Tag Archives: Facebook

What? No More USENET Provided By Verizon?

I’m a little behind on this subject. Seems Verizon dropped its USENET service over a year ago.

Well, I guess I’ve been busy doing other stuff. I could have sworn I accessed a couple of my favorite newsgroups just a few months ago. Hmmm… maybe I did it at Google Groups and just think I did it in Thunderbird via Verizon’s USENET service. Either way, it sucks. What’s the world coming to? First, all the Gopher servers shut their doors, and now the ISPs are dropping their USENET service. *sigh* The world just keeps moving on.

When I first came online back in 2000 (Yeah… I was a late comer to the party), I found USENET. I was absolutely astounded by the size of it. It was a world all its own. It was still pretty active back then, too. There is an amazing amount of information and useful data still on those servers here and there around the world. Google Groups can provide you free access to many of them that are still up and running. Back when I started trolling USENET newsgroups, there were other free providers. I think Google is the only free one in town these days.

Other than a short stint cruising local BBSs back in the early 80s on a 300 baud modem,  USENET was my first real experience with online communities. Remember pen pals when you were a kid? That was where you had a friend in some foreign country that you corresponded with via paper/ink and the mail services. You younger folks probably won’t remember that. They had pen pal programs set up in our schools when we were little tikes. Nowadays, you can just fire up your ‘puter and be yakkin’ with your Russian bud, Yuri, on XChat in a matter of seconds. COOL, huh? That’s progress.

Sadly, progress is also what’s killing USENET (and already killed Gopher). It’s in its twilight time right now, I do believe. Too bad. I sure had a lot of fun on USENET a decade ago. Times have changed. Now we have online boards and forums or Facebook and Twitter, et. al. Man! It’s a whole lot different. Some of it is better; not all. Texting is BS. Tweeting is BS. If you want meat in your online interactions, you’re going to have to do boards or what’s left of USENET. You can’t get much if you have a character limit when posting.

Anyway, getting back on topic…

Yeah, Verizon dropped USENET. But that’s OK. I found a cool little extension for T-bird that allows me to read my favorite USENET newsgroups within tabs inside the email client. Works like a charm! One day, after I’ve reached my goal of financial independence thanks to your donations, I’m going to donate some $ to each and every one of those folks who wrote the COOL extensions that I use in FF and TB. Seriously! They deserve something for coming up with this stuff.

Off to read soc.history.moderated for a while.

Later…

~Eric

Image credit: Google Groups –> Google.com

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Whackos

It’s getting late. Do you know where your 2010 Census form is?

Stand up and be counted you plywood shack dwelling far right Undie Bomber types. You post your friggin’ life histories on MySpace. All your far out wing nut pals are shown on your Facebook page posing with their Mini-14s and camo socks. And you can really sit there and complain about the Census asking you personal questions that threaten your privacy?

Because of those perceived privacy issues, you refused to fill out your Census form, hmm? Well, now the government is going to have to use tax payer money to send the black helicopters loaded with jack-booted thug temp Census workers to your plywood door.

“Vee have vays to make you fill out zee form!”

In today’s St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia) Times, there was an article called Even wackos need to stand and be counted by editorial scribbler Daniel Ruth. I was in tears laughing while reading it this morning. I even snorted coffee through my nose once or twice.

Ruth writes:

…some elements of the paranoid Planet Zircon 9 wing of the Republican Party who have expressed distrust toward the census — as if efforts by the federal government to count how many people live in the United States are something akin to Red Dawn II.

Ruth is famous for his dry wit and blatant sarcasm. He wrote in this same style for many years for the Tampa Tribune, a fish wrapping rag of no consequence these days in the Tampa Bay area. Ruth was let go from the Tribune along with much of the reporting and support staff. He found a new home relatively quickly with the St Petersburg Times.

And when the census asks if someone living in your residence sometimes lives someplace else, it is not referring to the speaking-in-tongues-to-himself Uncle Billy Bob, who also believes Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and who occasionally sleeps in a cave, eating small rodents while awaiting the coming Armageddon. We’ll just not count him, okay?

Need a good laugh, folks? Read the rest of Dan’s article at the St. Pete Times website. Oh, and read the comments there… always entertaining.

Gotta’ run… I hear a helicopter hovering in my backyard.

~Eric