Power Usenet Blog

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We've increased retention from 800 to 1085 days!

Here at Power Usenet, we always aim to deliver top quality Usenet service at a reasonable price. Today, we're happy to announce that we have increased our binary retention from 800 days to 1085 days at no additional charge. Not only that, we will continue to increase retention daily going forward! Effective immediately, all Power Usenet customers have access to almost 3 years of binary retention. This is in addition to 2964 days of text retention.

Thanks for choosing Power Usenet!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Geeks with Bare Feet

Seeing how Usenet affects the world is something we really enjoy at Power Usenet, and the recent article “Going barefoot: As the warm days of summer roll in, some folks are ready to shuck their shoes” by McClathy Newspapers’ Joe Miller was no exception.

Joe provides a comical four page background on barefootedness. While we were surprised that this was a topic which warranted four pages of coverage, we were glad to see the newsgroups alt.rec.nude, alt.rec.backcountry, and alt.folklore.urban referenced as contributing to this proud tradition.

“Perceptions about bare feet began changing in the 1990s when a kind of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup thing happened on the Internet. Cross migration between the alt.rec.nude and alt.rec.backcountry newsgroups sparked discussion about whether it really was illegal to drive barefoot. (No, according to a widely circulated Internet survey by the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, though Alabama does frown on anyone riding a motorcycle without shoes.) That led to more discussion about what was and wasn't legal, as well as myths associated with the practice. Proponents say the discussion helped lower inhibitions about setting our piggies free.”

Way to go guys. We’ve always known Usenet members where huge proponents of freedom!

A quick search of the newsgroups available on Power Usenet shows that alt.rec.nude is now rec.nude and alt.rec.backcountry is now rec.backcountry. We’re still not sure if Joe got the group names wrong in his article or if the groups just changed names along the way (comment on this post if you know!). Both rec.nude and rec.backcountry have vibrant communities; although one might question if there’s still a lot of cross posting going on. Since nudity and secluded places go hand in hand, perhaps the idea isn’t that farfetched.

alt.folklore.urban’s name remains the same and is chocked full of members eager to share their urban legends.

While helping people justify walking around barefooted isn’t at the top of Usenet’s accomplishment list, this story is a great example of how people use Usenet to answer questions and engage in discussions that transcend the digital world.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time Warner, Sprint, Verizon Customers - SPECIAL DISCOUNTS!

Power Usenet is proud to announce special pricing for customers of Time Warner, Sprint, and Verizon!

Time Warner and Verizon both announced they will no longer be supporting full Usenet access after June 24th 2008. Sprint will stop offering access sometime thereafter.

Because so many people will be without full Usenet access, Power Usenet has decided to offer special introductory rates for customers on those networks.

Visit our Verizon, Sprint, and Time Warner special web pages for more details on special rates and conditions.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sci.Astro Post Makes Front Page of Digg 8 Years Later

Old news does occasionally make headlines, at least with our friend's from Digg anyways.

Sci.astro newsgroup poster "Tom" made it to the front page of Digg today with his 1999 post about why space is dark.

Why did it take 8 years for this random post to gain notoriety?


Perhaps the world's supply of Ubuntu and "top ten ways to do x" articles has been exhausted. Either way sci.astro is enjoying a bit of time in the sun.

Among the posts in the newsgroup's original thread, were comments from planetarium program directors, university professors, and members of amateur astronomy organizations. Digg posters commented on the science behind the post, as well as made jokes about why space is dark, giving reasons such as "It's emo."

Sci.astro is home to a diverse group of astronomy enthusiasts and threads can be very in depth and technical. We definitely recommend checking out more recent threads in the newsgroup and perhaps posting a bit of your own.

Of course, as for whether or not your post will make the front page of a social media news site 8 years in the future is anyone's guess.

See the Digg link post at http://www.digg.com/space/Why_Is_Space_Dark

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Featured Newsgroup - misc.forsale.non-computer

In honor of the 10th anniversary of online auction giant eBay, PowerUsenet is featuring misc.forsale.non-computer, the home to eBay's (then AuctionWeb) first announcement.

Pierre Omidyar created the code that would become eBay in the late summer of 1995, posting it to his consulting business' website Echo Bay Technology Group (ebay.com). A few days later, after experiencing very little initial traffic, Omidyar posted an announcement to misc.forsale.non-computer listing some items on auction, such as "Autographed Marky Mark Underwear" going for $400 and a "1952 Silver Dawn Rolls Royce" with a (then) current bid of $38,500.

Needless to say, the project took off and by AuctionWeb's first anniversary, Omidyar was earning enough in commissions from his site to quit his day job and dedicate all his energies to ebay.com. A little over a year later AuctionWeb officially became eBay and a year after that the company went public.

Pierre Omidyar is now a billionaire, ebay.com is visited by millions of people every day, and misc.forsale.non-computer is another humble newsgroup which helped launch a great idea.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Featured Newsgroup - alt.nerd.obsessive

Alt.nerd.obsessive was born May 20, 1997 nearly two years after the airing of episode 3 of season 9 of the Simpsons. In this episode, Comic Book Guy, proprietor of Springfield's favorite comic book shop, The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, logged on to the then mythical newsgroup to chat about the "Itchy and Scratchy Movie".


The newsgroup transcended into the real world when Usenet user "Polar Bear" created the group and was subsequently populated by Usenet nerds and Simpsons fans, all gathering to discuss pretty much anything nerd-related. According to the alt.nerd.obsessive charter:

"For the purposes of the newsgroup, nerd is defined loosely as any person who enjoys or participates in hobbies or other activities traditionally identified by society as nerdy or geeky. These activities include, but are not limited to: computer programming, video gaming, chess, comic book collecting, role-playing, or any of a number of other activities that are generally identified as nerd-like. This definition is intentionally vague, and is open to the interpretation of any individual who wishes to self-identify as a nerd."

You can find lots of historical information about the group including its charter, pictures of some members, and the newsgroup's FAQ at ano.nerdland.net.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Featured Newsgroup - alt.hypertext

Birthplace of the World Wide Web

On August 6, 1991 at 3:37pm, Tim Berners-Lee posted a short overview of his World Wide Web Project in the alt.hypertext newsgroup. It is speculated that alt.hypertext was the first place that Berners-Lee spoke publicly about the World Wide Web project, which would make sense considering the important of hypertext to his plans.


Berners-Lee described his vision, saying, "The WWW world consists of documents, and links. Indexes are special documents which, rather than being read, may be searched. The result of such a search is another ("virtual") document containing links to the documents found. A simple protocol ("HTTP") is used to allow a browser program to request a keyword search by a remote information server."

Alt.hypertext, present day, is not quite the hopping place that it was in 1991. That being said, the discussions that you find within the newsgroup are typically quite detailed and interesting to those interested in hypertext technology. alt.hypertext contributor, gennbd, started a recent post with, "This newsgroup is still waiting for a hypertext revival :) Though there's very little traffic here, I hope that a handful of hardcore hypertextologists keep an eye on it. To them I appeal." And, indeed, gennbd's ruminations about the difference between hypertext and hypertexts were commented on by several other knowledgeable "hypertextologists".

If you've got an interest in hypertext or the exciting history of the group, use your Power Usenet account to visit alt.hypertext and participate in a revival of the birthplace of the world wide web!

Featured Newsgroup - rec.food.cooking

Power Usenet will occasionally feature certain interesting newsgroups on our blog. Our first featured newsgroup is rec.food.cooking.

From topics about what do to with split peas other than make soup, to gourmet recipe swapping, the newsgroup rec.food.cooking has something for food and cooking enthusiasts at any skill level.


Foodies, gourmands, professionals, home cooks, and college students just moving beyond the microwave all gather within rec.food.cooking to share experiences and recipes, offer and seek advice, dish about their favorite cooking show, and even gossip about the hottest celebrities' eating habits and haunts.

As an example of the diversity of posts in rec.food.cooking, contributor Nexis started a thread to find out what fellow visitors had made for dinner that night. Some responses: turkey and dressing, Thanksgiving in July style; "…good fattening Southern comfort food," and salad with homemade dressing.

Other threads offer hints for scrambling eggs, finding cheap wine, short on time cooking, choosing steak cuts, bread making technique, grilling, and much more.

Whether you are a new cook or an expert chef, rec.food.cooking is a great resource and a friendly Usenet community. If you're already a Power Usenet member, point your newsreader to rec.food.cooking to jump into the conversation. If you're not a member, sign up now. Remember, Power Usenet has 180 days of retention in text newsgroups and 105 days retention in binary newsgroups!