Fractional Hours from datetime?

Alf P. Steinbach alfps at
Tue Jan 12 03:47:59 CET 2010

* W. eWatson:
> Ben Finney wrote:
>> "W. eWatson" <wolftracks at> writes:
>>> See my post about the datetime controversy about 3-4 posts up from
>>> yours.
>> This forum is distributed, and there's no “up” or “3-4 messages” that is
>> common for all readers.
>> Could you give the Message-ID for that message?
> Sort of like outer space I guess. No real direction. How would I find 
> the message ID?

In Thunderbird (the newsreader that you're using) there's a little '+' to the 
left of the message subject line.

That shows the headers.

You can alternatively use [View -> Message Source], or keyboard [Ctrl U].

 From that you find that the message id is

   hifkh3$bru$1 at

Then, kicking and cajoling your web browser to turn in the direction of Google 
Groups' Usenet archive,

you click the "Advanced search" button, paste the message id, and find that 
Google is unable to find your article, he he.

It's common, it's a very very unreliable archive.

However, as with most things, the "Great Wall of Google" prevents you from 
reporting this. There's no known way to report any bug to Google. As with 
Microsoft in the old days (reportedly Microsoft employees weren't even allowed 
to use the words "bug" or "error" with customers, only, at worst, "problems"), 
there are Google web forms and whatnot, but they all end up in cul-de-sacs, so 
that, together with the total impossibility of reaching any human at Google, one 
very very strongly suspects that it's Google *policy* to never admit to bugs, or 
waste time on fixing them. And so, I suspect, Google Earth still places Norway 
in the middle of Sweden, and I know for a fact that Google Groups still actively 
removes the space at the end of a valid signature delimiter, and Google Talk 
acts up in various ways, and so on: quite serious bugs, but no way to report 
them (thousands upon thousands have tried, at one time a movement was founded 
with its own web site, but the "Great Wall of Google" lets no-one through).

And considering this, and the fact that Google's archive is now the main Usenet 
archive, message id's are not that useful, really.

So asking for a Usenet article's message id is just showing off  --  that one is 
not up-to-date on current technology (it gets more unreliable year by year).

> It's easier to place the comment here:
> There seems to be some controversy about this and other matters of 
> datetime. 
> <> 

No, not at all. :-)

Instead, just ignore silly requests for message id's.

Cheers & hth.,

- Alf

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