The NewsDemon Blog

Happy Birthday NASA

By Newsgroup Usenet July 29th, 2008

NASAOn July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed National Air and Space Act, establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a civilian agency in response to the challenge of the Soviet launch of Sputnik nearly a year before.

Before the establishment of NASA, American space efforts, such as they were, were divided among the branches of the armed services. The establishment of NASA gathered into one civilian agency, along with the aeronautics research efforts of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) that had been founded in 1915.

Even so, President Eisenhower was somewhat skeptical of funding a large space program and barely approved of the first American man in space program, Project Mercury. It would take another Soviet space feat, the successful orbital flight of Yuri Gagarin, and a new President for NASA to really come into its own.

The first space age, for NASA, was the Apollo program to land a man on the Moon. Born of Cold War necessity, Apollo was one of the greatest and, ultimately, most bitter sweet technological feats in human history. Even decades later, people who were alive when man first landed on the Moon remember it with a kind of heady nostalgia.

With success came a perverse and almost inevitable punishment by the political powers that be. For a time it seemed that publically funded space flight might end in the United States in the early 1970s. Fortunately Richard Nixon, who care less about space exploration than he did about votes and campaign contributions, tasked NASA to a more practical job than lunar voyages of exploration.

NASA was ordered to build a reusable space shuttle that handle all of the nation’s space flight needs, commercial, military, and NASA. The idea was that a reusable space vehicle would decrease the cost of space travel, making possible space stations, a return to the Moon, and maybe voyages beyond. NASA would also have roughly half the budget it thought it needed to do it. Thus the second space age was born.



Former Google Employees Launch New Search Engine – Cuil

By Newsgroup Usenet July 28th, 2008

Cuil A group of former Google engineers Monday unveiled a new search engine they hope will challenge the Internet giant’s supremacy. Cuil, (pronounced “cool”), takes a different tack than previous threats to Google.

Instead of concentrating on links to Web pages, Cuil focuses on a Web page’s actual content. The venture-financed search engine also presents the data in a different manner – a horizontal layout that includes images rather than Google’s low-key plain text displayed vertical.

Privacy is another area the four founding engineers hope will differentiate Cuil. The search engine won’t hold onto search histories, unlike Google.

Cuil also boasts it searches 120 billion Web pages. In 2005, when Google stopped publicly divulging the size of its search database, the Internet giant said it had a database of 8.2 billion Web locations. Friday, after public prodding, Google said it searches 1 trillion Web links.

Cuil, who’s name originates from Celtic folklore, is the child of three former Google engineers: Anna Patterson, Russell Power and Louis Monier, along with Tom Costello, Patterson’s former-IBM search husband. In 2004, Google acquired Patterson’s last search engine.

Cuil’s inventors have a tough road to hoe to compete with Google. Searches for Usenet and Newsgroups are much different than Google results and seem to partial more to blog community sites rather than useful resources at the moment.



Linux Commands for Usenet

By Newsgroup Usenet July 26th, 2008

Printed with permission, is a small tutorial on common commands for Linux users to work with Usenet files.

 How do I extract multiple-part Rar archives with Linux ? ( rar r00 r01 r02, etc )

With the unrar command line. Unrar is open source ( exotic licence). Notice that once unrar is installed, front-ends like File-roller, Ark, Xarchiver, or Gnome’s right click’s “Extract here” can extract Rar archives automatically.

$ unrar e file.rar

Do not install the “GNU unrar” it will not work on Rar3 files, use the unrar-nonfree ( Debian/Ubuntu ) , unrar from plf ( Mandriva ) packages, or the files from the author’s website ( rarlab ).

How do I create Rar archives with Linux ? ( thanks to Ohmster for this part, see his comment bellow for reference )

The Rar command-line is the only way to do it. It costs about 30$ at rarlab.com. Like you probably already know, it is the de facto standard way for posting binaries.

example of use :

rar a -s -v15m ppv-erica_campbell-672 *.* ( LOL!!! )

This will create 15Mb volumes from the content of the current directory.
The file mask “*.*” will include all files ( including par2, nzb, nfo, screenshot, video sample, etc ) in the

To create a rar archive file that is broken into specified size parts, use this syntax:

rar a -v15000k hotstuff *

What this does:

* rar to run the rar program.
* “a” to command “Add to archive”. If the archive does not exist, it will be created.
* -v15000k is the switch to tell rar to create archive parts no larger than 15,000Kb or 15Mb.
* hotstuff is the name of the archive you wish to create.
* * will tell the rar program to include all files in the current directory.

If you’re not willing to pay 30$, consider splitting the file in chunks instead ( see question below ) since it’s the second most common way to post usenet binaries these days.

How do I repair incomplete files with the par2 parity files ?

With the parchive package ( or par2 package if you use Debian/Ubuntu )and the par2 command :

$ par2 r file.par2

or :

$ par2repair file.par2

Or with Quickpar that works fine with Wine.

Read the rest of this entry »



Source of Northern Lights Discovered

By Newsgroup Usenet July 26th, 2008

Northern LightsU.S. scientists working with NASA said they’ve uncovered the source of substorms in space that fuel the explosive energy behind the northern lights.

Vassilis Angelopoulos, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and lead investigator of the NASA-funded mission known as THEMIS — Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions, said the energy comes from magnetic fields.

“Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger,” Angelopoulos said in a statement. “Reconnection results in a slingshot acceleration of waves and plasma along magnetic field lines, lighting up the aurora underneath even before the near-Earth space has had a chance to respond. We are providing the evidence that this is happening.”

The energy release is responsible for the brightening of the aurora borealis or northern lights. The substorms also wreak havoc on satellites, power grids and communications systems, UCLA said.

The findings are published in the journal Science.



Newsdemon.com Usenet Trivia Contest July 24th, 2008

By Newsgroup Usenet July 24th, 2008

Here is today’s usenet trivia question:  When Did UUCPNET become the common name for the Usenet online network ?

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 Newsdemon.com 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!



New York Attorney General Puts More Pressure on Comcast Usenet

By Newsgroup Usenet July 22nd, 2008

New York Attorney General has been set on an initiative on pressuring ISPs to either filter or eliminate Newsgroups altogether. We recently posted on how Verizon, AT&T, AOL, Time Warner and Sprint have already taken action by either quickly eliminating groups or complete Usenet access to its customers.

Although Comcast has been part of our list, it appears they are not cooperating all the way – yet. Andrew Cuomo, the Attorney General for New York has recently sent a letter that was obtained by the Associated Press and leaked to the public. The recent statement from Cuomo putting pressure on Comcast notes:

“Comcast’s unwillingness to sign the code of conduct and purge its system of child pornography puts Comcast at the back of the pack in the race to fight this scourge, and would likely be surprising to Comcast’s millions of customers across the country. Time is of the essence here, as every day without these measures is another day that this illegal material is sluicing through the Internet.”

Last week the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), of which Comcast is the primary driver, announced a “historic” agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). But the letter claims this deal “fell well short” of Cuomo’s code of conduct.

The push from NY AG is a bit concerning as it nudges ISPs to become a net-nanny of sorts. A role that by law they are not obligated to comply with. The push from Andrew now questions not only the access ISPs will allow customers for a legitmate based service, but the role and power the ISPs are now expected to comply with that infringe on the rights of both the ISPs and its customers.

At Newsdemon, we respectfully honor your privacy although we do not support or condone any illegal activity. As advertised, we will continue to offer what the ISPs are all falling short of – Encrypted Unlimited, Uncensored High Speed Usenet Access.

And don’t forget, we’re also offering refugees of all of these ISPs a 15% LIFETIME DISCOUNT to all new subscribers, regardless of which you plan you choose.
At Checkout, simply use the coupon code twarner15 to include this discount for as long as you are a member.



NASA May Be Turning Japanese

By Newsgroup Usenet July 21st, 2008

Nasa Turns JapaneseNasa is talking to Japan’s space agency about using one of its spacecraft for servicing missions to the International Space Station, according to Japanese media reports.
Nasa has been considering various options to maintain its commitment to the Space Station after the Space Shuttle is retired from service in 2010. Discussions between Nasa and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) were described as “unofficial negotiations” by daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

The paper did not identify the source of its information, but said that the negotiations began in February. Jaxa’s 10-metre H-2 transfer vehicle can lift up to six tonnes of cargo into orbit, and is being designed and built in Japan by Jaxa, Mitsubishi and other contractors. The first launch is expected next year on Japan’s H-2B rocket, which is also under development.

Currently, Jaxa plans to launch one H-2 per year, carrying scientific experiments as it tests and develops the project. Each transfer vehicle costs approximately $131m, according to press reports. The International Space Station requires regular supplies of food, water, oxygen and equipment. While Russia offers the only viable alternative method of regularly transporting astronauts into space, there are several countries with the ability to launch non-human cargo, including Japan, the European Space Agency and China.

The ESA recently carried out the first successful test flight of its cargo carrying an automated transfer vehicle to the Space Station.



Newsdemon.com Usenet Trivia Contest July 16th, 2008

By Newsgroup Usenet July 16th, 2008

Here is today’s usenet trivia question:  This one is a bit tricky….The USENIX Association is an umbrella of what Association?

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 Newsdemon.com 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!



ATT Drops Binaries

By Newsgroup Usenet July 13th, 2008

Recently we had announced that ATT stated that they would be dropping groups from its Usenet access to customers. Apparently, ATT did not waste any time. As of Saturday morning (July 12th), users have reported that most, if not all binary newsgroups has been removed.

We’d like to take the time to remind all customers from ATT, as well as those from AOL, Timewarner and Comcast that we are offering a 15% lifetime discount on Newsdemon monthly accounts.  This discount will be good as long as you remain a Newsdemon Newsgroups customer.

Just use coupon code twarner15 at checkout to receive this discount



XBox 360 60GB Version Confirmed for August

By Newsgroup Usenet July 13th, 2008

Microsoft has finally confirmed a 60GB XBox 360 as well as a price cut for the 20GB model. The company made the official announcement on their website of a new XBox 360 with a 60GB hard drive coming in early August, taking advantage of the increasing number and size of games, videos and music for the game console nowadays.

At the same time, they also announced a reduction of price on the XBox 360 20GB model, dropping from $349.99 to $299.00. The Arcade version as well as the Elite version will remain at the same prices.