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HANDBAGS AT TEN PACES - March 1998
This feature tells the extraordinary story of an attempt to have a Usenet newsgroup set up for the benefit of the readers of Teletext gaming magazine Digitiser (qv). Seemingly a straightforward task, the job was rendered impossible by the bizarre and inexplicable obnoxious obstructiveness of the committee in charge of setting up UK newsgroups, and sparked an incredible flame war on the group where such matters are discussed, eventually provoking over two thousand posts. Ironically, the reasons given by the committee for their disgraceful blockading of the group are as invalid now as they were then - their claims that UK gaming newsgroups had to be for the discussion of a single particular game are still demonstrable nonsense (there are three such groups, NONE of which are about single particular games), and their claim that including the word "digitiser" in the group name would be inadmissible because it would attract inappropriate posts from confused digitising-hardware owners has been comprehensively disproved by the fact that the alternative newsgroup subsequently created - under the far MORE ambiguous name of alt.digitiser - has to date received well over 50,000 posts, of which precisely three have been from baffled digitising-hardware owners. It would, of course, have been nicer to successfully get the group set up in the first place, but it's still good to be proved to have been right all along.