The Internet Help Desk

 About once a month, I get really drunk and answer the Gmane email.  90% is “please remove my

message”, which I do.  If it’s from the person who asks to have it removed.

The other 10% are kinda … assorted.  I think this is of interest to you.  All of you.  So here I present a [redacted] extraction of those 10%s from tonight.  I don’t mean to be mean.  But c’mon.

Prepare to be puzzled.


The below companies are using zeromq in the field of “financial
services”, “game devolpment”, “embedded systems”, ” academic research”,


But we require the information about for what purpose these all above
companies ar using zeromq.[for example we are planing to use as a
message broker for sending messages between two clients] can you please
provide these informations as soon as possible. I need very early. I ll
be waiting for your reply.”


Search title gets encoded as UTF-8/ISO-8859-1.  You want to wonder if
this is a bug.


I’m building an AngelList profile, and need your help.  Can you do me
a favor and follow me by clicking here:


I’m trying to get in touch with [redacted]. Do you have an email
address or his current contact information? Best Regards,
[redacted] Investigator


Ich war mir über die Veröffentlichung dieser Email nicht bewusst und
bitte Sie daher meine Personenbezogenen Daten aus dem Beitrag zu


There’s a message with subject “Google”.  The body says “Cam on”.


We have learned that unauthorized individual(s) secured a link
promoting our website [redacted].com on one or more of your web


it got returned with this message.  my message is attached here for
you to  see. why was it returned?  i need for aall to know about
[redacted], and its pro capabilities,  and for those who use
[redacted], knocking it down,  saying its not production ready,are


I got your contact in this post[redacted] I wonder
if you could create a new wifi network, entering the ssid and password
in the app and creating the network automatically.


I need your assistance if you can. I accidentally sent a message to
the [redacted] email list last night with a live password in
it. The password is hardcoded in to dozens of machines, so changing it
would be… inconvenient, to say the least. I don’t yet see the message
on your archive page, so I can’t provide the URL link, but I wanted to
see if you could remove the message before it is processed and posted.


This week, due to your GNAME postings, I just suffered the loss of an
important job opportunity, and contract because an individual obtained
the private communications I had not intended for publication by
[redacted]. After the list error I wrote several people on that list
ridiculed me.

As I informed Mr. [redacted], there are treatises between the Nations of
the United States and yours, I believe, Norway, which mandate
compliance with the California State and Federal privacy laws

I have sent him as I will probably have to send you a Cease and Desist
Notice, in lieu of a possible Federal Civil Suit for Injunctive Relief,
and damages. If any internet content states that a person in the United
States does not want his personal email posted on the internet, you
must abide by the meaning of the content.


Though the organization [redacted] expressly prohibits the publication
of any archived communications, my personal and private communication
was published on the internet, via GMANE.

Though Mr. [redacted] alleges that he has no liability, the origin of
the privacy violation originated from his negligent management of his
list.  I have notified you of the ANTI SPAM ACT of the US Government
which can be enforced due to the treaties between the US Government and
Norway. You have failed to respond in kind.

The penalties that can be adjudged against you due to your reckless
and knowing violation of the aforementioned act, and my privacy rights
under the California Constitution, the highest law in the land for any
one person living in the State of California, are very high.

The posting cost me a $76K job opportunity.


Ever since Google Adwords dumped Gmane for reasons, Gmane hasn’t had any income.  It doesn’t really matter that much, but I find it annoying.

The Gmane web site has some traffic.

About half a million page views per day.  Surely there’s $$$ in that.  Not that I like ads.  I think ads are yucky.

I signed up for Google Webmaster Tools to see if it had anything interesting to say.

I’m going to digress a bit.  Google sucks.  Has anybody noticed?  They make a bunch of things that are barely good enough, and then they don’t improve, in general.  Take the Webmaster Tools signup process.  Please.  Gmane has a bunch of different sub domains, and they all have to be signed up separately.  Geez.

So I signed up them all, which involves putting a special file in a special file on all the domains, which was kinda complicated, since none of the domains actually map unto actual files.

But I got it done, and then removed the hacks to make it work.

Uh-oh.  If the files aren’t there, then they’re “unverified” after a while, so I stop getting stats.


Anyway, I left the file in place for (by accident), so I’ve got some stats there:

So, er…  There are 15K queries.  Which are…  uhm…  distinct things that people have asked and which has led to Gmane?  Perhaps?  And there are 4M “impressions”.  “Displaying 60K”.  Which means…  Ok, I had no idea, so I binged.

After fifteen minutes, I’m still not sure, but some people seem to say that “impressions” means that Gmane was included in the search result on some page or other.  The page displayed, perhaps?  And “displaying 60K” is a mystery.  It might be the things included in the list below, but I don’t know why they’re only displaying 60K, or what the criteria is.

Then there’s “Clicks 200K”.  So 200K people clicked on a link to Gmane?  Again with the mysterious “Displaying”.

Classic Google information quality:

I love the Y axis here.  Choosing 70K as the scale here instead of the more traditional 50K is a daring, avant garde choice.  Or perhaps they just don’t care.

Anyway, interesting as all this may be, it doesn’t really give me any money.  So I signed up with the Amazon ad network. 

They have a wonderful product called “omakase”, where you just put the ad JS into your page, and then they spider your page and put relevant stuff on your page.

Money will soon ensue!

*a month passes*

So let’s look at the relevant ads on gmane.linux.kernel now:

Amazing.  I didn’t know that so many Linux kernel hackers were into Jimmy Buffet and Jay-Z!

But looking at the logs, I can’t really see any activity from the Amazon omakase spide, so perhaps it’s not so surprising after all.


Anyway, it’s not that this is that important, but it’s…  annoying.

Futher further further legal proceedings

A year or so I got a heroic amount of paperwork from India apparently making me co-defendant in a libel case.

I think the court wanted be to remove something posted on Gmane or something, but it was kinda hard to tell.

 Anyway, this week I got some new paperwork from India.  Just 50 pages this time.

The contents are even more puzzling than the previous episode.

If I understand them correctly, I’m now party in a counter-suit.

Here’s my understanding of this brain teaser.

Originally, Sanjay sued Milap for libel because Milap said that Sanjay has stolen his land, corrupted the government and tried to have him and his family killed.

Sanjay apparently won this case, which has been going in the Indian courts since the early nineties. I was a party here because Milap had sent an email to a list about this stuff, stored on Gmane.

Now Milap is counter-suing Sanjay.

I’m not quite sure what the suit is actually about, because the papers here deal mostly with trying to shift the case from the Calcutta high court to another high court.  Because Milap is afraid that he’ll be killed if he shows his face in Calcutta.

And somehow I’m now being sued along with Sanjay.

That just seems odd.  Why am I on the suee side in both cases?

So I’m being allowed to “file your affidavit in opposition to the petition” to have the case moved to a court where Milap won’t be killed as much.  (Milap is 70 years old now, allegedly.)

My take on all this is that I won’t be travelling to India any time soon.

More Further Legal Proceedings

As you recall from the first episode of this series, I received several kilos of paperwork from India about…  something.  The gist of it was — somebody had allegedly committed libel against somebody else, and they had put a law firm onto the case.

The law firm got it all firmly in hand, but neglected to tell me what to actually delete.  Details, details.  You can’t expect fine legal minds to concern themselves with details.

So today I got a new letter (by courier).  Not many kilos this time, though:

That’s not my email address

Excerpt of the letter from Mandal & Fox

Excerpt from the judge…

… continued

So apparently I was sued?  And I failed to appear?  As did everybody else?  But we were found guilty?  I don’t know.

Anyway, I guess I should just do the lawyers’ work for them, and search for the offending item myself.  Let’s see…

Ah, right.  Found it.  Seems legit to me.  But totally libellous.  Unless it’s true.

Anyway, I’m deleting.  The Indian court can’t possibly be wrong.