The NewsDemon Blog

FCC Promotes US Broadband Initiative

By Newsgroup Usenet February 23rd, 2010

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According to the latest study by the Federal Communications Commission, one in three people in the U.S. don’t have broadband connections. In fact, only a small minority of these 93 million Americans even use the Internet at all: some have dial-up connections and some use Web services at work or at public places like libraries, but most just abstain from the Internet entirely, according to USENET newsgroup reports that posted up the new US Commerce Department figures that reinforce what some educators believe is causing some students to fall behind.

The report posted on USENET newsgroups shows that the telephone survey of 5,005 adults last fall included 2,334 adults who said they are not broadband users at home and precedes the FCC’s delivery of a National Broadband Plan to Congress. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Feb. 16 he wants 100 million U.S. households to have access to ultra high-speed internet connections, with speeds of 100 megabits per second by the year 2020. That would be several times faster than the download speeds many U.S. homes with broadband get now, which range from 3 MBPS to 20 MBPS. One of the first steps towards overhauling the national broadband infrastructure will be the unveiling of a new broadband plan by the FCC on March 17. The FCC began working on the national broadband plan back in April 2009. The FCC is looking at multiple methods of funding a national broadband plan including reallocation of funds collected in the Universal Service Fund.

The Federal Communications Commission’s first-ever survey on Internet usage and attitudes concludes that those who aren’t connected today need to be taught how to navigate the Web, find online information that is valuable to them and avoid hazards such as Internet scams, something that has been a long standing resource that USENET newsgroups has also assisted with. The report found that 78% of adults are Internet users, and 65% of adults are broadband adopters. It then divides users who haven’t got broadband into four groups. The Digitally Distant make up 10% of the general population; this is the group that simply doesn’t want to be online. The Digital Hopefuls make up 8% of the population; they’d like to be online but lack resources to do so; many don’t have a computer and/or don’t know how to use one, and cost of computer and broadband connection is also a big barrier. An exact number of those who routinely use USENET newsgroups while they are online were not specified.

According to the report, nearly half of the respondents said cost was one of the prohibiting factors for not having broadband service at home. What’s more, nearly the same percentage of people said they were uncomfortable using a computer. The National Broadband Plan is expected to target widespread deployment of broadband networks, fueled in part by a revamp of the Universal Service Program that will emphasize broadband rather than voice connectivity, along with a plan to phase-out of traditional phone service, instead using the broadband network to support VOIP.



Happy 32nd Birthday Computerized Bulletin Board System (BBS)

By Newsgroup Usenet February 17th, 2010

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On February 16, 1978, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess launched the first-ever dial-up BBS in Chicago. The idea stemmed during a blizzard that kept them indoors that helped create the first electronic bulletin board and ultimately, one of the first social networks. In modern usage, the term BBS may be used to refer to USENET newsgroups or other online type forums or social network outlets.

The first BBS was visionary as it created a way to circumvent the fundamental, age-old rules of socializing by responding to bulletin board ads found in the foyers of libraries and churches around the world. USENET, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and the entirety of the World Wide Web would later catapult with the same goal in mind.

Online BBSs formed much of the the core “cyberspace” in the 1980s and paved the way for many users to find and use USENET newsgroups. BBS is short for “Bulletin Board System” which is has been a social networking platform that not only predates sites like Myspace and Facebook, but also the World Wide Web. As one of the first online communication methods, users would dial in directly to other users via modem connection and share information. Most BBS networks were not linked in real-time. Instead, each would dial up the next in line, and/or a regional hub, at preset intervals to exchange files. It was the first step of what we know the World Wide Web to be today. A better, simpler system later followed – USENET.

Rather than mirroring the meet-and-greet and services-offered format of real-world bulletin boards, BBSes very quickly became forums. Questions were asked and anonymously answered.

It was several decades before the hardware or the network caught up to Christensen and Suess’ imaginations, but all the basic seeds of today’s online communities were in place when the two launched the first bulletin board, dubbed CBBS for computerized bulletin board system. The two developers announced their creation to the world in the November 1978 issue of Byte magazine.

It’s hard to say where USENET would have been if not for the BBS. As many early adapters, the infant stage of USENET were full of BBS users that formed the most popular newsgroups that exist to this day, thirty years later.



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Offers Free USENET Access

By Newsgroup Usenet February 11th, 2010

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is giving back to the community and offering University faculty and staff, media and website owner’s free access to USENET.

Students, teachers, faculty and/or members of the media are now able to apply for eligibility to free USENET access provided by NewsDemon.com Newsgroups. Webmasters and Bloggers are also welcome to apply.

In an effort to demonstrate the resources that USENET newsgroups provide and by growing the online community, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups has experienced an overwhelmingly positive response since the program inception.

The program, which launched more than a year ago, offers unrestricted access to USENET newsgroups to those who qualify. Benefits include all of the features our members receive which include blazing fast access to over 107,000 newsgroups.

Assisting those that would normally not have access to USENET, the program is being extended and enrollment is open to those interested. In order to apply, visit either our Free USENET  for School page for those involved with a school or our Free USENET Access for Media page for all media and online related individuals.

Committed to excellence, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is proud to be able to give back to the community and offer access to the valuable resources USENET provides.



Newsgroups Report Linux Founder Trovalds Likes Google Nexus One

By Newsgroup Usenet February 8th, 2010

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Linus Torvalds is a programmer and has been known as an honest man. So when he finds something he likes he says so, without artifice, and that’s all it means. Torvalds is the person who created the ever popular open-source Linux kernel which forms the cornerstone of the Android operating system that runs the Google Nexus One alongside a host of operating systems, software and naturally, newsreaders.

Linus Torvalds, who had announced his creation of Linux on USENET newsgroups has proclaimed that the “Google Nexus One is a winner”. Unsurprisingly, the man who invented the most popular open source operating system in the world is a “happy camper” over the fact that this cellphone runs Linux. But Linux alone wasn’t enough to get Linus on board with the rest of the smartphone crazy 21rst century. His previous phones, in fact—the ones he mostly used to “play Galaga” on long flights—also had various versions of Linux, but lacked that certain spark.

After a week of using the new smartphone, Torvalds is now raving about the Google Android based Nexus One:

“I generally hate phones. They’re irritating and disturb you as you work or read or whatever – and a cell phone to me is just an opportunity to be irritated wherever you are,” Torvalds said in a blog post. “But I have to admit, the Nexus One is a winner.”

Torvalds has owned a number of phones before, including Google’s G1 device and ‘one of the early China-only Motorola Linux phones’, but it took for Google to add multi-touch capabilities to the Nexus One before he finally broke down and bought one from the company’s web store. The device can run open-source software created for the Android device including a couple of newsreaders.

Google’s Android operating system used in the Nexus One is built atop a Linux foundation, but the applications typically don’t run on the Linux. Instead, as Android and Google related newsgroups discuss, they run atop Linux on a Java-like layer, Google’s Dalvik virtual machine and accompanying software libraries.  Through that technology, another open source foundation, Mozilla, is working on a version of Firefox browser for Android.  Recently, newsgroups had discussed rumors that Google was struggling with Nexus One sales, so an unsolicited celebrity endorsement such as this couldn’t have come at a better time.

‘I no longer feel like I’m dragging a phone with me “just in case”’ Linus Torvalds says, ‘… now I’m having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead. The fact you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary.’

Read more about Linus Torvalds, Linux and the Google Android operating system on the largest forum on the planet, USENET newsgroups. Recently, Linux celebrated its 18th Birthday



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Wins Provider Of The Year and Spirit Of Usenet Awards

By Newsgroup Usenet February 4th, 2010

award-24NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is awarded both the 2009 Provider Of The Year Award as well as the 2009 Spirit Of USENET Award. Each award was given separately from NewsgroupServers.com and NewsgroupReviews.com
“In all categories, NewsDemon has excelled throughout 2009 as being the number one Usenet access provider in the industry.” NewsgroupServers.com
The review sites independently provides information and rates over 90 USENET Newsgroup providers, newsreaders and other Usenet related tools. For NewsgroupServers.com, rating providers by both their editorial staff and website visitors, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups had been chosen as the top USENET access provider for 2009. For extended efforts to promote the benefits of USENET and other achievements, the popular USENET resource site NewsgroupReviews.com has recognized and awarded NewsDemon.com Newsgroups with the Spirit Of USENET award for 2009.
“It is an honor to present the 2009 Spirit of Usenet Award to NewsDemon. The award is presented in recognition of the many enhancements made to NewsDemon’s Newsgroup services along with their continued efforts to promote the growth of Usenet in 2009.” – NewsgroupReviews.com
“We’re proud to have been recognized and awarded for our efforts.” said Charles Burnside, spokesperson for NewsDemon.com Newsgroups “Our mission has long been to provide outstanding service and support to all of our members. As we look forward in continuing to provide superior service and features, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups plans on even more upgrades for 2010 whilst continuing to give back to the USENET access community.”
Being given these awards, all of us here at NewsDemon.com Newsgroups are further motivated to deliver nothing less than top notch service, support and features as we move into 2010 and beyond. Additionally, our efforts to give back to the community with extended offers, specials and charity related programs as we have done throughout 2009 will continue.
With retention moving past 500 days for binary and faster connections than ever, we’d like to believe we’re on the right start. We’d also like to hear from you. What would you like to see NewsDemon.com Newsgroups improve or add as part of our services? Leave a comment and let us know!



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Now Offers 50 Simultaneous Connections

By Newsgroup Usenet February 1st, 2010

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NewsDemon.com Newsgroups recently upgraded its services again which now allow access to a total of 50 simultaneous connections. The connection upgrade now allows for faster connections and overall speed when accessing any of the 107,000 newsgroups the USENET access provider carries.
The increase in simultaneous connections is now more than double as NewsDemon.com Newsgroups offers an additional 30 connections to its previous 20 simultaneous connection limit. The increase in simultaneous connections will now allow NewsDemon.com Newsgroup members to access newsgroups easier and faster than ever. By increasing the number of connections, users will have to wait less when accessing multiple articles from any of the thousands of newsgroups that NewsDemon.com Newsgroups carry.
Recently, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups also announced an increase in binary retention that has grown past the 500 day mark. With this new increase in retention, which allows older articles to be retrieved, having an increase to 50 simultaneous connections couldn’t have come at a better time.
The increase to 50 simultaneous connections affects both US and EU customers. The NewsDemon.com Newsgroups member’s area blog offers additional information and advice on how to set up a newsreader to increase the number of connections it allows.
All of these upgrades are included with a NewsDemon.com Newsgroups membership and do not incur any additional charges for any of these upgrades. NewsDemon.com Newsgroups prides itself on providing premium features and services as a trusted name as a USENET access provider. The latest round of upgrades and features from NewsDemon.com Newsgroups are part of the continuing process of delivering premium features and services as a trusted USENET access provider.



Wireless 500 MPS Connections Now Possible

By Newsgroup Usenet January 25th, 2010

500mbpsHey Newsgroups, ready for some really fast speeds? A research project conducted by Siemens, together with the Heinrich Hertz Institute, has recently broken all records for wirelessly transmitting data. By making use of white LEDs (light-emitting diodes) instead of radio waves, researchers have been able to transmit data at 500Mbps. The light-emitting diode used in the test was produced by Osram – a Siemens subsidiary – who transferred data over a distance of 16.4 feet (5 meters).

Researchers in Munich collaborated with researchers from the Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin to achieve the new record. In the wireless technique, data are directly transferred by modulating, via the power supply, the amount of light emitted by the LED. The researchers could successfully transmit data over a distance of up to five meters at 500 Mbps; or, by combining five LEDs; they could transfer data over longer distances at rates of about 100 Mbps. The previous record was 200 MBPS.

The researchers used Ostar LEDs and lights that are modulated at a frequency that enables high-speed data transfers and is one of the brightest LEDs on the market. The changes in brightness due to modulation are indictable to the human eye. A photo detector converts the light signals it receives into electrical pulses on the other end. Siemens refers to this method of transmitting data as VLC (Visible Light Communication), and the company claims that it could be put to use in numerous ways. It could be used to help boost the performance of wireless networks and sustained connections to networks like USENET.

While light data transmission sounds less convenient than RF, there are many instances, like hospitals, when you don’t want extra radio frequencies floating around. Other applications suggested are in transportation, where LED stoplights can transmit information to trains and cars, for example. Siemens mentions that they combined five LEDs to transfer data over “longer distances” at rates up to 100Mbit/s, but didn’t mention exactly how long these distances were.  Also, there was no mention as to how other light sources might affect the data transfer, or how much distance negatively affected the data speed.

The press release from the company states, “Increasingly, wireless networks are compromised by the fact that in many buildings the three independent WLAN frequency bands are multiply occupied, which leads to collisions among the data packets. In a situation like this, visible light, as a currently unused and license-free medium, offers a suitable alternative. A further advantage is that this form of data transfer is impervious to interception. Only the photo detector that is positioned directly within the light cone is able receive the data. In other words, it is impossible to ‘tap’ the data transported in the light beam.” The tests were conducted in Berlin by Siemens in conjunction with the Heinrich Hertz Institute.

Could it be that soon you’ll be seeing 500 MBPS offers from your ISP and Usenet Access Provider? Probably not for the next few years. But steps from Siemens and the like are taking it one more step forward to reality. Coincidentally, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups has hit a 500 mark of its own; breaking through the 500 day retention mark, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is one day away from hitting a new 510 days of binary retention and growing.



Young Adults Online More Than Ever

By Newsgroup Usenet January 21st, 2010

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According to a survey released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, American youths are spending far more time consuming media on a daily basis than just five years ago. Young people now devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to daily media use, or about 53 hours a week according to the findings being discussed on a variety of USENET newsgroups.

According to the study posted on to soc newsgroups, America’s 8- 18-year-olds have increased their consumption of digital media over the past 5 years by one hour and 17 minutes a day.  The 7 1/2 hour daily total is up from 6 hours and 21 minutes five years ago.. Total media consumption taking multitasking into account was up from 8 hours 33 minutes.

And when children go to their rooms, media still surrounds them, with 71 percent saying they have a TV in their bedroom and 50 percent saying they have a video game player, the researchers report. Live TV viewing comprises 59%, or 2 hours and 39 minutes a day, of young viewer’s video time with 41%, 1 hour and 50 minutes, coming from time-shifted programming, DVDs, online, or mobile. Other trends: About two-thirds of young people say the TV is usually on during meals, and just under half say the TV is left on, most of the time, in their home, even if no one is watching.  “What surprised me the most is the sheer amount of media content coming into their lives each day,” said Kaiser’s Vicky Rideout, who directed the study. “When you step back and look at the big picture, it’s a little overwhelming.” The huge increase since 2004 can be attributed to the transformation of the cellphone into a content delivery device and social networks such as USENET, Facebook and Twitter.

“The increase in media use is driven in large part by ready access to mobile devices like cell phones and iPods. Over the past five years, there has been a huge increase in ownership among 8-18-year-olds: from 39 to 66 percent for cell phones, and from 18 to 76 percent for iPods and other MP3 players,” read the report.

A few years ago, the same researchers thought that teens and tweens were consuming about as much media as humanly possible in the hours available. But somehow, young people have found a way to pack in even more.  The study cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship between media use and grades. However, the survey did find that about half of heavy media users, defined as consuming more than 16 hours of media a day, usually got grades of mostly Cs or lower, compared to less than a quarter of light users, defined as less than three hours of media a day. Black and Hispanic children, who as a group perform poorer in school than whites, spend far more time with media than white kids, consuming an additional 4.5 hours a day on average, for a total of about 13 hours of media exposure.

Study authors didn’t determine whether so much use is either positive or negative overall, but do say the new stats should be useful information for parents, health professionals and policy makers as they make decisions about kids media use and the content they’re receiving. “Anything that occupies this much space in kids’ lives is something we really need to pay attention to,” Richard added. “The bottom line is that all these advances in media technologies are making it even easier for young people to spend more and more time with media,” said foundation Vice President Victoria Rideout, the report’s author. “It’s more important than ever that researchers, policy-makers and parents stay on top of the impact it’s having on their lives.”   One form of media teenagers aren’t hooked on? Print newspapers. Most youth surveyed said they spent only 38 minutes a day reading a print publication.



Twitter Threat Treated As Terrorism

By Newsgroup Usenet January 18th, 2010

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Newsgroups hosts one of the longest running online discussion systems on the planet. As much trash talk newsgroups may have generated, not a single case has ever led to someone being banned for life from every flying again. But that’s what happened when 26 year old Paul Chambers posted a message on Twitter on Friday intended to be an ill-fated joke. It wasn’t long after stating on the popular social network “I’m blowing the airport sky high” that authorities arrested and interrogated him under the Terrorism Act.

The post was meant as merely a joke spiced up with some pent up anger but authorities didn’t take to kindly to his sense of humor. On January 13, Paul was arrested on terrorism charges. When he tried to explain the situation to the officers that had come to arrest him, they didn’t seem to even know what Twitter was “I had to explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they’d never heard of it” stated Paul. He faces a charge of conspiring to create a bomb hoax, a charge he flatly denies. “I’m the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine.”

Since then, they’ve confiscated his laptop, iPhone and home computer while also banning him for life from the airport he had joked about. Furthermore, he has been suspended from his place of work and even his twitter account has been deleted. There have been Twitter-related arrests in the U.S., where there are more than 6 million users of the social-networking site. Two men were arrested last October for tweeting police locations during the G-20 conference in Pittsburgh.

After 30 years of existence, USENET Newsgroups may work the same as Twitter and have had similar posts that may have reached the masses, but never did it generate such a harsh legal backlash for a supposed joke. It leaves to question if these new sites and the direction of social networks as a whole are really a move forward comparative to networks that are proudly uncensored such as USENET newsgroups.



Newsgroups Recount CES Highlights

By Newsgroup Usenet January 11th, 2010

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It’s 2010 and it’s already been a long hard week for many people in Las Vegas this week, as over 100,000 people flocked to the city for the Consumer Electronics Show that ended this past Sunday. Many reports on the positive upswing for this yearly convention as registration top 120,000. Multiple newsgroups have been getting posted with a ton of updates from the weekend CES 2010 event. Here are the top CES discussions going on:

Televisions – From the Toshiba Cell TV, Skype HD TV and others from Samsung, Phillips and Toshiba, the biggest winners in this class were those who brought out the 3D TV Sets. With the cost of manufacturing them coming down – and Avatar coming out on DVD in a few months – expect reasonably priced 3D LED TV sets coming soon. How do they look? If you like how 3D movies look in the theatre, you might like these.

Toys – Top toys from this year’s CES according to hobby newsgroups had mini helicopters with built in cameras that can be controlled with your iPhone like the Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter to the IceTouch Mp3 player with the first ever transparent OLED Touchscreen. Microsoft newsgroups report that at CES it looks as though that the XBox 360 upgrade Natal may indeed be out by the holidays this year which could be a big blow to the Nintendo Wii – who stood silent this year.

eBook Readers and Tablets – The Amazon Kindle might have but the eBook market on the map, but certainly isn’t the only contender.   With dedicated eBook newsgroups, the Entourage Edge and Plastic Logi Que ProReader have been the most discussed of the 23 companies that displayed e-readers at this year’s show – and none showed them last year.

Phones – Since the world of mobile connectivity is exploding, smartphones by the plenty should be no surprise. Motorola, Samsung, HTC and more displayed their new offerings.  No longer for just making phone calls, most of these phones – equipped with apps, can very well almost replace laptops completely. Mobile computing is getting easier. Most interesting? According to mobile newsgroups: Google Nexus

Connectivity was once again the over-arching theme during the 2010 CES and the focus of several technology executives’ speeches. With all the gadgets mentioned above and including new offerings in Ford vehicles, the theme has been about integrating these devices together.

Much like the way Usenet ties in all these themed newsgroups, these technologies are being modeled to communicate and interact with each other. With the way that these toys appear now, it seems as though the home PC may be the mother to all these components.

Closing CES, a new possibility of shaking around in your living room with 3D game characters swarming and closing in on you while you bluetooth your friend for backup seems more of possibility this year. Unanimously, newsgroups rejoice.