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AOL Kills Usenet Access

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the bad-times dept.

America Online 576

Numair writes "BetaNews is reporting that AOL is about to terminate Usenet access for its users. Now, before everyone starts rejoicing ... where is the Usenet community going to find another large media company to protect it from frivolous copyright lawsuits?"

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576 comments

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Wow. (5, Funny)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469532)

It looks like September did end, after all.

Sorry folks, couldn't help it.

Re:Wow. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469615)

does anyone else have fucked up slashdot rendering using firefox on xp? the left menu and body consistently overlap. it's pissing me off. i have to refresh multiple times to fix it.

Re:Wow. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469656)

Use a real browser. I've found IE to be a rock solid, secure platform.

Other might have differing opinions

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469660)

Yes, and I find that quite humorous that a website that has such a raging hardon for Firefox doesn't even render correctly in that browser.

Never had that problem with MSIE!

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469664)

ctrl+mousewheelup followed by ctrl+mousewheeldown

Re:Wow. (1)

Miffe (592354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469679)

Press Ctrl + then Ctrl - to fix it

Re:Wow. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469718)


Or use a real browser such as IE. Rock solid, stable as all hell.

Are my 20 seconds up?

Re:Wow. (5, Funny)

HiredMan (5546) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469707)



Me too!!!!!!!!

=tkk

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469720)

AOL

Re:Wow. (0, Troll)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469727)

Umm...can someone please tell me wtf that meant? ;)

Has it got to do with the song "When September Ends"? That doesn't make any sense, but hey, it's 3:30AM, i'm listening to it right now, and i have no other ideas :)

Re:Wow. (5, Informative)

bamberg (9311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469782)

In the days before widespread internet usage, a significant percentage of the participants in Usenet were college students. Every September would see an influx of newbies who didn't have a clue about Usenet conventions and would disrupt things until they were educated. When AOL gained Usenet access people referred to it as "the September that never ended", referring to the fact that there was now a constant influx of clueless newbies.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469783)

See explanation here [catb.org]

One of the seasonal rhythms of the Usenet used to be the annual September influx of clueless newbies who, lacking any sense of netiquette, made a general nuisance of themselves. This coincided with people starting college, getting their first internet accounts, and plunging in without bothering to learn what was acceptable. These relatively small drafts of newbies could be assimilated within a few months. But in September 1993, AOL users became able to post to Usenet, nearly overwhelming the old-timers' capacity to acculturate them; to those who nostalgically recall the period before, this triggered an inexorable decline in the quality of discussions on newsgroups. Syn. eternal September

Re:Wow. (1)

SMQ (241278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469799)

Linked from TFA: Eternal September [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wow. (0, Redundant)

Stealth Potato (619366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469841)

No, it's a reference to the "Eternal September," or the September of 1993, when AOL first provided Usenet access to its users. September was usually a time when a lot of new users showed up; things would normally calm down pretty quickly as the new users learned proper conduct. This didn't happen when AOL stormed onto the scene, and the september of 1993 came to be known as the "September that never Ended."

Now that they're gone, maybe the ordeal is finally over? Probably not, but we can dream, can't we? :-)

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

Re:Wow. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469872)

If you don't understand the reference, it's referring to you !

(In Soviet Russia...)

Yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469533)

Somehow I can't be excited about this. The damage has already been done, and they're just moving on to poison something else.

Google (0, Offtopic)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469534)

http://www.google.com/

Re:Google (1)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469632)

The poster was talking about: http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/basics.html and if who ever modded him down thinks google is small.. check this out: http://www.ugfc.org/2004/07/google_stock_pr.html

seriosuly.. some mods.. tsk tsk.

Re:Google (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469776)

yeah, who cares about AOL. Google still has the groups
http://groups-beta.google.com/ [google.com]

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469793)

dewd! your Nat Portman link 404'ed! not funny man!

no more me too posts (1, Funny)

shamage (113829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469541)

What no more me to posts that we have all come to love :-)

Re:no more me too posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469592)

Punctuation is a wonderful thing....

Re:no more me too posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469608)

me too!

Good for AOL (3, Informative)

slashnutt (807047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469543)

AOL users got their bad name by posting too many ME TOO!, what is a.b.misc, and reply:01/99 - can you repost 2-99.

Giganews and other big name vendors will gladly sell you Usenet service and best yet you can change the port in which you connect with; say port 80 and AOL cant block as they cant figure out if your using HTTP or NTP; they could block the IP address but then again you could use an anonymous proxy and the battle continues. That being said, I hope people know that there are other ISPs that are willing to have you as a customer. If the law suites go after say Giganews then I bet there is some Swiss news account (ok ok when I say Swiss accounts I mean services that wont divulge any information to anyone no matter who's asking).

Re:Good for AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469586)

Me too.

Re:Good for AOL (3, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469623)

you can change the port in which you connect with; say port 80 and AOL cant block as they cant figure out if your using HTTP or NTP
It's not that hard to look at the first line of a request and see whether it contains the string " HTTP/". They may not want the expense of figuring it out, but it's certainly technically possible.

Re:Good for AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469857)

They may not want the expense of figuring it out, but it's certainly technically possible.

It's not even that big an expense to them since they have their own caching proxy servers (formerly inktomi) that process HTTP headers on each request anyway.

One more reasons to use encryption everywhere (https in this case)

Re:Good for AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469659)

I bet there is some Swiss news account (ok ok when I say Swiss accounts I mean services that wont divulge any information to anyone no matter who's asking)

why don't you just say what you mean, and skip the parentheticals?

Re:Good for AOL (1)

FreshlyShornBalls (849004) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469691)

That being said, I hope people know that there are other ISPs that are willing to have you as a customer.

Isn't that kind of the way it works? I've always looked at AOL as Internet training wheels. Once a user learns how to "ride", the training wheels do nothing but slow them down. Eventually, the wheels come off and the user moves to a "real" ISP.

AOL Usenet Appeals to Old Folks like Myself (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469826)

Frankly, AOL Usenet appeals to old folks like myself. My niece has an AOL account, and sometimes I read Usenet newsgroups on it. One thing that I noticed is that it is refreshingly similar to the Usenet newsgroups that I read in college. The format has that ASCII-ish, text-ish feel. Frankly, I'm accustomed to it and do not want it to change.

I hate the smooth, hi-tech feel to Google's new format for Usenet.

Perhaps, I'm just old, but that's how I feel.

Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (4, Informative)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469545)

From the article:

One dismayed user likened AOL members to drunk drivers on the Information Super Highway.

Hm, for the most part, they're still just exactly like that. Nothing's changed in 11 years. Unfortunately, this isn't going to kill AOL, as one other person suggested. Somehow, as badly as AOL sucks, they manage to continue to survive. Maybe it's all those CDs they keep distributing everywhere. Want an AOL CD? Go to Burger King! They make half-decent frisbees...

But I'll take anything that reduces AOL's Internet presence as a good thing for the Internet.

Oh, and the frivolous lawsuit was against AOL, not Usenet. You can't sue Usenet. It's too decentralized.

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (1)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469681)

Now if we can just get them off IRC we'll really be cookin'!

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (4, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469704)

Want an AOL CD? Go to Burger King! They make half-decent....

For a second there, I thought you were about to suggest that an AOL CD was an ingredient in a sandwich.

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469731)

It is, what do you think is in those new angus burgers, meat?

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (4, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469721)

Let's not knock AOL too much. In all honesty, their simple/stupid model has helped the Internet community grow. Yes this particular brand of Internet users tends to be on the less informed scale, but they spend money - they help the computer industry grow with their wallets.

So remember, AOL caters to the simple/stupid crowd.

Catering to spammers.... (2, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469833)

So remember, AOL caters to the simple/stupid crowd.

Who is also the crowd that generally has massive amounts of spyware/trojaned/infected PCs used for sending out Viri and Spam. And also the same who respond to spam, buy spam products and think "Gee, I'm really glad my bank is verifying my account information" when they get a phishing e-mail.

Then there are the things the semi "anonymous" accounts are used for and a few other illegal things that people use AOL accounts for. Eliminating the AOL crowd would probably make the internet a safer/saner place to be for the rest of us. Especially when you consider it's also the AOL customers that want the governemnt to "protect tehir children" from online content.

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (1)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469846)

So remember, AOL caters to the simple/stupid crowd.

Look on the bright side. No USENET access means less of a chance of AOl users clicking on binary attatchments to numerous virii.

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (4, Funny)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469755)

But I'll take anything that reduces AOL's Internet presence as a good thing for the Internet.

Me too.

A++ post! Would mod up again.

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (2, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469763)

You can't sue Usenet. It's too decentralized.
Weren't similar things being said of BitTorrent?

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (2, Funny)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469785)

Want an AOL CD? Go to Burger King! They make half-decent frisbees...

Ah, but who makes better frisbees? AOL or Burger King?

Re:Whatever gets AOL off the net is fine with me. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469865)

AOL users are paragons of reason and virtue compared to WebTVers, who, from my experience range from borderline mentally retarded through religious nuts to out and out kooks.

nigs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469552)

fp

Better late than never (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469555)

The september that never ended is... ending?!

So did Comcast, what's the difference? (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469563)

Comcast effectively "killed" Usenet access when it told you that you can get it through a third party (which charges after what 2GB?)

They gave a viable alternative by pointing people to Google Groups. At least they didn't shut off free access then start charging their users for it.

AOL has a large userbase of morons. How many of those morons read Usenet anyway? It's likely that it is a tiny group of their overall base. Why support something that no one uses and that you can get through other sources anyway?

Re:So did Comcast, what's the difference? (2, Informative)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469778)

Comcast just "outsourced" the news to someone who knows what they're doing - GigaNews. Why should Comcast deal with running news servers and the bandwidth, feeds, and disputes involved in what feeds to distribute, when they can just point their users to a slimmed down GigaNews account?

Sure, if you're downloading a lot of binaries, you're going to hit the wall pretty fast. But if you're just doing text, the Comcast/Giganews partnership gives MUCH faster access, MUCH longer article retention, and a MUCH wider array of groups than Comcast ever did.

Re:So did Comcast, what's the difference? (1)

DeionXxX (261398) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469823)

Actually they restarted the program again (I just started using it again yesterday). They are still using Giganews, and there is still a 2GB monthly limit. 2GB is more than enough for any reading of Usenet, and it's also enough for small downloads (random MP3's and files).

Re:So did Comcast, what's the difference? (1)

NormHome (99305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469827)

Actually when Comcast used the @Home network you originally had almost unlimited downloading capability, then they cut you to 500mb a day which was still really good by todays standards but when @Home went bankrupt and Comcast went to their own network I guess they just didn't want to get into running their own news servers so they farmed it out to Giganews who limited you to 500mb per month. So anyone who had Comcast and used news group downloads regularly got their limit cut to about 1/30th of what it was and ended up still paying the same price, I would have to say that's getting screwed pretty bad.

AOL killed it in the first place (3, Funny)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469570)

I was there when AOL enabled usenet access. The flood of users with no netiquette or, as it seemed to me at the time, common sense, drove me out of almost every newsgroup I followed.

And now they are leaving.

Irony.

Re:AOL killed it in the first place (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469706)

ME TOO!

> I was there when AOL enabled usenet access.
> The
> flood of users with no netiquette or, as it seemed
> to me at
> the time, common sense, drove me out of
>almost
> every newsgroup I followed.

AOL Users (-1, Redundant)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469578)

Do 99% of AOL users even know what usenet is?

Re:AOL Users (1)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469716)

No, but if 1% of your hard drive was viruses, you wouldn't be so happy, eh.

Usenet no, Internet yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469838)

"Do 99% of AOL users even know what usenet is?"

Maybe not, but 99% of them know what the internet is - the blue e on their desktop. ;)

Resident Nub Says: (2)

Yufice (852313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469581)

So what's Usenet?

Re:Resident Nub Says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469696)

/. without the restrictions/moderation/editors

Re:Resident Nub Says: (1)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469738)

What's AOL? Why does the internet have to be filled with incomprehensible abbreviations?!

Also, this site doesn't display right on my Web TV!

Re:Resident Nub Says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469798)

ME TOO!

(go ahead, waste your mod points!)

Re:Resident Nub Says: (1)

Yufice (852313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469862)

Woahhhhhhhhhhhh. i'm not any troll, i just didn't know what it was. Thanks to the kid who told me.

Uh oh... (5, Interesting)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469585)

Is it good because it cleans up Usenet? Or does it just mean there will be an influx of idiocy to everywhere else? I'm scared!

In other news... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469768)

/. subscriptions suddenly spike by 5000%. Could this be related to AOL shutting down it's Usenet groups?


Post submitted by: CmdrTaco0195004294012

Re:Uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469818)

Is it good because it cleans up Usenet? Or does it just mean there will be an influx of idiocy to everywhere else? I'm scared!

Me too!

Well, that will be... (4, Interesting)

dcw3 (649211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469589)

...the final nail in the coffin for me. The only reason I've stuck with them is because I've had an account dating back over a dozen years, and didn't want to give up that e-mail address. Between this, and the 33% price increase I saw when they did away with their 2 yr. plan, I see little reason to stay with them anymore...rat bastards.

AOL will fwd (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469744)

I sympathise about the old/valuable email addr. I do believe that AOL has a ~$5/mo service to fwd your mail elsewhere.

Re:Well, that will be... (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469751)

The only reason I've stuck with them is because I've had an account dating back over a dozen years, and didn't want to give up that e-mail address.
See. This is why we should demand e-mail address portability. Your e-mail address should follow you, not have to stay tied to one isp. We already have it for phone numbers, so it shouldn't be too hard for e-mail right? I mean, why should you have to give up your "identity" just because your ISP has decided to charge more for less?

Re:Well, that will be... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469869)

Because my email@yahoo.com should be portable to say hotmail but remain email@yahoo.com? It is simply not the same thing as a phone number. The yahoo.com identifies a particular organization - 1) i doubt one company wants to promote/support another company - which you don't get with phone numbers and 2) an e-mail address (afaik) works a bit differently then a phone number. Remember, when you send an e-mail it looks for the location after the @ symbol first. Then your specific account name. So think of the havoc as one ISP has to route your e-mail to another isp...then again, many isps offer this - e-mail forwarding.

Some people have suggested IP portability - but I think this is kinda lame since you can port your DNS. If you want an e-mail that follows you - register a domain and you can have an e-mail address that follows you to different ISP's.

-Avi

Re:Well, that will be... (1)

deadgoon42 (309575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469829)

Good luck canceling you account. They kept me on the phone for about 30 minutes trying to stay with them. The lady was very angry with me because I just kept saying, "No, I just want to cancel." There is no easy way to cancel and AOL account other than by phone, although I guess you can write them a letter and send it snail mail, but that could take months.

Re:Well, that will be... (1)

kkovach (267551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469849)

I'm betting there's some kind soul here willing to extend a helping hand to you in the form of a gmail invite. ;-)

- Kevin

a great disturbance (5, Funny)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469596)

"I felt a great disturbance in the Usenet, as if millions of alt.binary.xxxporn images suddenly
cried out in terror and silenced at once"

Now, if they'd just .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469600)



Now, if they'd just disconnect them from the Internet completely...

Wasn't there an old usenet quote, something like "There, now all of our subscribers can accesss the Internet!"??

People still read USENET? (4, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469624)

Usenet died not long after Canter and Siegel. The amount of spam and crossposting just made the signal-to-noise ratio too much.

*sigh* I remember the days where I could catch up on 50 newsgroups in under an hour, reading most of the threads too.

If I need information now, I hit google. If I want to ask a question, I find the appropriate mailing list and send it.

Re:People still read USENET? (1)

damian cosmas (853143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469734)

Wouldn't a high signal-to-noise ratio be a good thing?

Re:People still read USENET? (1)

headstash420 (852873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469758)

The only thing people read on usenet these days are the titles of the movies, apps and porn they want to download.

Re:People still read USENET? (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469874)

Yes and I can remember 1991 when I was able to download
a nearly full feed (including porn..er binaries) from uunet
overnite on a Trailblazer modem.

It was clearly unreasonable to expect it to stay a nice small
place with thousands of new inet users every day. But of
course the spam, incessant cross posting, and general blather
was more than most bargained for. Its somewhat symptomatic
of society as a whole. People don't give a fuck what they do
or who they piss off. In fact, God forbid you point out
what they have just done is bad etiquette or the like and
they just blast you as the messenger.

However, I do disagree that it is now useless. Not every
group is low signal, and with a good news reader even the
high crap volume groups can be made managable.

Care to provide non-crap links in story? (2, Insightful)

hmniq (805627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469628)

What's with the frivolous link [boingboing.net] to an ad-riddled page with about two sentences' worth of actual content? Come now /. editors!

I want my USENET (1)

emptybody (12341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469638)

What about bit-torrent like access to usenet?
A torrent for each newsgroup, and sub torrents for the articles.
Then I can pull down what I like and not what I dont.
And it will come blazingly through my asymetric broadband internet connection.

no. I dont do AOL.
I did once use the "free 9000 hours" when I was between jobs back in 96 but that was it. - and it took 6 months to get them to frigin close the account and stop billing me!!

deja / google groups (1)

Exter-C (310390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469641)

This doesnt really matter as you can still use google groups or any of the other web based usenet sites. at the end of the day the majority of good information can still be seen on usenet as its much easier to search through than web sites when trying to find cr*p. The primary reason i see for that is people that put up bs web pages that contaminate the search results with garbage or the term your using is very broad on the web but in the particular usenet group its automatically specific.

Real uses for USENET anymore? (4, Interesting)

kaustik (574490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469646)

Not trolling here, but...
I remember the old days of dialing into my shell account and using my little news reader ('tin' was it?) to read through my favorite groups. I even remember downloading multiple posts, linking them together, and using some archaic app (binhex, maybe) to turn them into little binary apps like hangman. I was a big fan of USENET back then - good discussions, helpful people, uncensored pr0n...
I tried to visit some groups recently and was sad to see more spam than a hotmail account, one-sentence off-topic posts, etc. Does anyone actually know of any more useful groups?

Re:Real uses for USENET anymore? (5, Informative)

CDS (143158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469723)

There are still some very good groups out there. They tend to be very highly-policed (either as officially moderated groups, or via a cadre of regulars who keep things firmly ontopic.)

comp.lang.c is a great example of this. I owe them a LOT regarding my growth in understanding of C.

Re:Real uses for USENET anymore? (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469757)


Add your email address to this thread and we'll get back to you.

Re:Real uses for USENET anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469792)

Yes. I remember. The 8 bit color PR0N. Good stuff, maynard.

Do people still read Usenet? (3, Interesting)

Canthros (5769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469652)

My alma mater shut off their news server a year or so ago. I have the strangest feeling the Usenet is finally dying its rather long-deserved death.

Like everyone else, though, I can't but view the removal of AOL from Usenet except with joy. I don't see how it could really hurt the old newsgroups.

I'm tempted to say... (3, Insightful)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469655)

... screw it. The Market will deal with it. If users want usenet access, they'll leave and find a better ISP.

But I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that this is not the case, because most consumers just don't think that way. So by extension the whole self-regulating market thing is immediately dead in the water.

Phew. Good job I'm not from the right wing, or else my entire worldview may have been shattered right there

Wacky AOL Users (1)

Line_Fault (247536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469670)

I love when they reply to a post, and don't write a response! Oh No! I'm stereotyping AOL users!

Re:Wacky AOL Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469847)

RE: I'm happy about it (3, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469677)

I'm happy to see the AOL Morons leave Usenet once and for all. I've had my news reader delete all posts involving @aol.com addresses for years.

Me Too!

Re: I'm happy about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469780)

me too

Just use this free usenet server: (5, Informative)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469680)

While it does not provide access to binary groups (for understandable reasons) it works really well for normal text groups. And it's free, all you have to do is registering: news.individual.net [individual.net]

Does anybody use usenet anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469703)

Haven't web based discussion boards replaced usenet?

Didn't usenet die a long time ago?

I know it was a big deal once and always suffered from high noise to signal.

Re:Does anybody use usenet anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469802)

Usenet is still a great place to find binaries.

Other alternatives to Aol/Google News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469756)

I've found one website that has a lot of usenet groups including rss feed.. they seem to update much quicker than google
http://www.talkaboutnetwork.com/ [talkaboutnetwork.com] http://www.talkaboutprogramming.com/ [talkaboutprogramming.com]

AOL just plain sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11469766)

Was it ever a decent "service" for anyone that could spell "computer"? I doubt it. I felt sadness when they gobbled up CompuServe, which had a decent "forums" alternative with a downloader that featured an offline scheduler and synch tool. Ahead of its time in some respects, but alas, not dumb enough for mass-consumption by the AOL-ers that out-multiplied us in the years after.

Now.. (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469777)

As if there were any reason to use AOL - which there wasn't - how does offering less services make them any more useful to their subscribers?

In other news:
SPAM and general stupidity on newsgroups declined by 99.5% after this announcement.

The green card spam, heh (3, Informative)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469795)

I remember seeing the infamous "green card" spamvertisement on EVERY usenet group.I was slighly in awe that they went through the effort to put it on EVERY freakin' newsgroup.

Now within the last 6 months, I see the same 1 or two spam posts on every single usenet group I'm subbed to. Sad, really.

I would say spam has claimed a victory here. i do find some good usage out of local groups like mn.general(which is generally spam free, but not political cook free), and the grand-theft-auto newsgroup.

But with the playstation2 group, it's 99% cross-posted-to-other-groups flamewars between ps2 and xbox users. *sigh*. Never bothered with the binary groups since I just could not figure out the obfuscated mess that is FreeAgent.

Comcast supposedly moved everyone over to giganews, which is a paid service with either 1 or 2 gigs a month. Wow, 2 gigs of spam per month! Sign me up! Thankfuly their old server still works, but they keep it quiet.

But with the poor s/n ratios of newsgroups, I can see why ISPs are jumping ship.

Re:The green card spam, heh (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469856)

Would you mind sharing the old server here?

News Clients (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469796)

Can't AOL customers simply use a news client like Outlook Distress (heaven forbid) or Free Agent, and then just subscribe to a newsgroup hosting service? If it's text-based groups that you're interested in, there is News.Individual.NET which is free.

Yes, Usenet is still useful (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469819)

Believe it or not...:-) I've personally been a reader of alt.cult-movies.rocky-horror for something like 12 years now. During that time the WWW was created, many mailing lists have come and gone, various message boards/Yahoo groups/etc. came and went, but the Usenet group alt.cult-movies.rocky-horror has stuck around like the plague. I actually created my own web-based portal for it to make it easier for new people to join:

RockyNewsgroup.org [rockynewsgroup.org]

Most Usenet groups aren't lucky enough to have dedicated web portals for that group, but I do know there are others:

RecPoker.com [recpoker.com]

Usenet groups stick around because people can access them in so many different ways and because it's a common ground that can be "packaged" by people but will not die whenever those fancy portals happen to go away.

Why would any AOLer use USENET? (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469820)

Gotta pull down 5,000 new headers from Alt.Binaries.AOL.Users.Me.Too

Time to go watch a movie. Should be done by then.

Alt.Binaries.Cracks.Phrozen-Crew has that crack for Dreamweaver MX. Too bad I can't download it off my slow-as-shit 56k line.

Ooops. My kid thought Alt.Binaries.Erotica.Cartoons was about TV Shows. AOL, why do you even have that group?

Somehow life will go on (1)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469822)

We'll survive. Thanks. Buh-bye AOL.

Perhaps if AOL hadn't infected usenet... (2, Insightful)

bADlOGIN (133391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469824)

...with thousands of mouth-breathing morons lacking any sense of netiquette, usenet wouldn't need "protection" from frivolous copyright lawsuits.

"Me too! Me too!"

Dateline 1995 (4, Funny)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 9 years ago | (#11469875)

"In headlines today, the dreaded killfile virus spread across the country adding 'aol.com' to people's Usenet kill files everywhere. The programmer of the virus still remains anonymous, but has been nominated several times for a Nobel peace prize."
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