The NewsDemon Blog

LOTR Returns to the Past

By Newsgroup Usenet August 20th, 2008

Reminiscent when we first heard Star Wars Episode I was going into production some years ago after a long hiatus, an even greater excitement is anticipated in a shorter period of time inbetween as Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens (the three writer/producers of the of the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy) have all officially agreed to not only work on the film adaptation of “The Hobbit”, but it’s sequel that covers the time in between “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Ring”.

Production is scheduled to begin sometime during winter and an expected release date has been estimated between 2011-2012. Guillermo Del Toro will direct both films back to back with the first film centered on a young Bilbo Baggins swept off by the wizard Gandalf to recover a lost treasure. Provides Free Usenet Access to Educators and Charities

By Newsgroup Usenet August 19th, 2008

Anderson, SC., August 19, 2008 — announced today the availability of free Usenet services for University professors and qualified charities.

With this offer, valued subscribers such as qualified charities, College and University professors alike will have free access to Usenet for their personal or professional use. Usenet owes its origin to two college graduate students who initially created the foundation of what it is today. Since then, has become a leading provider of Usenet access to both the United States and Europe.

“Newsdemon is proud to give back to the Usenet community and to its birthplace. We’re excited about being able to offer our services to organizations and individuals that will allow them access to a valuable resource that a global network such as Usenet provides.”

With this offer, Newsdemon will continue to provide the same benefits and features that are available to its current premium members including 20 simultaneous connections, 99.9% completion rates and valuable newsreader software. Most University faculty members and members of charities may apply to be qualified for this free Usenet offer.

Additional offers and incentives are available for bloggers, members of social networks, forums and other community driven networks and websites.

“The purpose of now offering free Usenet to the members of these organizations and groups is meant to promote and enhance the spirit of community that Usenet has always been about.” said George Fergus, a spokesperson for Newsdemon.

Newsdemon services European customers through their SSL enabled server in the Netherlands and North American customers through servers in Georgia and Virginia.

iPod Goes Rice Crispies

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

It seems that iPod Nanos have an added mission impossible-esque feature of self-imploding. One Apple enthusiast was charging his first-gen Nano via his PC USB cord when it went snap, crackle, POP!:

“After being plugged in for somewhere between 5-10 minutes I heard a sizzling sound. I looked down on the iPod just in time to see it explode open and start shooting sparks and spewing smoke… I had noticed that a small fire had started on the table I had the laptop and the iPod sitting on… Unlike in other cases, I’ve read about, my iPod continued to spew smoke and spit sparks while throwing out some kind of sooty substance from the inside of the iPod for several minutes after removing the cable from the computer. I moved the still spitting iPod from the table and placed it on a book case across the room.”


No word after a letter was sent to Apple regarding the issue, nor how many users are affected by this issue.   UPDATE: Apple has agreed to replace the iPod.

This message will self-destruct in….

New Moon Found Near Neptune

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

A new rocky object similar to a comet and known as a minor planet has been discovered in the solar system some 3.2 billion kilometres from Earth and could provide clues about the formation of comets, scientists said Monday.


The minor planet 2006 SQ372, which could be as wide as 96 kilometres across, is slightly closer to the Earth than the planet Neptune and is orbiting the Sun in a 22,500-year, 241-billion- kilometre trip, researchers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey announced at a gathering of astronomers in Chicago.

Major planets, such as Earth and Mars, travel around the Sun in more circular orbits, but the object has a pronounced elliptical orbit similar to a comet, said Andrew Becker, the University of Washington astronomer who led the research.

The unusual orbit is similar to only one other known object, Sedna, a dwarf planet found in 2003.

The new minor planet could have come from the Oort Cloud, a distant reservoir of icy bodies that scientists believe is the birthplace of many asteroids, or may have formed ‘like Pluto, in the belt of icy debris beyond Neptune, then been kicked a large distance by a gravitational encounter with Neptune or Uranus,’ researcher Nathan Kaib said.

Minor planets is a broad category of objects in orbit around the Sun that neither full-blown planets nor comets.

The category includes dwarf planets, like Pluto, whose downgrade from full planet sparked controversy in 2006.

The new planet is not being called a dwarf planet. Instead, scientists stressed its similarity to comets but noted it does not have the typical tail of debris that comets normally carry around with them.

Scientists happened upon the object while they were looking for supernova.

‘If you can find things that explode, you can also find things that move,’ said Lynne Jones, an astronomer at the University of Washington, in a press statement.

Microsoft Believes You’ll Buy Anything

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

Recently, Microsoft launched a new tool to detect online commercial intention. The intention with the tool is to generate a statistical calculation on how likely an average user would be inclined to purchase from a website or the likelyhood they would be searching for keywords to purchase something.

For instance, using this with our own website,, we generated these results:

Probabilities for Each OCI Type:
Commercial-Informational    Prob.: 0.5848
NonCommercial                    Prob.: 0.37661
Commercial-Transactional    Prob.: 3.8585e-00

According to this tool, you are 58% likely to buy something from our website.

Running this for the keyword Usenet, generated these results:

Probability for Commercial Query:

We have a measly 13% probability that someone will be likely to buy using this keyword. No one likes Usenet anymore? This prompted suspicion.

So we decided to look further into this and to see what else is more popular than Usenet according to this Microsoft tool. The following is our results.

Toe Nails
Probability for Commercial Query:
Beats Usent by 30%

Probability for Commercial Query:
Beats Usenet by 26%

Grandmas Dentures
Probability for Commercial Query:
Beats Usenet by 19%

Used Tissues
Probability for Commercial Query:
Beats Usenet by 41%!!!!
If Microsoft is using their own tool for there marketing and estimating the intelligence of their audience by the results of this system would explain the reasons for most of their current lines of products.

It begs the question at the end of the day, can poor Microsoft get anything right anymore?

Beijing Blocks Olympics

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

It may not win a gold, a group of chinese lego builders still set out to make there own history of accomplishment with a complete replica of the Beijing Olympics – Lego Style.


Built by the Hong Kong Lego User Group, the Beijing replica celebrates the Olympics with scale models of many of the venues of the Games, including the National Stadium, the National Aquatics Center, and Olympic Village.


Although impressive, it can’t be helped to wonder how much better it would have come out if Michael Phelps had a hand in it.


Dead Man Vacationing

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

The 49-year-old had left his home a couple of months earlier for an extended break but hadn’t informed his friends. Police were contacted and officers broke into his home, but couldn’t find any evidence of his whereabouts. Then last week, friends of the man felt their fears had been confirmed when a family announcement was made in the local evening newspaper. By coincidence, it announced the death of another Michael O’Neill from Middlesbrough.

Both men were of almost the same age – the late Mr O’Neill was 50 – and both have brothers named Kevin and Terry.

Mr O’Neill from Coulby Newham, Middlesborough said: “I went out on June 2 to stay with a friend and when I got back last Monday I found my door had been smashed in!” said Mr O’Neill.

“My neighbours thought I had died so they got in touch with police who came and broke the door down.

“The police were watching the flat but then one of the neighbours received a postcard from me and said ‘So that’s where he is!’.”

But Mr O’Neill said many of his friends are still mistaking him for a ghost!

“Everywhere I am going, people I know are grabbing hold of my hand, saying ‘I thought you were dead!’

“They can’t believe it’s me and I’m still alive. I’m a nervous wreck because everywhere I go people keep grabbing me!”

Mr O’Neill said he made the decision to visit Australia last minute and it slipped his mind to inform his neighbours.

T-Mobile Gets Dibs on Google Android

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

500px-android-logosvg.pngT-Mobile will be the first out of the gate this year with a smartphone running off of the Google Android software.

The first Google Android smartphone is going to be offered by T-Mobile, and is being manufactured by HTC.

The phone, though little details have been revealed, is being seen as a major threat to the Apple iPhone.

It is expected to feature a full touch-screen, as well as a five-row keyboard.

T-Mobile plans for the phone to launch in October. Don’t be surprised if the date is moved earlier as it is heavily rumored that both T-Mobile and Google are anxiously expediting the launch.

How capable Usenet access or Newsgroup viewing  is on the Android device is still to be determined Usenet Trivia Contest August 18th, 2008

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

Here is today’s usenet trivia question:  What year did spamming become an issue on Usenet?

The FIRST person to reply to the following email address with the correct answer PLUS their Name, City, State, and Country will be declared the winner.  The winner will receive a free month of Usenet Access!  Only the FIRST CORRECT email we receive at [email protected] with the user’s real information will be considered.  We will announce the winner within 24 hours of posting the Trivia Question.  If you submit an answer and do not hear back from us, then you are not the winner.  We will post the winners first name, last initial, city, and country on the blog after we have emailed the winner.  If you are not the winner, check back tomorrow, we may post another Usenet Trivia question tomorrow!

Scientist One Step Closer to Disappearing

By Newsgroup Usenet August 11th, 2008

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, reporting that they were able to render a three-dimensional object completely invisible for the first time. Previously, scientists could only cloak super thin, 2D object. Harry Potter is not happy right now. It’s going to be way harder to save the wizardry world from certain doom if everybody has got their own invisibility cloak. Jeez, bandwagon jumpers, much?

Here’s what the AP has to say:

People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. Cloaking uses materials, known as metamaterials, to deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.