Abuse protection, especially children

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Abuse protection, especially children

Mark Dubin-2
This is more a philosophical question, than technical, but there may  
be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows access to  
people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability of both  
chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public chat-room with  
a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which adult  
predators can approach children, with the attendant dangers. How can  
this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is prone to  
this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based approach. A  
specific example could be a museum.

A significant advantage of having a public museum on an OpenSim grid,  
open to all, is that museums typically are valuable learning assets  
for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by fostering  
sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking chat and/or  
IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be to require  
prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site. However,  
this is impractical in terms of resources needed to accomplish it  
(and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester), except in  
very limited (essentially non-public) situations. Monitoring of all  
the communication on a site is not practical (or even possible).  
Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise provide  
security can leave one open to litigation.

A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do nothing  
more. In the case of children, parents should know what their kids  
are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is essentially  
analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or store, or  
public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can be done.  
Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others, either via  
this list or by e-mail to me at <[hidden email]>. If there is  
significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that summary  
here.

Thanks, Mark
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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

Jonathan Greenlee

The ONLY appropriate approach is that Children are NEVER allowed in virtual worlds.
Afterall, the Internet is intended for ADULTS ONLY, meaning "well-behaved and serious and knowledge oriented" rather than "sex or violence oriented".

--- On Wed, 7/8/09, Mark Dubin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Mark Dubin <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [Opensim-users] Abuse protection, especially children
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 1:57 PM
> This is more a philosophical
> question, than technical, but there may 
> be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows
> access to 
> people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability
> of both 
> chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public
> chat-room with 
> a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which
> adult 
> predators can approach children, with the attendant
> dangers. How can 
> this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is
> prone to 
> this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based
> approach. A 
> specific example could be a museum.
>
> A significant advantage of having a public museum on an
> OpenSim grid, 
> open to all, is that museums typically are valuable
> learning assets 
> for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by
> fostering 
> sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking
> chat and/or 
> IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be
> to require 
> prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site.
> However, 
> this is impractical in terms of resources needed to
> accomplish it 
> (and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester),
> except in 
> very limited (essentially non-public) situations.
> Monitoring of all 
> the communication on a site is not practical (or even
> possible). 
> Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise
> provide 
> security can leave one open to litigation.
>
> A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do
> nothing 
> more. In the case of children, parents should know what
> their kids 
> are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is
> essentially 
> analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or
> store, or 
> public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can
> be done. 
> Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others,
> either via 
> this list or by e-mail to me at <[hidden email]>.
> If there is 
> significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that
> summary 
> here.
>
> Thanks, Mark
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>


     
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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

James Stallings II
The original poster is either woefully naive or is pushing trollbait. Apache can be used to produce websites that exploit children (or anyone else for that matter), yet I dont see people approaching the makers of apache software and asking them what they are doing to protect children.

This is a classic case of someone trying to make a machine and software responible for that which they should undertake responsibility for themselves; or, as suggested initially, just trollbait.



On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 2:33 PM, Jonathan Greenlee <[hidden email]> wrote:

The ONLY appropriate approach is that Children are NEVER allowed in virtual worlds.
Afterall, the Internet is intended for ADULTS ONLY, meaning "well-behaved and serious and knowledge oriented" rather than "sex or violence oriented".

--- On Wed, 7/8/09, Mark Dubin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Mark Dubin <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [Opensim-users] Abuse protection, especially children
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 1:57 PM
> This is more a philosophical
> question, than technical, but there may 
> be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows
> access to 
> people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability
> of both 
> chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public
> chat-room with 
> a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which
> adult 
> predators can approach children, with the attendant
> dangers. How can 
> this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is
> prone to 
> this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based
> approach. A 
> specific example could be a museum.
>
> A significant advantage of having a public museum on an
> OpenSim grid, 
> open to all, is that museums typically are valuable
> learning assets 
> for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by
> fostering 
> sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking
> chat and/or 
> IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be
> to require 
> prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site.
> However, 
> this is impractical in terms of resources needed to
> accomplish it 
> (and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester),
> except in 
> very limited (essentially non-public) situations.
> Monitoring of all 
> the communication on a site is not practical (or even
> possible). 
> Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise
> provide 
> security can leave one open to litigation.
>
> A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do
> nothing 
> more. In the case of children, parents should know what
> their kids 
> are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is
> essentially 
> analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or
> store, or 
> public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can
> be done. 
> Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others,
> either via 
> this list or by e-mail to me at <[hidden email]>.
> If there is 
> significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that
> summary 
> here.
>
> Thanks, Mark
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>



_______________________________________________
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http://twitter.com/jstallings2
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/770/a49

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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

Ryan Tanay
I wouldn't go so far as to call it trollbait.  I do however agree that it is not the responsibility of the OpenSim Devs to make OpenSim "safe" for children.  There is no such thing.  Even if you could somehow magically limit your OpenSim install to be accessible only by children, there's no guarantee that a child won't say something horribly offensive of sexually suggestive to another child.

Ultimately the responsibility falls on the parents/guardians of the child in question, both in helping their child avoid exploitation and/or abuse, but more importantly teaching them how to react/respond when (not if) it does happen.


On Jul 8, 2009, at 3:38 PM, James Stallings II wrote:

The original poster is either woefully naive or is pushing trollbait. Apache can be used to produce websites that exploit children (or anyone else for that matter), yet I dont see people approaching the makers of apache software and asking them what they are doing to protect children.

This is a classic case of someone trying to make a machine and software responible for that which they should undertake responsibility for themselves; or, as suggested initially, just trollbait.



On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 2:33 PM, Jonathan Greenlee <[hidden email]> wrote:

The ONLY appropriate approach is that Children are NEVER allowed in virtual worlds.
Afterall, the Internet is intended for ADULTS ONLY, meaning "well-behaved and serious and knowledge oriented" rather than "sex or violence oriented".

--- On Wed, 7/8/09, Mark Dubin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Mark Dubin <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [Opensim-users] Abuse protection, especially children
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 1:57 PM
> This is more a philosophical
> question, than technical, but there may 
> be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows
> access to 
> people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability
> of both 
> chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public
> chat-room with 
> a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which
> adult 
> predators can approach children, with the attendant
> dangers. How can 
> this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is
> prone to 
> this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based
> approach. A 
> specific example could be a museum.
>
> A significant advantage of having a public museum on an
> OpenSim grid, 
> open to all, is that museums typically are valuable
> learning assets 
> for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by
> fostering 
> sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking
> chat and/or 
> IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be
> to require 
> prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site.
> However, 
> this is impractical in terms of resources needed to
> accomplish it 
> (and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester),
> except in 
> very limited (essentially non-public) situations.
> Monitoring of all 
> the communication on a site is not practical (or even
> possible). 
> Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise
> provide 
> security can leave one open to litigation.
>
> A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do
> nothing 
> more. In the case of children, parents should know what
> their kids 
> are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is
> essentially 
> analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or
> store, or 
> public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can
> be done. 
> Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others,
> either via 
> this list or by e-mail to me at <[hidden email]>.
> If there is 
> significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that
> summary 
> here.
>
> Thanks, Mark
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>



_______________________________________________
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[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users



--
===================================
http://osgrid.org
http://del.icio.us/SPQR
http://twitter.com/jstallings2
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/770/a49
_______________________________________________
Opensim-users mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users


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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

BlueWall Slade
In reply to this post by Mark Dubin-2
It is the responsibility of the guardian or supervising adult in charge of the activity to maintain the safety of the minors using the environment. Always! Whether it be on the web, in the neighborhood, at the mall. Or, in virtual worlds. It's pretty much as simple as that. The problems arise when the parent, guardian  or supervising adult is lax in their duties.


Thanks!
BlueWall

On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 2:57 PM, Mark Dubin <[hidden email]> wrote:
This is more a philosophical question, than technical, but there may
be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows access to
people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability of both
chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public chat-room with
a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which adult
predators can approach children, with the attendant dangers. How can
this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is prone to
this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based approach. A
specific example could be a museum.

A significant advantage of having a public museum on an OpenSim grid,
open to all, is that museums typically are valuable learning assets
for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by fostering
sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking chat and/or
IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be to require
prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site. However,
this is impractical in terms of resources needed to accomplish it
(and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester), except in
very limited (essentially non-public) situations. Monitoring of all
the communication on a site is not practical (or even possible).
Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise provide
security can leave one open to litigation.

A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do nothing
more. In the case of children, parents should know what their kids
are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is essentially
analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or store, or
public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can be done.
Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others, either via
this list or by e-mail to me at <[hidden email]>. If there is
significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that summary
here.

Thanks, Mark
_______________________________________________
Opensim-users mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users


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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

Teravus Ovares
In reply to this post by Ryan Tanay
I would propose that the parent is ultimately responsible for keeping
track of their children online.

I would also propose that the 'Open Grid' is also a service provider
and is ultimately not responsible for the content.

OpenSimulator server is to Apache as <take your pick of public grid>
is to 'playboy.com + chat'

It is, however, important that 'Public Grids' keep track of the laws
in their area and comply with all state/province/territory and country
laws.  Some, for example, require, at the very least, a space and
means to enter a birth date during the sign-up form.  And, in the
validation stage, some math is done to verify that the person is at
least 13 years of age(real years, not leap years) or they're asked to
provide their parent's e-mail address. Then, warnings and some
instructions, that require the parent to approve the sign-up over the
phone where they verify the identity of the parent,  are sent to the
parent before the sign-up is complete.   Additionally, in the cases of
'one man' or 'underfunded' operations, the situation is no excuse to
ignore said laws.

Given that there is no approval process, children can appear as
adults, there are no content restrictions or approvals, and there are
no investigated chaperones on any public grids that I know of, I would
tend to side with Jonathan Greenlee there.   Children should not be
logging onto virtual worlds with unknown persons.

However, IMHO, it is perfectly acceptable for a reputable children's
organization/state government/local government/school to set up a
private grid that is inaccessible except from approved computers and
accounts and ensure that those accounts are monitored.

One thing that OpenSimulator or the community can do to improve in
this situation is; accountability.   Chat logging, Instant Message
Logging, border crossings logging, Inventory Offer logging, and
logging of other activities would be useful here as optional
components.  A Forge project would fit this need nicely.  If people
know they're being monitored and their real world identity is tied to
their virtual world identity, then they're less likely to do anything
that would violate policy or the law.  Additionally, the organization
can get consent to monitoring and actively keep track of all
interactions.  Schools, for example, have a document that the
parent/guardian must sign before giving the student access to the
computer lab and/or the Internet.  The same type of document can apply
to virtual world access.

The other side of the coin is, many adults prefer not to be monitored
and being monitored is a deal breaker for them.  The two approaches do
not mix, so, ultimately, it must be an optional component.

Regards

Teravus





On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 3:51 PM, Ryan Tanay<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I wouldn't go so far as to call it trollbait.  I do however agree that it is
> not the responsibility of the OpenSim Devs to make OpenSim "safe" for
> children.  There is no such
> thing.  Even if you could somehow magically limit your OpenSim install to be accessible only by children, there's no guarantee that a child won't say something horribly offensive of sexually suggestive to another child.
> Ultimately the responsibility falls on the parents/guardians of the child in question, both in helping their child avoid exploitation and/or abuse, but more importantly teaching them how to react/respond when (not if) it does happen.
>
> On Jul 8, 2009, at 3:38 PM, James Stallings II wrote:
>
> The original poster is either woefully naive or is pushing trollbait. Apache
> can be used to produce websites that exploit children (or anyone else for
> that matter), yet I dont see people approaching the makers of apache
> software and asking them what they are doing to protect children.
>
> This is a classic case of someone trying to make a machine and software
> responible for that which they should undertake responsibility for
> themselves; or, as suggested initially, just trollbait.
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 2:33 PM, Jonathan Greenlee
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> The ONLY appropriate approach is that Children are NEVER allowed in
>> virtual worlds.
>> Afterall, the Internet is intended for ADULTS ONLY, meaning "well-behaved
>> and serious and knowledge oriented" rather than "sex or violence oriented".
>>
>> --- On Wed, 7/8/09, Mark Dubin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > From: Mark Dubin <[hidden email]>
>> > Subject: [Opensim-users] Abuse protection, especially children
>> > To: [hidden email]
>> > Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 1:57 PM
>> > This is more a philosophical
>> > question, than technical, but there may
>> > be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows
>> > access to
>> > people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability
>> > of both
>> > chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public
>> > chat-room with
>> > a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which
>> > adult
>> > predators can approach children, with the attendant
>> > dangers. How can
>> > this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is
>> > prone to
>> > this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based
>> > approach. A
>> > specific example could be a museum.
>> >
>> > A significant advantage of having a public museum on an
>> > OpenSim grid,
>> > open to all, is that museums typically are valuable
>> > learning assets
>> > for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by
>> > fostering
>> > sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking
>> > chat and/or
>> > IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be
>> > to require
>> > prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site.
>> > However,
>> > this is impractical in terms of resources needed to
>> > accomplish it
>> > (and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester),
>> > except in
>> > very limited (essentially non-public) situations.
>> > Monitoring of all
>> > the communication on a site is not practical (or even
>> > possible).
>> > Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise
>> > provide
>> > security can leave one open to litigation.
>> >
>> > A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do
>> > nothing
>> > more. In the case of children, parents should know what
>> > their kids
>> > are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is
>> > essentially
>> > analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or
>> > store, or
>> > public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can
>> > be done.
>> > Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others,
>> > either via
>> > this list or by e-mail to me at <[hidden email]>.
>> > If there is
>> > significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that
>> > summary
>> > here.
>> >
>> > Thanks, Mark
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Opensim-users mailing list
>> > [hidden email]
>> > https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Opensim-users mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>
>
>
> --
> ===================================
> http://osgrid.org
> http://del.icio.us/SPQR
> http://twitter.com/jstallings2
> http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/770/a49
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>
>
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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

Mark Dubin-2
In reply to this post by Mark Dubin-2
I apologize if this looked either naive or like trollbait. It is  
intended seriously. I do not suggest that the developers have a  
responsibility to deal with this. Rather I address this community  
because of the extended expertise of its members. Perhaps I should  
have noted that when individuals enter a chatroom on the Web, they  
know it IS a chatroom. Because an OpenSim is somewhat equivalent to  
an open chatroom, without being labeled, or even understood as such.  
This issue concerns me and I am simply trying to see if there are  
smart ways to address it.
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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

Impalah Shenzhou
Considering opensim as one kind of "apache for virtual worlds" (a generic virtual world server) the solution is a "nanny module".

As with the currency stuff, the parental control, or any censorship thing anyone could need, at least for me, is far from the objectives of opensim and, overall, it could be a stupid way to make the main developers lose time implementing this kind of stuff.

I think opensim is flexible enough (and more in the future) for allowing to customize or even program the modules anyone could need. The only problem is that it will require knowledge or money.

Greetings


PS - I have a teen daughter that uses internet intensively, and I know the (possible) perills.
PS2 - Due to my principles I won't approve and/or participate in any way on a project involving censorship, even dressed up with "good" intentions like child protection.
PS3 - Mark, I'm not attacking you. As a father, sometimes I have the temptation to watch what my daughter is doing, or limiting her movements for protecting her agains the bad guys... But (maybe I'm wrong or not) I consider freedom is more important than safety against possible perill.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"
Benjamin Franklin



2009/7/8 Mark Dubin <[hidden email]>
I apologize if this looked either naive or like trollbait. It is
intended seriously. I do not suggest that the developers have a
responsibility to deal with this. Rather I address this community
because of the extended expertise of its members. Perhaps I should
have noted that when individuals enter a chatroom on the Web, they
know it IS a chatroom. Because an OpenSim is somewhat equivalent to
an open chatroom, without being labeled, or even understood as such.
This issue concerns me and I am simply trying to see if there are
smart ways to address it.
_______________________________________________
Opensim-users mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users


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Re: Abuse protection, especially children

Robert Klein
In reply to this post by Mark Dubin-2
Hmm, I do not see too much of a difference between an RL museum and a metamuseum, so far as, how they operate. What do RL museums do to protect their patrons? They have regular hours of operation. They post museum guards here and there to monitor things from a slight distance. I would imagine it is just good business practices. Maybe it is wise to plan on having people act as basic monitors during the activity? Like clubs do with bouncers. There are many ways to provide a creative and rich experience without dealing with the issues of parental responsibility. Keep it simple. Just my input... :)

-Robert
 
Mark Dubin-2 wrote
This is more a philosophical question, than technical, but there may  
be technical approaches to it. A public OpenSim grid allows access to  
people of any age, adult or child. Then, the availability of both  
chat and IM makes the site the equivalent of a public chat-room with  
a private back-channel. This presents a situation in which adult  
predators can approach children, with the attendant dangers. How can  
this concern be approached? Any kind of "public" OpenSim is prone to  
this issue, which will thus need a long-term, broad-based approach. A  
specific example could be a museum.

A significant advantage of having a public museum on an OpenSim grid,  
open to all, is that museums typically are valuable learning assets  
for children. Allowing chat/IM enhances the experience by fostering  
sharing of insights and questions. Thus, totally blocking chat and/or  
IM limits the value of the site. Another approach could be to require  
prior approval for each avatar that has access to the site. However,  
this is impractical in terms of resources needed to accomplish it  
(and difficulty in proving the nature of the requester), except in  
very limited (essentially non-public) situations. Monitoring of all  
the communication on a site is not practical (or even possible).  
Further, attempts by the site owner to monitor or otherwise provide  
security can leave one open to litigation.

A typical, hands-off approach is to provide warnings and do nothing  
more. In the case of children, parents should know what their kids  
are doing and teach them safe internet practices. It is essentially  
analogous to going to a real, bricks-and-mortar museum, or store, or  
public place. Realistically, this may be the best that can be done.  
Or is it? I am interested in hearing ideas from others, either via  
this list or by e-mail to me at <mark@3demb.com>. If there is  
significant e-mail exchange, I will summarize and post that summary  
here.

Thanks, Mark
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