Tag Archives: twitter

Five Things the Internet Brought About That I Can Live Without…

…and one that I could not.

I could easily live without:

  • SPAM email

Commercial TV was bad enough. At least the commercials there served a purpose. They paid the bills for the folks broadcasting the programs you watched. What does SPAM do other than clutter up mail servers all over the world?

  • Twitter

I mean c’mon… really. What the hell purpose does this serve? It’s bad enough that folks have the attention span of gnats nowadays. This thing just makes it worse. If we’re all limited to 140 characters in the future, what will communication be like? There won’t be any.

  • Ignorant, know-it-all trolls with their own blogs/websites

Sheesh! Aren’t the talking heads on the Sunday news shows enough? Oh, no. Now we have to deal with fat-headed writer wannabes who think their facts are the only facts. Any rope-a-dope slob can bang out lengthy pseudo-authoritative articles about any topic under the sun. There oughta’ be a law!

  • eBooks

Now this is just a crime against humanity, folks. Gutenberg set us all free when he made it relative easy to disseminated information in printed form. People like Shakespeare made it entertaining for us to actually read books and plays. Along comes the ebook, an electronic facsimile of a real hold-in-your-hands printed and bound book. Now those same folks with the 140 character limit attention spans can download all kinds of books to their i-whatchamacallit and NOT read them either.

  • Internet Service Providers

Alright… now who in the hell gave these rat-bastards the sole guardianship of the Internet? Why must I use one of their services to access the Internet? Why do I have to PAY to access the Internet? It’s just wrong. The Internet should be free. Knowledge should never be restricted and doled out to only paying customers. Knowledge, and the means to access it, rightfully belongs to everyone. It’s an open source world, folks. It was that way long before the Internet was invented.

And that one thing that I could NOT live without:

  • You, my friend.

The shrinkage of the world, the tearing down of barriers, the interaction of people from vastly different cultures and far flung domains has been the most wonderful experience in my life. It has broadened my horizons to well beyond my own little group of friends and relatives. It has brought happiness, joy, and also pain. In other words, it has helped me to live a more fuller life than what I could have achieved from my own little town. You are the one thing the Internet brought about that I could not live without.



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.



Image credit: Google Groups –> Google.com