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HUMAN-NETS Digest V3 #104

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May 19, 1981, 6:28:41 PM5/19/81

HUMAN-NETS AM Digest Wednesday, 20 May 1981 Volume 3 : Issue 104

Today's Topics:
Query - Polling Large Lists,
Corrections - Hearst Papers & Format of CompuServe Article,
Query Replies - Pay TV System & Left Handed Sugar,
Communicating via Network - Cross Net Access & Impacts on Language,
FYI - ESS name change

Date: 10 May 1981 1918-PDT
From: Daul at OFFICE-2

Has anyone considered how do you poll such a large group of people?
Even if you just want a sampling, how do you collect the responses
efficiently? What prompts this question was a thought I had about
what different fields the readership here entails. Anyway, I hope to
hear (read) your thoughts.



Date: 19 May 1981 03:21-EDT
From: William B. Daul <DAUL at MIT-MC>
Subject: Mailing List Polls

I have a quick question. Is it feasible to take polls of the
readerships of these LARGE mailing lists? Has anyone thought about
this and have some ideas to share? Planet has a good facility for
polls, but what about lists with such large readerships?


Date: 19 May 1981 03:27-EDT
From: Charles Frankston <CBF at MIT-MC>
Subject: Slander against the Heart empire

No arguments about the quality of the San Francisco Chronicle's
reporting, but the Examiner is the Hearst paper in this city, not the


Date: 19 May 1981 1845-PDT
From: ROODE at SRI-KL (David Roode)
Subject: Re: CompuServe Information Service article on Teletext

Probably the biggest reason I didn't completely reformat the
CompuServe stuff was because their small screen format disgusts me and
I didn't want to fail to inform (i.e. mislead) HumanNets people about
this aspect of their service. 32 columns by 14 lines at 300 baud just
won't cut it! Perhaps my attempt at better utilizing the available
screen area by laying two of their windows side by side merely made it

It truly does seem to me that their attitude embodies the idea that
their potential customers will be ignorant of any better way of doing
things than those they choose. Their EMAIL program is the most
cumbersome messaging system I have seen, and its improved palatability
for the naive user over MM, MSG, RMAIL and the like is not clear to


Date: 15 May 1981 11:33 cdt
From: Phinney at HI-Multics <Phinney.REFLECS at HI-Multics>
Subject: HN V3 #100 -- Pay TV decoders

The pay-TV decoder description from ihnss!karn at Berkeley is probably
correct and my description is probably wrong; I was writing from
memory, and I only looked briefly at the schematic that a friend was
using (who actually built a decoder). I do recommend that interested
people buy decoders on the open (underground) market, rather than
building them from scratch; the signal quality of most home-builts is
poor, and the "modify your TV" approach won't work with most new TVs
or with VCRs (video recorders). Shop around and compare received
signal quality as well as cost.


Date: 15 May 1981 14:27 PDT
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V3 #100 (Pay TV Decoders)
From: JKennedy@Parc-maxc

Wanting to build a decoder for my local subscription TV, I first
observed the baseband video (still scrambled) with a scope. I didn't
observe any superimposed sine wave, which I had heard was the case.
It is still a valid assumption when designing a decoder, because a
baseband signal will inherently have a detectable and usable 15,750 hz
content which is phase locked. In this instance (Channel 26, San
Francisco), the entire horizontal pedestal is level shifted up to a
point between black and white, and only needs to be level shifted back
down. This pedestal includes the color burst. The sound is indeed
produced like subscription FM, with one small change. Instead of L+R
from 0-15 Khz, the "barker" is there. Instead of L-R at 20-38Khz, the
movie sound is there, only a little further down than that. Down far
enough, coincidentally, for them to use a 15.75 khz stereo pilot
instead of the regular 19 khz pilot. Hence the pilot, which normally
doesn't do much except light a stereo light, can now be used to
generate phase locked pulses, which in turn can effect the level shitf
of the horizontal pedestal. My end result, which works quite well,
consists of picking off right after demodulation of the sound (not
preliminary carrier detection), the important thing being to get the
signal before any audion deemphasis occurs. This can easily be done
even in sets where the sound detection, deemphasis, and first audio
are all in the same chip. There is a pin for detector out, which is
usually connected to the pin for audio in. It helps to remove the
deemphasis capacitor which is hung on one pin of the ic. lDoesn't
seem to cause any grief. This is then fed to an fm stereo demodulator
chip, I used an LM1800. The 15.75 khz taken from the lamp driver
drives a one shot which is adjusted to trigger until the beginning of
the next horizontal line, then triggers another one shot which adjusts
the width of the correction pulse. I inserted an LM318 high bandwith
op amp in line with the detected video, before it is seperated into
video, sync, and chroma. I connected it as a unity gain buffer, and
added the correction pulse (or subtracted, whichever you prefer)
through the inverting input. This takes care of the picture nicely.
To get the sound, I took the left and right channel outputs from the
LM1800, and fed them to both inputs of a 741 op amp. The common mode
supression from this produces the movie sound, with no evidence of the

Hope all this is of some use to someone.

Joe Kennedy


Date: 05/15/81 09:44:27
Subject: Left handed sugar

My dictionary says that the word is dextrorotatory, not dextrorotary.
I wonder why. Also, according to my dictionary, the word sinistrose
is available; dextrose is right-handed glucose, glucose exists
ambidexterously (why not ambimanually?), but there is no special word
for the levorotatory glucose. Sinistrose seems to have a nice ring
(sorry), and its confusingness with dextrose would probably appeal to
avant garde snobbish scientist types. Not being erudite enough to
qualify myself, would someone explain whether dextrorotatory is the
digestable form of all sugars, the naturally occuring form of all
sugars, and what about racemic (combined dextro-levo) forms?



Date: 05/18/81 09:19:28
From: Jerry Leichter at Stoned via <SHG at MIT-AI>
Subject: Reversed sugar.

If I remember my chemistry right, sucrose is a dimer (if that term is
applied to sugars) of glucose and its R-varient fructose. Hence there
is no such thing as "reversed" sucrose - it's already 50-50.

Further, many of the simple sugars exist in nature in both forms -
fructose is called fructose because it is common in fruit.

There are big differences in sweetness; I really don't remember the
numbers, but fructose is something like 12 times as sweet as glucose.
Both of these are equally digestible; R and L variations really aren't
all that important for the very simple molecules.

Hence: Whatever it is these people are selling, it is more complicated
than people are assuming. There are an infinite number of possible
sugars (polymer forms of the simpler ones), although the big polymers
are called starches and have rather different properties. Sweetness
is a rather sensitive issue and even among sugars (there are other,
unrelated substances that taste sweet - sacharrine is quite different,
and some (quite poisoness) lead salts are sweet) the range is 2 or
more orders of magnitude. I would assume that these people have some
fairly large, complex sugar polymer that is screwy enough to be
undigestible but tastes sweet. I believe several of these are already
known - is sorbitol, used in some no-sugar gums - one of them?

-- Jerry


Date: 14 May 1981 07:55 PDT
From: ChiNguyen.ES at PARC-MAXC
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V3 #98 (Accessing Human-Nets)

Right now I'm sitting in front of a Star workstation and typing this
message to be sent to you and the Human-Nets folks. If you had
intelligently reflected before issuing your statement, I believe you
would not have mailed it to the Human-Nets world.



Date: 14 May 1981 0933-PDT
From: Michael D. Dolbec <DOLBEC at Parc-Maxc>
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V3 #99 (Accessing Human-Nets)

Well this is another interesting case of accessing Human-Nets.
Usually, I look at Human-nets using my Dolphin but today PARC-MAXC is
down right now. So I go over the Ethernet to a dial line server (a
dial out modem that accepts phone numbers, calls them and connects you
to a site at 300 baud. I am on the line to Stanford right now since
Score is up I can reach the Arpanet that way and talk to Human-nets.

Its really not hard to connect to other nets, you just use a little
imagination sometimes.



Date: Sunday, 10 May 1981 16:44-EDT
From: Jonathan Alan Solomon <SOLOMON at RUTGERS>
Subject: Influencing Language.

I tried that in my Fraternity house, I started using the 'hacker buzz
words' around all the people (those like Foo, bletch, barf) but also
some of the TOPS-10 system calls (exit, init.) and machine
instructions (skipa, lsh). What I found was that people didn't catch
on to the machine dependent stuff, but my room (which was room #2 in
the house) was called 'Room FOO' and some of my hacker friends were
branded "foo people".

And then there was the day that this was discovered scrawled
on my refrigerator....

"Foo Bar Baz Waldo Pepper Salt Pork Sausage Links Chains Bondage
Discipline Ahh....."

Translation not available, but THAT bunch of meaningless words
caught on like wildfire!!


Date: 11 May 1981 2316-EDT
From: Hobbit <AWalker at RUTGERS>
Subject: Jargon

I have my parents and friends using all kinds of ITS-ey jargon by this
time! They didn't quite understand it at first, but now they'll say
things like 'that would be a fun hack' or 'don't barf all over me' or
'enough flamage'... It's an integral part of my vocabulary by now and
becoming part of theirs, simply by hearing me use it so much. In
context of course it's easier to understand.


PS. Next time you go into McDonalds, order 'Chicken Frobs'!


Date: 11 May 1981 0316-CDT
From: Mabry Tyson <ATP.Tyson at UTEXAS-20>
Subject: Influencing Language

Unfortunately I can't remember all the details, but a few weeks back
(April 17?) I was listening to a radio network (CBS?) newscast and
they carried one of their editorial-type features. The newscaster
(whom I recognized as a newscaster for one of the TV networks but I
can't recall his name) was saying something to the effect of "Let's
show these word experts who really is in control of the language - the
people." He made a proposal of adopting a particular word (already in
use with a totally different meaning) to mean "totally exhausted". He
wanted to see just how long it might take this usage of the word to
get into the general language and then into the dictionary. Obviously
it didn't impress me too much as I can't remember what the word was
supposed to be. (On the other hand, maybe this note will result in
more people finding out about his attempt and increase its chances of

Anyone else out there hear this newscast and recall the word or other


Date: 05/11/81 09:44:11
Subject: ESS and the feminists

In response to heavy pressure from the feminist quarter, the Bell
System will change the name "ESS" (Electronic Switching System) to "".
This change in nomenclature will start with #5ESS, which will
hereafter be known as #5. A spokesman said, "We're trying to
eliminate all sexist prefixes and suffixes from our product names."


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