Is an amazing wealth of knowledge!
Just thought I would say that. :-)
Usenet is dying, so when it dies, I want to know where you guys end up.
I've learned so much from this group.
Skunks, trees, stumps, patios, hot tubs, dishwashers. Amazing.
Some days I have a problem, I'll put it on the newsgroup, and go do some
work, and check the posts every couple of hours. More time than not, by the
end of the day, I have a solution.
My wife thinks I am the smartest person on the planet!
I am surprised Usenet made it this far. Websites, blogs, and ebooks
provide information too. Before asking a question it is a good idea
to Google first. I used to use the local library weekly, now it is
more like once a year. "Information at your fingertips."
I suspect that Usenet is in a death spiral.
Regardless of the numbers of people online the vast majority has no inkling
about it. Today's user is all about the web and email. Most I know have
never even set up a news account.
Now the ISPs are really not stupid. What they recognize that relatively few
of their paying customers are using news accounts but the ISPs are paying to
provide a service that costs them and has no tangible financial benefit.
So you get a simple business case. What are we spending to provide news?
What is our cost? How many current customers will leave us? Is the loss of
income more or less than the expense of providing a news service?
That is why you see so many ISPs dropping the news services. And the death
spiral comes into play because as an ISP drops the news service, what you
get is a lot of occasional users who simply say "oh well" and so the
available user base gets smaller. And so other ISPs follow suit.
So the choices we are left with is to find a free service (that is typically
limited) or suck it in and go to a paid service.
And so it goes.
I am just curious.... Other than Google Groups, are there any other "Gooey
GUI front ends" out there?
I have long thought that the two biggest problems with Usenet newsgroups
1) Most people don't know how to set up and use them, and,
2) The spam and off topic messages that kill the usefulness of many groups
and that drive die-hards like us away from using those newsgroups.
For #1, I would love to see someone create a truly easy and intuitive free
shareware software program that any everyday, non-computer-savvy, person
could use to set up, access, and use newsgroups.
For #2, I think a good moderator software program that automatically passed
99% of messages through, but which could also automatically block individual
spammers after the fact (to prevent multiple spams from the same person)
would work. Then, moderated newsgroups would function mostly like
unmoderated groups with instant posting, but the real repeat spammers would
be blocked. The moderating software would need to be able to block messages
by user I.D. names, and also be able to block incoming messages from
specific computer MAC I.D. numbers.
RN, came with the UNIX distro on the minicomputer that fed the office
network, 1986 or so.
Back then, many UNIX systems had a newsfeed, because it was small enough
volume that the bandwidth got lost in the noise, and management was
never aware of it. I dialed in from home on a green-screen suitcase 8086
with a blazing 1200 baud modem and a vt100 emulator package. A much more
aem sends, feeling very old again....
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