April Fool’s Day Usenet Hoax : Kremvax Hoax

On April 1, 1984 Piet Beertema posted that the Soviet Union was going to join Usenet.  The post was to have come from Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko.  The Kremlin Usenet site was to be named Kremvax.  Year’s later Vadim Antonov had a subdomain placed on the first legitimate Soviet Usenet site – kremvax.demos.su showing that the April Fools’ Day prank had a lasting impact.

Kremvax

Here is the original post in the eunet.politics newsgroup.  Archived in Google Groups.

Well, today, 840401, this is at last the Socialist Union of Soviet
Republics joining the Usenet network and saying hallo to everybody.

One reason for us to join this network has been to have a means of having an open discussion forum with the American and European people and making clear to them our strong efforts towards attaining peaceful coexistence between the people of the Soviet Union and those of the United States and Europe.

We have been informed that on this network many people have given strong anti-Russian opinions, but we believe they have been misguided by their leaders, especially the American administration, who is seeking for war and domination of the world.

By well informing those people from our side we hope to have a possibility
to make clear to them our intentions and ideas.

Some of those in the Western world, who believe in the truth of what we
say have made possible our entry on this network; to them we are very grateful. We hereby invite you to freely give your comments and opinions.

Here are the data for our backbone site:

Name: moskvax
Organization: Moscow Institute for International Affairs
Contact: K. Chernenko
Phone: +7 095 840401
Postal-Address: Moscow, Soviet Union
Electronic-Address: mcvax!moskvax!kremvax!chernenko
News: mcvax kremvax kgbvax
Mail: mcvax kremvax kgbvax

And now, let’s open a flask of Vodka and have a drink on our entry on
this network. So:

NA ZDAROVJE!


K. Chernenko, Moscow, USSR
…{decvax,philabs}!mcvax!moskvax!kremvax!chernenko

For more details on the post and reactions visit the author (Mr. Beertema’s) Kremvax hoax page.

Famous Usenet Posts – WWW, Linux, Netscape

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web.  In the beginning the WWW was a side project that Tim Berners-Lee worked on at CERN.  In 1991 he announced the WorldWideWeb project to the online community via Usenet.  The post was made in the alt.hypertext newsgroup on August 6th, 1991.  Since then several important announcements have come via Usenet but the WWW post is definitely one of our favorites.  Along with a book Tim wrote and published years later in 1999 titled Weaving the Web.  In which he writes about how the World Wide Web was created and the social implications of the technology.

Here’s Tim’s post from 1991:

WorldWideWeb: Summary

In article <64…@cernvax.cern.ch> I promised to post a short summary  of the
WorldWideWeb project.  Mail me with any queries.

WorldWideWeb – Executive Summary
The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to
make an easy but powerful global information system.

The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should
be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within
internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by
support groups.

Reader view

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.

The web contains documents in many formats. Those documents which are
hypertext,  (real or virtual) contain links to other documents, or places
within documents. All documents, whether real, virtual or indexes, look similar
to the reader and are contained within the same addressing scheme.

To follow a link,  a reader clicks with a mouse (or types in a number if he or
she has no mouse). To search and index, a reader gives keywords (or other
search criteria). These are the only operations  necessary to access the entire
world of data.

Information provider view

The WWW browsers can access many existing data systems via existing protocols
(FTP, NNTP) or via HTTP and a gateway. In this way, the critical mass of data
is quickly exceeded, and the increasing use of the system by readers and
information suppliers encourage each other.

Making a web is as simple as writing a few SGML files which point to your
existing data. Making it public involves running the FTP or HTTP daemon, and
making at least one link into your web from another. In fact,  any file
available by anonymous FTP can be immediately linked into a web. The very small
start-up effort is designed to allow small contributions.  At the other end of
the scale, large information providers may provide an HTTP server with full
text or keyword indexing.

The WWW model gets over the frustrating incompatibilities of data format
between suppliers and reader by allowing negotiation of format between a smart
browser and a smart server. This should provide a basis for extension into
multimedia, and allow those who share application standards to make full use of
them across the web.

This summary does not describe the many exciting possibilities opened up by the
WWW project, such as efficient document caching. the reduction of redundant
out-of-date copies, and the use of knowledge daemons.  There is more
information in the online project documentation, including some background on
hypertext and many technical notes.

Try it

A prototype (very alpha test) simple line mode browser is currently available
in source form from node  info.cern.ch [currently 128.141.201.74128.141.201.74] as

/pub/WWW/WWWLineMode_0.9.tar.Z.

Also available is a hypertext editor for the NeXT using the NeXTStep graphical
user interface, and a skeleton server daemon.

Documentation is readable using www (Plain text of the instalation instructions
is included in the tar file!). Document

http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

is as good a place to start as any. Note these coordinates may change with
later releases.

_________________________________________________________________

Tim Berners-Lee

     Tel:        +41(22)767 3755+41(22)767 3755
WorldWideWeb project                Fax:        +41(22)767 7155
C.E.R.N.                        email:        t…@cernvax.cern.ch
1211 Geneva 23
Switzerland

Along with the Tim Berner’s Lee WWW announcement here are some other significant Usenet posts:

You will find that Google Groups is a good source for historical text posts like those listed above.  To learn more about binary newsgroup access visit the Usenet providers section of NewsgroupReviews.com.

Without a doubt we missed some famous / interesting Usenet posts.  The newsgroup articles mentioned above are some of our favorites.  Please share yours with us @NewsgroupRevs so we can add them to the list.

Frustrated Slashdotters Go Back to Usenet

You might already know about Slashdot, a website that’s been a gathering place for techies, nerds, and privacy aficionados since the late 1990s when Rob “Cmdr Taco” Malda first got the site running.  It developed a strong community following, whose comments and conversations on the tail of posted news articles often topped hundreds of posts.  Slashdot was never the first site to post the news, but the comments were – and are – sometimes so much so that the concept of not RTFA (not reading the F’ing Article) became an inside joke.

Slashdot was sold at least twice: once to Sourceforge and again in 2013 to Dice.com.  But Dice has struggled to figure out how to make Slashdot profitable for them, and in hopes of generating more ad revenue has begun rolling out a new version (still in beta stage) of an interface that to some might look more modern, but to the Slashdot faithful looks like the end of the world.  It wastes screenspace and destroys the much-loved (yet often derided) commenting, karma, and moderation system.  In sum, it makes the site no longer worth visiting.

So where do angry Slashdotters go when they want to discuss techie news?  Usenet.

Newsgroup Hierarchy

That’s right, comp.misc is where a lot of them wound up, and this formerly somewhat-defunct newsgroup is again a wellspring of insightful commentary, careful, technical rebuttals, and on top of that, a sigh of relief (or is it nostalgia?) for Usenet.  “It’s been ages since I followed-up on a news article,” said one.  “May this be the beginning of an Eternal February,” said another.

Usenet has always been there, of course.  And its strengths – distribution of the network, open access through your choice of NSP, absolutely no censorship, and total, absolute ownership by the community instead of by a corporation – remain as useful and essential in 2014 as they were in 1994 and earlier!

Come visit us on comp.misc and see what all the celebration is about.

I’d like to thank Randall Wood for contributing this post.  Along with being a fan of Usenet, Randy is the author of The Dictator’s Handbook.  I read a lot of books but don’t make it cover to cover on many of them.  The Dictator’s Handbook is an exception.  You can learn more about Randy and his writing at www.therandymon.com.

Favorite Text Newsgroups and Posts

Do you enjoy sharing your thoughts and ideas with others?  Do you frequent certain text newsgroups or have some all time favorite posts?  If so we’d like to hear about them.  In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some of your favorites along with a series of popular and often famous posts.  Including some historical posts that you’ll definitely want to check out.  So please email your favorites to us at feedback (at) newsgroupreviews.com.

What kind of text newsgroups or posts are we looking for?  The most interesting will be shared in a series of blog posts.  Perhaps you follow your favorite college or pro sports teams newsgroup.  Maybe you have a hobby that goes along with one or more text groups that you frequent.  Whatever the circumstance we want to learn more about your favorite groups and posts.  Please send your ideas to feedback (at) newsgroupreviews.com

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet and follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

Usenet Binary Retention : How Much is Enough?

We spent all of last week celebrating with leading Usenet providers including UseNetServer, Newshosting, NewsDemon and Astraweb.  As they all accomplished an impressive mark.  With each supporting over three years of binary retention. Meaning you can download binary content from over 1,095 days ago.

Today we’d like to pose the question “How much binary retention is enough?”.  The question is meant for Usenet fans and those just finding interest in newsgroups.  How much retention would you like to see a year from now?  Would you be willing to give up extras (newsreaders, search, storage, vpn) or pay a higher price for the continued retention growth?  Not to say that either will be necessary but it’s worth some thought.

The truth is that most Usenet subscribers don’t use anywhere close to three years of binary retention.  Yet when comparing services the magic retention number often takes front row.  It has always been a measuring stick of sorts when choosing between Usenet providers.  Will the leading newsgroup services continue to grow retention as long as storage and overhead costs allow?  Will that eventually cause prices to increase?

Consider the rate at which Usenet is growing.  As seen in the feed size.  Which is the amount of data being posted to Usenet on a daily basis.  As you can see we’re now reaching close to 10 TB of data a day.  Where in 2008 the feed size was 4.5 TB a day.  Meaning that Usenet providers are going to need more and more storage to support their current retention.  Not to mention future growth.  Both in terms of feed size and retention.

Source of feed size data: NewsDemon blog

At what point will users not care as much about retention?  Is there a magic number?  Three years?  Four?  Five?  Will the highest retention always be important?  Or will other factors like performance, reliability and value take a front row seat.  Some might say binary retention is easier to measure.  Which is true but added features and price are easy to compare as well.  It’s really more a question of preference.

When it comes to binary retention, popular services like UseNetServer, Newshosting, NewsDemon, Astraweb and Giganews lead the way.  How about value-added features?  Where do they rank in your decision of which provider to choose?  For example Newshosting just released a cool new Usenet client.  Which is more important….binary retention or a nice Usenet client with search capabilities?  NewsDemon offers online storage and Giganews offers VPN access.  Yet we still see a heavy focus on binary retention.

For now everyone can have their cake and eat it too.  With binary retention growing by the day, new features and the best prices ever on Usenet access.  If the day ever comes though when you have to make the choice between binary retention, added features or increased price which will you choose?  We would personally choose a lower cost, reliable service with some nice extras as opposed to a few more days of binary retention.  This week you will start to see us shift focus from retention over to value and extra benefits.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Including the latest provider updates, binary retention, added features, free trials and special offers.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest Usenet news.

Usenet Providers Celebrate 3 Years of Binary Retention

This month several leading Usenet providers including UseNetServer are celebrating a new milestone.  Having surpassed three years of binary retention!  That’s 1,095+ days of binaries online.  An amazing achievement considering where we were just a couple years ago.  While binary retention is a popular comparison tool we’ve noticed more and more value adds lately as well.  Like the newly released Newshosting Usenet client.


We’ll be writing a number of posts this week to commemorate the three year achievement.  Stay tuned as we continue to deliver the latest news and special offers from top Usenet providers like UNS, Newshosting, NewsDemon, Astraweb, Easynews and more.  For now let’s tip our glass to UseNetServer and the other newsgroup services who are celebrating 1,095+ days of binary retention.  That kind of retention comes at a substantial cost.  As Usenet fans we are very appreciative of the efforts taken by each provider to hit 3 years!

Usenet 30 Years Ago : OldUse.net Real-Time Usenet Feed

Were you around Usenet in 1981?  Would you like to see how it looked 30 years ago in real-time?  If so visit olduse.net.  As the site is updating in real-time from a 1981 feed.  The feed was originally from the University of Toronto’s Department of Zoology so you can expect a slight focus on Canada and Zoology themes.  Thanks to Joey at olduse.net and everyone else who had a hand in bringing this piece of Usenet history to life.


The olduse.net feed can be accessed through the site or via newsreader at nntp.olduse.net.  Tested successfully using slrn newsreader.  The olduse.net Usenet archive is updating in real-time as if we were in 1981.  So right now it’s showing posts from June 5, 1981.  Unlike the feed in 1981 which was updated nightly, this one is kept up to date every 5 minutes.  So check out this piece of Usenet history at olduse.net.

—–

For more information read the olduse.net announcement below:

Source: http://kitenet.net/~joey/blog/entry/announcing_olduse.net/

As I write this, it’s the morning of June 5th, 1981. A few people scattered across the US are waking up, going in to work, sitting down at their terminal with a coffee, and reading Usenet. Usenet is only getting a trickle of posts each day — it’s still in that period where it’s easy to read every message posted to it.

Many things lie in Usenet’s future. It’s still running A-News, which doesn’t even have a real From header yet. Later this year it will switch over to B-News, and volume will begin to increase. In 1987 there will be The great renaming. And of course in 1994, the first spam will be posted to Usenet.

But that’s all a long way off, here in 1981. Right now, they’re talking about 500 mb disk drives that only cost $38000. And rms is inciting flames about nuclear proliferation. And Postel is publishing an RFC for the new Mail Transfer Protocol.

Good morning, Usenet. Who knows what will come next in this fledgeling electronic communications medium!

a ten year real-time historical exhibit

This morning, I’m announcing a new site: Olduse.net

It’s Usenet, updated in real time as it was thirty years ago. Planned to be available for the next ten years, unless I run out of inodes (again).

If you missed it the first time around, this is your chance to follow Usenet’s flowering.

made possible by

141 magtape usenet archive

  • Henry Spencer at the University of Toronto, Department of Zoology, who archived Usenet. Back when it was really uncool and really expensive. Our view onto Usenet is thus slightly centric to Canada and Zoology, but that’s ok.
  • David Wiseman, who hauled 141 magtapes in a pickup truck.
  • Many who worked to rescue data off the tapes. Including from the deleted stuff at the ends.
  • Rich Skrenta, who somehow got a copy of the archive out from under the Google borg. Although one of the tar files is truncated. Just saying.
  • The creator of Telehack, who pointed me in the right direction, ending my multi-year quest to find the archive. And if you think this is neat, Telehack will blow you away.
  • The developers of Haskell, which enabled me to whip up a B-News to C-News converter, a custom uucp, date parsers for every crazy date format ever used on Usenet, and suitible queue data structures in a rock solid, maintainable way, in 500 lines of code written over 12 hours. When I realized I also needed an A-News to B-News converter, I knew it was worth it to have done things right, because that took only 43 more lines, and worked 100% on the first run! My code repository for olduse.net is here.

Usenet Providers Top 1,000 Days Binary Retention

Usenet fans have reason to celebrate this month.  As several top Usenet providers surpass 1,000 days of binary retention.  The retention race started in 2009 with a number of  newsgroup services focusing on increasing binary retention.  Giganews had a sizable early lead and will be the first to 1,000 days this week. With UseNetServer, Newshosting, Astraweb and more hitting 1,000 days next week.


This month several leading Usenet providers including UseNetServer, Newshosting, NewsDemon, Easynews, Astraweb and Giganews will surpass 1,000 days of binaries.  With three years of binary retention likely to come later this year.  A huge achievement considering that in September of 2008 the high mark was 240 days.  Two years prior the highest retention was 90 days.

Fortunately storage prices continue to decrease.  Then again the average newsgroup feed size has exploded.  Increasing from 3 TB a day in 2006 up to 8.2 TB a day last month (source: NewsDemon).  The continued growth of the Usenet feed makes the 1,000 day achievement even more impressive.

A few will get to the end of this post and wonder what binary retention means.  In simple terms it’s the number of days binary newsgroup posts are held on a provider’s news server before they drop off.  Meaning that 1,000 days (2.75 years) of binary content will be accessible to download.  Stay tuned to Newsgroup Reviews for future binary retention stats as the numbers are growing daily.  We also keep up with the latest Usenet deals, free newsgroup trials, newsreader downloads and helpful guides.

The Great Newsgroup Downsizing 2011

Last month we reported that the Big-8 Usenet Management Board is considering the removal of some 192 unmoderated newsgroups.  The original RFD (request for discussion) was posted on February 1st.  Followed by a 2nd RFD on March 3rd.  The original RFD brought a few comments and suggestions but no one disagreed that the 198 groups in question are in frequent use.  In fact none have relevant posts in the last 18 months.

You can expect the LCC (last call for comments) to come in the week ahead.  Here is the 2nd RFD:

From: Big-8 Management Board <board@big-8.org>
Subject: 2nd RFD: The Great Downsizing 2011/1
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 23:52:13 EST
Message-ID: <great-downsizing-2011-1-rfd-2@news.albasani.net>


              REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)

This is a formal Request for Discussion (RFD) to remove the following
198 unmoderated newsgroups.

RATIONALE:

All groups listed below fulfill these conditions:
- no moderated groups
- no group names matching *.misc
- zero on-topic, non-crossposted threads in the past 18 months
- on-topic questions that received no on-topic answer do not count

The discussion following the publication of the 1st RFD brought up
principal opposition to the removal of groups, and the notion that
some groups have a function beyond mere traffic.

The claim that the groups in question have not been used for a long
time was not disputed, however. Therefore the list was not changed.

DISTRIBUTION:

news.announce.newgroups
news.groups.proposals
news.groups

Because of the magnitude of the group list this proposal is not cross-
posted to target groups. In the course of these proceedings the B8MB
will post pointers to this announcement to appropriate groups. Readers
are encouraged to take initiative and spread the message.

PROCEDURE:

The procedure shall take at least 8 weeks, with announcements posted
every 4 weeks: 1st RFD, 2nd RFD, and LCC. The group lists may be re-
vised during this stage. Discussion about candidate groups should take
place in moderated group news.groups.proposals. After publication of
the LCC the board votes on each newsgroup individually.
More details can be found here:

http://www.big-8.org/wiki/Mass_removal_of_groups

NEWSGROUP LINES:

comp.arch.bus.vmebus		Hardware and software for VMEbus Systems.
comp.archives.msdos.d		Discussion of materials available in MSDOS archives.
comp.bbs.tbbs		The Bread Board System bulletin board software.
comp.bbs.tsx		TSX BBS discussions.
comp.bugs.2bsd		Reports of UNIX* version 2BSD related bugs.
comp.bugs.4bsd		Reports of UNIX version 4BSD related bugs.
comp.bugs.sys5		Reports of USG (System III, V, etc.) bugs.
comp.compilers.tools.pccts		Construction of compilers and tools with PCCTS.
comp.databases.revelation		All products produced by Revelation Software.
comp.dcom.frame-relay		Technology and issues regarding frame relay networks.
comp.dcom.isdn		The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
comp.dcom.lans.fddi		Discussions of the FDDI protocol suite.
comp.dcom.lans.token-ring		Installing and using token ring networks.
comp.dcom.servers		Selecting and operating data communications servers.
comp.dcom.sys.bay-networks		Bay Networks hardware, software, other products.
comp.emulators.freemware		Open source PC Virtualisation software.
comp.emulators.mac.executor		ARDI's Mac emulator, Executor.
comp.games.development.art		Creative use of visual art in games.
comp.games.development.audio		Music, sound, speech production.
comp.graphics.api.inventor		Object-oriented 3D graphics in Inventor.
comp.graphics.api.pexlib		The PEXlib application programming interface.
comp.graphics.apps.avs		The Application Visualization System.
comp.graphics.apps.data-explorer		IBM's Visualization Data Explorer (DX).
comp.graphics.apps.freehand		Questions, answers, tips and suggestions.
comp.graphics.apps.iris-explorer		The IRIS Explorer, aka MVE.
comp.graphics.apps.softimage		Softimage applications and products.
comp.graphics.apps.wavefront		Wavefront software products, problems, etc.
comp.groupware.groupwise		Novell's Groupwise product (Wordperfect Office).
comp.infosystems.harvest		Harvest information discovery and access system.
comp.infosystems.interpedia		The Internet Encyclopedia.
comp.infosystems.intranet		Intranet topics.
comp.infosystems.www.advocacy		Comments and arguments over the best and worst.
comp.infosystems.www.databases		Web Database Integration.
comp.infosystems.www.servers.mac		Web servers for the Macintosh platform.
comp.internet.services.social.myspace		Teenage social networking.
comp.ivideodisc		Interactive videodiscs -- uses, potential, etc.
comp.lang.basic.visual.3rdparty		Add-ins for Visual Basic.
comp.lang.limbo		The Inferno OS's Limbo programming language.
comp.lang.lisp.mcl		Discussing Apple's Macintosh Common Lisp.
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy		Contentious issues related to Delphi.
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage		Using pre-written components.
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing		Writing Delphi components.
comp.lang.sather		The object-oriented computer language Sather.
comp.lsi.cad		Electrical Computer Aided Design.
comp.mail.list-admin.policy		Policy issues in running mailing lists.
comp.mail.mush		The Mail User's Shell (MUSH).
comp.mail.smail		Administering & using the smail email transport system.
comp.mail.zmail		The various Z-Mail products and their configurability.
comp.org.cpsr.talk		Issues of computing and social responsibility.
comp.org.decus		Digital Equipment Computer Users' Society newsgroup.
comp.org.eff.talk		Discussion of EFF goals, strategies, etc.
comp.org.issnnet		The International Student Society for Neural Networks.
comp.org.sug		Talk about/for the The Sun User's Group.
comp.org.user-groups.apcug		Association of Personal Computer User Groups.
comp.org.user-groups.management		Running a user group.
comp.org.user-groups.newsletters		User group newsletter Production.
comp.os.chorus		CHORUS microkernel issues, research and developments.
comp.os.inferno		The Inferno network operating system from Lucent.
comp.os.lantastic		The LANtastic network operating system.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.comm		MS-Windows communication applications.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.compatibility.win95		Running DOS&Win3 apps in Win95.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.utilities.win3x		Utility/add-on programs for Win3.x.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.winsock.mail		Winsock email applications.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.winsock.news		Winsock news applications.
comp.os.ms-windows.networking.ras		Windows RAS networking.
comp.os.ms-windows.nt.advocacy		Windows NT advocacy arguments.
comp.os.ms-windows.nt.pre-release		Unreleased and beta Windows NT versions.
comp.os.ms-windows.nt.setup.hardware		Windows NT hardware setup.
comp.os.ms-windows.pre-release		Pre-release/beta versions of Windows.
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.multimedia		Multimedia programming.
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.tools.owl		OWL-based development for Windows.
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.winhelp		WinHelp/Multimedia Viewer development.
comp.os.ms-windows.setup.win3x		Setup, hardware, and driver issues in Win3.x.
comp.os.ms-windows.setup.win95		Setup, hardware, and driver issues in Win95.
comp.os.ms-windows.win95.setup		Setup and Configuration of Windows 95.
comp.os.msdos.mail-news		Administering mail & network news systems under MS-DOS.
comp.os.netware.security		Netware Security issues.
comp.os.os2.comm		Modem/Fax hardware/drivers/apps/utils under OS/2.
comp.os.os2.programmer.oop		Programming system objects (SOM, WPS, etc).
comp.os.os2.scitech		Real-time, engineering/CAD, sciences, etc.
comp.os.parix		Forum for users of the parallel operating system PARIX.
comp.os.xinu		The XINU operating system from Purdue (D. Comer).
comp.protocols.appletalk		Applebus hardware & software.
comp.protocols.ibm		Networking with IBM mainframes.
comp.protocols.iso		The ISO protocol stack.
comp.publish.cdrom.multimedia		Software for multimedia authoring & publishing.
comp.publish.electronic.developer		Electronic publishing developer tools.
comp.publish.electronic.end-user		Electronic publishing end-user tools.
comp.security.gss-api		Generic Security Service Application Program Interface.
comp.security.pgp.resources		PGP related resources, information and more.
comp.society		The impact of technology on society.
comp.society.development		Computer technology in developing countries.
comp.soft-sys.app-builder.appware		Novell's visual development environment.
comp.soft-sys.app-builder.dynasty		Dynasty Development.
comp.soft-sys.khoros		The Khoros X11 visualization system.
comp.soft-sys.middleware.opendoc		OpenDoc and its related technologies.
comp.soft-sys.shazam		The SHAZAM econometrics computer program.
comp.soft-sys.stat.systat		The statistical program package SYSTAT.
comp.sources.games.bugs		Bug reports and fixes for posted game software.
comp.specification.larch		Larch family of formal specification languages.
comp.std.internat		Discussion about international standards.
comp.sys.alliant		Info and discussion about Alliant computers.
comp.sys.amiga.datacomm		Methods of getting bytes in and out.
comp.sys.amiga.multimedia		Animations, video, & multimedia.
comp.sys.amiga.networking		Amiga networking software/hardware.
comp.sys.amiga.uucp		Amiga UUCP packages.
comp.sys.apple2.gno		The AppleIIgs GNO multitasking environment.
comp.sys.be.advocacy		Why BeOS is better/worse than XYZ.
comp.sys.be.programmer		Topics related to BeOS programming.
comp.sys.convex		Convex computer systems hardware and software.
comp.sys.harris		Harris computer systems, especially real-time systems.
comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.marketplace		PC clone games wanted and for sale.
comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.advocacy		Advocacy for a particular soundcard.
comp.sys.intergraph		Intergraph hardware and software products.
comp.sys.isis		The ISIS distributed system from Cornell.
comp.sys.mac.games.adventure		Adventure games for the Macintosh.
comp.sys.mac.oop.macapp3		Version 3 of the MacApp object oriented system.
comp.sys.mac.oop.powerplant		Metrowerks' PowerPlant (CodeWarrior) Framework.
comp.sys.mac.oop.tcl		Symantec's THINK Class Library for object programming.
comp.sys.mac.programmer.codewarrior		Macintosh programming using CodeWarrior.
comp.sys.mac.programmer.games		Macintosh game programming.
comp.sys.net-computer.advocacy		Relative merits of Network Computers.
comp.sys.next.advocacy		The NeXT religion.
comp.sys.next.bugs		Discussion and solutions for known NeXT bugs.
comp.sys.nsc.32k		National Semiconductor 32000 series chips.
comp.sys.proteon		Proteon gateway products.
comp.sys.psion.comm		Discussions about Psion communications.
comp.sys.psion.marketplace		Buy and sell Psion computers and accessories.
comp.sys.ridge		Ridge 32 computers and ROS.
comp.sys.sequent		Sequent systems, (Balance and Symmetry).
comp.sys.sgi.audio		Audio on SGI systems.
comp.sys.sgi.graphics		Graphics packages and issues on SGI machines.
comp.sys.tahoe		CCI 6/32, Harris HCX/7, & Sperry 7000 computers.
comp.text.desktop		Technology & techniques of desktop publishing.
comp.unix.advocacy		Arguments for and against Unix and Unix versions.
comp.unix.cde		The Common Desktop Environment.
comp.unix.large		UNIX on mainframes and in large networks.
comp.unix.machten		The MachTen operating system and related issues.
comp.unix.pc-clone.16bit		UNIX on 286 architectures.
comp.unix.pc-clone.32bit		UNIX on 386 and 486 architectures.
comp.unix.sys3		System III UNIX discussions.
comp.unix.sys5.r3		Discussing System V Release 3.
comp.unix.xenix.sco		XENIX versions from the Santa Cruz Operation.
comp.windows.garnet		The Garnet user interface development environment.
comp.windows.interviews		The InterViews object-oriented windowing system.
comp.windows.open-look		Discussion about the Open Look GUI.
comp.windows.suit		The SUIT user-interface toolkit.
comp.windows.ui-builders.teleuse		Using/augmenting the TeleUSE UI Builder.
comp.windows.x.i386unix		The XFree86 window system and others.
misc.forsale.computers.discussion		Discussions only about items for sale.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.cards.video		Macintosh video cards.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.portables		Portable Macintosh systems.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.systems		Complete Macintosh systems.
misc.forsale.computers.monitors		Monitors and displays for sale and wanted.
misc.forsale.computers.other.systems		Complete other types of systems.
misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.audio		PC audio equipment.
misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.cards.video		PC video cards.
misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.motherboards		PC motherboards.
misc.forsale.computers.printers		Printers and plotters for sale and wanted.
misc.industry.pulp-and-paper		Technical topics in the pulp and paper industry.
misc.jobs.offered.entry		Job listings only for entry-level positions.
news.admin.nocem		NoCeM protocol policy issues and information.
rec.arts.comics.elfquest		The Elfquest universe and characters.
rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting.customizing		Customizing Star Wars toys.
rec.arts.sf.tv.quantum-leap		Quantum Leap TV, comics, cons, etc.
rec.autos.sport.rally		Any type of interest in any form of rally motorsport.
rec.crafts.dollhouses		Collecting and making of dollhouse miniatures.
rec.games.bolo		The networked strategy war game Bolo.
rec.games.computer.quake.editing		Editing and hacking Quake-related files.
rec.games.computer.quake.playing		Playing Quake and user-created levels.
rec.games.computer.quake.quake-c		Modifying Quake with Quake-C.
rec.games.frp.industry		Roleplaying industry & companies.
rec.games.frp.storyteller		World of Darkness and StoryTeller games.
rec.games.trading-cards.marketplace.magic.trades		Trading Magic cards.
rec.games.trading-cards.startrek		Star Trek Trading Card Games.
rec.games.video.cd-i		CD-i topics with emphasis on games.
rec.games.video.cd32		Gaming talk, info and help for the Amiga CD32.
rec.games.xtank.play		Strategy and tactics for the distributed game Xtank.
rec.games.xtank.programmer		Coding the Xtank game and its robots.
rec.music.artists.ani-difranco		Ani Difranco, related topics.
rec.music.artists.danny-elfman		Composer Danny Elfman's music.
rec.music.artists.stevie-nicks		Singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks.
rec.music.artists.wallflowers		Music group The Wallflowers.
rec.music.iranian		Discussion of Iranian music.
rec.parks.theme		Entertainment theme parks.
rec.scouting.guide+girl		Guiding and girl scout organizations.
rec.sport.basketball.women		Women's basketball at all levels.
rec.sport.footbag		Discussion about the sport of footbag.
rec.sport.orienteering		All matters related to the sport of orienteering.
rec.sport.skating.roller		Conventional (quad) roller skating.
rec.video.dvd.advocacy		DVD-Video pro/con arguments.
sci.aquaria		Only scientifically-oriented postings about aquaria.
sci.engr.coastal		Coastal and ocean engineering.
sci.engr.marine.hydrodynamics		Marine Hydrodynamics.
sci.med.occupational		Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) & job injury issues.
soc.adoption.parenting		Adoptive parenting by adoptive parents.
soc.college.teaching-asst		Issues affecting collegiate teaching assistants.
soc.support.depression.seasonal		Seasonal affective disorder.

CHANGE HISTORY:

2011-02-01      1st RFD
2011-03-04      2nd RFD

Big-8 Usenet Proposing Removal of 198 Newsgroups

The Big-8 Usenet Management Board is considering the removal of some 198 unmoderated newsgroups.  The Request for Discussion (RFD) was initiated on February 1st, 2011.  Marking the 1st RFD.  To be followed by a 2nd RFC and then finally a Last Call for Comments (LCC).  With updates posted every 4 weeks or so.

Here is the Big-8 downsizing RFD announcement:

From: Big-8 Management Board <board@big-8.org>
Subject: 1st RFD: The Great Downsizing 2011/1
Message-ID: <great-downsizing-2011-1-rfd-1@news.albasani.net>

              REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)

This is a formal Request for Discussion (RFD) to remove the following
198 unmoderated newsgroups.

RATIONALE:

All groups listed below fulfill these conditions:
- no moderated groups
- no group names matching *.misc
- zero on-topic, non-crossposted threads in the past 18 months
- on-topic questions that received no on-topic answer do not count

DISTRIBUTION:

news.announce.newgroups
news.groups.proposals
news.groups

Because of the magnitude of the group list this proposal is not cross-
posted to target groups. In the course of these proceedings the B8MB
will post pointers to this announcement to appropriate groups. Readers
are encouraged to take initiative and spread the message.

PROCEDURE:

The procedure shall take at least 8 weeks, with announcements posted
every 4 weeks: 1st RFD, 2nd RFD, and LCC. The group lists may be re-
vised during this stage. Discussion about candidate groups should take
place in moderated group news.groups.proposals. After publication of
the LCC the board votes on each newsgroup individually.
More details can be found here:

http://www.big-8.org/wiki/Mass_removal_of_groups

NEWSGROUP LINES:

comp.arch.bus.vmebus		Hardware and software for VMEbus Systems.
comp.archives.msdos.d		Discussion of materials available in MSDOS archives.
comp.bbs.tbbs		The Bread Board System bulletin board software.
comp.bbs.tsx		TSX BBS discussions.
comp.bugs.2bsd		Reports of UNIX* version 2BSD related bugs.
comp.bugs.4bsd		Reports of UNIX version 4BSD related bugs.
comp.bugs.sys5		Reports of USG (System III, V, etc.) bugs.
comp.compilers.tools.pccts		Construction of compilers and tools with PCCTS.
comp.databases.revelation		All products produced by Revelation Software.
comp.dcom.frame-relay		Technology and issues regarding frame relay networks.
comp.dcom.isdn		The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
comp.dcom.lans.fddi		Discussions of the FDDI protocol suite.
comp.dcom.lans.token-ring		Installing and using token ring networks.
comp.dcom.servers		Selecting and operating data communications servers.
comp.dcom.sys.bay-networks		Bay Networks hardware, software, other products.
comp.emulators.freemware		Open source PC Virtualisation software.
comp.emulators.mac.executor		ARDI's Mac emulator, Executor.
comp.games.development.art		Creative use of visual art in games.
comp.games.development.audio		Music, sound, speech production.
comp.graphics.api.inventor		Object-oriented 3D graphics in Inventor.
comp.graphics.api.pexlib		The PEXlib application programming interface.
comp.graphics.apps.avs		The Application Visualization System.
comp.graphics.apps.data-explorer		IBM's Visualization Data Explorer (DX).
comp.graphics.apps.freehand		Questions, answers, tips and suggestions.
comp.graphics.apps.iris-explorer		The IRIS Explorer, aka MVE.
comp.graphics.apps.softimage		Softimage applications and products.
comp.graphics.apps.wavefront		Wavefront software products, problems, etc.
comp.groupware.groupwise		Novell's Groupwise product (Wordperfect Office).
comp.infosystems.harvest		Harvest information discovery and access system.
comp.infosystems.interpedia		The Internet Encyclopedia.
comp.infosystems.intranet		Intranet topics.
comp.infosystems.www.advocacy		Comments and arguments over the best and worst.
comp.infosystems.www.databases		Web Database Integration.
comp.infosystems.www.servers.mac		Web servers for the Macintosh platform.
comp.internet.services.social.myspace		Teenage social networking.
comp.ivideodisc		Interactive videodiscs -- uses, potential, etc.
comp.lang.basic.visual.3rdparty		Add-ins for Visual Basic.
comp.lang.limbo		The Inferno OS's Limbo programming language.
comp.lang.lisp.mcl		Discussing Apple's Macintosh Common Lisp.
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.advocacy		Contentious issues related to Delphi.
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.usage		Using pre-written components.
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components.writing		Writing Delphi components.
comp.lang.sather		The object-oriented computer language Sather.
comp.lsi.cad		Electrical Computer Aided Design.
comp.mail.list-admin.policy		Policy issues in running mailing lists.
comp.mail.mush		The Mail User's Shell (MUSH).
comp.mail.smail		Administering & using the smail email transport system.
comp.mail.zmail		The various Z-Mail products and their configurability.
comp.org.cpsr.talk		Issues of computing and social responsibility.
comp.org.decus		Digital Equipment Computer Users' Society newsgroup.
comp.org.eff.talk		Discussion of EFF goals, strategies, etc.
comp.org.issnnet		The International Student Society for Neural Networks.
comp.org.sug		Talk about/for the The Sun User's Group.
comp.org.user-groups.apcug		Association of Personal Computer User Groups.
comp.org.user-groups.management		Running a user group.
comp.org.user-groups.newsletters		User group newsletter Production.
comp.os.chorus		CHORUS microkernel issues, research and developments.
comp.os.inferno		The Inferno network operating system from Lucent.
comp.os.lantastic		The LANtastic network operating system.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.comm		MS-Windows communication applications.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.compatibility.win95		Running DOS&Win3 apps in Win95.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.utilities.win3x		Utility/add-on programs for Win3.x.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.winsock.mail		Winsock email applications.
comp.os.ms-windows.apps.winsock.news		Winsock news applications.
comp.os.ms-windows.networking.ras		Windows RAS networking.
comp.os.ms-windows.nt.advocacy		Windows NT advocacy arguments.
comp.os.ms-windows.nt.pre-release		Unreleased and beta Windows NT versions.
comp.os.ms-windows.nt.setup.hardware		Windows NT hardware setup.
comp.os.ms-windows.pre-release		Pre-release/beta versions of Windows.
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.multimedia		Multimedia programming.
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.tools.owl		OWL-based development for Windows.
comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.winhelp		WinHelp/Multimedia Viewer development.
comp.os.ms-windows.setup.win3x		Setup, hardware, and driver issues in Win3.x.
comp.os.ms-windows.setup.win95		Setup, hardware, and driver issues in Win95.
comp.os.ms-windows.win95.setup		Setup and Configuration of Windows 95.
comp.os.msdos.mail-news		Administering mail & network news systems under MS-DOS.
comp.os.netware.security		Netware Security issues.
comp.os.os2.comm		Modem/Fax hardware/drivers/apps/utils under OS/2.
comp.os.os2.programmer.oop		Programming system objects (SOM, WPS, etc).
comp.os.os2.scitech		Real-time, engineering/CAD, sciences, etc.
comp.os.parix		Forum for users of the parallel operating system PARIX.
comp.os.xinu		The XINU operating system from Purdue (D. Comer).
comp.protocols.appletalk		Applebus hardware & software.
comp.protocols.ibm		Networking with IBM mainframes.
comp.protocols.iso		The ISO protocol stack.
comp.publish.cdrom.multimedia		Software for multimedia authoring & publishing.
comp.publish.electronic.developer		Electronic publishing developer tools.
comp.publish.electronic.end-user		Electronic publishing end-user tools.
comp.security.gss-api		Generic Security Service Application Program Interface.
comp.security.pgp.resources		PGP related resources, information and more.
comp.society		The impact of technology on society.
comp.society.development		Computer technology in developing countries.
comp.soft-sys.app-builder.appware		Novell's visual development environment.
comp.soft-sys.app-builder.dynasty		Dynasty Development.
comp.soft-sys.khoros		The Khoros X11 visualization system.
comp.soft-sys.middleware.opendoc		OpenDoc and its related technologies.
comp.soft-sys.shazam		The SHAZAM econometrics computer program.
comp.soft-sys.stat.systat		The statistical program package SYSTAT.
comp.sources.games.bugs		Bug reports and fixes for posted game software.
comp.specification.larch		Larch family of formal specification languages.
comp.std.internat		Discussion about international standards.
comp.sys.alliant		Info and discussion about Alliant computers.
comp.sys.amiga.datacomm		Methods of getting bytes in and out.
comp.sys.amiga.multimedia		Animations, video, & multimedia.
comp.sys.amiga.networking		Amiga networking software/hardware.
comp.sys.amiga.uucp		Amiga UUCP packages.
comp.sys.apple2.gno		The AppleIIgs GNO multitasking environment.
comp.sys.be.advocacy		Why BeOS is better/worse than XYZ.
comp.sys.be.programmer		Topics related to BeOS programming.
comp.sys.convex		Convex computer systems hardware and software.
comp.sys.harris		Harris computer systems, especially real-time systems.
comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.marketplace		PC clone games wanted and for sale.
comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.advocacy		Advocacy for a particular soundcard.
comp.sys.intergraph		Intergraph hardware and software products.
comp.sys.isis		The ISIS distributed system from Cornell.
comp.sys.mac.games.adventure		Adventure games for the Macintosh.
comp.sys.mac.oop.macapp3		Version 3 of the MacApp object oriented system.
comp.sys.mac.oop.powerplant		Metrowerks' PowerPlant (CodeWarrior) Framework.
comp.sys.mac.oop.tcl		Symantec's THINK Class Library for object programming.
comp.sys.mac.programmer.codewarrior		Macintosh programming using CodeWarrior.
comp.sys.mac.programmer.games		Macintosh game programming.
comp.sys.net-computer.advocacy		Relative merits of Network Computers.
comp.sys.next.advocacy		The NeXT religion.
comp.sys.next.bugs		Discussion and solutions for known NeXT bugs.
comp.sys.nsc.32k		National Semiconductor 32000 series chips.
comp.sys.proteon		Proteon gateway products.
comp.sys.psion.comm		Discussions about Psion communications.
comp.sys.psion.marketplace		Buy and sell Psion computers and accessories.
comp.sys.ridge		Ridge 32 computers and ROS.
comp.sys.sequent		Sequent systems, (Balance and Symmetry).
comp.sys.sgi.audio		Audio on SGI systems.
comp.sys.sgi.graphics		Graphics packages and issues on SGI machines.
comp.sys.tahoe		CCI 6/32, Harris HCX/7, & Sperry 7000 computers.
comp.text.desktop		Technology & techniques of desktop publishing.
comp.unix.advocacy		Arguments for and against Unix and Unix versions.
comp.unix.cde		The Common Desktop Environment.
comp.unix.large		UNIX on mainframes and in large networks.
comp.unix.machten		The MachTen operating system and related issues.
comp.unix.pc-clone.16bit		UNIX on 286 architectures.
comp.unix.pc-clone.32bit		UNIX on 386 and 486 architectures.
comp.unix.sys3		System III UNIX discussions.
comp.unix.sys5.r3		Discussing System V Release 3.
comp.unix.xenix.sco		XENIX versions from the Santa Cruz Operation.
comp.windows.garnet		The Garnet user interface development environment.
comp.windows.interviews		The InterViews object-oriented windowing system.
comp.windows.open-look		Discussion about the Open Look GUI.
comp.windows.suit		The SUIT user-interface toolkit.
comp.windows.ui-builders.teleuse		Using/augmenting the TeleUSE UI Builder.
comp.windows.x.i386unix		The XFree86 window system and others.
misc.forsale.computers.discussion		Discussions only about items for sale.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.cards.video		Macintosh video cards.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.portables		Portable Macintosh systems.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.systems		Complete Macintosh systems.
misc.forsale.computers.monitors		Monitors and displays for sale and wanted.
misc.forsale.computers.other.systems		Complete other types of systems.
misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.audio		PC audio equipment.
misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.cards.video		PC video cards.
misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.motherboards		PC motherboards.
misc.forsale.computers.printers		Printers and plotters for sale and wanted.
misc.industry.pulp-and-paper		Technical topics in the pulp and paper industry.
misc.jobs.offered.entry		Job listings only for entry-level positions.
news.admin.nocem		NoCeM protocol policy issues and information.
rec.arts.comics.elfquest		The Elfquest universe and characters.
rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting.customizing		Customizing Star Wars toys.
rec.arts.sf.tv.quantum-leap		Quantum Leap TV, comics, cons, etc.
rec.autos.sport.rally		Any type of interest in any form of rally motorsport.
rec.crafts.dollhouses		Collecting and making of dollhouse miniatures.
rec.games.bolo		The networked strategy war game Bolo.
rec.games.computer.quake.editing		Editing and hacking Quake-related files.
rec.games.computer.quake.playing		Playing Quake and user-created levels.
rec.games.computer.quake.quake-c		Modifying Quake with Quake-C.
rec.games.frp.industry		Roleplaying industry & companies.
rec.games.frp.storyteller		World of Darkness and StoryTeller games.
rec.games.trading-cards.marketplace.magic.trades		Trading Magic cards.
rec.games.trading-cards.startrek		Star Trek Trading Card Games.
rec.games.video.cd-i		CD-i topics with emphasis on games.
rec.games.video.cd32		Gaming talk, info and help for the Amiga CD32.
rec.games.xtank.play		Strategy and tactics for the distributed game Xtank.
rec.games.xtank.programmer		Coding the Xtank game and its robots.
rec.music.artists.ani-difranco		Ani Difranco, related topics.
rec.music.artists.danny-elfman		Composer Danny Elfman's music.
rec.music.artists.stevie-nicks		Singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks.
rec.music.artists.wallflowers		Music group The Wallflowers.
rec.music.iranian		Discussion of Iranian music.
rec.parks.theme		Entertainment theme parks.
rec.scouting.guide+girl		Guiding and girl scout organizations.
rec.sport.basketball.women		Women's basketball at all levels.
rec.sport.footbag		Discussion about the sport of footbag.
rec.sport.orienteering		All matters related to the sport of orienteering.
rec.sport.skating.roller		Conventional (quad) roller skating.
rec.video.dvd.advocacy		DVD-Video pro/con arguments.
sci.aquaria		Only scientifically-oriented postings about aquaria.
sci.engr.coastal		Coastal and ocean engineering.
sci.engr.marine.hydrodynamics		Marine Hydrodynamics.
sci.med.occupational		Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) & job injury issues.
soc.adoption.parenting		Adoptive parenting by adoptive parents.
soc.college.teaching-asst		Issues affecting collegiate teaching assistants.
soc.support.depression.seasonal		Seasonal affective disorder.

CHANGE HISTORY:

2011-02-01      1st RFD