The dropping of newsgroups by ISPs

TV Arts

Sorry to use this group to ask this question, but because of Verizon, I just 
lost about ten newsgroups and am left with only three.

However, my question is, is Verizon the only ISP who decided to eliminate 
all it's "alt" newsgroups -- as well as others -- from its subscription news 
service or are there others? I'm thinking of switching as I'm not happy with 
this draconian move and I don't want to choose one that's contemplating the 

AIOE, Motzerrella are free text Usenet servers. There are others.

By all means express your displeasure with Verizon by cancelling your service.
[email protected] says...

FWIW, I double-checked the list of newsgroups that I can get through 
Motzarella, and they only have five alt.binaries.* newsgroups, which 
leads to this question...

Why don't these ISPs just dump the alt.binaries.* hierarchy and not the 
entire alt.* hierarchy???

It CAN be done.  It's not like you have to dump the whole hierarchy to 
get rid of the sub-hierarchies that are causing the problems.

For some people, Verizon may be the only option they have.
Even more straight forward, why didn't they simply remove the specific
groups whose names suggested they were for child pr0n?

There's always dialup.
AIOE has little security and is used by trolls to steal your identity. Trust 
me on this.
Yes, because you use it to impersonate a variety of your superiors, 
Alexander Cain of Milledgeville, Georgia.
AIOE has no security, just a ceiling on the number of articles per IP.

You're telling ME that one can be forged on Usenet? Remember a little
incident back in 2001?
Frankly, I've never heard of them, but I guess I'm going to have to look 
around. It's just one more stupid thing I didn't need to have to do. What 
gets me is I lost all my "dedicated" newsgroups, like for individual TV 
shows. Some actually were extremely popular.

I've already written them. Twice.

I went searching out alternate newsservers years ago even though my ISP 
carried most of the groups I wanted, but realized that not all the 
messages came through. I've use and motarella.or for a while 
and they're pretty reliable.

When my ISP removed *all* newsgroup subscriptions last year, I went
searching for a replacement, and ended up with aioe.  I'm quite happy with
If you consider, do read the FAQ. It's got some basic rules about 
posting -- a limit on how many posts you can make in a day and a limit of 
how many groups you can crosspost to at one time are the two that may be 
deal-breakers for some people. If he doesn't already carry all the groups 
you want, all you have to do is ask him to add any that are missing (text-
only groups, by the way; doesn't carry ANY binaries.)
Unless they are ridiculously low, I'm glad for those sorts of conditions - 
xposting. I think the number of xposts in RAT is a definite detraction.
A lot of the cross-posting is beneficial, as it helps weed out dumb

Not to me. Even on topic ones like that annoying 5 star poll are... well.... 

I can filter out some cross-posted newsgroups altogether. For instance,
any crossed to wrestling group is almost certainly dumb. Likewise for
any politcal group and many of the soc.* groups.

Ah. I thought that was what you meant. That would be useful.
I've never understood this. There's a certain segment of people on 
Usenet who become incensed over posts that are cross-posted even when 
they are on topic.

If it's on topic for the group you're reading, why would you care if it 
shows up in some other group (that you're not even active in) as well?
That's not the point. In theory, posts are supposed to be both on topic
and written with the audience in the newsgroup in mind. Crossposters
rarely consider the audience in either group, most likely because they
don't read all groups they crosspost to.

Then there's the crosspost that's on topic, but meant to be distruptive.
The classic example of a crosspost between a cooking group and a group
for cat owners. The topic: How to cook cats.
"Incensed"? Exagerate much? I beleive I used the word "annoying".

Because it clutters up the group with stuff I'm not interested in. If there 
is a dedicated ng for the show why not use it? If there isn't enough 
interest there to carry a thread I doubt there is much point to cast a wider 
net. Plus it tends to spawn arguments between those in love with the show 
who brook no criticism and those who would criticize it either with innocent 
or malicious intent.

 Why I care? Because it clutters up the ng and detracts from my enjoyment.
Ah, yes. I forgot it's all about you. It's your world and all the rest 
of us are just living in it.
??? I'm not sure how you get to that nor where you are going with it, nor do 
I suspect I care. Yes, I base my opinions on -HORROR- my opinions and not 
other people's opinions.
First, because cross-posting is often the mark of someone who can't
decide where to post, so they hit a bunch at the same time.

Second, each newsgroup has a "culture" of it's own, and cross-posting
ends up putting different groups at odds with each other.  So if
you post to sci.electronics.basics you will get answers of a certain
tone (ie keeping in mind that the poster is likely a beginner) and if
you post the same question to you will get
a very different answer, since the expectation is of someone who
knows what they are doing.  Cross-post to both, and those two
tones clash.

So because some people are clueless, you condemn everyone who does it?


Well, if you're that picky and sensitive, I suppose you'll always be 
annoyed by something-- cross-posted or not.
Once Upon A Time,
FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!  Fifty Quatloos on the newcomer!!

Captain Infinity
   ..."This could be trouble. We'd better
       make a fort. I'll get some pillows." --Adam (Buffy TVS)
I've used it for quite a few years and never ran into problems, and I 
post quite a few per day.
I've used it for a long time off and on.   I switch back and forth between
aioe and datemas.  The only problem I've had with aioe is when replying to a
message that's cross posted.  If aioe doesn't contain one of the crossposted
groups, it won't post to any of them.  Sometimes I forget to just have it go
to the group i'm reading it in and get the connection refused when trying to
post.   That's not a huge issue.
I subscribe to It costs ten Euros (about $16) per
Here's an article about it:

My suggestion is to use as your usenet server.  You'll get all
your text based discussion groups back on that.  They carry most all the
text groups without binary groups.  Another option is to go to on the web and sign up for a free account there.  Same
thing.  text groups only, no binaries.

There are also many pay usenet servers around which do include all the
binary groups. is a good deal
I don't particularly enjoy calling myself an idiot, but which is the best 
one for a person with low tech skills to set up? Just downloading newsgroups 
from an ISP was so simple and straightforward. I wish I could get them to 
appear on my Outlook page, but I guess that's going to be a thing of the 

Have I mentioned how much I hate butt-covering Verizon and the 
facist-leaning Andrew Cuomo?

And, no I don't use binary groups. It's strictly text groups for me.

You just have to put the name of the newsserver where it asks for nntp.
EGK is easy to set up.  You just use that name as the usenet
server.  There is no login or password needed.   The only problem with this
one is it has occasional outages from my experience and posting is sometimes
a problem if you're replying to cross posts.  aioe will reject the post. is easy.  Or ag least was when I set it up.  I just went to
that web page and applied for an account.  I got a name and password and use
that server name and the login to download a list of groups.  

The pay servers are easy but at $10 or so a month, you might not want to pay
that.  Most of them give instructions.  How hard/easy they are to set up has
more to do with knowing how to use your newsreader.   I can tell from your
posting headers that you're using outlook express (which microsoft has
discontinued btw).   So, just enter the server name and any login and
password you need and click the button to download a groups list.  Verizon
used   replace that with for instance and
remove any login and password since this one doesn't need any.
Richard is $16 per YEAR, or about $1.33 per month, or
about 4.4 cents per day. I have had excellent service from them. On a
couple of occasions when I've had to contact them, their response has
been prompt, courteous, and best of all, helpful.
Didn't that used to be free?  Seems like i used that one for a long time
until they started charging.  Then I switched to one of the other free ones.
It did. I used it for several years while it was free, but since they 
didn't carry some of the groups I read so I had to use another server 
anyway, I didn't continue with it.
NIN started charging about the time AOL dropped usenet service. I had
speculated that the two events were linked, but others have assured me
that it was not the case.

Hardly. It was a university News server that incidentally offered Usenet
to the world. They were under strict orders not to subsidize Usenet
service to those who weren't faculty/staff/students of the university.
For all I know, it's now a profit center.
They offered free usenet to all comers for years. There was obviously
no strict prior during that time.

As I said, they started charging at about the time AOL dropped usenet.
My original suspicion was that they were faced with a flood of new
users, and didn't want to increase the subsidy over what it was. Others
informed me that the pay policy was in work before that, but hadn't
come to fruition, and the timing was coincidental.

So the AOLers went to Google Groups in large part.

No! Really? They got their marching orders and told non-University users
to pay subscription fees.

Yes, you did say that. Now you've repeated it.

Yes, you said that as well. The university in question is in Berlin.

AOL itself publicized the Google Groups interface to its own soon-to-be
ex-Usenet users.
Apparently so. It was free to all for a considerable time, so if it was
the University policy all along, then it wasn't enforced.

I didn't say it was policy when it was free to a worldwide Usenet community.
I used 'em for a long time when various ISPs closed their servers.

I had to use a server in Berlin for my own region's newsgroups, sheesh.
Now, I occassionally use AIOE, in Rome, but they offer my region's
newsgroups. I guess European News administrators care more about this
stuff than domestic ones do.

I just use NIN. We have access to it through the firewall at work.

Why didn't you simply request that they create the groups? Their News
administrators really like text Usenet and run a fine server.
It was certain groups in the alt.*heirarchy which they will not carry.
You've peaked my curiousity now. What topics were censored?
Google my nym and see which ones come up....
I used them for a couple of years when it was free and one year after, 
but my ISP finally got their service working OK, so I canceled them 
earlier this year.  Regretfully, because they do a *better* job of 
filtering the garbage messages, than my ISP does, and I never had any 
down time with them.

I highly recommend if you have pay for a service.   
Here's some info, Sandy:  

You just need to change the settings in your newsreader (Outlook) so
that the new news server is the one you download your messages from.

Only problem - and it's relatively minor - is that first time you
connect to the new server you'll be downloading ALL headers in your
subscribed newsgroups.
I hope his ass is voted out of office, and I'm a liberal Democrat.