The NewsDemon Blog

Internet Conceptualized in 1934?

By Newsgroup Usenet June 8th, 2012

The World Science Festival recently took place in New York City, and one of the discussions centered around the invention of the Internet. While most recognize the contributions of Vinton Cerf, who was on hand at the event, and others in creating the Internet, one rather obscure name was mentioned by one of the panelists for the role he played in conceptualizing the Internet as far back as 1934: Paul Otlet.

One of the panel members at the event, Alex Wright, took note of Otlet’s ideas about the potential of communication technology that would incorporate several of the modern technologies of his time. Otlet considered the potential of technologies like radio waves, telephones, and television, and how they may one day connect people to information from all over the world.

Otlet imagined calling a large database by telephone, where the requested information would be transmitted by an individual working at the database (or library, as you might call it) to a screen in the user’s home. What’s more, his vision included dividing the screen into several sections to allow multiple documents to be viewed at the same time, which is very similar to the use of tabs on a typical browser today.

He even imagined a loud speaker to accompany the images if audio was required in addition to the image displayed on the screen. Otlet imagined cinema, phonograph, television, radio, and telephone combining to become ‘the new book’ that allowed easier and more direct sharing of the world’s knowledge and information.

His vision is remarkably similar to today’s reality of the Internet. Most in need of information consult the Internet before they consult books, and cinema, music, text, and other mediums combine to create a vast information sharing network that connects people to other cultures, knowledge, and ideas. Perhaps nowhere is this vision better represented than in the Usenet newsgroups, where ideas, information, and files are shared and discussed among users from countries and cultures all over the globe.

More Bits and Pieces from the Star Trek Sequel on USENET

By Newsgroup Usenet May 24th, 2012

Who doesn’t love a good movie rumor? It’s a sort of hold-over that keeps us sane as we eagerly anticipate some of Hollywood’s biggest pictures. Users on Usenet and across the Internet scour for rumors of some of their favorite films and series, and the Star Trek sequel has been no exception. Now, the latest rumors have been making the rounds in Usenet newsgroups and on other forums.

No Nimoy Cameo

Leonard Nimoy, who had a good-size role in the first film, will not be returning for the sequel, which is yet to be named. Posteed on Star Trek related USENET newsgroups, Nimoy told in an interview that he will not appear in the new film despite rumors that propagated when he visited the set of the movie. “I visited the set one day and that started some speculation about whether I was doing the film,” Nimoy said. “It’s all speculation.” Nimoy expressed optimism regarding the new movie, and has praised Zachary Quinto’s portrayal of the character he made famous.

Nolan North in Undisclosed Role

Nolan North, whose credits include voice work for the popular video games Uncharted (Nathan Drake) and Assassins’ Creed (Desmond Miles), will make an appearance in the new movie, although his specific role is not known. It was his work as Nathan Drake in Uncharted that caught director J.J. Abrams’ attention, as both he and his son are fans of the game.

Another rumor making the rounds in the newsgroups and other forums is the shoot location for some of the scenes. While the cast of the sequel is not expected appear in them, the crew traveled to Iceland to shoot some of the scenes for the new film.

The sequel, expected to be released in mid-May 2013, is now in post-production.

Solutions to Avoid Constantly Resetting Your Router

By Newsgroup Usenet May 21st, 2012

Router problems are a common complaint, and such issues may be the result of a number of causes. It could be the result of too many connections if you download a lot of files. In other cases, it may simply be a problem with overheating or your IP address may change.

If you find yourself constantly resetting your router, first make sure that the problem actually stems from your router. Plug the computer into the modem to see if your connection still becomes interrupted. If it works fine, it’s probably your router. If it doesn’t, the problem could be with the modem itself. In such cases seek support from the manufacturer of the modem. If your internet service provider (ISP) provides you with the modem, contact the ISP. They may just send you a new one.

If after doing the modem test you still believe it’s the router, the following are some solutions that may help.

Is it overheating?

The simplest solution is to ensure that the router is kept in an area in which heat is allowed to escape. The router produces heat, just like any other piece of hardware. When the heat is not allowed to escape the immediate area, the router may overheat. To remedy this, keep it out of enclosed places and away from other electronics. Raise it off of the surface, or even consider putting it around a fan or air source.

Is your firmware up to date?

Try updating the firmware on the router. You’ll have to first find the router’s configuration information; you may have to consult the router’s manual if you’re unsure of how to find this information. Some find this information by typing into a browser, although this isn’t always the case. When you find the information, write down the firmware version currently installed.

Once you take note of the current firmware, visit the manufacturer’s website. There should be an option for support and then you may have to find your router model from a list. Once you find it, you should be provided a list of all available downloads. Check to see if the latest firmware download available is the same as the one your router is currently using. If it is not, download it and follow the instructions.

Are you downloading too fast?

As most are looking for faster and faster download speeds, it may seem odd to suggest slowing them down. But services such as Usenet and other file sharing networks may use multiple connections to achieve high download speeds. If you download a lot of files at the same time, the many connections may overwhelm the router. Slow down the download speed by heading into the settings of the file sharing client and looking for the option to reduce maximum download speed and connections.

Try flashing third-party firmware, i.e. DD-WRT

You might also try flashing third-party firmware such as DD-WRT. It’s free, but it can be a little cumbersome, especially for the inexperienced computer user. If you can do it, though, it may solve your problems. There is even an option that allows you to reset the router on a schedule so you can set it to reset when you’re sleeping or away at work when you won’t even notice it. For information about installing DD-WRT, search Usenet or Google and you’re sure to find plenty of information that walks you through the process.

Upgrade your router: buy a new one

In some cases, you may just have to break down and buy a new router. If the solutions mentioned above are not helping, consider whether your router is of poor quality. Do your homework and choose a router that receives high ratings not just from tech critics, but from regular, everyday users. Take some of the negative reviews with a grain of salt (some of the problems mentioned on user reviews may be user-inflicted), but if you notice a pattern, it may be worth it to move onto the next one.

While it’s always great to buy from the store offering the lowest price, be sure that you can return it if you have to. If you bring it home, set it up, and the problem persists, it may not have been your router after all. In this case you may call a tech support to fix the problem or find it yourself.  If the IT guy—or you—are able to remedy the problem while keeping your old router, you may choose to return the new one and get your money back.

Excitement Over Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud Releases

By Newsgroup Usenet May 10th, 2012

The Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud will go on sale this week as the technology and creative communities begin discussing the new products. Through platforms such as Usenet, consumers are awaiting reviews from other users as they post their own, sparking a discussion of the new products not foreign to the newsgroups. Usenet has traditionally been an excellent forum for discussing new computer and technology products.

Adobe Creative Suite 6

The new Adobe CS6 features upgrades to several popular products including Photoshop, Photoshop Extended, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Flash Professional, Audition, and Fireworks. Bridge and Encore—companion apps—also got an upgrade, and the CS6 package also features a couple of newcomers in Prelude and SpeedGrade.

One package, Design Standard, includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat X Pro for graphic designers; it comes with a price tag of $1,299 and upgrades of $299. Design and Web Premium, designed for print and web designers, includes Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash Professional, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat X Pro; it costs $1,899 with upgrades at $399. The Production Premium package, which is designed for videographers, includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Flash Professional, Illustrator, and Photoshop Extended; it costs $1,899 and upgrades are at $399. Each software product is also sold individually. A Master Collection includes all but the standard Photoshop, and runs $2,599; Flash Builder 4 is only available with the Master Collection.

Creative Cloud

The Creative Cloud includes all of the CS6 software packages, and allows for the delivery of the content creation tools, syncing and storing to or from the cloud, publishing websites, apps, and other publications, and updates for software packages. It will be available for a monthly fee of $50/month for the annual membership, or $75/month for a month-to-month membership. A promotional offer of $30/month is available for customers using CS3/4/5/5.5 packages.

The cloud subscription comes with certain unique products, too. The HTML 5 animation program, Edge Preview; the website development software, Muse 1.0; the content management system to work with Muse, Business Catalyst; a Web font tool, TypeKit; and Adobe Creative Cloud Connection, which allows syncing and storage of files with 20GB of space to create websites are all included. The Touch suite of apps are also included.


World Wide Web Inventor Voices Privacy Concern On USENET

By Newsgroup Usenet April 19th, 2012

The inventor of the world wide web says highly controversial plans to let intelligence agencies to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of every person in the UK should be scrapped.

The 56-year-old innovator waded into the contentious ‘snooping’ debate by slamming David Cameron’s planned policy to track UK internet users’ data and e-mails, calling the planned move ‘very dangerous.

The Communications Capabilities Development Programme would see ISPs recording information such as email addresses, IP addresses, phone numbers, times, locations, data senders and recipients.

Home secretary Teresa May is pressing for the proposals to be accepted, but she has faced resistance from fellow politicians including deputy prime minister Nick Clegg – who said “we are not going to ram something through” – as well as industry figures.

Berners-Lee, the British born MIT professor who invented the web three decades ago, says that while there has been an explosion of public data made available in recent years, individuals have not yet understood the value to them of the personal data held about them by different web companies.

Berners-Lee insisted it was ‘important’ to stop the much mooted bill, the full details of which are expected to be fully revealed in next month’s Queen’s Speech, adding it ‘keeps me up most at night’.

‘The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous,’ he stated on a variety of USENET newsgroup posts.

Berners-Lee is a staunch defender of internet freedoms, having previously criticised social networks such as Facebook for walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the web. He also has had a great prescense on USENET, first announcing his invention on the World Wide Web on newsgroups.

Berners-Lee was knighted by the Queen in 2004 for his pioneering work in combining hypertext with the internet to create the World Wide Web.

Microsoft Pulls The Plug On Windows XP

By Daniel Li April 10th, 2012

For many who have used a newsreader for a number of years to access newsgroups will remember the transformation many of them made and how capable they grew to be once Windows XP was released. Many still use the most popular OS today as it had been the most stable release Microsoft had achieved by that point.

However, as of today, you have exactly two years left to get support on your Windows XP-powered computers. The same goes for Microsoft Office 2003. Okay, so it’s not exactly time to flip over the sand timer, but it is finally a real milestone that points to the death of an operating system that, for years and years and years, simply would not die. And it means that hordes of companies around the country are finally going to need to upgrade.

Okay, so it isn’t the most radical move we’ve ever seen, but it looks like this time, Microsoft won’t change its mind and end up extending the support deadline.

Microsoft stopped selling retail copies of XP in 2008. Just like XP, support for Office 2003 will also end in April 2014, so Microsoft is also using this occasion to remind these users that Office 2010 is indeed a viable alternative to an office suite that was released.

When Microsoft pulls XP’s plug, it will have maintained the OS for 12 years and 5 months, or about two-and-a-half years longer than its usual practice and a year longer than the previous record holder, Windows NT, which was supported for 11 years and 5 months.

Without a doubt the most significant base that is driving this shift is the enterprise market. For companies and organizations that own hundreds, or even thousands, of computers, upgrading is not an easy or affordable process.

But Microsoft is now finally ending support for XP users, and Windows 7 is much more user-friendly and upgrade-worthy than its predecessors.

What Is Dr. Watson’s Contribution To Cancer Research?

By Lionel Dietz March 27th, 2012

According to USENET newsgroups, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is gathering a working resume that any oncologist would envy. In its latest project, the supercomputer will be used to to assist Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center physicians in diagnosing and treating patients.

When Big Blue debuted its lively computer on Jeopardy! last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before its abilities were used in the real world. And that starts with the hospital, apparently.

Watson can understand natural English and also process about 1 million books per second. With this enormous power, he was able to beat two of the all-time top players on Jeopardy!

Cancer treatment has become a lot more complicated over the last several years, and new methods of treatment are being invented all the time. Most physicians can’t keep up with everything, and it can take years for new treatments to become currrent. On top of that, few patients (Sloan Kettering says only about 15 percent) make it to specialized cancer centers in the first place.

With intelligent databases — and the computers to help sift through them — the hope is that technology can help disperse the most advanced knowledge available, without the patient skipping from specialist to specialist.

Microsoft Build Online Time Machine

By Daniel Li March 21st, 2012


Mining personal data to discover what people care about has become big business for companies such as Facebook and Google. Now a project from Microsoft Research is trying to bring that kind of data mining back home to help people explore their own piles of personal digital data according to Microsoft USENET newsgroups.

Software called Lifebrowser processes photos, e-mails, Web browsing and search history, calendar events, and other documents stored on a person’s computer and identifies landmark events. Its timeline interface can explore, search, and discover those landmarks as a kind of memory aid.

Lifebrowser’s interactive timeline looks like a less polished version of Facebook’s recently introduced Timeline feature. However, as USENET posts point out, the design predates Facebook’s and doesn’t rely on a user to manually curate it. Photos, e-mails, and other documents and data points appear in chronological order, but Lifebrowser’s timeline only shows those judged to be associated with “landmark” events by artificial intelligence algorithms. A user can slide a “volume control” to change how significant data has to be if it is to appear on the timeline. A search feature can pull up landmark events on a certain topic.

Behind the scenes, Lifebrowser uses several machine-learning techniques to sift through personal data and determine what is important to its owner. When judging photos, Lifebrowser looks at properties of an image file for clues, including whether the file name was modified or the flash had fired. It even examines the contents of a photo using machine-vision algorithms to learn how many people were captured in the image and whether it was taken inside or outdoors. The “session” of photos taken at one time is also considered as a group, for cues such as how long an event was and how frequently photos were taken.

Lifebrowser looks for clues about whether a file is especially significant, and asks for extra hints if it’s unsure. A screen saver prompts a user to inform Lifebrowser if certain photos are of “landmark” events or not, and a simple dialogue does the same for calendar invitations. Over time, the system learns what’s important to you, and adapts.

The technology is fairly new and its still to be seen whether or not it will also pull up posts and topics pulled from USENET newsgroups over time.

New Payment Options Available From Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet February 8th, 2012 Newsgroups is proud to announce new methods to accept payments from our customers. Our new WorldPay payment options now allows users to pay for any of our subscription or block accounts with either the Australian Dollar or South African Rand. Newsgroups has long offered a variety of convenient methods of payment for our customers. Currently, we provide Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover payments as well as those with PayPal and WorldPay.

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Limited Time Super Unlimited USENET Deal from NewsDemon

By Newsgroup Usenet February 2nd, 2012

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