The NewsDemon Blog

What Is Dr. Watson’s Contribution To Cancer Research?

March 27th, 2012

According to USENET newsgroups, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is gathering a working resume that any oncologist would envy. In its latest project, the supercomputer will be used to to assist Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center physicians in diagnosing and treating patients.

When Big Blue debuted its lively computer on Jeopardy! last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before its abilities were used in the real world. And that starts with the hospital, apparently.

Watson can understand natural English and also process about 1 million books per second. With this enormous power, he was able to beat two of the all-time top players on Jeopardy!

Cancer treatment has become a lot more complicated over the last several years, and new methods of treatment are being invented all the time. Most physicians can’t keep up with everything, and it can take years for new treatments to become currrent. On top of that, few patients (Sloan Kettering says only about 15 percent) make it to specialized cancer centers in the first place.

With intelligent databases — and the computers to help sift through them — the hope is that technology can help disperse the most advanced knowledge available, without the patient skipping from specialist to specialist.


MTV Turns 30 Years Old Today

August 1st, 2011

MTV turned 30 years old today, marking three decades of entertainment geared towards young people and music lovers—although the network hasn’t exactly devoted much time to music lately.

Born in the eighties, MTV began as a network dedicated to airing music videos and has since developed into a network showing a variety of different programs including several reality television shows. Almost as old as USENET which was first founded in the late seventies, has also evolved throughout its three decades-long existence.

Newsgroups in the eighties and early nineties discussed MTV during the network’s heyday at the forefront of the music video era, and today you’ll find several newsgroups dedicated to music and music videos. Given that today marks MTV’s 30th birthday, you’ll probably find some users getting a little nostalgic about the network’s past, as well as those discussing what it’s become today on a variety of music related newsgroups.

Usenet has always been a place where users could share and discuss their favorite hobbies, and given MTV’s popularity in Usenet’s early days, it was a hot topic at times. Today Usenet has grown into a vast network of users from across the globe discussing all kinds of subjects, but music remains a favorite topic of discussion for many, and will continue as such into the future.


Online Access Will Explode By 2015

June 1st, 2011

Online usage, including USENET, is growing so rapidly that just its incremental, one-year growth between 2014 and 2015 will be equal to all the online traffic recorded worldwide last year.

A report from Cisco predicts that the total amount of global Internet traffic will quadruple between 2010 and 2015 and reach 966 exabytes per year (equal to 966 billion gigabytes). That’s nearly a fully zettabyte.

An exabyte is equal to one quintillion bytes. In 2004, global monthly internet traffic passed one exabyte for the first time.

The projected increase in Internet traffic between 2014 and 2015 alone is 200 exabytes, which is greater than the total amount of Internet Protocol traffic generated globally in 2010.

Those are just some of the mind-blowing statistics released Wednesday in Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index, a comprehensive view and forecast of the data trends shaping the Internet.

The company, in its fifth annual Visual Networking Index forecast, also said that the number of network-connected devices by 2015 will reach more than 15 billion, or about twice the world’s population.

On an hourly basis, the amount of data consumed will equal the contents of 28 million DVDs. The increase of 200 exabytes between 2014 and 2015 is by itself more than all the data consumed in 2010. Cisco predicts the proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machines will drive this growth.

In 2010, PCs generated 97% of consumer online traffic, however this is predicted to fall to 87% by 2015, as consumers continue to adopt devices such as tablets, smart phones and Connected TVs for online access. Accessing the Internet on Web-enabled TVs is continuing to grow, according to Cisco, which predicts that by 2015, 10% of global consumer Internet traffic and 18% of Internet video traffic will be consumed via TVs.

Newsgroups report that Cisco also said that by 2015, about 40 percent of the world’s population will be online.

The biggest problem with the forecasts is that they appear to fall into the inferential statistics trap. Put simply, this means looking at a historical trend and assuming that it will continue to grow in the future, without taking into account limitations on that trend. In this situation, the limit is that the new Internet users are most likely to be in locations where for either economic or geographic reasons; maximum speeds are considerably lower than today’s average.

While not addressed in Cisco’s report, the numbers are further cause for concern for arbitrary data caps with overage fees. According to Cisco, the average fixed broadband speed in 2015 will reach 28Mbps, up from 7Mbps in 2010. What good will all that speed be if ISPs continue to clamp down on the amount of content users are able to consume every month?




USENET Access Speeds On The Rise Worldwide

April 26th, 2011

Connections to USENET newsgroups are on the rise with faster connections reported worldwide. According to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report, global broadband adoption and speeds continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2010. Asia continues to dominate the list of the fastest countries, but the U.S. is also showing improvement.

The technology newsgroups report, the data was collected from hundreds of millions of connections made to 84,000 Akamai Internet Platform servers in 72 countries every quarter, shows that the average connection speed in the U.S was 5.1 Mb/s, which was up about 9.2 percent from the same period in 2009. Also, more than 75 percent of U.S. connections to Akamai during the quarter were above 2 Mb/s.

Some of the highlights and figures from the report include:

  • Taegu, South Korea ranked as city with fastest connection speed across the globe
  • Russia was source of largest percentage of observed attack traffic in fourth quarter, 2010
  • Average connection speeds increased in 162 countries year over year
  • Average connection speeds on surveyed mobile networks fastest in Greece


In the fourth quarter of 2010, the report’s analysis of the top 100 fastest cities around the world, based on average connection speeds, reflected the following:

  • Cities in Asia dominate the list, which includes 60 cities in Japan and 16 cities in South Korea
  • Constanta, Romania remained the fastest city in Europe (#56 out of 100)
  • Only 8 U.S. cities made the list. The state with the fastest average connection was Delaware at 7.2 Mb/s, and the U.S. city with the fastest average broadband connections was Riverside, Calif., at 7.58 Mb/s.


Because Akamai’s numbers are derived from a vastly deployed platform, they have been viewed as a trusted source for speed data, a much-debated aspect of the broadband reform discussion. Overall, Akamai reports that the UK showed a 9% quarterly increase on the highest recorded broadband connection speed at 16.1Mbps (30th in the world rankings). Akamai’s report shows that 22% of broadband connection speeds were above 5Mbps, ranking the UK 28th globally. Newsgroups offers its members blazing fast connections to USENET newsgroups that usually cap many speeds available by their ISP. With constant upgrades to our multiple server locations to many of the countries fastest growing connections, Newsgroups continue to be a leader in providing the fastest connections for browsing and accessing newsgroups.


Top 10 Golden Rules of USENET

April 6th, 2011 Newsgroups celebrates the diversity of our newsgroups subscribers and the longevity of the thousands of newsgroups that exist on USENET today. In order to facilitate a better USENET experience, there are some rules of USENET that should be considered. Below are 10 of the most important USENET newsgroup rules to abide by.

Thou Shall Not Spam

USENET newsgroup subscribers are pretty crafty. Intelligent too. Spamming newsgroups with products, services or any other material that is both unrelated and unsupportive of any particular newsgroup is greatly shunned upon. Respect the newsgroups you subscribe to and chances are you’ll receive equal respect. By spamming newsgroups, you’ll quickly be dismissed by other subscribers and other penalties can be given, including losing your membership to USENET by the access provider.

Thou Shall Not Troll

A “troll” is someone who deliberately posts a message to cause disruption, argues or otherwise harasses another for either self promotion or to disrespect fellow newsgroup subscribers. It is important to note that this type of behavior is greatly discouraged and should not be engaged at any point in time.

Thou Shall Not Provide Personal Information

Newsgroups are a great place for discussion on a number of topics. As they are one of the oldest and largest community driven portals online, it’s common for them to foster friendships and even trust. However, as a rule of thumb, it’s advised to never divulge any personal information you would not want the world to know. As most USENET newsgroups allow public access, your information may be used in ways that you would not intentionally want to be used against you. Although Newsgroups employs secure, 256 BIT SSL connections for secure connections, what you post on newsgroups do not offer the same protection. Therefore, restrain from posting information such as personal financials, residence or other private information to insure your security online.

Thou Shall Not Post Off Topic

The thousands of newsgroups available cater to just about every topic imaginable. Because of this, posting material of any kind that is not relative or on topic to the newsgroup should simply not be done. Off topic messages, especially nowadays, are simply ignored and can also be considered spam. When considering posting a message to a newsgroup, be considerate and take the time to be sure that the newsgroup you are posting to is relative to the material. Newsgroups offers an extensive directory of newsgroups that can help you on your way.

Thou Shall Not Write In Caps

DO NOT POST IN ALL CAPS WHEN POSTING TO NEWSGROUPS. Newsgroup subscribers and newsgroups themselves consider this a negative practice and should be refrained upon.


Thou Shall Not Cross-Post


With the thousands of newsgroups available, there are some that are very similar to others. Because of this, in some cases, newsgroup subscribers find the material they want to post relative to a section of newsgroups versus just one. With most newsreaders nowadays, to cross-post to several newsgroups is easy and convenient. Although it may seem like a good idea, be weary. Cross-posting to several newsgroups automatically grow suspicion by subscribers and may flag the post as spam. Before cross-posting, read the FAQ for each newsgroup if available to check the spam policy and the rules of the particular newsgroup. Some newsgroups discourage cross-posting specifically. Try one newsgroup at a time for your material that is most relative. If you receive a positive response, or no response at all after a few days, then cautiously consider posting it again on another relative newsgroup. If you are new to cross-posting, this rule is imperative to make sure your reputation on these newsgroups is saved from subscribers flagging your posts as spam by the veteran subscribers which may result in your access termination.

Thou Shall Not Ignore The Newsgroup FAQ


Each important newsgroup usually entails a sometimes lengthy but all important rules of conduct for subscribers. By adhering to the rules of the newsgroup, a better sense of community is achieved and postings on that newsgroup follow an easy to read format allowing users to best utilize the newsgroup for the topic and content that are posted. It’s important to take a look at and examine the FAQ for each newsgroup you subscribe to and may consider posting to. General posts and replies are especially important in order to follow the certain guidelines that the FAQ sets forth in order to gain the response you are looking for. Most newsgroup communities follow these FAQ terms seriously and so should you.


Thou Shall Not Hijack


With the many threads and posts on newsgroups, it’s encouraged to engage the conversation with relative material. However, using the popularity of these posts to share information that is not relative to the material or to engage subscribers directly is discouraged. Do not use these posts to popularize, grab attention to or bring the subject away from the content of the conversation. Consider what you post and how relative it is to the ongoing messages. If it is questionable whether your material is relative, instead post a new topic of the material in order to gain a proper response.


Thou Shall Not Flood Newsgroups


Flooding newsgroups involves the act of consistently and continuously posting material on newsgroups by one individual.  Although there are rare instances where it may considered acceptable, flooding newsgroups with even the most relevant material for a particular newsgroup is not one that should be engaged. This is not an acceptable method of posting on most newsgroups and goes against the policies of the majority of newsgroups FAQ. Refrain from continuously posting the same or relevant information or material. Practice netiquette and allow for some time to pass before posting additional or relevant material from the time your initial post was made. This will allow users to review the content that you have posted and save you from a negative reputation on these USENET newsgroups as it may very well be considered spam.

Thou Shall Not Flame

Everyone has an opinion about something. With the thousands of subscribers on newsgroups, those opinions often times are not the same as others. The culture of newsgroups is to accept, discuss and share these differences of opinions respectfully with either like minded or those with contrasting points of view. It’s important in these newsgroups to respect others with other opinions and not engage in “Flame Wars“. Flame wars are heated arguments online that attack, belittle or otherwise disrespect other USENET newsgroup subscribers. There are strict penalties of engaging in Flame Wars and can result in permanent banning from these newsgroups and by your USENET access provider.


Following these rules of USENET will result in a better experience overall while engaging newsgroup subscribers and create a better community overall. Do you have any other rules that you feel that we’ve missed? Leave a comment below to have us add them along.