The NewsDemon Blog

Space Newsgroups Report Mysterious Messages From Space

By Newsgroup Usenet May 13th, 2010

Touring the outer reaches of our galaxy the Voyager 2 spacecraft has begun sending back messages to Earth that even scientists cannot interpret. Some experts online and on newsgroups believe it may be the work of aliens.

Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager 1, were launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Three decades on, they are the most distant human-made objects in outer space. Voyager 2 holds various information about the human species, including sound recordings of children singing, waves crashing on the ocean, babies crying and the signatures of the President of the United States and UN Secretary General.

Voyager 1 is currently more than 8.5 billion miles from Earth. It will soon travel beyond the heliosphere – a bubble the sun creates around the solar system – into interstellar space, scientists say.

Both probes were installed with a Golden Record. Simultaneously a greeting card, map and time capsule, these devices contained images and sounds from Planet Earth and voice greetings in more than 50 languages. The records’ content describing our home was selected and assembled by the late USENET subscriber Carl Sagan, just in case someone out there might be listening as the Voyagers passed through.

Space related newsgroups report that while it tries to work out what’s going on, NASA has instructed the spacecraft to only send data on its own status, but says the problem can probably be fixed with a simple software patch. All NASA has said of the glitch is that Voyager 2 suddenly began transmitting data in a completely different format.

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are investigating the cause of the change. The probe is 8.6 billion miles from earth and will eventually leave the solar system. NASA equipped the probe with music and multilingual greetings for any intelligent life it encounters.

Many on newsgroups believe it’s just a matter of the fact that after 33 years in the cold dark vacuum of space, the antiquated hardware may simply be malfunctioning. NASA scientists have, not surprisingly, not weighed in on the matter of aliens having hacked our space probe, choosing to keep collective nose to the grindstone in determining cause and solution.



FCC Attempts Third Way To Regulate ISPs

By Newsgroup Usenet May 10th, 2010

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his third attempt at gaining acceptance for online neutrality last week, sparking yet another furor over the issue as it could affect USENET newsgroup access. This time, he’s proposing a narrower approach toward reclassifying broadband access services as telecommunications services, in the hope that this might win over the industry.

The move comes in the wake a federal appeals court ruling that concluded the FCC overstepped its authority in attempting to prevent Comcast’s Internet throttling, an action that has thrown into disarray the commission’s plans to codify net neutrality regulations.

The basis of the FCC’s general broadband plan is to provide broadband Internet access to more Americans, in part by limiting the ability of ISPs to restrict the amount of bandwidth users consume, and by barring them from showing preference to their own traffic or to traffic generated by users who pay a premium for bandwidth.

Grouping ISPs with telephone companies would give the FCC the authority to impose so-called net neutrality—prohibiting an ISP from slowing or denying user access to an application or service–a say-so it sought but was denied in the Comcast ruling.  Currently, companies like Comcast have no restriction on bandwidth throttling, which can result in drastic reductions in speed and access time.

The opposition consisting of most ISPS minus Sprint, has been lining up to criticize the proposal, arguing that any type of regulation will stifle investment because complying with the regulation is expensive and onerous.

Carriers don’t like FCC chairman Julius Genachowski’s “Third Way” proposal for net neutrality because it would bring them under increased regulation by classifying broadband as a “telecommunications service.” Public interest groups generally maintain Gonachowski’s approach would lead to delivery of faster broadband services to more Americans including many who have been shortchanged in rural areas.

“We believe this is without legal basis. Make no mistake—when it regulates the networks that comprise the Internet, the FCC is in fact, and for the first time, regulating the Internet itself… We feel confident that if the FCC proceeds down this path, the federal courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.” – from ATT

Many newsgroup subscribers say that they didn’t trust the notion that the FCC would take only a limited approach to the new regulations, and that the “Trojan Horse” of this good intention is to choke ISPs on other issues and matters down the line.



Duke University Usenet Newsgroup Server Decommission Discount

By Newsgroup Usenet May 5th, 2010

After thirty years of providing Usenet access, Duke University has recently announced they may have to decommission the newsgroup servers on campus. As a special discount to Duke University students, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is offering a 40% discount on any of our monthly plans.

Dubbed by many as the original “Home of Usenet” since its inception in 1979, The Duke University servers have long provided students and faculty free access to Usenet newsgroups. Bridged between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, grad students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the oldest and most widely used online communications systems that are still actively used today. Predating the World Wide Web, USENET newsgroups are responsible for creating the architecture in which social networks, forums and blogs are based upon today.

For all Duke University students that are looking to continue their subscription to USENET newsgroups, simply provide your duke issued email address at checkout to automatically discount 40% off your monthly subscription membership on any of our plans.

The cost and resources to continue free USENET newsgroups access has been increasingly difficult for schools to provide on campus. With rising costs and maintenance to be provided for the expanding world of USENET has left many to consider alternatives. As a root to the heart of USENET and the campus, some are questioning the plans on cutting off access at Duke. NewsgroupReviews has provided information to ask the school to reconsider.

We continue here at NewsDemon.com Newsgroups to provide a resource and alternative to Duke and other Colleges and Universities with our Free Usenet Access Program. For more than a year, the charity has and continues to provide Free Usenet newsgroup access to faculty and staff and also provides 25% off discounts to all students on any of our monthly newsgroup subscriptions. Increasing the offer, we now offer a whopping 40% off for students with a duke email address.



Usenet Reports: Adobe CS5 Released

By Newsgroup Usenet April 30th, 2010

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Adobe announced that its anticipated Creative Suite 5 product family is now available for shipping or immediate download, with more than 250 new features and, for the first time ever, native 64-bit support for Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Adobe CS 5 comes 18 months after CS4 was released and brings 250 new features among all the products included. Enhancements and improvements should be noticeable across the board and go beyond the few features that have been touted so far, like the impressive Content Aware fill in Photoshop CS5.

Adobe sells these programs alone or packages them up into suites tailored for various market segments. At the very top end is the $2,599 Master Collection, which includes everything. The designer-oriented Design Standard costs $1,299.

For Mac users, the CS5 will require an Intel-based Mac running the latest versions of Mac OS 10.5 or Mac OS X 10.6. Some applications, such as Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects are 64-bit native.

Newsgroups related to Adobe products, such as adobe.acrobat.newsgroups and adobe.photoshop.newsgroups will expectedly provide reviews and tricks from the subscriber community.



NewsDemon.com Newsgroup Members Receive NewsBin Pro Discount

By Newsgroup Usenet April 25th, 2010

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is now offering all existing and new customers a $10.00 discount to the popular newsreader program NewsBin.

Any customer or member of NewsDemon.com Newsgroups qualifies for the discount to the registered version of NewsBin Pro. Newsbin Pro is an award winning newsreader with a host of features that are popular with the Usenet community. Newbin Pro Newsreader is compatible with most current windows based operating systems.

Any new customer who registers or those who have recently joined automatically qualify for the discount. To receive the discount, simply download the preconfigured newsreader from the NewsDemon.com Newsgroups members area. The program comes with a 10 day free trial. The full lifetime license will automatically discount $10.00 from the final price for NewsDemon.com Newsgroup members once the trial has expired.

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is proud to be able to offer additional features and benefits to our users. The NewsBin Pro Lifetime Subscription Newsreader Discount and our continuously growing binary retention which is shadowing 600 days is part of our overall commitment to constantly deliver premium USENET newsgroup features to all of our customers.



Text Based Messages Skyrocket In US

By Newsgroup Usenet April 21st, 2010

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Upward trending since the beginning of Usenet, text based messaging has now eclipsed even the phone itself as to become the most frequent form of communication among US teenagers. Even more surprising is that girls send more than twice as many messages as boys, according to a new study.

The study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the University of Michigan released Tuesday found that the average adolescent sends or receives 50 or more messages a day, or 1,500 texts per month, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Much to the dismay of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months, from 38% of teen’s texting friends daily in February of 2008 to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. Texting has gotten so prolific; there are even competitions now to see who can text the fastest: the LG Mobile Worldcup. This should not come as a big surprise if you simply look at the amount of communication on many throughout history on Usenet newsgroups.

However, although 71 percent of parents with teenagers aged 12 to 17 years old say they know how to and do text, kids still perceive their elders as being out of the texting loop.

Although some of the popularity of texting can be chalked up to generational trends, teens interviewed in the Pew study also cited practical and economic reasons for their enthusiasm. With some of the same initial draws to subscribing to and sharing on newsgroups, texting is quieter and easier than a phone call for brief messages, and many teenagers are on cellphone plans that limit minutes for calls but that allows unlimited texts.



300MBPS WiMax2 Coming Soon

By Newsgroup Usenet April 13th, 2010

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USENET Newsgroup access may become faster on the go as several industry heavyweights are getting behind an effort to roll out the next generation of WiMAX technology, which boasts peak rates of more than 300 Mbps.

Although WiMAX has barely carved out a place in the market, a number of WiMAX supporters have announced the next version of the technology, WiMAX2. Newsgroups report that a slew of technology and warless companies each announced commitments to both the technology and to make their devices interoperable. WiMAX2 technology, according to technology newsgroups, will provide 300-Mbits of throughput, with less latency and more bandwidth available for applications like VOIP calls.

The technology provides a low-cost, open network system with an all IP mobile Internet solution that enables efficient and scalable networks for voice, data, and video transmission.

Presently there are two forms of WiMAX – “Fixed WiMAX” (802.16d) for faster Wi-Fi Hotspot / Wi-Fi ISP style network replacement and “Mobile WiMAX” (802.16e) for use as a 3G replacement by mobile phone operators. Mobile WiMAX can deliver download speeds of up to 144Mbps (35Mbps uploads), though in a real-world environment you wouldn’t expect more than 30Mbps. WiMAX2 is designed to meet IMT-Advanced (4G) standards which require delivering 1Gbps access speeds to fixed locations and 100Mbps to fast moving mobile nodes, low latency and capacity for VoIP.

Intel suggested that the new standard could help in the eventual transition from WiMax as the platform begins to feel the strain of increased data traffic from smartphone and multimedia file transfers. The new standard, which will be endorsed by the US electronics industry body Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), will only be the first step in a three-year process before products start hitting the market. The working group, including seven other firms, expects certification of products to start by late next year, following which production can start in 2012.

According to official sources the WiMAX Forum tracks about 559 WiMAX deployments in 147 countries covering over 620 million people globally. Also it was revealed that more than 130 devices and 60 base stations have been certified by the WiMAX Forum for the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands.



NYC Road Runner Customers Get Free Wi-Fi Access To USENET

By Newsgroup Usenet March 25th, 2010

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Time Warner Cable this morning confirmed that it’s launching Wi-Fi hotspots for customers of its NYC RoadRunner broadband service, allowing USENET access on the go. The free Wi-Fi is now available at several Wi-Fi zones in Manhattan and Queens, including several parks and some Long Island Railroad platforms and their respective parking lots in the company’s service area.

The access to Wi-Fi allows those into USENET to login and subscribe to newsgroups at more places than ever. The free Wi-Fi allows anyone with a Road Runner account and a Wi-Fi capable device to access the service in several spots across the city.

Road Runner customers using laptops and WiFi-enabled phones can access the WiFi by entering their Road Runner ID and password when prompted. After that, any newsreader they use can then be used to access and browse USENET newsgroups.

“Road Runner customers can experience a fast, simple and easy connection from their laptops or portable Wi-Fi-enabled devices in Time Warner Cable Wi-Fi zones, meeting their growing need for mobility,” said Howard Szarfarc, executive vice president of Time Warner Cable’s New York City region, in a press release.

Time Warner Cable customers will also have access to thousands of hotspots operated by Cablevision around the area. Customers that are already signed up for Roadrunner with Time Warner Cable in one of the areas will be able to sign into the Wi-Fi hotspot using their RoadRunner screen name and password.



Microsoft Bill Gates Goes Nuclear

By Newsgroup Usenet March 23rd, 2010

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Environmental and MS Newsgroups have posted that former Microsoft CEO turned philanthropist Bill Gates is teaming up with Japanese nuclear technology giant Toshiba Corp. to develop a next-generation nuclear reactor. TerraPower, a U.S. start-up company backed by Microsoft are investigating technology for mini-reactors, which are more cost-efficient than conventional units.

Toshiba and TerraPower have begun exchanging information in a move that would bring together Gates’ ample wealth and the know-how and experience which the Japanese electronics giant has established in the nuclear power business. Mr. Gates is the principal owner of TerraPower, which investigates ways to improve emission-free energy supplies using small nuclear reactors.  Under the partnership and agreement, Toshiba would provide TerraPower with the expertise to manufacture nuclear power equipment. Gates is expected to invest his personal wealth on the development of the reactor, which could reach billions, newsgroups have reported. The hope is that the new reactors might be suitable for use in cities or emerging-market countries.

Toshiba expects to get U.S. approval for its ultra compact design this fall and start construction of the first such reactor by 2014. Mini-reactors could last up to 100 years without refueling, unlike today’s units which need replenishing every few years.  Power outputs of these units are projected to range from 100-thousand to 1-million kilowatts which is much larger than current commercialized reactors. Current light-water reactors require refueling once every several years. The company is preparing to apply for US approval to start constructing the first such reactor as early as 2014 and put it into practical use by the end of the decade.

The deal was sealed when Gates visited the Japanese maker’s nuclear research center in Yokohama near Tokyo in November. Gates, a newsgroup subscriber who is deeply involved in global health work through his private foundation, has shown a growing interest in nuclear and other energy technologies that could potentially meet the power needs of the world’s poor without contributing to global warming.



Broadband Intiative: Free Wi-Fi USENET Access Nationwide

By Newsgroup Usenet March 12th, 2010

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Could another influx of USENET newsgroup subscribers be on the horizon? At the Digital Inclusion Summit in Washington on Tuesday, Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said his agency is considering establishing “free or very low cost” wireless Internet service for the entire nation.

“In order to ensure long-term American competitiveness, we must not leave one-third of the nation behind,” Genachowski said. “The National Broadband Plan provides a vision for federal, state and local leadership and partnerships with private and nonprofit communities that will bridge the digital divide and transform America into a nation where broadband expands opportunities for all.”

The FCC provided few details about how it would carry out such a plan and who would qualify, but will make a recommendation under the National Broadband Plan set for release next week. The agency will determine details later. The number of Americans online grew nearly threefold from 85 million to 231 million between 1998 and 2008, according to reports from Usenet newsgroups. The FCC plan would extend broadband online service to an estimated 93 million Americans who the agency describes as being “left behind in the digital age.” and could dramatically help grow the USENET newsgroup community.

Both the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration are charged with mapping out where broadband is, and isn’t, as part of the national plan to deploy broadband nationwide. Debate has already begun over the proposal to offer the cheap or free wireless broadband, which would involve taking back at least some of the privately owned TV spectrum.

The cost of the plan, which will be submitted to Congress on March 17, is said to be in the neighborhood of $25 billion. According to the FCC, 4 percent of American homes do not have access to broadband Internet, and three in 10 people in the U.S. do not have high-speed Internet because of factors such as price. A survey by the FCC provides a great detail of figures of those without access in the US.