Net.Legends Roll Call:
1.0 Let's start with the "good guys", chief amongst which is:
Kibo (You're allowed. -- K.):
Perhaps the single defining hallmark of genius is to do something that noone
else has ever done before, or even thought of doing, and make it look
blindingly obvious afterwards. James "Kibo" Parry, confronted with the vast
reality of UseNet, decided to begin `grep'ing his entire newsfeed for posts
containing his middle monicker, "Kibo", in order to look them over and see if
they were worth replying to. (Actually, he now uses `agrep', and I do not know
if he started out on `grep'.) As a result, any post mentioning Kibo became
suddenly apt to generate a followup from the Great One, or at least email from
him. As his art was refined, he started also grepping for "xvob" ("kibo" in
rot13 encryption) and anti-grepping for "ski boots", for obvious reasons (but
not for "kibosh"...). He has become a UseNet term, derived from this activity:
grepping your entire newsfeed is "kibozing", and one who does so is a
"kibozer" (or, depending on how you feel about them, a "kibozo"). Reference
has been seen on alt.folklore.computers to an operating system (not UNIX)
having to "kiboze its hard disk" to find files...
He has his own newsgroup, alt.religion.kibology, which is also his own
religion (Kibo is a genuine net.god, along with tale and Shub-Internet (q.v.))
where odd posts happen (including regular postings from John_-_Winston (q.v.)
and, formerly, Lewis Stiller (q.v.)); alt.exploding.kibo (newgrouped by Kevin
L. McBride), its counterpart alt.imploding.kibo (a Carasso [tm] product), and
alt.politics.kibo also exist, at various levels of activity. Rec.kibo.hunting,
proposed by Joel Furr (q.v.), was never allowed into the RFD stage by tale
(q.v.)... Most people and subjects are Allowed to post or be posted about on
a.r.k . He has an imitator and opposite, xibo (q.v.); he has a dog, named
Spot, who (along with xibo and a few others) is Not Allowed [he's Just a Dog,
dammit!]. He has what is probably the canonical example of a supremely
warlordable .signature; however, he rarely uses it, preferring the terse
" -- K.". Don't ask to see it unless you *really* want to know.
Several other people have adapted or re-invented the newsgrep technique for
purposes of their own, including Serdar Argic (q.v.); Larry Wall, the creator
of the language perl (who does it, using Perl, to answer Perl questions);
Peter Trei (q.v.), who greps for Freemasonry references, and Daniel J. Karnes
(q.v.), who apparently does it to inflict himself on newsgroups talking about
him. (Reportedly) the National Security Agency was doing it long before Kibo
ever thought of it, so watch out...
If you have ever received email from Kibo, your official Kibo number starts
out as 1; if you have not received email from anyone whose Kibo number is < n,
but have received email from someone whose Kibo # is n, then yours is n+1.
Fractional Kibo numbers are imposters (i.e., ted frank (q.v.)); Kibo's own
Kibo number is 0. Posts don't count for Kibo number purposes, only email. (A
few others have had Kibo number zero as well, earned in various ways; Kibo can
also assign a number to you, and came in 2nd in the "most evil
net.personalities" vote, so watch it.) Thom Grace claims credit for
originating these numbers. He's even been featured [Kibo, not Thom] in a White
Wolf gaming supplement (for "Mage"), and in Playboy (no pictorials yet
though)... His titles include "Great Leader" and "He Who Greps"; discussions
about Kibo tend to attract his attention unless specific precautions are taken
(e.g.: Quibeau [doesn't work, don't bother]), and such precautions, in general,
don't last very long... Kibo has no real "haunts" other than his group(s) and
UseNet in general, but *does* read alt.folklore.computers; HappyNet is ... not
yet implemented. Kibo celebrated September in 1994 by having his own death
faked by members of his newsgroup, possibly unbeknownst to him...
< I do not read a.f.c any more that I read other groups; HappyNet is
< implemented, it's just that YOU'RE not connected to it because YOU have
< a wimpy site! a.r.k is just about the only group I read *all* the
< articles in, except maybe control. No, I'm kidding about control.
FAQs for a.r.k, Spot, and HappyNet are available, as well as an a.r.k IAQ;
a.r.k is archived on world.std.com in /pub/alt.religion.kibology, along with
Kibo's .sig and Kibo's McElwaine and Plutonium archives, of which he is very
proud. Posts from email@example.com (James "Kibo" Parry).
< Also posts from other places and names, but they're secret and you can't
< figure out where they are, la la la.
tale (... is an unmoderated newsgroup which passed its vote for creation
David Lawrence spends time and energy selflessly to maintain order in the
news.* hierarchy. He moderates news.announce.newgroups, and has effectively
net.god status, in that sysadmins everywhere look for the tale seal of
approval on newgroups for the Big Seven hierarchies. Gods help us if he
ever has a stroke from holding in criticism of Dave Hayes (q.v.) too long.
A man who knows that silence is usually a *very* effective strategy; speaks
only when there's something important to say (entirely unlike the rest of
UseNet). Posts, rarely, from firstname.lastname@example.org (David C Lawrence).
Closely net.related to tale, Gene Spafford compiled the non-bogus group lists;
his decisions had such influence across the net that, so the saying goes,
`if a newgroup isn't "spaf", it won't be propagated'. This issue came up in
the SF-reorganization flamewar, as well as in the much less noisy
rec.arts.anime reorganization, with regards to things such as fanfic groups,
which Spaf would presumably not permit. If there were an actual head of a
Net.Control.Cabal, Spaf was *it* (however, see UseNet Rule #0); he taught
them all they know and wrote many of the FAQs appearing in news.answers...
he's also known as "Emily Postnews". He also only did really useful important
things rather than nutty noticeable things, and thus tended to fade into the
UseNet background. Unfortunately, he seems to be more faded than usual these
days, and it's generally accepted that he resigned and moved on to Real Life
things some time ago (a post from him was recently seen on news.admin.*
saying that he doesn't even *read* news these days)...
Also in the category "do many many useful things for UseNet and get noticed
very little". Provide voices of reason on news.*. Peter apparently maintains
some of the Guidelines; Stephanie maintains the List of Publicly Accessible
Mailing Lists, and is one of the few people with the ability to slap Kibo on
the nose and get away with it... Peter seems to have originated the "that
name is a crawling horror from the sewers of hell" Newsgroup Name Objection,
according to Stephanie. May be considered to be Cabal-members-if-there-
actually-were-such-a-thing-as-a-Cabal (again, see Rule #0). Stephanie posts as
email@example.com (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), Peter as email@example.com .
Since August of 1993, the USENET Volunteer Votetakers --- The Knights
Who Say Ack! --- have conducted polls for close to a gross of groups.
Co-ordinated by Ron Dippold, who has himself handled several dozen
proposals, they have provided a very valuable service to USENET by
bringing quality and consistency to a observably less than ideal group
creation process. They do their jobs with no compensation but the
feeling that they are contribution something positive to the network
news community. It's generally a job done without observable
gratitude, and I don't want it overlooked.
Knights, on behalf of myself and many group proponents, users and
administrators everywhere, I say thank you. Well done!
David Lawrence, moderator, news.announce.newgroups
The UVV has pretty much put an end to the formerly-common flamewars over
vote results; biased vote-takers, vote floodings, and other Usenet Big 7 voting
rules violations have dropped remarkably since their inception. They will
also do straw polls on various subjects, in addition to their usual CFV
vote counting, if asked nicely.
Ron posts from firstname.lastname@example.org (Ron "Asbestos" Dippold); votes taken
by the UVV usually are done from email@example.com; see also:
The original owner of the sword that appears in .sig files all over
UseNet, in various forms. Left this plane long ago, but passed on his flame
of inquiry and satire to George McQuary (of the McQxxx four-line .sig limit),
who in turn shared it with the alt.fan.warlord Inner Circle. They've been
doling out said flame in drips and driblets ever since, whenever an
especially "warlordable" .sig comes along. So be good little .sig designers,
boys and girls, or you may find yourself suddenly transported to a.f.w and
mercilessly mocked, and possibly have your .sig even animate itself to
death. [I'm putting this under the "good guys" for a good reason, ok?] Does
not post himself; others do his work for him.
Has its own groups, rec.humor.oracle and rec.humor.oracle.d . Will answer
questions if groveled to sufficiently. Querents are referred to the UseNet
Oracle FAQ; beware the "ZOT!". One may also mail firstname.lastname@example.org with
the word "help" in the Subject: line to get information, or with "tellme"
or "tell me" in the Subject: line if you have a burning question for the
What can we say (besides Frink!)? Check out the Frinkquently Asked Questions,
in six parts; bring along your grape soda. Several parts lemur humor, lemur
poetry, lemurs swinging from ceiling lamps and plotting to liberate grape
soda from supermarkets, and frequently saying "Frink!", to one part actual
lemur facts and how you can help this endangered species...