back to article Google promises fix for jittery Usenet addicts

Usenet diehards are complaining that Google is no longer mirroring the venerable internet discussion forums on its web-based Google Groups service, but the company has reassured them that this is merely a glitch that will soon be resolved. On August 1, Google Groups seemed to stop updating its Usenet forums, and as of Tuesday …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    Usenet will outlast TheInternet[tm] as we know it today.

    I've been a subscriber, newsadmin (and sometime moderator) since the net.* groups groups got to Stanford and Berkeley via dial-up over UUCP in 1980 (it was available over the ARPANET at both schools a short time later). There is no better anarchistic text-based communications system available on the planet (yes, Fidonet came/comes close).

    If, for whatever reason, it is banned world-wide on the Internet at large, it'll go back to it's roots, dial-up and UUCP. google has absolutely nothing to do with Usenet, outside of the (arguably useless) Dejagoo archive. Why people use google's b0rken interface is beyond me.

    And no, I've never seen any kittyPr0n on Usenet ... for the simple reason that I've never trusted binaries on Usenet.

    1. PCMcGee

      Usenet will never die...

      Does anyone still have a landline? When landlines die, so will Usenet.

      As to why google, might as well ask why Apple? Sheeple eat what they are given, "Coke or Pepsi".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      UUCP, hmm, no.

      I don't fully agree. If for whatever reason it would go back to its roots I'd sooner expect people to re-start their FidoNet (-alike) software again and go back to echomail. Simply because this software (the portals, tossers, mail readers, etc.) are already available and can be picked up instantly.

      I know its not that hard to setup a Linux box which allows for incoming dial-ups. But what would John Doe prefer; an OS where he has to start tweaking for a few hours or already available software which you simply have to configure & fire up ?

      And before anyone goes with "outdated, obsolete, etc.". A lot of this software is still actively being used in areas there the Internet coverage isn't as wide spread as most of us here are used to.

      1. Peter Mc Aulay

        Re: UUCP, hmm, no.

        There's no need for dial-up. Usenet uses bog-standard NNTP over TCP/IP. The server software is readily available via any Linux distro, so the people who want such a thing will still be able to build it. I still have my old Fidonet software, but I'd rather install INN than dosemu and a landline...

  2. Shannon Jacobs

    Usenet is dead

    Actually, I think Google killed the newsgroups quite a while ago. The basic premise of the newsgroups was free and open discussion, not that ANY one organization would be able to effectively strangle discussions by kicking out people who dare to criticize that organization. Yeah, that's MY interpretation, but I don't feel lonely. Amusingly enough, the criticisms were intended to be constructive--but the main result was to convince me that Google has gone EVIL. (Then again, I still don't blame Google. It's the American laws that basically require any large company to become more and more evil to survive in competition with the other large companies that are willing to push harder. The vicious part of the circle is that the laws are increasingly written by professional politicians who are owned by the worst actors, while the large majority of good actors are foolishly content to simply play by the rules, even if they play hard.)

    Anyway, moving on from usenet, I think we are more plagued by other forms of information dysfunction. For example, there is super-ignorance empowered by the search engines that allow the most ignorant person to completely saturate his input channels with so-called evidence ("I read it on the Internet so it must be true.") supporting whatever crazy thing he wants to believe. Can any democratic or republican government survive as a house divided? Not merely divided, but some parts of the house are in different universes that would confuse Alice to death.

    Another example is super-envy, where poor people learn about the American lifestyle via the Internet and conclude that America is living high on the hog by grinding their faces into the mud. Guess what motivates some terrorists?

    In conclusion, I still think the tools are morally neutral and that information is good. However the tools can be used for bad purposes and not all information is of equal value. " I think we done got ourselves into a big heap of trouble...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    If Usenet ever does die ...

    ... we'll surely hear about it with film at eleven, as long promised. Hail Fluffy!

  4. Camilla Smythe

    Google Groups.... Pfffft

    I would not know what the situation would be today but when Google first decided to barf their crap on usenet the Big 8 got hammered with so much spam and other crap that text groups were probably carrying as many bits as binary groups. OK, exaggeration.... but they really shat on it.

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Everyone just killfiled gargle gropes

      And we all lived happily ever after

      1. Camilla Smythe
        Thumb Down


        Only... and I might be certain that you are more technically competent than planet Bob and the rest of the Bobs and Bobettes... the rest of us had to download the headers, on 56K dial-up, before the messages got consigned to Plonk.

        Oooooo I know. I'll just check out how Plop is getting on with his design and see if they have any other questions....

        HI GOOGLE HERE!!!!

        Download 250,000 Nike Trainer Drop Shipping Spam Headers from our recent sign ups First.

  5. Robert E A Harvey

    surprisingly silent

    What baffles me is the failure of gurgle to put anything up on the status pages about this, or in their blog.

  6. 404

    <waves dead chicken>!

    I hated it when Google killed dejanews......haven't even looked in years since I graduated into sysadminhood. Memories....

    me: 'thanks for calling blahblah"

    customer: "blah blah Imastupidfuck blah"

    me: 'dothisthisthis blah blah"

    pause pause

    customer: 'obviouslie blah blah didntdonuttin blah"

    me: "one moment sir, I need to place you on hold for one moment" click..

    me: 'screamshoutcuss" hit punching bag set up for that purpose...

    me: 'ok sir, where were we? Ok, lets do this'....

    Yeah, I remember and I thank for keeping me sane.


    1. William Towle

      Re: <waves dead chicken>

      Chicken? After having "not killed its Usenet service, it's merely experiencing technical difficulties" it's *got* to be a parrot, surely?

      // originally clicking through to "oblig. ..." the Dead News Server sketch (

  7. Levente Szileszky

    Newsgroups are forever especially... binary form.

    May yEnc be with you.

  8. rasp

    nntp != ghoul

    Well, subject says it all, who has to rely on G**gle to read newsgroups anyway ? :-P

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Who uses Google Groups?

      People without administrative access to the computers they use. I now can't read newsgroups at work, in the library, on other people's computers, anywhere other than on my computer at home where I have the administrative rights to install a news reader.

      Google is just joining the mainstream "you're poor, F*** off" attitude.

      1. Robert E A Harvey


        I use it from cybercafe or on the company flatpot, and use pan on my own machines. Gurgle Gropes has been quite convenient, as long as yer mates whitelist your posting name

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    Google... what?

    Weren't they the people who sucked up then destroyed dejanews?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Weren't they

      Actually Google rescued the Deja News archives after the original service was wound up.

  10. Skoorb

    All Change!

    Everything usenetish does seem to be there, just at different addresses. For example, the TCL link in the article has all the posts at!forum/comp.lang.tcl

  11. MJI Silver badge

    I use Thunderbird mainly

    But google is useful for searching old posts.

    My new PC had a news group client supplied but the file edit menu was missing so gave up trying to set it up and downloaded a usable client instead.

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