Diana the Valkyrie

Diana the Valkyrie's Newsletter - November 1999

A hard man is good to beat


It's getting chilly. I have to close the window in the afternoon now. It definitely isn't summer any more, and the evenings are getting shorter. Guy Fawkes will be soon, I can hear the bangs already.

New and updated Galleries

I did an special update of Batgirl, in honour of Halloween. And there's lots of coverage of the WSE, and other contests. Make sure you visit the Contests page

Also the Femsport page is doing very well out of the pictures taken by the Femsport Team, which mostly means the Silver Knight with the Golden Lens.

Galleries added this month.

The Library

Jack Straw has written a new story, about a lady blacksmith; also, there's a new Sandi story, illustrated! Plowjack is writing an excellent series "Her Toy". There's a new Bookshelf for Tyval, and another one for Naive.

Stories added this month.

The Movie Theatre

Movies added this month.

Newsgroups - NewsThumbs

Well, things seem to have settled down. Suzie is mostly performing fine. So now I'll reload Mary as a backup to Suzie, just in case ... but I'll change the way Mary works, so that I can add more and more and more disks.

And I've added posting. This means that as well as looking at the pictures that other people have posted, you can take pictures, scan them, and post them yourself. You probably had this ability already via your ISP, but I think I've made it easier to do. To see how to post, go to the NewsThumbs area, click on a newsgroup name to bring up the list of days, and then you'll see a link at the top, click on it for posting.

You can post facts, opinions, questions and other text messages. And you can also post pictures that you have on your computer, and all you need to use is your browser.

I've put a limitation that files have to be less than half a megabyte. That's a lot bigger than a picture needs to be, so it shouldn't be a problem.


Nothing to report. I like it when there's nothing to report. Well, there is something. I'm bringing Mary back. Now that Suzie is carrying the NewsThumbs, Mary will act as a backup, to take over if Suzie goes down. I've also changed the way I'm storing the pictures on Mary. I've made it more scalable. I'll be able to just add new drives to Mary when space runs out, and Mary will use that for picture storage. And when I can't add more drives to Mary, I'll be able to get an assistant for Mary, just to do storage. So I'll be able to have a really big store of NewsThumbs - if it all works the way it's supposed to, of course.

The Shopping Mall

Nothing new.

The Clubhouse

In the Chatroom

Chatter of the month



Diana the Valkyrie1376

Gaily is top chatter this month (you can see a picture of her in the Chatroom Gallery). Boomer makes a brave placing; if only Bud would help him more. And our very own Mad Scientist shows up third.

If you want to know who's in the chatroom at any time, look at the list on the main Message Board page.

On the Message Boards

New Message Boards for Kelly Dobbins, Teri Mooney, Helen Von Mott. Go and say hello!

Board of the month

Poster of the month






Diana the Valkyrie58
Once again, Scooby's Message Board is the clear winner, despite a major attempt by the chess-players to overtake him. So the dog is once more top dog. TomNine's board is still the most popular, leaving aside the two marathon runners, and Melissa is our most popular FBB messager. The most prolific poster is Shanice, mostly on the Chess board. But aside from chess, Scooby is the poster to watch. Despite having a puppy in the house, the dog barks more often than anyone else.


Teri Mooney joins the group, bringing us up to five sponsorships.

Understanding the Internet - Spam

Some one just asked me. "How come when I click on your email address, nothing happens? Other web sites, when I click, I can send an email!" Well, the answer is - Spam!

Originally, the word "Spam" was used to mean when someone posted the same article to 20 or more newsgroups. But the word now includes those annoying emails that you didn't ask for, offering you things you don't want. "Spam" is also a trademarked word; Hormel make a canned meat. It's also the main topic in a Monty Python sketch, and most people think that's why the word is used for internet spamming.

Some people think that any commercial posting is spam. It isn't. It's when it goes to a lot of people who didn't ask for it, such as to more than 20 newsgroups. Some people think that if a post isn't commercial, then it isn't spam. No - the subject isn't the issue, the only issue is how many newsgroups it was posted to, or in the case of email, if it was sent unsolicited to a great many people. Really, email spam should be called UCE (unsolicited commercial email), but almost everyone calls it spam.

But why is spam a problem? You can surely just ignore it? No, you can't. If someone I don't know, sends me an email with the subject "In answer to your question", then I have to open the email and look at it. This might take me 10, maybe 20 seconds. Well, that's not much, is it! But suppose I get a lot of spam? Suppose I got 100 spams per day? That's 20 or 40 minutes out of my day. Suppose I got 1000 spams per day? That's hours wasted. In fact, if spam ever reaches that level, email will become useless unless something is done. That's why people dno't like spam. It wastes your time. In some cases, it wastes your time and money, because in some parts of the world, people pay for local phone calls by the minute, so time spent downloading and reading spam, is real money.

Is it legal? Yes. Anyone can send you an email without asking your permission. There's various proposals for legal changes in some countries, to do something about it, but nothing is likely to happen soon; probably never.

Sometimes the emails tell you that you can send them an email to opt out. I never do - it tells them that there's someone reading their emails, and that's got to be good!

I get offers of lists of email addresses; a million emails for $29. And that's the problem - it costs pennies to send out thousands of emails, whereas with junk surface mail, it would cost serious money to send out a million mail pieces. So, people are tempted by the thought of reaching all those people so cheaply.

What can you do to deal with it? Well, the first step, is to try to stay off the spammers lists. That's why my email address isn't clickable on the web site. Spammers use automatic programs to visit web sites to harvest addresses. By giving my email address as a graphic, and not making it clickable, the harvesters can't read it, but humans can.

They harvest email addresses from Usenet postings. They get them from AOL, AOL make it pretty easy, because they give a list of members. Indeed, any time you're on any directory, your email address will get harvested, sold, and you'll get spammed. By the way, just visiting a web site doesn't give away your email address. You have to type it in at a web site for them to get it.

Another good idea, is to create disposable email addresses. You can use Hotmail or similar services to set up an email address that you give in situations where your address might get harvested.

If you do get spammed, you might be tempted to try to take revenge somehow. The important thing to know, is don't send email back to the address that spammed you. That address is, most likely, fake. Or else set up just for that spam. No-one will read anything, no-one cares what you do to it. But there must be some payoff, someone you have to contact. So, you complain to the people who provide that service. If you're asked to sign up on a web site to a make-money-fast scheme, you can complain to the webmaster. Or to the webmaster's Internet Service Provider. If you're asked to phone an 0800 number, or send a fax, you can complain to the telephone company providing that service.

For example, if you get spammed by someone working one of the "Get paid to surf the net" schemes, you can visit the web site, but instead of signing up, you can complain to them that you got spammed by one of their people. If you forward the email that you got spammed with, they can work out who it is, and take them off their list for payment.

You might have noticed that Narella patrols the NewsThumbs for spam, and anything that she thinks is spam, is greyed out. The problem is, that job can't be done perfectly, so some spam isn't flagged as spam, and some good stuff is.

There's software you can get for filtering out spam.

Read some reviews and some useful links

Back Page

Link of the month has to be what the vendor says is the ultimate remote sex solution. A snip at $499 each - the inventor is a genius. I'm planning to order one on the first day of April next.

I checked the site statistics. that Sandra counts up each night.

At the end of October 1999, there were about 221,000 pictures (10.5 gigabytes), 15 gigabytes of video, 3400 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 24 gigabytes. In addition, there's NewsThumbs, which is another 1,900,000 pictures in 157 gigabytes and 2.5 million text files, a total of 166 gigabytes.

To the Magic Carpet