The NewsDemon Blog

CERN Slips Off September To Smash Particles Again

By Newsgroup Usenet June 22nd, 2009

Large-Hadron-ColliderMany USENET newsgroups are reporting today of the world’s largest atom smasher, stating reports it will likely be October before the collider is restarted.

The Large Hadron Collider went live last year in September. It kicked particles for about nine days after a technical problem caused the LHC to stop. Although it was supposed to go live in April, it was delayed until September 2009 because the damages were worse than first thought. The 20-nation operator, CERN, said the collider needs more repairs and safety features that will end up running about $37 million in the next few years.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is up for repair ever since it got nicked by faulty wiring just nine days after it was started last September, and CERN’s officials are saying that current estimates for when repair is going to be finished are getting kicked back to sometime this October. Scientists are still carrying out tests and putting new safety measures in place to prevent a repeat of the faults that sidelined the $10 billion machine.

There are 10,000 splices around the underground collider’s 27-km (17-mile) ring, which smashes particles together at a temperature of just above absolute zero to recreate the conditions believed to have been present at the beginning of the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

Once it’s running, scientists will use the machine to smash together protons from hydrogen atoms inside a 17-mile circular tunnel that runs under the Swiss-French border near Geneva. By recording what particles are produced by the collisions they hope to better understand the makeup of the universe and everything in it.



Apollo 11 Tweets Its Way Back To Space

By Newsgroup Usenet June 19th, 2009

In July, it will have been 40 years since Apollo 11 made history. That was the first manned mission to land on the moon. Neil Armstrong’s famous “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” came as he left his footprint in the lunar soil. Now, thanks to the folks at Nature, Apollo 11 will tweet its mission.

The countdown to the online launch began yesterday on WeChooseTheMoon.org. People interested in experiencing the virtual recreation of Apollo 11 can pre-register to receive event email reminders and get regular “real time” updates during the four-day mission in July. Users will be able to follow the event on Twitter and AOL.

“This site represents a unique opportunity for viewers to ‘go back in time’ and experience one of mankind’s most amazing achievements,” said Tom Putnam, director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “From actual mission audio transmissions and archival video to mission factoids and news reels, visitors to WeChooseTheMoon.org will be able to track every step of the Apollo 11 mission, as it happened, 40 years later.

Nature, a publishing group, is mixing the old with the new by “tweeting” the Apollo 11 moon mission as it happened — 40 years later. Followers on Twitter will be able to read about technical milestones, political challenges, and related events in the space race starting today, just over a month before the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched the Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on July 16th, 1969, landing safely on the surface of the moon four days later.

Also, a 1970 documentary on the voyage of Apollo 11 and its historic lunar landing is set to be re-released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the event. The film also includes footage that captures the essence of the world’s reaction to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, when he uttered the immortal phrase.



Newsgroup Spotlight: World Wide Web Internet Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet June 17th, 2009

Surfing through the internet today can be sometimes confusing. It’s even more difficult if you’re job is to maintain and manage systems that coordinate with the ever changing world wide web.

USENET newsgroups, celebrating its 30th year this year, has long been a hub for all things involved about the internet. It was after all that Tim Berners-Lee, cited for creating the internet, used a USENET newsgroup to first post about the WorldWideWeb Project that would eventually lead up to be the foundation of the internet that we know and love today.

Since then, hundreds of newsgroups have been created and active on practically any topic related to the internet. From information system newsgroups that deal with technology used to connect to the world wide web to internet language newsgroups such as comp.lang.php for php coding and alt.html for html related discussions are just some samples of all of the categories and sub-categories that internet related USENET newsgroups provide.

To this day, many of these newsgroups provide insightful answers on the evolving world of the internet that eventually turn into the technologies and systems that we use today.

One of the most popular trends on the internet today as an example, cloud computing and storage, owes its source to USENET. USENET has been the oldest version of cloud computing in existence. With emerging cloud computing technologies from Google, Sun, Microsoft and Citrix, the foundation and architure for all is based on the fundamentals of USENET.

Whether just an active surfer, a professional web designer, or an IT networking administrator, USENET newsgroups are a hub for all the internet related discussions that you could possibly imagine.



Space Newsgroups: NASA Plans To Blow Up The Moon This Week

By Newsgroup Usenet June 15th, 2009

In an unprecedented scientific endeavor,  NASA is preparing to fly a rocket booster into the moon, triggering a six-mile-high explosion that scientists hope will confirm the presence of water. Many newsgroups on the matter of space exploration and  have been active on the topic.

NASA related newsgroups in particular have reported that NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Spacecraft (LCROSS) will launch atop the same Atlas V rocket scheduled to launch later this week. Four days following launch, LCROSS will guide an empty upper stage on a collision course with a permanently shaded crater in an effort to find evidence of water at the moon’s poles. LCROSS itself will also impact the lunar surface during its course of study. The search for water ice in permanently shaded craters at the moon’s poles will be a principal objective of the mission.

There have been discussions and debates over the years on many space related newsgroups as to whether there is frozen water on the moon or not. Soon two NASA spacecraft, a lunar spycraft and a kamikaze probe, will help answer the question by peering into the permanent darkness of craters at the moon’s south pole.

Controversial evidence for whether there is water on the moon began appearing in 1996 on NASA related newsgroups with the Clementine probe, a joint Pentagon-NASA project. Radar scans of the lunar surface reflected back the kind of signals at the south pole that one might expect of ice and other frozen compounds.

However, pointed out in discussions on space exploration newsgroups regarding later studies using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico revealed similar reflections “even from areas exposed to sunlight, places too warm for water ice to survive”. This suggested the reflections that Clementine saw might have come not from water but from piles of rocks.

The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, built by Northrop Grumman Corporation for NASA Ames Research Center, is scheduled for launch on June 17 at approximately 4PM EDT, from Launch Pad 41 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. LCROSS will be launched with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on an Atlas V rocket.

Orbital properties will make analysis of Chandrayaan data from the south pole, where NASA is contemplating planting a lunar outpost that could use water ice as a resource, which will be even trickier until more time has passed.



WHO Declares Pandemic on H1N1 Swine Flu Virus

By Newsgroup Usenet June 11th, 2009

The World Health Organisation has stated today that it is declaring an H1N1 virus swine flu pandemic, raising its alert level to the maximum of six. The Department of Health said that the WHO announcement had no immediate implications for the public, but could prompt governments to take extra prevention measures, such as imposing travel bans and ordering increased vaccine production.

In government and politics newsgroups, many are discussing on how it’s the first global pandemic over the last 41 years. The last global flu pandemic came in 1968 over the “Hong Kong” flu, which killed about a million people worldwide. Moving to phase 6 (the highest level) means a pandemic has been confirmed and the H1N1 virus is spreading from person to person in a sustained manner outside North America, where the outbreak began in April. A pandemic declaration indicates geographic spread, not the severity of the illness.

The virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has now spread to 74 countries with a reported 27,000 cases and 141 deaths. The decision to raise its global alert level from five to six — officially signalling a pandemic — came after a day-long emergency meeting of the WHO to discuss the implications of widespread outbreaks of illness in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

As stated in press releases and various USENET newsgroups, moving to phase six will trigger a large scale production of vaccines. The WHO has been quoted stating in newsgroups that phase six would reflect the fact that the disease, widely known as swine flu, is spreading geographically, but not necessarily indicate how virulent it is. It could take up to six months before large amounts of a swine flu vaccine are available.

WHO says its pandemic announcement would not mean the situation was worsening, since no mutations have been detected in the virus to show it is getting more deadly.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Animation and Comic Book Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet June 10th, 2009

Comic book and animation newsgroups

Recently and upcoming, movie studios have been pushing and putting emphasis on a range of animation and comics book adaptations. From Wolverine: Origins to G.I. Joe and Watchmen, the recent and predicted success of these movies seem to indicate that only more are destined to hit the box office this decade.

Before this recent push, these movies were few and far in-between, receiving luke warm responses in the past. A large source of why these movies have suddenly received more accolade can be directly linked to the activity and discussions of all things related to animation and comic book online.

One of the largest sources of these discussions have been animation and comic book newsgroups. These newsgroups have been some of the world’s leading portals and resources for news, information and community activities for animators, comic book fans and artists.

Newsgroups like comp.graphics.animation and rec.arts.animation have long been home to discussions of the technical aspects and technique of computer animation by industry insiders and fans alike. Where rec.arts.comics covers the superhero realm and an abundance of discussion of hero specific movies.

Many of these newsgroups have been responsible for running events where animation professionals are free to network with each other and discuss future collaborations. Comic book newsgroups and animation newsgroups both provide updates, news and events that affect animators and the animation world, including comic books.

Discussions are guided by a variety of figures from the animation and comic book world – from animators and directors, to the likeness of the comic book guy from The Simpsons.

Whether you are new or long experienced with the world of Animation and Comics, if you haven’t checked out the corresponding Usenet newsgroups on the matter, chances are you don’t know the full story.



ATT Announces Discontinuation of USENET Newsgroup Services

By Newsgroup Usenet June 9th, 2009

On July 15th, all USENET access provided by ATT  for its customers will be eliminated. An email has been sent stating that access will be removed “on or around July 15th”, as opposed to the messages posted on newsgroups as well as their official site which that states definitively the July 15th date. The USENET access offered by the ISP will be eliminated, but USENET itself will still be accessible by use of a third party vendor, such as NewsDemon.com Newsgroups.

From ATT:

AT&T Usenet Netnews Service Shutting Down

Please note that on or around July 15, 2009, AT&T will no longer be offering access to the Usenet Netnews service. If you wish to continue reading Usenet newsgroups, access is available through third-party vendors.

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is currently offering a limited time offer of 25% Off on all pricing plans for the life of the account for all ATT customers who wish to continue to have USENET access.

In order to access this special, simply type or copy the coupon code below on the last step of checkout.

COUPON CODE: att25

ATT has slowly been pulling away from USENET since July of last year, when it removed most binary newsgroups from its roster. Since then, the 48-72 hour retention on text and a limited range of binary newsgroups have since remained.

As of July 15th, all USENET access provided to ATT customers will be eliminated. The email sent, a bit different than the post on the newsgroups, state that access will be removed “on or around July 15th”, as opposed to the newsgroup message that states definitively the July 15th date.



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Reaches 300 Day Binary Retention; On Road To 400

By Newsgroup Usenet June 8th, 2009

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is proud to announce today its efforts to increase to 400 days of binary retention is drawing closer as it hits the 300 day mark today.

We had announced earlier on how we had been moving towards to a full 400 days of binary retention back in March. While reaching this milestone, our daily increase of binary retention has reached the 300 day mark and will continue to increase by one day each day after.

The amount of days that messages and articles can be accessed on a Usenet newsgroup translates to binary retention. The longer amount of days, the longer the history of articles are available.

Text retention is not affected by this upgrade and currently remains well over three years. The increase to a full 300 days of binary retention is automatically available for both US and EU customers of NewsDemon.com Newsgroups as it continues to build to our 400 day goal.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Animal and Pet Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet June 3rd, 2009

Pet newsgroups are communities for animal lovers with comprehensive discussions on all types of animals and their care taking. From Reptiles to Pigeons, every animal of land, sea and air is covered. On these newsgroups, one can share related knowledge and experience, ask questions, get advice on practically every kind of animal on newsgroups.
Even Badgers have a dedicated newsgroup that discusses the health, behavior and spotting of badgers throughout the world.
Usenet newsgroups give pet owners and animal enthusiasts alike the opportunity to ask questions, share stories, read and talk about current events in the animal kingdom. Reptiles and wildlife newsgroups are great as they offer practical education as they give the knowledgeable care, materials and resources that are needed to understand these animals.
Naturally, dog newsgroups and cat newsgroups dominate the arena. Groups such as rec.pet.dogs and rec.pets.cats discussion groups invite pet owners to talk with other owners about everything from food and nutrition, care and grooming, to toys and furniture.
Pet newsgroups are a primary source for news and expert advice on dog and cat behavior, health, breeding, showing, and care specifically.
You’ll find a great multitude of enthusiastic and knowledgeable members; all who would love to answer questions, look at your pet pictures, and welcome you into these Usenet newsgroups.



Microsoft’s Bing Time Thing Lacks Usenet NewsGroups

By Newsgroup Usenet June 1st, 2009

Microsoft has replaced Live Search with a new brand: Bing. The new Microsoft search destination is in part an overhaul of Live Search and in part a renovation of Microsoft’s search technology. According to Microsoft, Bing lets you find Web content fast and excels at refining searches so that you can unearth the lowest airfares, discover reviews of neighborhood boutiques, or track down reliable health information.

Microsoft’s research shows only one in four searches are satisfactory on the first try. Most others force users to repeatedly refine their queries or to click around on the Web before locating what they need.

Bing’s goal is to improve the search experience, and it does that well overall in an incremental way, but especially in four key categories – shopping, travel, local, and health; by tailoring the experience in much the same way as Usenet newsgroups to specific goals associated with those categories.

Why Bing? CEO Steve Ballmer admits: “I am not what you would call the creative side of life. Short matters. Being able to verb up can be helpful.” But he also says, “We wanted something that unambiguously says search.” At least they’re not calling it Microsoft Windows Live Search Ultimate Professional Business Search Engine Edition 2009 V 1.01.060109.

We tested to see if older messages posted on the Microsoft newsgroups would appear as Google Group messages do with Goole search terms. The Microsoft Discussion Newsgroups are not indexed on Bling nor does there seem to be any integration as they are with competitor Google as part of the search results.

It’s too soon to say if the site will result in sucess or failure, but either way, it has sent a great number of conversations going on microsoft related newsgroups such as microsoft.public.msn.search.