Usenet blog

A blog about the world of Usenet: free servers, news services, clients reviews.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yottanews Free Server Status Update

The Yottanews free server seems to be up and running.
I waited some days before writing this post about this NNTP server status, because it has gone up and down repeatedly in the last months (read my previous posts here and here)
After a week of use I think that the issues with the server are over and it can be used normally. The Yottanews status page reports that:
More free servers are now online to handle additional users.

The newsgroups I'm subscribed to seem to have complete articles and good feeding, but I noticed a slowdown in the connection speed.


Newsgroup Websites Sued by MPAA

There is much clamor on internet about the last MPAA moves against P2P sites.
Last week the popular file sharing server on eDonkey P2P network Razorback2 was shut down by Swiss and Belgian police and yesterday the MPAA announced that it had filed
seven lawsuits in federal courts across the
country against highly trafficked Torrent, eDonkey and Newsgroup websites that are
responsible for facilitating illegal swapping of copyrighted files between millions of users around the world.

The lawsuits hit, and, described in the press release as:
membership-based websites that enable users of Newsgroups to initiate easy downloads of infringing content.

Today Usenet is cluttered with messages carrying all sort of copyrighted material, and some ISP are discontinuing their Usenet services to avoid some legal problems (i.e. the announce of the Canadian ISP
We could expect that the MPAA war against piracy on Usenet is only at the beginning...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Google Groups Adds Ratings and Profiles

A post in Radioactive Yak Blog revealed two new features recently added to Google Groups, the Google Usenet browsing interface: posts rating and users profiles.
The header of each post was modified in order to show the post average rating (if any) as well as the numbers of votes received. Near each post's author there is also a link to a profile page, showing the searchable list of all author's posts and a calendar-based view of his/hers posting activity.
The new header looks like the image below:

Clicking on the view profile link you can see a detailed history of the posts from the author, like in the image below:

As notice by Google Blogoscoped blog, these new features add a sort of social layer upon the Usenet groups: in a near future Google could add a sort of tagging feature for Usenet, who knows...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Mozilla Newsgroups Hierarchy Rearranged

Some days ago, a message was posted in all netscape.public.mozilla.* hierarchy newsgroups by Mozilla Corporation System Administrator Dave Miller. In this post the author explains that the long planned migration from netscape.public.mozilla.* to just mozilla.* hierarchy has finally come.
According to Miller post:

It should be no secret these days that the Mozilla Foundation and its related projects are no longer a pet project of Netscape, yet the newsgroups we are using for public discussions still bear the Netscape name.

Most of the old 73 newsgroups are no longer updated and the new groups are now feeded. At this time the mozilla.* newsgroups will not be propagated through Usenet, but they are hosted only on the new server.
This NNTP server is the result of the partnership with Giganews Newsgroups announced in August. According with the Giganews press release, Jonah Yokubaitis, CEO of Giganews, says:
"The Giganews and Mozilla partnership is a natural fit and we're glad to offer this free service to their valued developer network. Mozilla's reputation for developing some of the Internet's leading browser and e-mail applications has attracted the same type of customers who demand the high quality Usenet service that Giganews provides."

More information about the migration is available at the frequently asked questions page: