he is using it on a good (public) terminal when people who want to use Emacs are stuck on the glass teletypes. In this case I will ask them to trade terminals. And I will probably not put as much effort into helping an SOS user than an Emacs user if the help requires my getting into the editor. At the risk of sounding elitist I do have better things to do than to learn losing editors. When a person REFUSES to give me the information I need to do my job right, there isn't much I can do. The 'IBM type' refered to in my previous message is twice my age, probably gets three times my salary, and has four times my seniority. He also has a military background. When I asked him (twice) why he wanted line numbers in Emacs he said something like "Never mind that. I need to do it for my application. You don't need to know what that is. Just do what I told you, ok?". I don't know how to deal with people like that. I wish I had the option of ignoring them but I don't. Date: 24 Aug 83 10:04:12 PDT (Wednesday) From: Hoffman.es@PARC-MAXC.ARPA ... However, on another level altogether, the novice's intuitions are frequently quite correct! ... True enough in some cases. But most novices intuitions are not consistent with each other or with themselves. When asked what is a good name for a command to get rid of files, you will get many different answers from different users. A system designed to please one of them probably won't please many others. (A sizable percentage of novice users complain that the up and down arrow keys work backwards, i.e. they say that pressing the up arrow key should make the TEXT move up relative to the cursor, rather than vice versa. I guess it's all relative.) A more useful distinction is between things that are easily learnable and those that aren't, and between things with a simple, pleasant, and consistent interface, such as Lisp and Emacs, and things without, such as Basic. It is well known that beginners ususally prefer Basic. That doesn't mean it is the right way to go, or that 'intuitions' a user learns from Basic are more real, natural, or useful than any others. Date: Mon, 29 Aug 83 10:33:15 EDT From: Eric Albert The distinction between fixed and floating point is very non-intuitive. I never encountered the concept, despite numerous math courses, until I started using computers, and I remember thinking it an arbitrary distinction. Furthermore, it IS "an artifact of the language" -- some computer languages don't distinguish. Users find these languages much easier to understand. I think it is a perfectly natural distinction. Floating point (aka real) numbers are useful for measuring things that come in continuous quantities, such as the length of a road, the amount of water in a bathtub, the resistance of a resistor, the weight of a person, the temperature in a room, or the brightness of a lightbulb. Integers are useful for measuring, counting, or labeling things that come in discrete quantities or states, such as the number of eggs in the refrigerator, the number of keys on your keyboard, the number of the current year, the numeric representation of the ASCII character 'F', the number of times a program loop will iterate, the number of conductors in a cable, or the number of states in the union. Complex numbers are useful for such things as measuring AC voltages, impedances, and currents, or for representing points on a plane. These are all different TYPES of numbers, and they are used for different things and different rules apply to them. For instance dividing the integer 5 by the integer 3 results in a quotient of 1 and a remainder of 2. Dividing the real number 5 by the real number 3 results in a quotient of 1.6666... and no remainder. This is not an artifact of any language. It is simply the way the world is. ... Not one that I know of has ever been able to understand why -1 to the integer 3 is -1 but -1 to the floating 3 is undefined.) ... I'm not surprised users don't understand this; I find it downright weird! Again, many languages will do the automatic conversion to FIXED here (perhaps warning you if they have to round). I find I prefer strong typing. Obviously a language can be designed to replace a real number with an integer in any context where the real number makes no sense. Is this the right thing to do? Perhaps it should be an option. I would leave the option turned off. I still maintain that if a user tries to raise the integer -1 to the floating 3, he almost certainly isn't thinking clearly as there is no conceivable reason for wanting to perform this undefined operation (other than just to test the software to see what it will do. Kind of like dividing zero by zero to see what your calculator will make of it.) The use of "=" for two very different functions (one of which involves statements such as "X = X + 1" which is mathematically impossible!) can be bewildering. Here too, many computer languages use different symbols precisely to avoid this confusion. Yes. Basic doesn't distinguish, which leads to confusion, especially among novices. Nobody should be exposed to Basic until they have had extensive experience with other languages. I would recommend Logo, C, Lisp, Pascal, or even Fortran or PL/I as a first programming language, but certainly not Basic, Cobol, RPG, APL, or assembler. Keith, with his inability to see beyond "that's the way computers work and that's all there is to it" is the one who displays lack of depth. Where do I say anything that can be interpreted as that? There are many important issues, such as how SHOULD numbers work in a system, how should characters work, what is the best metaphor for a file system, etc. I have at least tried to make SOME effort at these decisions. Have you? Or do you just sit back and complain that the machine is not Doing-What-You-Mean and those stupid computer jocks should fix it right or get out of the business? Yes, we can have it convert from integer to floating to byte to character whenever it guesses that that must be what you wanted, or we could just outlaw integers altogether (as most Basics do). Kindly do not criticize me for trying to resolve these issues and for explaining them to other users, including novice users. This lack of respect [for users] is, of course, totally unfounded: it is based on the fact that the user doesn't understand computer science (which is important to Keith), even though the user may understand business, or chemistry, or some other field (which is not important to Keith) expertly. Solipsism at its most pronounced! Why don't you get a dictionary. That has nothing to do with Solipsism even if it were true. I feel sorry for the people with whom he works, who may now believe that there is something wrong with THEM. I think my 'success rate' is a lot higher than yours. Date: 24 Aug 1983 14:07-PDT From: Greg Davidson If your mail reading program does not filter control characters into something harmless & printable, then it is the worst reading program I've ever heard of. Its more than just an annoyance, though: Haven't you heard of the famous security hole where you send the operator a message with embedded codes to reprogram his terminal's function keys to execute your trojan horse program? Yes, I've heard of it. Our mail program is the standard VMS mail utility supplied with all VMSs by DEC. We don't have any terminals with programmable function keys but users have on occasion sent mail containing (VT100) inverse video, blinking characters, large characters, and last April some mail had an escape sequence in it that totally wedged any VT100 that read it until it was turned off. I use an H19, which is somewhat more resistant to such randomness. One time a user sent me some mail about Emacs. He had composed the message in Emacs and he mentioned a number of control characters and escape sequences by putting them into the text. Lots of fun! (Of course the message was quite readable in Emacs.) Is this really the worst mail system you have heard of? I have seen many that are much worse (hint: what new service is being offered by a private nationwide computer network headquartered in my hometown?). Gee, on our system (4BSD VAX UNIX), all three of the mail systems (Berkeley's mail, UCSD's snd/msg & EMACS rmail) allow users to edit any message without prearrangement. Of the two popular ones, and invokes your favorite editor automatically (if you defined your favorite editor) and rmail is integrated into the powerful EMACS editor. Yes, on ITS too. But not on VMS. Sorry, but we are stuck with it. Many users have been seriously mixed up by earlier computer experience. Most of what they know is wrong, and they're filled with superstitions which do not transfer to new systems. I will grant you that these are the real problem users. Nevertheless, these users are not unable to learn, and calling them losers and treating them as such only makes the problem worse. If you will look at my original message you will see that I was saying the same thing. The problem is that there are always more 'problem users' and that I don't have infinite time to undo the ill effects of IBMs (mainframes), ATARIs and APPLEs. That is why I saw red when I read in the paper about 'an APPLE in every classroom'. These are not good for anyone (except APPLE stockholders) and undoing these poor students' dis-education is going to take tens of thousands of man years of teaching. ...Keith ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #60 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-09-23 19:47:01 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 22 Sep 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 60 Today's Topics: Queries - Info on on-line help & Arpanet as Database??? & "Network Revolution" & NSA monitoring International calls?, Computers and People - Teaching about Computers & Trendiness enhanced by Worldnet? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tuesday, 13 September 1983 09:27:52 EDT From: Nathaniel.Borenstein@CMU-CS-G Subject: Info on on-line help Have you ever used a computer system (editor, mailer, etc.) that had a particularly good or unusually bad on-line help system? If so, I'd be grateful if you'd send me mail telling me what the system was and what features, in your opinion, made it so useful or useless. More general comments on what makes a good help system are also welcome. Please send replies to Borenstein@CMU-CS-G. ------------------------------ Date: 18 September 1983 02:53 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Newsweek again, hackers and Arpanet/MILNET split Newsweek for Sept. 5, page 44, refers to Arpanet and Telenet as "powerful database networks". I've never heard either network referred to in that way. Does anybody know what that means? Except for the host tables and some minor private files, I don't know of any true databases on this network. I'd hardly refer to the whole network as a "database network" since none of its primary purposes is to access databases. Rather it's to obtain remote computer access, to transfer files (usually free-form text files, not databases), and to exchange electronic messages. ------------------------------ Date: 22 September 1983 01:32 edt From: TMPLee.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Book: "Network Revolution" & NPR radio discussion I just caught snippets of an interview on one of our local "public radio" stations (KBEM, Minneapolis/St. Paul) with the author of a book entitled "(the) Network Revolution". The interview was produced by, or part of, "New Dimensions", which gave an address for cassettes etc. that I missed. Don't know if the "New Dimensions" series is an NPR offering or a syndicated effort. Anyway, it sounded like both the book and the interview are something that the HNets readers might be interested in. (I don't think I've seen it discussed here.) The author had a French-like accent and I think his name was Jacques Foulet; not sure of the last name. In the few minutes I was able to catch, he made an eloquent case for how communicating via computer networks was entirely different from everything else -- he gave some examples from the use of networks for mining projects (really -- something about people lugging terminals on their backs up mountains in South America). He talked about how the ability to throw out an idea to a large, diverse -- international, in his cases -- audience for comment -- as is done here from time to time -- was something that none of the traditional means of communication (telephone, telegraph, in person meeting) could come close to matching -- the telephone, or in person meeting, demands an immediate answer, without time for true reflection, telegrams are too formal, and anything else too slow. He also apparently gives case histories of various hackers using networks (generally benignly) almost to establish new social orders. Question(s): can anyone (don't all speak at once) comment on the book? Did anyone else hear the whole interview, can comment on it, and know whether transcripts are available (if worthwhile)? Ted Lee ------------------------------ Date: 18 September 1983 13:04 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: NSA and Orwellian mind-dictatorship According to today's newspaper (Family Weekly p.13), last year "a Federal Court of Appeals ruled that (the NSA) is entitled to record any of the millions of telephone and telegraph messages that travel across the borders of the U.S. and then turn them over to the F.B.I. -- even if there is no evidence that the person sending or receiving the call is a criminal or a spy." Can somebody substantiate this? Do we have to resort to encryption whenever we communicate out of the USA to protect our privacy? Can the mere use of encryption to protect our privacy be used to "prove" we are spies conducting illegal business? Later the article refers to computerized mass-mailings, where different appeals are made to different people to fit what they want to hear. These messages "are private and not under the scrutiny of the press". Perhaps whenever we get a mass-mailing appealing to our personal prejudices and asking for money we should turn the letters over to a newspaper for publishing? Then if different things are said to different people, that fact will be found out? ------------------------------ Date: 15 Sep 83 16:37:56-EDT (Thu) From: The padded cell of Gene Spafford Subject: Teaching novices It is difficult indeed to view things through the eyes of a novice. A successful teacher is one who can understand the confusion and hesitancy of her/his students. Overcoming fear of "hurting" the computer is important. The first time I ever taught a programming course, I told my students that not only could they not hurt the computer, but I would give extra credit to anyone finding bugs in the system. As a result, a number of people felt comfortable trying all sorts of things they never would have tried before. We also located some (trivial) system bugs; no one managed to crash the computer. One important point that teachers must believe and must stress -- THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS SINCERE, STUPID QUESTIONS!!! If someone is being disruptive, they may ask stupid questions. If someone isn't used to thinking or listening, they may ask somewhat trivial questions. But NEVER intimidate a student because they ask a question. The answer may appear obvious to you -- possibly trivial -- but the answer is not obvious to the questioner! CAI systems make better teachers sometimes because they have infinite patience, and they don't evidence exasperation or embarrass a questioner. Just remember: your students aren't "dumber" than you are -- they just haven't learned as much as you ... yet. None of us can afford to be elitist, especially when it comes to computers. ---- Gene Spafford School of ICS, Georgia Tech, Atlanta GA CSNet: Spaf @ GATech ARPA: Spaf.GATech @ UDel-Relay uucp: ...!{akgua,allegra,rlgvax,sb1,ut-ngp,ut-sally}!gatech!spaf ...!duke!mcnc!msdc!gatech!spaf ------------------------------ Date: 22 Sep 83 01:57:30 EDT From: Ron Subject: Trendiness enhanced by Worldnet? I want to try relate a current effect and a possible future cause. Currently there are fashions in popular music, clothing, etc. The movement of fashion seems tread a path from discovery to normalization. First a group expresses somewhat radical opinions, likes, and dislikes. They are alienated at first, but gain "followers" who agree with them. Sometime later this fashion trend is rediscovered and again comes into the public eye, this time being seen as "unique" or "creative," and then later becomes generally accepted (this happens in conjunction with some kind of commercialization, i.e. when Sears sells the things that were previously being jibed at). This is a simplistic model. Can someone with experience in sociology formalize this? The end result is that some people in our society do as Alvin Toffler suggested in "Future Shock," they purchase "superproducts," lifestyles that help them make decisions about how to interact with people, what to believe, what to buy, etc. The condition reached is one where appearance is all important. Maintenance of such images can be very stifling to the individual and cause persons to judge themselves on a very artificial basis. Could trendiness be enhanced (in the sense of the cycles being speeded up) by technologically enhanced public forums, such as widely distributed computer bboards? The usual positive aspects of computer mail communication become ways of reinforcing a trend and hastening its travel from fad to past history. A computer mail group is a large easily accessible peer group. "Radical" subgroups can be easily formed. Immediacy makes presentation of a new fashion to a wide group possible, discussion and reinforcement can also take place quickly in the subgroup. Representation can be done easily and at an appropriate moment. Then commercialism can take hold and wider popularization can take place. I have not been able to see a definite trend build and die on the bboards, certainly not one that deeply affected the lives of many people (except perhaps the constant streaming of Worldnet propaganda that occurs on Human-Nets). In the (somewhat) analogous area of misinformation there have been discussions on some of the unmoderated bboards which started, gained momentum, had reality intrude, and then died. It seems to take some time before the readers of the easily accessible bboard are willing to actually go out and check on a purported fact. Probably the grossest real example of commericalized trendiness is currently the "Teenbeat" sort of magazine for overenthusiastic underage females. We'll have some really unfortunate people reading future bboards moderated by salespeople interested in hawking 8 by 10 inch glossies of "fave" TV stars... Or, what would the National Enquirer do with a nationwide network as its publishing media! Talk about widespread misinformation! (ron) ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #61 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-09-29 19:58:16 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 30 Sep 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 61 Today's Topics: Responce to Queries - "Network Revolution" (2 msgs) & Arpanet as Database??? (2 msgs) & NSA monitoring International Calls (3 msgs), Computers and People - Trendiness and Worldnet (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 24 Sep 1983 0126-EDT From: John S. Labovitz Subject: Network Revolution `The Network Revolution' (subtitled `Confessions of a Computers Scientist'), is by Jaques Vallee, published by And/or Press, Berkeley, CA. It's mainly about the impact of computer networks on today's society; how they do some good, but (mostly) bad. He relates it with lots of anecdotes, and is very funny in some parts. I recommend it, especially to Human-Nets readers. Sorry I can't say more, but I read it a while ago, and cant remember anymore. ------------------------------ Date: Mon 26 Sep 83 08:45:03-PDT From: Bill Guns Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #60 THE NETWORK REVOLUTION is a book by Jacques Vallee, founder of Infomedia Inc. Infomedia is a worldwide computer conferencing network (using Tymnet) that is used by businesses and quasi- government agencies for project management, and discussions. Various publications have covered the rise of Infomedia-- it has played an educating role in preaching the benefits of computer mediated communications to corporations. Vallee is a very interesting guy. He was at SRI some years ago involved in some of the first work on the ARPANET and other computer communicatons experiments. He has also studied UFO phenomena (and is the reputed model for the French scientist in Close Encounters.) His book is a collection of anecdotes about his experiences with computers and people. It is enlightening in that he has a tremendous breadth of experience; it is not a polemic for any particular viewpoint however. Perhaps the subtitle suggests the tenor of the book: "Confessions of a Computer Scientist" [Bill] ------------------------------ From: vortex!lauren at RAND-UNIX Date: Friday, 23-Sep-83 22:19:12-PDT Subject: "Newsweek" and Arpanet Since when do we believe everything that "Newsweek" prints? Their comment about Arpanet was almost certainly a typical misquoting of information obtained from one or several of the persons that they interviewed for the article. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 25 Sep 1983 18:44:38-EDT From: csin!cjh@CCA-UNIX Subject: telenet and databases A chunk of Telenet usage is connections to information databases, particularly Dialog (Lockheed) and Orbit (SDC); I would say that with the increasing number of home computer users with modems the bulk of Telenet use is related basic data retrieval of one sort or another, with teleconferencing coming up fast from far behind. Does anyone have numbers? ------------------------------ Date: Sat 24 Sep 83 22:34:22-PDT From: Tom Dietterich Subject: NSA and International Communication A former office mate of mine claimed that he once worked for the NSA and that he had seen transcripts of routine phone conversations from the Atlantic Cable. Now this guy was known to exaggerate, but I believe him. --Tom ------------------------------ Date: 26 Sep 1983 13:41:32 EDT (Monday) From: Roger Frye Subject: No Such Agency About NSA recording of intercontinental messages: You used to be able to read an article on this by typing "READ CAIB-NSA COMPLETE" on the Conference Tree at 415-928-0641, but that number has been disconnected. The entry was an article reprinted from Covert Action Information Bulletin, Number 11, December 1980. You can get back issues from CAIB, Box 50272, Washington, D.C. 20004. The article referred to Watergate testimony by then NSA director, Lt. Gen Lew Allen, that virtually all telephone and telegraph messages entering and leaving the U.S. were being monitored. (Several people have gotten records of their conversations through the Freedom of Information Act and sued, which led to the Federal ruling REM mentioned.) The article also examined the types of domestic surveilance being conducted: If the NSA is not intercepting domestic calls, it has wasted a lot of effort developing the capability. As one example of this capability, we have learned of the existence of a secret facility in Suitland, Maryland, operated by the NSA, which is located within a few hundred yards of a main AT&T microwave relay station which handles many thousands of one-way communication circuits run to Fort Meade. There is no question that the NSA has all the equipment in place to listen in on domestic long distance calls to and from Washington. (Copyright Covert Action Publications, Inc.) Where the traffic is too large to monitor completely, NSA is said to do key word picking to select conversations for further analysis. (If I want my net mail to be picked up by the gateway at the NSA IMP, "comrade", I could mention "white stuff" or "gay.") A simpler device used by NSA is a pen register which keeps track of dialing attempts in order to form a behavior profile of a suspect. Have you ever wondered why Reagan warned that National Security interests impinge on the AT&T antitrust case, and why the case was settled so quickly? I believe that the National Security Agency has secret deals with AT&T. -Roger Frye ------------------------------ Date: 26 Sep 1983 20:08-PDT Subject: Telecommunications Security and Privacy. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff@SRI-CSL On Monday, September 26th, I appeared before and presented invited testimony at the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Transportation, Aviation and Materials on the subject of Telecommunications Security and Privacy. Due to the activities of the Milwaukee 414s and the subsequent hoopla that has been generated in the media, HACKING has been getting a bad name. I therefore decided to address my testimony to the TRUE nature of computer hackers and hacking (in an attempt to put the entire situation in some type of perspective). I also addressed what can and should be done to help abate the 'unsavory' hacking problem. And lastly, how low tech the current hackings have been and what we might be seeing more of in the future. I'm told the hearings went out live over CNN -- there were at least 16 video cameras that I could count and the rest of the room was jammed to standing room only with reporters and other media. Individuals who presented testimony were: Neal Patrick (of the 414s); Jimmy McClary (Los Alamos Division leader for Security); Donn Parker and myself (from SRI); and Steve Walker (formerly of DARPA/Pentagon). Those interested in what I had to say about hacking and such are invited to FTP a copy of my prepared testimony from [SRI-CSL]HOUSE.DOC; There is also a .LPT version with line-printer overstriking, should you want that. If you cannot FTP a copy for whatever reason, I'll be able to send one by netmail if you mail a request to Geoff@SRI-CSL. Geoff ------------------------------ Date: 25 Sep 1983 17:43:03-PDT From: Robert P Cunningham Reply-to: cunningh@Nosc Subject: RE: trendiness and worldnet. Several years ago, I happened to read a science-fiction book by John Brunner called "The shockwave rider" (Ballentine?) that featured an extrapolation of some of the effects you mentioned in you Human-Nets article. Also gives some (fictional) scenarios that describe some of the possible abuses of a worldnet that seem pertinent to some of the discussions in Human-Nets, plus the first fictional treatment of deliberate network 'worms'. The book's probably a little dated now, but you still might find it interesting. Bob Cunningham University of Hawaii ------------------------------ Date: 25 September 1983 21:12 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: trendiness and worldnet. --> network worms Beware! Network worms are already in the Arpa/Internet. Watch out for them. They are the self-replicating memes that Hofstadter mentionned a few months ago. They work not by physically usurpting the software of the computers, as the Alto worms did a few years ago, but rather by usurpting the minds of the users. These worm-memes get into the minds of users and are then passed on to other users, infecting the whole user populace before long. This message is a warning to watch out for these worm-memes. So that others can be warned, please send copies of this messages to others you know on the net. Eventually everybody will have a copy of this message and they will all be protected from these worm-memes. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #62 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-10-04 23:46:31 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 5 Oct 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 62 Today's Topics: Administrivia - Mailer Problem, Computers and People - New Dimensions Radio and Jacques Vallee & Trendiness enhanced by Worldnet? & The NSA and You (3 msgs) & Telecommunications Security and Privacy (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 4 Oct 83 21:55:40 EDT From: Charles Subject: Administrivia On the evening of 3 October, our mailer system went down with a hard error that caused us to lose any mail that was left in the mail queue. Anyone who had not received an issue of human-nets (due to downed network nodes on the ARPAnet) will now not get the issues at all. If you missed an issue, please let me know and I'll remail it to you. Charles ------------------------------ Date: 3 Oct 1983 1514-PDT From: Ted Shapin Subject: New Dimensions Radio & Jacques Vallee In answer to a recent question: New Dimension Radio, 267 State St., San Francisco 94114 produces a number of interesting programs on human potential topics. Write for a catalog. I didn't hear the interview with Jacques Vallee that you mentioned but I know who he is. He is one of the pioneers in computer-aided conferencing. He used to be at the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park with Hubert Lipinsky. They wrote "CONFER" for DEC-10's which is in the public domain. Vallee formed his own company INFOMEDIA to exploit computer-aided conferencing. Among their customers are all of the operators of nuclear power plants, so if anyone is having a problem or needs a part the other operators are likely to respond. Personally, having tried his system and CONFER, I much prefer this type of bulletin board system for participating in a discussion. The book THE NETWORK NATION by M. Turoff and S.R. Hiltz is very good, although a little dated (Addison-Wesley, 1978). These authors are pioneers in computer aided conferencing and run "EIES" at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. As of a couple of years ago, they had about 700 users in hundreds of "conferences" running on a mincomputer. ------------------------------ Date: 30 September 1983 04:53 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Trendiness enhanced by Worldnet? Fortunately the kinds of bulletin boards and digests we have on the Arpa/Internet permit rebuttal to false claims, so if somebody like you on such a bboard or digest is alert, a false/misleading movement can be quenched before it becomes too popular. We who advocate WorldNet hope it too will have this property. I would welcome the National Enquirer to switch to this kind of digest. If the moderator/editor attempts to squelch contrary views, rebuttal can be sent direct to individual members, and direct-mail lists can be created to bypass the bad moderator/editor. P.s. I wonder how hard it would be to get a list of subscribers to National Enquirer (in the real world today)? It would be interesting to send rebuttals of N.E. misinformation direct to such people and try to convince them to stop subscribing to N.E. and subscribe to a rebuttal magazine instead. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 30 Sep 83 0:19:43 EDT From: Ron Natalie Subject: No Such Agency NSA's motto has always been: In God we trust. All others we monitor. -Ron ------------------------------ Date: 30 Sep 83 8:41:30-EDT (Fri) From: Jim Dunning Subject: The agency that DOES NOT exist Congratulations to those of you who have just discovered that Uncle Sam cares enough about his citizens to listen to what they have to say. Once you get over the initial shock of realizing that things like this do happen in the real world then you can proceed to become fascinated by just what is really being done, how it is being done, and to whom. The National Security Agency is not something that just popped out of the woodwork. It was created (in the fifties I think) by Presidential Order (which is in itself highly classified). For those not entirely familiar with the buzz words of the federal government, a Presidential Order is what we would call an edict or decree if it were issued by a monarchy, dictatorship, or other such nefarious form of government. NSA, more or less, operates in the field of signal intelligence (sigint) and reportedly makes CIA look like a piker as far as the budget goes. You've been hearing of some of their activities in the past but you just didn't know it was their doings. Supposedly the Pueblo was being operated by the NSA when the North Koreans decided to claim pre-sinking salvage rights as was the Liberty when the Isrealis "mistook" an electronic surveillance ship flying the American flag for an Egyptian coastal freighter and tried to blow it out of the water. Anybody want to guess who the RC-135 electronic intelligence plane involved in the Korean Air flight 007 incident was working for? For anyone interested in reading more about the National Security Agency there is a book out entitled "The Puzzle Palace". ------------------------------ Date: 30 Sep 1983 0726-PDT From: CAULKINS@USC-ECL Subject: worm mememes The situation is even worse than that described by REM; the warning messages themselves cause meta-memes in the minds of the receivers (mememes; the transmitted form is youyouyous). The meme warning messages (which were certainly desirable) should be followed up with warnings about the mememes. Dave C ------------------------------ Date: 30 September 1983 01:14 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Geoff's testamony about Telecommunications Security and Subject: Privacy. I have one major complaint with this testamony. The suggestion is made that when a modem disconnect occurs the job should be destroyed (logged out). I suffered this "feature" a few years ago on an RSX-11M system I was working on (for money). Every few minutes there'd be a momentary loss of carrier, and my job would be logged out instantly, and I'd lose all my work since the last time I saved it. Carrier would be back faster than I could notice the problem, in fact most of the logout message would appear on my terminal. This was one of the two most frustrating things about that system, and I never ever will accept employment on that system again. The right thing to do when carrier is lost and it looks like a hang up has occurred, is to detach the job. This retains all work but merely disconnects the job from the dialup port. Then the user can attach to the detached job and pick up where he left off, either immediately or after redialing. This will adequately protect against unauthorized access by a new dialup user into the old user's job, providing a password is needed for attaching. The above applies both to direct modem dialups and to network connections. If the network connection is lost for any reason, the job should be detached, not destroyed (logged out). ------------------------------ Date: 2 Oct 1983 17:08-PDT Subject: Re: Geoff's testamony about Telecommunications Security and Subject: ... From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff@SRI-CSL Thanks REM I stand corrected. Geoff ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #63 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-10-14 23:09:34 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 14 Oct 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 63 Today's Topics: Query - Standard Abbreviations for European Time Zones?, News Article - Computer cracks Swiss bank secrets, Languages - New Smalltalk book, Computers and People - Trendiness enhanced by Worldnet? Hackers on TV - Whiz Kids ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wednesday, 5 Oct 1983 20:05-PDT Subject: Standard Abbreviations for European Time Zones? From: nomdenet@Rand-Unix Does anyone know whether there are standard abbreviations for the European time zones, in English (preferably), French, German, or Spanish? For that matter, how about abbreviations for time zones worldwide? Unofficlally, in Baedecker's guide to Germany, I've come across CET, for Central European Time (German: MEZ, for Mitteleuropaeische Zeit), and GST, for German Summer Time. Please reply to me directly; I'll summarize and post. A. R. White nomdenet @ Rand-Unix (213) 393-0411, ext. 7997 ------------------------------ Date: 5 Oct 1983 11:08-PDT Subject: Computer cracks Swiss bank secrets. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff@SRI-CSL Here's a scary one from the MANCHESTER GUARDIAN, (p8, Vol. 129, No. 14, week ending October 2, 1983) as reported by Walter Schwarz in Paris. "Computer cracks Swiss bank secrets SMUGGLING savings out of France into a safe Swiss account has been established practice for years. Lately, under socialism with the French frac falling and strict exchange controls, the middle-class habit has become a national industry. But now no secret saver can relax. The Customs investigation unit has struck a devastating blow -- by using the Defense Ministry's computer to crack the secrets of the giant Swiss Union des Banques Suisses, UBS. The computer came up with the names of 5,000 UBS account holders here. The affair is still officially secret, as authorities round up delinquents, but it was revealed by the satirical Canard Enchaine last week. Armed with the list, Customs officers acted with ruthless guile. They turned up with search warrants at each address and said: "You have an account in Switzerland, n'est-ce-pas?" Many suspected secret savers were so astonished that they confessed straight away. If they did not, some were offered a deal, others threatened with severe penalties. The Customs men's coup strikes a blow at Switzerland's highly prized banking anonymity. The shocked general secretary of UBS, Mr. Franz Lusser, alleged: "The lists were forged by the French Customs from information already at their disposal." Holders' names of numbered accounts never appeared on lists and were known only to branch managers and immediate assistants, he said. The computer's name is Eureka, which is what it almost said as it printed out the 5,000 names." ------------------------------ Date: 6 Oct 83 13:42:04 PDT (Thursday) From: Holbrook.ES@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: New Smalltalk book Just picked up a copy of the second book in the Addison-Wesley series on the Smalltalk-80 System. It's called "Smalltalk-80: Bits of History, Words of Advice", and it's edited by Glenn Krasner. $21.95 in softback. This book is a collection of papers about Smalltalk implementation techniques, drawing on the experience of those folks inside and outside of Xerox who have implemented Smalltalk. Here's a table of contents: Part One: Background The Smalltalk-80 System Release Process Adele Goldberg The Evolution of the Smalltalk Virtual Machine Daniel H. H. Ingalls The Smalltalk-80 Code File Format Glenn Krasner Design Decisions for Smalltalk-80 Implementors Allen Wirfs-Brock Part Two: Experiences Implementing the Smalltalk-80 System Implementing the Smalltalk-80 System: The Tektronix Experience Paul L. McCullough The Smalltalk-80 Implementation at Hewlett-Packard Joseph R. Falcone, James R. Stinger The Dorado Smalltalk-80 Implementation: Hardware Architectures's Impact on Software L. Peter Deutsch The Design and Implementation of VAX/Smalltalk-80 Stoney Ballard, Stephen Shirron Part Three: Measurements and Analyses of Implementations The Smalltalk-80 Benchmarks Kim McCall An MC68000-Based Smalltalk-80 System Richard Meyers, David Casseres Berkeley Smalltalk: Who Knows Where the Time Goes? David M. Ungar, David A. Patterson The Analysis of the Smalltalk-80 System at Hewlett-Packard Joseph R. Falcone An Assessment of Method-Lookup Caches for Smalltalk-80 Implementations Thomas J. Conroy, Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart Part Four: Proposals for the Future of the Smalltalk-80 System LOOM--Large Object-Oriented Memory for Smalltalk-80 Systems Ted Kaehler, Glenn Krasner Managing the Evolution of Smalltalk-80 Systems Steve Putz Implementing a Smalltalk-80 File System and the Smalltalk-80 System as a Programming Tool D. Jason Penney Implementing a Smalltalk-80 System on the Intel 432: A Feasibility Study Guy Almes, Alan Borning, Eli Messinger Preferred Classes: A Proposal for Faster Smalltalk-80 Execution Robert Hagmann Low-Overhead Storage Reclaimation in the Smalltalk-80 Virtual Machine Scott B. Baden ------------------------------ Date: 5 Oct 83 9:13:55 PDT (Wednesday) Subject: Re: Trendiness enhanced by Worldnet? From: Russell Lear One of the advantages of Worldnet suggested by REM is that alternative views could be made widely known by using easily created direct-mail lists. Right now I'm deluged by various publishers telling me how much I need to read their magazine to get a complete and accurate view of the world. The Republicans, Democrats, NRA, Common Cause, and Ted Kennedy frequently point out to me the perils of not subscribing to their views (and incidently asking that I help support them with money). There are even people on the net who seem to have my name on their own private mailing list. And you would make it EASIER to create these lists? Would I have ANY control over who would get my address? I'm not the hermit you might guess from the above, but the thought of eager, dedicated and committed individuals creating large lists makes my eyes ache and my finger twitch toward DELETE! Russell. ------------------------------ Date: 6 October 1983 00:15 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Hackers portrayed on TV show I accidently tuned in on the last half of Whiz Kids, and here are some of my impressions: The 1970 vintage vocoder with software as bad as the stuff I hacked up about that time didn't seem to match the A.I. claimed in the rest of the system. I can't figure out whether this system was supposed to be 1990 vintage A.I. with an archaic vocoder, or 1970 vintage hackery with "A.I." that was a total fraud (somebody secretly manipulating the system to make it seem intelligent when it wasn't), or the TV writers don't have any time frame in mind at all and are just relying on the stupidity of the TV audience. The rest of the system seemed reasonable. "Kilroy was here" was mostly text, with only the face graphics, easily within the capabilities of terminals now on the market. It seemed quite reasonable that the company LAN displayed a company logo upon terminal online and asked for a password. The warning that the requested temperature was out of bounds, when the kids tried to change the temperature to 120F, and asking for confirmation, seemed right on. But allowing the kids to go into memory-examine&modify mode without first logging on seemed strange. Probably the terminal was programmable, but a company computer system should have disallowed more than 3 password attempts in rapid succession, but then perhaps that company trusted its employees and didn't think anyone IN the building would be a system intruder, so they didn't have that security hole plugged. -- I'll give them credit for one thing, they searched the passwords lexicographically, rather than pretending you could guess one letter at a time like WarGames foisted on its audience. (But at the rate they were searching, they got to BBBBBB awful damn fast, I think they goofed on that item, it should have taken hours at the rate they were going thru the AAAA's.) ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #65 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-10-27 22:33:45 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 28 Oct 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 65 Today's Topics: Computers and the Law - "Crime" and Enforcement (4 msgs), Computers and People - "Hackers" and Newspeak (2 msgs) & Videogames: military uses? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat 22 Oct 83 11:33:04-PDT From: Mark Crispin Subject: electronic vandals What the FBI did was too little, too late. It is about time an example was made of some of these electronic vandals. I am not advocating putting high school kids into prison with hardened criminals, but I DO think they should be scared shitless (pardon my French). Certain individuals who think computers should be "less fascist" (lacking, of course, any understanding of what Fascism is) should work to get these vandals stopped. Then the pressure won't be on various systems and their managers to tighten security. The problem is, certain individuals HAVE been egging these kids on. One individual at MIT has been quoted (several times) as stating there is nothing wrong with breaking into computer systems. These kids have gotten the message: if you want to be hot shit, all you have to do is vandalize a few computer systems and everybody will respect you. Soon you too will be driving a BMW and making mucho bucks annually. Talk about SICK! ------------------------------ From: vortex!lauren at RAND-UNIX Date: Saturday, 22-Oct-83 14:18:20-PDT Subject: Computer "crime" and enforcement activities I'm sorry, but I must strongly disagree with the idea that law enforcement entities are totally overreacting to the "kids" who are screwing around with every system they can get they hands on. It's about time that SOMEBODY started reacting. Let's put a few facts into perspective. First of all, this is 1983, not 1973. Ten years ago, relatively few persons had the technology available to go around trying to crack systems, and those who *did* tended to be people who were already professionally involved (in some way) with the industry and only very rarely had any "negative" goals (like crashing systems or destroying files). All in all, though the problem existed, it was of a very small order of magnitude. Now, the situation is completely different. You can buy the equipment needed for such activities for $100 at Radio Shack, and we're seeing many persons who have as their goals *damaging* systems -- this was of course bound to happen as the "masses" got involved in such activities -- a broader cross section of society became involved. Some of these "kids" (many are far too old to really be called kids) are playing supposedly "innocent" games -- but others are hell bent on crashing systems and destroying files. It is unreasonable to expect system administrators and enforcement personnel to be able to clearly differentiate one group from another -- you never know when some guy who was just "playing around" may someday decide to try "change" something and do damage. Even worse, many of these kids really aren't very smart. Many are just blindly following instructions they hear from other "friends" or read off of BBS systems. In this sort of situation, even when no "evil" intent exists, the potential for accidental damage can be very high. This appears to have been what nearly happened at Sloan-Kettering, where the kids' antics could, potentially, have *killed* someone through damage to radiation therapy files. The kids busted in the recent Irvine raids claimed "they didn't know they were doing anything wrong". Sure! They just took some accounts from a guy called "The Cracker" in San Diego and figured they were legit, huh? "The Cracker"??? Gimme a break -- I can't believe those kids were THAT stupid. What else can they say but, "we didn't know..." -- they have no real excuse. In the last few years, I've somewhat changed my mind regarding tougher laws relating to unauthorized computer usage. While wording must be precise to avoid too-broad legislation, it is obvious that such access must be considered to be some sort of crime. We cannot simply ignore the situation by saying that "some" of the intruders are relatively benign. Better to have some decent legal coverage of the issue and let the courts decide on a case by case basis when serious criminal penalties should be invoked, or when a "slap on the hand" is more appropriate. But overall, I feel that we are not living in as "friendly" an environment in terms of computer users as we used to, and some forms of protection are becoming very necessary. Yes, computer systems should be technically protected as well as possible, and the use of default passwords and the like must be loudly discouraged. Still, even leaving your door completely unlocked does not make it legal for someone to walk in, explore your house, and pick up what he/she wants. One final point. There has been criticism of the FBI`s tactics in the Irvine raids (simultaneous raids, going in through windows, etc.) In my view, they acted in a fairly appropriate manner. Note that they did *not* go in guns blazing or even drawn. The reason for simultaneous raids and such entry techniques is obvious: if they had tried just knocking on the front door and going from house to house in sequence, there was a good chance that the kids could have deleted evidence by the time agents could get to the equipment. Remember that it wasn't really those kids that the FBI was after, but "The Cracker" in San Diego -- and they needed those files that the kids had to help catch this much more "important" person who was causing much more damage. Given that law enforcement entities have been burned in the past by people who took bulk tape erasers to their floppies and wiped out all evidence in 30 seconds, their "through the window" tactic seems more reasonable, especially since they didn't physically harass the kids, and simply told them to stay on the other side of the room from the computers. I'm not claiming that all of these kids should be thrown into the same cells with the father rapers and mother stabbers of the world, but some "tougher" enforcement efforts might just help convince the more "innocent" of these kids to think twice before blithely screwing around with any systems/accounts that they may discover. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 24 October 1983 11:40 EDT From: Phyllis E. Koton Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #64: Privacy I found the juxtaposition of Larry Layton's and /Rob's messages very interesting. Apparently when the army pokes its nose in peoples files and gives them grief, that's bad, but when high school kids do it, it's ok. I'm not trying to make the army investigators out to be good guys, but those kids are no little innocents, either. I bet they will be charged with something akin to trespassing or breaking & entering. Is /Rob objecting only to the "thuggery" associated with their arrest (which may or may not have been overdramacized by the media), or with the fact that they were arrested altogether? Elan ------------------------------ Date: 26 October 1983 03:58 edt From: SSteinberg.SoftArts at MIT-MULTICS Subject: 414 and real games - Did the 414's get what they deserved? I think so. Anyone walking up and down my block trying to pry open windows with a screwdriver should be locked up or at least be asked to leave the block and have their screwdriver taken away. It's one thing to knock on doors selling encyclopedias and another trying to break in, even if it's just to look around. If you don't see anything wrong, don't get upset when someone sticks their hand in your pocket to see if you have change of a dollar to play Donkey Kong. - The best article I ever read on paranoid theories of game programs came out in Saga magazine around 1970! There was also an article on a guy and his girlfriend who were kidnapped by the Hell's Angels which might help you find this fabulous piece of journalism. The article was complete with a picture or Kresge and the Green building and involved the author being invited for a friendly game of spacewar. Needless to say after a few rounds on the controllers his mild mannered friend had a certain demonic glow and a slightly reptilian cast. The game was being played for real. After describing the game and play a bit, the author speculates on why a million dollar machine at MIT is being used to play such a game. Maybe the US and USSR have decided that earth battles are obselete and the war will continue in space or worse, they have detected an alien menace that they aren't talking about and this game is being used to train the all new space army. I have since tried to track down this article, but Saga, like the Lady's Home Journal is not kept by most libraries since it is considered a rag (justifiably). I have not even been able to find Saga on fiche. I have tracked down LHJ recipes at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe which specializes in woman's studies but I know of no such library for men's studies which is probably just as well. ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 22 Oct 83 8:40:49 EDT From: Stephen Wolff Subject: Re: "Hacker" victim of Newspeak !! Yes -- that's the definition Dan Rather used on the national news a week or two ago. That probably makes it Gospel. Sorry. ------------------------------ From: vortex!lauren at RAND-UNIX Date: Saturday, 22-Oct-83 14:18:27-PDT Subject: media use of the term "hacker" Whenever I've talked to the media lately, I've attempted to clearly explain that the popular use of the term "hacker" as a synonym for "computer criminal" is inappropriate. It's a losing battle though, since it's just too "cute" a word and they just love using it as a generic descriptor for computer crime perpetrators. --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: Sat 22 Oct 83 09:30:15-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: Whiz Kids, episode #2 After hearing a few war stories from some psychiatrists that I know socially, I've become convinced that all of Computer Science is really just an elaborate delusional system. By the way, how do the fraud-by-wire statuates apply to this type of communication? /Do/ they? ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 24 Oct 83 09:23 EDT From: MJackson.Wbst@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Whiz Kids, episode #2 Well, you may or may not be paranoid, but if it actually comes to pass don't blame yourself for coming up with the idea. There is a science fiction novel (by Philip K. Dick?) in which the protagonist earns his living by entering a daily number-pattern contest run by some company or another as an advertising come-on. He wins several times a week. As it transpires, his WHOLE WORLD is a carefully-contrived charade (talk about paranoia. . .); in fact, his "contest entries" are targeting instructions for the daily missile barrage against the enemy. He has a unique talent for target selection, you see, but the guilt drove him over the edge so the military constructed this fantasy so he could continue to funcion. So how do you think you earn your living? Mark ------------------------------ Date: Sun 23 Oct 83 15:49:54-PDT From: Ken Laws Subject: Free Consulting REM's suggestion about military use of game playing has already entered the SF literature. Many years ago I read a story about a young man who was the reigning champion in the "Where will the Little Green Man Appear Next" contest. Each day the newspapers would print the latest "random" appearances and millions of readers would send in their guesses as to the next hits. Supposedly. Actually, the young man was the only game player and was living in a simulated "normal" environment to keep him from learning that the Earth was being hit daily by bombs from Mars. His predictions of ground zero were the best available. Another story involved an organization that put people into suspended animation. The customer could choose which of many standard or customized dreams he wanted to experience. The company, however, had secretly replaced the dreams of long-term sleepers (i.e., thousands of years) with dream scenarios of strategic importance to the company. For centuries, it had been collecting the results. Word was about to leak out, however, and the current president of the company decided that the only way the organization could survive was to announce the database and make it freely available to all. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: 24 Oct 1983 9:53:39 EDT (Monday) From: Mark Day Subject: Insidious Video Games With regard to the potential for video games being used to solve "real" war problems (a la Whiz Kids #2), I should mention that I have heard of people who refuse to sign their initials to a machine after a high score, believing that a camera takes their picture for future drafting by the Armed Forces if they thus acknowledge their prowess. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #68 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-02 20:32:26 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 3 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 68 Today's Topics: Computers and People - More Than Just a Game (3 msgs) & Hackers victim of Newspeak, Computers on TV - `Whizzy' kidnicks/urchins Computers and the Law - kids and computer crime ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 28 Oct 1983 13:50:31-EDT From: csin!cjh@CCA-UNIX Subject: reality disguised as a game There was a Hugo-nominated SF novella a few years back, ("Ender's Game?") in which a cadet, having won at all the physical training problems produced, was assigned to what he thought was a simulator (complete with a vicious instructor for his opponent); at the end of the story he finds that only his first battle was a simulation, the others being direction of drone ships against the enemy homeworld. (He also finds himself, after saving the world, mustered out at age 11.) ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 28 Oct 83 11:00 PST From: John Palevich Subject: More than just a game "Ender's Game" was published in Analog magazine sometime between 79 and 82. There's this kid, Ender, who's extremely good at winning games, and they give him harder, and harder games. Eventually it comes out that he's fighting (and winning) their space battles for them. Did you know that the controls on the new Atari coin-operated game "Star Wars" are based upon current military tank controls? The game controller was originally developed for a version of "Battle Zone". It's kind of neat, you can control six buttons and a joystick at the same time. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 27 Oct 83 22:54 PDT From: Gloger.es@PARC-MAXC.ARPA Subject: Re: Whiz Kids, episode #2 You suggested a very interesting "generalization of the Whiz Kids idea," such that the DOD arranges for "World War 3 [to] be run not by generals but by a computer hooked up to millions of teenagers who think they're just playing a game." There is an absolutely stunning 40-page short story, "Ender's Game," by Orson Scott Card, which develops almost exactly the idea you suggest. I read it in Jerry Pournelle (as editor)'s book "There Will Be War," a collection of short stories and essays on the subject of war, published this year. Pournelle there acknowledges "Analog Science Fiction/Fact Magazine" of August 1977 for first publication of "Ender's Game." The story is well worth the price of admission. ------------------------------ From: ian%utcsstat@BRL-BMD.ARPA Date: Sat, 29 Oct 83 03:18:30 edt Subject: Re: Hackers victim of Newspeak (HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #64) REM says that "somebody" should castigate the media for using "hacker" when they mean "cracker". That "somebody", gentle reader, is you, baby, nobody but you. If you don't do it, nobody else will. You, and you, and you, and you and, of course, you. Write a letter to the T.V. station or the local newspaper each and every time you hear them use "hacker" when they mean "cracker". It can be the same short letter each time, with the station name and program or paper name and article changed. Keep it online (unless you are paranoid about DOD and computer use, see article in same issue of HUMAN-NETS); change the details and print it to lpr (or however you get hardcopy). This will be easier when E-Com hookups become prevalent; for now, keep licking stamps and mailing to the media. They may listen iff they get enough abuse from real hackers (the good side, not the dark side, of hackerdom!). ------------------------------ Date: 29 October 1983 21:58 EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #66 `whizzy' kidnicks/urchins After thinking about this for a few days, I am beginning to think the writer for "Whiz Kids" is smarter than the rest of us. If we want to set up a secret account wherby we can do unauthorized work without even being detected as being logged in, the obvious places to patch the system are (1) the LOGIN program, (2) the kernel, (3) the password/account file. So those places are where the security personnel will look first when unauthorized use is suspected. Who would think of looking in the LOGOUT program for a hack whereby if you say you don't want your files closed and you go against the warnings that you may lose some data, then it leaves you secretly logged in? I.e. if you really want to be undetected even when a security audit is in progress, this is a perfect way to gain time, remaining undetected for a few days or weeks while you complete your unauthorized work. Of course now that the secret is out that trick won't work, you gotta invent a new one next time, because the security personnel now have item (4) the LOGOUT program on their hit list. Trojan horses work only the first time. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." (Scotty on Startrek) No military commander in the past 2000 years would accept a physical horse without checking it for soldiers inside, because the idea has been public knowledge all this time. I think the "Whiz Kids" writer was right in using a "stupid" way of setting up a secret account instead of the "right" way. - Regarding Tops-10, it might be easy, just have the LOGOUT program not issue a LOGOUT UUO when it should, and instead change the login name to something innocent like [100,100] and the job name to something not-logged-in uses are allowed to do like WHO or FINGER or MAIL. ------------------------------ Date: 28 October 1983 23:33 edt From: Dehn at MIT-MULTICS (Joseph W. Dehn III) Subject: kids and computer crime It is indeed an unfortunate situation when computer crime has to be dealt with by having FBI agents break into kids rooms, but this is just another symptom of the tremendous ignorance and confusion that still exists among the general public regarding computers and their use. Yes, it is 1983, but experience with computers has not been integrated into peoples' values, and even those institutions that are trying to deal with the problem often seem to proposing solutions based on the 1973 situation. Where are those kids supposed to have learned what is right and wrong in computer access? Where are kids supposed to learn about any kind of right and wrong? Presumably the process begins in the home -- you construct a primitive model of property rights when you defend your teddy bear. As you get older, your parents point out more subtle distinctions, and you learn that it is OK to knock on someone's door, but not to pry open their window. To the extent that this home learning fails, you encounter additional guidance in school and in the experience of interacting with your peers. All of this happens gradually, together with increasing access to the outside world (potential to harm others). The FBI-type interaction is one of the last steps in this process, one that most people don't need to get involved in as part of their personal learning experience. And, by the time most people are exposed to movies that glorify robbery or murder, they have other ideas to compare them against. With the kind of computer crime that is getting the publicity today, people are making the leap from no access (home computer game playing) to nation-wide access in one step, with nothing to guide them. A parent can't point out the difference between knocking on a door and breaking a window when they both take the form of unintelligible keyboard incantations. The experience of being rebuked by peers does not occur, since in the current state of home computer use a peer's computer is unlikely to be accessible remotely or to contain anything more exciting than ones own. For the same reason, it is hard to apply ethical generalizations such as "do unto others as..."; the situation is not symmetric, the reverse case being so implausible as to not even be envisioned. This part of the problem is complemented by the inconsistency and ignorance of the victims. By not "locking their doors", the victims further confuse their potential attackers, who are left, in some cases, uncertain as to where the doors even are located. Actually, some of the victims don't even seem to know where the doors are. They think they are located in some secluded, out of the way location, when they are actually located on a busy main street. They fail to post "no trespassing" and "authorized personnel only" signs. They have no means to observe who is wandering around and thus cannot warn them away. Finally, something happens and they, literally, "make a federal case out of it". None of this is meant as a defense of the malicious computer vandal, or even of the inexperienced kid "taking a joyride on the electronic highways". There are many clues to guide people, and most people end up behaving reasonably. But this is why the confrontation ends up being between kids and the FBI: in too many cases, the less extreme confrontations have been skipped over. Instead of warnings and incremental adjustments to behavior, we get arrests, panic, and headlines. It is a great hindrance to the education process that there is not even general agreement on what computer crime is. In the recent press coverage, there has been so much emphasis on the "paraphernalia" of computer crime that the real issues may be missed by much of the public. A home computer (less than $100!!), a modem (ah -- technical jargon, mysterious); add a kid and some code names, and PRESTO: a computer criminal. I saw a modem in your house, are you sure you're not a criminal? The FBI confiscates a modem, as if it were a knife. What did they actually DO, and to whom? The average reader might remember something about Sloan-Kettering, a bank, or the "highly secure Arpanet", but what was the actual injury, to what property or other rights? The press reports give very little coverage to this, and what little they say is not even consistent. Before people can come to understand what computer crime is (or should be defined as, since in most cases there are no laws that yet define it), they have to understand the different kinds of access involved. They have to understand that it is OK to drive on a public highway, that you have to walk up to someone's door before you can knock on it, that some buildings have public lobbies, and that just because someone lets you into his house it doesn't mean you can take the silverware. Another thing that makes education difficult is that the concern about computer crime has emphasized different things at different times. In the past, there was a lot of concern about "stealing computer time", which naturally makes mere "access" to a computer something to be suspicious of. This has helped obscure the fact that the real "computer crime" problem is access to information, not hardware. People did use their employer's computers to store their bowling league databases (although in many organizations it was never clear whether this was even improper), and kids did use other people's computer accounts to compute the Nth digit of PI (although most of today's kids may not care about that sort of programming), but these are not the future problems that people need to be educated about or that laws need to address. To the extent that certain resources remain expensive (e.g., telecommunications), there will still be an incentive to try to get them without paying for them, and to the extent that it is more convenient for an employee to take care of his personal affairs in his office than at home, employers will need to set guidelines to prevent interference with job responsibilities, but none of this has anything to do with "computer crime". Until people understand the real issues of access to information, they will not understand what to do about "computer crime". They will not be able to enact reasonable laws, and they will not be able to teach their children. They will be confused by the hackers that say "we do not believe in property rights" or that "it is OK when you do it to big impersonal organizations", because they will not understand that these are statements of philosophies that have nothing to do with computers, that most hackers do not agree with them, and that it is one thing for a person who believes them to use them to guide his own behavior, and quite another to base an information-intensive economy and its laws on them, or for that matter, to base laws on the assumption that most computer users follow such philosophies, and thus must be severely restricted if government and business are to be secure. I offer no specific remedies for this situation, but only the hope that as more people learn about computers, and understand the importance of information in their lives, they will come to understand the issues of computer access, and that that the result will be attitudes and laws that (1) recognize the rights and responsibilities of all computer users, large and small, and (2) allow for the variety of access policies that will be established by various parties. -jwd3 ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #69 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-08 22:32:11 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 8 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 69 Today's Topics: Administrivia - Error with Digest #67, Query - Digesting Standards, Responce to Queries - Archiving Ephemeral Periodicals (4 msgs) & Cellular Radiotelephony, Computers and the Law - File Privacy & Computer Network Crimes & `Whizzy' Kidnicks/Urchins, Information: Interactive structuring of information ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 30 Oct 83 13:15:54 EST From: Charles Subject: Administrivia Due do an error on my part, two copies (one with incorrect "Today's topics" headers, and a second one with the correct headers) of V6 #67 came out. I apologize for any confusion that may have resulted from this. Charles ------------------------------ Return-Path: Date: 31 Oct 1983 10:21:45 EST (Monday) From: Andy Adler Subject: Mail Digests Are there standards in use by interest groups that digest their messages? I think not. If we could come to some sort of agreement of the form of these digests, such as how to mark the individual messages in the digest, then it would be possible to write filters to process them, for example to put each sub-message on a separate page or to index a year's worth of messages. Currently, one must resort to heuristic approaches. Andy Adler ------------------------------ Date: Sun 30 Oct 83 12:12:22-PST From: Richard Treitel Subject: Archiving ephemerals (Isn't that a contradiction anyway?) I once read a short SF story in which there were colour TV cameras and microphones on every street corner and in every building, and everything they picked up was being archived, just in case (massive shades of 1984). The physical space occupied by the data storage was reaching grotesque proportions, and in the end either/or the guy in charge of maintaining the records, or a group of dissidents, or both (can't remember for sure) wiped out the whole shebang. Point is, some things just aren't worth keeping by any reasonable criterion, given current storage and retrieval technology. Think how scanty the records are that we have from some eras of past history! We can now deal with much larger archives than we could even ten years ago, but we'll never be able to keep everything that anyone could ever want. There comes a point where it may make more sense to re-research and re-write an occasional article than to keep shiploads of stuff that will never be re-read. And who decides what to keep, then? Anyone who is interested enough in a particular item, or thinks someone else will be -- plus Congress or whoever is in charge of the Nat'l Archives, but let's not boondoggle it. - Richard ------------------------------ Date: Sunday, 30 Oct 1983 19:58-PST Subject: Re: Information from ephemeral peripherals From: greep@SU-DSN In at least some fields, most of the information in the popular magazines becomes outdated fairly quickly. I would not want to read a 50-year electronics or radio magazine except as a historical curiosity. TV Guide basically outlives its usefulness after one week. National Enquirer shouldn't even be published in the first place, thus making its useful lifetime negative. Granted, there may be some marginal benefit in keeping almost anything, but it has to be weighed against the costs. I read about an article in the Journal of Irreproducible Results claiming that North America could be expected to sink within the next n years (I think n was something like 20 to 50) under the weight of the collected National Geographic magazines which many people never throw away. This projection might have to be revised if every local public library starts keeping all its holdings. - greep ------------------------------ Date: Sun 30 Oct 83 23:18:31-PST From: Ken Laws Subject: Misinformation A couple of months ago I read a article on computers in a women's magazine (LHJ, I think). A noted authority was quoted as saying, among more reasonable things, that floppies were the way to go for home systems because rigid disks were only for big computers and could only be written on once. I'm sure he said no such thing, but current editorial practice generally does not allow an interviewee to check the article before publication. The November issue of High Technology magazine has a fairly good article on DES and public-key cryptosystems. A tutorial box on substitution and transposition ciphers, however, badly botches the latter. The example claimed that a transposition cipher was generated by transposing the letters of the alphabet and then substituting them, which would be equivalent to a simple substitution cipher. Again, we have a case where the misinformation could have been caught by having a single knowlegeable person proofread it. I am not crazy about the idea of saving every article ever written, as has recently been suggested in this list. If the historians and sociologists want the magazines saved, let them do the saving. My concern is that "knowledge" should not be lost nor should it be available only to those who can stomach a search through thousands of trivial and possibly inaccurate articles. Once we have computers routinely extracting the true content of our text streams, I suspect that we will find that content to be rather small. The Encyclopedia Galactica will be unable to detail the life history of everyone who ever lived, but the Earth's composite knowlege of gardening, cooking, crafts, science, etc., can probably be stored rather succinctly. AI programs will be available to extract information for any particular purpose and reformat it for any audience. Accuracy will be guaranteed, within the limits of the target vocabulary. I think that's worth working toward. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: 31 October 1983 12:05 EST From: mday @ DDN1 Subject: information overload Date: October 31, 1983 Text: To those who urge archiving of all information on nets and in publications I address this question: where are you going to put it? And, more to the point, how are you going to find it? Already there is so much "junk" surrounding the information we want to retrieve that research is difficult; how will having this information lying around make my life easier if I can't find it? It seems to me that our ability to produce information has far outstripped our ability to catalog it, and in the absence of any better algorithm we all simply discard whatever does not seem likely to be of future value as a resource. Do you retain everything you've ever written or received as information sources for the future? Libraries have to do some kind of pruning or ignoring. --Mark ------------------------------ Date: 1 Nov 1983 14:20:26 EST (Tuesday) From: Adam Moskowitz Subject: Cellular Radiotelephony REPLY TO: adamm @ bbn-unix Robert, I remember reading an article way back when in "Popular Science" about C.R.T. (too long to spall out). I do believe that YOU are right about the intent of the word "cellular". The system is indeed set up to have the tota-talkies switch channels/cells as the carrier (human, that is) moves from cell to cell. The idea that cellular refers to the power source is absurd. If it's not, why don't we call all "walkie-talkies" "portable cellular trancieving devices" ? AdamM ------------------------------ Date: 28 Oct 1983 15:22:19-EDT From: dee@CCA-UNIX (Donald Eastlake) Subject: re: File Privacy While it depends on what sort of implicit or explicit agreements are in place, it is generally the case now that an employer has the right to examine all employee files on a computer the employer owns. It is not even like stuff locked in your desk since the employer does not need to bypass any locks to just take the physical disk packs or whatever and print out every bit on them. If you are worried about this you should, at a minimum, encryt anything that is sensitive in this context. + Donald E. Eastlake, III ARPA: dee@CCA-UNIX usenet: {decvax,linus}!cca!dee ------------------------------ Date: 30 October 1983 15:48 EDT From: "Marvin A. Sirbu, Jr." Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #67 A company called Public Systems Evaluation here in Cambridge recently completed a study for the Justice Department to develop statistical categories for keeping track of "computer network crimes". They developed a set of categories for keeping track of the incidence of such events. Marvin Sirbu ------------------------------ Date: 30 October 1983 01:23 EDT From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #66 `whizzy' kidnicks/urchins Well... I still disagree. It would still be the same thing as having a secret login or hacking some system program to put a privledged shell (to flick os'es here on you) on a terminal... However, if the system security audit is smart (and because in this case, the easy way just so happens to be the smart way), it will use the exact same information to display current system status that is used by the system itself. And, of course, people who aren't logged in shouldn't be allowed to do anything! Trojan horses work only the first time >if< they're detected... No doubt that there are a number that haven't been and are used every now and then (of course, more use constitutes a greater probability that it will be found, but then again, some system administrators, while paranoid, aren't clever enough to use the right tools!). :-), Andy ------------------------------ Date: 29 Oct 83 1812 PDT From: David Lowe Subject: Interactive structuring of information I have recently written a paper that might be of considerable interest to the people on this list. It is about a new form of structuring interactions between many users of an interactive network, based on an explict representation of debate. Have you ever used computer bulletin-boards or mailing lists like HUMAN-NETS and wished that you could respond point-by-point to other contributions and have the computer keep track of the debate and show you the best arguments for and against each point of view? That is one of the goals of this new medium. It contains many other mechanisms for indexing and structuring information in an attempt to make the best information available to anyone examining a particular topic. A copy of the paper can be accessed by FTP from SAIL (no login required). The name of the file is PAPER[1,DLO]. You can also send me a message (DLO @ SAIL) and I'll mail you a copy. If you send me your U.S. mail address, I'll physically mail you a carefully typeset version. Let me know if you are interested, and I'll keep you posted about future developments. The following is an abstract: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ THE REPRESENTATION OF DEBATE AS A BASIS FOR INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL By David Lowe Computer Science Department Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 Abstract Interactive computer networks offer the potential for creating a body of information on any given topic which combines the best available contributions from a large number of users. This paper describes a system for cooperatively structuring and evaluating information through well-specified interactions by many users with a common database. A working version of the system has been implemented and examples of its use are presented. At the heart of the system is a structured representation for debate, in which conclusions are explicitly justified or negated by individual items of evidence. Through debates on the accuracy of information and on aspects of the structures themselves, a large number of users can cooperatively rank all available items of information in terms of significance and relevance to each topic. Individual users can then choose the depth to which they wish to examine these structures for the purposes at hand. The function of this debate is not to arrive at specific conclusions, but rather to collect and order the best available evidence on each topic. By representing the basic structure of each field of knowledge, the system would function at one level as an information retrieval system in which documents are indexed, evaluated and ranked in the context of each topic of inquiry. At a deeper level, the system would encode knowledge in the structure of of the debates themselves. This use of an interactive system for structuring information offers many further opportunities for improving the accuracy, accessibility, currency, conciseness, and clarity of information. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #70 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-10 20:39:03 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 9 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 70 Today's Topics: Queries - "Hacker's Challenge/Revenge" game proposed & Looking for contradiction in terms & MCIMail, Computers and People - Military uses of Video Games & Electronic Junkmail (2 msgs) & Error Messages, Computer and the Law - System Crackers ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2 Nov 1983 22:37:40-PST From: Robert P Cunningham Reply-to: cunningh@Nosc Subject: "Hacker's Challenge/Revenge" game proposed. We've talked, jokingly I hope, about games that might not 'really' be games. I'd like to solicit comments on my idea of a game that would deliberately be ambiguous to the player. That is: a a game that would create the impression that it's for real. I'm going to bring up at least one semi-public UNIX system, and just had a brainstorming session with some friends on how to detect and deter the inevitable break-in attempts. One scheme we came up with (surely not original) is to create a 'game' on the system that simulates breaking into the operating system, perhaps even breaking into a simulated network of other computers. We'd provide some not-too-obvious but phony security loophole in the system. When someone tried it, they'd be into our game which we've dubbed "Hacker's Challenge" (the play on words is deliberate, since we think it will be indeed be a challenge to create a convincing simulation -- though "Hacker's Revenge" might be a better name). While the potential break-in artist was trying out his stuff, we'd be logging information on him, and hopefully keeping him online long enough to be able to trace his phone call, should we want to. I don't expect the simulation to be effective for a more than a few months or so on a particular system, and I'd hesitate to spend much time developing such a thing, except that eventually it might make a be fun to make it obviously outrageous, and make it generally available to the authorized users for their amusement. The trick, of course, would be to make the game convincing, but inaccurate enough so that we weren't effectively training someone to actually break into a system. Any thoughts, comments or scenario suggestions? Bob Cunningham ------------------------------ Date: 4 Nov 1983 10:08-PST Subject: Looking for contradiction in terms. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff@SRI-CSL On this mornings news, I heard two new contradiction in terms: "Peace keeping force." (Lebanon) "Non-Political Government [installed]." (Grenada) This inspired me. I wish to collect as many of these as possible. The other two that I have: "Military Intelligence." (Rocky & Bullwinkle) "Recreational Drugs." (Recreational espionage) If you can think or know of others, please send them to Geoff@SRI-CSL. If you would send them in the form of: "Contradiction." (Apropos/Like/Source) I'll make a complete list and redistribute it to interested parties. Geoff ------------------------------ Date: 30 October 1983 01:37 EDT From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: Junkmail Has anyone gotten [a] MCI's promised `Welcome' literature, or [b] had actual experience with the system? (Does it have a mail interface of the sophistication of MM or better? (i.e. `Delete (messages) text "you may have already won"')) Andy ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 3 Nov 83 0:52:25 EST From: Ron Natalie Subject: Ender's Game There was also a story in OMNI about a year ago entitled "The Last Child Inside the Mountain" where the worlds greatest video game player (who has become a millionaire playing them) is brought to Cheyenne mountain to play the ultimate video game. He's locked in a room such that no one can interfere with him while the game is being played. The only problem is that after the game is played for real and he has defeated the enemy, they can't get him to stop playing as he keeps trying to get a higher point score. -Ron ------------------------------ Return-Path: Date: 31 Oct 1983 10:21:45 EST (Monday) From: Andy Adler Subject: Junk Mail Actually, it is to our advantage that junk mail comes with ridiculous claims on the outside ("You may have wone the trip of your dreams"). Such envelope decoration immediately marks the item as junk mail and can be trashed immediately. Andy Adler ------------------------------ Date: 30 October 1983 01:37 EDT From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: MCIMail As to junkmail in general, perhaps making the sender pay the reader to read the thing is a good idea (why do bulk mailers get such cheap rates anyway? why not charge them regular rates and let us poor peons get the cheap mail rates?), but a flat rate doesn't seem the right thing to do. Assuming that the data was easily accessible enough (hell, it must be, they >do< have your netaddress (or maybe they send messages to all permutations of usernames and just throw away the rejection notices from mailers all over the world ;-) ??)), you could set for yourself a basic rate of x dollars (probably a small x, unless you didn't like to get >any< junkmail) per character of text in the message that they would pay you for the privlege of sending you a message? Andy ------------------------------ Date: Thursday, 3 November 1983, 10:01-PST From: Richard Lamson Subject: Found in "GLORIA" One programmer, annoyed at the apparent pettiness of user reaction, rewrote all the error messages in what he thought was a sarcastic, overly courteous tone. One cryptic error message thus became: "I'm terribly sorry. I can't interpret my option. A reasonable tolerance of typed input is very difficult to implement. So I am programmed to accept only a very rigid format. The starting of the program may have at most one option and it must begin with a dash (minus sign). I received: 80. If you get help or read the listing yourself, please refer to the part of the program indicated." Much to the programmer's amazement, the users did not detect sarcasm; instead they took the changes in the message seriously and responded extremely favorably. Instead of complaining about error messages, user began to cause errors deliberately so they could read the new messages. The programmer still remembers the day that users were calling to one another, "Hey, look at this one - isn't this great?" while he sat in his office angry at the reaction. That, however, was the day he became converted to the user's viewpoint, he admitted. - "Experiments in teleterminal design", by Hagelbarger & Thompson, Bell Laboratories, IEEE Spectrum, October, 1983 **==> That was Bob Walker's plan file. ------------------------------ Date: Fri 4 Nov 83 10:49:21-EST From: DAVID.LEWIN Subject: Teenage computer crime To: dehn@MIT-MULTICS.ARPA cc: humna-nets-request@RUTGERS.ARPA I received a call several days ago from a freelance writer for "Family Computing" (a Scholastic Magazines publication for teenagers and their families). He wanted to talk with people about teenage 'hackers' (in the perjorative, system- cracker sense) and computer ethics. I liked what you had to say in the recent Human-nets digest, and thought you might like to call him: Lester Brooks 203-966-0610 Sincerely, David Lewin ------------------------------ Date: 4 November 1983 02:20 EST From: Richard P. Wilkes Subject: Whiz kids and communications During the past eight years, I have been heavily involved with "bulletin board" systems running on micros and mainframes. I'd like to give a few examples of the destructiveness of many of these "kids." Most have probably heard of or called an RCP/M. Five years ago, I wrote a similar type system for a TRS-80. This software ran for 3.5 years without a problem. But now, as more and more potential crackers have access to communications equipment, this system has been crashed repeatedly. When I was back in high school, the big thing was to find a bug in the OS. But, once we found it, instead of using it to keep the system flat on its back, we documented it and sometimes even fixed it. Doesn't seem like that is the case anymore... On this system, some caller breaks in, deletes all the files, and then writes a program which keeps the drives selected; this burns out the motors on 5.25" drives, especially when they run all night. This was done so often, the system was brought down for a long time (until a trace could be put on the dial-up). I run my own system and publish software that turns a TRS-80 into a mail and message system. I have sat and watched callers SYSTEMATICALLY attack the system. This takes several forms: 1) All commands, series of commands, and options are tried. 2) The system is assaulted with all manners of control sequences, trying to get some unexpected result. 3) I have even seem someone drop and then re-initiate carrier to see if they could get somewhere. If that doesn't work, they begin to crack passwords. They know what they are doing... in one case, I watched as someone went through what looked like the beginning of the Webster's Dictionary trying to get superuser status. Since most people use words, not a bad idea, right? Less intelligent ones start with A and just try and try and try. Oh, by the way, they are definitely using auto-dial modems and software to do this. If all else fails, they simply tie up the system. They choose the most obviously disk intensive command, and execute it again and again. Since many systems only timeout after inactivity, this could tie up the system for many hours (not to mention the wear and tear on the equipment). These little bastards certainly aren't doing anything constructive. Seven years ago, I called up MIT-MC and got a tourist account which I kept for three years until I got an authorized one. It was a free account on an open system; the only strings were that I use it after hours and not tie up too many resources. But things have changed. You can't have totally open systems anymore without many precautions and almost constant supervision. For example, I have had to add many security features to these small systems: 1) Three attempts and you lose the connection. Nine illegal attempts at a username without a correct login causes a suspension. Anyone trying to login under that name is immediately suspended (with some exceptions). 2) Connection limited use. 3) Application process reviewed by sysop before someone can use all features, or even use the system. 4) Isolate the user completely from all operating system functions, even to the point of modifying the DOS to hang or reset when necessary. I do have one little "joke" up my sleeve. There is an account on these systems called SYSOP. Now, if I was going to break in, that is where I would start. I've put a little patch into my host. After 39 incorrect tries on that account, IT ALLOWS THE CALLER THROUGH. He gets a welcome message and Sysop command:. He can renumber messages, change the date and time, even delete from the directory, change usernames and passwords. He can do all the things that a sysop can do. Of course, he isn't *really* doing anything (he he he!) After, oh say, 10 minutes, output stops. 24 linefeeds are issued and the following appears (slowly, as if from a TTY): HELLO INTRUDER! Gee, I want to thank you for hanging around for the past ten minutes while we had a chance to trace your call. It is too bad that some people just can't live responsibly. But, I guess that is the reason we have the police and FBI, right? {disconnect} I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that treating this type of behavior casually must be stopped. There will always be people who will try to circumvent all security measures, sometimes out of curiousity, but recently more often with the intention of doing something destructive. It's too bad that the days of the unsecured systems is coming to a close, but with hundreds of people scanning the exchanges with their auto-dial modems looking for carriers, armed with 10 pages of pirated MCI access codes, we don't have much choice. Comments welcome. -r (RICK at MIT-MC) ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #71 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-14 22:07:52 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 14 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 71 Today's Topics: Responce to Query - Digesting Standards (4 msgs) & Archiving Ephemeral Information, Computers and the Law - Computer Crime ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed 9 Nov 83 01:10:45-PST From: Mabry Tyson Subject: Re: Mail Digests When I was at the Univ. of Texas, I started undigestifying the digests for posting on our local bboard. When I came out to SRI, I've continued keeping my code running at UT and having it mail the undigestified digests (and some bboards from other sites) to SRI-AI so we can keep abreast of what's going on. (I would be willing to remail these undigestified digests (in TOPS-20 type format) to one (semi-)official address per site.) Yes, there is a semi-standard for the digests. I know I have code that is usually pretty accurate on breaking the digest into messages. It almost never misses a break it should have noticed but occasionally separates one message into two. I seem to remember that the MIT mail reading program Babyl has a command for undigestifying digests. Whether the standard should be changed to make undigestifying easier may be argued. But who is going to change the code that creates the digest? Are YOU (generic, not specifically the person whose message I'm replying to) willing to? No matter how you specify message separators, I can send you a message with that separator in my message. I asked Ken Laws who runs AILIST if he'd be willing to send out separate messages to sites that ran some sort of bboard system (ie, only one mail box gets the messages and everyone reads that mail box). He pointed out several problems. One was that he sometimes adds comments to messages that would be difficult to do if he remailed the message directly. Another was that he gets lots of rejected messages back. If he sent the messages individually, he would get many more. There were some other problems too but I have forgotten the specifics. (Actually, I guess you can send out a digest with an unambiguous way to separate individual messages. You can't do it with separators the way it is currently done. You need to have something like character counts to specify how long each message is. That occasionally will lose because some mail programs and ftp protocols will change your message (remove nulls, add a lf after a cr, occasionally even duplicate or lose a period in column 1).) ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 9 Nov 83 4:45:47 EST From: Stephen Wolff Subject: [Andy Adler: Mail Digests] From: Andy Adler Subject: Mail Digests If we could come to some sort of agreement of the form of these digests, ....... then it would be possible to write filters to process them, ....... Currently, one must resort to heuristic approaches. Andy Adler On all the digests I know about, every contribution begins with a legal, parsable header. The version of MSG (p/o MMDF) in use here has an "undigestify" command which produces from the digest a collection of rock-stock messages, each of which can be squirreled away in its subject- file, or answered, or forwarded or what-have-you. That is, after the "undigestification" rfc822 gives you all you need to know (and all you CAN know) to build an automatic post-processor. -steve ------------------------------ Date: 9 November 1983 18:29 EST From: Gail Zacharias Subject: Mail Digests Babyl has an Undigestify command which uses the following conventions: A digest starts with an introductory section, which is terminated by a line of about 70 dashes. The first word of this section is the list name. After this section come the messages, separated by a blank line followed by a line of about 30 dashes. (The reason for the blank line is to allow use of dashes to "underline" text within messages). Each message consists of any number of blank lines, followed by a regular mail message, including a header and all. One gross hack which I found necessary is for the undigestifier to parse the header of each msg and check whether the list name is among recipients. If not, it adds the line "To: ListName@MC" to the header. This is because some digests, like Human-nets and SF-lovers, perversely remove the To: line from the individual messages, making it difficult to include the list in replies. This adhoc method is better than nothing, and most of the lists which do this gratuitous pruning have forwarding pointers at MC... ------------------------------ Date: 9 November 1983 23:29 EST From: Alyson L. Abramowitz Subject: Digest Standards Andy asked in the latest issue of Human-Nets if there were any standards for formating digests. The answer is a definite yes. For example, there are a standard number of dashes and blank lines between messages and the Today's Topics section of each digest provides a real (abeit simple) index into each issue. This format is reasonably consistent across quite a number of digest lists going over and originated from a multitude of networks. It's consistent enough that programs can (and have) been written to help moderators in creating digests and readers in "undigestifying" (splitting a digest into individual messages) messages. Matter of fact, I believe our Human-Nets moderator uses one of them written by a former HNT moderator, Mike Peeler, and former SFL moderator, Jim McGrath. If you wanted to write a tool to help you read parts of a digestt you would find it a very reasonable task. That's the good news. Here's the bad news: the exact format is not written down in one complete document anywhere. Not formally as a RFC or other network standard and not even informally all in one place. It's passed down from one moderator, tools writer, redistributor, etc. to another. At various times a few of us who have held these "positions" have said we would document the "standard". Alas, those who take these tasks on tend to be over-committed (generally doing these tasks) and it has never happened. And that can create "interesting" problems when these jobs change hands as those who have lived through moderator changes, for example, have seen. Meanwhile, however, I supect, Andy, you'd find no problem in getting those of us who understand the format to answer enough questions to allow you to write whatever software you have in mind. Enjoy, Alyson ------------------------------ Date: 9 November 1983 23:00 EST From: Keith F. Lynch Subject: Why save everything? Why not? The cost of storage is dropping rapidly. So is the cost of processor time, making compression more practical. I have all my netmail for the past 15 months stored (compressed) on my vax. It is about 20 million characters (when not compressed) and is currently growing by about a character per second on the average. I hope to keep it indefinitely and to continue to accumulate netmail indefinitely. I also have all my vax mail (work related) online, in a non-compressed form. Whenever a question comes up in reference to anything I have done in the past, I get into my favorite editor and search the mail file (my vax mail file is currently only about 2 million characters) and I can find any character string in about 2 minutes of processor time. Better search algorithms are needed. I CC every outgoing message to myself and I make sure that the topic is clearly mentioned, i.e. if the message is about a Printronix printer called LPB0: I make sure the words "Printronix" "printer" and "LPB0:" appear in the message, to facilitate future searches. Most messages from other people are not so clearly labelled. And it is very hard to search for some things, such as a phone number someone mailed me a few months ago if I get many messages from that person every week. I think that programs that parse sentences and can "understand" what is being talked about will be of great help in this, once they become more highly available (distributed as system software on every new word processor, perhaps) and as soon as processor speeds become fast enough to let them run in a reasonable amount of time (one page per second would be good). We have no idea what future generations may consider to be of great value! Who would have predicted that old comic books would sell for thousands of dollars? Consider the renaissance painters who painted over masterpieces because they couldn't afford new canvas. Fortunately it is sometimes possible to peel off the newer paint and restore what was underneath. I doubt we will be so lucky with magnetic disks! If only we had more information about the past! So little was considered worth recording that much of what we know about what really happened was discovered through archaeology, even regarding periods as late as parts of the last century. I don't know about you, but I want to be remembered. For the first time, computer technology is making it possible to save almost everything. Even if it not presently possible to index it properly and to rapidly locate what one is looking for, someday it will be possible. Perhaps someday, maybe in a hundred years, maybe in a thousand, there will be a system so "intelligent" that it will be able to "know" all accumulated knowledge and be able to visualize it all at once and see all the interrelationships, rather like a human being can do now with a single paragraph. Perhaps this system will be able to know all the people then living as well or better than a person knows their best friends. I wonder if this issue of Human-Nets will be a part of its memory. ...Keith ------------------------------ Date: 10 November 1983 04:02 est From: SSteinberg.SoftArts at MIT-MULTICS Subject: historical curiousities Anyone who reads any history (or history of science) quickly realizes that there is IMMENSE value in keeping track of all the random ephemera from a particular period. You might not want a copy of 1927 issue of Popular Radio for its clever circuit diagrams but if you are interested in the impact and perception of hobby radio then this issue is priceless. If you've ever read any of Steve Gould's essays on paleontology, biology or baseball you will learn a great deal about how human thought and science progress. When scientists suggested that each human contains miniature versions of every possible descendent they weren't being ludicrous, they just came up with a reasonable solution in perfect concord with a world a few thousand years old with a few thousand to go. In any event it was a much better solution than ANY of the alternatives. There has been a tremendous amount of stuff written and an even more incredible amount of stuff lost. If you want to undrstand Tudor England you might want to wade through the Lisle letters (all six volumes - not the one volume condensation) and that will give you some ideas about one family. If you want to understand how to make a Hungarian roast pork dish you might want to read up on Hungarian and European folk cooking before deciding how "authentic" you want your dish to be. The modern recipes are distant descendents with modern techniques appended of the original dishes which in turn record the various ethnic groups, external perceptions and economic geographic of the area. It is quite easy to have a 200 book + 500 magazine cooking library and still not have a recipe for a single Burmese dish. A friend of mine had to rederive the recipe for Sar Moo Sar since it's not clear there is a written one. In science there is a bias towards current information but anyone who wants to understand what they are doing and step back in the hope of a new perspective needs to understand the past with all its random short lived "facts". As the biologists always point out, it isn't really fair to call a living organism primitive since it has several billion years of evolution behind it just as we do. Bring back the computer - (SAVe THE WHALE) - Seth ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 6 Nov 83 23:35:20 pst From: unisoft!pertec!bytebug@Berkeley Subject: kids and computer crime Date: 28 October 1983 23:33 edt From: Dehn at MIT-MULTICS (Joseph W. Dehn III) Subject: kids and computer crime It is indeed an unfortunate situation when computer crime has to be dealt with by having FBI agents break into kids rooms, but this is just another symptom of the tremendous ignorance and confusion that still exists among the general public regarding computers and their use. . . . Where are those kids supposed to have learned what is right and wrong in computer access? Where are kids supposed to learn about any kind of right and wrong? Presumably the process begins in the home... Certainly the process begins at home, and most likely these days in front of a TV set that doubles as a display for a handy-dandy home-computer/video game! You and I may chuckle to ourselves at the exploits of the "Whiz Kids" TV series, but just how many kids can distinguish the reality of life from the fiction of a television script? In this past weeks episode, as in those that I've seen before it, we see the stars of this series doing things WHICH ARE CLEARLY ILLEGAL. You want to see how far I get if I'm caught breaking into the DMV computer to query who has a particular license plate? A show such as this is just what every kid needs to show him that cracking into the local university computer system is just the latest video game created for his/her amusement. So, will the FBI busting a few kids do anything? Perhaps, but I wouldn't count on it. A lot more needs to be done to educate the public that the box of electronic chips in their living room can be just as dangerous as a loaded gun, and that they (parents) need to take an active role in insuring that their kids are taught in its proper use. We need to teach the public (system administrators) that proper security is just as important as not leaving your keys in the car. -roger ------------------------------ Date: 7 Nov 1983 at 2058-PST Subject: Computer Crime From: zaumen@sri-tsc Just saw an article in the local paper: its about a "19-year old UCLA student" who used a home computer to break into a "Defense Department" communications system. Whats interesting is the official reaction: "This is not some childish prank", said District Attorney Robert Philibosian. "We're talking about an individual who has cost the federal government, private organizations, and universities literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in reprogramming costs." ... Philibosian said that all the computer systems reached by Austin had to be reprogrammed. ... "Some of the information was very sensitive," he said. We can't give a more complete description at this time. There was no mention of deleted, or modified files, so I presume the "reprogramming" meant that passwords had to be changed. Does this *really* cost $$$$$, or is the DA technically confused (or running for office)? One wonders at talk of "very sensitive" information, with *no* other details (did he see reports, personnel records, source code, or what?). Seems to me that if this becomes a serious problem, a computer's modems could be rigged to call back the user to establish a connection. This might be awkward while travelling (especially if there is a restriction on phone numbers that the computer will call), but certainly reasonable for system accounts. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #72 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-15 22:10:47 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 16 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 72 Today's Topics: Query - USENET net.general, Responses to Queries - Ephemeral Publications (3 msgs) & "Hacker's Challenge/Revenge" game proposed.(3 msgs)& MCI Mail & Digest Formats & Cellular Radiotelephony, Computers and the Law - File Privacy, Information - Cameras on street corners ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 12-Nov-83 14:59 PST From: Kirk Kelley Subject: USENET net.general Can someone tell us what the USENET net.general group discussions are like? How do they differ from Human-Nets? Is it technically feasable to allow cross communication? Would it be worth while? -- kirk ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 13 Nov 83 11:16 EST From: Henry Dreifus Subject: Re: Archiving all these messages Why, I'll just put them on my 10 GByte Optical Laser video disk. Soon, everyone will have them. Hank ------------------------------ Date: 10 Nov 83 13:19:46 PST (Thu) From: Katz.uci-750a@Rand-Relay Subject: Re: Misinformation Please don't overestimate AI. It is not possible for any computer system to guarantee the accuracy of information fed to it. This is not a limitation of current computer science, but rather a theoretical result. It may be possible for a future computer system to find that some of the information fed to it is inconsistent with earlier information, but in general only a small fraction of inconsistencies could ever be detected by an automated system. It would be easier to filter the information going into an Encyclopeadia Galactica than to filter and correct a library of original sources, but the data would still have to undergo substantial selection and filtering to insure correctness. One would also not want to collect everything because much of the information in libraries is merely discussion, debate (such as this), and review. Thus most libraries (and even most Encyclopeadias) are low in information density. Because of the need to properly select and compose materials, the effort to write an electronic Encyclopeadia (with the desired virtues of timeliness, accuracy, consistency, compactness, multi-leveled presentation, compactness, etc.) is probably at least comparible to the effort required to construct and maintain a paper based Encyclopeadia (like Encyclopeadia Britanica). As far as accuracy is concerned, remember that one of the fundamental theorems of Information Theory is "Garbage In -- Garbage Out." ------------------------------ Date: 13 Nov 1983 09:49:06-PST From: smith.umn-cs@Rand-Relay Subject: Ephemeral Publications Never fear, old copies of Linn's Weekly Stamp News, Topical Time, Antiques Today, probably even Guns and Ammo don't ALL go in the trash can. Many of them go to "the nation's attic." Years ago I spent a summer working part-time at the Smithsonian Institution. They keep everything. I sorted some of the most obscure periodicals you can imagine into alphabetical order. I'm not sure how things are today, but the last time I visited (ten years ago) the curators still prided themselves on having time to talk to random people like me. Over the years I talked to several curators and only ONCE was I given a polite brushoff (even then, another Smithsonian employee who overheard it was SHOCKED). Unfortunately, the person involved was associated with their computing collection and other people have reported similar problems trying to talk to that person. Rick. ------------------------------ Date: 11 November 1983 02:49 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: "Hacker's Challenge/Revenge" game proposed. I think it's a great idea; might be worth a good article? Or do youy prefer to keep this more or less "secret"? (If anything put on the net can be said to be... ------------------------------ Date: 11 November 1983 06:29 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: "Hacker's Challenge/Revenge" game proposed. Games based on TV shows tend to sell like "hotcakes" even if they're cruddy games. I suggest we get permission to call the game "Whiz Kids", and model it after the episodes that have appeared to date (adding a new subgame each week). Any kid who has watched a particular episode of the show will know how to "break into a computer" as described in that episode and thus can score points in that particular subgame. We could even refer to the subgames as "episodes" and allow a player who has mastered a particular "episode" to store a record of his score to date so he doesn't have to start over next week when he's watched a particular episode and we're ready for him with our next "episode" in the game. One problem, if it appears we're creating an "attractive nuisance" to entice teenagers to get into our computers when they normally wouldn't try, our attempts to prosecute them will fail. Anybody have suggestions how to bait them into staying on the line without having the legal case go into "attractive nuisance" mode? One possible alternative: make playing the "Whiz Kids" game completely accepted behaviour, but install warnings throughout the game that anybody trying to get into the rest of the system without authorization will be prosecuted. That way the intruders will see the difference between a "guest account" for the "Whiz Kids" game and "trespassing" for other use of the systems, will get their thrills by playing the game and not have a need to go further, they'll satisfy their thrills by playing like breaking in instead of really breaking in. This is analagous to playing video war-games instead of really going around with guns shooting at anything that moves. ------------------------------ From: tp3!uno at RAND-UNIX Date: Thursday, 10 Nov 1983 22:42-PST Subject: Re: "Hacker's Challenge/Revenge" game proposed. Comment: If you ever actually did try to implement such a scheme in real life, it would be far better to hack up a copy of something well known like "adventure", "trek", "aliens", "rogue"... ------------------------------ Date: 10 November 1983 23:21-PST (Thursday) From: Tony Li Subject: Re: MCI Mail Reply-to: Tli @ Usc-Eclb I think MCI Mail is a bust. Basically, for those of you who are fortunate enought to have the common sense to keep away from such drivel, MCI Mail seems to be a simple-minded attempt to try to make Electronic Mail look ridiculous. Mainly, the user-interface is garbage. I've freshman computing students with one month's worth of Pascal who have written better systems. Anyhow, MCI Mail implements a trivial line oriented editor, and a few simple commands from a menu to get it's job done. It's nothing near even the power of MM. Sigh. It turns out that they are running on Vaxen, and have set up some wierd stuff to keep you from ever touching the OS. Sigh. Why didn't they just let me use VMS mail? Crufty as that is, it would have been better. Cheers, Tony ;-) ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 12 Nov 83 08:58 EST From: "Robert W. Kerns" Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #69 Date: 31 Oct 1983 10:21:45 EST (Monday) From: Andy Adler Subject: Mail Digests Are there standards in use by interest groups that digest their messages? I think not. If we could come to some sort of agreement of the form of these digests, such as how to mark the individual messages in the digest, then it would be possible to write filters to process them, for example to put each sub-message on a separate page or to index a year's worth of messages. Currently, one must resort to heuristic approaches. Many years ago, in the dawn of the Age of Digests, Roger Duffey (the father of the digested list) got together with some mail-reader hackers and put together a format, which at least at least HUMAN-NETS and SF-LOVERS follow to this day. There is a command in BABYL called UnDigestify, which turns a digest message into its component messages. Perhaps someone could dig up this format spec, and turn it into an RFC? ------------------------------ Date: 10 Nov 83 12:56:15 PST (Thu) From: Katz.uci-750a@Rand-Relay Subject: Re: Cellular Radiotelephony Of course this is what C.R.T. is all about. I believe there was a review of it in IEEE Spectrum a few months ago. If I remember correctly, it is in experimental use in Chicago now. The Spectrum article described several problems with C.R.T. and some ways around them. ------------------------------ Date: 9 November 1983 05:40 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: re: File Privacy If you keep private files on a company computer, and you encrypt them to protect them against random eavesdropping by your employer, does your employer have the right to force you to decrypt them on demand? Does your employer have the right to plant a "trojan horse" in the encryption program that tells him the encryption keys you use? If he does that, does he have to tell you, or can he secretly eavesdrop while you mistakenly believe your encryption is protecting your privacy? If your files contain anything of an embarassing nature, can your employer disclose that eavesdropped information to outsiders without your permission? In military situations, you probably have no rights at all. I'm addressing these questions re non-classified research institutions, private businesses, and data-storage facilities on public networks. For "employer" read also "system administrator". ------------------------------ Date: 9 Nov 1983 0519-EST From: John R. Covert Subject: Cameras on street corners I'm in Munich this week, and while driving through the city with some friends, they noticed that at a new major intersection (new street just completed), a camera was already in place. These cameras are (as has been discussed in this digest before, but we certainly have new readers) used to take pictures of cars running red lights. The registered owner of the vehicle is then responsible for the fine. Although this is different from the example of cameras recording everything "just in case" -- the potential for abuse does exist. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #74 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-15 23:15:03 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 17 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 74 Today's Topics: Computers and the Law - "19 year old UCLA hacker" (4 msgs), Computers on TV - The ethics of "Whiz Kids" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue 15 Nov 83 13:34:56-PST From: David Rogers Subject: "19 year old UCLA hacker" Well, that 19 year old hacker was here at Stanford, and here is a system programmers account of what it was like. After reading this message, I took the problem of hackers much less casually. (By the way, "call-back" systems are good, but if the computer is on a network, it's virtually impossible to keep the hackers out. Read on.) 9-Nov-83 16:47:37-PST,8835;000000000000 Return-Path: <@SU-SCORE.ARPA:mail-daemon@Glacier> Date: Wednesday, 9 November 1983 16:44:19-PST To: su-bboards@Score Subject: the breakin: short summary of a media event From: Brian Reid Enough people have asked me "what really happened" that I thought it was worth posting a medium-sized note to bboard explaining what this computer intruder stuff is all about. I will also tell the tale of how it came to be a full-fledged media phenomenon. Early morning on September 17 I had logged on to Shasta and noticed an unseemly slowness to the logon process. I was the only user on the system, which made it even more curious. I was too sleepy to care, but filed it away for future puzzleement. A few hours later Jeff Mogul telephoned me with the truth, which he had discovered and explained. The Shasta directory /usr/local/bin contained a file named "stty", whose contents was actually a shell script that copied /bin/csh into ~somewhere/.$USER, then chmod u+s $USER .$USER, then an exec of the real stty. Translating into English from Unix-ese, this means that when some innocent victim ran this false "stty" program, it would store in the perpetrator's directory a copy of the shell (a shell is like the Tops-20 EXEC) set up in such a way that when the perpetrator later executed that shell, he would acquire all of the permissions and access rights of the victim. The unseemly delay that I had noticed at 5:30 a.m. was caused by the length of time that it took to copy the 64KB shell file into the intruder's directory. The "stty" program on Unix is used by virtually all users to set up their terminal characteristics when logging on, and most Shasta users have their search lists set up to look in /usr/local/bin before /usr/bin. This means that after the passage of a few hours, the perpetrator's directory contained many files with names like ".reid" or ".mogul" or ".hennessey", each rigged so that if he executed it he could read or write any files to which reid or mogul or hennessey had access. The account used by the perpetrator belonged to Jim Miller, who had visited HPP last year, and who had left quite some time ago. Tom Rindfleisch assured me that Miller was an honest person who would not do such a thing; we therefore concluded that some alien was using the account. I spent a couple of minutes finding out some biographical data about him, and was easily able to guess his password. That solved the mystery of how the intruder was using Miller's account. We waited for the perpetrator to log on again, and when he did so, he was coming in through the Internet from Purdue. I traced the net connections back to find out that he was logged on as Mark Bronson at Purdue, and immediately called Walter Tichy at Purdue to ask about Bronson, and was told that Mark Bronson had graduated a year ago and gone to work for a certain company in another state, which intriguingly enough was the same company that Miller worked for. This "clue" turned out to be a red herring, but it distracted us for a day. Chris Kent of Purdue traced the network connections back to SU-TAC, where the perpetrator was dialed in on a 300-baud line. At this point I wanted to go home for dinner, so I shut down Shasta's internet service, which made it impossible for him to telnet in to Shasta from ARPA-land. I figured that he would think Shasta had just crashed. To my amazement, he was logged back on within 30 seconds, this time coming in from Navajo via PUP telnet (which I had not shut off). A quick trace of the net connections showed that he was logged on to Navajo as Anita Mayo. Steve Hartwell phoned Anita in New York to ask her if she was doing this; she said no, she wasn't, but her password would be pretty easy to guess. I tried guessing "Anita", and sure enough it worked. Wanting to go home for dinner, I changed Anita's Navajo password to something unrememberable and killed the Mayo job on Navajo, figuring that this would keep him out. 30 seconds later he was back on again, this time coming in from Diablo, where he was logged on as Jeff Adams. I was unsuccessful at guessing Jeff Adams' password, but I realized at this point that I was dealing with organized crime and not just with some casual password hacker: he clearly had access to lists of account names and passwords all over the place. I hotwired Shasta's "login" so that only people actually physically in ERL could log in, and went home a bit shaken. At this point I called Ralph Gorin to ask for advice, and he advised me to call the FBI. It took 24 hours to get them to return my call, and another 24 hours to get them to believe that a real crime was taking place. They came to campus and spent a day talking to me, to Len Bosack, and to Ralph. The following morning they obtained permission authorizing Pacific Telephone to put a "trap" on the SU-TAC dialin lines; simultaneously, Len and Benjy Levy connected a hardcopy terminal to the TAC dialin line so that we could get a transcript of what the intruder was doing, to use as evidence if necessary. Meanwhile back at Shasta, we were walking the fine line between keeping this intruder out of our files and keeping him interested enough to stay on the line long enough for us to trace the call. We did this by leaving his Trojan horse in place, and periodically getting volunteers to run it, whereupon he would get quite excited and spend an hour or two checking to see if he had acquired any interesting new privileges. Steve Przybylski, Glenn Trewitt, Steve Hartwell and I took turns at this babysitting task. Pacific Telephone told us that the calls were being made from a certain travel agency in San Bruno. The FBI folks made a visit there, and found no evidence of any such thing. Pacific Telephone then suspected that the telephone wires in that building had been compromised, but after another day of fooling around, Pac Tel admitted that what was *really* going on was that the call was coming in through a long-distance calling service, such as Sprint or MCI. The long-distance calling service people refused to cooperate; Len and the FBI obtained the necessary search warrant (another delay); they cooperated and told us that the calls were coming from Los Angeles. At this point I went out of town for a program committee meeting, so I am a little fuzzy on the exact details, but Len and the FBI together managed to get the necessary traps in place on the Los Angeles local telephone end. I returned from the trip to resume my shift at babysitting Shasta to make sure the intruder did not get too carried away. By this point we had a fairly automatic notification mechanism set up; we doctored "login" so that whenever the intruder logged on it would send mail notification to all of us who were participating in the chase. But he never logged in again. After a few days of wondering whether he had detected our traps and chickened out, I got word from Ralph that Ralph had gotten word that the Los Angeles police had raided some teenager's apartment and seized a computer. The date and time of the raid mesh fairly well with the last recorded instance of our intruder coming in, but of course we have no hard evidence that it is the same person. The FBI might have further evidence; they aren't talking. That was September 22. I had thought the whole issue was dead, but last week somebody at Purdue told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times that I had located this intruder and informed Purdue of his existence; the L.A. Times reporter called me and I told him the story pretty much as you read it above. It appeared in the Sunday LA Times, and went out on the LA Times News Service newswire. Well, it seems that when the LA Times runs a story on something it becomes Big News. The following morning (Tuesday a.m.) Len and I started getting calls from every imaginable reporter (Only his name and mine appeared in the LA Times story). Before 10am, 10 radio stations, 4 TV stations, all of the local newspapers, even the Stanford Daily had picked up on this hot story of evil alien spies penetrating the Department of Defense through Stanford University, and all had to have the story first-hand. It has all blown over now; today something else is Big News. Please, everyone, please make sure your passwords are hard to guess. Try to make them non-pronounceable, and long, and certainly make them unrelated to your life. And try to understand that not every quote you read in the papers is correct. Brian ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 15 Nov 83 15:49:07 PST From: Willard Korfhage Subject: Computer break-in at UCLA Our computer at UCLA was one of the ones being used by the crackers, so I am at least partially aware of what was being done about them. It was common knowledge that the system had been broken into, and we even knew what id's the cracker's were using. To gather evidence and information about them, the systems people reprogrammed a number of the system programs, like "talk", so they recorded everything people said or did. Then an administrator most of his time for the last couple months wading through the material looking for relevant information. Presumably the bugs have been taken out of the programs now, but some people still use their own, unbugged versions of the programs, just to make sure no one can listen in on them. That's one way to maintain your privacy. As for sensitive information, I don't know of any around here and I don't know what they got into elsewhere. The school paper says they messed up one's person's files, but I don't know details. Willard Korfhage ------------------------------ Date: Tue 15 Nov 83 14:16:31-PST From: Richard Treitel Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #71 Sorry to disturb someone's confortable assumption, but I think I just realised why the "call-back" method does not offer very good security. Given that most phone company computers can handle call forwarding, all it needs is for some cracker to crack into Ma Bell and arrange to get all your calls forwarded to his number ... this will work especially well if you have a separate phone for your computer's sole use. Of course it can be detected eventually, but not before much damage can have been done. - Richard P.S. on terminology: since the media are trying to pervert the word "hacker" to mean "computer criminal", I suggest we offer them the word "cracker" instead, and restore "hacker" to its real meaning. In recent British English usage, the word "crackers" does duty as an adjective, meaning, roughly, "halfway insane". ------------------------------ Date: 15 Nov 83 10:24:57 PST (Tue) From: Katz.uci-750a@Rand-Relay Subject: Crackers and sensative data What is sensative data doing accessable to the public? Regardless of how much one dreams otherwise, any network which is connected (either directly or indirectly) to the public phone system is accessable to the public. One can use administrative and system security approaches to reduce the extent of access, but not to eliminate it. Once a determined person has gained access, there is probably no way to prevent the use of probes and booby traps to gain at least the amount of access which the most priviledged normal user has. Remember, if you want to limit access to data, limit access to the medium and then encrypt it! ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 15 Nov 83 3:06:03 EST From: Ron Natalie Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #71 I must admit that I've never viewed "Whiz Kids" because I work during prime time and limit my viewing mostly to cable services, however judging from other peoples descriptions, I get the impression that these kids doing illegal things are depicted as the heroes of the show. Well, the NAB has a thing called the television code. Most every television station subscribes to it including all the networks. It is even fairly well honored. One of it's statements is that although there may be bad guys in the program they will not be shown as the heroes. Assuming a fairly civic minded broadcast industry (I won't even begin to debate whether this is true or not) either they have disregarded this code or they do not recognize that this computer invasion is a very serious crime. They may not realize that this activity is setting of the wrong kind of role model for television viewing community. Suggestion: Write the networks and your local stations (maybe even the NAB?) and perhaps someone should send them a copy of Geoff's testimony on the difference between hackers and computer crime so they can get the definitions right. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #75 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-17 23:02:01 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 17 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 75 Today's Topics: Responses to Queries - USENET net.general & Digestion, Computers and the Law - Use of the Company Computer & Am I protected from my employer? & Sensitive data & Re: Why break into Computers? & File Privacy and Crime, Informations - More Cameras on street corners & Human computer interface ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu 17 Nov 83 06:29:06-CST From: Werner Uhrig Subject: Re: USENET net.general (first a quick answer to the question - then some explanations) Q: Can someone tell us what the USENET net.general group discussions are like? How do they differ from Human-Nets? Is it technically feasable to allow cross communication? Would it be worth while? A: the purpose of "net.general" is to contain ONLY information, which is of ESSENTIAL interest to EVERYONE on the net and reading it should be OBLIGATORY for nearly every user type. So, no discussions, nothing like HUMAN-NETS at all, as a matter of fact there is nothing like it on ARPANET. RE: cross-communications. many/most (but not all) ARPANET bboards are distributed on USENET and contributions reach us back here on ARPA via certain Gateway-machines which are connected to both nets. As a matter of fact, groups like CPM and TELECOM seem to get the majority of their contributions from USENET. In general, the technology and purpose of USENET differs significantly from ARPANET in that - mail and news are "philosophically" different on USENET. mail (user-to-user) is handled by UUCP, whereas news is "broadcast" via USENET (system-to-system) - most communication-links between USENET machines are "offline", i.e. not available on user-demand for information exchange. systems exchange mail and news via dial-up lines during hours of little demand only, usually. - the name of a news-group often includes both an indication of its purpose and contents, as well as its "distribution-area". For example, the group 'general' comes in such (site-specific) variations as 'ut.general', 'austin.general', 'tx.general', 'net.general', 'att.general', 'nj.general', etc. (I had more, but decided to reduce the volume. Maybe, 'The Editor' can add pointers to earlier postings, which describe more about USENET and UUCP, if such exist. On request, I may try to go into more details, but I'd rather hope some "real" expert on the matter might be motivated to do that) ------------------------------ Date: 16 Nov 1983 18:02 EST From: Dan Hoey Subject: Digesting and ending There have recently been discussions in Human-Nets (V6 #71) about standards for separating the messages in a digest. This recalls a discussion begun by Bill Wells in MsgGroup this past May (among messages 2017-2054) about the need for ending markers in messages. Mabry Tyson notes that you can't use ``separators the way it is currently done.'' The problem is that any fixed sequence that marks the end of messages may be included in the body of a message, leading to false recognition of the end of the message. Many message systems use some quoting scheme to prevent the ending string from occurring in the message. These schemes have led to such abominations as extraneous angle brackets on lines beginning with the word ``From'' and duplication or removal of periods at the beginning of lines. Mabry suggests using a character count at the beginning of each message, and notes several problems involving CR LF versus LF, NULs, and the previously-mentioned abominations. These problems are easily overcome by using a line count instead of a character count, but I still find the scheme distasteful: remember how hard it is to read Fortran's 9HHollerith specifications for strings? Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem. Given any message, it is fairly easy to find a string that does not occur in the message. Such a string may be used to mark the end of the message. The string itself can be mentioned in the message header, so that a reader seeing the beginning of the message will know where the end is. Thus: Date: 16 Nov 1983 18:02 EST From: Luser@Random-Site End-marker: XYZ Message not containing that string. End-of-message: XYZ An added frill is to reverse the string in the message header, in our example ``End-marker: ZYX''. This prevents the end marker from occurring anywhere in the message, even in the header, and yields the amusing bonus of allowing a context-free syntax for messages. I dearly hope that there will be some work done to make message endings more recognizable by humans and machines. Dan Hoey hoey@NRL-AIC ------------------------------ Date: 16 Nov 83 1140 PST From: Robert Maas Subject: Use of company computer or other facilities In regard to the proposed "computer crime" law, we discussed the use of company computer for personal things such as bowling league records or personal messages via electronic mail, and compared it to use of other company facilities such as telephone or pencils. Now an actual case has turned up where somebody (chief of police of Emoryville, CA, I think; unfortunately it hasn't reached the AP or NYT, only local TV news, so I can't get any more details) was fired for misconduct, including personal use of government facilities. I have no idea whether it was something trivial such as using desk space and on-work time for keeping a personal phone list (analagous to using disk space and computer time), or something major like renting out government buildings or vehicles and keeping the money personally. It would be interesting to compare this case with the misuse of computers that would be covered in proposed computer crime laws, if I could only get details as to the exact kind of personal use involved. Does anybody have more info on this case? ------------------------------ Date: 16 Nov 83 09:05:10 PST (Wed) From: Katz.uci-750a@Rand-Relay Subject: Re: File Privacy (Am I protected from my employer?) I don't know whether I am protected from all snooping by my employer, but I remember that it is illegal to tap your telephone without notification. This would probably also protect the data being transferred over public lines, but I don't think that federal law protects non-personnel data within a system. Maybe this is an area where new legislation is needed? ------------------------------ Date: 16 November 1983 23:30 cst From: RSaunders.TCSC at HI-MULTICS Subject: Re: Crackers and sensative data (H-N V6#74) I would like to reply to Katz.uci-750a and others that have suggested that computers on public networks are not good places for sensative data. I am typing this from a TI-700 (antique) in my hotel room. >From this same terminal I have been able to keep up with business activities going on in my home office 1500 miles away. I am able to exchange messages with people who are 3-5 hours off in time from my current time zone. This is not an unusual use of this system, many members of my company's legal department use the system to get opinions from office to office. Is this information sensative? YES. Is this information protected from abuse by others? OF COURSE. You talk about keeping intruders from gaining the amount of access the average user has. I have no complaint about this, however, I don't have access to the legal briefs being sent to my home office. The question is not keeping everybody off your system, but keeping everybody on your system from getting at sensative information they do not need. I don't care how it is that somebody manages to get onto HI-Multics, they still don't to read the pricing and proposal material I am working on. The burden or responsibility is on the people storing the sensative data not to give it out to anybody, just because they are logged in. If some random person asks you to give them access to a sensative file and you do it then there is no reason to bitch at them about violating your security. I realize that I am using Multics, and many others out there are not equiped with equivalent systems, but I can make the same kind of arguments hold in most Operating Systems I know of. We must be careful not to over-react to the stupid things that some people have done (not deleting people when they no longer have right to access the system, letting people pick any old password they want, puting sensative data in files with RW access for the whole world, ......) and put the blame on the computers or the networks. The blame is purely on us! We put the data there, We set the access, and We forgot to dump Fred's account after he died. If we jump and screem that computers are no good for secure information then how can we expect the uneducated of the world (the press, the TV writers, our bosses, ...) to understand what is going on. I would like to put out a call for each of us to look at our local systems and point out to those in charge of them that security is a well understood problem that has been solved. We should motivate them to put in the effort, thats all it takes, to make our system secure. Even if you are not aware of any problems at your site you can help the powers-that-be rest easier at night by knowing they are not going to be the next LA Times headline. They will thank you for it and hopefully this whole issue can return to the obscurity it deserves. If you feel this cannot be done on your present system, send me mail and I will put you in touch with your nearest Multics salesman. Randy Saunders RSaunders @ HI-Multics ------------------------------ Date: 16 November 1983 05:26 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: Why are hackers spending all this time breaking into This was really an excellent essay, more than worth the time required to read and ponder it. I can offer one suggestion as to what bright people can do with their time. Join the L-5 Society (or equivalent) and put that talent to work for the real future... ------------------------------ Date: 17 November 1983 05:25 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: [Larry Layten (D: File Privacy] Leaving the LAW aside, we have here (the case of the FBI becoming upset when a baby sitter phone number was found in a gov employee's computer files) a case of imbecilic management. That is: suppose the government furnishes me with a Roladex. Would they not suppose I would keep my home number, and the baby sitter number, and other matters for my convenience and continued effectiveness in it? If I couldn't, t hen I would, I suppose, have to buy my own; or is it contended that I have no right to HAVE a baby sitter's phone number anywhere in my place of work? In which case the remedy is obvious; one cannot need a job THAT badly. Ditto for the recipe: if I kept it in a government file cabinet assigned to me, is that a crime? I don't know whether legally the government had the right to do the full dump searches, although I suspect they did and should; but it was an act of monumental stupidity to EXERCISE that right. Incidentally, how about prosecuting the CID officer, and the FBI Regional Director for wasting government resources in conducting futile searches? ------------------------------ Date: 15 Nov 83 23:31:21 PST (Tuesday) Subject: Re: Cameras on street corners From: Bruce Hamilton I think the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles has radar guns + TV cameras mounted on signposts, for remote-control speeding tickets. --Bruce ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 15 Nov 83 04:33:22 CST From: Stan O. Barber Subject: Human computer interface Hi there. This is a note of introduction to those of you who are interested in the area of human-computer interfacing. Until now, most research in this area has been done by people in the Computer Science area as well as some more general research (mostly display formatting work) by engineering psychologists. I am in the latter group, but I am a bit unusual in that I am also a computer programmer (mostly contract work) and have some understanding of the what is happening in computer science (at least the flavors served at Rice and in the Houston area). What I would like to encourage in dialogue in this area among computer science and psychology folks. Being on the fence, I see how both groups could benefit from such a dialogue. If you'd like to debate that point, or just have some thought to share in this direction, please pass them along. Who knows, maybe this would be popular enough to have it's own SIG! Stan Barber, Department of Psychology Rice University sob@rice ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #76 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-19 00:36:38 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 18 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 76 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Hackers & Junk Mail (2 msgs), Computers on TV- Computers in the Media & The Whiz Kids tapping into police dispatching network, Computer Mailers - MCI Mail : Small step upward, or bust? (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu 17 Nov 83 15:41:30-MST From: Walt Subject: Hackers The following is quoted from /The Chronicle of Higher Education/, Volume XXVII, Number 12, November 16, 1983, page 16: PROGRAMMING STYLE CAN IDENTIFY STUDENT COMPUTER 'HACKERS', EXPERT SAYS By Judith Axler Turner NEW YORK A student's computer-programming style can often help identify whether he is likely to become a "hacker" - someone who breaks into a computer system electronically and manipulates the information it contains. So says Seymour Papert, professor of mathematics and education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Once identified, the potential hacker can be turned to more acceptable pursuits, Mr. Papert told a national conference on computer security last week in New York. Coping with such individuals was a major preoccupation of the conference, which drew 1,000 representatives from business and industry, as well as from colleges. 3 TYPES OF PROGRAMMER Mr. Papert said he had identified three principal types of programmer, whose styles are common to both adults and young people: > The extremely structured programmer, who thinks everything through and organizes his program before writing it. > The "artistic" programmer, who doesn't know in advance exactly what she wants. (More girls and women fall into this group than into the other two, Mr. Papert said.) > The programmer who is "living dangerously," testing the limits of the computer and associating more with the machine than with people. Some evidence of his reluctance to be involved is in his program: only the writer can read and understand it. It is this third type of programmer who is likely to become a hacker, Mr. Papert said. He recommended that teachers recognize the tremendous programming talents of such a student and use them to the class's advantage, making the student a resource for other students. Trying to force such a student into another programming style might push him toward hacking, Mr. Papert said. "Being solicited as a computer expert gives this kind of programmer more contact with other people than ever before," Mr. Papert said. HACKERS CALLED AN ASSET Gill Pratt, an M.I.T. graduate student in computer science, told the conferees, most of whom were from business and industry, that hackers could be an asset to them. Mr. Pratt suggested that industrial computer systems be made easy to break into electronically, and be fitted with "cameras" - tracking devices that record what the hackers do when they are playing around with the system. This, Mr. Pratt said, would help computer-system managers identify bugs. Hiring those who have been able to invade the computer system, a practice once widely accepted in industry, is a bad idea, Mr. Pratt said. Not only does it encourage hacking, but it pits hackers and former hackers against one another. "You don't want to turn the computer system into a battlefield," he said. ETHICS OF COMPUTERS Colleges and schools have a responsibility to instill in their students the ethics of computers, said Donn B. Parker, senior management-systems consultant for S.R.I. International (formerly Stanford Research Institute), a computer research-and-development company in Menlo Park, Cal. "We do it in driver training," he said. "There is no reason why it should not be done for young people coming into our technology. We need a coordinated effort to turn valuable kids around and give them a better direction to follow. "We have to change the values of these kids so they know it is not nice, not acceptable to hack." But at least one person at the conference argued that colleges should encourage hacking, at least in a controlled form. "If colleges want to produce good programmers, they need to provide a 'hacking' environment," the editor of /TAP/, a newsletter for hackers, said in an interview. The editor, who called himself "Cheshire Catalyst," said the best programmers were all hackers or former hackers. "Lots of my hacker friends are getting jobs in the real world now," he said. "They are putting their hacking in the closet with the other skeletons. But without their hacking background they wouldn't be good enough programmers to get a job. In order to be good, you have to be a hacker in the programming world." He said he thought it would be good if beginning computer students were taught how to "crash" the system - i.e., cause the computer to stop. "After that," he said, "crashing the system is no fun any more. At this point, finding the bugs and patching them is more clever. Peer pressure doesn't push toward crashing the system any more." A 'HACKING ENVIRONMENT' A college could set up a "hacking environment" in a program similar to the California Institute of Technology's "Senior Day", when seniors in engineering are called upon to defend their dormitory rooms against assault from underclassmen, he said. Clever engineering skills are often used to keep the rooms from being breached. According to the editor, /TAP/ is a four-page newsletter published 10 times a year. It was started in 1971 as the newsletter of the Youth International Party, or the Yippies, the left-wing counter-culture group. The number of subscribers, many of whom are college students, is "in four figures," he said, but that is only an estimate because /TAP/'s office was broken into this summer and its subscriber information was stolen. ------------------------------ Date: 16 November 1983 05:30 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: Junk Mail There's and even worse trick: onj the envelope it says "Bureau of Verification" or some such. It resembles the audit dept. stuff from stock brokers and credit card people. It has got to the point where we have an associate --not an assistant but an associate--to open ALL mail, junk or not, because you cannot tell the one from the other without looking... TRhis has to stop but I dunno how. Excuse typos, I fell in pool tonight and bruised hand something wonderful ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 17 Nov 83 02:40 EST From: "Robert W. Kerns" Subject: Jumk Mail Date: Friday, 11 November 1983, 12:05-PST From: cwr at SCRC-Tenex Actually, it is to our advantage that junk mail comes with ridiculous claims on the outside ("You may have wone the trip of your dreams"). Such envelope decoration immediately marks the item as junk mail and can be trashed immediately. Yes, but there is a new trick which is real annoying. I get lots of junk mail these days (often requests for contirbutions to this or that lobbying group) with nothing on the outside of the envelope besides my address. Well, I always check to see if they paid for first-class postage. Some, particularly political advertisements in the recent Boston elections, will pay first-class, but it does eliminate most of them. ------------------------------ Date: 17 November 1983 04:03 est From: SSteinberg.SoftArts at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Computers in the Media Since everyone bitches about how much reporters misunderstand computers I figured I'd dump in a positive note. This is from the 11/9/83 Variety (national) in a review of the TV special Princess Daisy: ... What difference does it make that Claudia Cardinale talks like Maria Ouspenskaya? What difference does it make that the plot and dialog sound like they were created on a computer with an 8K memory? Being a Judith Krants fan and having seen the show I'll second that 8K figure. 4K and it would have become incoherent. 16K and it might have been vaguely intriguing. Kudos to the folks at Variety who seem to have some idea of what a computer is! ------------------------------ Date: 17 November 1983 00:24 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Whiz Kids - tapping into police dispatching network Tonite's episode of Whiz Kids is rather scary and believable. Some of what I say below is my best guess based on the symptoms, and some is factual data from what is said or portrayed. The LA Police Department installs a computerized dispatching system, with no voice backup. Apparently it uses a non-public-key cryptosystem such as DES, where a "CMOS decoder chip" plus the secret key plus some radiotelecommunication and computing equipment is all that one needs to both eavesdrop and forge police-dispatcher messages. Criminals get all the equipment and encryption key, commit armed robberies, wait for a police car to be dispatched, then wait a few seconds and send a "cancel 211, crank call" message. The police go back to regular duty and never arrive at the scene, while the central dispatcher still shows them on the 211 call. Later they use a slightly different technique, they jam the police computer with vehicle license requests, hundreds per minute, to prevent any response at all to a theft of 30 million dollars worth of synthetic interferon at the airport. I'm worried that such a vulnerable system, where keys need to be communicated around and they can be intercepted by criminals, might actually be used. I'd prefer a public-key cryptosystem, where each police car and the central dispatcher computer pick random new codes every so often, and only the public part of the key is communicated. Thus only the one computer which randomly picked a key can use it to encode message "originated" from that computer, and not even the officers who use that computer know the key, thus it's impossible for somebody to find out the key and install it in a clandestine computer, and if a double key system is used (encrypt with private key of sender and public key of recipient) it's impossible for anyone other than the recipient to discover the contents of any message and impossible for anyone other than the sender to create a properly-encoded message. The only way anyone could then compromise the system would be to hijack a police car, in which case only messages from that car could be forged, not messages from the dispatcher, or for a powerful transmitter to simply block signals, which is possible now but never happens because such powerful transmitters are easy to locate. By the way, these "CMOS decoder" chips are purchased at what looks exactly like a Radio Shack store, although all brand names were carefully hidden (I'll give the producers of that show a lot of credit for that!). By coincidence the chief whiz kid happens to go in to buy the decoder chip, to tap into the computer to find out if it's possible and to locate the bad guys, just as one of the bad guys is buying a replacement for one that was zapped by static discharge. ------------------------------ Date: 16 November 1983 04:47 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: MCI Mail - Small step upward, or bust? The question to ask isn't whether MCI mail is better than MM or RMAIL/BABYL etc. that we on Arpanet have gotten spoiled with, but whether it's better than the various bulletin boards that are on 8080- and 6502-based systems. I.e. are the general public getting something better than what was available before? If so, it's a step towards the even better stuff we are spoiled on. If not, it's a true bust. So I put to you, how does it compare to your local microcomputer bbs in user interface? ------------------------------ Date: Wed 16 Nov 83 09:26:19-EST From: Janet F. Asteroff Subject: MCI Mail Ok, MCI mail isn't the best thing since sliced bread. And the hype has been big enough to obscure the fact that if you want to keep your messages, you have to pay for storage. But the other day I knocked off a 3 page letter to a friend in Florida, who is not online at all. Saved me the great trouble of looking for stamps, which I don't ever have, and let me sit at my terminal instead of printing it out. Still, MCI mail was not designed for people like us. It was designed for folks who work in corporations, from secretary to CEO, who want to use email instead of moving paper. Now, this does not mean that we should allow its crummy features to go unnoticed, just because it isn't for us. A direct command structure would have been nice, in addition to the menus. All that menu stuff is time consuming, and there are lots of regular people who will learn it well enough to dispense with it. Aside from a few bugs...it looks like a fine system, particularly when compared to the mail systems available on The SOURCE, or COMPUSERVE. Those are somewhat more like MM, but the editors are awful. Actually, I thought the editor in MCI mail was the best I have seen for a dial service. Software packages, like PROFS or All-In-1 are a different story. By the way, doese anyone know who out there is doing state-of-the-art research in email--human factors, use, functions, socio-political aspects?? And can pass that name(s) along to me? I heard MIT political scientist Ithiel de Sola Pool the other night talking from his new book Technologies of Freedom. He made the grand sweep from 19th century print and postal service up through bboards and Arpa, free speech, wiring Egypt. He was great!! He is not, however, working on email. /Janet ------------------------------ Date: 16 November 1983 23:46-PST (Wednesday) From: Tony Li Subject: MCI Mail - Small step upward, or bust? Ok, ok, I'll admit it. I'm spoiled. I'm a Babylonian. So my mailer is friendly. But MCI isn't. Now, this is gonna be tough for you to believe, but I haven't ever played with any of the Rcp/m systems, or the local micro dialups. But I really think that at the level that we write software on micros, someone must be able to do better with even an 8080. But I think that there's a big difference. Realize that this is the first commercial electronic mail system. It's going to make a big influence on businessmen regardless of its quality. The businessman doesn't give a whit whether the processor is a Cray, a Vax or a Z-80. He expects competent service, and reasonable ease of use. I contend that MCI does not offer either of these. Clearly, given a Vax, someone can do better. It's just not that hard. If you don't believe, sign up. Registration is free, and as long as you don't send a message, there are no charges. So try it and hate it! Now, go give an assignment to a bunch of frosh who are just learning Pascal. Sure, it'll take 'em a while, but I'd bet that the frosh can do a much better job. Ok, Rob, yes, it is a small step upward. This type of service has not been commercially available ever. But it's a bust in that it will leave customers dissatisfied, and that it will leave a bad impression on the industry. Cheers, Tony ;-) ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #77 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-11-22 23:33:49 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 23 Nov 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 77 Today's Topics: Query - Acronym SUDENE Responce to Query - USENET's net.general Computers and People - Hackers Computer Security - Crackers and sensitive data Compters on TV - Whiz Kids and Cryptography Comment - Proper English ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tuesday, 22 Nov 1983 20:54-PST Subject: acronym SUDENE in portuguese Reply-to: kevinw at SU-DSN From: kevinw at SU-DSN@ISL at Sumex-Aim I am trying to find out the meaning of this acronym for a paper. It is something like S- para a Urbanizacao e Desenvolvimento do Nordeste ... or something like that. I am not on this list so please send at least a copy of any replies to me. thanks in advance, -- Kevin kevinw@su-dsn ------------------------------ Date: 19 Nov 83 22:03:39 EST (Sat) From: Mark Weiser Subject: net.general The net.general discussions are pretty boring. Net.general is a specific news group of the very broad and sometimes very boring and sometimes very interesting spectrum of newgroups available on the Unix-based netnews network. There is no news group that exactly corresponds to human nets: net.cog-eng (for cognitive engineering) is often relevant, and so is net.mail sometimes. ------------------------------ Date: 19 November 1983 17:11 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Hackers I feel I must rebut some claims made in this article: The following is quoted from /The Chronicle of Higher Education/, Volume XXVII, Number 12, November 16, 1983, page 16: PROGRAMMING STYLE CAN IDENTIFY STUDENT COMPUTER 'HACKERS', EXPERT SAYS By Judith Axler Turner A student's computer-programming style can often help identify whether he is likely to become a "hacker" - someone who breaks into a computer system electronically and manipulates the information it contains. So says Seymour Papert, professor of mathematics and education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Here again the "wrong" definition of "hacker" is used. It's stated later that only hackers become really good programmers. That may be true for the "correct" definition of "hacker", but not for the one above. Once identified, the potential hacker can be turned to more acceptable pursuits, Mr. Papert told a national conference on computer security last week in New York. The above applies only to the "wrong" definition. People who break into computer systems may be turned into more acceptable pursuits. But there's no need to turn somebody who does real hacking, pressing the state of the art to its limit, doing things nobody has done before, into more acceptable pursuits. The classification of programming styles below is totally inadequate. Good programmers/hackers satisfy all three below except for organizing the whole program before writing it and the part about living dangerously. One doesn't have to plan a whole "program" before writing any code. Only bureaucrats in government agencies do that. Macsyma would have never been written if somebody tried to plan the whole program ahead of time, yet it's fairly well structured. Programs are written incrementally, yet structured. More at the end... Mr. Papert said he had identified three principal types of programmer, whose styles are common to both adults and young people: > The extremely structured programmer, who thinks everything through and organizes his program before writing it. > The "artistic" programmer, who doesn't know in advance exactly what she wants. (More girls and women fall into this group than into the other two, Mr. Papert said.) > The programmer who is "living dangerously," testing the limits of the computer and associating more with the machine than with people. Some evidence of his reluctance to be involved is in his program: only the writer can read and understand it. ... What's dangerous about testing the limits of the computer, for example finding out whether it can be programmed to do things never before done such as disassembling an auto fuel pump or beating a grandmaster at Chess? It's only if the computer is used to violate somebody else's rights, or if it is used to control inherently dangerous devices, that pushing the computer to new frontiers can be considered "living dangerously". I'm making two points about the above classification: (1) The individual items are self-contradictory, (2) They aren't mutually exclusive as the writer seems to be implying. -- Maybe he's prescribing three "styles", and saying anybody who doesn't faithfully follow one of those styles "doesn't have style". If so, I resent somebody telling me I don't have any style just because I don't fit into his planic classification. -- More likely, he's making a statement of fact, which is flat out wrong, and misleading to anyone out there who reads that article. Here's a summary of my programming style, for reference (how many other hackers out there have similar styles?): Usually I have a clear idea of part of what I want to do, but not exactly how to do each part. So I try different things, trying to get parts of the job done, finding some things work and some things don' work or are too clumsy. As I write and debug code in parallel, I gain a better idea of how my program is organized, and even though I tried to structure my code from he outset I go back and restructure parts of it to better reflect my newer concept of organization of the program. Often I write inline code just to get it working, then later move that code out to a named function and write a comment in front of it telling what it does. I often find the programming system I'm on doesn't seem to allow me to do what I want, so I often have to experiment around trying to find some way to get some task done. Sometimes the only way I can get the job done at all is in some really ugly way that I detest but I'm willing to do it because otherwise the task couldn't be done at all. (This last ability, getting the task done "by hook or crook" when necessary, is the true test of "hacking" nature.) But I write verbose documentation of the ugliness of the thing I was forced, and beg the writers of the system for a better way. -- So which of the above three platonic categories am I in? Or do you claim I'm not a programmer because I'm not one of the three? ------------------------------ Date: 21 Nov 83 12:43:26 PST (Mon) From: Martin D. Katz Subject: Re: Crackers and sensative data (H-N V6#74) I agree that it is possible (and necessary) to be careful with sensative data. Where I think that we dissagree is as to how secure a "secure" system such as Multics realy is. I believe that files under Multics are about as secure as files stored in a locked cabinet in a locked room. Unfortunately, there are many people around with lockpicks. For data which is extremely sensative, one needs to have an effective alarm system and some sentries. Whereas Multics is a fairly secure operating system, most systems don't go to the efforts which Multics does, and most companies don't seem to have the administrative know-how to keep their systems secure. So, while I think you are correct that the problem is mostly getting people to act responsibly about security, I also think that we must think carefully about designing our locks, alarms, and sentries better. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 20 Nov 83 17:53:35 PST From: Peter Reiher Subject: whiz kids and cryptography In a recent message, Robert Maas, commenting on an episode of Whiz Kids, suggested that the conventional cryptographic system used in the episode was clearly inadequate and should be replaced by a public key system, with each site choosing a new key pair periodically and sending that information to the central computer. As stated, this scheme has the potential for disaster, since the message seemed to imply a cleartext transmission of the new public key. If this were to happen, the villains could interject spurious messages in which they announced a new public key for a police car or even the central dispatching facility itself. From this point onward, they could masquerade as the actual entity. This can only be avoided by encrypting the key announcement messages (which Maas may have taken as assumed). Peter Reiher ------------------------------ Date: 19 Nov 1983 0714-PST From: SEGELBAUM.UCI-20A@Rand-Relay Subject: The Buck Stops Here Pardon me for being trivial, but I just cannot stand to see written English abused...and the abuse perpetuated. We seem to be perpetuating a spelling error, and I would like to stop it NOW. It's "sensitive," not "sensative." When KATZ@UCI-20A first misspelled it, it looked like a typo, until you realized it was being repeated consistently throughout his message (by the way, we should at least credit Martin with totally consistent consistency -- for he consistently misspelled all derivatives of the Latin root "sentire" and other related roots, by substituting an A for an I ("sensable," "feasable," et al for "sensible," "feasible," et al)). But then two other users, responding to Martin's stimulating piece, copied his misspellings! In this electronic age, we have a never-before-known capacity for the dis- semination of informaton...and also, of course, MISinformation. We have a responsibility to put energy behind efforts to insure the former, and control the latter. It starts with the observation of simple grammatical, syntactical, and orthographic conventions, without which the language could ultimately end up in a kind of electronic chaos, with no one having the faintest idea what anyone else is saying. So, for god's sake, we have fantastically powerful and speedy spelling correctors...if you don't feel like looking doubtful words up, use software! rob ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #80 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-12-06 22:17:01 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 6 Dec 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 80 Today's Topics: Query - arpanet/usenet/bitnet to compuserve/delphi/source mail, Responce to Query - Input Devices, Computers and People - Big Computer is Watching you & Hackers, Computers on TV - Whiz Kids, News Article - Computer aided manufactuing, Computer Security - Password Security & Key Distribution in Encryption Systems ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 1 Dec 83 19:35:44 EST From: Pierre duPont Subject: arpanet/usenet/bitnet to compuserve/delphi/source mail Does anyone know of an automatic link between Arpanet (and/or usenet,bitnet,etc.,) and such services as CompuServe and The Source for the purpose of mail forwarding, etc? Delphi (General Videotex) has already partly answered the question - They transfer all mail from/to CompuServe manually each day. One possible solution would be to rig up my computer to check the services regularly and transfer mail for me, and I do plan to implement such a system someday. (This will undoubtedly be a very challenging task!) But has it already been done? Is there any Arpanet address that is really a gateway to CompuServe or The Source? Any ideas would be appreciated! - Pierre ------------------------------ From: sdcsvax!davidson@Nosc (Greg Davidson) Date: 2 Dec 1983 2325-PST (Friday) Subject: Re: Input Devices I believe that the question of how to support non-standard keyboards, such as DSK keyboards and chord keyboards, has a simple answer: Make a standard interface which is independent of which one is used. People should be able to plug their favorite keyboard into any system. I have a similar answer for the support of various pointing devices, including mice, tablets with pens, tablets with pucks, touch screeens and light pens. A standard port on terminals and workstations should accommodate any such system, even if something else is built in. Function buttons, whether on pointing devices or keyboards, need not be treated separately by the software which responds to them being pressed. Whether such codes are received from the keyboard or from the pointing device should not matter. All that the software needs to know is what code was sent. The codes should be an ISO standard. Like many people, I have my own favorite input devices. I prefer a chord keyboard for my left hand, and a choice of either a three button mouse or a second chord keyboard for my right hand. The lesson taught by the unsuccessful struggle to introduce DSK keyboards is that non-standard devices require the freedom to choose our input devices independently from the rest of our hardware. Otherwise inertia wins. -Greg ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 2 Dec 1983 10:47-PST From: Steven Tepper Subject: Re: Big Brother and Block Modeling, Warning A possible defense against such blatant out-and-out spying on employees is to publicize such practices. Employees who are not so outraged as to quit on the spot can at least hope to foil the method by flooding the system with no-op messages to the point where it collapses, either because of system overload or because other users refuse to wade through all the nuisance mail. At that point communications might revert to forms which are harder (or more expensive) to trace. By the way, the "guilt by association problem" -- not in the specific case you mention of automatic copies in messages, but in the more general case of assuming certain tendencies in people who exhibit particular similarities of behavior -- has been around a long time in the form of psychological tests. As far as I know, these are not based on any kind of theories about why the behavior might account for the attributed tendency. Rather, they are completely statistical and are just as prone to make wrong predictions as statistical analyses of correlations between behavior and hair color, between shoe size and astrological sign, or between company loyalty and mail usage. ------------------------------ Date: 2 Dec 1983 1331-EST From: Roger H. Goun Subject: Re: Are we getting old in our old age? I can certainly sympathize with Brian Reid's explanation for his actions in pursuit of the young "cracker" on his system. In similar circumstances, I might have done the same thing. I think Brian's last point is most telling, though: Had I known that the reaction was going to be this strong I would have offered to buy the kid a beer or a joint or whatever it is that 17-year-olds want these days.... Brian is to be excused for lacking 20/20 hindsight. However, at this point we are all painfully aware that public and law enforcement reactions to computer penetration incidents are likely to be inflamatory, to say the least. Computer professionals should take the lead in bringing this sort of "crime" back into prospective. We can start by sticking with our normal reaction to a break-in, and do our best to turn a young cracker to more healthy pursuits, before we resort to calling in the law. By the way, Brian, HUMAN-NETS Digest is probably not a good forum in which to express your willingness to purchase controlled substances for a minor. Some agency's computer somewhere may have just started a file on you.... :-) -- Roger Goun Digital Equipment Corp. UUCP: ...decvax!decwrl!rhea!elmer!goun ARPA: decvax!decwrl!rhea!elmer!goun@Berkeley (best) VLSI@DEC-Marlboro (put "ELMER::GOUN" in Subject) ------------------------------ Date: 1 December 1983 00:20 EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: how public perceives computers - Whiz Kids Well, in tonite's episode of Whiz Kids the dialup-access security for a company computer was a little better than in previous episodes. After twelve bad guesses at the password it would disconnect the telephone, requiring redialing, thus slowing up the automatic password-cracker program to an effective guessrate of about one guess per second. But after many hours of guessing the 6-character password in alphabetical order from AAAAAA upward and redialing after each disconnect, the correct password was hit, and it turned out to be a common word PRETTY (gee, now if the program had just tried the English words first, huh?). So it looks like the writer for that program has consulted somebody who knows a little bit about security, or has been reading this mailing list? ------------------------------ Date: Sat 3 Dec 83 13:59:55-PST From: William "Chops" Westfield Subject: Computer aided manufactuing of consumer products Intersting develoment. Some of you may recall a prediction of this sort of thing (using computers to create a product line where each item is unique) in John Brunner's "Shockwave Rider". It should be interesting if this catches on for other products - these particular dolls are selling like hotcakes! Extract from NYT newswire story: The basic attraction for the dolls seems to begin with their puckish smiles, yarn hair and outstreched arms that are ready for a hug. And unlike most modern dolls, which are stamped out of identical molds in cold plastic or rubber, Cabbage Patch Kids are mostly soft, squeezeable and individually unique. Coleco claims with computer assisted design, no doll is the exactly the same as another. The color of the yarn hair is different, as are the eyes and outfits. ''Some have one dimple, two dimples or none,'' explained Coleco's director of Corporate Communciations, Barbara C. Wruck, ''and there are eight or a dozen diffent head molds that change the facial design in large and subtle ways.'' BillW ------------------------------ Date: Fri 2 Dec 83 10:35:20-PST From: Ken Laws Subject: Password Security Any system that allows users to choose their own unconstrained passwords will be vulnerable. Morris and Thompson's case history (supplied with the Unix Programmer's Manual) is an eye-opener; it was summarized on this list about two years ago. Many of the attack methods presume that passwords will be single words. Suppose that system software checked a dictionary to detect and disallow all such passwords? Would we have reasonable security if people chose phrases or word pairs having at least eight letters, or would systems still be vulnerable to attacks using Markov letter-tuple frequency statistics? (If this is not sufficient, I advise system administrators to use "user-unfriendly" methods that reject pronounceable passwords. One could either insist on mixtures of letters and numbers or could use letter-pair statistics to score the "entropy" or "security" of proposed passwords.) -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 3 Dec 83 16:10:13 PST From: Peter Reiher Subject: key distribution in encryption systems You don't even have to encrypt the key announcement messages. A good public-key scheme, like RSA, allows for authentication of the messages. - Ralph Hyre Regardless of whether or not public key methods are used, it is necessary to encrypt key announcement messages by some means. If they are plaintext, anyone can introduce them. Also, it seems to me that it is a mistake to announce a new key by encrypting it under the key it is intended to replace. The whole point of changing the key, after all, is that you fear that the old key has been used too much and is subject to compromise. If a key has been compromised, then the key announcement message you get from someone else may actually be from a villain masquerading as the announcer. The fact that he has also encrypted the new key using your public key does ensure that only you can read it, but, since your public key is, after all, public, it does nothing to authenticate the sender. The dispatcher system does, indeed, have some features which make public key cryptography look attractive, especially due to its star configuration. However, if new public keys are to be distributed over the network itself, precautions must be taken. Having each site hold two key pairs, one for conventional messages and one for key announcements, will work fine. Having each site announce its new key by encrypting with its old key either greatly decreases the lifetime of keys (the announcement must occur when the old key is still judged absolutley secure) or exposes the system to imposters who have determined the old key and fraudulently announced a new one. (One interesting possibility which avoids two separate key pairs: the first message sent with a new key is the announcement of the next key. When a key is judged insecure, a message goes out telling other sites to switch to the previously announced key, without including that key in the message. An imposter who figured out the old key can thus force a switch to the new key, but he can't choose that key, and, assuming that the old key was ever secure, the imposter doesn't know what the new key is.) Peter Reiher reiher@ucla-cs ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #83 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-12-22 17:10:39 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 22 Dec 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 83 Today's Topics: Query - Split Horizon Routing, Response to Query- Input Devices, Computer Security - Passwording (3 msgs), Computers and People - Big Computer is Watching You & Augmented Global Consciousness?, Computer Networks - Usenet <=> Arpanet (2 msgs), Computers and the Media - EPROMs victim of newspeak? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed 14 Dec 83 22:33:30-EST From: Robert Montay Subject: question about split horizon Can anyone give me a quick explanation of split horizon routing. I came across this while reading about digital communication networks. I have been unable to find background material. Thanks much, Bob Montay (MONTAY@COLUMBIA-20) ------------------------------ Date: 15 December 1983 22:20 est From: Makey.DODCSC at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Non-QWERTY keyboards For years I have heard about non-QWERTY keyboards but have never seen one. In vol. 6 no. 78 of Human-Nets, Stan Barber mentioned a "DVORAK" keyboard. Assuming that it is one of those (non-QWERTY) animals, could someone explain (with a translation table or a diagram) what it looks like? Also, what are the advantages of such a keyboard? :: Jeff Makey ------------------------------ Date: 11 Dec 1983 0820-PST From: CAULKINS%USC-ECL@MINET-CPO-EM Subject: Passwords I was involved in setting password rules for one of the systems I'm on. The results were as follows: 1) Passwords must be at least 6 characters long, and contain at least one char each from the following sets: 1.1) a-z 1.2) A-Z 1.3) 0-9 1.4) Special characters (#$%^&, etc.) 2) A password must not appear in a dictionary or be a common name. The result of all these are things with deliberate misspellings, and 'cutesy' enough to have strong mnemonic properties. An example of a recently retired password is "n0Ways". Dave C PS Ooops - that should have been "n0Ways!" ------------------------------ Date: Thu 15 Dec 83 07:45:55-CST From: Werner Uhrig Subject: some suggestions about passwords ... I don't remember seeing or using a system which really provided any help to the users in terms of passwords and security. So here are a few things I thought of, which (I feel) would help: 1) allow me to set a parameter of a certain time-period, after which the system would, automatically, require me to change the password. 2) to make longer and unpronouncable passwords more acceptable to me, allow me to define a prompting sentence which I can request from the system, when I can't remember the password anymore. This prompt might be protected by a second password of my choice, with another, much more stable and simpler password, and with another prompt, if need be. After requesting to get a "prompt" from the system, I should be given only 1 chance (maybe 2) to get things right. The event should always be reported to the systems support staff, and if I miss, my account should be deactivated, and the attempt to login should result in a request to call/appear in person and should again be captured in a "security-log" which the support staff should read at great frequency. (!!!) These and other "strange" events should also be reported to me by phone or hardcopy. 3) A log of all sessions of my account should be kept in a DB and available to me online, with facilities for me to scan. I would like to be able to define a parameter to cause a report of recent usage at each login. I'd also like to receive a periodical hardcopy report of usage automatically. 4) As a user of many different systems, but only few I use very frequently, I would like the password to change after a certain short time period of nonuse (say a week) to another, much longer password I get to define for that purpose. That way, my "dormant" accounts could be protected by a verse of my favorite poem or song, something not very easy to crack, but very annoying to type when the account is used frequently but acceptable when used rarely. 5) I'd like to be able to "booby-trap" certain commands, so that their use would cause a prompt for a different password, which if missed, would cause a "security-violation" resulting in deactivation of the account. The command listing the complete directory would be a good candidate. Along with that booby-trap I'd like to be able to define a "personal" alias-name for the booby-trapped command, which would avoid that I'd have to provide the password. Of course these are just half-baked ideas, so, please, don't critisize them "too" severely, but, on the other hand, maybe, contributing them will result in some improvements somewhere ( pleaes make footnotes in the documentation giving me credit :-) ) In summary, I certainly agree with the statements in Greg's message yesterday, in that I find the password-security set-up in systems I know "primitive" and lacking imagination. Seems as if nobody ever tried to improve on the simplistic set-ups inherited from the early systems. The cause, I believe, is that managers with the power (and, ergo, responsibility) to change Operating Systems, have not had their nose rubbed on the grind-stone of criticism enough to make them assign a wizard to improve things. I think most of us, given the task, could implement significant improvements. Unfortunately, it seems, that the manager's manager, would need to have a "technical" understanding to cause that to happen. Possibly, we are talking here of such "elevated" managerial levels, who do not get reprimanded ever, but reassigned or retired, at most, and who need an technical assistant for any topic not involving use of the company plane. There you have it. Always abrasive before my first cup of coffee ... UUCP: ut-ngp!werner via {decvax!eagle, ucbvax!nbires, gatech!allegra!eagle, ihnp4, kpno!ut-sally} or ihnp4!kpno!utastro!werner ) ARPA: werner@ (utexas or utexas-20 or ut-ngp) ------------------------------ Date: Thu 15 Dec 83 13:47:51-PST From: Richard Treitel Subject: password choice Other variations on the scheme mentioned by REM (I think) include taking a real word, or proper name, and permuting the letters, or replacing each by the next letter in the alphabet, or running the first half of one word together with the second half of another (as long as they aren't your parents' first names, I suppose). I favour permuting the letters in such a way as to produce an easily pronounceable, or rememberable, or typeable result. It's usually easy. - Richard Before you start trying to guess my password, be warned that the word[s] out of which it was constructed are (i) proper names; (ii) not English; (iii) not personally connected with me, but with an organisation I used to belong to; (iv) most members of that organisation are not themselves aware of the connection; (v) not all of (i)-(iv) are true anyway. ------------------------------ Date: 11 December 1983 19:01 est From: DBrown.TSDC at HI-MULTICS Subject: Block Modelling for detecting cliques Well, it could work quite nicely if you don't have a "bcc" command in your mailer. I send mail to "person", cc to "associates" and bcc to "my clique". Bcc means *blind* cc to my mailer, and so the mail carries only the "to" and "cc" addresses, never the "bcc" ones. --dave (cliques? I don't belong to any cliques!) brown ------------------------------ Date: 12-Dec-83 12:04 PST From: Kirk Kelley Subject: augmented global consciousness Lets call the process of creating and maintaining the available knowledge, about the processes controlling the earth, the "global consciousness". If we add techniques and methodologies for increasing the capabilities of this process, we have an "augmented global consciousness". The use of "augment" comes from Doug Engelbart's experiments to augment the human intellect that led to the invention of the mouse, etc. Given that we live in a unique time in the history of communication, and many of us occupy a unique position for shaping the future development of communication technology, it may be important for us to ask, "What techniques and methodologies would lead to the most viable global consciousness?" To begin a means of focussing R&D on this and related questions, what if as many of us from around the world as is feasible, collaborated on a project to simulate the life-time of the collaboration? Such a simulation would involve potentially infinite refinement of a model for testing a potentially infinite supply of theories and proposals that could range from third world modems to the global mean temperature and human mortality rates. Simulation, for all its faults, is most useful when focusing research for a decision analysis and as such could provide a key methodology for a viable global consciousness. The project itself would be a form of global consciousness, augmented by the tools of tele-collaborated simulation. It would be asking itself if itself could become a viable form of global consciousness. Does any of this make sense so far? -- kirk ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 15 Dec 83 10:26:01 EST From: A.S.Sethi Subject: Traffic Problems caused by Mailing Lists The traffic problem mentioned in today's digest in connection with the Human-nets/USENET gateway is caused because hundreds of copies of the same digest are mailed individually to recipients on another network via a common gateway. As mailing lists grow, and as more networks are interconnected, this problem is bound to increase. Even within a single network, there is a waste of resources when many recipients on the same host receive separate copies of the same digest which have travelled independently over the network. This problem could be solved if the mailing system were redesigned to send only one copy of a message for multiple recipients sharing a common path (e.g. host, gateway, etc.). The message would carry a list of addresses, and the host, gateway, etc. would make multiple copies and fork them out on the different paths. This scheme could be extended to create a hierarchy of forks in the form of a tree to take maximum advantage of common paths. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 15 Dec 83 16:20:57 pst From: dual!fair@Berkeley Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #82 Re: USENET Gateways OK, here's the scoop: For a long time Berkeley was the primary USENET <-> ARPANET gateway, dating back to the days when @BERKELEY meant the INGRES project PDP-11/70 running V6 UNIX, and talking to Ernie CoVax over a 9600 baud BerkNet link. At the present time, Berkeley is serving as a mail gateway only, primarily because the netnews software is broken, and there is no one especially inclined to fix it. By & large, most USENET people have been good about not directly subscribing to ARPAnet digests, so excessive traffic has not been a problem, except in a few isolated cases. Right now, SRI-UNIX is serving as a USENET gateway for news articles and digests, with some exceptions. The only articles that we have in digest form (the `fa' groups) are from these two addresses: dual!amd70!decwrl!decvax!brl-bmd!Human-Nets-Request@rutgers dual!amd70!decwrl!decvax!brl-bmd!Telecom-Request@usc-eclc Clearly, we have been getting HUMAN-NETS and TELECOM through BRL-BMD, although I don't know if they're forwarding at this very moment... Things like net.micro (INFO-MICRO) are being gatewayed on a per letter basis, since the ARPAnet side isn't digested. Mike Muuss, are you listening? On a slightly related subject, is there any hope of ARPA officially recognizing an organized anarchy that is slowly infesting its beautiful INTERNET? I find it very amusing to note that CSNET, an officially recognized network has two gateways, and USENET/UUCP, a `no-one-but-us- chickens' network, has about twenty (or so) gateways to the INTERNET. networks are so much FUN, Erik E. Fair ucbvax!fair fair@ucb-arpa.ARPA fair@dual.UUCP.BERKELEY.ARPA (maybe?) dual!fair@BERKELEY (yes!) {ucbvax,amd70,zehntel,unisoft,onyx,its}!dual!fair Dual Systems Corporation, Berkeley, California ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 20 Dec 83 8:21:07 EST From: Mark S. Day Subject: EPROMs victim of newspeak? After the "cellular radio" debacle (a news writer claiming that cellular radio was so named for the power cells used) I noticed another example of the butchery of technology by writers not doing their homework (I think). >From the Boston Globe, December 15, 1983: IS OUTER SPACE READY FOR 'NEW WAVE RUBY FALLS?' [An article describing the plans of Joseph Davis to put a package on board the space shuttle to paint the sky using ion beams] [...] Davis says it will all fit, thanks to technological miniaturization. For instance, the 14-step program necessary for the project to function is contained entirely on a single E-prong computer chip. [...] Is there actually such a thing as an E-prong chip, or is it a sound-alike for EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory)? Ever vigilant, --Mark ARPA: mday@BBN-UNIX USENET: ...ihnp4!decvax!bbncca!mday ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #84 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1983-12-22 17:32:15 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 22 Dec 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 84 Today's Topics: Computer Networks - WorldNet approaches, Computer Security - Passwording (2 msgs), Information - FCC moves to regulate telephone `sex-services'. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 16 Dec 1983 1342-EST From: John R. Covert Subject: Networks are getting bigger -- WorldNet approaches In this digest we have often talked about the coming of WorldNet. More and more networks are becoming interconnected, and during a recent trip to Europe I was never away from my normal modes of communication. WorldNet is here if you know how to use it. I originally wrote the following as a submission to a NOTES discussion within DEC of an appropriate name for our internal network. Many names were being suggested, some whimsical, some serious, most hotly defended. My point was that in a network crossing all parts of DEC's matrix organization, a network which now has about 2000 defined nodes, of which 1700 are currently operating at various times and at any point in time about 1200 are available for direct connections -- with about ten new nodes connecting per week, a network which is connected via gateways to external networks, finding a name is pretty pointless. The net is becoming as ubiquitous as the telephone. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Just got back from travelling around the net. Almost three weeks ago, as I was packing my bags, the familiar beeps of a few new mail messages called to me from the terminal connected via DTN into the Enet. The first was a message from a friend on the MILnet at SAC in Omaha wishing me a good trip and telling me that his secretary was envious of my travel plans after reading the copy of my itinerary I'd sent him over the net. The second was from a friend at Apollo, sent to me over the Usenet. We had been doing some timing experiments to see how long it took to get messages back and forth through the Usenet, which stores messages at intermediate hops. The third was from one of the people I'd be meeting at Telecom 83 in Geneva the next day, using a node on the local area net in our booth at the show connected via the Swiss PTT's packet net into our net. After making arrangements to meet him at our booth the next day, I routed my mail to the DBN node I would be using to access the net for the week in Geneva. One of the exhibitors at the show, MCI, is expanding their network to be a world-wide network. They've also bought WUI (the international part of Western Union) and are getting into the data network business. I used a line from their telephone network which they had brough into the show to access my MCI mail account. Later, I would use a modem on a machine back home in our network, reached via "Set Host" to dial out into AT&T's 800 Service network to access MCI Mail. At the end of the week in Geneva I had CASTOR reroute my mail to the node in the Easinet I would be using during my week in Munich. The DBN node had no mail forwarding services, so while I was in Munich I occasionally received messages on the DBN node. But using SET HOST over the net, I was still able to read them. I was in Munich to study the requirements for connecting to the German public circuit switched data network. Fortunately, we seem to do a good job of meeting these requirements. We'll probably use circuits in this network to connect demo machines at German DECUS in Darmstadt next Spring into the net. At the end of that week, I moved my mail reception point to an Enet node at DECeast (Reading, England). Here I was meeting with the people who will be responsible for adapting DEC's Telephone Management System (for the Professional-350 Personal Computer) to European telephone networks. One of the problems here is that telephone dials don't always send the same number of pulses for the same digit. The Norwegian network uses two methods within the same country; they have to translate between switching machines inside and outside Oslo. I needed the details, and got them over the phone, but wasn't sure I'd gotten the right answer, since the person I talked to in Norway was absolutely flabbergasted by my request, but after thinking about it realized that there was something different about the phones. Fortunately I received confirmation from someone in the Norwegian Telecom Administration, who sent net mail from a VAX running Unix at the NTA research center via the Arpanet. --------------------------------------------- It's a wonderful net, folks. Using it, you can be at home away from home. I responded to most of my mail the same day I received it. Some of my correspondents didn't even realize they were communicating with someone who was 5000 miles away. This interconnection of all our networks will proceed even further over the next few years. E Pluribus Unum. Now I'm back home on my node in the Enet. ------------------------------ Date: Fri 16 Dec 83 00:20:06-PST From: Ken Laws Subject: Passwords Jerry Bakins presentation of generated words is interesting, but brings to mind a caution. Difficult-to-guess passwords are not always difficult to enumerate if you know the generating algorithm. If there are 1000 basic syllables, for instance, the search space of all two-syllable nonsense words is only a million tries. Similar difficulties arise if passwords are generated by the system from random seeds: the search space is only the seed size (e.g. 10**9 for a 32-bit seed) rather than being derived from the character set of the output. The generated passwords are far better than most user-selected ones, but will not withstand concerted attack. Systems where a user can gain access to an encrypted password table and the encryption algorithm are particularly vulnerable since one can generate random passwords, encrypt them, and check for any occurrence in the password table. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: 17 December 1983 00:49 EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: password security I wouldn't have thought that making up passwords was all that difficult since presumably one can run two or more wordstogether resulting in something easytoremember bu not inanydictionary? It would seem to me that if youhadto try toguesshow one put words together that way one would havesomeproblems? ------------------------------ Date: 14 Dec 1983 17:18-PST Subject: FCC moves to regulate telephone `sex-services'. a238 1609 14 Dec 83 AM-Telephone Sex,650 FCC Moves To Regulate ''Dial-A-Porn'' By NORMAN BLACK Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Communications Commission, with some trepidation, moved Wednesday toward regulating ''Dial-A-Porn'' telephone sex services. By a unanimous vote, the agency solicited public comment on how it might enforce a new law signed by President Reagan last week that declares any commercial service using ''obscene or indecent'' language illegal if it is available to persons under 18 years of age. Since the law gives the agency only 180 days to establish regulations, the FCC said it was setting a deadline of Jan. 23 for comments. The commission's action came just one day after Car-Bon Publishers Inc., a New York firm that publishes High Society magazine and whose call-in sex line prompted the new law, went to federal court in Manhattan with a suit aimed at overturning the statute as unconstitutional. High Society, a magazine that features pictures of nude women, began offering its telephone sex service last spring as a promotional gimmick. The service allows individuals to call a special phone circuit in New York City and listen to tape recordings of women - supposedly those in the latest issue of the magazine - simulating sex. There is no special charge for the service in New York, because much of the city is on measured service and thus local phone calls are billed separately or counted toward an allowance. Persons outside New York who dial the number must pay the normal long-distance charges. While originally designed as a promotional gimmick, the service has proven highly lucrative for High Society because of the huge number of people who have been calling. The magazine pockets two cents for each call, and the service has attracted up to 500,000 calls a day. The callers, to the chagrin of state and federal governments, have included public employees listening in during work hours. Several state governments - Virginia, for one - have received unexpectedly high long-distance bills because of calls to High Society's number. On Wednesday, the Pentagon acknowledged it had discovered that 136 such calls had been made from the Defense Intelligence Agency in February, March and April. The agency's phones have now been equipped with a special ''electronic block'' to prevent such calls in the future, the Pentagon said. Under the law signed by Reagan Dec. 8, the FCC is authorized to impose civil fines, and the attorney general to seek criminal penalties, against any person or firm operating a phone service judged to be ''obscene or indecent'' if available to minors. Operators of such a commercial service face maximum penalties of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for six months. The law specifically directs the FCC to develop standards for determining when a phone sex service has taken reasonable steps to ensure that minors can't call it and thus is immune from prosecution. It was that provision that attracted commission scrutiny Wednesday, with FCC General Counsel Bruce Fein stating he was not sure how the agency should comply with the directive. The FCC offered several possibilities for public comment, such as restricting the services to ''those hours when a majority of parents can be expected to be home and therefore responsible for their children's behavior;'' for example, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The agency also noted any service requiring credit card information might be acceptable, while acknowledging that would have no effect on High Society's service. ''Comments are sought, however, on whether some automated variation of a screening device might be feasible, such as an access code that requires no operator assistance,'' the FCC said. The agency also noted it might consider limiting advertisements of such phone numbers to the inside pages of magazines available only to persons over 18, but at the same time questioned whether it had authority ''to impose restrictions on advertising.'' In a related development, the author of the new law asked the FCC Wednesday to levy fines totaling $15.8 million on High Society. Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, R-Va., argued the FCC should levy the maximum penalty of $50,000 a day dating back to Feb. 1, when the service first began. Bliley contends the phone sex service was illegal even before the new law was enacted and that it is ''time the FCC got off the dime... and put these guys out of business.'' ap-ny-12-14 1909EST *************** With 1984 just two weeks away, I find the `Owellan' implications of this proposed law worthy of considerable note: Who declares/decides if a given dial-up service is obscene or indecent? Would the law have certain words (the like George Carlin magic 7) which are not allowed? The text of the story seems to revolve around "voice sex services", but what about computer based bbs systems, such as the MRC BBS in Mtn.View? And just HOW does one propose to PREVENT the under 18ers from accessing such voice or computer based systems electronically? When you walk into your local ol' sex shoppe, they can ask for your ID or Drivers License....but how would the equivalent of being `carded' be done over a phone connx? Lastly, anyone know how/why High Society goes about accumulating 2 cents per call made to their porn number? I would be interested in having the same accumulation technique/service put on my home and office phone lines. Geoff ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #85 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1984-01-02 12:15:01 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 22 Dec 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 85 Today's Topics: Humor - Passworking in BLOOM COUNTY, Computer Networks - Gateways to USENET, Computers and the Law - Wiretap loophole concerns Information - ZIP + 4, ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu 22 Dec 83 07:00:32-CST From: Werner Uhrig Subject: latest on Password-security in BLOOM COUNTY strip, Wed Dec 21 If you have missed it, you may want to dig for yesterdays paper, and for those who don't know BLOOM COUNTY by Berke Breathed, former cartoonist of the Daily Texan, UT-Austin's campus paper, or don't have access to a paper, below comes attempt of describing in words what can't be without loosing the "tickler": FRAME 1: Our black hero hacker/cracker, made famous in earlier strips for his attempts (and successes) to break into computer systems from his terminal, is once again glued to his CRT, fingers flying over the keyboard.... "BEEP" Password INCORRECT. Entry Prohibited. tiptap, tipe-di-tap, (sound of touch-typist skills) ... FRAME 2: Hero's hands on his knees, slouched shoulders, head hanging slightly forward, glued to the screen, following the display with growing disgust ...... "BEEP" Password INCORRECT. Entry Prohibited. FRAME 3: The inspired hero is standing on the table next to the CRT, his "powerful" fist comes flying down in a surprising move of which only "THE FEW" seemed to be capable of .......... WHAM!!! the sound of shattering contact of fist and CRT body FRAME 4: The hero sits in a relaxed and satisfied posture, hands in his lap, face indicates concentration on his next steps, while his eyes follow the characters as they are displayed .... APPROVED. Good Morning, Secretary WEINBERGER !!! [ hey , that wasn't that bad now, was it ?? ] ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 17 Dec 83 03:29:02 EST From: seismo!rlgvax!allegra!hou3c!ka@BRL-BMD.ARPA Subject: Gateways to USENET Human-nets is still making it to USENET. (Thank you, BRL!) Robert Elton Maas talks about the problem of "dumb" messages appearing on the SPACE mailing list from USENET. This is a general problem with USENET. I get the impression that on the ARPANET, people who don't know much about a subject are unlikely to subscribe to a mailing list on that subject. On the other hand, USENET users are likely to post to any group with an appropriate sounding name. We are currently experimenting with dividing the discussion of astronomy between net.astro.expert (for professional astronomers) and net.astro (for everybody else), but it is not clear that users will follow the rules. The reason that you don't see many submissions (good or bad) from USENET on human-nets is that human-nets is gatewayed into a readonly newsgroup. While it is possible to respond by mailing to ...!brl-bmd!human-nets, most people discuss issues relevant to human- nets in other newsgroups. SPACE, on the other hand, appears as a normal (writeable) newsgroup, and there is no way for USENET users to know that it is gatewayed into an ARPANET mailing list unless they happen to see this fact mentioned somewhere. Kenneth Almquist ka@hou3c.uucp ihnp4!hou3c!ka@Berkeley ------------------------------ Date: 20 Dec 1983 11:01-PST Subject: Wiretap loophole concerns. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow n089 1907 18 Dec 83 BC-TAP 2takes (EXCLUSIVE: 10 p.m. EST Embargo) A Loophole Raises Concern About Privacy in Computer Age By DAVID BURNHAM c.1983 N.Y. Times News Service WASHINGTON - Telecommunications experts are expressing concern that the federal wiretap law does not make it a crime for anyone, whether private citizen, law enforcement officer or foreign spy, to intercept the millions of messages transmitted around the United States each day by computer. The experts, who are in Congress, the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., and the American Civil Liberties Union, say the importance of the loophole in the 1968 law has been greatly magnified in recent years with the increasing use of computers for storing and transmitting personal, business, and government information. Three congressional panels are considering whether the law should be rewritten to reflect the computer age. A major concern, both in Congress and among the experts, is whether the loophole gives local, state, and federal law enforcement officers an opportunity to conduct computerized electronic surveillance without the court approval required for wiretaps. There is no evidence of widespread exploitation of the law by officers. But John Shattock, director of the national office of the civil liberties union, said: ''The issue here is the privacy of communications against secret government surveillance. The threat here truly is Big Brother, not a group of little kids.'' Some fear that any change in the current law, unless it is done carefully, could inadvertently increase or decrease the power of law enforcement officers. The wiretap law forbids the monitoring of conversations except for law enforcement officers who have obtained a warrant from a judge. In the age of the computer, however, more and more messages, including those expressed by the human voice, are broken down into ''digital bits'' in their transmission. But because of the way the 1968 law is written, the interception of these bits is not a crime and the police are free to intercept them without warrants. Most electronic surveillance is passive, making it impossible to measure how much the loophole is being exploited, whether by the authorities, by industrial spies, by organized crime figures trying to make a killing in the stock market, by international spies seeking government data, or by curious individuals with a personal computer. But in recent months a number of computerized data banks in government and industry have become the targets of long-distance telephone attacks by amateur computer experts working from their home computers. In addition, indictments have charged foreign computer concerns with attempting to purchase sensitive details about the products of American companies. More seriously, perhaps, several years ago the Carter administration announced that it believed the Soviet Union was using antennas believed to have been set up on its grounds in Washington, New York, and San Francisco to intercept digital information being transmitted in microwaves by businesses and government agencies. The Carter administration took limited technical steps to prevent the Russians from obtaining sensitive government data and ordered the National Security Agency to help private corporations improve their security. But it never took any formal legal action against the Russians or formally asked Congress to amend the law. H.W. William Caming oversees privacy and corporate security matters at AT&T. ''As we enter the year made famous by George Orwell's book, 'Nineteen-Eighty-four,' computer crime is on the rise and may well constitute a major crime threat of the 1980s,'' he said in a recent interview. ''We therefore are encouraged by and vigorously support current efforts in Congress and the states to enact suitable legislation concerning computer crime. We believe that such legislation should include provisions making it a crime to secretly intercept non-voice communications.'' AT&T is not the only company concerned about the wiretap law. In response to an inquiry, Satellite Business Systems, a major new data communications company jointly owned by International Business Machines, the Aetna Life and Casualty Co., and Comsat, agreed that some experts believed there was a ''potential loophole'' in current law and that, to the extent this was so, ''legislation to make clear that such unauthorized interception is prohibited would be useful.'' The 1968 wiretap law makes it a federal felony for a third party to intercept the conversations of others by placing an electronic listening device, or a ''bug,'' in a telephone or other place such as an office. The only exception is that federal, state, and local law enforcement officers may use wiretaps in the investigation of certain crimes but only with the approval of the senior prosecutor of a particular jurisdiction and a special warrant from a judge. The law does not apply to computer tapping because Congress defined the word ''intercept'' as the ''aural acquisition'' of information. In the opinion of a federal appeals court, the General Accounting Office, and privacy experts such as Alan F. Westin of Columbia University, this wording means that the wiretap law does not prohibit the interception of computer transmissions because no sounds are involved. ''Advancing telecommunications technologies which involve non-aural interception techniques are being used more and more,'' the GAO said in a report to the Senate in 1980. ''Therefore, modern telecommunications are becoming less likely to be protected against unauthorized interception by current statutory provisions.'' In an age when more than a third of the nation's households are hooked into cable television systems, when millions of people are doing their banking by computerized tellers and their mailing electronically as well, the limitations of the current law have become increasingly obvious. David Watters, a telecommunications engineer who has served as a consultant in both government and private industry, said the changing technology may mean it is also not a crime to record certain telephone calls secretly. ''There hasn't been a test case brought to court on this question yet,'' he said, ''but increasing numbers of telephone calls are being transmitted from point to point in the digital language of computers, and the logic of the 1968 law would suggest that such calls could be intercepted without penalty.'' Two House Judiciary subcommittees, one headed by Rep. Don Edwards, D-Calif., the other by Rep. Robert W. Kastenmeier, D-Wis., and a Senate Judiciary Committee headed by Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr., R-Md., are considering the possibility of rewriting the wiretap law. Kastenmeier, whose subcommittee on courts, civil liberties, and the administration of justice is to hold hearings on the question next month, said such matters as how much statutes should protect against actions like the unauthorized interception of electronic mail take on great importance in this modern technological age. ''The implications of the ability of the new technology to go beyond such definitions in terms of invading personal privacy make consideration of this important issue by the subcommittee most urgent,'' he said. Drafting a new law to close the gap in the old one, however, presents complex legal and philosophical problems. In the past, when Congress has sought to limit the access of law enforcement to banking and medical records, the Justice Department has fought for the widest possible access. A congressional change in the law to require a warrant from a judge for interception of computerized information, would represent a diminution of officers' independent authority. In 1979 the Supreme Court ruled that local authorities in Maryland did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of Michael Lee Smith, a Maryland resident, when they did not obtain a search warrant before placing a device on his telephone to record the numbers he dialed. A majority of the Supreme Court held that such information could be collected by the police without a warrant because Smith could not have a reasonable expectation that the numbers he dialed were private. But three justices dissented, arguing that the numbers were just as deserving of legal protection as the substance of what Smith said. Electronic mail systems offer similar opportunity to gain information about a person's dealings with others, according to testimony before a House subcommittee in October by Willis H. Ware, a member of the Rand Corp. and a leading privacy expert. As opposed to traditional mail, electronic mail systems, ''in addition to the message content,'' he said, contain ''information relating the addressee to the sender. In principle, such information could be used to establish relationships among people, such as organized groups or circles of acquaintance. Obviously, such information could be of high interest to the law enforcement community, but the legal umbrella of protection over such information is confused and probably incomplete.'' Experts agree that, depending on how Congress revised the wiretap law, it could lead to significant broadening in the mandate of federal law enforcement agencies and possible changes in the expectation of confidentiality in such broad areas of concern as medical records. ''The privacy questions raised by the new telecommunication age represent the single most important issue facing Congress today,'' said Shattuck. ''Because computers are now essential to the operations of hospitals, of law firms, and even of newspapers, a sloppily drafted law could give the federal government greater search powers that it ever has had in our history.'' John Keeney, the deputy attorney general in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said Justice Department officials believed changing the wiretap law was not the way to attack computer crime. ''Our current feeling is that the 1968 wiretap law should not be changed, that there would be simpler ways to take on computer crime,'' he said. He added that study groups in the Justice Department, the Commerce Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services currently were working on drafting a law to control computer crime. nyt-12-18-83 2245est *************** ------------------------------ Date: 14 Dec 1983 1700-EST From: John R. Covert Subject: ZIP + 4 (If anyone uses snail-mail anymore) You can obtain ZIP + 4 information from 800 228-8777. The number is staffed from 7-7 Central Time. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #86 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1984-01-02 12:15:52 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 29 Dec 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 86 Today's Topics: Computers and People - 5th Generation Viewpoints Humor - A Unix nightmare Information - Gov't buys Z-100 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 22 Dec 83 19:13:07 PST (Thursday) From: Ron Newman Subject: New Generation computing: Japanese and U.S. views (2 msgs) from Japan: "It is necessary for each researcher in the New Generation Computer technology field to work for world prosperity and the progress of mankind. "I think it is the responsibility of each researcher, engineer and scientist in this field to ensure that KIPS [Knowledge Information Processing System] is used for good, not harmful, purposes. It is also necessary to investigate KIPS's influence on society concurrent with KIPS's development." --Tohru Moto-Oka, University of Tokyo, editor of the new journal "New Generation Computing", in the journal's founding statement (Vol. 1, No. 1, 1983, p. 2) and from the U.S.: "If the new generation technology evolves as we now expect, there will be unique new opportunities for military applications of computing. For example, instead of fielding simple guided missiles or remotely piloted vehicles, we might launch completely autonomous land, sea, and air vehicles capable of complex, far-ranging reconnaissance and attack misssions. The possibilities are quite startling, and suggest that new generation computing could fundamentally change the nature of future conflicts." --Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, "Strategic Computing: New Generation Computing Technology: A Strategic Plan for its Development and Application to Critical Problems in Defense," 28 October 1983, p. 1 ------------------------------------------------------------------- My juxtaposition of quotations is intended to demonstrate the difference in priorities between the Japanese and U.S. "next generation" computer research programs. Moto-Oka is a prime mover behind the Japanese program, and DARPA's Robert Kahn is a prime mover behind the American one. Thus I consider the quotations comparable. To put it bluntly: the Japanese say they are developing this technology to help solve human and social problems. The Americans say they are developing this technology to find more efficient ways of killing people. The difference in intent is quite striking, and will undoubtedly produce a "next-generation" repetition of an all too familiar syndrome. While the U.S. pours yet more money and scientific talent into the military sinkhole, the Japanese invest their monetary and human capital in projects that will produce profitable industrial products. Here are a couple more comparable quotes, both from IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 20, No. 11, November 1983: "DARPA intends to apply the computers developed in this program to a number of broad military applications... "An example might be a pilot's assistant that can respond to spoken commands by a pilot and carry them out without error, drawing upon specific aircraft, sensor, and tactical knowledge stored in memory and upon prodigious computer power. Such capability could free a pilot to concentrate on tactics while the computer automatically activated surveillance sensors, interpreted radar, optical, and electronic intelligence, and prepared appropriate weapons systems to counter hostile aircraft or missiles.... "Such systems may also help in military assessments on a battlefield, simulating and predicting the consequences of various courses of military action and interpreting signals acquired on the battlefield. This information could be compiled and presented as sophisticated graphics that would allow a commander and his staff to concentrate on the larger strategic issues, rather than having to manage the enormous data flow that will[!] characterize future battles." --Robert S. Cooper and Robert E. Kahn, DARPA, page 53. "Fifth generation computers systems are exptected to fulfill four major roles: (1) enhancement of productivity in low-productivity areas, such as nonstandardized operations in smaller industries; (2) conservation of national resources and energy through optimal energy conversion; (3) establishment of medical, educational, and other kinds of support systems for solving complex social problems, such as the transition to a society made up largely of the elderly; and (4) fostering of international cooperation through the machine translation of languages." --Tohru Moto-Oka, University of Tokyo, page 46 Which end result would *you* rather see? /Ron ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 20 Dec 83 20:23:00 PST From: A. N. Onymous Subject: A Unix nightmare Forwarded-by: David D. Levine Last night I dreamed that the Real World had adopted the "Unix Philosophy." I went to a fast-food place for lunch. When I arrived, I found that the menu had been taken down, and all the employees were standing in a line behind the counter waiting for my orders. Each of them was smaller than I remembered, there were more of them than I'd ever seen before, and they had very strange names on their nametags. I tried to give my order to the first employee, but he just said something about a "syntax error." I tried another employee with no more luck. He just said "Eh?" no matter what I told him. I had similar experiences with several other employees. (One employee named "ed" didn't even say "Eh?," he just looked at me quizzically.) Disgusted, I sought out the manager (at least it said "man" on his nametag) and asked him for help. He told me that he didn't know anything about "help," and to try somebody else with a strange name for more information. The fellow with the strange name didn't know anything about "help" either, but when I told him I just wanted to order he directed me to a girl named "oe," who handled order entry. (He also told me about several other employees I couldn't care less about, but at least I got the information I needed.) I went to "oe" and when I got to the front of the queue she just smiled at me. I smiled back. She just smiled some more. Eventually I realized that I shouldn't expect a prompt. I asked for a hamburger. She didn't respond, but since she didn't say "Eh?" I knew I'd done something right. We smiled at each other for a little while longer, then I told her I was finished with my order. She directed me to the cashier, where I paid and received my order. The hamburger was fine, but it was completely bare... not even a bun. I went back to "oe" to complain, but she just said "Eh?" a lot. I went to the manager and asked him about "oe." The manager explained to me that "oe" had thousands of options, but if I wanted any of them I'd have to know in advance what they were and exactly how to ask for them. He also told me about "vi," who would write down my order and let me correct it before I was done, and how to hand the written order to "oe". "vi" had a nasty habit of writing down my corrections unless I told her that I was about to make a correction, but it was still easier than dealing directly with "oe." By this time I was really hungry, but I didn't have enough money to order again, so I figured out how to redirect somebody else's order to my plate. Security was pretty lax at that place. As I was walking out the door, I was snagged in a giant Net. I screamed and woke up. -- David D. Levine (...decvax!tektronix!tekecs!davidl) [UUCP] (...tekecs!davidl.tektronix@rand-relay) [ARPA] ------------------------------ Return-Path: Date: 7 Dec 1983 08:15-PST From: COMPORT@USC-ISI Subject: Interesting Info Originally-From: NAVEUR @ DCA-EMS Return-Path: Comment: Because of the general interest in home computers, the "attached" message from CAPT Kletter, TRI-TAC, Ft. Monmouth, NJ, is forwarded for your information. The Nov 7, 1983 edition of the InfoWorld magazine has a review article on the Zenith Z-100. They give it a high rating. Ed Forwarded message(s): ----------------------------------------------------- 1. On 3 October 1983, the Air Force and Navy awarded a joint contract to Zenith Data Systems to purchase the Z-100 series microcomputer system. The contract is for 6000 systems in FY-84 with two one-year extension options. Each year also carries an option to purchase 25% over the base amount. The Z-100s are now considered the Air Force standard small computer system. 2. As background information, Zenith won out over 31 other bidders and was NOT selected on the basis of cost. There were 17 bidders that met the basic specification requirements, but Zenith was selected because its "package" was considered to be technically superior and outperformed other systems in a live functional test demonstration. As it turned out, the ZFG-121-32 was also the lowest cost system. 3. During the first Air Force Small Computer Conference, Mr. Moffet, President of Zenith Data Systems, announced that Zenith will make the Z-100 available through an association of Government employees. Members of the association will be allowed to purchase the ZFG-121-32 (all-in-one) system and all other line items on the contract at the same price negotiated by the Government. These are the constraints: a. Purchaser MUST be a Government employee and a member of the association. b. The system MUST be sent to the purchaser's HOME address at his expense. c. Only ONE system a YEAR can be purchased. d. Computer purchasers are being assessed an additional $10 processing fee by GEA for each order. e. Computer systems MUST be shipped motor freight ($56-$79) due to weight --over 50 pounds-- (appears to prohibit any overseas delivered orders). f. Orders for accessories, software, etc. that weigh less than 50 pounds are being shipped through United Parcel Service ONLY. g. Zenith will not ship software without a Sublicense Grant form being signed by the purchaser. 4. The price of the ZFG-121-32 includes the Zenith catalog ZF-120-22 with 192K RAM, a package of 10 5 1/4" disks,CP/M-85 Operating System, BASIC-80 interpreter, Diagnostic Software and Technical Reference Manual. 5. For further information on this program, contact G.E.A., P O Box 2405, Arlington, VA 22202 ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Human-Nets-Request@rutgers (Human-Nets-Request%rutgers@brl-bmd.UUCP) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V6 #87 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1984-01-02 12:18:07 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 29 Dec 1983 Volume 6 : Issue 87 Today's Topics: Responce to Query - Input Devices (2 msgs), Computers and the Law - The FCC and "Dirty" Phone Services Computer Security - Passwording (3 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri 23 Dec 83 11:35:43-EST From: Janet Asteroff Subject: Dvorak Keyboard, Print and Electronic Print Dvorak was an engineer assigned to the Navy in the 1930's. He designed a keyboard for maximum efficiency. The Sholes (inventor of typewriter) keyboard, developed in 1873, was designed to slow down the typist (user) as much as possible by placing frequently used letters far apart. Sholes had to do this because when he had it arranged in a more logical fashion, his typists, way back in 1873, were gaining too much speed and jamming the keys. So, he changed the arrangement to its present QWERTY configuration. The QWERTY keyboard divides the work between the left hand (55%) and the right hand (45%), and the DVORAK keyboard does just the opposite. I dont have a chart handy, but I have a reference to an old article in Scientific American or Business Week or something like that if anyone wants to poke around. Great speeds were attained with the Dvorak keboard, probably some claims exaggerated. The Navy thought of making it the standard, but it never happened. Anyway, IBM et. al. has always wanted to change the arrangement, but claimed that "office workers" would never stand for it. I doubt if writers would have been very happy either. Anyway, if you have access to an HP National terminal, I understand that there is a "Dvorak mode",..in Language Mode, type C-shift F1 and you should get it. I have not tried it yet, so don't hold me to it. The ironic thing is that we will move from QWERTY to dynamically designed keboards. We will be able to define our own keys on our terminals. Keyboard design has been a problem right from the very beginning. It does not approximate the arrangement of letters in the printer's case. Sholes broke it up to make his machine usable. The typewriter appeared at the same time as the telephone--actually a few years before. Sholes felt his machine was eclipsed by the telephone, and never thought anyone would find any use for the typewriter after about 5 years. He knew that it was the first personal instrument of print culture--enabling us mortals to make print ourseleves. Now that we have electronic print and ttys, he could not have known the typewriter would be the only personal instrument of print culture, as we rush to replace print with electronic print. Anyone out there interested in the role of the typewriter in the transition from print to electronic print? After all, when new users sit down at the terminal, some initial fear goes away when they see the old QWERTY arrangement. William Zinsser says some interesting things about the disappearance of paper when he started using his IBM word processor. Now, if we can only explain CTL, ESC, PF1... Janet Asteroff (US.JFA%cu20b@columbia) ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Dec 83 14:12:02 EST From: Adam Moskowitz Subject: DVORAK Keyboards In Response To: Jeff Makey's msg of 15 Dec 1983 22:20 EST The "DVORAK" keyboard is a keyboard that was designed with maximum speed in mind. I'm not sure I've ever seen the layout of the keys (I'm still stuck with QWERTY), but supposedly the "home row" is full of the letters one uses most of the time (e, t, i, etc). When tested in high school typing classes, the students who learned the DVORAK keyboard attained speeds of 180+ wpm ! The average typist today types about 85 wpm. Professional typist who switched have (supposedly) attained speeds of 250+ wpm. The error rate was not really different than for QWERTY. Adamm ------------------------------ Date: 23 December 1983 12:23 EST From: Phyllis E. Koton Subject: How "High Society" gets its two cents I was living in NYC at the time this service started, and I remember reading that New York Telephone was in cahoots with High Society on this venture. They know how many calls go to that phone # and they pay the publishers a percentage of the take. This info was included in an article about a group that was urging parents to write & call the phone company to protest this service.. ------------------------------ Date: 24 Dec 83 13:43:05 EST From: Mike Zaleski Subject: FCC vs. Sexy Phone Companies Excerpts from: a238 1609 14 Dec 83, AM-Telephone Sex,650 FCC Moves To Regulate ''Dial-A-Porn'', By NORMAN BLACK, AP Writer Since the law gives the agency only 180 days to establish regulations, the FCC said it was setting a deadline of Jan. 23 for comments. Government in action - A regulation is signed into law on December 8 and a scant 45 days (of a possible 180) are allowed for public comment, conveniently chosen during a period when most people are busy with holiday activites. ... declares any commercial service using ''obscene or indecent'' language illegal if it is available to persons under 18 years of age. When I called the High Society number, I don't remember hearing any obscene or indecent language as such, i.e. no four letter words. Most of it was a lot of silly moaning. There is no special charge for the service in New York, because much of the city is on measured service and thus local phone calls are billed separately or counted toward an allowance. Persons outside New York who dial the number must pay the normal long-distance charges. While originally designed as a promotional gimmick, the service has proven highly lucrative for High Society because of the huge number of people who have been calling. The magazine pockets two cents for each call, and the service has attracted up to 500,000 calls a day. My roommate, who has had some dealings with local phone companies, contents that it is possible that New York Telephone is losing money on this deal. He claims that many local phone companies are collections of small agencies which are often very uncooperative with each other. This situation could easily lead to providing services that lose money. However, it is also possible the New York Telephone is making money on this service. This could occur three ways: 1. By having people go over their "message unit" limit for a given month and allow billing for the additional local calls. Also a number of these calls may be initiated from business numbers during the day. Businesses pay a higher rate for phone use. 2. By collecting small charges from "nearby" locations such as Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronix calling into Manhattan. 3. By getting a larger distribution of long distance income. (Note that local phone companies do not directly get a cut of the long distance calls into their area. Rather, Long Lines does a complicated calculation based on the usage of the phone network and distributes money to the local phone companies to compensate them for the otherwise "free" use of their switching equipment by calls originated outside their billing area.) In a related development, the author of the new law asked the FCC Wednesday to levy fines totaling $15.8 million on High Society. Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, R-Va., argued the FCC should levy the maximum penalty of $50,000 a day dating back to Feb. 1, when the service first began. Bliley contends the phone sex service was illegal even before the new law was enacted and that it is ''time the FCC got off the dime... and put these guys out of business.'' ap-ny-12-14 1909EST What we have here is a typical sleezy politician trying to make political hay out of a non-issue. As for his claim that the service was illegal even before the new law was enacted, he should cite a specific chapter and verse of the law. One might hope the voters in Virginia would see through this shallow publicity getting scheme, but I doubt most will. Excerpt from: Geoff Lastly, anyone know how/why High Society goes about accumulating 2 cents per call made to their porn number? I would be interested in having the same accumulation technique/service put on my home and office phone lines. I hope my earlier remarks clarified this a little. Try thinking of some phone service you can provide that will stimulate phone use and contact your local phone company... -- Mike^Z ------------------------------ Date: 22 Dec 83 20:04:07 EST From: Hobbit Subject: Passwords I've always found it easy to sit down and type a few random words on the terminal, and pick one I liked. They come out anywhere between 6 and 9 characters long, and are such that I can type them *fast* for when people are watching. I don't think this has been discussed: It is quite possible for people to get a fairly good notion of your password by watching you type it, especially if you're a slow typist. I therefore go for speed as well as unrecognizability. For instance, I'll do it now: rudissp doutsw ermkis cornsew ...etc etc. I think that a lot of people who use computers don't think in terms of their password getting compromised, so they pick ones that are easy for them to remember. Since most people deal with real words during their activities, they tend to pick real words that they use often, without having any thought about those who might be trying to find out miscellaneous things about them. A system, when it asks for a new password, should perhaps rather than impose all kinds of technical restrictions, simply type a small bit of text explaining that a password should be meaningless if possible, have nothing to do with personal life, etc... Also, on a system that allows nine-character passwords, for instance, a four-letter password should be just as secure as a longer one, since an intruder would have to select a starting length as well as a sequence and there's no way for him to know how long a given password is. _H* ------------------------------ Date: 23 December 1983 01:03 cst From: RSaunders.TCSC at HI-MULTICS Subject: Passwords: Is there a better way? The past week or so has brought a wide variety of techniques for validating that I am who I say I am when I log into a computer. Some really interesting way of getting passwords, the system picking them, runningwordstogether, rules foR$wh1ch letters I can use and the like. I would like to see some discussion of non-password validation techniques. I can't remember who to credit for this but those of you who know the history of a game called ADVENTURE, which I saw running on a PDP-10 in '77, will recall that after the user has provided the "wizard" password the system sends a short 5 character word. The user is required to permute the key, by an algorithm I will not divulge to maintain whatever secrecy it may still have, and enter a counter-key. This is an old technique that was very popular in WWII for validating simply cyphered messages. I think this would make a neat system for entry validation. Each time you guess wrong the system prompts you with a different word. Knowing the word pair used for the last login wouldn't buy you anything so there is no need for the no-echo business which I find causes so many typos as to keep passwords short. Each user picks, instead of a password, an algorithm for doing the permutation that can be based on any system he can imagine. This is stored in some nice execute only region of system storage that nobody but the password program can use. Guessing is now effectively removed as a hazard and the order of complexity of the system (how hard is it to crack) goes from a function of how many letters from how big a set the user can remenber, to how many ways can the statements in a program be arranged. I think the latter is at least 5 orders of magnitude larger. Thus intrigued I will have to consider making myself such a program. Any comments? Randy Saunders RSaunders@HI-Multics ------------------------------ Date: 27 Dec 1983 18:46:53-??? (Tue) From: hp-lsd!paul@rand-relay Subject: Passwords - An alternative Passwords are frequently software-limited to around 8-16 characters. People choosing passwords are not always aware of the latest data in making an intelligent choice. I would like to see some discussion/investigation on the use of personal physical characteristics instead of passwords. Advantages of using physical parameters: o Your friend/wife can't use your login (good security) o Very difficult to forge Disadvantages: o Your friend/wife can't use your login (sometimes inconvenient) o More complexity since some parameters change with time o Most acquisition schemes require fairly good real-time data capture capability (difficult in time-shared world) Some work has been done with things such as recording pen accelerations as one writes their signature and voice identification but that won't work with a normal terminal/modem. I recently wrote a short Un*x-based program to record the inter-character typing times while a sentence or something was typed(program available). After several repetitions, the data began to be consistent enough to extract (visually from the graph anyway) salient features but that's as far as I took it. One aspect of this method, if it could be made reliable, is that a potential trespasser would have to record timing *and* text to break the system. There is also less pressure to select a unique password, everyone could use the same sentence if desired. Ideas? ----Paul Bame HP Logic Systems Division hplabs!hp-lsd!paul ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************