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Encyclopedia > USENET

Usenet (USEr NETwork) is a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name. It was conceived by Duke University graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis in 1979. Users read and post e-mail-like messages (called "articles" or "posts") to one or more of a number of categories, called newsgroups. Usenet resembles bulletin board systems (BBS) in most respects. UUCP stands for Unix to Unix CoPy. ... Duke University is a private coeducational research university located in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. ... Tom Truscott is a computer scientist best known for creating Usenet with Jim Ellis, when both were graduate students at Duke University. ... Jim Ellis (c. ... Electronic mail, abbreviated e-mail or email, is a method of composing, sending, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. ... A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... Ward Christensen and the computer that ran one of the first public Bulletin Board Systems, CBBS from BBS: The Documentary “BBS” redirects here. ...


One crucial difference from a BBS is that there is no central server, nor central system owner. Usenet is distributed among a large, constantly changing conglomeration of servers which store and forward messages to one another. These servers are loosely connected in a variable mesh. Individual users usually read from and post messages to a local server operated by their ISP, university, employer, or some other local organization. Then, the servers exchange the messages between one another. Usenet has been described as a system of online collaboration and interaction similar to today's Web 2.0.[1] It has also been pointed out that its decentralized structure makes it more democratic than Web 2.0.[2] “ISP” redirects here. ... In business and technology, Web 2. ...

Contents

Introduction

Usenet is one of the oldest computer network communications systems still in widespread use. It was established in 1980, following experiments from the previous year, over a decade before the World Wide Web was introduced and the general public got access to the Internet. It was originally conceived as a "poor man's ARPANET," employing UUCP to offer mail and file transfers, as well as announcements through the newly developed news software. This system, developed at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, was called USENET to emphasize its creators' hope that the USENIX organization would take an active role in its operation (Daniel et al, 1980). “Computer Networks” redirects here. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ... ARPANET logical map, March 1977. ... UUCP stands for Unix to Unix CoPy. ... A News, originally known simply as news, was the first widely distributed program for serving and reading Usenet newsgroups. ... The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public, coeducational, research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. ... Duke University is a private coeducational research university located in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. ... The USENIX Association is the Advanced Computing Technical Association. ...


The articles that users post to Usenet are organized into topical categories called newsgroups, which are themselves logically organized into hierarchies of subjects. For instance, sci.math and sci.physics are within the sci hierarchy, for science. When a user subscribes to a newsgroup, the news client software keeps track of which articles that user has read. A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... A news client, or news reader, is an application program that reads articles on Usenet (generally known as newsgroup), either directly from a news servers disks or via the Network News Transfer Protocol. ...


In most newsgroups, the majority of the articles are responses to some other article. The set of articles which can be traced to one single non-reply article is called a thread. Most modern newsreaders display the articles arranged into threads and subthreads, making it easy to follow a single discussion in a high-volume newsgroup. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


When a user posts an article, it is initially only available on that user's news server. Each news server, however, talks to one or more other servers (its "newsfeeds") and exchanges articles with them. In this fashion, the article is copied from server to server and (if all goes well) eventually reaches every server in the network. The later peer-to-peer networks operate on a similar principle; but for Usenet it is normally the sender, rather than the receiver, who initiates transfers. Some have noted that this seems an inefficient protocol in the era of abundant high-speed network access. Usenet was designed for a time when networks were much slower, and not always available. Many sites on the original Usenet network would connect only once or twice a day to batch-transfer messages in and out. Inter-server or interserver is a technical term used in network protocol design to intend an extension to the classic client-server model by having parts of a protocol which are only exchanged between the servers. ... A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. ...


Usenet has significant cultural importance in the networked world, having given rise to, or popularized, many widely recognized concepts and terms such as "FAQ" and "spam." FAQ is an abbreviation for Frequently Asked Question(s). The term refers to listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. ... A KMail folder of spam messages. ...


Today, almost all Usenet traffic is carried over the Internet. The current format and transmission of Usenet articles is very similar to that of Internet email messages. However, Usenet articles are posted for general consumption; any Usenet user has access to all newsgroups, unlike email, which requires a list of known recipients. 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Electronic mail, abbreviated e-mail or email, is a method of composing, sending, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems. ...


Today, Usenet has diminished in importance with respect to mailing lists, web forums and weblogs. The difference, though, is that Usenet requires no personal registration with the group concerned, that information need not be stored on a remote server, that archives are always available, and that reading the messages requires not a mail or web client, but a news client (included in many modern e-mail clients). A mailing list is a collection of names and addresses used by an individual or an organization to send material to multiple recipients. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about a type of web application. ...


ISPs, news servers, and newsfeeds

Many Internet service providers, and many other Internet sites, operate news servers for their users to access. ISPs that do not operate their own servers directly will often offer their users an account from another provider that specifically operates newsfeeds. Most commonly, these accounts are through UsenetServer.com, Supernews, Giganews and Usenet.com. Usually the ISP will get a kickback for referring the customer to the Usenet provider. In early news implementations, the server and newsreader were a single program suite, running on the same system. Today, one uses separate newsreader client software, a program that resembles an email client but accesses Usenet servers instead. “ISP” redirects here. ... A news server is a set of computer software used to handle Usenet articles. ... SuperNews! is an animated television series which airs on Current TV. It was created by Josh Faure-Brac. ... Giganews, Inc is a popular Usenet/newsgroup service provider. ...


Not all ISPs run news servers. A news server is one of the most difficult Internet services to administer well because of the large amount of data involved, small customer base (compared to mainstream Internet services such as email and web access), and a disproportionately high volume of customer support incidents (frequently complaining of missing news articles that are not the ISP's fault). Some ISPs outsource news operation to specialist sites, which will usually appear to a user as though the ISP ran the server itself. Many sites carry a restricted newsfeed, with a limited number of newsgroups. Commonly omitted from such a newsfeed are foreign-language newsgroups and the alt.binaries hierarchy which largely carries software, music, videos and images, and accounts for over 99 percent of article data. The hierarchy is a major class of newsgroups in Usenet, containing all newsgroups whose name begins with , organized hierarchically. ...


For those who have access to the Internet, but do not have access to a news server, Google Groups ([1]) allows reading and posting of text news groups via the World Wide Web. Though this or other "news-to-Web gateways" are not always as easy to use as specialized newsreader software—especially when threads get long—they are often much easier to search. Users who lack access to an ISP news server can use Google Groups to access the alt.free.newsservers newsgroup, which has information about open news servers. Google Groups is a free groups and mailing list service from Google. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ...


There are also Usenet providers that specialize in offering service to users whose ISPs do not carry news, or that carry a restricted feed. One list of such providers is available at UsenetProviders' list of Usenet providers (Germany) or Jeremy Nixon's list of (paid) Usenet providers.


See also news server operation for an overview of how news systems are implemented. Among the operators and users of commercial Usenet news servers, common concerns are the continually increasing storage and network capacity requirements and their effects. ...


Newsreader clients

Newsgroups are typically accessed with special client software that connects to a news server. With the rise of the world wide web, web front-ends have sometimes been used to access newsgroups via the aforementioned news-to-web gateways. However, these gateways often provide limited features, and for that reason using a local client is still regarded as the best way to access newsgroups. WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ... In their most general meanings, the terms front end and back end refer to the initial and the end stages of a process flow. ...


Newsreader clients are available for all major operating systems and come in all shapes and sizes. Mail clients or "communication suites" also now commonly have an integrated newsreader. Often, however, these integrated clients are of low quality, e.g. incorrectly implementing Usenet protocols, standards and conventions. Many of these integrated clients, for example the one in Microsoft's Outlook Express, are disliked by purists because of their misbehavior.[3] A news client, or news reader, is an application program that reads articles on Usenet (generally known as newsgroup), either directly from a news servers disks or via the Network News Transfer Protocol. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... For the personal information manager included in the Microsoft Office suite, see Microsoft Outlook. ...


Moderated and unmoderated newsgroups

A minority of newsgroups are moderated. That means that messages submitted by readers are not distributed to Usenet, but instead are emailed to the moderators of the newsgroup, for approval. Moderated newsgroups have rules called charters. Moderators are persons whose job is to ensure that messages that the readers see in newsgroups conform to the charter of the newsgroup. Typically, moderators are appointed in the proposal for the newsgroup, and changes of moderators follow a succession plan.


The job of the moderator is to receive submitted articles, review them, and inject approved articles so that they can be properly propagated worldwide. Such articles must bear the Approved: header line.


Unmoderated newsgroups form the majority of Usenet newsgroups, and messages submitted by readers for unmoderated newsgroups are immediately propagated for everyone to see.


Creation of moderated newsgroups often becomes a hot subject of controversy, raising issues regarding censorship and the desire of a subset of users to form an intentional community. An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to promote a much higher degree of social interaction than other communities. ...


Technical details

Usenet is a set of protocols for generating, storing and retrieving news "articles" (which resemble Internet mail messages) and for exchanging them among a readership which is potentially widely distributed. These protocols most commonly use a flooding algorithm which propagates copies throughout a network of participating servers. Whenever a message reaches a server, that server forwards the message to all its network neighbors that haven't yet seen the article. Only one copy of a message is stored per server, and each server makes it available on demand to the (typically local) readers able to access that server. Usenet was thus one of the first peer-to-peer applications, although in this case the "peers" are themselves servers that the users then access, rather than the users themselves being peers on the network. flooding algorithm flooding algorithm with ack messages A flooding algorithm is an algorithm for distributing material to every part of a connected network. ... A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. ...


RFC 850 was the first formal specification of the messages exchanged by Usenet servers. It was superseded by RFC 1036.


One difference between Usenet and newer peer-to-peer applications is that one can request the automated removal of a posting from the whole network by creating a cancel message, although due to a lack of authentication and resultant abuse, this capability is frequently disabled. Copyright holders may still request the manual deletion of infringing material using the provisions of World Intellectual Property Organization treaty implementations, such as the U.S. Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act. A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. ... The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (French: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle or OMPI) is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA), a portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act known as DMCA 512 or the DMCA takedown provisions, is a 1998 United States federal law that provided a safe harbor to online service providers (OSPs, including internet service providers) that promptly take down...


On the Internet, Usenet is typically on TCP Port 119. It has been suggested that TCP and UDP port be merged into this article or section. ...


Organization

The major set of worldwide newsgroups is contained within nine hierarchies, eight of which are operated under consensual guidelines that govern their administration and naming. The current "Big Eight" are: The Big 7 (later the Big 8) are a group of newsgroup hierarchies established after the Great Renaming, a restructuring of Usenet that took place in 1987. ...

  • comp.*: computer-related discussions (comp.software, comp.sys.amiga)
  • humanities.*: Fine arts, literature, and philosophy (humanities.classics, humanities.design.misc)
  • misc.*: Miscellaneous topics (misc.education, misc.forsale, misc.kids)
  • news.*: Discussions and announcements about news (meaning Usenet, not current events) (news.groups, news.admin)
  • rec.*: Recreation and entertainment (rec.music, rec.arts.movies)
  • sci.*: Science related discussions (sci.psychology, sci.research)
  • soc.*: Social discussions (soc.college.org, soc.culture.african)
  • talk.*: Talk about various controversial topics (talk.religion, talk.politics, talk.origins)

(Note: the asterisks are used as wildmat patterns, examples follow in parentheses) Fine art is a term used to refer to fields traditionally considered to be artistic. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... talk. ... wildmat is a pattern matching library developed by Rich Salz. ...


See also the Great Renaming. The Great Renaming was a restructuring of Usenet newsgroups that took place in 1987. ...


The alt.* hierarchy is not subject to the procedures controlling groups in the Big Eight, and it is as a result less organized. However, groups in the alt.* hierarchy tend to be more specialized or specific—for example, there might be a newsgroup under the Big Eight which contains discussions about children's books, but a group in the alt hierarchy may be dedicated to one specific author of children's books. Binaries are posted in alt.binaries.*, making it the largest of all the hierarchies. The hierarchy is a major class of newsgroups in Usenet, containing all newsgroups whose name begins with , organized hierarchically. ... Computer files can be divided into two broad categories: binary and text. ...


Many other hierarchies of newsgroups are distributed alongside these. Regional and language-specific hierarchies such as japan.*, malta.* and ne.* serve specific regions such as Japan, Malta and New England. Companies such as Microsoft administer their own hierarchies to discuss their products and offer community technical support. Some users prefer to use the term "Usenet" to refer only to the Big Eight hierarchies; others include alt as well. The more general term "netnews" incorporates the entire medium, including private organizational news systems. This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ...


Binary content

Usenet was originally created to distribute text content encoded in the 7-bit ASCII character set. With the help of programs that encode 8-bit values into ASCII, it became practical to distribute binary files content. Binary posts, due to their size and dubious copyright status, were in time restricted to specific newsgroups, making it easier for administrators to allow or disallow the traffic. This article is about the unit of information. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... A Hexdump of a JPEG image. ...


The oldest widely used encoding method is uuencode, from the Unix uucp package. In the late 1980s Usenet articles were often limited to 60,000 characters, and larger hard limits exist today. Files are therefore commonly split into sections that require reassembly by the reader. Uuencode is a form of ASCII armor that originated as a Unix program for encoding binary data for transmission over the uucp mail system. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®) is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... UUCP stands for Unix to Unix CoPy. ...


With the header extensions and the Base64 and Quoted-Printable MIME encodings, there was a new generation of binary transport. In practice, MIME has seen increased adoption in text messages, but it is avoided for most binary attachments. Some operating systems with metadata attached to files use specialized encoding formats. For Mac OS, both Binhex and special MIME types are used. It has been suggested that Radix-64 be merged into this article or section. ... Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet Standard that extends the format of e-mail to support: text in character sets other than US-ASCII; non-text attachments; multi-part message bodies; and header information in non-ASCII character sets. ... Metadata is data about data. ... BinHex, short for binary-to-hexadecimal, is an ASCII armoring system that was used on the Mac OS for sending binary files through E-mail. ...


Other lesser known encoding systems that may have been used at one time were BTOA, XX encoding, BOO, and USR encoding. Xxencode is an obsolete binary to text encoding similar to Uuencode which uses only the alphanumeric characters, and the plus and minus signs. ...


In an attempt to reduce file transfer times, an informal file encoding known as yEnc was introduced in 2001. It achieves about a 30% reduction in data transferred by assuming that most 8-bit characters can safely be transferred across the network without first encoding into the 7-bit ASCII space. yEnc is a binary to text encoding for transferring binary files on the Usenet or via e-mail. ...


The standard method of uploading binary content to Usenet is to first archive the files into RAR archives (for large files usually in 20 MB or 50 MB parts) then create Parchive files. Parity files are used to recreate missing data. This is needed often, as not every part of the files reach a server. These are all then encoded into yEnc and uploaded to the selected binary groups. REDIRECT RAR (file format) ... Parchive (or parity volume set archive) is an error-correction system that can be applied to a collection of files to allow recovery when one or more of the files is lost. ...


History

  UUCP/USENET Logical Map — June 1, 1981 / mods by S. McGeady 11/19/81 (ucbvax) +=+===================================+==+ | | | | | | wivax | | | | | | | | | microsoft| uiucdcs | | | | genradbo | | | | | | (Tektronix) | | | | | | | purdue | | | decvax+===+=+====+=+=+ | | | | | | | | | | | pur-phy | | tekmdp | | | | | | | | | | | +@@@@@@cca | | | | | | | | | | | | | +=pur-ee=+=+=====+===+ | | | csin | | | | | | | | +==o===+===================+==+========+=======+====teklabs=+ | | | | | | | pdp phs grumpy wolfvax | | | | | | | | | | | cincy unc=+===+======+========+ | | | | bio | | | | | (Misc) | | (Misc) | | | | sii reed | dukgeri duke34 utzoo | | | | | | | | | | | | +====+=+=+==+====++======+==++===duke=+===+=======+==+=========+ | | | | | | | | | | | u1100s | bmd70 ucf-cs ucf | andiron | | | | | | | | | | | | | red | | | | | pyuxh | | | | zeppo | | | | | psupdp---psuvax | | | | | | | | | | | alice | whuxlb | utah-cs | | houxf | allegra | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +--chico---+ | +===+=mhtsa====research | /=+=======harpo=+==+ | | | | | | | | / | | | | hocsr | | +=+=============+=/ cbosg---+ | | | ucbopt | | | | | esquire | | : | | | cbosgd | | | : | | | | | | ucbcory | | eagle==+=====+=====+=====+=====+ | | | : | | | | | | | | | +-uwvax--+ | : | | | mhuxa mhuxh mhuxj mhuxm mhuxv | | | : | | | | | | : | | | +----------------------------o--+ | : | | | | | | ucbcad | | | ihpss mh135a | | : | | | | | | | : --o--o------ihnss----vax135----cornell | | : | | | | | +=+==ucbvax==========+===+==+=+======+=======+=+========+=========+ (UCB) : | | | | (Silicon Valley) ucbarpa cmevax | | menlo70--hao : | | | | ucbonyx | | | sri-unix | ucsfcgl | | | | Legend: | | sytek====+========+ ---- | | | | - | /  + = Uucp sdcsvax=+=======+=+======+ intelqa zehntel = "Bus" | | | o jumps sdcarl phonlab sdcattb : Berknet @ Arpanet  

Original by Steven McGeady, Copied with permission from The Usenet Oldnews Archive: Compilation [2] Steven McGeady is a former Intel executive best known as a witness in the Microsoft Antitrust Trial. ...

Copyright© 1981, 1996 Bruce Jones, Henry Spencer, David Wiseman

Newsgroup experiments first occurred in 1979. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis of Duke University came up with the idea as a replacement for a local announcement program, and established a link with nearby University of North Carolina using Bourne shell scripts written by Steve Bellovin. The public release of news was in the form of conventional compiled software, written by Steve Daniel and Truscott. Tom Truscott is a computer scientist best known for creating Usenet with Jim Ellis, when both were graduate students at Duke University. ... Jim Ellis (c. ... Duke University is a private coeducational research university located in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. ... The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public, coeducational, research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. ... The Bourne shell, or sh, was the default Unix shell of Unix Version 7, and replaced the Thompson shell, whose executable file had the same name, sh. ... Steven M. Bellovin is a researcher on networks, security and why the two dont get along. ... A News, originally known simply as news, was the first widely distributed program for serving and reading Usenet newsgroups. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ...


UUCP networks spread quickly due to the lower costs involved, and the ability to use existing leased lines, X.25 links or even ARPANET connections. By 1983 the number of UUCP hosts had grown to 550, nearly doubling to 940 in 1984. X.25 is an ITU-T standard protocol suite for wide area networks using leased lines, the phone or ISDN system as the networking hardware. ... ARPANET logical map, March 1977. ...


As the mesh of UUCP hosts rapidly expanded, it became desirable to distinguish the Usenet subset from the overall network. A vote was taken at the 1982 USENIX conference to choose a new name. The name Usenet was retained, but it was established that it only applied to news.[4] The name UUCPNET became the common name for the overall network.


In addition to UUCP, early Usenet traffic was also exchanged with Fidonet and other dial-up BBS networks. Widespread use of Usenet by the BBS community was facilitated by the introduction of UUCP feeds made possible by MS-DOS implementations of UUCP such as UFGATE (UUCP to FidoNet Gateway), FSUUCP and UUPC. The Network News Transfer Protocol, or NNTP, was introduced in 1985 to distribute Usenet articles over TCP/IP as a more flexible alternative to informal Internet transfers of UUCP traffic. Since the Internet boom of the 1990s, almost all Usenet distribution is over NNTP, rendering obsolete the earlier dictum that "Usenet is not the Internet." The FidoNet logo FidoNet is a worldwide computer network that is used for communication between bulletin board systems. ... Ward Christensen and the computer that ran one of the first public Bulletin Board Systems, CBBS from BBS: The Documentary “BBS” redirects here. ... UUCP stands for Unix to Unix CoPy. ... The Network News Transfer Protocol or NNTP is an Internet application protocol used primarily for reading and posting Usenet articles, as well as transferring news among news servers. ... It has been suggested that Internet Protocols be merged into this article or section. ...


Early versions of Usenet used Duke's A News software. At Berkeley an improved version called B News was produced by Matt Glickman and Mark Horton. With a message format that offered compatibility with Internet mail and improved performance, it became the dominant server software. C News, developed by Geoff Collyer and Henry Spencer at the University of Toronto, was comparable to B News in features but offered considerably faster processing. In the early 1990s, InterNetNews by Rich Salz was developed to take advantage of the continuous message flow made possible by NNTP versus the batched store-and-forward design of UUCP. Since that time INN development has continued, and other news server software has also been developed. A News, originally known simply as news, was the first widely distributed program for serving and reading Usenet newsgroups. ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ... B News was a Usenet news server developed at the University of California, Berkeley by Matt Glickman and Mark Horton as a replacement for A News. ... Mary Ann Horton, formerly Mark R. Horton, was a Usenet pioneer. ... C News is a news server package, written by Geoff Collyer, assisted by Henry Spencer, at the University of Toronto as a replacement for B News. ... Geoff Collyer is a Canadian computer scientist. ... Henry Spencer is a co-author of C News and The Ten Commandments for C Programmers. ... The University of Toronto (U of T) is a coeducational public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... InterNetNews (INN) is a Usenet news server package, originally released by Rich Salz in 1991 and presented at the Summer 1992 USENIX conference in San Antonio, Texas. ... Rich Salz is currently Chief Security Officer of Datapower, which was recently acquired by IBM. He has made numerous contributions to recent work on XML and SOAP specifications, particularly involving security. ... InterNetNews (INN) is a Usenet news server package, originally released by Rich Salz in 1991 and presented at the Summer 1992 USENIX conference in San Antonio, Texas. ...


Usenet was the initial Internet community and the place for many of the most important public developments in the commercial Internet. It was the place where Tim Berners-Lee announced the launch of the World Wide Web[5], where Linus Torvalds announced the Linux project[6], and where Marc Andreesen announced the creation of the Mosaic browser and the introduction of the image tag,[7] which revolutionized the World Wide Web by turning it into a graphical medium. Sir Tim Berners-Lee Sir Tim (Timothy John) Berners-Lee, KBE (TimBL or TBL) (b. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ... Linus Benedict Torvalds  ; born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland, is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. ... Linux (IPA pronunciation: ) is a Unix-like computer operating system. ... Marc Andreessen (born July 9, 1971) is the chair of Opsware, a software company. ... Mosaic is a web browser (client) for the World Wide Web written at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). ...


Web-based archiving of Usenet posts began in 1995 at Deja News with a very large, searchable database. In 2001, this database was acquired by Google. The Deja News logo as it appeared in 1997. ... Google Inc. ...


AOL announced that it would discontinue its integrated Usenet service in early 2005, citing the growing popularity of weblogs, chat forums and on-line conferencing. The AOL community had a tremendous role in popularizing the Usenet some 11 years earlier, with all of its positive and negative aspects. This change marked the end of the legendary Eternal September. Others, however, feel that Google Groups, especially with its new user interface, has picked up the torch that AOL has dropped—and that Eternal September has yet to end. It has been suggested that AOL search data scandal be merged into this article or section. ... Eternal September (also Great September, September that never ended, perpetual September, or endless September) is a Usenet slang expressions for the period of time beginning September 1993. ...


Over time, the amount of Usenet traffic has steadily increased. It is important to note, however, that much of this traffic increase reflects not an increase in discrete users or newsgroup discussions, but instead the combination of massive automated spamming and an increase in the use of .binaries newsgroups in which large files (frequently pornography or pirated media) are often posted publicly. A small sampling of the change (measured in feed size per day) follows:

Daily Volume Date Source
4.5 GB 1996-12 Altopia.com
9 GB 1997-07 Altopia.com
12 GB 1998-01 Altopia.com
26 GB 1999-01 Altopia.com
82 GB 2000-01 Altopia.com
181 GB 2001-01 Altopia.com
257 GB 2002-01 Altopia.com
492 GB 2003-01 Altopia.com
969 GB 2004-01 Altopia.com
1.30 TB 2004-09-30 Octanews.net
1.27 TB 2004-11-30 Octanews.net
1.38 TB 2004-12-31 Octanews.net
1.34 TB 2005-01-01 Octanews.net
1.30 TB 2005-01-01 Newsreader.com
1.67 TB 2005-01-31 Octanews.net
1.63 TB 2005-02-01 Newsreader.com
1.81 TB 2005-02-28 Octanews.net
1.87 TB 2005-03-08 Newsreader.com
2.00 TB 2005-03-11 Various sources
3.12 TB 2007-04-21 Usenetserver.com

A gigabyte (derived from the SI prefix giga-) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one billion (short scale) bytes or 230 bytes (1024 mebibytes)[1]. It is commonly abbreviated GB (not to be confused with Gb, which is used for gigabits). ... This article is about a measurement term for data storage capacity. ...

Internet jargon and history

Many terms now in common use on the Internet—so-called "jargon"—originated or were popularized on Usenet. Likewise, many conflicts which later spread to the rest of the Internet, such as the ongoing difficulties over spamming, began on Usenet. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A KMail folder of spam messages. ...


Archives and Web interfaces

Google Groups / DejaNews

Main article: Google Groups

Google Groups hosts an archive of Usenet posts dating back to May 1981. The archive was originally started by a company called DejaNews (later only Deja), purchased by Google in February 2001. A Usenet Timeline is provided in the Help section. Already during the DejaNews era the archive had become a popular constant in Usenet culture, and remains so today. Google Groups is a free groups and mailing list service from Google. ...


However, there are two main issues people have with Google Groups and similar services:

  1. Fear of loss of privacy. An archive simplifies ways to profile people. This has partly been countered with the introduction of the non-standard X-No-Archive: Yes header, which is itself seen as controversial.
  2. The web interface. (See the following section.)

Note that there are two distinct types of "Google Groups", namely traditional Usenet groups and Google internal groups that can only be accessed from Google. The Google user interface and documentation does not make the distinction clear, which is probably deliberate. To many people a "Google Group" is just a group accessible (only) via Google. X-No-Archive is a newsgroup message header used to prevent a Usenet message from being archived in various servers. ...


The syntax to view an article available on Google Groups by its Message-ID can be simplified to http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=without-angle-brackets@example.org
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=4zCix009Cv2acya@bionic35.bionic.zer.de
or to view the entire thread, use threadm= instead of selm=
http://groups.google.com/groups?threadm=4zCix009Cv2acya@bionic35.bionic.zer.de


Web interfaces

With the rising popularity of the World Wide Web, so have arisen many Web-to-Usenet gateways. These interfaces are seen as controversial by some Usenet users. Google Groups is usually cited as a prime example of what can go wrong with Web-to-Usenet gateways, since it is the most popular and largest such service. However, the criticism also applies to many other such gateways in principle. WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ...


Since February 2001 Google Groups has provided a web interface to Usenet newsgroups. It also allows the creation of mailing lists like Yahoo! Groups. In early 2007 Google Groups moved to a new "Web 2.0" interface with more icons, larger type and an America On-Line type interface. While seemingly deployed to improve the accessiblity of Usenet the new interface has been widely (indeed nearly universally) disparaged for both its reduced usability and its utility. A mailing list is a collection of names and addresses used by an individual or an organization to send material to multiple recipients. ... Yahoo! Groups Yahoo! Groups is a service from Yahoo! that provides electronic mailing lists. ...


One of many concerns that have been expressed about the Google interface is that novices may have difficulty realising that they are participating in a Usenet newsgroup rather than in a web forum hosted by Google. Google Groups is not very outspoken about the fact and doesn't make it very clear in the web interface that some of the groups at Google Groups are Usenet groups, while others are local Google-only groups. Gaia Online, the largest English language forum-based community as of April 2005 — powered by a modified version of phpBB. An Internet forum is a web application which provides for discussion, often in conjunction with online communities. ...


Other concerns are:

  • Web-to-Usenet gateways provide a service for e-mail spammers, since a spammer's web spider can now also extract e-mail addresses from Usenet postings without any additional effort. Before such gateways, an e-mail spammer would have to use a separate tool to gain access to a news feed (as Usenet spammers do). Since 2005, Google Groups tries to prevent e-mail address harvesting by scrambling the display of e-mail addresses on their web pages.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways often hide the fact from users that they are actually on Usenet, and that it would be a good idea to learn and follow Usenet customs and established rules. They further hide the fact that Usenet is still at its core a decentralized store-and-forward system and, therefore, articles do not simply appear "everywhere" once they have been posted. This typically leads to multiple posts with the same contents and/or expressed dissatisfaction about why there are no answers within minutes and/or why there are multiple answers which essentially say the same thing.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways often cut away or hide "overhead" information (e.g. header information like message IDs) or, even worse, signatures. This leaves Web-users puzzled about what people are talking about when they write things like "See my sig" or "See msgid ...".
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways typically provide fewer features than conventional News Reader software. For example, the ability to filter (users, subject lines, etc.), to sort threads in multiple ways, draft articles, etc., is typically missing.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways are often very badly policed. Post 2006, this is typical not only of such gateways, but also many feed providers. Abusive behavior from the Web-to-Usenet gateway users in some newsgroups is now legendary, and the operators have not yet mustered the will and/or resources to effectively keep a lid on abusive users. Automated complaint systems seldom result in any action.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways enable less technically savvy people to enter Usenet. These people tend to be less familiar with the Usenet system and Usenet etiquette, and can cause annoyance for other users.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways lower the entry barrier to Usenet. The slightly higher entry requirements, and the degree of obscurity Usenet possesses required users to have a higher level of knowledge and capability and as such tended to exclude those who were not at least mildly computer savvy, which in turn had the effect of tending to guarantee at least a minimum level of education, which in turn, overall, tended to ensure at least a minimum level of decency in behaviour. This is not an iron rule of course, but merely a tendency overall, which of course when applied to millions of people, had a profound effect on the overall culture of Usenet.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways often offer a searchable archive. One of the advantages of Usenet was that posters knew their material was only being read by the readership of their group and would, in a week or two, have disappeared forever. This particular type of semi-public, semi-private conversation was unusual and very useful.

On the positive side: See WebCrawler for the specific search engine of that name. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

  • Web-to-Usenet gateways lower the entry barrier to Usenet, making it easier for non-technical people to become involved.
  • Web-to-Usenet gateways often offer a searchable archive, making the vast amount of knowledge in Usenet more easily accessible.

See also

Internet Portal

Usenet terms

Usenet history

Image File history File links Portal. ... The backbone cabal was a group (or cabal) of large-site administrators who pushed through the Great Renaming and reined in the chaos of Usenet during most of the 1980s. ... The Breidbart Index, developed by Seth Breidbart [1], provides a measure of severity of newsgroup spam. ... FAQ is an abbreviation for Frequently Asked Question(s). The term refers to listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. ... Look up flaming in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the Internet meaning of the word flaming. For other meanings, and meanings of the word flame, see Flame. ... A flood is a Usenet term referring to a massive amount of posts in a single newsgroup in a short period of time. ... A FWAK — false wisdom and knowledge — is a bogus FAQ, generally written on the subject of a particular video game for the purpose of humor but sometimes also to deliberately mislead (and often both). ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-07-01, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Eternal September (also Great September, September that never ended, perpetual September, or endless September) is a Usenet slang expressions for the period of time beginning September 1993. ... A kill file (also killfile, bozo bin or twit list) is a per-user file used by some Usenet reading programs (originally Larry Walls rn) to discard summarily (without presenting for reading) articles matching some particularly uninteresting (or unwanted) patterns of subject, author, or other header lines. ... As of October of 2002, there are around 100,000 Usenet newsgroups, of which approximately a fifth are active. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Some Usenet newsreaders in the Unix world have tried to make it easier to find interesting postings and filter useless ones. ... Skitts law is an adage in Internet culture that originated on Usenet. ... A sock puppet, after which internet sock puppets are named. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A Do not feed the troll image In Internet terminology, a troll is someone who comes into an established community such as an online discussion forum, and posts inflammatory, rude, repetitive or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy or antagonize the existing members or disrupt the flow of discussion, including... There Is No Cabal is a catchphrase used on Usenet. ... On Usenet, the Usenet Death Penalty (or UDP) is a final penalty that may be issued against Internet service providers or single users who produce too much spam. ... A Usenet cabal is a supposedly mythical organisation which apparently moderated all groups and generally controlled the whole of Usenet newsgroup traffic; any direct mention of them is generally followed by the abbreviation TINC - There Is No Cabal. ... In Kibology, wackyparsing is the practice of misreading text to humorous effect (perhaps deliberately), especially in line with traditional absurdist Kibological humor. ... X-No-Archive is a newsgroup message header used to prevent a Usenet message from being archived in various servers. ... alt. ... alt. ... alt. ... Cindys Torment, a graphic sex story published in Spring of 1990 on Usenet, led to an early example of censorship in cyberspace. ... Eternal September (also Great September, September that never ended, perpetual September, or endless September) is a Usenet slang expressions for the period of time beginning September 1993. ... Gregory K. Deeter is a stamp collector in Houston, Texas. ... The Great Renaming was a restructuring of Usenet newsgroups that took place in 1987. ... LNH logo designed by Wil Alambre. ... The Meow Wars is often considered one of the largest Usenet flame wars of all time. ... rec. ... The newsgroup vote took place in February of 1996. ... Scientology versus the Internet is a colloquial term for a long-running online dispute between the Church of Scientology and a number of the Churchs online critics. ... Serdar Argic was the alias used in one of the first automated newsgroup spam incidents on Usenet, with the objective of denying the Armenian Genocide. ...

Usenet administrators

There are no Usenet "administrators" per se; each server administrator is free to do whatever pleases him or her as long as the users and peers tolerate and accept it. Nevertheless, there are a few famous administrators:

Chris Lewis is a Canadian expert on Usenet and spam. ... Eugene H. Spafford (born 1956) (known colloquially as Spaf) is a professor of computer science at Purdue University and a leading computer security expert. ... Henry Spencer is a co-author of C News and The Ten Commandments for C Programmers. ... Mary Ann Horton, formerly Mark R. Horton, was a Usenet pioneer. ... Kai Puolamäki is a Finnish physicist and Internet activist. ...

Usenet personalities

Main article: Notable Usenet personalities

A Usenet personality is an individual who has gained a certain level of notoriety from posting on Usenet. ...

References

  1. ^ Schwartz, Randal (2006-06-15). Web 2.0, Meet Usenet 1.0. Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  2. ^ Kleiner, Dmytri; Wyrick, Brian (2007-01-29). InfoEnclosure 2.0. Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  3. ^ Jain, Dominik (2006-07-30). OE-QuoteFix Description. Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  4. ^ Horton, Mark (1990-12-11). Arachnet. Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  5. ^ Tim Berners-Lee (1991-08-06). "WorldWideWeb: Summary". alt.hypertext. (Google Groups). Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  6. ^ "What would you like to see most in minix?". comp.os.minix. (Google Groups). Retrieved on 2006-09-09.
  7. ^ Marc Andreessen (1993-03-15). "NCSA Mosaic for X 0.10 available.". comp.infosystems.wais, comp.infosystems, alt.hypertext, comp.windows.x comp.infosystems.gopher, comp.infosystems.wais, comp.infosystems, alt.hypertext, comp.windows.x. (Google Groups). Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
  • This article is partly based on the infoAnarchy [3] wiki.

Randal L. Schwartz Randal L. Schwartz (born November 22, 1961) is an American author, system administrator and programming consultant. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 166th day of the year (167th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 211th day of the year (212th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... December 11 is the 345th day of the year (346th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 218th day of the year (219th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

  • Stephen Daniel, James Ellis, and Tom Truscott (1980). USENET - A General Access UNIX® Network. (inside archive as usenet/uprop.n)
  • Bruce Jones, archiver (1997). USENET History mailing list archive covering 1990-1997.
  • Michael Hauben, Ronda Hauben, and Thomas Truscott (1997-04-27). Netizens : On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet (Perspectives). Wiley-IEEE Computer Society P. ISBN 0-8186-7706-6. 
  • Bryan Pfaffenberger (1994-12-31). The USENET Book: Finding, Using, and Surviving Newsgroups on the Internet. Addison Wesley. ISBN 0-201-40978-X. 
  • Kate Gregory, Jim Mann, Tim Parker, and Noel Estabrook (June 1995). Using Usenet Newsgroups. Que. ISBN 0-7897-0134-0. 
  • Mark Harrison (July 1995). The USENET Handbook (Nutshell Handbook). O'Reilly. ISBN 1-56592-101-1. 
  • Henry Spencer, David Lawrence (January 1998). Managing Usenet. O'Reilly. ISBN 1-56592-198-4. 
  • Don Rittner (June 1997). Rittner's Field Guide to Usenet. MNS Publishing. ISBN 0-937666-50-5. 
  • Konstan, J., Miller, B., Maltz, D., Herlocker, J., Gordon, L., and Riedl, J. (March 1997). "GroupLens: applying collaborative filtering to Usenet news". Communications of the ACM 40 (3): 77–87. DOI:10.1145/245108.245126. 
  • Miller, B., Riedl, J., and Konstan, J. (January 1997). "Experiences with GroupLens: Making Usenet useful again". Proceedings of the 1997 Usenix Winter Technical Conference. 
  • 20 Year Usenet Timeline. Google. Retrieved on 2006-06-27.
  • Web 2.0, Meet Usenet 1.0. Linux Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-02-13.

Year 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar). ... April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... June 27 is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Usenet information, software, and service providers at the Open Directory Project
  • IETF working group USEFOR (USEnet article FORmat)
  • son-of-1036 (287 KB, historical RFC 1036 bis draft)
  • Netscan Social Accounting Reporting Tool
  • Living Internet A comprehensive history of the internet, including Usenet.
  • Usenet Freedom Fighters Exclusive Usenet-related news and information.
  • Usenet Newsgroup Annotated list of Usenet newsgroups with descriptions.
  • Usenet Newsgroups Browsable image and video binary newsgroups.
  • Usenet servers at the Open Directory Project
  • Public News Servers at the Open Directory Project
  • binaryfeeds.com Daily list of Public News Servers
  • OurNewsGroup.org A wiki for participants in active Usenet newsgroups.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Usenet note: Technology, Practice, Statistics (2321 words)
Usenet participants use newsreader software to read and post email-like messages (often characterised as 'articles) to a number of distributed newsgroups.
Usenet groups can be 'unmoderated' (ie any participant one can post) or 'moderated' (posts are automatically directed to a moderator who edits or filters and then posts the results).
Usenet could grow to provide a forum through which people influence their governments, allowing for the discussion and debate of issues in a mode that facilitates mass participation.
Usenet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3301 words)
Usenet is of significant cultural importance in the networked world, having given rise to, or popularized, many widely recognized concepts and terms such as "FAQ" and "spam".
Usenet was thus one of the first peer-to-peer applications, although in this case the "peers" are themselves servers that the users then access, rather than the users themselves being peers on the network.
One difference between Usenet and newer peer-to-peer applications is that one can request the automated removal of a posting from the whole network by creating a cancel message, although due to a lack of authentication and resultant abuse, this capability is frequently disabled.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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