Re: mailing list vs "the futur"
On Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 12:28:35PM -0400, Dan Ritter wrote:
On Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 11:37:48AM -0400, Gene Heskett wrote:
That bandwidth limit is not on your side of the isp, its the bandwidth
from the main trunk lines to the isp. NNTP is a huge bandwidth hog
regardless of how much of it your isp accepts for spooling on local disk
to serve you.
This is not the case.
Yes it is. Most ISPs stopped supporting NNTP because of the ridiculous
bandwidth (and disk space) demands. Your rebuttal skipped over the part
about people posting off-topic junk all over the place, and the fact
that (the couple of cranks who actually just wanted to read comp.misc or
whatever aside) most people who wanted "newsgroups" really wanted the
high volume binary groups with pirated software or movies or
whatever--so if an ISP dropped the high volume part of the NNTP feed,
they basically had no reason not to drop the whole thing. Back in the
late 90s when the handwriting was on the wall it was pushing toward
100GB/day to keep up with a full newsfeed. Remember, disk was a heck of
a lot more expensive then. A large ISP could drop a million dollars on a
disk array, and only be able to retain a few days worth of traffic.
Performance was lousy due to the churn, and people got into the habit of
reposting everything basically constantly to counter the fact that
retention was so low (driving the load higher and higher). A full
newsfeed hit 1TB/day in the early 2000s, and most of the ISPs who were
still trying to provide the service threw the towel in at that point.
The costs were through the roof, the fraction of customers who used the
service was miniscule, and almost nobody canceled because they turned
off the news server. At this point I think a full newsfeed is pushing
toward 50TB/day. That's a much, much, much smaller fraction of available
bandwidth than it was 20 years ago, but here's the thing--the vast
majority of everything on the news feed *is never looked at by a human*.
That makes the case for keeping a server around really hard to justify
for most ISPs. It's a wasteful and inefficient protocol that basically
moves enormous quantities of bits around the world, then throws them
There's a reason usenet is effectively dead. It was a great idea
technically, on a "safe" network. It's completely incapable of dealing
with abuse on the open internet.
In theory you can still use an NNTP client (vs a server) to follow a
limited number of text-only groups fairly efficiently. In practice
there's just not that much left worth following because the experience
got to be so bad, and because so few people are even aware it exists
anymore. If you purchase newsgroup service as a standalone from a
specialized company you typically get a somewhat more curated experience
(for a pretty sizable fraction of the total price of your internet
connection, to pay the costs outlined above). The reality is that the
primary use of these services is downloading pirated software and other