Post by Mike Spencer Post by HRM Resident
Are any of you fellow subscribers using Eternal September? it's
been rock solid (mostly) for years, but this past couple of weeks it's
very erratic. Connects sometimes, but usually takes a few tries and
spits back errors . . . eventually it works, sort of.
E-S had a hardware failure just before a planned and scheduled
upgrade. Result was downtime followed by problems getting DNS reset
and then load balance difficulties, possibly other things I don't know
about. They've coped very well.
Google Gropes is not a good alternative. It was a nice idea for them to
acquire the available archive and start a service. Now the service is
so borken and nonconforming that many Usenet veterans killfile
messages originating from their servers.
Thanks for the feedback, Mike. I never used Google Groups for the
reasons you mentioned. About a year ago I scanned through their
archives on hfx.general and found posts 10-15 years old. That was
enough to tell me that they keep too much for too long . . . I found
heated arguments on their from the early 2000s between people who are
now dead. Why keep old Usenet stuff forever?
Someone ought to apply traditional record retention rules to
electronic data. Data management and record keeping (and record
destruction at the proper time) is a career . . . I think MSV University
offers a full degree on Records Management. That stuff (file plans,
file numbers, retention and disposition of records, etc) was designed in
the days of paper records, but the same theory applies to electronic
records. There is no need to keep everything forever just because you
can . . . but large outfits just add more disks and more backup devices
because it's easier than hiring staff to handle data properly.
One good example of record disposition: We are only required by CRA
to keep our income tax records for 6 years. Then they should be
destroyed. Most people don't, and have boxes of receipts, T-forms and
copies of tax related stuff going back 15-20-25 years or more. Guess
what? If CRA audits you, AND if they find anything askew, AND if they
decide to prosecute you, AND if you have data older than 6 years, they
can and will use the historical data at sentencing to prove it was a
pattern . . . you can't be directly "punished" for 10 year old
transgressions, but it can and is used at sentencing by the crown to
backup requests for stiffer penalties. I'm not condoning tax evasion,
but why give them evidence when you are not legally required to so they
can argue for a harsher penalty?
I was told all this by a records management professional years ago
when I took a records management course. DON'T keep old data that's
useless just because you can. It won't do you any good, it isn't
necessary, it makes a lot of useless work, and it might come back to
On the other hand, Google (and just about every other large outfit)
has way too much historical data on everyone because they might figure
out a way to make more $$ off of it.