Long-time favorite usenet indexing site NzbMatrix
has closed its site as part of a recent sweep of DMCA related takedowns on similar sites. Other recent shutdowns include Newzbin, Newzbin2, and NZBsRUS. [more inside]
posted by TomMelee
on Dec 9, 2012 -
But back in 1996, users of the proto-Web community Usenet got spammed with messages that reached an almost transcendent level of bizarre—a weirdness so precise it implied the influence of a very human intelligence. “Markovian Parallax Denigrate,” read the title of each post, followed by a mountain of seemingly meaningless word spew:
Unraveling the Internet’s oldest and weirdest mystery
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Nov 20, 2012 -
Back in the far distant past of the internet (round about 1993, it seems), back when Usenet was actually a bunch of popular discussion groups, the newsgroup alt.gothic had a simple post made by one Yohaun, a short list of translations of the phrase "Oh my god! There's an axe in my head!". Responses contributed translations in more languages. Now, nearly 20 years later, this list continues to exist and grow
. [more inside]
posted by hippybear
on Jul 17, 2012 -
Purity tests! From the olden days of Usenet: A purity test attempts to gauge how "pure" you are within some realm of experience by having you answer a list of questions regarding which acts, etc. associated with the subject you have engaged in. Generally, for each "yes" answer you lose a purity point. The result is scaled to tell you what percentage of purity you still retain. [more inside]
posted by marble
on Nov 10, 2011 -
Goodbye alt.* Andrew Cuomo claimed that his office found child porn on 88 newsgroups--out of roughly 100,000 newsgroups that exist. In a press release, he took credit for [Verizon's] blunderbuss-style newsgroup removal by saying: "We are attacking this problem by working with Internet service providers...I commend the companies that have stepped up today to embrace a new standard of responsibility, which should serve as a model for the entire industry."
Verizon eliminates the entire alt. subset of usenet. Today, the alt.* hierarchy is by far the most populous on Usenet.
posted by caddis
on Jun 12, 2008 -
120 years of Billboard data.
Eternally curious blogger Andy Baio starts a three-day analysis of the data in the Whitburn Project, "a huge undertaking to preserve and share high-quality recordings of every popular song since the 1890s. To assist their efforts, they've created a spreadsheet of 37,000 songs and 112 columns of raw data, including each song's duration, beats-per-minute, songwriters, label, and week-by-week chart position." It all happens on good ol' Usenet--here's a FAQ
posted by dbarefoot
on May 15, 2008 -
The end of the endless September.
"America Online on Tuesday confirmed that it will stop supporting access to newsgroups." Thus ends what many labeled the greatest plague upon the Internet, the (triple posting) barbarian horde
that descended upon Usenet when AOL added Usenet access for its members.
This is when Usenet returns to utility, readability and civility. Right?
posted by NortonDC
on Jan 25, 2005 -
The first mention of AIDS on Usenet
was in the net.singles group back on December 20, 1982. In it, seven people grasp for information about the disease -- how it's transmitted, how long it takes to start to show symptoms, and what those symptoms could be. It's a window both into the early days of AIDS knowledge and
the early days of the Internet, and a fine example of people using 'net-based community groups to acquire information and ask questions.
posted by delfuego
on Dec 1, 2002 -
Read it sideways.
The first smiley was posted to usenet on September 19, 1982. Almost twenty years later, the original posting
is uncovered on an old tape backup (after a search that smiley-inventor Scott Fahlman has dubbed the “Digital Coelacanth Project”
). Of note: Mr. Fahlman thinks that AOL’s and MSN’s penchant for replacing the smiley-string with little pictures “destroys the whimsical element of the original.”
posted by sherman
on Sep 13, 2002 -
Here's a simple example
of a potentially interesting art project. Fill a Usenet post with words specifically chosen to create art based on Google's search word highlighting. Not sure if it's art or spam, but I am waiting for the first ASCII artist to step up to the plate and do something complex like the Mona Lisa.
posted by willnot
on Jul 21, 2002 -
The life cycle of a list
- this isn't new, but i was wondering if anyone agrees with it. From my limited experience, i would have to say it holds true for any lists i have been on.
posted by semper
on Dec 10, 2001 -
Gharlane of Eddore is dead.
I wish this were only a rumor, but it doesn't look like it. One of USENET's legends, a man known only by a nom de plume
borrowed (with permission) from an E.E. "Doc" Smith character, is gone. Read the USENET discussion
following the announcement.
posted by webmutant
on Jul 12, 2001 -
are the coolest people ever. I have been using them for newsreading for about a year now; today my pc got fried, got a new hd and all, I've lost my login/pass, asked them again and got a prompt reply. The service is really good, the severs are fast, faster than att's @home, stuff shows up in matter of minutes. It's things such as these that make you remember, if for a second, that not everything's a part of some big corporate whore-machine.
posted by tiaka
on May 3, 2001 -
MS gets an 'A' for effort.
Office XP, built with the draconian 'product activation' feature to prevent piracy, has been leaked to USENET.
This version does not require an activation key, and the serial number has already been sewn into the installation.
posted by Dirjy
on Mar 14, 2001 -
is putting its archive of Usenet news, covering a period from 1995 to the present, up for sale
. As you might have noticed, for some months now Deja's archive of older (pre-1999) news has been unavailable. They had claimed the situation was temporary, but now it appears to be permanent.
This leaves me with something of a sick feeling. While much of late-1990s Usenet is junk, it has both practical and historical significance. The notion that archiving Usenet is not commercially viable does not bode well for saving other parts of the Internet's history.
posted by tranquileye
on Oct 19, 2000 -
Remarq.com has been acquired
and squashed by Critical Path. "Critical Path will continue to offer RemarQ services" but "Critical Path will no longer provide free, Web-based access to newsgroups at RemarQ.com. " Augh! The best web-based usenet service is no more! I *loved* their convenient and fast interface. Now I'm back to awkward & clumsy Deja.com for free web usenet... unless anyone has a better idea?
posted by Tubes
on Aug 16, 2000 -
A new feature from Deja.com
"will automatically link mentions of product names in discussion threads to a commerce area on its site." Is it really useful, as Deja claims, or does it imply endorsements for the linked products by the authors of the posts?
posted by phichens
on Jul 26, 2000 -
Did anyone watch the Simpsons Sunday night? Did you notice how bad it sucked? Maybe it was on purpose
, as a response to the feud
going on between the show's writers and the alt.tv.simpsons newsgroup.
posted by jkottke
on Feb 6, 2000 -
is the usenet group we were talking about, Matt. How could you go wrong with lines like this?
Setting a bag of Susie B's on the bar, Freddie winks at Mike. "A round for the house, if you please, kind sir. It would be hard to come up with a better toast than the one just raised, so I'll just add a wish for you all."
You truly can't go home again
. or can you
posted by CrazyUncleJoe
on Feb 3, 2000 -