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The Dangers of Usenet

By Peter Naulls. Published: 10th Feb 2003, 10:27:43 | Permalink | Printable

Or, another entry in our competition.

The third entry in our competition, from Chris Wraight. Just when you thought it was safe to venture outisde, along comes this. Editor's warning - the following is satire, and intended to be humourous, no more. The weak of constitution should avert their eyes now.

You might also care to read Flame Warriors.

Man dies as Usenet anarchy reaches new heights

After months of increasing tension in the RISC OS newsgroup csa.vitriol, retired milkman Arvil Todman today became the first recorded fatality of an Internet feud. Although rushed to hospital by paramedics, Mr Todman (34) was pronouced dead on arrival shortly after 6.15 this morning. It is thought he suffered a series of vicious top-posts to the sternum. His death follows the recent facial maiming of Granville Humperdinck on csa.bile, and marks a turning-point in relations within the RISC OS community.

Long-time observers of RISC OS usenet were saddened, but not surprised. 'It was only a matter of time,' said David Spaktins, MD of a small firm making vapour-control mechanisms in West Yorkshire. 'They're all the same. And they're out to get me. They're animals! And they killed Kennedy!'

Detective Superindentent P. Bondar echoed those concerns in this morning's press conference: 'RISC OS? Never heard of it, mate. Is it something to do with Albanians?'. Police are baffled as to who committed the crime, although they are confident their crack team of internet boffins will soon track down the killer. 'They leave tracks in the wires, these cyber-criminals,' remarked Bondar. 'We just need to train enough robotic dogs and we've got 'em'.

Regrettably, many usenet fueds stretch back far in time. Perhaps the most notorious concerns the rival gansters Peter Johnson and Paul F. Naulls, who have been locked in conflict ever since Peter (or was it Paul?) sent a GOTO-riddled program into Yellow Pages in 1986. Since then, the pair have been at loggerheads. Paul (or perhaps Peter) was unavailable for comment last night, although his counterpart (Peter (OR Paul)) left this short written statement: 'I shall not rest until he (or me) lies crushed in the dust beneath my (or his) feet, his (or my) blood seeping gently into the topsoil'. Such is life in today's confused, brutal RISC OS World.

According to experts, such attitudes stem largely from formative experiences on forums. 'These monsters learn their cruelty from posting anonymous messages to such filth-pits as the Icon Bar Playpen,' Andrea Weston of the pressure group Against Random Smutty Emails (ARSE) told your correspondent. 'If such behaviour is tolerated for too long, this is the result.' Her comments drew a terse response from John 'Scum' Whore, the man many hold responsible for the slide in standards: 'Bollocks,' he is said to have muttered lasciviously while penning his latest thoughts on fallatio for the Playpen.

Whatever the truth of these allegations, however, it all comes to late for Mr Todman, cut-off in the prime of life only two levels away from completing TEK. Doctors believe he was killed using a device similar to that employed in the film 'The Matrix', which channeled the virtual energies of Usenet into physical beams of death. Whereas the Matrix interacted with humans via a cord inserted into the neck, an autopsy revealed that the RISC OS version, predictably perhaps, entered via a more mundane orifice. 'Even if he had survived,' said Dr Williams sadly, 'he would have walked like John Wayne for a month. It's a tragedy.'

Unsurprisingly, many are asking themselves tonight, 'Where do we go from here?'. To answer this question, your correspondent consulted Dr K. Jortink, an expert in internet etiquette and in defusing online rows. From his research, three recommendations came to the fore:

1. Let's lighten-up, guys. We're all nice people. If we weren't, we'd use Linux or something. Remember, Positive Postings Prevent Potential Pogroms.

2. We're all at different levels in our understanding of RISC OS issues, but consider this: if all the know-all techies mated with all the ignorant newbies, the world would be full of happy, well-adjusted users. We need each other - let's remember that.

3. Finally, we all know that people sometimes don't always quite say what they mean when posting, and it's very easy to makes mistakes. Before you hit that Reply button in anger, Stop, Pause and Think: 'What would Jesus do?'. If that doesn't work, try 'What would Hermann Hauser do?'.

So, let's all do our bit for harmony and peace in the RISC OS universe. For the sake of Mrs Todman and her twelve hungry children, this madness has to stop. When you feel a tide of anger course through your veins as you read csa.furious for the ninth time, don't take it out on the poster. Why not go outside and kick a Windows user to death instead? You know it makes sense.

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Why didn't this win the prize - it's brilliant!

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 10/2/03 11:24AM
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I agree, it makes a very good point about the pathetic squabbling that plagues this platform.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 10/2/03 11:31AM
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No it doesn't! :D

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 10/2/03 11:37AM
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That Flame Warriors link at the top is fantastic! Never seen it before, I recognise quite a few people in it... -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 10/2/03 1:30PM
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monkeyson: Yes it does you f**ker! :-)

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 10/2/03 1:46PM
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oy! no need for bad language!

very good tho - should have won!

 is a RISC OS Usertim_firmager on 10/2/03 7:57PM
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"We're all nice people. If we weren't, we'd use Linux or something."

*raises espresso on high* :)

-- Rob Mitchelmore,

 is a RISC OS Usercheesestraws on 10/2/03 8:59PM
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Cheese! Glad to see you're still around :)

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 10/2/03 9:08PM
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