More Legal Proceedings

My boss got the letter below today.  As I don’t speak French, I’m not totally sure what it’s asking me to do, but I’ll assume that it wants me to remove the links in question.

The fascinating thing about this very geniune-looking (ahem) official letter is that it doesn’t mention who’s sending it.  Who is the person who’s complaining?  It’s just that single sheet of paper.

Weird.

Anyway, I see that it mentions “500 000 euros”, so I’m assuming that that’s how much I owe someone.  But who do I send it to?  I want to get on transferring the money right now, since I don’t want to accrue any interests.  Those interests can be killer!

Very Official-Looking Letter

Anyway, can somebody translate the French parts while I call the bank to see whether they know who I should send the money to?

Very Official-Looking Envelope

Legal Proceedings

The last time I handled Gmane emails (I do that about once a month.  Drunk.) I got a stranger than usual threat from India. I’m used to being told that I’m so sowed because of something some moron once posted on a mailing list, but this seemed to actually be from a lawyer.  As is my policy, I post most interesting threats to gmane.discuss.  The mail from the Indian lawyers didn’t actually say what they wanted to have removed, so I sent an email back asking what they wanted me to do, exactly.

I didn’t get a reply.

But a week later a package showed up at the office.

Package from Mandal & Fox, lawyers.

It’s like several kilos of paper, detailing (presumably) the case between somebody and somebody else.  I think the gist of it is that somebody alleges that somebody else is a crook, and that somebody else says that he isn’t, and the court says that the first somebody should stop alleging that.  And it’s been going on for at least 20 years.

I’m not the only recipient:

The firms that got the care package

It’s a list of about 15 companies, like Google, Yahoo and me.  Yay!

So, anyway, I’m perfectly willing to delete whatever it is they want to have deleted.  So I was looking through the stack to see if that was in there somewhere.

Why did blogger rotate the image?

So…  they want me to remove…  something…  in one of the groups that talks about India…

If this is the quality of the legal assistance that Fox & Mandal is giving to that certain someone, I’m not surprised this case has lasted 20 years.  This is pretty incompetent.  I’d advise whoever to get new representation.

If they actually tell me what message they want to have removed from Gmane, I’ll remove it.  Until then, I guess I just have some extra paper to take to the recycling, I guess.

Running an RSS to NNTP Gateway

If I knew that doing an RSS to NNTP gateway was so easy, I would have done it years ago. I was just waiting for somebody else to pick up this obviously useful idea, but apparently nobody else wanted to.

In comparison to doing the Gwene gateway, the (almost) ten-year-old Gmane mail-to-news project is pretty mammoth, what with all the administration, spam work and web interfaces.  Gwene, on the other hand, is a minuscule collection of Perl scripts (find the source code on GitHub).

The main issue with parsing real-world RSS/Atom files is that, like HTML, they can’t reliably be parsed strictly.  None of the Perl RSS-parsing libraries seem to take this into account, and fail pretty badly on real-world feeds.  So the Gwene scripts have to pre-process the feeds before handing them over to the libraries, and then they have to root around pretty invasively into the Perl libraries’ internal structures to pick out the useful bits.

Somebody should extract the useful bits from the Gwene scripts and whip up a simpler DWIM RSS parsing library.  But I’ll leave that to somebody that actually knows Perl.

Gmane On Github

I’ve started putting the various Gmane things on github. If I get around to it, I’ll probably put most of the programs and scripts up there eventually, but first out are weft and weaverd.

Oh, and I also added the source code for the defunct we:search search engine. It’s no longer used, since Gmane switched to Xapian for searching, but it might have historical interest… for somebody who’s interested in… history…

It’s all C! Oh, the humanity.