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Re: [ontolog-forum] Formatting posts [was - Scheduling a Discussion [was

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 14:53:55 -0500
Message-id: <479103D3.1010503@xxxxxxxx>
I agree with Pat that the fact that some individuals lack taste is not a 
reason for dispensing with HTML (or cars, or clothes).    (01)

I long ago stopped using HTML-only email tools, when HTML became a 
vehicle for embedded Java, remote loads of "images" with active 
providers (.asp, .php, etc.), and other "automatic virus propagation 
technologies", brought to you by system dweebs who were too excited by 
technology to leave well-enough alone.    (02)

NIST now operates a mail screening tool that deletes the remote image 
accesses (and other Web bugs), replaces the text for hyperlinks with the 
link address, and does other exciting things to "disarm" HTML messages. 
  But I don't have those filters at home.    (03)

I read plain text, I have my tool convert the HTML to plain text if 
there is no plain text alternative, and I send plain text to avoid 
forcing others to have the same options.    (04)

I don't do this because I loved 1990 and wish to return to it.  I do 
this because the Internet world of 2008 is not a safe place, thanks to a 
total lack of elementary wisdom among the principal engineers.    (05)

-Ed    (06)

P.S. The current crop of exploiters are not about selling your address 
book to porn spammers and Chinese retailers, or poisoning your machine 
operation, or sending you to their favorite advertisers.  The current 
technology searches your files for Tax Ids, and monitors your keystrokes 
when you are connected to a financial site, or an online retailer's 
checkout sequence.  The Internet is more dangerous in 2008 than it was 
in 1998.  And active HTML, on a predictable unprotected platform, made 
all this possible.    (07)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (08)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (09)

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