: frankly, i see no need for concealment. My screen name is my real name. I really do live in Newton, massachusetts during the summer and in Cambridge, Mass. during the school year. So if anyone feels the need to send me hate mail, be my guest. Although I have to admit it's kind of interesting, this whole cloak-and-dagger thing....on second thought McSpotlight, go right ahead and conceal your real identity, I suppose one can't be too careful.
NJ has highlighted a lot of points here. I cant stress enough the NEED FOR VIGILANCE especially here, things like the disclosure of your name etc. dont really mean anything (I mean I only adopted a name to differentiate me from an authoritarian Gerard who posted here prior to me) but THERE ARE NAZI INFILTRATORS surfing the net POSING AS ANTI-FACISTS AND LEFT-WINGERS in order to fool them into disclosing personal details.
THEY WILL SEND YOU VERY SERIOUS VIRUSES GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY.
However a WORSE THREAT is the CREATION OF HITLISTS detailing home numbers and addresses, the guys creating these lists are geeks and nerds but the THUGS WHO READ THEM ARE INCLINED TO "DIRECT ACTION".
A)If you are debating with someone new EXERCISE CAUTION.
B)Beware the agent provocatuers who are posting messages using other peoples names.
C)Suspiscion is healthy.
To Gee etc. THEY ARENT JUST TARGETTING LEFT WINGERS AND SOCIALISTS they consider libertarians etc. opponents too.
: By the way, if lark gets his letters to the newspaper published he's luckier than I am. i write letters regularly to teh Boston Globe and I have yet to see one published.
Well the letter was liberal, used big words and was dealing with the same thing as a leading article by some academic. My "red rants" just get published in Irish papers, I guess they're to exciting for the national papers.
Hey didnt that bomber McVeigh write to the Boston Globe?
P.S. Sorry for using a response to yourselves as an announcement thing too.
McSpotlight: Hmmm. First off, the advice about giving out personal details is fair enough; remember that the Web is a public medium; as such, any personal details you post can be seen by anyone on the 'net.
As for the virus question, you are at risk if you run Windows or MacOS; simple as that. There are various standard precautions; simple usage of these basic safety precautions will protect you from 99% of everything out there.
The alternative solution is to use an operating system that doesn't pour money into the pockets of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs; BeOS, GNU/Linux and *BSD are all available for free on the 'net; and there is not one virus around that will affect them directly; as they are intrinsically more secure OSes than anything Microsoft produce.