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Comcast Discontinues Customers' USENET Service 327

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast has discontinued its provided usenet service, once provided to all its high speed customers. First with the cap put on its customers several years ago on amount of traffic provided as part of the customer high-speed package, as of September 16, the service is no longer provided. Without fanfare, this bastion of the internet is being removed from the mainstream."
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Comcast Discontinues Customers' USENET Service

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  • So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by demonlapin (527802)
    Does anybody still actually use usenet for anything other than the binary groups? I haven't touched it in a decade, mainly because the spam got so bad.
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

      by houghi (78078) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:41AM (#25102417)

      Yes. I like it much better then forums for support.

      I hardly ever see any spam. Mainly because it is filtered out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by demonlapin (527802)

        Filtered by what? Your newsreader, or your provider?

        I have to admit a certain laziness, in that I didn't like most of the newsreaders I tried (they didn't thread properly) and I never went back and tried newer ones later.

        • Re:So? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by houghi (78078) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:56AM (#25102603)

          Filtered out by the providers. I only filter out trolls.
          I get perhaps 1 or 2 spam messages per day and that probably because I fetch news every 15 minutes, so the spam filters were not able to pick it up yet and delete it.

          slrn is still the way to go for me. Never ever had an issue with the way it thread.

          • Re:So? (Score:5, Funny)

            by beacher (82033) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:50AM (#25103279) Homepage
            "I read USENET for the great articles"

            s/USENET/PlayBoy/

            Me for one - I'm not going to miss it. Comcast limited you to a 1G ( I think they raised it to 2G in the last year) and I'm usually warming up about that point. Switched over to maximumusenet.com and haven't looked back. So now I can read 50G of articles for their well thought out commentary and in-depth analysis. Helped me complete my mame rom set, all the drm free mp3's and no sneaky mediasentry to worry about!

            Thanks for nothing Comcast.
      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by galactic-ac (1197151) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:16AM (#25102829)

        Yes. I like it much better then forums for support.

        For programmers, Usenet is can be more valuable for expert help than any forum I've encountered. This seems to be because a majority of people who still using Usenet (ignoring most of the posting via Google Groups) carry lots of collective experience in their fields. The barrier to entry is sufficiently high, scary as that may be, that a lot less bad information gets distributed. And if a bad answer is given, a dozen other experts will correct it within minutes.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by elrous0 (869638) *

          I post via Google Groups, you insensitive clod!

          Seriously, it's just convenient, I can do it from anywhere, and Google Groups makes following a thread's history a LOT easier than any usenet reader (particularly when you're coming into the middle of a conversation).

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by 1u3hr (530656)
            Seriously, it's just convenient,

            That's the problem. It's too easy. Periodically spammers flood newsgroups -- eg thousands of messages promoting sportshoes, fake Rolexes, etc, etc, -- all posted from Google accounts. Many seem to be based in China, but who knows. The really awful thing is that Google makes no attempt to prevent spam being posted from its servers. If you go to the trouble of reporting spam, maybe a day later the account will be closed. Big deal, they can open a new one in a minute. The spa

        • by nog_lorp (896553) *

          Just think, with the death of Usenet those experts will flock to other modes of communications. Suddenly we will be able to get support on forums!

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by c_g_hills (110430) <chaz@chaz6.cBOHRom minus physicist> on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:42AM (#25102427) Homepage Journal

      For a while, Google Groups used to be a good way to search usenet. Since they allowed anyone to create a group on Google Groups, it is now completely riddled with spam and next to useless.

      That said, I wish more web forums would provide a nntp front-end (gmane is a great example - although it is oriented towards mailing lists). It is far easier to follow discussions when you use the same interface throughout. If a feature is missing, you can always code it yourself. With web forums, you are limited to the server software.

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:06AM (#25102709)

        Google groups started to suck when they changed the interface from DejaNews to the one from Google. From then on it went down to so much that I never use it anymore. Not even to search for solutions.

        Also, please no forums and NNTP mix up. NNTP is not a web forum and a webforum is not NNTP.
        Each and every webforum that has an NNTP interface sucks for either one or the other.

        There are plenty of free usenet servers for text groups (and free IPv6 for binaries) that there is no need to use a webinterface. And if you boss does not want you to use Usenet, then do without it. His loss, not yours if he doesn't give you the tools to work with.

        Usenet does not need you to answer in 2 minutes. So if you only have a connection during the weekend, that is OK.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Colonel Korn (1258968)

          Google groups started to suck when they changed the interface from DejaNews to the one from Google. From then on it went down to so much that I never use it anymore. Not even to search for solutions.

          Also, please no forums and NNTP mix up. NNTP is not a web forum and a webforum is not NNTP.
          Each and every webforum that has an NNTP interface sucks for either one or the other.

          There are plenty of free usenet servers for text groups (and free IPv6 for binaries) that there is no need to use a webinterface. And if you boss does not want you to use Usenet, then do without it. His loss, not yours if he doesn't give you the tools to work with.

          Usenet does not need you to answer in 2 minutes. So if you only have a connection during the weekend, that is OK.

          I agree. Google's pretty good at acquiring technologies from other companies (Google Maps, Earth, etc) and making the interface better or at least not hurting it, but the moment they made changes to Dejanews they began removing functionality and usability. Dejanews was the great free web-based nntp reader, and making available all the messages since usenet's inception didn't make up for making searches or browsing within a group much less effective.

        • Each and every webforum that has an NNTP interface sucks for either one or the other.

          But every web forum sucks as a web forum, this is a hard and fast rule. So wouldn't a non-suck NNTP side still be some improvement?

          • Really? (Score:3, Funny)

            by hawk (1151)

            >But every web forum sucks as a web forum,
            >this is a hard and fast rule.

            Really?

            Do you maintain that this would apply to a forum on Microsoft vacuum cleaners? I highly doubt it . . .

            hawkk

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PainMeds (1301879) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:48AM (#25102515)
      Does anybody still actually use usenet for anything other than the binary groups? I haven't touched it in a decade, mainly because the spam got so bad.

      Occasionally, you'll find a computer club filled with x-hippies exchanging correspondence solely over usenet; I think they do it for the privacy that comes with ghost towns. Even they have their binary groups, though; mainly fonts and different versions of Maelstrom.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gilmoure (18428)

        Maelstrom X works great. And I was able to find the old Simpson sounds I had on the original version, back in 7.1 days.

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:50AM (#25102545) Journal

      I rather miss using USENET, although it has become less useful over the last few years due to the spam and flood of binary files (which are useful by themselves...). The conversations in a newsgroup is much higher caliber than you find in forums, mainly due to the fact that most people would actually THINK before writing, knowing that someone isn't going to read it 5 seconds later. It is more like the BBS forums of yesteryear, which of course, were born of USENET itself and often a part of.

      I wouldn't be shocked if a few years down the line, there comes a reason for people to start using USENET more often, seeking better quality conversation. The primary problem now is that a web browser isn't a very good platform to read USENET posts, what we need is a better app or an overhaul of the system to make it more useable. Agent and other apps are ok, but mainly for binaries. USENET was basically the first use for the internet and hasn't changed any since then.

      • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:18AM (#25102859)

        The main reason that the discussions are of a higher level is that accessing them needs more effort.
        e.g. a person has to first know it exists, then needs to configure (perhaps even download) a newsreader and know what goes where.

        This means that people who have absolutely no knowledge of the medium will seldom get to Usenet. It is a minority who uses it and those are also the people who have some internet experience.

        Seldom have I seen people posting that did not know what it was. That is until some 'forums' started to host Usenet and made the access easy.

    • by telchine (719345)

      Does anybody still actually use usenet for anything other than the binary groups? I haven't touched it in a decade, mainly because the spam got so bad.

      Hell, I use it only for the spam. That MI5Victim bloke is the highlight of USENET!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mandrel (765308)

      Much of the spam's gone away since Usenet became a backwater. This accelerated after Google removed the "Groups" link from their front page.

      As well, Gmane [gmane.org] gateways mailing lists to newsgroups, allowing both reading and posting with a nice interface, without the need to download every message.

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:57AM (#25102617)

      I mean come on , who wants to waste time searching out some website to post a question or find a discussion when you just need access to a news server and the lot is available immediately.

      Anyone who doesn't use it just because they think its old fashioned and uncool because it doesn't have the "ooh shiny" factor is a blinkered idiot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sa1lnr (669048)

      Yes, 400 posts a day on sci.electronics.design. I subscribe to 35 text only newsgroups, even the OS/2 ones are still active. ;)

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:11AM (#25102769)

      The USENET is practically the only place on earth everyone can share anonymous (if desired), unmoderated, uncensored, de-centralized discussion on any topic. You can share ideas and ask questions on USENET you can't easily ask anywhere else.

      It's the only thing of its kind in all of history, and I hope it sticks around.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        I hope it sticks around.

        Me too, but since USENET has resisted "monetization" it's unlikely to survive.

      • Tinfoil hat time (Score:3, Insightful)

        by e-scetic (1003976)

        The USENET is practically the only place on earth everyone can share anonymous (if desired), unmoderated, uncensored, de-centralized discussion on any topic. You can share ideas and ask questions on USENET you can't easily ask anywhere else.

        This is probably the very reason they're shutting it down. I doubt there's any good argument for doing so from a cost-saving perspective.

        This is one more way citizens...err...terrorists can freely communicate.

    • I've been on usenet since the early 90's, and still use it. It's one of the few places you can still go where there is no censorship at all, and no moderators with big egos to deal with. This sometimes produces flame wars and trolls, sure. But it also is the only place you can go and be completely honest about controversial subjects without fear of being banned by some politically-correct or biased moderator.

      It's a shame that usenet has fallen into decline in recent years. But for those still interested i

      • Except that Google is refusing to do its part. GG has become THE major source of spam on Usenet. Complaints to Google go ignored, and the one moderated newsgroup I frequent has finally set up a filter blocking Google Groups.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      comp.sys.apple2 is still the best place to get help with your Apple II.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      Without fanfare, this bastion of the internet is being removed from the mainstream.

      This bastion of the internet was removed from the mainstream about 10 years ago.

    • by digitig (1056110)

      Moderated groups are still useful, although obviously one needs to avoid one's email address appearing (unless it's an email address set up specifically as a spam trap).

    • by Nimey (114278)

      I've got about half a dozen discussion groups that I subscribe to. A couple of them have a few hundred posts a week.

    • by McDutchie (151611)
      Yes, I use it every day. Spam is a problem that was effectively solved years ago. You just need to get a properly run feed. (Hint: Google Groups is not one.)
    • I have a music-related site so I gateway alt.bass, alt.guitar.bass and rec.music-makers.builders into my vBulletin forum.

      The gateway runs every 20 minutes and my users can read and post in the newsgroups. They're indexed with my regular discussion forums so they can be searched as well.

      I still hang around on alt.dbs.echostar and a couple of Linux newsgroups as well.

  • Provided! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Goaway (82658) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:37AM (#25102373) Homepage

    I gather this is about some kind of service which was provided, huh?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:38AM (#25102385)

    A provider gets paid for connectivity and extra services. As Comcast now discontinues one of their services, I guess the monthly bill gets a bit trimmed as well!

    Or are they really the moneygrabbing bastards they are made out to be?

    • by Shakrai (717556)

      Or are they really the moneygrabbing bastards they are made out to be?

  • Mainstream? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetzar (30126) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:38AM (#25102387) Homepage

    While it's sad to see universal USENET access go, it's been out of the mainstream for about a decade.

    • if thats not mainstream I don't know what is. Just because you perhaps don't use it...

  • Looks like (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:39AM (#25102403)

    september is finaly over...

  • Bastion? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by angahar (579961) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:41AM (#25102419)
    Bastion may be too strong a word for a service that most current internet users never used and don't understand. At the same time usenet plays a significant role in the history and development of the internet and it's sad when familiar, original stuff is deprecated or deleted.
  • Big deal. I'd say that 99% of Usenet users use it for the binary groups and they pay to get those through a provider that carries them. The non-binary groups have mostly been worthless for a long time now and that's all Comcast and similar providers carried. Those who can't live without comp.lang.perl or whatever can pay to get it, if they wish, through one of many providers so it's not like it's impossible to get Usenet now.
    • by nstrom (152310) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:47AM (#25102481)

      Actually Comcast's usenet service was provided by Giganews [giganews.com], albeit with a 2GB/mo cap. So it wasn't just text groups, they had all the binary groups with excellent retention.

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:07AM (#25102729)

      "The non-binary groups have mostly been worthless for a long time now"

      Oh really? Which ones? I regularly post on 3 non binary groups and read 2 others and theres plenty of traffic. Perhaps you should try usenet one day instead of blowing smoke out your backside.

      "Those who can't live without comp.lang.perl or whatever can pay to get it,"

      Oh how magnanimus of you. Perhaps you'd like to pay extra to a 3rd party for using the web after you've already paid your ISP for net access too since you're clearly some kid who thinks the web=the internet

      • Personally I think providers should provide fewer, not more, services. I ought to be able to pay for a straight pipe to the internet and nothing else. I use usenet, but I never used Comcast's feed (I am a Comcast subscriber). I use e-mail, but I never use Comcast's e-mail servers, neither incoming nor outgoing. I host a web site, but certainly never use the web space they give me. Maybe if they just provided a plain old pipe, they could shave a few bucks off my bill.

  • by consonant (896763) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `n.tnakirhs'> on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:46AM (#25102477) Homepage

    First with the cap put on its customers several years ago on amount of traffic provided as part of the customer high-speed package, as of September 16, the service is no longer provided.

    Wtf is that supposed to mean? I have zilch clue on how to parse that.. it seems to have zero correlation with the preceding and following sentences in the summary. I mean seriously, you don't really need a degree in Literature to write 3 decent, interconnected sentences..

  • by houghi (78078) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:49AM (#25102521)

    Just block any and all binaries (including HTML, thank you). That will bring down the amount of traffic by so much that it is not even relevant anymore. Also the amount of hardware that is needed is so much less.
    The only thing you need to do is add a spam filter and you can have it running on a single machine. Retention of 30 days should be enough.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fumus (1258966)
      One thing I never can comprehend is why ISPs stop carrying binaries and if they do, they hide it away from users.
      When a user downloads from the ISPs own server, he generates a lot less traffic that if he's using P2P and connecting to thousands of random users.

      Then again. It's probably because they'd get sued for directly hosting illegal content or something similarly ridiculous.
      • by houghi (78078)

        It depends on the amount of users using the binaries. With the amount of binary group, it could be that some groups are not used at all.
        Maintaining a Usenet server is more expensive the the traffic in most cases.

        Some more numbers http://newsgate.news.xs4all.nl/ [xs4all.nl] Almost 4.000GB per day or 120.000GB storage for 30 days retention. When looking at previous numbers, this means some 3GB per day in text or 90GB in text for 30 days retention.

        This means that maintaining the binaries is a series of servers. Maintainin

  • A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canuck57 (662392) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:53AM (#25102575)

    It is a sad day when ISPs toss out usenet. Usenet was and still is to a lesser degree what many of of got hooked on. A free, generally not moderated and everyone had access to it. Now, we digress into 1000's of web sites, /. included to exchange ideas. While /. is large enough with a wide audience and is good, most web based boards are horrid, operated by a ego driven owner and never even get my book marks.

    My ISP, Shaw just outsourced usenet to someone who can't keep it running. I guess we too are gut off. And no, the google interface does not cut it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ledow (319597)

      As someone who apparently skipped the Usenet generation - I'm actually not surprised and, to be honest, not that bothered. There are other, more important, things which should be phased out (plaintext FTP, plaintext SMTP, plaintext POP3) etc. I've never used Usenet in any significant amount and only ever found it full of more spam than an advertised hotmail account. The etiquette is all other the place (top-posters, multi-group postings etc.) with little to no control for the end user. The bandwidth req

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xaxa (988988)

        The bandwidth requirement is quite low for a subscriber: everything is plain text, you download only the articles you want and only once per article (not 0.5MB of HTML like you do here every time you look at a page, plus the stupid avatars on most forums). I don't see how a web forum discussing (say) Atari gaming is any more targetted than comp.gaming.atari (or whatever). OK, you can have subforums, but the groups I used to use had worked that out themselves -- you put '[F]' in the subject if you were discu

    • by pdboddy (620164)
      So... instead of 1000s of newsgroups, we're looking at 1000s of websites? Finding a good forum has the same feelings as finding a good usenet group. Ego-driven owners or not, most people have felt free to spout off at the mouth with little or no regard to the people on the other end. At least the "ego-driven" owner can shut up some of the noise, where as in usenet, what options do you have? In "ego-driven" boards, we see ads... in usenet, we see spam that has no equal and no way of killing it.

      At least
    • by mikael (484)

      Now, we digress into 1000's of web sites, /. included to exchange ideas.

      Well, there's an idea for a Firefox plugin / web forum template that would allow people to view
      these discussions in the form of a usenet reader.

      But reality is, it is far quicker to just google for the relevent discussion (as with kibology).

    • by Illbay (700081)
      But isn't "Web 2.0" and mashups and all that stuff supposed to be a better mousetrap anyway?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      "most web based boards are horrid, operated by a ego driven owner"

      Sadly, usenet is suffering a "death by a thousand pricks." Or, more accurately, "death by a thousand pricks and their websites."

  • Fond memories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Monday September 22, 2008 @08:56AM (#25102607) Homepage Journal

    I have found memories of Usenet from the days before http. Back then there were around 2000 groups, and most of the participants were from academia. It (and IRC) was the first real place I can remember interacting with a global community, and it was quite enjoyable. Of course the self-control and self-regulation that kept the original Usenet usable went out the window as the public at large came online. The original intent of Usenet has been replaced by the online forum. So instead of a central repository of information, all properly categorized and viewable within a consistent client application, we now have the web-based forum. The information is spread far and wide across the internet. The interfaces vary vastly depending on the software and its configuration and theme. The information is spread out across redundant and competing sites. Information can suddenly be lost as a site goes down. Information can be deleted at a whim depending on who is running the site.

    I certainly miss what Usenet once was.

    • by McDutchie (151611)
      Usenet is still everything that you describe. I don't know why people keep insisting it's dead when in fact it's up and running and doing fine. (Maybe it's because Slashdot is a glorified web forum so is biased against Usenet use.) Just get a properly run text-only feed (I use news.individual.net [individual.net] for a nominal fee of EUR 10 per year which is about USD 15) and enjoy your spam-free text-based Usenet experience. You pay for it and not advertisers, so your privacy is safe. With a decent newsreader [dmoz.org] you get far b
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mcwidget (896077)

      I have found memories of Usenet from the days before http

      Damn it. I knew I'd left them somewhere.

  • RSS and Google Reader for read-only access.

  • Usenet = Useful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by prayag (1252246) <prayag.narulaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:02AM (#25102675)
    I still use usenet to ask programming questions. . I have loved to follow discussions on comp.lang.c and comp.std.c. I have learned a lot just looking at the archives. I had recently come across comp.lang.python and am excited about

    I really think usenet still has a place on the web, a very useful place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nschubach (922175)

      It does have it's uses, but like anything risque in society people will try to control and/or ban it for all the wrong reasons.

    • by McDutchie (151611)

      I really think usenet still has a place on the web, a very useful place.

      Um, no. Bringing Usenet to the web has consistently been a disaster (see the Google Groups atrocity). Usenet's proper place of access is very definitely in a newsreader with decent functionality, installed on your local computer.

  • by plazman30 (531348) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:02AM (#25102683) Homepage

    They've just removed a service from their lineup. A service I used to use all the time when I was on Comcast is now gone.

    It boggles my mind. I was with Comcast back in the @Home days. Back then we had unlimited Usenet, and up to 4 email addresses. Service was 4 Mbits/768Kbits.

    So, then @Home folds, and Comcast takes over the service directly and we go to:

    1 email address
    No Usenet
    1.5 Mbits/128Kbps

    for the same price.

    Now, admittedly, it's gotten better since then. They upped the speed, increased the email addresses and gave you 2 GB on Giganews.

    But now they're going down the path of taking service away. THere's no more Usenet, there's a 250 GB Bandwidth cap (which is plenty of bandwidth, I know...).

    For what they offer for Internet, you should be paying $19.99, and not $55.00.

    Things like this are what makes FIOS so attractive to geeks.

    Andy

  • ...removing the full text of the declaration of independence or the constitution or the bill of rights from history textbooks? It's what the internet was founded on, even if it's not used/remembered well. it's still dirt cheap to maintain, too.

    this is just comcast's continuation of cutting corners wherever they can and making the users pay for it.
  • Outside of occasionally (once or twice a year) using Google Groups to search for something, I haven't used USENET in probably 8 or so years.

    I remember every time I tried to use USENET, the groups I found were so riddled with spam it was impossible to use.

    Personally, I say good riddance. It outgrew it

  • by keraneuology (760918) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:21AM (#25102905) Journal
    This is a significant alteration to the service provided and (certainly) comes with no reduction in cost. Somebody who wants out of their Comcast contract and has the requisite tenacity should be able to get out from under them and switch to somebody else.
    • by tepples (727027)

      Somebody who wants out of their Comcast contract and has the requisite tenacity should be able to get out from under them and switch to somebody else.

      Which somebody else would you suggest for people in the United States who do not live within a mile of a DSLAM?

  • what's next (Score:5, Funny)

    by jank1887 (815982) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:23AM (#25102927)
    soon people will tell me I can't use Gopher anymore.
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:27AM (#25102975) Homepage
    Since the Linux Kernel developers use USENET as the core of their development communications channel, I think declaring USENET obsolete is a bit premature.

    Anyway, this might be the last thing I post, as I have just discovered that bad things can get transferred via HTTP, and so I have to block port 80 ...
  • By the way Comcast is treating its 'customers' as criminals lately, I thought this might have read...

    Customers Discontinue Comcast's Service
  • Summary says:

    Without fanfare, this bastion of the internet is being removed from the mainstream

    Was it ever actually a bastion? It hasn't been mainstream in since, well...has it ever honestly? I guess that depends on your definition of mainstream and your timeline of the "internet", but I hope you see at least a sliver of my point. A lot of great (and some poor) anecdotes will pop up in the discussion about how people use or used to use usenet, but if you asked the mainstream internet user between 1999 and 2008 if they utilize usenet, the majority would probably say, "Huh".

  • But yeah.... Now I mainly use it for binaries. Web based forums have taken over most of USENET's intended usefullness... Too bad there isn't a central repository/interface for them.


  • Ya know....it might actually make USENET even more useful if it becomes pay-to-use.

    It if cuts down on the spammers by forcing them to pay to use it, and make it easy to cut them off if they violate their providers subscription, then there is a theoretical improvement to USENET quality.

    >>Also, I found my wife of 15+ years and counting, via usenet :)
  • So first they cap newsgroups, people keep paying.
    Next they remove newsgroups and people keep paying.
    Then they cap your internet access and people keep paying.
    Soon they will remove internet access and hope people keep paying.

    Just keep paying people, keep paying.

  • by nurb432 (527695)

    So not only is it not unlimited, but it doesn't even provide basic service.

    I guarantee you that this isn't due to 'extra resources' its due to their ties with the media conglomerates.

    Free speech just took another hit ( yes, i know they are a private company and it doesn't apply there, bla bla )

  • by dpilot (134227) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:35AM (#25105019) Homepage Journal

    The real problem is that Usenet is the medium which has the greatest claim to rights under the First Ammendment.

    All of the weblogs like Slashdot and such may be prettier, easier to use, and *might* have a higher signal-to-noise (Usenet is even worse than Slashdot, though it doesn't seem possible.) ratio, but they all have an owning party who accepts responsibility for their contents. Usenet is unowned, merely hosted, and therefore comes closest to free speech, in the political sense of the word.

  • it ends October 25th (Score:3, Informative)

    by not_anne (203907) on Monday September 22, 2008 @03:25PM (#25109207)

    The article summary says...

    "...as of September 16, the service is no longer provided."

    The page linked in the article says...

    "...please be aware that this service will be discontinued on 10/25/2008."

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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