The NewsDemon Blog

40 Years of Usenet: The Online Milestones & Timeline

January 31st, 2020

 

What a long, strange trip it’s been. For 40 years, Usenet has brought together people all over the world. Creating communities, sharing ideas, interests, conversations and more. Without it, who knows what would have become of the internet we all know today?

 

Would Tim Berners-Lee (who was an active participant on Usenet) ever create the World Wide Web?  Larry Page was also part of Usenet groups, seeking answers to Java questions. Would he have been able to figure them out without Usenet to later create Google? Luckily, we pushed away those altered paths by the birth and sustaining resources Usenet newsgroups have been able to provide. And not just for individuals, but also as the foundation and framework for many other online platforms that have been created since (we’re looking at you, Reddit and Twitter) 

 

In celebration of the first 40 years, we’ve included a timeline of major milestones in the online world since Usenet has been released to the masses and the advancements…and sometimes a step back….we’ve taken throughout this historic journey.

 

 

1979

Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, graduate students at Duke University, conceived a computer network to link together those in the Unix community. They met and discussed their idea with other interested students, including Steve Bellovin, a graduate student at the neighboring University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once the program was functioning on their respective machines, Jim Ellis went to a meeting of what was then the academic Unix users group known as Usenix. This marks the origin  of USENET

 

1980

During the summer of 1980 at a Usenix meeting in Delaware, Usenet was first announced via handouts that were distributed at the conference that explained the technology and goals that Usenet could offer.

Usenet is launched

 

1991

On August 6, 1991 Tim Berners-Lee (while working at CERN in Switzerland) announced his idea for the WorldWideWeb on the usenet group alt.hypertext. The post was one of the most important steps in bringing the modern communication age into existence.

 

1993

The Eternal September (September that never ended). It refers to the time period when Usenet saw its heaviest influx of users and especially newbies, after AOL starting providing Usenet access to its users.

Also, the first Web browser, Mosaic (created by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications), is released. Mosaic later becomes Netscape which ultimately fails, but partially rises again within the soul of Firefox.. 

 

1994

SSL was developed by Netscape in order to secure communications between a client and server online.

TLS was actually based off of SSL 3.0, despite this, the two are not interchangeable.

Amazon is first launched. 

Forté Agent, one of the first and a highly popular usenet newsreaders, was conceived

 

1996

Many who have been kicked off of newsgroups for breaking Usenet rules find sanctuary in ICQ

 

 

1997

A little company called Netflix is launched with a business model that consists of DVD sales and rentals by mail.

The Usenet Death Penalty (UDP) is implemented to combat spam

 

1998

The birth of Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Google was founded. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is created to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks.

At the same time, a new version of accessing Newsgroups, named Usenet II was launched.

 

1999

Wireless technology called 802.11b, more commonly referred to as Wi-Fi, is standardized

Accessing Usenet newsgroups without an ethernet cable is now a thing.

 

2000

The dot-com bubble bursts. Web sites such as Yahoo! and eBay are hit by a large-scale denial of service attack, highlighting the vulnerability of the Internet. AOL merges with Time Warner

Deja.com sells its Usenet archive to Google

 

2001

Blackberry is the first internet cellphone with push email.

Google Groups is launched that provides a gateway to Usneet newsgoups via a shared user interface.

 

2004

In his dorm, Mark Zuckerberg launches a small social website named Facebook

Usenet still leads as the largest online community.

Thunderbird, a Mozilla Foundation product, is released and is a Usenet newsreader

 

2005

YouTube and Reddit are launched. Cat videos explode online.

Newsdemon is born

 

2006

Twitter is launched (#hashtagseverywhere). By the end of the year, the number of websites reaches 100 million.

Usenet reaches 7.54 Million Daily Posts

 

2007

First iPhone is released. Hulu was launched.

Access to over 1 billion newsgroup articles in over 100,000 newsgroups are available on Usenet

 

2008

Google index reaches one trillion URLs. Android Market is launched.

PC Magazine declares Usenet dead, later that year they announce they will stop printing their magazine.

Usenet traffic exceeds all previous years.

NZB is born. SABnzbd is first released.

 

2009

Tom Trustcott and Brad Templeton reflect on and celebrate the 30th anniversary of Usenet with NewsDemon

ARPANET turns 40

 

2010

Photo sharing evolves with the launch of Pinterest and Instagram. The first iPad is released.

Usenet achieves 5.42 TiB in daily volume

 

2011

First NZB newsreader is released for iOS and Android phones. Linux turns 20

Newsdemon reaches 1000 Days Binary Retention

 

2012

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which would have enacted broad new rules requiring internet service providers to police copyrighted content. The successful push to stop the bill, involving technology companies such as Google and nonprofit organizations including Wikipedia and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (where Brad Templeton is a chairman), is considered a victory for Usenet and sites such as YouTube that depend on user-generated content, as well as “fair use” online..

 

2016

Google unveils Google Assistant, a voice-activated personal assistant program, marking the entry of the Internet giant into the “smart” computerized assistant marketplace. Google joins Amazon’s Alexa, Siri from Apple, and Cortana from Microsoft.

 

2018

The Cambridge Analytica scandal rocks Facebbok and sees a mass exodus from its social platform.

Usenet users and newsgroup posts remain anonymous.

 

2019

The World Wide Web turns 30 Years Old

Newsdemon launches new website

 

2020

Usenet continues on, 40 years strong

 

 

NewsDemon Black Friday 2013 Special Extended

November 29th, 2013

NewsDemon Black Friday Special

Due to a heavy customer response, our servers were overloaded for the $4 Unlimited deal.  To accommodate any customers who may not have been able to participate,  we are launching the same deal for an extra hour!

Hurry and get in now on our Unlimited USENET deal which includes all of our feature-rich services NewsDemon.com Newsgroups provide.

 Unlimited Usenet Access Features

  • Unlimited Access to over 107k Newsgroups
  • Multiple Server Locations in the US and EU
  • Over 1932 Days of Binary Retention
  • Free News Rover Newsreader or a Discounted License to Newsbin
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • 50 Blazing Fast Simultaneous Connections
  • 256 BIT SSL Encrypted Connections

JOIN NOW

 

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Grand Prize Winner Announced

November 21st, 2013

Now at the end of our NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Holiday Giveaway, we’ve randomly picked our winner:
(drum roll please)
Congratulations to S. Nichols, our newest 500GB non-expiring block account member who has won our Grand Prize drawing!

S. Nichols will receive ALL FOUR of our prizes including a $50.00 Amazon Gift Certificate, a Google Chromecast, a Roku 3 Streaming Media Player and a free upgrade to 1 year of Ulimited Usenet plan.

Thank you to all that have entered! We received a great response and stay tuned as we have great news coming soon!

We hope everyone has a great holiday and enjoys their NewsDemon USENET access.

 

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Holiday Giveaway Part 2

November 21st, 2013

 

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is re-launching their Holiday Giveaway 2013 promotion.

After an overwhelmingly successful run, we’ve decided to continue the holiday giveaway for another week. Starting on November 21st through November 28th, we’re resetting the contest and continuing on the giveaways!

As an added bonus, we’re including all members that have signed up between November 13th through the 20th eligible for this contest as well.

Choose and sign-up for either a monthly account or a non-expiring block account by 11:59PM between November 21st through November 28th (as well as those that had previously signed up between the 13th through the 20th) and you’ll automatically be included to our daily drawing and for our Grand Prize drawing.

A lucky winner each day will win one of these great prizes (chosen at random):

Roku 3 – The Roku 3 delivers the best streaming services available, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Spotify and even your locally stored content all in HD.

Amazon Gift Certificate – With a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate, you can browse and purchase almost anything ranging from books, movies, music and more.

Chromecast – This digital media player plugs right into your HDTV and is able to stream music or video content directly from yur Android device (phone or tablet).

Free Upgrade to a 1 Year To Unlimited Usenet – We’ll upgrade your NewsDemon.com Usenet account to a 1 Year Unlimited Usenet account. If you purchased a block account, this would be a separate 1 year account. Save the block for later.

If you didn’t win on one of our daily giveaways, don’t fret! You’re still included in our Grand Prize drawing on November 28th.

Our Grand Prize winner will win ALL FOUR PRIZES! The random winner will be a new NewsDemon.com Member that signs up between November 21st through November 28th and has not already won one of our daily prizes.

We’ll be updating this blog and our Facebook and twitter accounts daily announcing our winners. Check back often.

What are you waiting for now? Go and sign up now to enter and “Good Luck” from the NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Team!

 

NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway 2013 Starts Now

November 13th, 2013

 

To start the holidays right, NewsDemon has launched its annual Holiday Giveaway!

The NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway 2013 begins today and is full of prizes that will be given away at random to a lucky new NewsDemon.com member each day for the next seven days. Beginning on November 13th, all new users will be automatically entered in to the contest. Choose and sign-up for either a monthly account or a non-expiring block account by 11:59PM between November 13th through November 20th and you’ll automatically be included to our daily drawing and for our Grand Prize drawing.

A lucky winner each day will win one of these great prizes (chosen at random):

Roku 3 – The Roku 3 delivers the best streaming services available, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Spotify and even your locally stored content all in HD.

Amazon Gift Certificate – With a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate, you can browse and purchase almost anything ranging from books, movies, music and more.

Chromecast – This digital media player plugs right into your HDTV and is able to stream music or video content directly from yur Android device (phone or tablet).

Free Upgrade to a 1 Year To Unlimited Usenet – We’ll upgrade your NewsDemon.com Usenet account to a 1 Year Unlimited Usenet account. If you purchased a block account, this would be a separate 1 year account. Save the block for later.

If you didn’t win on one of our daily giveaways, don’t fret! You’re still included in our Grand Prize drawing on November 20th.

Our Grand Prize winner will win ALL FOUR PRIZES! The random winner will be a new NewsDemon.com Member that signs up between November 13th through November 20th and has not already won one of our daily prizes.

We’ll be updating this blog and our fFcebook and twitter accounts daily announcing our winners. Check back often.

What are you waiting for now? Go and sign up now to enter and “Good Luck” from the NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Team!

 

USENET Finds The Force

December 12th, 2011

If confirmed next week, this will be the biggest news in the history of physics since the birth of the Theory of Relativity: USENET newsgroups report that CERN scientists may have already found evidence of the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. THE FORCE, Luke!

Newsgroups cite that a respected scientist from the Cern particle physics laboratory has reported that he expects to see “the first glimpse” of the Higgs boson next week.

That would be tomorrow, when two Large Hadron Collider teams would reveal the results of their research, highlighting ten candidates that show evidence of Higgs. Those ten candidates were found from the remains of about 350 trillion collisions using the ATLAS and CMS detectors.

What’s the Higgs boson?

According to most physicists, there’s a Higgs field that is everywhere. The elusive Higgs particle would be the carrier of that field, interacting with all the other particles, “sort of the way a Jedi knight in Star Wars is the carrier of the “force”, as National Geographic eloquently put it when the Large Hadron Collider was being built. Or like Obi Wan said, “the Force surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

Why is it important?

The Higgs boson is a pivotal part of the standard model of particle physics but nobody has ever found evidence of its existence. It’s one of the main reasons of why the Large Hadron Collider was built. Other than time travel and opening portals to alternate dimensions, that is.

The discovery of this particle is fundamental to our understanding of how the Universe works. So important that—according to the former theoretical physics lead at CERN, John Ellis—”we’ve been living with Higgs theory now for almost 50 years… it’s become our Holy Grail.” Ellis said the excitement among all scientist at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is very high. That may not sound impressive, given that Switzerland is the most boring country on Earth after Belgium, but if they call it the God Particle, you know it has to be important.

When would we get a photo of the God particle?

Not yet. Tomorrow’s data will not be confirmed until they are able to produce repeated evidence in future experiments. Scientists expect this to happen around next summer.

As Sergio Bertolucci—director of research at CERN—puts it: “It’s too early to say…I think we may get indications that are not consistent with its non-existence [but] we are on a good path to the discovery.”

 

Windows XP Turns 10 On USENET

October 25th, 2011

Windows XP officially turned 10 years old on USENET newsgroups on Tuesday. Microsoft introduced the software back in 2001, following development under the code name Whistler. It featured numerous enhancements compared to its most immediate predecessor, Windows 2000. XP introduced a streamlined, task-based user interface that allowed advanced users like USENET newsgroup subscribers to more quickly find their go-to applications and files through the Start Menu or lockable Taskbar.

Windows XP didn’t boast exciting new features or radical changes, but it was nonetheless a pivotal moment in Microsoft’s history. It was Microsoft‘s first mass-market operating system in the Windows NT family. It was also Microsoft’s first consumer operating system that offered true protected memory, preemptive multitasking, multiprocessor support, and multiuser security.

When it launched, Windows XP was brilliant. It looked cool and modern compared to Windows 95, 98 and – yikes! – Windows Me, and it introduced a whole bunch of important improvements.

Windows Explorer was overhauled, the system was made much more reliable, driver support was massively improved, ClearType improved legibility for incoming LCD displays, the networking was beefed up, security was tightened, the graphics system was improved… upgrading to XP especially for USENET newsgroup subscribers was a big deal.

By 2006, XP had reached a milestone of 400 million active copies, according to an IDC analyst. The successor Windows Vista was launched in January of 2006, but enthusiasts as well as the notebook segment held on to XP and widely rejected Vista. Microsoft announced the discontinuance of Windows XP several times, but delayed the end of retail sales until June 30, 2008. OEM distribution of XP ended on October 22, 2010. Extended support for XP users is still available until April 8, 2014.

Even if it is a decade old, Windows XP is far from being dead. Industry discussion groups on USENET suggests that Windows XP lost its OS market share leadership position to Windows 7 this month. Windows 7 has 40.41 percent of the market, while XP has fallen to 38.51 percent. This is still far more than Vista ever reached; Vista peaked at 23.60 percent in October of 2009. The new and revised Windows 8 is due out sometime early next year.

 

Large Reward to Define Large Internet

September 16th, 2011

Google wonders, ‘how expansive is the world wide web?‘ They’re giving a $1 million grant to a group to answer just that question.

Founded by Tim Berners-Lee, who actually created the Internet and first announced it on USENET newsgroups, the World Wide Web Foundation is the recipient of the grant which will involve a compiling the World Wide Web Index. This will be a ‘multi-dimensional measure of the Web and its impact on people and nations’.

The group’s study will be revealed as a series of annual reports and will hopefully help improve the impact that the web has on the human race. This could help to settle theories regarding the web’s influence around the world, and may help answer the question of whether a nation’s investment in internet infrastructure really helps grow the gross domestic product (GDP) of that nation.

The study is expected to be a useful resource as policy makers and investors analyze the web’s impact, which will allow them to make better decisions and form more effective strategies for investment and growth. It’s expected that the first edition of the World Wide Web Index will be released early next year.

Meanwhile, regardless of how many pages are currently on the internet, Nielsen has found that time spent on social media and blogs accounts for about a quarter of the time Americans spend on the web. The results revealed that in May of 2011, Americans spent over 53 billion minutes on Facebook, which accounted for more time than any other website.

If you’re beginning to conjure up images of teenagers sitting in front of their computer at all waking hours, hold on just a minute. The Nielsen report indicates that about 40 percent of social media users access such content using their mobile phones, and internet users who are over 55 years old are the group ‘driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet.’

So as Google looks at how large and far-reaching the internet really is, Nielsen reveals that Americans are spending a good deal of their time using the world wide web connecting with others on social media. The findings of the World Wide Web Foundation will be interesting as we learn of the impact social media has had on American society.

Meanwhile, Usenet continues to be a useful tool for connecting with others across the globe. Usenet actually preceded the internet and for a while was the chief way that people connected with others and shared ideas and new projects. Despite its age, however, Usenet continues to be a popular means of sharing new technology projects and unveiling innovative new services and products.

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is a premium service that provides access to Usenet at connection speeds as fast as your internet speed allows. It features high retention rates, numerous connections, and other premium features.

 

Intel Innovation Director on Newsgroups

January 27th, 2011

Verified from posts on USENET newsgroups, innovative musician and producer will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas will be bringing his creative talents to Intel Corp. where he will take on his new role of “Director of Creative Innovation” .

Will.i.am, whose real name is William James Adams Jr, is not joining the company as a full-time employee but he will be helping Intel “develop the next generation of smartphones and tablets, according to entermainment and technology newsgroups.

The Grammy Award-winning musician will be assisting with the development of devices including laptops, smart phones and tablets, Intel announced Tuesday at their internal sales and marketing conference.

What he’s got to offer to giant Intel is anyone’s guess, but their Vice President seems to think it’s a shrewd move.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, hopes to gain the attention of younger generations by incorporating both entertainment and technology, according to Deborah Conrad, the company’s head of marketing.

Deboran Conrad said: “We’re thrilled to tap into the limitless creativity Will.I.Am brings to the table. He’s not only a brilliant artist and producer, but also an innovator pushing the bounds of technology professionally and personally.

The company statement announcing the relationship said it will tie in “with Intel’s “compute continuum” vision, in which more and more devices will compute and connect to the Internet, and the company’s “visual life” initiative that explores how visual experiences such as photos, videos and movies are redefining the relationship consumers have with laptops, smart phones, tablets and other devices.”

“Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers, and when I see an Intel chip I think of all the creative minds involved that help to amplify my own creativity,” Will said in a statement. “Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing.”

 

Online Impersonations Terminated In California

January 3rd, 2011

Watch out, West Coast Newsgroupers, because a new California law prohibiting online impersonations officially went into effect this weekend. Violators of a new California law will face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a year in jail.

To summarize the bill, which was passed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, classifies electronic impersonation as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1k, and jail time of up to a year; in addition to the right of the impersonatee to sue the impersonator.  It offers no provisions for anyone who is pretending to be someone on the internet for comedic effect. Basically the state has created a new crime, and a new section is being added to the penal code. To be inacted you have to have the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud another person.

The text of the bill says it is now against the law in California to “falsely impersonate another in either his or her private or official capacity, as specified. Existing law also makes it a crime to knowingly access and, without permission, alter, damage, delete, destroy, or otherwise use any data, computer, computer system, or computer network in order to devise or execute any scheme or artifice to defraud, deceive, or extort, or wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data. For a violation thereof, in addition to specified criminal penalties, existing law authorizes an aggrieved party to bring a civil action against the violator, as specified.”

While the law doesn’t explicitly address free speech concerns, it does specify that perpetrators must demonstrate a clear intent to harm, intimidate, or defraud the individual being impersonated — or, for that matter, anyone else.

How the law will play out is, of course, something only the courts and time will decide. For the time being, it would be better to be safe, rather than sorry.  Be yourself online.