The NewsDemon Blog

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 NewsDemon.com Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet February 8th, 2012

NewsDemon.com 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.

NewsDemon.com 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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In order to access these new payment options, select of our USENET access subscription based or block account plans and while at checkout, choose our WorldPay option. Once directed through our secure WorldPay payment page, a selection box will allow customers to pay in US Dollar, Euro, Pounds Sterling, Australian Dollar or South African Rand. For subscription subscribers, these options will save for additional payments made for your monthly accounts.

With industry leading features and services provided by NewsDemon.com Newsgroups and now with more flexible payment options than ever before, we hope to make choosing NewsDemon.com Newsgroups your choice as a leading premium USENET access provider.

If you have any questions or require any assistance, take advantage of our 24/7 customer service where one of our trained associates can gladly assist.



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By Newsgroup Usenet February 2nd, 2012

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USENET Post Reveals Tremendous Forecast Of Online Users

By Newsgroup Usenet January 31st, 2012

The Internet economy among G-20 nations is expected to nearly double by 2016, reaching $4.2 trillion (up from $2.3 trillion in 2010), according to a projection released today on USENET Newsgroups.

The big drive in the web economy over the next few years will be a massive influx of new users — with 3 billion users in 2016, up from 1.9 billion in 2010. The ‘new’ Internet is no longer largely Western, accessed from your PC. It is now global, ubiquitous, and participatory.

While the projections sound like a major shift, they’re actually slightly more conservative than other estimates posted recently. Anoter newsgroup post reports for example, estimates that we’ll see 5 billion mobile data subscribers by 2016.

Come 2016, almost 70 percent of Internet users in G-20 nations will be from emerging markets, the report projects, whereas it was just 56 percent in 2010. The newsgroup post also estimates that China will have 800 million Internet users by then — “about the same number as France, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. combined,” it wrote in the release today.

The big takeaway for business owners is that they’ll have to pay even more attention to the Internet over the next few years if they want to survive. Boston Consulting notes that businesses that make extensive use of social media and USENET grow faster, according to a survey of over 15,000 businesses. U.S. companies with high and medium web presences are expected to grow 17 percent in the next year, compared with just 12 percent growth for those not online.



USENET Stats Regarding Technology Sales

By Newsgroup Usenet December 30th, 2011

Apple sold 925 iPhone 4S handsets each minute during the device’s debut weekend, and it sells 81 iPads every 60 seconds on average. Research In Motion sells 103 BlackBerry phones, Amazon sells 18 Kindle Fire tablets and Microsoft sells 11 Xbox 360 consoles every minute. More than 700 computers are purchased around the world every 60 seconds, and 232 of them are infected by malware. That malware stat seems surprisingly low, however, when you consider that 2 million people watch online porn every minute. Read on for more.

A picture passed along on USENET newsgroups recently spread a variety of technology-related stats out across an infographic and the result helps us put a lot of things in perspective. Beyond the scary amount of Internet porn watched around the world, we can see just how entrenched various consumer electronics and digital goods and services have become in modern life.

Eleven million conversations take place using various instant messaging platforms every 60 seconds, 2,100 people check in using foursquare and 1,100 acres of virtual land are farmed in FarmVille. Thirty-eight tons of e-waste is generated around the world every minute, though we’re not sure if that stat includes all of the virtual land in FarmVille.

Every minute, $219,000 worth of payments are made using PayPal, $10,000 of which is sent from mobile devices. EBay is used to purchase over 950 items each minute and more than 180 of those purchases are made using mobile phones or tablets.

Surprisingly, perhaps, physical media maintains a huge presence in our lives despite the advent of the digital age. Four hundred and fifty Windows 7 discs are sold, 1,400 Redbox DVDs are rented and a staggering 2.6 million CDs containing 1,820 terabytes of data are created each minute. Four thousand USB devices are sold every 60 seconds as well, along with 2,500 ink cartridges.

It’s amazing how much happened every 60 seconds in 2011 and as the year draws to a close, we can’t wait to see what each minute will hold in 2012.



USENET Finds The Force

By Newsgroup Usenet December 12th, 2011

If confirmed next week, this will be the biggest news in the history of physics since the birth of the Theory of Relativity: USENET newsgroups report that CERN scientists may have already found evidence of the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. THE FORCE, Luke!

Newsgroups cite that a respected scientist from the Cern particle physics laboratory has reported that he expects to see “the first glimpse” of the Higgs boson next week.

That would be tomorrow, when two Large Hadron Collider teams would reveal the results of their research, highlighting ten candidates that show evidence of Higgs. Those ten candidates were found from the remains of about 350 trillion collisions using the ATLAS and CMS detectors.

What’s the Higgs boson?

According to most physicists, there’s a Higgs field that is everywhere. The elusive Higgs particle would be the carrier of that field, interacting with all the other particles, “sort of the way a Jedi knight in Star Wars is the carrier of the “force”, as National Geographic eloquently put it when the Large Hadron Collider was being built. Or like Obi Wan said, “the Force surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

Why is it important?

The Higgs boson is a pivotal part of the standard model of particle physics but nobody has ever found evidence of its existence. It’s one of the main reasons of why the Large Hadron Collider was built. Other than time travel and opening portals to alternate dimensions, that is.

The discovery of this particle is fundamental to our understanding of how the Universe works. So important that—according to the former theoretical physics lead at CERN, John Ellis—”we’ve been living with Higgs theory now for almost 50 years… it’s become our Holy Grail.” Ellis said the excitement among all scientist at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is very high. That may not sound impressive, given that Switzerland is the most boring country on Earth after Belgium, but if they call it the God Particle, you know it has to be important.

When would we get a photo of the God particle?

Not yet. Tomorrow’s data will not be confirmed until they are able to produce repeated evidence in future experiments. Scientists expect this to happen around next summer.

As Sergio Bertolucci—director of research at CERN—puts it: “It’s too early to say…I think we may get indications that are not consistent with its non-existence [but] we are on a good path to the discovery.”



Happy Binary Day USENET

By Newsgroup Usenet November 10th, 2011

Today, 11/01/11 (or 11/1/11 – the choice is yours) is one of a select few dates solely composed of only 0s and 1s. In fact, the year 2011 has 9 binary days, just like every other binary date-capable year.

But enjoy it while it lasts. After November 11, which is perhaps one of the most booked days for weddings ever, you’ll have to wait a whole century before the calendar hits a binary date. (If you can make it until January 1, 2100, we’ll be impressed.)

As some USENET newsgroup subscribers are quick to describe, binary is a numbering scheme in which there are only two possible values for each digit: 0 and 1. The term also refers to any digital encoding/decoding system in which there are exactly two possible states. In digital data memory, storage, processing, and communications, the 0 and 1 values are sometimes called “low” and “high,” respectively.

In any case, the date is a great excuse to play with the code that lies at the core of modern computing. Though the fundamental coding method has been replaced by much more sophisticated and functional coding languages like Java, C++ and Python, that doesn’t mean it’s lost its place in the hearts and minds of nerds everywhere.

We use the decimal system in everyday life because it seems more natural (we have ten fingers and ten toes). For the computer, the binary system is more natural because of its electrical nature (charged versus uncharged).

Speaking of binary, did you know that NewsDemon.com Newsgroups supports over 1,179 days of binary retention on all 107,000 active uncensored newsgroups?

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