As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
Unfortunately, many of those messages with the virus came from spammers so I'm getting a lot of them. On the other hand, considering the payload of that virus, I consider it poetic justic. :-)
Make sure your antivirus software is up to date.
I was having serious problems this week with my laptop this week: my email program, Eudora 3.0 (very old), was hanging about 19 out every 20 times I started it. Other programs weren't having problems though the laptop overall had problems. I don't use Outlook because I figure that's the number 1 target of hackers everywhere.
I did the usual Norton systems check, defragging, flushing all the temporary files, and so on. After a week of hassles, I finally got around to checking the installed applications on the computer. I noticed that there were several applications that were not familiar to me (and I'm very familiar with the ones on my computer(s)). I deleted those applications from the system, though a couple of them ended up being important (such as the driver for my new wireless card). As a result, my computer is running a lot better and I'm not entirely sure why.
In the time that I've been out here in California, I've installed three things:
I strongly suggest that each of you go through all the applications that are installed on your computer. Go thought the Add/Remove Applications tool and look for things that don't belong. Make sure that the ones installed are legitimate. I worry more about "free" programs that people download and install on their computers. I've had one friend whose computer kept slowing down and she finally figured out that several "free" applications were not all that free, that they were sending out information to the Internet, similar to the way some legitimate music programs go out and retrieve information about the CD's and songs you might be playing on your computer.
While we all get valuable free and convenient services from the Internet, we have to wonder how much of this is worth what we give up. Even if we temporarily suspend the notion that downloading music from the web is technically immoral and illegal (yes, it really is), most users forget that these companies aren't be altruistic; they have a business plan to make money, even if it's a plan to sell a list of the kinds of music you like to listen to.
For instance, I just noticed that every other month of events was "disappearing" while using Netscape 6.2. This was because I used the string
as a commented delimiter in the HTML code to separate the months. In Netscape 6.0+, they enforced the use of the comment delimiters as distinct "<!--" and "-->" for comments so I had to add spaces, such as
<!-- --------------------------------------------- -->
This was a pretty subtle change, but it had a pretty big effect for webmasters who weren't paying attention (like me). I assume it affected a lot of "badly formed" websites and forced them to change, because Netscape used to fix these mistakes automatically.
If you're using a more recent browser and you notice strange things on this website, please let me know.
In the typical dance venue on the local scene, you'll see flyers from all different dance schools and dance halls (though it would be unusual to see a schedule for one studio at another studio). This unspoken policy has been in place since before I started dancing and allowed all dancers to find out more about other dance venues in Boston long before the DanceNet newsletter and website were created. We *are* a community trying to keep the local scene alive.
I remember one of my dance teachers encouraging this "cross-pollination" of dancers which exposes dancers to students from other dance schools. This can only help the dancers who can get used to dancing with people other than those from the same dance school.
When an entity tries to control the flow of information, one has to wonder about their true motives. I can understand how a money-making venue such as a dance studio might not want to let their students find out about other dance teachers. Many dance studios originally did not link to this website because it provided too much exposure to other dance venues (particularly dance studios).
However, most dancing businesses and particularly membership-based clubs follow an informal set of rules that seems to work:
If you want your flyers left out at a dance venue, bring them. You can have someone else bring them, but the venue who benefits most from having those flyers out in the public has the responsibility of making sure those flyers get to the venue. Attendance at the dance venue is never required.I've seen ballroom class schedules placed at swing dances and if the dance promoter is organized, those flyers will be picked up at the end of the night and be put out again at the next dance. This is a good system and it's based on trust and goodwill (the promoter puts out your flyers and has every reason to believe that his flyers will be put out at your event).
Once placed out on the flyer table, the venue organizer should leave those flyers unmolested. That means that no one should throw out those flyers unless they expire before the next event. (I'm quite aware that some people throw out the flyers for this website and my flyers *don't* expire).
Any other restrictions (other than those already stated) is a violation of the spirit of the dancing community.
Of course, there's a reason why I'm writing about this.
A couple of months ago, the Tango Society of Boston implemented a new policy where you had to fill out a form in order to be allowed to place your flyers at their event. I have several thoughts on this:
The Tango Society of Boston should reconsider this ill-conceived policy whose result can only be intended to annoy (i.e., piss off) other dance promoters. This is not conductive to an open dance environment. As a member-based organization, they should openly welcome flyers from all (tango) dance venues. There should be no controls. They should, instead, improve their relations with other dance businesses so that other venues will *want* to put out the TSB flyers.