The NewsDemon Blog

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.



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups October Specials

By Newsgroup Usenet October 14th, 2010

NewsDemon Usenet Octoberfest Specials 2010

It’s been an exciting month here at NewsDemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com 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 Newsdemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com 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.



FCC Approval Of Super Wi-Fi Could Bring Faster USENET Access

By Daniel Li September 27th, 2010


Accessing USENET newsgroups on the go may quickly become better and faster. The Federal Communications Commission has voted unanimously to allow unused airwaves in the broadcast TV spectrum to be used for unlicensed mobile broadband operations, creating a Super Wi-Fi. The decision will enable both greater bandwidth and longer range than present-day Wi-Fi signals.

The unlicensed airspace, which sits between TV channels on the spectrum and is called “white space,” uses a lower frequency than traditional Wi-Fi, which means it can travel both farther and faster, and can penetrate walls. White space technology’s capabilities have led some to dub it “Super Wi-Fi” or “Wi-Fi on steroids,” in the words of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

By unlocking the white spaces that exist between digital TV channels, namely 50MHz and 700MHz frequencies, it enables Wi-Fi to perform better.

“Unlocking this valuable spectrum will open the doors for new industries to arise, create American jobs, and fuel new investment and innovation,” the FCC said.

Upon FCC’s approval, Genachowski celebrated the possibilities of Super Wi-Fi.

“Super Wi-Fi is what it sounds like: Wi-Fi, but with longer range, faster speeds, and more reliable connections,” he said. “We can also expect, as we’ve seen now with Wi-Fi, enhanced performance from the mobile devices using licensed spectrum that we’ve come to rely on so heavily.”

Super Wi-Fi is expected to generate speeds that are 15 times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies, allowing for mobile devices, such as the upcoming tablets and laptops to access and use it to access these networks for optimal USENET and online access.



FCC To Offer Free Online Access To Schools And Libraries

By Newsgroup Usenet September 22nd, 2010

Schools and libraries around the country are now free to turn themselves into internet speed-demons and share the broadband wealth with their neighbors, thanks to a Tuesday policy change by the FCC intended to put competitive pressure on the nation’s telecoms.

Taking a new step in the direction of the “anchor institutions” agenda, the FCC Tuesday announced that soon the $2.25 billion E-Rate funding program will be made available to schools and libraries, helping them to gain access to unused fiber-optic connections – which are sometimes called “dark fiber” lines – around the country.

The move will result from a proposed overhauling of the E-Rate program – also known as the Schools and Libraries Program – which has been suffering from a supposed identity crisis in the recent times. As a part of the FCC’s Universal Service Fund that offers subsidized phone service in rural areas and to low income residents, E-Rate program reimburses these institutions for computer and networking equipment.

The FCC has assured that if the changes are passed, it will become “easier for schools and libraries to get the highest speeds for the lowest prices by cutting red tape and increasing their options for broadband providers.”

Genachowski said the FCC will consider expanding the “School Spots” program, where schools can choose to provide Internet access to the surrounding community after students go home. The National Broadband Plan includes a goal of connecting a school or library in every community to an affordable, high-speed broadband pipe.

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is an active contributor to schools and libraries offering free Usenet access to both professors and librarians. More information on how to apply and receive free Usenet newsgroup access can be found here: Free Usenet For Professors and Librarians



Discount Premium USENET Newsgroup Access From NewsDemon

By Steve Schwartz September 15th, 2010

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is currently offering premium Unlimited Usenet access for only $11.95 a month.

All new members who join NewsDemon.com Newsgroups can now get all of the premium Usenet access and features for only $11.95 a month for the lifetime of the account.

This $11.95 Unlimited offer is only available for a limited time. That’s 50% off the normal pricing for NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Unlimited account memberships!

The Unlimited Usenet account features blazing speeds with access to over 107,000 newsgroups with 99.9% completion with 650 days of binary retention. Complete with SSL for privacy and a free newsreader, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is proud to offer this limited time offer to all new subscribers.

Additionally, all new Unlimited account members receive 14 days of free access for the first month. This allows members to really get the most out of there USENET experience and try out all of the award winning services and features NewsDemon.com Newsgroups offers.

The Unlimited account for only $11.95 has no bandwidth limits and is completely uncensored. If you’re looking for quality and premium USENET access for the lowest price, this is the time to sign up. Offer ends soon.

JOIN NOW



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Gives Away Free USENET Access

By Daniel Li September 9th, 2010

In August alone, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups has given away over 115 free months of USENET to current members. As part of the advantages of being a member of NewsDemon.com Newsgroups, members and referrers alike are able to benefit from our referral program features.

We offer free access and benefits for friends or family members that NewsDemon.com Newsgroups members refer. Both the referred subscriber as well as the members receive a free month of USENET newsgroup access.

As a NewsDemon.com 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 NewsDemon.com Newsgroups family, the referring member also receives a free month of USENET access.

This long running program has seen great success with hundreds of accounts credited with free USENET access by our member referrals. All new subscribers that are referred get the same quality features and services provided to our premium NewsDemon.com Newsgroup members.

Creating and participating on online communities is what USENET is all about. The member referral program and its benefits follows this culture by bringing in growing the community further.

For new members, we also are currently offering a free two weeks of service with any monthly subscription plan. With the additional 14 days of free USENET service, we encourage our users to fully use our premium services including 650 days of binary retention, a free newsreader and for our unlimited customers, online storage provided by StorageNinja.

Some of the best things in life are free. With either way you join, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups offers convenient options to enjoy our premium USENET newsgroup features absolutely free.



Don’t Panic! Two Asteroids Avoid Near Earth Collision

By Newsgroup Usenet September 8th, 2010

Amateur astronomer newsgroups and other space related newsgroups are abuzz with the recent finding from NASA scientists that said one of two small asteroids passed between the Earth and the moon on Wednesday.

The first one passed by early Wednesday morning. The second rock, estimated to be 20 by 46 feet long, is on the same course and is scheduled to pass late Wednesday afternoon.

On our side to help us from these dangers of the Universe,  Asteroid hunters at the CfA monitor and research what these asteroids may or may not do,

According to their calculations, the asteroids will not clash with Earth but they will pass our planet at a relatively close distance.  The asteroids will be visible from amateur telescopes.

The first one, 2010 RX 30, is at least 30 meters long. Its closest pass: about 154,000 miles. That’s 40 percent closer than the Moon. The second asteroid, 2010 RF 12, is about 20 meters long; it will miss us by a mere 49,000 miles. That’s about 80 percent closer than the Moon.

Once every 10 years, one of those 10-meter asteroids sails into the atmosphere. Most of  them burn up – but every now and then, a space rock comes swooping down and burns up through our atmosphere without causing any significant damage.

The second asteroid pass won’t be visible to the naked eye. However, as it has been reported on USENET, it can be seen through an amateur telescope.

It’s unknown exactly how much damage such objects would do if they did hit Earth. On space newsgroups, published reports of simulations showing that a 30 to 50 meter asteroid could cause substantial damage to Earth’s surface by depositing energy several kilometers up in the atmosphere, and causing a jet of expanding gas to plunge to the ground.

A large meteorite exploded above Siberia a hundred years ago – and flattened 80 million trees. The last time a really big asteroid hit the Earth was about 700 B.C. in what’s now Estonia.