The NewsDemon Blog

Where Did The Google Bing Facebook Twitter And Other Strange Names Come From?

By Steve Schwartz June 27th, 2011

There are a lot of websites and online services on the web today. And although you may frequent them daily, do you really know what they are about? Newsgroups researched a few to find out where the names originated from some of the most popular online destinations.

The meaning of Yahoo!?

From search engine newsgroups, we learn:

“The Web site started out as “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web” but eventually received a new moniker with the help of a dictionary. The name Yahoo! is an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,” but Filo and Yang insist they selected the name because they liked the general definition of a yahoo: “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.” Yahoo! itself first resided on Yang’s student workstation, “Akebono,” while the software was lodged on Filo’s computer, “Konishiki” – both named after legendary sumo wrestlers.”

How did Microsoft come up with Bing?

Combing through Microsoft newsgroups we learn:

No, it doesn’t stand for “big investment, no goals” although it may seem like to some. Nor does it mean “but its not google”. No, the real story is that Steve Balmer was looking to “verb up” a phrase for users when searching. Much like the popularity “Google It” has become, Steve hoped that “Bing” would unambiguously said search.

Why choose the name Twitter for a social network?

Popular newsgroups reveal:

The service’s name morphed from “Status/” to “twittr” to Twitter. From the creators, they stated “Twittering is the sound birds make when they communicate with each other—an apt description of the conversations here. As it turns out, because Twitter provides people with real-time public information, it also helps groups of people mimic the effortless way a flock of birds move in unison.”

Where did Mark Zuckerberg come up with the Facebook name?

USENET reveals:

The name of the service stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by Harvard university administrators to help students get to know each other better.

What does USENET mean?

Duke University graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea of USENET in 1979 and it was established in 1980. The name came from the love of UNIX and something that best described its function – The USERS NETWORK.

What does Cisco stand for?

Nothing actually.

The name “Cisco” was derived from the city name, San Francisco, which is why the company’s engineers insisted on using the lower case “cisco” in the early days.

What does the Google name mean?

Page and Brin began developing a search engine called “BackRub” as grad students at Stanford in 1996. Google derived its name from the word “googol”, a term coined by then nine-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner. The story goes, Kasner had asked his nephew to invent a name for a very large number – ten to the power of one hundred (the numeral one followed by 100 zeros), and Milton called it a googol. The term was later made popular and in Kasner’s book, Mathematics and the Imagination. After focused brainstorming, they come up with the name “Google”—a derivative of the mathematical term.

How did Steve Jobs come up with Apple

Steve Jobs worked summer jobs at a California apple farm. He also liked the Beatles and their label, Apple Records. When he and Steve Wozniak tried to come up with a company name, they decided that if they couldn’t think of anything better by the end of the day, they’d go with the name “Apple”. And they couldn’t, so they did.

As far as the logo, the Apple newsgroup post the following from the original designer:

“I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry. Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple. Something that everyone can experience … It was after I designed it, that my creative director told me: “Well you know, there is a computer term called byte”. And I was like: “You’re kidding!” So, it was like perfect, but it was coincidental that it was also a computer term.”

How did Intel get their name?

When pioneers Moore and Noyce left Fairfield Semiconductors to start their company they were going to call it Moore Noyce but it sounded like More Noise… very unfortunate for a semi-conductor/electronics company. They decided on INT(egrated) EL(ectronics) after trading under NMElectronics for a while but had to buy some rights for Intel as there was a similar sounding hotel chain called INTELCO.

3 Months Unlimited Usenet For $21.00

By Newsgroup Usenet June 15th, 2011

For a limited time only, Newsgroups is offering 3 Months of UNLIMITED USENET access for only $21.00.

Starting on June 15th, a limited number of new accounts are available which include uncensored, secure and unlimited access to all 107,000 newsgroups for only $7.00 a month for 3 months.

This one time offer includes all of the membership benefits that are enjoyed by Newsgroup members including:


The offer for the Unlimited Usenet newsgroup access is only available for a limited time. Only a set number of accounts are being offered at this price. Once they are gone, so is the offer.

There is no obligation after the 3 months to become a member of Newsgroups. Once purchased, your access is immediate and will end after 3 months from your activation date.

The total value of this offer is a savings of $29.85 for our current Unlimited Access subscription package.

Hurry and join in now before this special runs out. This limited time offer is expected to end shortly and will not be available thereafter.

Click Here

Online Access Will Explode By 2015

By Lionel Dietz 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?



CDC Zombie Guide Takes Down Website

By Daniel Li May 19th, 2011

A Centers for Disease Control blog post mentioning a “zombie apocalypse” as a lighthearted way to get Americans to read about preparing for the hurricane season drove so much traffic that it crashed the website, the center said on Thursday.

The CDC has decided that if you’re prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse, you’re prepared for any emergency. Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan wrote a blog that includes a series of badges and recommendations on what to do in case flesh-eating zombies take over the world. The steps are pretty simple: prepare an emergency kit, make a plan for evacuation routes and family meeting spots, and be prepared by following CDC alerts on Twitter and expectedly, USENET.

Turns out the steps you would take to prepare for a zombie apocalypse are remarkably similar to the steps you should take to prepare for any disaster. You’ll need food, water, medicine, blankets and other stuff to help you survive until you can get to an evacuation shelter (or a zombie free zone).

Here is a list of items you should include in an emergency kit, according to the Zombie Apocalypse article:

• Water (1 gallon per person per day)
• Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
• Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
• Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
• Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
• Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
• Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport and birth certificate to name a few)
• First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane.)

The surge of traffic from the post took out their whole blog. And it’s still down this morning! (It’s since been cross-posted here on a different area of the CDC site.) Now, the power of the web to destroy the will of servers is well documented. But this is actually somewhat sobering. It makes you wonder if the CDC would be ready for a real outbreak or if their server would melt the moment they posted the life-saving solutions for surviving the next ferret-flu attack. Luckily, if an apocalyptic situation does occur today (or more likely, on Saturday), the main CDC site is still available.

The most traffic on record had been a post that saw around 10,000 visits. By the end of Wednesday, with servers down, the page had 60,000. By Thursday, it was a trending topic on Twitter and shared around many USENET newsgroups.

The CDC has some experience with zombies, if only in fiction. Its Atlanta headquarters was blown up during an episode of AMC’s hit zombie show “The Walking Dead.”

Many USENET Newsreaders Get Updates

By Newsgroup Usenet May 18th, 2011

Changes are happening to a number of USENET newreaders that may tempt many newsgroup subscribers to break away from the traditional ones they’re used to in order to try out new features.

Just recently, News Rover had rolled out the new version 16, which is available free to Newsgroup members. The News Rover newsreader offers a host of changes ranging from performance, additional options and integration with other USENET tools.

NewsBin has been busy with a completely new user interface in version 6 (currently in beta). The newsreader is expected to come out with a solid force of features, including the way it handles and displays headers to other integrated functions to keep everything USENET related centralized within the newsreader. Additionally, NewsBin has dropped their current purchase price down to just $15.00.


NewsLeecher, who had been on version 4 since 2009 is starting to deliver a more polished version 5 which was first released in the beginning of 2011. With each beta release of version 5, the NewsLeecher newsreader has been getting a serious facelift in design and functionality with each release. The movement in each release, now up to Beta 6, has been much more frequent than ever with a better GUI and features, including in their SuperSearch Watchdog functions.

Lastly, Grabit has been rumored to be releasing a new beta, 1.7.2 beta 4, which has been long overdue. Just like NewsLeecher, updates and releases have been few and far in between over the last couple of years. The new release from Grabit should address a number of bug fixes and some minor new features.

The newsreaders arena is starting to see much more action lately, much to delight of hardcore newsgroup subscribers, who have longed for better releases to integrate with newer technologies and functions that come along with accessing USENET newsgroups.

Stay tuned, as Newsgroups will soon be updating all of our guides on these new releases for our members.

NewsDemon Reaches 1000 Days Binary Retention

By Steve Schwartz May 12th, 2011 Newsgroups is proud to announce another milestone in binary retention which now supports over 1000 days of retention across all supported binary newsgroups.

Recent upgrades to Newsgroup servers located in both the US and EU locations now spool over a full 1000 days of binary retention and well over three years of text retention with a full 99.9% completion rate.

USENET Newsgroup retention reflects the length of time that a binary and/or text article is accessible to subscribers. The new increase in retention means that Newsgroup subscribers may access binary newsgroup articles that were posted over 1000 days ago! Find out more about USENET newsgroup retention increase here.

It doesn’t stop here! Newsgroups expects the retention rate to only increase over time, allowing members even more articles available in all binary and text newsgroups.

With blazing fast access with up to 50 simultaneous connections and a combination of affordable subscription or block plans to choose from, Newsgroups 1000 day binary retention increase joins our efforts to consistently provide members with industry leading premium USENET access.

AT&T Begins Capping USENET Customers

By Daniel Li May 3rd, 2011

Attention American USENET newsgroup subscribers: today marks the beginning of AT&T’s limited monthly data allotments for subscribers to its DSL and U-Verse broadband Internet services.


AT&T announced that it would be imposing the data caps last month and becomes the second American telecom company to do so after Comcast launched its own metering policy nearly three years ago. This comes on the heels of Virgin Media imposing bandwidth caps in the UK as well.


U-Verse — AT&T’s high-speed broadband, television and telephone network — now limits customers to 250 gigabytes of Internet usage each month. DSL users are capped at 150 GB. Customers who exceed the limits will have to pay $10 for each additional 50 GB.

Though typical broadband users don’t come close to approaching the caps now, the increase in average video consumption will undoubtedly cause a greater number of users to exceed their limits in the coming years. That could force broadband providers to raise their caps in the future if customers begin to complain.


To head off a backlash, AT&T is sending customers alerts when they reached 65%, 90% and 100% of their data allotment each month. The company is also giving customers an undefined grace period before it charges them for another 50 GB. AT&T also is allowing customers to check their data usage online.


AT&T is making a bandwidth meter available to all of its customers to track monthly usage at There are numerous reports of customers, who haven’t been able to access the meter yet, but others have been more successful, and customer representatives have reportedly said the meter should be available to everyone by today. Once it’s available, it will also display usage from previous months, giving customers an idea of what’s in store for them.


Comcast had come under fire in 2007 for cutting off service to customers who consumed a large amount of bandwidth but refusing to provide those customers with information on how much bandwidth they were able to use. That led to accusations of Comcast cutting off access to certain services including USENET, an FCC enforcement action, and a net neutrality debate that continues today.


That year, Time Warner Cable also experimented with bandwidth caps, but a public backlash prompted the provider to scrap the test in April 2009. Time Warner took some heat because its caps were relatively low – between 5GB and 40GB. The company eventually announced it would also offer a 100GB “super tier” and unlimited service for $150 per month, but by then, Congress was already up in arms and interest groups were circulating online petitions against the caps.


Some Internet companies fed up with the state of American broadband are taking matters into their own hands. Google, for instance, is deploying a 1-gigabit-per-second network in Kansas City, Kansas, without any bandwidth cap or limiting access to any services such as USENET newsgroups.

USENET Access Speeds On The Rise Worldwide

By Lionel Dietz 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.

ESRB Changes Ratings For Download Games

By Steve Schwartz April 18th, 2011

Reported on gaming newsgroups, the ESRB won’t look at downloadable games until after release, following a change in its the rating procedure.

Gaming newsgroups report that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) which is responsible for rating all of the games released and judging which age group is appropriate for the content of each game has been flooded by the availability of new downloadable games available each week. The system, up to now, has relied on ESRB employees personally rating each game before release. The flood of downloadable video games being created every week has become too much for the ESRB and in an attempt to streamline the ratings process a computer program will now be used to decide a game’s rating.

Previously, every game was vetted by a independent panel, and a report would then be written detailing exactly why a game received a rating. Now, publishers will be given much more power, as they will have to fill out a digital questionnaire which will then be used to determine the rating the game receives.

The computer then analyzes the readings and awards the game a rating based on the answers that were given. At the moment, only games on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network will be scrutinized by the computer. The system is designed to have no human beings to help out with the rating process.

For now, mobile, Facebook and all other types of games will continue to undergo the traditional rating process, which involves completion of a more open-ended questionnaire and review of a content DVD by a minimum of three raters who reach consensus on the appropriate rating.

Top 10 Golden Rules of USENET

By Lionel Dietz 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.