The NewsDemon Blog

DVR Users Like Television Commercials

By Newsgroup Usenet November 2nd, 2009

dvr-wins-tv

DVR proves itself to be a friend, not foe, to TV. According to a New York Times article released today, nearly half of all DVR users let the advertisements play during each showing.

A Nielsen study cited by the New York Times, and currently being discussed on Television newsgroups found that 46% of DVR viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 intentionally chose to watch advertisements rather than fast-forwarding through them.

The article from NYT that’s getting a lot of attention from entertainment and media newsgroups states:

Against almost every expectation, nearly half of all people watching delayed shows are still slouching on their couches watching messages about movies, cars and beer. According to Nielsen, 46 percent of viewers 18 to 49 years old for all four networks taken together are watching the commercials during playback, up slightly from last year. Why would people pass on the opportunity to skip through to the next chunk of program content?

The most basic reason, according to Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, a media buying firm, is that the behavior that has underpinned television since its invention still persists to a larger degree than expected.

“It’s still a passive activity,” he said.

Two years ago, in a seismic change from past practice, Nielsen started measuring television consumption by the so-called commercial-plus-three ratings, which measure viewing for the commercials in shows that are watched either live or played back on digital video recorders within three days. This replaced the use of program ratings.

Taken in total, all of this is good news for advertisers. A shockingly high percentage of the viewers of prerecorded television programming choose to watch ads, even when given the option to skip them, and those who skipped through at 4 times real time speed still ended up watching at least a portion of a pharmaceutical commercial.



Internet Newsgroups: GeoCities RIP

By Newsgroup Usenet October 29th, 2009

geocities-shutdown

Remember the web in the 90’s? If you do, then chances are you’re no stranger to GeoCities. Internet Newgroups report that Yahoo’s acquired web hosting service, GeoCities, has closed after 15 years of offering people the ability to set up their own website. GeoCities once boasted millions of users but has fallen out of fashion in recent years. Free blogging services such as Blogger, WordPress and Typepad as well as social networking sites have left GeoCities with fewer users and more importantly, no other way to make any money.

Internet historians on USENET newsgroups have been recounting  how it all began in 1994, as the site was originally called “Beverly Hills Internet,” but was renamed “GeoCities” in 1995 for the way the sites under its domain were organized into “neighborhood” directories – reminiscent of the newsgroup hierarchy. Yahoo! had taken over the site, including all of the “Under Construction” accounts that GeoCities had been famous for as well, almost a decade ago, for a whopping $3.57billion, in stocks.

In April, the company announced plans to raze the service and stopped accepting new users. “We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways,” the company said.

The rival to AngelFire, GeoCities was a hotspot for new web designers, entrepreneurs and general technology enthusiasts for years. Yahoo’s page on why they are closing Geocities says: ‘we have decided to focus on helping our customers explore and build relationships online in other ways. Beginning on October 26, 2009, you will no longer be able to use GeoCities to maintain a free presence online — but we’re excited about the other services we have designed to help you connect with friends and family and share your activities and interests.’

All the data and information of GeoCities which had been stored on Yahoo! servers has been deleted. Yahoo! says that they will now “focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways”.

All is not lost though, as an ambitious group going by the name of Archive Team heard the news months in advance and has spent much of their time since then downloading pages for the purposes of preservation. Reocities, the new project name, has archived over 600,000 Geocities accounts and over 11 million files. Reocities pages can be accessed by simply replacing the “G” in “Geocities” with the “R” in “Reocities.”



Newsgroup Spotlight: Resource Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet October 21st, 2009

The feeling of knowing you are an expert in your field is one of triumph. To help you along, USENET newsgroups can possibly help you along of not only reaching that goal, but maybe even broaden your knowledge and field.

Whatever field you may be in, chances are that there is a USENET newsgroup associated with it. From archaeology to bee keeping, the range of newsgroups – and those who subscribe to them – is many. These newsgroups attract both the experts as well as the novice that come together as a community to discuss, share and exchange information.

While you research USENET newsgroups, you may find that information that you thought was non-existent because you didn’t find it online, is waiting for you on a USENET newsgroup. With over 107,000 newsgroups available to rummage through, it’s not hard to find at least a related group that subscribes to your interest.

Whether you’re a pilot, a scientist or you simply just want to speak Japanese, newsgroups are a fantastic place to find out more about what you want to know.

The feeling of knowing you are an expert in your field is one of triumph. To help you along, USENET newsgroups can possibly help you along of not only reaching that goal, but maybe even broaden your knowledge and field.

Whatever field you may be in, chances are that there is a USENET newsgroup associated with it. From archaeology to bee keeping, the range of newsgroups – and those who subscribe to them – is many. These newsgroups attract both the experts as well as the novice that come together as a community to discuss, share and exchange information.

While you research USENET newsgroups, you may find that information that you thought was non-existent because you didn’t find it online, is waiting for you on a USENET newsgroup. With over 107,000 newsgroups available to rummage through, it’s not hard to find at least a related group that subscribes to your interest.

Whether you’re a pilot, a scientist or you simply just want to speak Japanese, newsgroups are a fantastic place to find out more about what you want to know.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Nobel Prize Categories

By Newsgroup Usenet October 15th, 2009

nobel

As many in the United States discussed Barack Obama for winning the Nobel Prize for Peace, there are other notable awards that were handed out for other categories. Multiple awards were given to groups and individuals that had been responsible for some amazing achievements.

All of these fields that these people had won in share at least one thing in common; dedicated discussion newsgroups on USENET. Thousands over time have contributed, shared and/or discussed the same topics that continue to this day for the same common goal: advancement in knowledge and application.

It wouldn’t be surprising if each of these awarded individuals had some sort of background with USENET. As the premier and prominent online source for communication and sharing ideas, it’s very possible that one, if not some, used USENET as a resource.

Here are the other winners of the Nobel Prize this year:

In the Physiology and Medicine category, the award had gone to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, a group responsible for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and an enzyme.

In Physics, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith shared one half of the award for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor –  as the other half went to Charles K. Kao for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication, which could lead to astonishing speeds in data transmission.

In the ever changing world of Chemistry, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath shared the award for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome, which are complexes of RNA and protein that are found in all cells.

In the Economics front, it was Elinor Ostrom for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons and Oliver E. Williamson for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm that won them the rights to share the prize equally.

Lastly, in the world of Literature, Herta Müller from Germany won who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.

The achievements each of them have been able to make have been due to the same elements that can be found on USENET: research, discovery and knowledge. With these at our disposal, future advancements are not only possible, but likely.

As many in the United States discussed Barack Obama for winning the Nobel Prize for Peace, there are other notable awards that were handed out for other categories. Six awards in all were given to groups and individuals that had been responsible for some amazing achievements.

All of these fields that these people had won in share something in common; dedicated discussion newsgroups on USENET. Thousands over time have contributed, shared or discussed the same topics that continue to this day for the same common goal: advancement in knowledge and application.

It wouldn’t be surprising if each of these awarded individuals had some sort of background with USENET. As the premier and prominent online source for communication and sharing ideas, it’s very possible that one, if not some, used USENET as a resource.

Here are the other winners of the Nobel Prize this year:

In the Physiology and Medicine category, the award had gone to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, a group responsible for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and an enzyme.

In Physics, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith shared one half of the award for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor – as the other half went to Charles K. Kao for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication, which could lead to astonishing speeds in data transmission.

In the ever changing world of Chemistry, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath shared the award for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome, which are complexes of RNA and protein that are found in all cells.

In the Economics front, it was Elinor Ostrom for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons and Oliver E. Williamson for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm that won them the rights to share the prize equally.

Lastly, in the world of Literature, Herta Müller from Germany won who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.

The achievements each of them have been able to make have been due to the same elements that can be found on USENET: research, discovery and knowledge. With these at our disposal, future advancements are not only possible, but likely.



ISP Newsgroups: 02 Announced USENET Throttle

By Newsgroup Usenet October 12th, 2009

o2broadband

United Kingdom broadband provider O2 will begin throttling USENET newsgroups between 8PM and 11pm. Customers will experience slower access times to certain services during these hours.

On the O2 website, the company has stated that due to heavy traffic from some users, it has prevented or slowed access to what they deem to be “priority” traffic to email and social networking sites. They state that growth of online traffic has put a strain on their network.

The company had announced that they would begin rolling out the throttle program beginning today. Customers of the broadband provider may very well experience slower speeds to particular online destinations, including USENET newsgroups.

The site clearly states that all NNTP and other protocol and port traffic related to newsgroups would experience a slow down during the 8-11pm time period.

Since the announcement, ISP newsgroup discussions have begun stating their displeasure with this recent move, threatening to leave the provider.

This is the first time that a UK provider has imposed a throttle on ports. The US has experienced throttle campaigns by major players Comcast and Time Warner Cable which are still being tested out in certain regions.



NASA Fulfills Promise Of Moon Punch

By Newsgroup Usenet October 9th, 2009

blowupmoon

The big news on newsgroups is that NASA deliberately aimed a rocket into the Moon to expand the search for water. NASA has said the rocket and satellite strike was a success, kicking up enough dust for scientists to determine whether or not there is water on the moon.

Nothing exploded, although two spacecraft — one about the size of a bus, the other a subcompact car — did crash on the surface of the moon. For background on the whys and wherefores, you can read more about moon exploration and the reasons for the LCROSS mission here and on some of the space and technology newsgroups.

Mission scientists said they did spy a thermal flash and spotted an approximately 20 meter sized created by the impact. They were most excited about a tiny bump in brightness seen by a mission spectrometer, which could signal the presence of water that some think exists as ice in the bottom of the target crater.

“We have the data we need to address the questions we set out to address”, said Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission. At approximately 5.31pm IST on Friday, a rocket called LCROSS (for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite), traveling at over twice the speed of a bullet, traversed the nearly 375,000 km from earth to Moon and slammed into the bottom of a lunar crater bathed in a permanent shadow.

The impact sequence was followed not only by telescopic eyes in space, such as LRO and the Hubble Space Telescope, but also by hundreds of telescopes, both professional and amateur, in North America, where the skies were mostly clear.

The one-two punch of crashing a booster rocket and its mother craft near the moon’s south pole didn’t kick up dramatic and visible plumes as hoped, but scientists reported that the mission had gathered enough data to tell whether the crater contains frozen water.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Marketplace Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet October 7th, 2009

threewolfmoon

If you’re looking to sell something online, you may not have to bother with the usual channels of maon, eBay or CraigsList. For almost 30 years, USENET newsgroups have been a great resource for people to do sell and buy on newsgroups.

One of the first channels of selling online had been on the USENET. With a variety of different categories and industries to choose from, it’s easy to find or place an ad that attracts the desired attention.

Like all online selling channels, there is precaution that needs to be taken. Just like any other online transaction, scrutiny needs to be given on what to buy from whom.

With enough research and playing it safe, you can join the thousands of others who have rare treasures hidden deep within the articles and posts of marketplace newsgroup postings.

If you’re looking to place something for sale on newsgroups, take a look at what USENET has to offer. If you play your cards right, you may find yourself buying that rare whatnot for that thingamajig you’ve always wanted.



Linux Kernel Turns 18 On USENET Newsgroup

By Newsgroup Usenet October 5th, 2009

linux-birthday-usenet

It might have been in late August 1991 that Linus Torvalds posted on the USENET newsgroup comp.os.minix about a new operating system he was developing, but it was October 5th, 1991 that Linux version 0.02, the official version of the kernel was announced and released.

Today, the Linux kernel celebrates its 19th birthday. In those nineteen years, Linux has seen an abundance of changes and improvements. As one of the first operating systems that relied on the online community to support it, it has been responsible for over 50 different versions since then.

Linus Torvalds was the originator of Linux and the initial leader of the community. As a USENET enthusiast and realizing the importance newsgroups had, he used the USENET as the first destination to announce the release of the first Linux kernel.

The open source Linux kernel was then improved upon by the USENET community as it still is today, alongside other online communities. In its now available 2.6.32-rc3 recent release, Linux demonstrates the innovation and improvement it has made throughout time due to its community contributed resources.

USENET itself celebrates its own 30th birthday this year as well. As a hub for online communities to share, develop and exchange, USENET has been an intricate part of the birth and the subsequent life that has made Linux available to this day as well as a host of other technologies in its time.



Celebrate USENET 30th Anniversary And Win!

By Newsgroup Usenet October 1st, 2009

askaquestion

So far, the online world has had a tremendous year. We’ve been introduced and have embraced a range of new technologies and a face lift of old favorites. It also marks the year in which the USENET, the first online social network outlet, celebrates it’s 30th Birthday.

In recognition of the tremendous resources, solutions and communities the USENET newsgroups put forth and continues to deliver over the last 30 years, NewsDemon.com Newsgroups will be hosting a series of events, including an interview with Tom Truscott, one of the founders of the USENET as well as other pioneers and entrepreneurs.

As the theme of USENET has been about bringing together online communities, we’re inviting you to be part of it.

Have you ever had a question about the USENET you thought that no one could answer? Did you ever wonder how a newsgroup or the USENET came to be? Now is your chance to find out.

As further incentive, we’re giving you the opportunity to win a free year of unlimited USENET access if your question is chosen by our panel of USENET experts.

Simply fill out our USENET Anniversary Questionnaire, and if you’re question is used in any of our interviews, we’ll give you a full year of USENET access.

We’ve set up a panel to review all submitted questions received by October 15th. NewsDemon.com Newsgroups will then use selected questions in our interviews. The user who submits the question that was best rated by our panel will then receive ONE FULL YEAR FREE OF UNLIMITED USENET ACCESS.  You may also submit multiple questions to be considered.

Hurry, as questions must be submitted by October 15th, 2009! You don’t have to be a member to enter and any current member that may win also qualifies.

Here’s your chance to find out all the answers to all your USENET questions and possibly win a free year of unlimited USENET access in the process!



Banned Books Week Announced On Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet September 26th, 2009

banned-books-week

On many arts and literature newsgroups, the main topic of discussion this week is all about the ALA’s Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event which celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of the United States First Amendment.  Always held during the last week of September, BBW highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship. This form and attempt of censorship is something very familiar as well with many newsgroups on USENET.

Launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, BBW was created primarily by bookstores and libraries, headed by The American Library Association.

More than a thousand books have been challenged since then.  People have challenged books that they say are too offensive for one reason or another: sex, violence, profanity, slang, racial or religion for the most part. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature.

Some of the mainstream titles that have been banned are:

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • Forever – Judy Blume
  • The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
  • In The Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison

Others include: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Charlotte’s Web.” “The Sun Also Rises.” “As I Lay Dying.” “Kim.” “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Over the years, groups and communities have taken it upon themselves to determine what books are worthy of being stacked on library shelves and what should be kept from the public. Many libraries and bookstores have answered back that access to such works, no matter what their content, is one of the precious traditions that should be defended.

In response, The American Library Association’s designated an annual Banned Books Week – now in its 28th year – to answer this cause. Many books challenged by communities as being inappropriate for public dissemination or that were targeted for banning have survived because of BBW as it brings librarians, teachers, booksellers and the media to rally and create public opposition to such moves.

Much like the freedoms of USENET, intellectual freedom, while not an explicit freedom guaranteed by the United States First Amendment, sits at the heart of our democracy; it is the freedom to access information and express ideas—even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.  Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event which celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of the United States First Amendment. Always held during the last week of September, BBW highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship. This form and attempt of censorship is something very familiar as well with many newsgroups on USENET.

Launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, BBW was created primarily by bookstores and libraries, headed by The American Library Association.

More than a thousand books have been challenged since then. People have challenged books that they say are too offensive for one reason or another: sex, violence, profanity, slang, racial or religion for the most part. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature.

Some of the mainstream titles that have been banned are:

· Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

· Forever – Judy Blume

· The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger

· Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

· In The Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak

· Beloved – Toni Morrison

Others include: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Charlotte’s Web.” “The Sun Also Rises.” “As I Lay Dying.” “Kim.” “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Over the years, groups and communities have taken it upon themselves to determine what books are worthy of being stacked on library shelves and what should be kept from the public. Many libraries and bookstores have answered back that access to such works, no matter what their content, is one of the precious traditions that should be defended.

In response, The American Library Association’s designated an annual Banned Books Week – now in its 28th year – to answer this cause. Many books challenged by communities as being inappropriate for public dissemination or that were targeted for banning have survived because of BBW as it brings librarians, teachers, booksellers and the media to rally and create public opposition to such moves.

Much like the freedoms of USENET, intellectual freedom, while not an explicit freedom guaranteed by the United States First Amendment, sits at the heart of our democracy; it is the freedom to access information and express ideas—even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.