Homophobia and competitive tickling.
Journalist David Farrier
explores the "quite weird" world of Competitive Reality Endurance Tickling.
"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.
" A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
A Brief History of Chemtrails
traces the popular conspiracy theory to its origins on Usenet and Art Bell. How To Debunk Chemtrails
collects resources about the theory. Jet Pilots Fear Chemtrail Attacks
suggest the belief may be more than a harmless theory.
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]
"It feels strange to be active and highly visible on the Web for 15 years but it was only when I joined Facebook that someone from elementary school or high school ever contacted me."
In which on Ev Williams's platform
, Mr Haughey compares his experiences of Facebook and Twitter
. [more inside]
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
Derek Smart has been making games for over 20 years. He sold his first games in plastic baggies at hobby stores. Yet his longevity is somewhat of an anachronism. Many gamers today don't even know who is is, in spite of the fact that his games have sold well enough to keep his company in business since 1992. And the games themselves, well they're mostly terrible. Especially his first, Battlecruiser 3000AD. The Verge
takes an in-depth look at the hotheaded perfectionist millionaire game developer whose impenetrable
, terminally overhyped
games sparked one of the most legendary flamewars in internet history
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]
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]
Feeling nostalgic? olduse.net
is Usenet, updated in real time as it was thirty years ago. Also available over NNTP
. [more inside]
Regrettably the Newzbin website has to close as a result of the legal action against us.
Once the premier Usenet indexing site and the inventor of the NZB
file format, Newzbin has officially closed its doors
a court battle
against several Hollywood studios. Gossip suggests that Newzbin is in dire financial straights. [more inside]
A posting last month to RISKS
on the topic of posthumous emails brings to mind the story of Colin Douthwaite. Mr. Douthwaite, an active USENET user, passed away in March of 1999 after some prolonged medical difficulties
. His son Ian's farewell message to alt.ascii-art
inspired a small flood of original memorial works
and a much larger flood from
members' personal archives in his memory. [more inside]
An entertaining history
, which its founder Brad Templeton
describes as the first dot.com. Lots of good reading linked on that first page.
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.
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
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?
manifestos and apartment tours
i can't stop sifting through the 1995-1997 archives for the newsgroup alt.usenet.manifestoes
(which its moderator was kind enough to save and from which the entire unibomber manifesto can be downloaded) some 'graffiti from alt.religion.kibology' also resides here as does a hypertext tour of his apartment. Back up to the main index for some other um, nicely-organized presentations.
The Official Ray Gordon FAQ.
From the 'Eeeek! Usenet!!' files vol. MCXII. With a a lot of legal stuff
going on for added zing. [via lightningfield.com
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.
Our Next Contestant In "The Great Internet Mooch-O-Rama".
Little Jackie is sad. Why is she sad? Because people have been mean to her. Why have they been mean to her? Because they don't understand the financial plight which has driven her to spam Usenet groups
in a desperate plea to...well, to be slightly more comfortable than she already is. [more]
EBay in patent dispute.
EBay is currently involved in a patent dispute with someone who claims to have patented the idea of online auctions in 1995. EBay believes it has found prior art in a USENET post
Edith's Huge Interface.
Some kind of Usenet spamming strategy that I don't understand provides a rich resource for band names, random subject lines, and Mefi taglines.
"Hey, I'll annoy the robot!"
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.”
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.
,a Usenet veteran
, has one of the funniest sites out there. Check out his Unnatural Enquirer
. My favorites are The Philosophy of Kissing
, Evil on a Budget
, and the minimalist Spycam vs. Spycam
. Who is this guy
tightens up Usenet binaries. It is controversial
but good. Newsreaders
are evolving too. I like this one
. If you don't know what this is about, maybe you shouldn't know.
Just who is Dean Stark?
A legend of usenet? Some kind of monster? Or perhaps the victim of a huge conspiracy? The answer may shock you...
It looks like Google groups is finally out of beta.
As well as the archive they bought from Deja, they have also added posts dating back to 1981. The timeline here
demonstrates this feature, showing the first mentions of MS-DOS, AIDS, and Madonna on Usenet.
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.
Can anybody tell me what exactly a TalkBox is, how it works, and how
it's different from a vocoder? I've heard that they're dangerous in some
way, but I'm willing to risk bodily harm in order to get my voice to
sound like Roger Troutman.
- "Taliban" John Walker Lindh, 1997
The Weekly Standard
dug through Usenet and pulled out 60 postings from everyone's favorite "mixed up kid". This got me thinking, if you went nuts and ended up on front page of every newspaper in America, what would your digital paper trail look like?
Think having the past six years of your Usenet excesses archived and available at Google Groups
is embarrassing? Intent on creating "the most complete archive possible" of netnews posts, Google is looking for collections of posts prior to 1995
; they already have most of 1992.
Maybe this idea is just too postmodern.
But then a usenet group about a discussion group would never work would it? Best keep using Metatalk then . . .
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.
RIP Jim Ellis.
Jim was one of the co-founders of Usenet. Today's a sad day, between Michael's death
and Jim's... Why is it that net pioneers die so young...
Jim Ellis, co-creator of usenet died today
. He was 45.
Keith Henson, usenet's foremost Scientology basher
flees to Canada, gets arrested, and has now been freed and might be granted political asylum. More Henson info here
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.
google restores deja view
google restores usenet archives
; according to the article, it's a better search engine than before.
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.
Deja.com sells "Precision Buying Service."
So all they've got now, on the hompage at least, are the USENET archives. And I don't think the older ones
were added back either. I'm at a loss -- what's their biz plan now? Will they sell the archives as well and have . . . nothing?
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.
Keep the Deja Archive Alive!
Help encourage Deja.com
to bring back their pre-1999 Usenet archive by signing the petition.
(from Search Engine Watch
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?
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?
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.
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