Local Discussion Forum about Cross-Country
Skiing in the Ottawa/Gatineau area.

You are welcome to post comments, announcements, questions, answers, tips, for-sale ads, or just about any other message about cross-country skiing in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, or that would be of interest to the local cross-country ski community. No registration is required to make a posting. ( Scroll down this page to see the terms of use ).

A few points to keep in mind about this forum.

( 1 ) The software for this forum requires that you enter both a name and a subject in order to make a posting ( even when posting a reply to an existing thread). You can use an alias, but it is recommended that you stick with the same alias when making future postings.

( 2 ) All web addresses (URLs) and email addresses appearing in a posting will automatically be converted to hyperlinks (Do not use HTML code to establish hyperlinks).

( 3 ) It is generally not a good idea to post your email address on the web. If you do, you can help protect it from being used by spammers by inserting a "REMOVE" tag in it ( e.g. [email protected] ) . When doing so, indicate that "REMOVE" must be deleted when using the email address. This precaution will help, but will not fully protect your email address from being harvested by automatic spamming programs.

( 4 ) Web-based discussion forums such as the one on this site have now become a major target for spammers. This forum has some filters and mechanisms to help prevent spam, but some inappropriate, and sometimes offensive, postings will get through from time to time. Efforts will be made to delete these postings manually, but this can sometimes take a while. Sorry about this. (See my rant about spam by scrolling down this page).

This Forum and Spam.

Spammers have started targeting web-based discussion groups. They do this with spambots, custom software that is written for no other purpose than search out and spam certain types of discussion forums. Spambots are usually modified on a regular basis to overcome filters and mechanisms designed to keep out spam.

Needless to say, the original system (phpBB) I was using for the discussion forum on this site started picking up lots of spam. It reached the point where I had to set it so only registered users could make postings. However, many people (myself included) hate registering for forums and online services because of privacy issues, etc.

Unfortunately, this registration requirement didn't stop the spammers. They simply registered and kept on spamming. By using a series of hijacked computers from around the world, it was almost impossible to trace the email address that they used to register with the forum. In the end, it was also becoming very difficult to differentiate between registrations by legitimate users and by spammers.

As a result, I have changed the software used for the web-based discussion forum on this web site. Although it does not require people to register to post messages, this system does incorporate filters and a number of features to keep out spambots (which are responsible for the overwhelming majority of the spam on the internet). Nevertheless, some spam will inevitably get through, especially when posted by a human spammer (a real person at the keyboard as opposed to a spambot). I will attempt to delete such spam manually, but I may not always be in a position to do so on timely basis. If you see any spam on the discussion forum, please try to ignore it until I have had a chance to delete it. If the situation gets too bad, I may have to close down the forum.

It is worth noting that one of the reason spammers have started targeting web-based forums is because Usenet discussion groups are falling into disuse. People have stopped using these groups because Usenet has been overwhelmed with spam. It is so bad that major Canadian Internet Service Providers such as Sympatico and Rogers no longer carry Usenet discussion groups. The end result is that spammers are effectively killing off what used to be a very vibrant part of the Internet.

Conditions of Use.

By using (reading messages, making postings) any of this forum, you agree to the following:

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexual material, or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. The people involved in the maintenance and operation of this forum reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to delete, without notice, any ad they find unacceptable.

While the people involved in the maintenance and operation of this forum, will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the forums are used appropriately, and will attempt to remove objectionable material, you agree that none of these people can, in anyway, be held responsible or liable for how the forums are used or for any material appearing on the forums.

Moreover, you agree that people involved in the maintenance and operation of this forum cannot, in anyway, be held responsible or liable for how any information provided to this forum is used. Furthermore, you agree not, in anyway, to involve these people, or the operation of the forums themselves, in any action you may pursue in relation to information or material posted on the forums.

Furthermore, you agree that people involved in the maintenance and operation of this forum cannot, in anyway, be held responsible or liable for your not being able to use this forum, because of the discontinuation of the forum, or for any other reason.

Privacy Statement: This web site and forum are operated by an individual, and not a business, and therefore do not attempt to track or collect personal information.

Like many other sites and services on the Internet, use these forums entirely at your own risk.

Thank you,

Michael McGoldrick
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

© Michael McGoldrick, 2006.

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