= U =
Usenet Death Penalty
Usenet /yoos'net/ or /yooz'net/ n.
Network'; the original spelling was USENET, but the mixed-case form
is now widely preferred] A distributed bboard (bulletin board)
system supported mainly by Unix machines. Originally implemented
in 1979-1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve
Daniel at Duke University, it has swiftly grown to become
international in scope and is now probably the largest
decentralized information utility in existence. As of early 1996,
it hosts over 10,000 newsgroups and an average of over 500
megabytes (the equivalent of several thousand paper pages) of new
technical articles, news, discussion, chatter, and flamage
every day (and that leaves out the graphics...).
By the year the Internet hit the mainstream (1994) the original
UUCP transport for Usenet was fading out of use (see UUCPNET)
- almost all Usenet connections were over Internet links. A lot
of newbies and journalists began to refer to "Internet
newsgroups" as though Usenet was and always had been just another
Internet service. This ignorance greatly annoys experienced
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.