[linux-elitists] LOC Records for Brotherhood

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Thu Aug 22 12:56:43 PDT 2002

Many of you have read some recent ignorant anti-Islam rants from
persons of high Google Juice.  I haven't said anything about this
subject because mud-wrestling with a pig only reinforces the pig's
self-image as a controverial and outspoken fellow, and if done
online gives him more Google Juice.

I would like to encourage tolerant people to offer some response,
though.  So what is a simple, public statement of tolerance and
acceptance of Islam that anyone, whether a follower of another
religion or a non-religious person, can make?

One of the commonly known facts about Islam is that Muslims pray
at certain times of day, facing the Ka'aba in Mecca.  The times
and direction are easy to keep track of at home, but if a Muslim
is traveling, he or she should find out the correct direction and
prayer times, which are based on local sunrise and sunset.

There are formulas to calculate the direction and times if you know
your latitude and longitude.  (Interestingly enough, the direction
is done on a great circle route, so the direction to face in the Bay
Area is almost due north.)  Software that performs these calculations
is available, and comes with a directory of city locations, but
the user currently has to select the location manually.

I propose that as a statement of brotherhood, everyone set up an LOC
("location") record in DNS for any host, router or wireless access
point that is available for visitors to use.

Instructions for doing this are at:

It only takes a couple of minutes -- not much longer than just
adding a host.  And you were going to add the PTR record for your
access point anyway, right?

If you're concerned about security, you can give the LOC record
a low precision.  See "Security Considerations" in RFC 1876:

The existing software for calculating prayer times and locations
doesn't use LOC records, but if there were enough routers and access
points with LOC records on them, developers could add it.

If you're tolerant but shy, or want to say something but fear that
you'll inadvertently offend people whose beliefs and practices you
don't understand, this is something simple you can do.  It doesn't
cost anything, and you're likely to find another use for good LOC
data, too.

(I, of course, plan to delete any anti-Islam mail that this
suggestion generates, without replying.  Don't waste your carpal

Don Marti                                          

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