HIS.com Status: Reminder: news.his.com shutting down 5/31/07
HIS System Status Updates
status at his.com
Wed May 30 16:16:11 EDT 2007
Just a reminder - this message was sent to the status at his.com list on
April 30, but I thought we should re-send it in case some folks missed it:
We've operated usenet news servers for the past 17 years, and we've
finally concluded that the time has come to discontinue this service.
usenet news came into being in the pre-internet era, when networks
connected with each other intermittently. usenet "newsgroups" became a
form of bulletin board that supported discussions of thousands of
topics. When individual networks connected, all articles received from
other networks were passed along via the new connection, and the
discussions were propagated around the world. When the internet matured,
and networks became connected full-time, the usenet model continued,
with each server picking up all messages offered from other usenet
servers, and then passing them along to other servers.
The good news was that the technique worked. The bad news was that it
was incredibly inefficient in terms of bandwidth used, since all servers
transferred all messages, whether or not any of their own users cared to
read any of them. The other bad news was that the usenet mechanism was
abused by pornographers, who used it to distribute images and movies,
and software pirates, who used it to post their 'warez' for others to
share. These practices were not only illegal, but phenomenal consumers
Today, most discussions have moved to web-based forums, and usenet has
increasingly become a wasteland of spam (including/especially porn
spam). From our point of view, operating usenet servers has used large
quantities of bandwidth that could be used for more productive purposes,
and we've been concerned about the porn issue. We long ago deleted the
most obvious porn groups, but porn spam still pops up everywhere.
Our own customers have mostly moved to web-based forums or email lists,
and we've watched use of news.his.com diminish steadily, and the number
of servers exchanging news has also decreased steadily. AOL dropped
usenet on short notice in 2005, and many other ISPs, universities and
cable providers have followed suit. As a result, we've decided to shut
down news.his.com on May 31, 2007.
For those of you who still find usenet useful, there are other options -
Google offers free access via http://groups.google.com, and Comcast
cable and Verizon dsl/FIOS customers can access usenet via those providers.
A number of people have asked where they can go to buy traditional
access (using a newsreader, vs. a web browser) to usenet.
Some good candidates:
Also, if you're a Verizon DSL or FIOS subscriber, or a Comcast customer,
those providers still operate usenet servers that you can access, at
least while connected to their networks.
ph at his.com
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