Usenet communities closing down

Usenet, short for User Network, is a distributed Internet discussion system similar to a web forum, like Neowin. You can join and participate in Usenet communities from a wide variety of places using a wide variety of readers. Usenet was started in 1979 at Duke University by graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. In its prime Usenet has over 120,000 different active groups that users contributed to. Many of the popular social acronyms, such as LOL and emoticons, originated  or were popularized on Usenet.

It seems now the Usenet era is coming to an end. On May 20, Duke announced that they will be shutting down their Usenet server due to low usage and rising costs. To add to the demise of the Usenet community Microsoft has announced the closing of their newsgroups. They are calling it the evolution of communities stating, "customers are turning online more and more for information and help. Microsoft is revamping its communities to make it easy for customers to find help and information when they need it. Using forums as the online support strategy will reduce the number of redundant resources and centralize content, making community contributions more broadly available and impactful." The newsgroups will begin shutting down in June and migrating users to the Microsoft forums.

Though Usenet was originally intended as a communication resource people found a way to share files over it as well. It became very popular among the warez community; This is one reason why so many ISPs started shutting down their Usenet servers in 2008. Since the content was not centralized sites started popping up that would help you find what you were looking for. They would offer NZB files, similar to torrents, that would point you in the direction of the content you were looking for. For awhile these sites seemed to stay off the radar of the movie and recording industry. It seems the studios have caught up with the Usenet community now, Newzbin, a popular NZB site, has been shut down after a legal battle with the with the MPA. Much like The Pirate Bay, Newzbin never actually hosted any illegal content only files pointing to the content.

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53 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

i totally agree with inuendo, newzbin wasn't the only way to get nzbs (which was a recent thing as far as newsgroups go)
How about the superb nzbclub.com and the others.

What a moronic news item.
Usenet will never die, till the paid newsgroup providers turn things off.
I have for years used giganews and more recently switched to astraweb.
Both have over 500 days or retention and you can download at max capacity (for me 50med)
This is just a stupid misleading scaremongering post.
What you actually mean is:
Microsoft and a few other isp based companies that probably most people have never heard of, are turning of their usenet posting and reading services.This will affect probably less than 1% of all usenet traffic and usage.
Pointless

I love usenet. My ISP must be one of the very few to operate a ISP-hosted usenet mirror. Allows me to get my Linux distros at maximum speed all the time =)

This article is FUD. Who cares about Duke, Microsoft, @Home, etc.

Astraweb, GigaNews, etc. are the real power players of Usenet & there's no sign of the growth stopping any time soon. Forte Agent is even still kicking it having released v6 not too long ago. Sure, NewzBin is gone, but they only indexed Usenet. They weren't a part of it. If worse comes to worst, all the Usenet veterans will just go back to the way they were doing things before Newzbin ever launched.

Usenet is ginormous & decentralized so I doubt anyone could shut it down completely.

Innuendo said,
This article is FUD. Who cares about Duke, Microsoft, @Home, etc.

Astraweb, GigaNews, etc. are the real power players of Usenet & there's no sign of the growth stopping any time soon. Forte Agent is even still kicking it having released v6 not too long ago. Sure, NewzBin is gone, but they only indexed Usenet. They weren't a part of it. If worse comes to worst, all the Usenet veterans will just go back to the way they were doing things before Newzbin ever launched.

Usenet is ginormous & decentralized so I doubt anyone could shut it down completely.

Nice reply, I think this article is a bit confusing.. Newzbin was just in Index and that first server that was setup, pffft no suprised its shut down to be honest it had to one day! Usenet lives on!!!

newzbin sucked anyway... newzleech and binsearch were always better for searching nzb files and there are plenty of better providers out there as well.

notta said,

and that's the way it should be


the less that know the better for all of us.
There is already far to much spam on binaries these days.
but i am sure wikipedia would have an article on newsgroups and nzbs if you wana find out

Usenet is far from dead. Giganews etc are growing so it's not like they are losing money if they can store like 500+ days of binaries.

Tony. said,
Usenet is far from dead. Giganews etc are growing so it's not like they are losing money if they can store like 500+ days of binaries.

USENET IS BIGGER THAN TORRENTS EF THAT CRAP SYSTEM USENET FOREVER!!!!

Tager said,
I used Usenet when I was on dialup back in the late 90's.

Same here, even ran a server for about 5 years. Everyone loved Usenet, but the interface never changed and web forums present conversations in a friendlier way.

So, we gave up efficiency for flashy interfaces and here we are, typing in a textbox that's stored in a SQL type database.

xpablo said,
RIP Usesnet, was great in it's day, must admit I haven't been on any newsgroups in quite sometime.

More like QUITE some time!!

Used to use the heck out of it.

I used Gravity up until recently - when I found easier methods to find "stuff".
Newsgroups are sadly just not up to snuff when everyone wants everything, and they want it now.

koppit said,
I used Gravity up until recently - when I found easier methods to find "stuff".
Newsgroups are sadly just not up to snuff when everyone wants everything, and they want it now.

Usenet is 0-day.. I suspect scene releases still start on usenet and trickle through to torrents. Don't know really maybe someone else knows.

Edited by witalit, May 19 2010, 2:38pm :

witalit said,

Usenet is 0-day.. I suspect scene releases still start on usenet and trickle through to torrents. Don't know really maybe someone else knows.

Generally the order is Usenet -> Torrents -> Direct Download (Rapidshare/MegaUpload) -> Online Streaming (for movies)

still using Forte Agent and their hosting service. working fine, still lots of chatter on a lot of the music and TV show groups.

Ah, the year was 1988-1991. Remeber: Forte Agent, Altopia, Mad Hatter, Stray Cat etc... Man, those were the days. Some incredible stuff took place. Anyone else have others?

Peace

balwx said,
Ah, the year was 1988-1991. Remeber: Forte Agent, Altopia, Mad Hatter, Stray Cat etc... Man, those were the days. Some incredible stuff took place. Anyone else have others?

Peace

Holy crap. I remember those days and those names! I wish I could remember more of the "masters". I think I have a backup of a Forte Agent database (you know, all those .idx files) somewhere, maybe I'll pull it up and see what's in there. Maybe I'll run across a few more names and post, to see if it stirs up anyone else's memory.

I stopped using Usenet when my ISP cut off their binary feed due to "malware, viruses, and pirated software". I responded to them, "Since these are your reasons for cutting off the binary Usenet feed, when will you be cutting off Web access? That is a far greater breeding ground for the items you listed than Usenet could ever be."

the first rule of usenet is you don't talk about usenet. Someone must have blabbed to the hideous evil empire (RIAA/MPAA) thus making usenet as visible as torrents.

Best of it is, the RIAA et al will be dead soon, as will record companies. Artists are increasingly turning to iTunes distrubution models as they then have the rights and the rewards for their efforts. Artists main source of income is concerts. That is why you see so many bands and singers doing the rounds on the concert circuit due to the record companies taking such a huge cut for such a little amount of work in the retail market. Album sales are decreasing at a fast pace because the people are voting with their wallets and only buying the tracks they like and ignoring the filler tracks on CD's. The days of having to have a recording contract are over.

Here in the UK the charts are dominated by the digital downloads. You don't need a record company if you don't need a CD. Then again you can get them made yourself if need be.

witalit said,

Double Amen!!

I triple your amen. I cringed every time I would read a post where someone would mention Usenet.

There are still many paid services out there. Easynews has always been solid. As long as there are paying ones, it won't be going away anytime soon.

Far from the demise of Usenet as a whole. Yes, many of the major US cable internet carriers are axing their own internal news servers in the next few months, if not already. But they pretty much sucked anyways, horrible retention/speeds. But they were free.

zeta_immersion said,
I still have some of those yenc and powergrab , good programs, sadly quite outdated

yENC Powerpost still works like a champ! Hehe.

Binaries is what made the ISPs shut it down, too.. on AT&T it got so bad that retention wasn't even a day on binaries anymore..

nullie said,
Binaries is what made the ISPs shut it down, too.. on AT&T it got so bad that retention wasn't even a day on binaries anymore..

Wow one day is horrible. What would even be the point.

Pixil Eyes said,

Wow one day is horrible. What would even be the point.

Yeah thats a joke glad they dropped their servers douches!

Pixil Eyes said,
Uh oh. I don't want to go back to torrents for my umm Linux Copies. >.> <.<

Hahaha I know man I got like 50 gigs of linux distros still to download >.<

Newzbin has not been shut down. Yes posting has slowed but it never was shut down. You should change that. Usenet is still HUGE. Raw groups still give you faster speed and better results than a torrent ever will.

corrosive23 said,
Newzbin has not been shut down. Yes posting has slowed but it never was shut down. You should change that. Usenet is still HUGE. Raw groups still give you faster speed and better results than a torrent ever will.

Have you been to the website lately? It would appear to be dead.

witalit said,

Cannot believe this... what other sites are anywhere near as good as newzbin and newzxxx lol!!

Tried nzbMatrix?

corrosive23 said,
Newzbin has not been shut down. Yes posting has slowed but it never was shut down. You should change that. Usenet is still HUGE. Raw groups still give you faster speed and better results than a torrent ever will.


**** me, guess they did. Thats what I get for not visiting them for a few days.