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Usenet posters license (old, recycled) (Schlake ( William Colburn ))
(chuckle, computers)

It might be time for a reposting of the following "historical gem":

>From decwrl!decvax!genrad!linus!philabs!cmcl2!floyd!vax135!ariel!houti!hogpc!houxm!hocda!spanky!burl!duke!unc!mcnc!ncsu!mauney Tue Jul  5 17:18:49 1983
Subject: News Control

The biggest cause of annoyance on the net is people at a new site,
who don't know the proper way to behave, nor that we've already
heard most of the light-bulb jokes.  (The second biggest is
new users at established sites, with the same problem.  The
third is old users at old sites who never learn,  and the fourth
is people like me who pontificate on the failings of the first
three groups.)  An article on netiquette has been produced to
educate such people,  but there is no guarantee that anyone pays
attention to it.  Therefore, I propose the

	     Network Driver's License Exam.

Anyone can be a passenger on the net (read the news), but only
those who have passed the exam can submit new articles.
(Depending on state law,  one might also have to provide proof of
libelity insurance.)  Administration of the exam and maintenance
of the list of drivers will be handled by yet another "feature"
of the news software.

Part I of the exam will test general intelligence and cultural
awareness.  Sample questions:
  (a) What's green and sits on the lawn?
  (b) How many C programmers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
  (c) Who said "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a
	    frontal lobotomy" ?
  (d) Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Part II of the exam will test grammar and spelling.  The wordlist includes
  kernal, grammer, competance, maintainence, and beleive.  The examinee
  will also have to swear (in the name of God or of Evolution)  that
  he/she/it believes that careful construction of words and sentences
  enhances communication.

Part III of the test is the biggie; it will present hypothetical situations
  in the use of news, and test the examinee's response.  Sample questions:

  1) Suppose you read the following article in net.trivia:

	    After the demise of StarTrek, one of the actors got
	    a job on the Mission Impossible TV show, playing a
	    character named Perry.  Who was it?

     Your response is:
     (a) post a followup, saying "I think it was either George Takei or
	 James Doohan."
     (b) post a followup, saying you don't remember the actor's name,
	 but pointing out that the character's name was Paris, and that
	 Mission: Impossible has a colon in it.
     (c) post a followup, containing the single word "Spock".
     (d) Smile inwardly with the satisfaction that you know the correct answer,
	 and do nothing.

  2) As a graduate student at the University of Southern North Dakota,
     you realize what a marvelous thing the net is, and wonder if you
     can send a message to your old professor back at the University
     of New Mexico at Truth or Consequences.  In order to answer this
     question you:
     (a) post a note on net.general, asking for such a path.
     (b) run a few egreps on the usenet map to find out for yourself.
     (c) write a program to turn the usenet map into an Ingres database
	 to make the problem easier to answer.
     (d) bug your administrator until he installs nmail.
     (e) call your professor on the phone, and ask if he's on the net.

  3) In reading the news, you come across an article containing the line
	   "fuvg cvff phag shpx pbpxfhpxre zbgureshpxre naq gvgf"
     What do you do?
     (a) post a note asking how to read such things.
     (b) ask your local guru how to read such things.
     (c) post a note asking if there's a path to the NSA.
     (d) hold your terminal up to a mirror.

Part IV tests knowledge of the mechanics of using news:
  Suppose you have a file of text that you wish to submit
     as a followup to a news article, and that you want to move
     it to a more appropriate newsgroup and give it a better title.
     Which key do you press?

The news licensing system has other merits: licenses may be suspended for
such offenses as drunken typing, which will be presumed whenever one
tests higher that 10% on the spell-alyzer, or speeding, defined as the
hasty submission of poorly thought-out articles.  Remember that driving
up other peoples phone bills is a privilege, not a right.

If you like this idea, send me a suggested exam question.  If you don't
like this idea, just ignore it, and it will go away.

                  Jon Mauney
		  North Carolina State University


-- void *(*(*schlake())[])(void *); /* */

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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