Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Duke To Shut Down Usenet Server

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the nail-after-nail-in-the-coffin dept.

The Internet 273

DukeTech writes "This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke University more than 30 years ago. On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis." Rantastic and other readers wrote about the shutdown of the British Usenet indexer Newzbin today; the site sank under the weight of a lawsuit and outstanding debt. Combine these stories with the recent news of Microsoft shuttering its newsgroups, along with other recent stories, and the picture does not look bright for Usenet.

cancel ×

273 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

A twinge of sadness at this passing (5, Insightful)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262344)

Those were good times. Thanks guys.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (1, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262366)

Usenet was my first introduction to online porn. *sniff*

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262536)

Sniff?

Didn't realise that Usenet pron was THAT advanced!

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262680)

You're not missing anything. It smells like fish.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (1, Flamebait)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262994)

My first internet fap was to a photoshop of a nude Captain Janeway. Felt good man.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (4, Insightful)

twisteddk (201366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262732)

Agreed. I love(d) the days of the newsgroup.

But in all fairness, back then the internet was totally free. And everyone pretty much put up servers for altruistic, informational, educational or other similar non profit purposes. Today with the current economic climate and focus on spending policies, everyone is cutting down. And there just really isn't a viable business model for usenet that I can think of (not that I'm a doctorate in economy, but still).
So I guess Usenet now just goes the way of Gopher and becomes once again a prduct of love and devotion, rather than business. I kinda like usenet that way, so I dont really mind.

Does that make me a geek now ? ;)

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (3, Funny)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262842)

back then the internet was totally free

It was? Funny, I remember my ISP wanted to be paid...

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (2, Interesting)

twisteddk (201366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262924)

And exactly what services did your ISP provide ? I doubt they happen to have their own dedicated newsserver, and if they did, kudos to them. Most ISPs back then would provide you with a shared homepage server, a mail service, and IP access to the internet. If you were lucky.

The INTERNET was free, some places however you might have to pay for access to it. You still do today. The difference being today, hardly a single page, server or service goes up without someone profiting from it. Even good old /. has banners and adds.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263202)

Err what sort of crappy ISP where you with "I doubt they happen to have their own dedicated newsserver...", I don't know what rock you where living under then but at least in North America(eg Canada and the US) if your ISP didn't have a news server you where getting your dial up from one of those ad supported places and even most of them had news. No real ISP does not come with news, of course I used to be able to check my email with pine and had shell access, of course that was 4 or 5 years ago, never mind that was before web 2.0 err time, Oceania has always been the enemy .

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263026)

"back then" predates you even having an ISP. USENET was around a long time before the internet was made available to commercial interests (including ISPs selling access to the internet itself).

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263172)

I accessed Usenet through a local BBS, and the guy charged nothing for it.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (2, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263400)

back then the internet was totally free

It was? Funny, I remember my ISP wanted to be paid...

Some places had free access - Georgia had Peachnet for example that was accessible via dialup.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (1)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262846)

Agreed. Good times.

*Jeff bows his head in reverence*

-JJS

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (5, Informative)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263078)

Those were good times. Thanks guys.

I don't think Usenet's in much trouble, it's just that the huge level of traffic, and usage relative minority among all Internet denizens is making it into a more specialized area that you have to pay to access. Take for example Giganews [giganews.com] , they've been around for quite some time, and they keep upping their retention. Right now they offer 650 days binary retention, 2,522 days text retention, 109,000+ newsgroups and have servers in North America, Europe and Asia. They also just recently added a VPN service free for the top tier accounts, which also get unlimited downloads and SSL encrypted Usenet traffic. All that for $30 a month, the VPN alone is probably worth that, much less all the other stuff. To pull all that off they have to have invested tremendous amounts of money into storage alone, so they're apparently not hurting for money any.

And Giganews isn't alone in offering paid access to Usenet, there's tons of other companies doing it, and it seems that new ones pop up every day. So I think saying Usenet's dying is premature. It may die eventually, but it's not happening now.

Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263180)

Usenet would be dirt-cheap to operate if, for example, Duke chose to stop carrying the binaries groups. (Like Google Groups today.) Then they'd just be handling the Text messages in groups like rec.arts.tv which requires very little bandwidth.

This is yet another example of throwing-out the whole Baby, when all you really need to do it remove the bathwater (binaries). There's no reason to completely stop carrying Usenet.

...and there's still no comparable alternative. (5, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262348)

Best web forums are somewhere on par with late 1980's news readers. I mean, even *threading* is something that you really don't see at too many places. Not to mention the fact that you have to create a separate account for every forum. And each forum looks just a tad different.

One thing I like about Gmane mailing lists is that you can access them via your newsreader at nntps://snews.gmane.org/.

At my old company they had a discussion board in their intranet that was ran in same fashion as Gmane - simple web Interface and also access via newsreader. It got replaced with a "fancy" Phpbb forum at some point....and that was called progress.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (4, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262436)

Google killed news groups for me. This might sound a bit of a stretch, but I really loved dejanews, and all the time google group search was orange, and on the main menu, it was an excellent search tool for usenet.

Then one day it turned into a shitty blue forum that nobody uses.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262496)

I think what killed news groups was the pirates. All those smug people talking about how the just pay monthly to download directly rather then torrent ruined it for everyone.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262698)

Spam and pron had a hand in changing the signal-to-noise ratio,

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (3, Interesting)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262806)

> I think what killed news groups was the pirates.

I used to follow various cycling and some tech, related news groups, and what killed them was the rise in trolls/bigmouths.
Slowly people migrated away to web-based forums, often where a moderator removed some of the worst offending users.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263200)

Moderators often censor views. The guy saying "Linux is better" in the 1990s may have been unpopular with the majority still using Windows 95 or Mac OS 7, but at least on Usenet he could not be censored. On the forums he can be.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263092)

That is a completely absurd thing to say. Please take the time to compare how many sites dedicated to unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works exist and compare it with Usenet's traffic. Then please explain why "the pirates" (whatever that is) haven't killed HTTP although they have a bigger presence in the WWW than in Usenet. Obvously you will not be able to explain that, simply due to the fact that you are trying to pass off a red herring and, in the process, vilify "the pirates", whatever that is.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263184)

HTTP is ubiquitous. Usenet is a few servers. One of which was shutdown because of the reasons I stated [newzbin.com] .

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263366)

Newzbin was never a usenet server, it was a usenet indexer and usenet client. And by that I don't mean anything like Google, but through a mix of automatic and hand indexed content made .nzb files which were sort of like torrents for usenet, a small file that let you pull all the parts of a huge file from binary groups. An overwhelming part of those binaries were copyright infringement, people who used it for discussion had no need of newzbin. They were rougly as subtle about what the site was about as The Pirate Bay...

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263262)

HTTP migrated to 2.0, now no one can tell the difference between trolls and users, ISP's and the state, porn and content, communication and blather.

HTTP is dead or had you not noticed

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263122)

Binaries groups should definitely be deleted off of any legitimate Usenet server. There's no reason for people to be downloading binaries off Usenet when there are web and FTP sites that are the proper places to be putting binary files. It still wouldn't solve the other major problem which is spam. The signal to noise ratio on discussion groups because of the spammers and trolls is just ridiculously low.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263322)

>>>I think what killed news groups was the pirates

And that could very easily be fixed by Usenet Sysops, by simply refusing to carry the binaries - revert usenet to what it was originally - a text only interface.

So. How much would it cost to setup an old-fashioned BBS (or website) to carry rec.arts.tv, rec.arts.startrek, and so on? That's how I accessed the Usenet in the old days, via slow Trailblazer modems (~18 kbit/s) that transferred the data in the late night hours. I can certainly do it again.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (5, Informative)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263070)

No, that isn't a stretch. Google bought out dejanews to kill it off. Nowadays google groups doesn't work at all, with them not even bothering with spam (i.e., they don't do anything about the countless complaints regarding Google spammers and spam in google groups) along with them burying any search result that involves Usenet from their groups search. This has become so bad that Google's top search hits on programming topics frequently consists of sites that shamelessly mirror Usenet content to try to pass it off as their own forums, while it completely ignores any hit from the very same newsgroup.

Then there's Google's inability to find even popular newsgroups such as comp.lang.c++ [google.com] when you even when you explicitly search for the group [google.com]

If that wasn't enough, Google's newsgroup archive has since been eroding, which is a major blow to one of Usenet's most valuable use, humanity's best and most successfull attempt at an expert system [wikipedia.org] .

So it isn't a stretch to claim that Google is the one responsible for killing newsgroups. The company eliminated the established service for newsgroup search, it has gradually destroyed the service and has been actively hiding Usenet from the public.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263276)

False, false, false.

- I don't see any difference between DejaNews and Googlegroups. It's still the same interface that I've been using since the 90s. True google added some new user-created groups, but that's a GOOD thing. It's expansion with new features.

- I don't see any evidence of archive erosion. I can still find my ancient high school post from 1988, 89, and so on.

- Google search results DO link to Usenet groups. Goto the front page and type something like "politics" in the second user-input box, and you get a list of all the groups related to politics (alt.politics, myc.politics, tx.politics, etc). OR you can click the "browse usenet" button and dig into the Usenet hierarchy directly.

- And here's the search results for comp.lang.c++ - apparently there are SEVERAL of these, including foreign languages and a moderated group: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?lnk=nhpsfg&q=comp.lang.c%2B%2B&qt_s=Search+for+a+group [google.com]

I think the real problem here is not Google but PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair).
Almost all your complaints boil-down to not knowing how to use the googlegroups software.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263352)

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262476)

This is my current pet-peeves : flat forum and phpBB are killing the art of internet discussion.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (4, Insightful)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262656)

This is my current pet-peeves : flat forum and phpBB are killing the art of internet discussion.

Oh, how painfully, painfully true.

I feel like I've departed the internet age of letters and found myself in the age of tweets.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263104)

This is my current pet-peeves : flat forum and phpBB are killing the art of internet discussion.

Oh, how painfully, painfully true.

I feel like I've departed the internet age of letters and found myself in the age of tweets.

Anonymous Coward likes this.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263112)

I feel like I've departed the internet age of letters and found myself in the age of tweets.

Unfortunately, I have to agree. Not only has the communication become parodically terse, but it has also become imperative to answer as quickly as possible. If you actually re-read what you wrote, take time to correct errors, and perhaps add a new point or two, i.e. spend some time on improving your post, it won't be seen by many if any.

And I hate to say it, but I think slashdot has played its part in steering posting fora towardes this decline. Slashdot has also done some things to try to stem it, like the grading of both articles and posts, but it's an afterthought that doesn't solve the problem, but created karma whores instead.
The moderators too are unlikely to see good posts deep into a thread that isn't on the front page, no matter how good they are. So they never get moderated up to the point where others see them either.

TLDR (5, Insightful)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263230)

TLDR...

The moderators too are unlikely to see good posts deep into a thread that isn't on the front page, no matter how good they are. So they never get moderated up to the point where others see them either.

Agreed. Or the moderators only read (at best) the first couple of sentences of a post and rate based on that rather than the content of the whole comment. The attention span seems to have gotten so short that anything more than 140 characters is indigestible.

Given the current state of mods lately, this post will be tagged 'Troll' or 'Flamebait' based solely on the first line of this comment rather than reading the point I was trying to make.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263296)

Slashdot's moderation system does encourage posting in a story faster rather than waiting to compose a reply, yes. It also makes it better to reply to a post with high moderation rather than starting your own thread. It's unfortunate, I wish there was a better way of combining mod point systems with time-based systems instead of the either/or sorting we have today.

It's a system that has been flawed since the 90's, so it's unlikely to go away.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1, Troll)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263050)

Slashdot too, unfortunately, is a forum based on short-lived commenting.

In Usenet, I can come back from vacation, post a reply, and all the readers of the group will see my reply. Heck, I can even reply to five year old posts. And there's no redacting the group after the fact. I don't have to trust the forum owner, not even the news server owner. Because it's distributed.

There's no doubt in my mind what kills Usenet: warez flooders.
The 1% of the bandwidth taken up by actual discussions isn't why ISPs can't afford to support it anymore. The bandwidth taken up by the scavengers, as well as the potential lawsuits they bring, is.

I really wish someone got around to solve the binary problem once and for all, so Usenet again could be for discussions. By all means, it needs upgrades, like native Unicode support and better anonymisation without requiring the readers to jump through hoops, but as a push-between-nodes, pull-from-client distribution method, it's unique in both propagation potential, discussion longevity and low client latency.

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

Undead NDR (1252916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263406)

I really wish someone got around to solve the binary problem once and for all, so Usenet again could be for discussions. By all means, it needs upgrades, like native Unicode support

Usenet is encoding-agnostic: Unicode support depends solely on your client.

and better anonymisation

Pick a server that encrypts your IP. Even some of the free ones will do this (e.g.: news.albasani.net, news.aioe.org).

Re:...and there's still no comparable alternative. (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263292)

There was actually a forum revolt over at AudiWorld when they switched from Kawf (older threaded view forum software and open source) to vBulletin. The problem was quick one line subject posts don't translate very well on vB/phpBB style forums. That and I guess a lot of Usenet junkies frequented Audiworld (most now post at a spin off site called quattroworld... which uses Kawf).

Internet Brands (who owns Audiworld and vB) managed to hack in a threaded view on vB and use it at Audiworld. It works, but is awkward to use because most new users of the site just use the (default) subject view, so threads are impossible to follow.

combinations (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262350)

> Combine these stories with the recent news of Microsoft shuttering its newsgroups, along with other recent stories, and the picture does not look bright for Usenet.

What if you combine those stories with the fact that there are millions more people using Usenet groups today thanks to Google's web interface? Does it look brighter than 10 years ago?

Maybe, though, Usenet is an idea whose time has been and gone. There are other ways of sharing information now, which don't suffer the same intractable problems of spam etc.

Re:combinations (2, Insightful)

wwwald (1452511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262368)

And those ways are? And in what way are they superior?

Good questions. (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262848)

It's amazing how few people see that Usenet has not in any way been superseded.

Re:combinations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262892)

You're using one of them right now.

Re:combinations (1)

wwwald (1452511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262968)

Slashdot is hardly a replacement for Usenet. Can I get answers for 3 tech questions per day over here?

Even if it was, in what way would it be superior to Usenet?

Re:combinations (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263208)

Sure, not a problem. Your answers are:

1) RTFM noob
2) To get the driver to work you have to modify the kernel flags and recompile it
3) For best performance, load the binary blob driver

You're welcome!

Re:combinations (1)

Majestix (41486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263116)

Agreed. What are those ways?

Usenet's strength lies in its simplicity, much like Craigslist.

Though i will admit to having enjoyed the alt.binaries at one point. Just became
too much hassle.

Re:combinations (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262384)

It means Google is a step closer to its goal of world domination.

Re:combinations (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262886)

What if you combine those stories with the fact that there are millions more people using Usenet groups today thanks to Google's web interface? Does it look brighter than 10 years ago?

I don't understand. I would say that, if anything, Goggle contributed killing Usenet in the long run. I remember that when Dejanews was around, I always managed to find things. When they moved everything to Google, after a while, it started missing things. It may be also due to the fact that a lot of the discussions already moved to forums, but I remember searching for specific terms about posts I did in the past and not being able to find them (unless playing around also with dates and other things).

Re:combinations (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263000)

The problem with Google groups is that it doesn't seem to understand where usenet ends and the web starts. Such as when I'm searching for a usenet post and it takes me to Wikipedia or some AOL forum crap.

hopefully, a typical slashdot exaggeration (4, Insightful)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262390)

Notable, because Duke was first, and sad, if a sign of things to come. But it's a global server peer network. Duke can't turn it off.

Re:hopefully, a typical slashdot exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262470)

Follow the money. If it becomes too expensive and no sufficient gain comes from it, they'll shut it down. I'm not saying because it's Duke (don't really know the institution), but that's how institutions tend to act.

Re:hopefully, a typical slashdot exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263042)

Come on! It becomes expensive if they want to provide access to the terabytes of redundant spam in binaries newsgroup.

That's how it starts (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262396)

First they closer Limewire

First they closed the usenets.

When they came for my router, it was to replace it with a FTTH.

And it was good. ...

Wait... I think I fracked up that one. What were we talking about?

Worry about the data (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262400)

While it's sad that this great part of Internet history is fading into obsolescence, I'm more worried that the proper care is made to archive the data for future generations. As long as we can still access the text of the discussions I think it's an acceptable and inevitable side effect of progress...

Re:Worry about the data (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262506)

I'm more worried that the proper care is made to archive the data for future generations.

I wonder how unlikely it would be to lose all history of the internet culture in a giant magnetic wave that deleted all hard drives.

It'd be the modern burning of the Library of Alexandria.

Re:Worry about the data (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262642)

It'd be the modern burning of the Library of Alexandria.

Who cares? Humanity as a whole is too dumb to learn from history anyway. Even with all those documents still here, we repeat the same crap over and over again.

You could destroy every historic record older than a few decades and nothing would change. Humans for the most part are short-sighted idiots.

Re:Worry about the data (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262852)

Inside the hard drive case itself are the magnets that move the read/write head. They're probably stronger than almost every other magnet you've played with. They sit a few centimetres from the disk all the time and it still works.

Everything outside the case is further away from the disk and shielded by the case.

The point is, for an external magnetic field to suddenly erase all the world's hard drives it would have to be extremely strong. Like, strong enough to make your paperclips jump off your desk and impale you, or something.

Besides, there's a lot of stuff on flash memory and CDs and even paper. If all the world's hard drives were somehow erased, we'd lose a lot of specific data, but we wouldn't have lost all internet culture. A single intact disc of Wikipedia or some other useful resource could tell a future archaeologist more about our culture than we know about any previous culture.

Re:Worry about the data (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263022)

They sit a few centimetres from the disk all the time and it still works.

How far? With most discs made in the last decade that's be outside the case.

Re:Worry about the data (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263198)

They're inside the case somewhere beside the disks (not above or below them).

Enthusiasts will keep Usenet going (2, Insightful)

AMindLost (967567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262416)

and lets face it, where there's porn, there's no shortage of enthusiasts.

Only way I can put it... (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262420)

"So fell Lord Perth...and the countryside did shake with that thunder."

This nothing to do with low usage (5, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262432)

Anyone who still uses usenet regularly like me knows they're just as alive as ever so the slow closing down of usenet has nothing to do with declining usage, but in my slightly paranoid opinion I suspect it has everything to do with it not being self funding. Ads simply don't work on usenet (probably because of its text based nature) unlike with web sites and no revenue = no reason to keep the service going.

When it does eventually die I'll miss it since as yet I haven't seen an alternative that works nearly so well and has so many different topics under one roof so to speak.

Re:This nothing to do with low usage (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262522)

Yes exactly. If it's the end of usenet, Giganews doesn't know about it.

Re:This nothing to do with low usage (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262758)

Giganews isn't breaking its formerly inviolable pricing structure because Usenet's dying but because of all the competition. Competition means there's a healthy, thriving Usenet community. I don't think Duke's demise is indicative of anything much really. Long live the U!

Obsolete (2, Insightful)

kieran (20691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262434)

... And nothing of any importance was lost.

(fond memories remain intact)

Re:Obsolete (2, Insightful)

terremoto (679350) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262534)

... And nothing of any importance was lost.

Really? Just have a look at some of these posts [google.com] .

Re:Obsolete (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262628)

... And nothing of any importance was lost.

Really? Just have a look at some of these posts [google.com] .

OMG all the articles linked from there return 502.

Re:Obsolete (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263068)

You maniacs! You slashdottised the usenets! Damn you! Gad damn you all to hell!

Re:Obsolete (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263136)

Henry Spencer will not be happy.

Re:Obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262706)

I'm trying, but all I can get are Server Errors....

Re:Obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263374)

you mean 502 server error, yes importance, I'm unplugging my modem now

Google wrecked Usenet (3, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262478)

Google Groups was great when it just included old Usenet posts but when they folded in any other forums they could find, the signal to noise ratio dropped hugely. Yes, if you can cite a specific usenet group in the search, you can get good results but you can't issue a search just for usenet groups only. I can't remember the last time I got anything useful from Google groups. Heck, I can't remember the last time a search even showed any usenet group entries.

Re:Google wrecked Usenet (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262524)

I like how Google Groups are overwhelmed with people trying to get a response from Google. Google could learn about caring about people from slave labor camps.

Re:Google wrecked Usenet (1)

Phoe6 (705194) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262586)

This is quite true. I wonder why Google wanted to meddle with usenet. But I think, they still are in position that, if they want to rewamp it for good, they can do it. After they will get money through advertisements which will be aplenty in usenet.

Forums ruined Newsgroups. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262654)

The only people left using them are pirates and perverts.

It's Still Open For Now (5, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262518)

Anyone (feeling brave enough) can host their own Usenet server - open protocols and that malarky is still possible.

As a massively connected "network" of information and easily understood protocol writing software to parse it is straightforward.

Maybe political pressure is being exerted to shut the Usenet servers down. Media companies are aware of it's existence and will encourage it's extinction ("good luck with that").

Modern BBS-type systems are fine but are self-contained and do not encourage sharing of information (more accurately "replication") of nodes and data.

I don't think Usenet will ever go away - people are still using gopher today and some modern browsers still support it!

As long as the underpinnings of the Internet are open and free then anyone can create there own "protocol" and transmit data.
This is a fundemental right of the Internet.

Can you imagine if all this was created by a commercial entity - we just would not have the freedom we have now.

As long as some geeks run and admin their servers - there will always be an open and free way of transmitting data.

Believe me our "governments" and corporate "sponsors" are trying to remove those freedoms.

Re:It's Still Open For Now (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262558)

I agree with this. Freedom of speech is one of the most important things we have, and usenet is a great venue for that. A good example of a decentralized communications network.

Re:It's Still Open For Now (0, Troll)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262638)

99.99% of usenet traffic is pirated movies/music. You sound like a retard.

Re:It's Still Open For Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262790)

A small, plain text reply is maybe a bit less heavy-weight than a binary dump of the latest blu-ray movie you can find...
I'd even say that a ratio of 0.01% is indeed a LOT.

Re:It's Still Open For Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32263128)

Anyone (feeling brave enough) can host their own Usenet server - open protocols and that malarky is still possible.

Sadly, there isn't much info on how to set up your own usenet server, so that you are able to create new Usenet newsgroups. Without that info it is much simpler to simply go to google groups and create your own forum.

Re:It's Still Open For Now (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263328)

Your post would be more readable if you used fewer paragraphs. As it is, almost every sentence has its own.

Ahhhem (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262636)

First rule of usenet is we dont talk about usenet.

Not NewSbin, but NewZbin (1)

wye43 (769759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262648)

You gave me a scare with that one, I thought Newsbin was taked down. Newsbin is my favorite, I'm using it all the time.

Pros and cons (2, Insightful)

notrandomly (1242142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262716)

There are pros and cons to newsgroups. I personally have found myself drifting away from newsgroups because of all the cons.

For example, there's no moderation. Crazy people all over the place. You would have to start maintaining kill filters and all that.

Web forums can be accessed from anywhere. Newsgroups, well, you could using certain web interfaces. But they were usually sub-par.

Newsgroup readers are usually very complex. I personally ended up relatively comfortable using one, but it's much easier to just dive in and use a web forum.

I really like the threading and all that in newsreaders, but in the end, I found that web forums were much more convenient and useful for me, especially because there was someone around to kick out spammers and abusers.

Re:Pros and cons (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262934)

"Crazy people all over the place."

Can't say I noticed. You get a few rude types but if you can't deal with a bit of rudeness then you have bigger problems than where to go for online discussions. If it really bothers you there are plenty of moderated groups but in general usenet isn't for children , never has been and never will be and I personally wouldn't want some dumbed down , sanitised , disneyland version of usenet to keep delicate little wallflowers happy.

Yeah, and the Model T isn't hot anymore. (2, Insightful)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262736)

Kind of sucks Usenet's going the way of the dodo, but evolution isn't always a forgiving process. I found lots of useful and hard to find information on newsgroups, but I've found the same level of information on forums as well. In my opinion, forums are way better: moderation, software-agnostic, etc.

Re:Yeah, and the Model T isn't hot anymore. (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262816)

Moderation is a double-edged sword, and in what ways are Usenet servers not software agnostic?

Fight for control of information (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262748)

There's a silent war on usenet. The piracy-argument is just a cover. The real issue is about editorial control. Usenet remains as one of very few information channels which can not be censored by any single entity, and with decentralised storage as one of its main features. Free speech advocates should really get on top of this.

Re:Fight for control of information BALDERDASH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262794)

Balderdash!

But I agree with what you wrote. Just wanted to finally write Balderdash!

So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262796)

Duke nuked their server....

killing shared internet standards (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262838)

We really are going to need some kind of federated shared login. The net is fragmenting into lots of smaller feuds like face***k and forums, all separate logins, formats, no more shared standards. that died when "netiquette" died, killed by lots of "gimme" spammers, trolls, warez, porn, etc. Anarchism and an etiquette of behavior were the rules, and they worked until too many came at once with a greedy free-for-all ignorance. No login was necessary for lots of things.

I've got to go download some porn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32262980)

Ya know, every time I hear a story like this I feel compelled to get on there and grab some free porn before my ISP decides to do away with news server too.

Not about Duke Nukem (1, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263002)

Damnit, I though this news item would be about Duke Nukem.

On the upside... (3, Informative)

metacell (523607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263012)

On the upside, Freenet [freenetproject.org] contains a distributed Usenet server, which has so far been kept spam-free by the use of trust lists.

Is Google winding down Usenet support too? (3, Interesting)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263036)

Does anyone know if Google is starting to wind down Usenet support too?

I only ask because sometime early last week, I stopped getting digest emails to the Usenet groups I'm subscribed to via Google Groups. It happened without warning: no reports of dropping support for digest emails or Usenet, no reports of problems they are working on, etc. It seems quite a few people are having this problem as well...

Any information would be appreciated!

Death of USENET predicted! (2, Interesting)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263124)

Death of USENET predicted! Film at 11.

This has been predicted so many times all throughout the years, it's hard to take it seriously.

Duke? (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263218)

It's time to kick ass and browse Usenet, and we're all out of Usenet!

Good old Duke is back (2, Funny)

macbuzz01 (1074795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263258)

It's been a while since we had a Duke Nukem story on the front pa...Oh...that Duke...and they just shut it down and didn't nuke it...? Nevermind.

Too much of Usenet is full of SPAM and garbage (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#32263390)

Try and read aus.tv, aus.politics, aus.general or a number of other aus.* groups and you will see that far to many of the posts are garbage or SPAM vs legitimate postings.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>