There seems to be a trend towards taking Usenet out of the features
typically bundled with ISP services.
I have Comcast which farms their Usenet stuff out to GigaNews and that
works fine except when Comcast has a problem. As many have noted,
when you contact Comcast Tier 1 support for a Usenet problem they
don't even know what newsgroups are.
It looks to be the case that binaries will go first but there may
ultimately be a reduction or elimination of all Usenet service through
I wonder if that is all bad.
Some guys I talk with think that the Golden Age of newsgroups ended
when AOL started in. I don't know; I was on CompuServe then.
Some hardcore types even think that the best days were before Gene
Spafford organized The Backbone Cabal that lead to The Great Renaming
I don't know about that and I'm not going to get medieval about it and
start looking for my Hayes 1200 baud Smartmodem either.
The point is that the ease and transparency of access to newsgroups
may have contributed to the influx of the ignorati.
The corollary might be that an increase in the difficulty of obtaining
access, whether by necessitating a specialized provider, or by
reintroducing certain technical challenges to gaining access, might
reverse the trend and diminish the number of knuckleheads on Usenet.
Maybe it would be good to pay a few bucks a month to get newsgroups -
and maybe they should make setup and configuration sufficiently
challenging as to act as rough justice sort of bozo filter.
It's an interesting concept.
Thos. J. Watson - Cabinetmaker