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It is a silly place

I decided to see if USENET was still there. It is. Kind of.

The text groups were felled by the very thing that made them most attractive: posts and users are never deleted. Thirty, forty years later, they’re vast empty wastelands where spambots chatter to each other about buying Ambien. It’s almost eerie.

It’s not dead, though. The binary groups are a hot business. In fact, you pay a monthly fee to a usenet service provider to access those.

Binary groups were for trading data, so I reckon that’s where people go to pirate and download illegal stuff. I guess. There has to be some reason people will pay for access rather than use torrents for free, but I decided not to find out. How many lists do I want to be on, really?

I wonder if the few moderated groups are still functional. Will dig some more.

No idea who poor Fred Hall is.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 17, 2020, 8:36 pm

A bowl of piss.

notice I stayed away from Fred’s anatomy class.

Comment from dissent
Time: June 17, 2020, 9:20 pm

If humanity survives, I wonder what archeologists in a thousand years or so will make of what they excavate in this soil layer.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: June 17, 2020, 11:19 pm

Not to hijack your thread…but speaking of things 40+ years in the making: husband received a letter today: “SGM…you are retired and placed on the retired list.”
So the 19 year old SPC4 I started dating when I was 17 (much to my LTC daddy’s consternation) is now retired. 43 total years of service. It took me 20 min to quit crying!

Comment from gromulin
Time: June 18, 2020, 12:20 am

I recall finding USENET when I joined Compuserve on my first laptop. A screaming fast 386 25 MHz with a 40 (40!) MB drive. Tiddie pics that took an hour to download in monochrome! I think that Reddit is the bastard grandson of that experience now.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: June 18, 2020, 5:01 am

@ Armybrat,
A page full of print can’t begin to sum up a 43-year career, but it can certainly evoke a lifetime of poignant memories. Many thanks to your husband for his service to the country, and hearty congratulations to you both!

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: June 18, 2020, 5:56 am

I still read two USENET groups: soc.history.what-if and alt.history.what-if. There is a trickle of real activity, an occasional off-topic spammed rant, and once in a while commercial spam. Also, sometimes, an item cross-posted to several additional active groups.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 18, 2020, 8:46 am

@ArmyBrat – say thanks to your hubby for me!
We still value the service of the people who “stand on the wall” even when the idiots around us don’t think they need to be there.

Enjoy the retirement!

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: June 18, 2020, 5:39 pm

Word has come that Dame Vera Lynn has passed to… wherever she has passed to.

Dame Weasel, will you be providing us more sport on the morrow, Friday, Juneteenth, 6/19/2020 ?????

Comment from Jon
Time: June 18, 2020, 6:36 pm

I only spent a few seconds searching on it, but it seems like Fred Hall was a guy who spammed people for Facebook game requests a few years back. Either that or just a general troll who liked showing up on boards and being a d**k.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2020, 8:41 pm

Did you or someone else have her in the pool, ExpressoBold? I haven’t checked. She is indeed gone.

ArmyBrat – many congratulations to you and Mr Brat! 43 years…I can’t imagine. I was shattered after 25 at an office job.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: June 18, 2020, 8:45 pm

It was me! after many long dry years of picking aging diabetic Bluesmen, I went with a classic.

Comment from Stephen Falken
Time: June 18, 2020, 10:21 pm

“If humanity survives, I wonder what archaeologists in a thousand years or so will make of what they excavate in this soil layer.”

They will wonder, “Why was no one able to pick a Dead Pool winner for many months during the Great Plague of 2020!”

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