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From: (Tim Skirvin)
Subject: [B8MB] State of Affairs
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups
Followup-To: news.groups
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 08:18:10 -0700

        It's been too long since my last report on the current state of
affairs with the Big-8 Management Board.  In short: besides what's already
been posted here, there's not much to report.  This is primarily because
of the season - several Board members have been on vacation, and others
have been swamped with offline work.  We seem to be getting back into the
swing of things now.

Recent Actions

  The main thing that the Board has accomplished in the last couple of
  months has been to simply run through and refine the creation and
  removal process, and to refine it to other, similar proposals.  The
  actions that we've taken since our last report:

        - Found a moderator for sci.physics.plasma
        - Found a robot moderator for soc.religion.hindu (forthcoming)
        - Created
        - Removed the first two rounds of INET groups

Call For Proposals

  Long-time readers of news.groups may note that none of the above
  proposals would likely have passed under the RFD/CFV system.  This is
  intentional - the Board has worked to bring a working removal process
  together hand-in-hand with more liberal creation requirements.  We would
  like to create more groups, and are willing to experiment to do so.

  As such - if you have any proposals that you think would be interesting 
  additions to the Big-8, we strongly encourage you to officially propose
  your idea with an RFD.  Be creative!  As our mandate says, we want well-
  named, well-used newsgroups; and if we believe that a proponent is
  willing and able to put out the effort to adequately promote a group, 
  we are willing to consider even marginal proposals.  This doesn't
  guarantee that we'll create just *anything*, but, well, give us a shot.

Call For Members

  While nothing is official yet, the Board may be seeking new membership
  in the fairly-near future.  Interested parties should contact the Board
  directly, at PGP verification problems fixed

  In news.admin.hierarchies on 29 July, Russ Allbery noted that some
  technical problems have been found with PGP-signed control messages from (including all Big-8 control messages).  From his message:

    For the past few months, PGP verification of control message
    signatures generated by fairly recent versions of GnuPG has been
    failing.  The problem stemmed from the use of attached signatures as
    the verification method in the code that maintained the archive.  When
    GnuPG uses a SHA-1 hash, attached signature verification fails unless
    the body of the message starts with a Hash: header, but the pgpcontrol
    protocol doesn't provide hash information so the software didn't know
    when it needed to add that header.
                   - Russ Allbery, <>

  He goes on to say that the problem has been fixed.  Hopefully this will
  help some sites out in properly handling Big-8 control messages.

Volunteer Committees

  As a reminder - the B8MB is attempting to put together several volunteer
  organizations to handle individual aspects of the new group creation
  system.  These groups are not currently fully populated, but they have
  fairly clear (if general) goals.  And most importantly, they have
  mailing lists, so it's possible to start getting them organized.

  If you would like to volunteer for any of these organizations, please
  subscribe to the relevant mailing lists.  We are not restricting
  membership at this point.

  Usenet Volunteer Pollsters

  Coordinator    Tim Skirvin
  Mailing List

  Usenet Volunteer Moderators

  Coordinator    Jonathan Kamens
  Mailing List

  Group Mentors

  Coordinator    Tim Skirvin
  Mailing List

  Deadwood Groups Task Force

  Coordinator    Dave Sill
  Mailing List

		                    - Tim Skirvin (
                                      Chair, Big-8 Management Board
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