On Monday, June 9, 2014 5:14:19 PM UTC-4, Tekkie® wrote:
The problem is that I've pointed out about 6 times now that the poster
who made the post that got M's shorts in a knot is using a "real newsgroup
service". The post was not made from Google Groups, Gmail, Homweowner's
And I see no problem in making a legitimate post to an old thread
instead of starting a whole new one. Which is better? Using the old
thread, so people can see the context, what was already answered, etc?
Or just starting a new thread, "How do I fix my garage door spring?"
I've seen plenty of people here tells a poster that asks such a
question to go use google. Then when they do, and then use google groups
to make a post, you have the net police bitching that they shouldnt use
GG, but instead:
read a tutorial on newsgroups
investigate a bunch of newsreader clients and figure out which one they wan
download it, possibly paying for it, install it.
figure out which newsgroup service they want to use, possibly pay for that.
figure out how it all works
then make a post, apparently asking the same question all over that
already has a lot of comments and advice in the old thread.
This is just like people bitching that PCs suck, only Apple rules.
Or Windows sucks, you should only use Linux. And it's not a very welcoming
message for someone making their first post. Maybe the person won't
make another post for a year, or ever. They should go through all the
above, when they can make a post with GG in a couple minutes? In most
cases it doesn't matter, because we never hear from most of these one
hit wonder posters again. Just like this one.
Yeah, he made another typical newbie error, which was he subscribed to
a newsgroup, the news server loaded all the messages it had for the
group, and he failed to mark the older messages as read to clear them
from his newsreader.
Really, the best anyone can hope for is that people read more
carefully before they hit reply. Once they realize it's a very old
message, hopefully they'll understand the general futility of a response.
The main problem is when the response refers to things in previous
messages that the OP read, but that are no longer available to the
vast majority of newsgroup readers. Coming in on the middle of a
conversation can be very confusing.
Certain other newsgroups have problems with posters replying to
decades-old messages about people they know personally, or incidents
they were personally involved in. Their intent is to try to clear the
person's name or rebut the information in the original message. They
don't realize that by replying to an ancient message, they just opened
up that closet and displayed the skeleton inside to the world all over
| Google search results include Usenet posts. Click on the link and the
| post displays, but the Usenet newsgroup and date information aren't
| all that noticeable unless you read carefully. Click on the Reply
| button and if you're already signed into your Google account, you can
| post your reply without thinking any more about it.
Thanks for that explanation. I figured it must be
something like that, but I wasn't sure. It seems there
are really several problems there: Google shouldn't let
them answer an old post, and they should also provide
some way to clarify to people what they're dealing with.
Since Usenet posts are getting reprinted online I think
a lot of people who have never used Usenet think they're
coming across a web forum. But perhaps it's as one
person suggested: Google couldn't care less about any
of it as long as they're serving another page with ads.
| Google makes it easy to be an idiot. I'm not being sarcastic. I
| recently took part in a discussion of a test of website functionality
| for researchers. To the utter frustration and despair of the people
| who'd spent all their time crafting the site, when it was live-tested
| it on average people, all but one of the test subjects ignored *all*
| of the research tools and links to still more tools on the site.
| Instead, they just went to Google, which led to all of them but the
| one who used the site failing the usability challenge. Since they
| weren't using the proper tools, they were unable to locate any of the
| information they'd been tasked to find.
| Google is good for a lot of stuff, but it doesn't cover everything.
| Problem is, people are so habituated to it, they can't even spend five
| minutes looking at a site built specifically for finding information
| in order to select the best tool for the particular job.
I see the same thing with acquaintances. One of my own
brothers had to get a new email account last week because
he was cancelling his dial-up account. I explained his options
to him, warned about privacy issues on the big ones (MS, gmail,
yahoo) and sent him links to pick an email service. He picked
gmail for one reason: He wouldn't have to change as many
settings to get POP3 access because his old ISP, isp.com,
had already subbed out their email to gmail some time ago.
So even with handholding he was too lazy to deal with it!
I think there's also a problem in presentation, though. Tech
companies often don't want people to learn how to use things
because it means more tech support. They also overdo it in
trying to make things easy. And maybe the worst problem of all:
there are too many marketing people in decision-making roles.
I was just reading an article about the cloud fad in the NYT.
They were explaining how to access one's files through various
cloud services. Common sense would dictate that if one wants
to copy a stored file for local access there should be a menu that
says something like "Copy Here". But the cloud companies don't
want people to think of a distinction between cloud and local.
They don't want people to understand it. They want people to be
both wowed by and dependent on the cloud service. At Google
Drive one selects "Keep on this device" to download a stored file.
On MS OneDrive one selects "Make offline" or "Make available offline",
depending on how one is accessing the file. In other words, it's
deliberately designed to sell an idea of convenience while hiding
how it actually works: "Don't even worry about files. All of your
data is anywhere you want it to be."
On Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:40:42 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:
Except that's it's wrong. When I do a google groups search both
the newsgroup and the date are both clearly shown. In particular, I've
told you about 10 times now that the date and time are right there in
the first line for all to see.
It seems there
Why not? If there is a thread on fixing a garage door spring,
it's better to just ask the question all over again, instead of
seeing the previous responses in the thread and going from there?
You like to re-invent the wheel? People should make 25 posts instead
of building on what's there? I think the real problem is your
newsreader and method of accessing the newsgroups sucks, but I
won't tell you that you're doing it all wrong. You can use what you
want. But don't keep bitching about what works better.
and they should also provide
I use Google Groups. You don't. I'm using it right now.
I don't see a single ad.
There you go again. You were here bitching about someone telling
you that Windows was a piece of crap and one should use Linux
because it's so superior.
Now here you are doing essentially the same thing. Because someone
chooses a different mail service, they're lazy.... Good grief.
Because that's what most people, like your friend, want.
And maybe the worst problem of all:
Actually, I said "Google search", not Google Groups search. A Google
search includes Google Groups, but the average person doesn't start
their search at Google Groups, they start with the standard Google
I'm getting a strong suspicion that you don't really understand Usenet
and Google Groups, and the differences between them.
If you're referring to this type of first line found in the message body:
"On Sat, 30 Mar 2002 15:43:54 GMT, "The Beemer"
*that* line is created when replying to a message and is usually
included in the reply, but it can be edited out of the response, in
which case it will not appear in the reply. It also won't display in
the first line of a top-posted reply. When top posting, the initial
message with that information is hidden under the "show quoted text"
hotlink. For instance, this reply to a post:
Howard and Sue
Saw him at the Indy parade in 2008.
Sorry for your loss.
Howard and Susie
- show quoted text -
Note there is no time/date stamp of the type shown in my first
example. There is a date displayed, but it is at the far right of the
screen. Most people are reading the message body and pay no attention
to the corner of the message, so they don't see that date.
Then we've got this example as a result of a standard Google search:
This Ought To Be Fun
169 posts by 24 authors
The Beemer 3/30/02
Thursday evening, I played a reception for the National Society of Black
Engineers Annual Convention at the Peabody, in Orlando....
Again, most people focus on the message body. They don't look to the
far upper right and read the message date, or if they do, they don't
grasp its meaning. Same goes for the newsgroup name, which is in
smaller print above the message header, which is also in a larger font
than that used for the newsgroup name. How many people have any idea
what that "alt.music makers" even means? *Maybe* ten out of a hundred.
Most people, if asked, would give you a blank look in reply. So, if
they even notice it, they then ignore it, because to them it lacks
meaning and context.
I agree with you there, simply because Google does not and should not
have the power to determine who gets to reply to anything on Usenet.
They don't own it, after all (even though they do own the former
DejaNews Usenet archive).
Not the standard Google ads, that's for sure. However, there are an
awful lot of Google Groups created to sell products, and all the
messages within those groups are ads. Thus, certain types of searches
- say, a generic search for a particular make/model of a car - tend to
retrieve a whole bunch of advertisements masquerading as GG posts. I
have no idea if Google considers those groups/messages as advertising
with Google and charges accordingly, or if they just let anyone create
a group and post whatever they want.
<shrug> It's usually not an issue.
After acquiring the DejaNews archive, Google used it as the foundation
of a new product they introduced (Google Groups), which was initially
developed as a WWW portal to Usenet. Further development allowed GG
users to create their own non-Usenet GGs. The heart of the problem is
that Google combined Usenet and their own Google Groups, thus
displaying one part of the Internet (Usenet) in another (the WWW) and
mixing it up with their proprietary product. To add insult to injury,
they made a business decision to not make that clear to users. Thus,
anyone who has no previous experience with Usenet (the bulk of
Internet users) hasn't a clue that their Google Groups is actually a
single interface for two different sections of the Internet.
Does it matter? It does when the one-size-fits-all approach creates
confusion for the users. It doesn't matter to Google, because their
goal is to deliver access to information, not to educate users as to
what it is about. Same goes on a much smaller level for companies
that earn ad revenue by porting selected Usenet newsgroups to their
websites. Most users of those sites have no idea that they're
accessing a Usenet newsgroup via a web-based portal, and they don't
care, either. If they did, they'd go direct to the newsgroup in
question via a newsreader, or use Google Groups while understanding
its limitations (and thus not being fooled by those same limitations).
On Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:28:42 PM UTC-4, Moe DeLoughan wrote:
Actually what you said was this:
"Google search results include Usenet posts. Click on the link and the
post displays, but the Usenet newsgroup and date information aren't
all that noticeable unless you read carefully. "
So, you search with google, you see the search results. If one of the
results you're interested in is from GG and you click on the
link to that post, the post displays and both the newsgroup it's from
and the date are clearly displayed are *both* right there.
I do understand both, but I'm getting a strong suspcicion that like another
poster here, you don't even use Google Groups and don't know how it
No, I'm referring to what I see in Google Groups main display.
Good grief. The date and time is right there. So, it's on the right.
I see it. Anyone who gives a damn can see it too. And it's right next
to the "reply" arrow button, it's not like it's hidden somewhere. I
have yet to hear a single GG poster complain that they can't see the
date/time on posts. I only see people who don't even use it bitching.
I see, so now it's too hard to grasp the meaning of the message date,
which is clearly displayed. Maybe for you, not for me.
Same goes for the newsgroup name, which is in
As a percentage of the population, not many. But they don't need to
in order to post a follow on question. You think they need to read a
tutorial on newsgroups, when they just want to know how to fix their
garage door spring? Good grief. The other poster who is bitching away
thinks they need to do that, evaluate which newsgroup reader they want
to use, download it, maybe pay for it, figure out which newsgroup service
they want to use, maybe pay a monthly fee for that, install it all,
figure out how it works, then and only then, post their question. And
even better, they should just post the question blind, starting a new
thread on how to fix the garage door spring all over again, when I can
see the full thread from a year ago that they are replying to on GG.
It has all the other replies, so I don't have to re-invent the wheel.
And then the person may not use a newsgroup for a year, or ever again.
But they should learn how they work, install readers, sign up/pay for
newsgroup service? Really?
*Maybe* ten out of a hundred.
And so what? They post their question or comment. I see, it you see it.
What's the problem?
It's the latter. Anyone can create a group.
It doesn't bother me. I use it. It works. You don't like it,
use something else.
To add insult to injury,
I don't see anyone bitching about being confused. I only see
people like you here bitching about GG allegedly confusing people.
It doesn't matter to Google, because their
That's kind of the goal for most of the internet and most businesses
too. They deliver what people want in a simple to use format that
they can use.
Same goes on a much smaller level for companies
Again, you admit they don't care, so why do you?
If they did, they'd go direct to the newsgroup in
Geez, all they want is an answer to how to fix their garage door.
| > Google search results include Usenet posts.
| Very rarely do they include usenet posts.
I just did a search for:
"Ha anybody ever had a lowes installer come out to their home"
It returned a site called homeownershub.com that's
reprinting Usenet as their own content. It also returned
a link to Google Groups. I've done such searches for
years when I come across a snippet of promising text.
(Though I don't see Google Groups anymore. They've
switched a script-heavy, obfuscated page coding to
Ironically, I find that typing "Netflix + a DVD title" into Google gets me
to the DVD I am looking for a lot faster than logging in through the Netflix
site and then using their search box. Same with Ebay and Amazon. That's
just not right and even Netflix tech support (2nd tier) agrees it's
ridiculous. Those three sites all want to "show you stuff" and track your
movements long before they want to let you search for something in
| Ironically, I find that typing "Netflix + a DVD title" into Google gets me
| to the DVD I am looking for a lot faster than logging in through the
| site and then using their search box. Same with Ebay and Amazon. That's
| just not right and even Netflix tech support (2nd tier) agrees it's
I find the same thing in general. One of the worst
is Microsoft. They make the most common OS, so one
would think they know how to make a website, but I
would never go to microsoft.com to look for any kind
of information or download from them. Whenever I have
done that I just end up going in circles.
That's like shopping at Ikea. "What do you mean, I have to walk through the
whole damn store just to buy a clamp lamp?" I refuse to shop there anymore
because I feel like a cow in a slaughterhouse. All that's missing is the
P.S. Who says MS knows how to design an OS? (-:
I think the web is rapidly approaching the biblical concept of Babel. Use
the "View Source" function on big sites like Ebay and you'll see multitudes
of routines dedicated to specific browsers. Lots of them use tricks like
superimposing buttons to make the versions appear coherent. If you recall,
many people reported seeing no warning to change passwords - it all depended
on what browser you were using.
I keep seeing more and more scripting "time out" errors because a site like
Ebay "touches" so many other sites (lots of them just so they can track you)
and if those sites are slow or troubled in some way, the scripts just hang.
I've already had to change FF's configuration to tell it to wait longer
before it pops up the dreaded "a script is not responding" error.
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