The NewsDemon Blog

Google Groups Usenet Enhancements Roll Out

By Newsgroup Usenet December 10th, 2010

Google has finally given some attention to Google Groups and has given it a bit of a facelift.

Google Groups is Google’s version of USENET newsgroups which offers users a small selection of newsgroups to access. The all-text newsgroups service of Google Groups hadn’t had much attention as of late, with growing concerns from users on whether if Google had forgotten about the service which was rarely maintained.

Google has set to change that with a few adjustments that have been made to the service.

As one enhancement, Google has made it easier to search for and browse both groups and individual postings by entering a topic in a single search bar. Once users find a group they want to follow, they can now add it to a list of favorites easily accessible on the left side of the window. As a result, the overall interface has a cleaner and more streamlined look and feel.

New keyboard shortcuts offer a way to quickly cycle through the different forum threads and topics. To find a list of all the new shortcuts, users can press ? on their keyboard. Also, tapping into a new toolbar of icons, users can more easily format text and add hyperlinks and images.

Google Groups is no substitute for complete USENET access. By comparison, Google Groups only offers a variety of 25,000 text newsgroups (or less) – many of which are inactive, whereas a service such as Newsgroups offers more along the lines of 107,000+ only active newsgroups.

Additionally, Google Groups only carries a selection of text newsgroups, where as premium Usenet provider Newsgroups offers binary newsgroups as well with over 700 day retention.

The redesigned Google Groups will roll out as an option over the next week, giving users the opportunity to preview the new look and features. Google is also promising other enhancements, including better spam control, forum moderators, and improved search. Newsgroups Extended Black Friday Deal Ends Tonight!

By Steve Schwartz November 30th, 2010

Due to the amazing success and requests of this offer, we’ve extended our Black Friday sale well beyond the weekend and is now coming to a close.

This is your last chance to get in on an amazing deal on premium USENET newsgroup access from Newsgroups.

We’re currently offering the Black Friday 40% OFF all subscription packages until December 1st at midnight. After tonight, our deals on all of our monthly subscriptions, including our Unlimited and Unlimited plus plans will no longer be available!

Join Newsgroups now to get an amazing savings on all our plans. Our current Black Friday discounts include:

15GB $8.99 $5.40
30GB $11.99 $7.20
45GB $12.99 $7.80
Unlimited GB (10
$16.99 $10.20
Unlmitied GB + Free
Online Storage + 50
$19.95 $12.98

(best value)

All of our special prices entitles our new members with all of the fantastic features and services provided by Newsgroups including:

  • Unlimited Speed
  • 700+ Days Retention
  • 50 Connections
  • Free Newsreader
  • 24/7 Live Support
  • Free Headers
  • 14 Extra Days Free

The 40% Off sale ends tonight, so don’t miss out.

NewsDemon Discount Coupon Giveaway

By Daniel Li November 23rd, 2010

In the spirit of giving, Newsgroups is offering webmasters and forum members exclusive discount coupon codes this holiday season.

These coupon codes can be used for any website you own, manage or are an active member of. Apart from our affiliate program, these coupon codes can be used to offer your website fans the opportunity to join the Newsgroups family.

Are you active on forums or blogs? The perfect gift for your fellow forum and blog members, Newsgroups is offering a coupon code that you can use to offer them discounted prices on any of our subscription based plans.

Also available for website owners and other online media forums, you can use these codes to help spread the word and help us grow the Usenet community.

This holiday season is a time for giving. Email us with your interest, and one of our dedicated support team specialist will set you up with an exclusive coupon just for you to use on your choice of online media channels.

Email us now and get a multi-use coupon code that can be used by all of your fellow members and followers that will give them deep discounts on any of the monthly USENET newsgroup plans available by Newsgroups.

Already a member? We also offer referral benefits for our members for anyone who refers a friend or family to join Newsgroups. Log in to your members control panel to access your unique URL to pass along and get a free month of service for each member you refer. The referral also receives a free 30 days of access!

What Does Google Say About You?

By Steve Schwartz November 17th, 2010

There’s no two ways about it: if you use a lot of Google services, then Google knows a lot about you. Google has received a solid amount of criticism because of this, and they’ve alleviated the issue by launching Privacy Dashboard; a one-stop-shop with all the information that Google knows about you and your online habits collected in one place. Something many might have not known about since Google doesn’t really advertise this at all to make easy to find.

To view the information Google’s servers store about you (or at least the amount the company is willing to fess up to storing), sign in to your Google account and scroll through the Google Dashboard. On a single page you’ll find settings for and information about your Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Voice, YouTube, and other Google accounts, including an extensive search history.

The dashboard is a great way to review and update your Google profile, Checkout purchase information, Google Sync settings, Picasa Web albums, and contacts. You can also revoke access to any service you’ve allowed to connect directly to your Google account by clicking the “Websites authorized to access the account” link under Accounts. This opens a window listing all such services along with a link to remove each one, if you wish.

It contains fascinating details like how many contacts you have, stored credit card numbers, recent status messages, most commonly e-mailed individuals, most recent piece of spam received, most recent alerts, newest e-mails, number of conversations logged, number of docs trashed, number of gadgets installed and more. Interestingly, any account activity using their the newsgroup feed, does not seem to be logged yet.

It will also indicate most recent Web search, image search, news search, product search, video search, map search, blog and book search with the corresponding date and time. It also indicates how quickly information becomes irrelevant.

The complete list of Google services that are participating in “Google Dashboard” include:

  • Google Account
  • Alerts
  • Blogger
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Docs
  • Finance
  • Gmail
  • Health
  • iGoogle
  • Latitude
  • Orkut
  • Picasa Web Albums
  • Product Search
  • Profile
  • Reader
  • Talk
  • Tasks
  • Voice
  • Web History
  • YouTube

In some ways, it’s freaky how much honest info people unwittingly hand over to Google, but the company insists that it’s all under user control, and can be removed at any time. Google is considering sending out dentist-like reminders to remind users to check their Dashboard settings every six months (an alert that users would be able to control, of course), but the company is always open to suggestions. A step up from where Google is now would be to put the relevant settings on the Dashboard itself, but we think things are off to a decent start. Newsgroups, in contrast, never keeps any logs or information on members. Completely anonymous, members usage of their USENET newsgroup accounts are completely private and secure.

New from NewsDemon: Non-Expiring USENET Block Accounts

By Newsgroup Usenet November 9th, 2010 Newsgroups reaches new limits with non-expiring block accounts. All block account packages available through Newsgroups now come with no time limit to use them.

Block accounts from Newsgroups allow members to use a set amount of bandwidth until its gone. There are no monthly fees with block accounts and now, they only expire until you’ve used the allocated amount you pay for. Once the amount has reached its limit, the member can then decide to purchase more of an allotment, but will not be automatically billed. Newsgroups offer a wide variety of non-expiring block accounts that range from 10GB to 1000GB that best fits your specific needs. All block accounts from Newsgroups include the same monthly member features including free headers, 650+ day binary retention, a free newsreader and 50 simultaneous connections on all 107,000 newsgroups completely uncensored.

Block accounts from Newsgroups are one of the most affordable plans in the industry, raining from:

The non-expiring block accounts by Newsgroups are provided to all of our existing and new members of the Newsgroups family. Click here to see all of our non-expiring block account plans.

Happy 41st Birthday To ARPANET

By Daniel Li November 1st, 2010

ARPANET 41st Birthday

We take the Internet and USENET for granted, and it has become so integral to daily life that even people who can remember the time before it was everywhere can’t really fathom how we got along without it. But when you think about it, the online universe has only really been something we consider a normal component of everyday existence for about 30years or so. Online communication existed long before that, but it took several decades for the average person to catch up. In fact, the first steps toward the Internet began on this day in 1969, when the first online transmission was sent via ARPANET.

The Internet was born on October 29, 1969, when the first data traveled between two nodes of the ARPANET, an ancestor of today’s Internet, according to the Computer History Museum.

On 29 October 1969, two letters – LO – were typed on a keyboard in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and appeared on a screen at the Stanford Research Institute, 314 miles away.

The computer scientists had intended to type LOGIN, but the connection was lost just before the G. Nonetheless, this was the first time a message had been sent over a telephone line between two computers.

ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was a cooperative project between a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Department of Defense. The idea was to design a network that would allow simple communication between computers. Though millions of computers are currently connected via the Internet today, that first network consisted of only four systems, one each at UCLA, Stanford, the University of Utah and the University of California Santa Barbara. The system had been in development since 1962, and by 1969 it was ready to transmit.

Two two young programmers responsible for this historic moment were Charley Kline at UCLA and Bill Duvall at SRI in Northern California. Their idea was radical at the time: to network computers to each other.

Since then, online communication has made major leaps forward every few years or so. The first e-mail was sent by 1971, and by 1980 the number of linked computers had grown exponentially. The personal computer represented another leap forward, and when America Online became a must-have program for everybody in suburbia, the online world finally took over most of our daily lives. For USENET though, it spawned a mass see also “Eternal Semptember

Now we’re free to keep tabs on people from high school, read news about Mel Gibson and trade “Weird Al” Yankovic songs with each other. The future is now!

Just like the early days of USENET, ARPANET was not developed for commercial use, Duvall said. The computers of the 1960s were viewed as “information repositories” but lacked a network to share this information.

Kill All Open Applications Windows PC Tutorial

By Steve Schwartz October 21st, 2010

Ever have a whole bunch of programs open on your Windows PC and wish you could just kill the process of all of them? Although there are some freeware programs out to help you do that, here’s a homebrew way provided by helpful advice from the USENET community on how to do it yourself.

What we’ll do is use the taskkill command with a bunch of custom arguments that specify to kill everything other than Explorer—but you can really customize it to anything you’d like, and keep in mind you should really read this carefully before proceeding.

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up a command prompt by going to your start menu, click run and type “cmd”. Once it ups, then type:

taskkill /?

and press enter. You can see the syntax with loads of options!

We’ll be using a couple of operators to accomplish what we want, including these two:

  • /F – force closes the applications (this is optional, keep in mind force closing will lose unsaved data)
  • /FI – uses a filter, which is where the magic is

Now it’s time to put them together. For example, if you wanted to kill every app by your username, you’d use taskkill like this to check where your username is “eq” (equal) to geek.

taskkill /F /FI “USERNAME eq geek”

The only problem with this is that it would also kill explorer.exe and dwm.exe, so your whole screen would flash and the Start Menu would completely disappear—probably not what you want.

Thankfully we can chain together multiple instances of the /FI argument to fix this problem, and we’ll use the IMAGENAME, which is the name of the executable, and the “ne” for “Not Equal” to the ones we don’t want to kill.

taskkill /F /FI “USERNAME eq geek” /FI “IMAGENAME ne explorer.exe” /FI “IMAGENAME ne dwm.exe”

You can customize this even further if you’d like, adding extra processes that you don’t want to close into the list. It’s really up to you—just keep in mind that if you accidentally kill Explorer.exe you can always use Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager, and restart the process from the File –> Run menu.

Note: if you don’t want to force kill the applications, you should remove the /F argument.

Once you’ve got the command figured out, it’s easy enough to create the shortcut—just right-click anywhere and choose New Shortcut. Once you’re there, drop the full command into the location box.

Give it an icon and put the shortcut somewhere, and you’re all done. Now you can kill everything in one shortcut, with no added software!

You can do this with certain applications only too. Want to have a shortcut to force kill a application and then start it again easily?

Create a new Text Document (.txt file) and change the extension to .bat
Open it in Notepad and paste:

taskkill /im firefox.exe /f
start “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”

That would be an example with Firefox, but you can change it to what ever program you like as long as you have the path to the program correctly.

Note: Use of this shortcut should be done at your own risk, and if your computer explodes don’t blame us. We warned you. Newsgroups October Specials

By Newsgroup Usenet October 14th, 2010

NewsDemon Usenet Octoberfest Specials 2010

It’s been an exciting month here at Newsgroups with a series of new upgrades, features, promotions and more! Our Octoberfest of include some exciting new changes to our site and offerings. Here are some of the new offerings we currently have available:

New NewsRover v16 Available To All Members

New and current members now have available the newest version of NewsRover v16. Packed with new features, the newsreader is available free to all members of our subscription and block accounts.

New features include:

  • Faster Performance – Takes less resources for a faster USENET experience.
  • Image Preview Screen – Able to preview images as they’re downloaded
  • Status Bar – Displays your Newsgroups download speed.
  • Sender Delete – A new right-click option has been added to the message list. You can right click on a message entry and select “Sender…/Delete current messages from sender” to delete all messages posted by the sender in the current newsgroup without blocking the sender.
  • And More!

To download the new version of NewsRover 16, simply log-in to the members area and follow the instructions to upgrade to the latest version. Members will not lose any of their configuration by upgrading to the new version.

14 Free Extra Days

For all of our new members who join Newsgroups, we’re offering an additional 14 days of free access with any monthly subscription plans.

The free 14 days of USENET access allows new members to experience all that the wide world of USENET newsgroups have to offer.

Free Usenet For Friends and Family

All current members can now refer family and friends for a full month of Usenet access absolutely free.

As a Newsgroup member, all they have to do is share the link provided to them within their member control panel. Anyone that signs up using that link will automatically receive a free month of premium USENET access.

Additionally, once the friend or family joins the Newsgroups family, the referring member also receives a free month of USENET access.

As we continue ahead this season, expect further upgrades and specials provided by Newsgroups as we thrive to deliver the very best USENET experience for all of our members.

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Linux OS Released

By Steve Schwartz October 11th, 2010

The tenth day of the tenth month in the tenth year, the moment Ubuntu Linux has released its latest offering of its extremely popular OS.

Ubuntu 10.10 comes with multiple performance improvements and features a new desktop interface (Unity) on the Netbook Edition, an updated Ubuntu One cloud service, the Ubuntu Software Centre which gives access to applications, games and tools, multi-touch support, updated software packages, the ‘Me Menu’ enabling quick access to Facebook and Twitter, the Ubuntu One Music Store, and more.

When booted up, 10.10 doesn’t look radically different from the previous release it does have a number of very subtle improvements to the default theme. Application windows have smoother gradients, window buttons have been enlarged and refined, and the default Humanity icon set has seen a slight makeover.

The most noticeable change in Ubuntu 10.10 is the Ubuntu Software Centre, which has a History option in the side menu, showing all package installations, removals, and upgrades by date.

For those fortunate enough to have the hardware, Ubuntu 10.10 will have the ability to support multi-touch thanks to uTouch.

You can’t fault Ubuntu for not trying hard enough. The Linux distribution spearheaded by Canonical has been regularly polishing its Ubuntu operating system and among the features found in the latest version 10.10, you can even have the installer download updates for the OS even as it is installing, so that there’s no need to spend time downloading the updates after the installation.

You can find additional information regarding the new OS on Newsgroups, such as alt.os.linux.ubuntu and alt.comp.os.linux. A complete Linux directory of Newsgroups is also available.

For those who’ve made the switch and are looking for a USENET newsreader for Ubuntu, you may want to check out LottaNZB which currently supports the latest OS.

Virgin Offers Fasters Speeds While Throttling USENET

By Newsgroup Usenet October 5th, 2010

Virgin Media has announced that it is providing a free upgrade for customers on its fiber broadband network, but will also throttle USENET speeds moving forward.

Upload speeds are set to be boosted considerably, doubling or even tripling in some cases. Those on the M and L broadband packages (10Mbps download) will have their upload speeds doubled from 512Kbps to 1Mbps (well, “up to 1Mbps”, of course)

However, along with these boosts Virgin has also announced a new system of traffic management at peak times. Designed to ensure that time sensitive uses, such as video streaming, are given top priority over “non-time sensitive traffic” such as USENET newsgroup activity.

In a phased revelation that is slated to conclude by next summer it will lower the bandwidth available to certain protocols including Usenet at heavy traffic times for all customers.

The company is classifying time-sensitive traffic as “surfing” and the streaming of high-definition video, while it will treat activities such as file transfers and “newsgroup activity” with lower priority in order to “reduce the possibility of annoying buffering that can occur when watching TV online at peak times”.

How tight the restrictions on USENET are at a given time will depend on how heavy the overall load on the network, but the new system will reserve at least 75 per cent of bandwidth to prioritise more time-sensitive applications such as streaming video and browsing.

With the new restrictions, the firm has also announced to boost its upload speeds for all its users. The free upgrades are being gradually introduced via the network, area by area.

Virgin customers who are members of Newsgroups are encouraged to use other ports available through our newsgroup NNTP ports page to ensure the maximum speed.

Under the changes, “XXL” users will face a spate of restrictions on their connections on the basis of the amount of data they upload.