The NewsDemon Blog

Newsgroup Spotlight: Linux Operating System Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 5th, 2009

As Windows 7 has been released to manufacturing, the popularity of other operating systems still increase. Apple has seen great increase in sales of desktop and mobile computing devices while Linux has been making a monumental move from the geek dorm to the living room by being pre-packaged by big name manufacturers.

DELL, HP and Acer have been leading an incentive to bring different flavors of the Linux OS to market. Ubuntu being considered the favorite of many, others are being utilized dependent on their usage.

Linux newsgroups have existed almost since the dawn of USENET newsgroups, with specific newsgroups relating to each Linux distribution. Since Linux has always been open source, different distributions have been created to cater to the needs of the user. From personal to enterprise versions of Linux available, Linux has grown to 600 variations of the popular operating system.
Below are some of the more popular newsgroups relating to each operating system distribution:
alt.os.debian – Free distribution of the Linux based operating system which is maintained and updated through the work of many volunteers and users. Other Debian operating system discussion groups include:

alt.os.linux.mandriva – Mandriva Linux includes many graphical administration assistants & wizards that make it intuitive and fun to use while providing all the power and robustness of other Linux systems.
alt.os.linux.redhat– Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a high-end Linux distribution geared toward businesses with mission-critical needs. Other Redhat operating system discussion groups include:




Redhat has a host of other newsgroups specific to each aspect of the operating system and available packages for the OS.– Fedora is RedHat’s plan to develop a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from free software. The distribution was created to replace low-end, comsumer versions of RedHat Linux.

alt.linux.suse – openSUSE has received high praise from its users due to apple-esque polished desktop environments, courtesy of KDE and GNOME. It is one of the most documented distributions available.

Another openSUSE operating system discussion group can be found at:


alt.os.linux.ubuntu – The most common and popular, Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease-of-installation. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you’ll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. The graphical installer enables you to get up and running quickly and easily. Another version similar, Kubuntu , is based off this distribution.

Internet Newsgroups: Mozilla Firefox Reaches 1 Billion Downloads

By Newsgroup Usenet August 3rd, 2009

Firefox 1 Billion ServedToday, Mozilla launched a new website celebrating one billion Firefox downloads. The big event happened last Thursday night, according to the company’s official download counter reported on internet browser newsgroups.

This 1 billion figure includes users downloading multiple copies for different computers in addition to manual downloads for upgrading purposes, although automatic updates and downloads from USENET newsgroups are not counted. It makes one wonder how long before it would hit the 1 billion mark if newsgroup downloads of the software were counted since 2004.

“This is a monumental event – Firefox has come a long way since its debut in November 2004, thanks to the amazing Firefox community,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post. “Volunteers from all over the world contribute to the coding, testing and spreading of Firefox to communities across the globe.”

The fact that Mozilla has recorded one billion Firefox downloads by itself doesn’t prove the Web browser has become a formidable competitor to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It’s Firefox’s reputation for superior security, rapid patching of security holes and its multitude of browser extentions that has allowed it to win converts among corporate and personal Web users.

Firefox more or less holds 31% of the market share, second only to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer who is seeing their 60% grip loosening by the day. Other browsers such as Opera, Chrome and Safari have a lot of work to do if they were to catch up.

Mobile Newsgroups: First Touchscreen PC Tablet Crunchpad Coming Soon

By Newsgroup Usenet July 31st, 2009

Techcrunch and a Singapore company are hoping to have Crunchpad, the world’s first true PC tablet, ready for release by November of this year.

The Singapore start-up company Fusion Garage is racing to be the first in the world to bring an almost mythical creature – the touch screen tablet computer – to the market.

According messages on USENET newsgroups, the tablet device is designed for users to consume content rather than create it, similar to a netbook. The operating system was developed in-house by Fusion Garage and the device will have no storage space and will instead run programs hosted on servers: so-called cloud computing. The OS is a customized version of Linux and it was developed specifically for this device.

The CrunchPad touch screen internet tablet will launch by November, just in time for the Christmas buying rush. The company has teamed up with Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, to help get the product out of the door. Earlier, Arrington had promised an event to unveil the CrunchPad in late July or early August.

It would lack any form of storage as it is focused on using web based services for all the tasks.

Newsgroup discussions further reveal that it will reportedly include both Wi-Fi and 3G access, a custom OS based on Webkit and one USB port. At 13 inches by 8 inches and at 2.6 pounds, it will supposedly look and weigh less than a MacBook Air.

Main Specs:

* Connectivity: WiFi & 3G, with option for mobile broadband
* Dimensions: 12.77 x 7.83 x 0.74″
* Hardware: 1.6GHz Atom & 1GB RAM
* Peripherals: 1x USB port built-in, for keyboard or mouse
* Price: Unconfirmed, estimated US$399 (approx. S$575)
* Screen: 12″
* Software: Webkit browser/operating system, developed by the Fusion Garage team
* Weight: 1.2kg

Newsgroup Spotlight: Stock and Investment Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 29th, 2009

Saving money can be much easier when you have the information as well as the steps to put that information into use. That’s what stock and investment newsgroups have centered around; to share that all important information and explain how to use it to take control of your finances, allowing you to save and gain.
Surviving and thriving in ever changing markets demands perpetual focus and 20/20 vision. Stock and Investment newsgroups can be a valuable supplement to keeping a honed eye on the world and can be the key difference between success and failure.
Newsgroups have and can provide both entrepreneurs , investors and companies a more efficient way to pass information swiftly and intelligently. USENET stock and investment newsgroups provide the community it supports the ability to:
• Post messages and read messages by others
• Search posts for relevant discussions
• Screen the markets and discuss recent activity
• Scan sector and industry categories to locate company message boards
• Stay updated with today’s top stories and discuss recent headlines
• Follow company financial data, including quotes, charts and news
Many USENET newsgroups exist on investing and the stock market. The general investment newsgroup, misc.invest provides discussions of the latest financial developments and funding sources throughout the world. Covering a multitude of topics ranging from public finance, taxes, banking services and new industry specific trends. Other newsgroups, such as misc.invest.funds is a centered discussion group for mutual funds, and the group misc.invest.stocks is solely centered around the rise and falls of stocks.
Whatever the focus of finance, there are newsgroups that exist around them. From Funds, Futures to Technical newsgroups, USENET hosts a number of user sustained discussion groups around each topic.

ATT Blocks Access To USENET and Website 4Chan

By Newsgroup Usenet July 27th, 2009

death-star-att-1Adding to its own controversy, AT&T Sunday blocked sections of the popular image-based bulletin board, 4chan, adding more fuel to the debate over network neutrality.

Web site reported Sunday afternoon that AT&T subscribers could not gain access to certain portions of 4chan. AT&T spokesperson had initially vaguely confirmed that the carrier was blocking portions of the site because they were “following the practices of their policy department.” AT&T declined to provide a more specific explanation for why at the time, which triggered an immediate response from the global online community.

Many bloggers, forums and newsgroups were quick to decry the act as a form of censorship. Quickly, fear grew among tech bloggers that a massive 4chan counterattack was about to begin. 4chan has been known as a controversial website at times, but has largely been left alone until now.

“AT&T has just opened perhaps the most vindictive, messy can of worms it could have possibly found,” said TechCrunch. “Blocking any site is an extreme breach of user trust, but the decision to block 4chan in particular just seems stupid. Expect the web equivalent of rioting if this doesn’t change soon.”

AT&T had also recently discontinued providing USENET access to all customers, which was part of the initial fuel that fed a fire that could have quickly gotten out of hand. reported the outage back in June and continues to offer 25% Off all plans for former ATT subscribers.
AT&T said today that the temporary block of 4chan was due to an attack on one of its customers and not because of the popular site’s content.

In a statement, the ISP stated said that an unnamed business customer was the target of a denial-of-service attack on Friday. The DDOS attack originated from IP addresses connected to 4chan, and to prevent it from spreading to other customers, AT&T blocked those addresses for its Internet-service subscribers.

AT&T Inc. spokesman Michael Coe says the site was blocked to protect customers from a so-called “denial of service” attack, which floods targets with meaningless traffic. “This action was in no way related to the content at 4chane; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic,” AT&T said. It removed the block late Sunday. Newsgroups Releases USENET Tester Tool

By Newsgroup Usenet July 24th, 2009

USENET Newsgroups today is proud to present a new software release, the Newsgroups USENET Tester. The USENET Tester tool is designed to assist in testing and verifying any USENET access account.

The USENET tester is a desktop application that allows the user to input the address, username, password and newsgroup to run a series of tests. The tests will provide results on whether the account is active and if the newsgroup is carried by the USENET access provider.

The announcement is part of Newsgroups ongoing pursuit to help customers simplify their USENET experience.

The USENET Tester also includes other functions. This tool is especially helpful to determine if a particular newsgroup is carried by a USENET provider as well as providing a header count for the newsgroup.

The program works with Windows XP, Vista and 7 RTM. For more information and instructions about the USENET tester, visit .To get the USENET tester program, click here to download.

UPDATE: We are receiving reports of errors using the software. We are aware of the problem and will be reissuing a corrected version shortly. We appreciate your patience.

UPDATE 8/20: We have a new improved version with added functionality that should resolve any problems our previous released version had encountered. Please use the link above to download v5.56

Newsgroup Spotlight: Psychology Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 22nd, 2009

For a long time now, Psychology related newsgroups have been dedicated to fostering dialogue and research between modern science, psychology and philosophy. A good many newsgroups are dedicated to exploring various aspects of psychology such as personality theory, positive psychology, relationships, social psychology, media preferences, psychometrics and other sectors.

The goals of many are the same: to connect those interested in the science of psychology. Psychology newsgroups are unique in fostering communication with both researchers as well as generally interested people in the field.

The very first online community dedicated to psychology were created in USENET Newsgroups.

Specialty newsgroups on the topic of psychology exist to further create communities and discussion. Groups such as sci.psychology.pschotherapy exists to discuss techniques used in interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy, marriage and family
therapy, client-centered therapy, rational-emotive therapy, etc. It also is home to discussion on ethical issues in practice as well as specific psychotherapeutic techniques. Other newsgroups cover areas such psychology research newsgroups and expands as far as metaphilosopy. Increases Available Number of Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 20th, 2009 Newsgroups has announced that it will begin offering more newsgroups as part of their USENET access services. Previously at 75,000 newsgroups, Newsgroups will now begin to offer over 107,000 newsgroups to choose from for all existing and current members.

The increase to the newly available newsgroups requires no modifications to Newsgroups memberships. This affects all US and European customers.

The retention rate of these new newsgroups may vary. However, most newsgroups will be spooling along to the scheduled 400 day retention for binaries and 720 days for text.

With many newsreaders, the change will require users to refresh and download groups available. Tutorials are available here for many of the popular newsreaders. Members can also contact support directly for assistance.

The increase in the number of newsgroups is part of the continuing effort by Newsgroups to provide premium USENET access to its members. With the additional newsgroups offered, Newsgroups members now have access to more discussions and resources than ever before.

Technology Newsgroups: Google OS Gets Attention From Microsoft

By Newsgroup Usenet July 17th, 2009

Google becomes more like Microsoft every day. It used to be that only Microsoft could pre-announce a product to mass hysteria. After the announced plans to develop a second Linux-based operating system to complement its Android smartphone platform, though, the similarities become even more eerie.

This new project, called Chrome OS, will consist of Google’s Chrome Web browser layered atop a Linux kernel and will rely on the Web as its application development platform .Google hasn’t yet given up a lot of information about its Chrome OS – including on how USENET would be able to be accessed from the OS – so there’s plenty of room for speculation about potential features and whether the technology will give users a reason to switch from the operating systems they’re using.

On a variety of USENET newsgroups, the new OS by Google has sparked a number of discussions. such as noting facts such as it being based off a Linux distribution makes it more of an integration of Chrome into Linux than it is a revolutionary new OS.

Google’s indication (hardly an announcement) that they’re getting into the OS business comes as no surprise. It’s already got Android and it’s got Web-based apps that are now (finally) out of beta. Analysts have gone on record saying Chrome OS could dilute the Android brand, further confusing a fragmented Linux market.

Microsoft, the undisputed market champion of the desktop operating system and keeper of the fat-client flame, in responce, recently released a Technical Preview build of Office 2010, the latest iteration of its venerable productivity suite to a lukewarm reception.

It begs the question though: Does the computing world really need another operating system? Google proposes Chrome OS as lightweight and designed to serve Web apps. Most consumers don’t even know what that means. If Chrome OS doesn’t pose truly astonishing speed and efficiency gains—from install to boot-up—what is the point? The OS is the platform on which everything else rests. If the benefits of Chrome OS aren’t noticeable by agerage computer users, what’s the point? If it means that it will have no compatible newsreader out of the gates, whats the point?

Bill Gates said it was hard to really say much about Chrome OS, since Google has said so little about how it will actually work. “The more vague they are, the more interesting it is,” he said. Meanwhile, CEO Steve Ballmer suggested on Tuesday that Windows, rather than a browser-centric OS was the right approach. To bolster his argument, Ballmer noted that half of PC use today is spent doing work outside the browser.

“We don’t need a new operating system,” Ballmer said Tuesday, as part of his keynote at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. “What we do need to do is to continue to evolve Windows, Windows Applications, Internet Explorer, the way IE works in totality with Windows and how we build applications like Office…and we need to make sure we can bring our customers and partners with us.”

Google’s decision to target the netbook market may help the prospects of Chrome OS. Although Microsoft has made a concerted effort to push Windows on netbooks to fend off low-cost Linux-based challengers, Google may find it easier to compete in the netbook market because access to cloud-based services and software is more valuable on devices with constrained resources than on high-powered desktop computers.

Newsgroup Spotlight: Photography Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 15th, 2009

Photography newsgroups on USENET can include hundreds of different topics and comments on virtually anything related to digital photography in a single day. Many different newsgroups exist on the matter of photography to cover both the novice to the pro.

Members of these photography newsgroups are usually active  photographers that are dedicated to capturing moments one shutter click at a time. Photography newsgroups are also usually available to help anyone who’s new to photography, whether it’s a brand new SLR or a Point and Shoot.  There are even newsgroups that cover the market and sale of photography equipment. Marketplace photography newsgroups are a great place to meet other photographers.

Photography newsgroups often include Frequently Asked Questions that explain basic photography techniques. Some of these newsgroups may also include photography tutorials as well.

Whether you’re shooting with an advanced Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony or Fuji SLR Or a simple point and shoot you are more than welcome to a hosts of newsgroups related to photography.

Here are some other photography newsgroups to help you along: The work of photo journalists – Photography in general – Photoshop discussion group – Photo Newsgroup in Japanese – Developing, printing and other darkroom issues – Digital Photography – 35mm Camera issues – Large format Camera issues – Medium-format Camera issues – Photo equipment issues – Film and Lab issues – Trading of personal photographic equipment – General issues related to photography – The art and science of photography – Misc photo techniques – Various shooting techniques not covered specifically – Nature and photography topics – People and photography