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RemarQ.com Shutting Down 104

ZeroLogic writes: "RemarQ.com, is shutting down! According to the message on the home page, it looks like they want you to use their pay service instead. It's a shame since RemarQ was the only good Web based usenet reader I could find." ...and the free stuff will keep going away as IPO money runs out all over the Web industry. Expect a feature on this soon.
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RemarQ.com Shutting Down

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  • Well, K5 was done for fun. But then a &#$%*(#$ attacked it and Rusty had to shut it down for a while. I hope he brings it back.

    Rusty didn't charge for the site, he put ads up. And not to pay his salary, to keep the site going. Sometimes something is done for fun, or for good. But there are many immature people who like the power of destruction, but don't know the passive joy restraint can bring. (I like fire, I like explosions, I like guns. But I live in a forest, and I will kick your butt if you leave a fire unattended. I'm an engineer, so I know the joy of building, and the pain of loss an explosion can bring. And I'm human, so I aim my guns at paper targets up against really heavy backdrops.)

    Louis Wu

    "Where do you want to go ...

  • Most sites will never use the bandwidth alloted them (for the $19.95 a month)-- and if they do -- then they are a success...And if the creator did not want a success then he/she/they can simply disappear...Look at TV -- I can watch it for free or for a reasonable fee with cable (more channels) -- and I do not have Bart Simpson crying in his beer trying to make me feel bad because I did not personally send him 10 bucks and now they can't afford to film the show anymore....(But I did buy a hat, shirt, etc..because I thought he was cool...Thus -- Bart and the gang give me a 30 minute recess each day -- and I don't have to feel guilty)
  • Ever see a Napster ad?

    ever see a napster profit margin? Again, that was my point-- they give away a service and take nothing in. Sooner or later-- something has to give.

    As far as packaging and coke goes-- i think you are essencially right--- for things that are packaged. Again, think about movies-- or pizza. If pizza hut didn't tell you about their new deal- how woudl you find out other than calling them. but, we've all, at least once, called them becasue of an ad we saw. Maybe that is the secrest. Instead of banner ads for useless crap we need ones like --"tired of surfing? hungry? want a pizza?"

    oh humm ust my $.02

  • "Why do so few free services appear these days? What happened to, 'I'm doing it for fun, and if I make a few bucks, then that's icing on the cake?'"

    Simply put, because there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. It'd be nice to have plentiful free services on the web, but remember, the guy behind neato-free-crap.com has to pay the bills too.

  • WHAT archive?

    Deja's ENTIRE archive of Usenet prior to May 1999 has been removed for the past few months, while Deja 'moves its servers'. Taking long enough, isn't it?

    With RemarQ gone, does this leave anyone else as a Usenet webportal or search capability? And if Deja now decides not to bring its archive back... well, I guess there's no proof that there was a vibrant civilization on the 'internet' prior to the Web after all.

  • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @08:43PM (#861303)
    Where do we go for old Usenet now?
    I hate being the one to point this out (although I'm usually the one who points this out): Usenet wasn't built to be permanent. Deja has long been an annoyance for many, myself included. Participating in Usenet isn't supposed to involve having your words forever etched in stone - and it shouldn't involve having to opt-out of that kind of situation, either. Forgetting an "X-No-Archive: Yes" here and there can cause you a whole shitload of trouble, harassment, etc.

    I for one am glad to see Deja's pre-99 stuff broken down. I wish they'd switch their entire site over to consumer advocacy, or whatever their business model is this week, and get rid of the Usenet archives entirely.

    I wouldn't mind seeing C|Net's help.com, which posts messages to Usenet without the poster having a clue as to what Usenet is, die off as well.

  • Maybe I wasn't making my point clearly enough. The last /. article to appear on the front page is dated ~11am, and then one shows up at ~21:40 (all times California-centric). More than ten ( 10 ) hours between stories. It just seems odd for the middle of the day (US time), even if it is Friday and a slow news day.

    And the only pocket protector I have in this county is leather, with my initials embossed on it. I may be a geek, but I'm a geek with class. :)

    Louis Wu

    "Where do you want to go ...

  • Onlynews [onlynews.com] kicks BUTT if you're on a high speed connection; They don't throttle connections; over thirty thousand groups; And they're reliable and anonymous. I don't work for them, so no benefit here, but they're a great provider. I've tried a few but the download speeds all sucked. Napster, shmapster. Try Usenet :).

    For the record, dejanews is handy but it's overrated. Anyone who has a couple gigs of free space and a decent spam filter can run an archive of the good stuff for their own personal use, or HELL, even share it with a few friends. Check out some of the usenet software available.

    Screw the web, Usenet got me hooked when Gopher was hot, and screw all the people who think it's dead. Get your filters on and there's still lots of intelligent converstation :). A wise man once said that the Internet's greatest resource is the people on it and Usenet is a great example! It's too bad there aren't more web interfaces being made that use NNTP (*cough* Malda, there's a awesome project to spend some VC buxxx on if you haven't already! I'd love to get the comments to the stories in a slashdot.todays.date.here format, trolls and all!)

  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @08:46PM (#861306)
    Ad revenue based sites are always going to have trouble making it...

    More precisely, its a winner-take-all market. The leading ad-driven site stands to make piles of cash.

    Its entirely possible that within a few years, a well-placed ad on a the leading ad-driven site will command superbowl-like fees.

  • Looks like free services behave like dope.. Get them hooked for free , and then let them bleed I have seen this with internet multiplayer games , with wonderfull grafics.. were the "free" users were used to debug. After that they had to pay for the same game . I haven't been back since.
  • by FyreFiend ( 81607 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @09:49PM (#861308)
    I for one love Usenet archives. It saves me from posting a question that's been asked and answered a 100 times.
    Now C|Net's help.com is another story. That just pisses me off. They're making money (banners) off of people's niceness. If they want to make money by answering tech questions then hire some people to answer them! Don't leech off the newsgroups.
  • Yeah, I know it's not free, but you get what you pay for, right? http://www.newsguy.com. I just renewed for a second year this morning. Excellent service and support.
  • Of course, one coudl always revert to a standard news reader, get onto usenet, and forgo the middleman altogether, couldn't they???

    Oh my. Surely you aren't suggesting that a web browser isn't the best way to do everything on the internet? The idea of people using the proper tool for the job must wake Mozilla developers in the middle of the night, screaming.

  • Of course, one coudl always revert to a standard news reader, get onto usenet, and forgo the middleman altogether, couldn't they???

    The thing I use dejanews most for is its ability to do a search of all their carried newsgroups for terms I want and give me only the results I want. I dont' want to have to have the bandwidth required to do that on my own machine.

    Are there any services (or newsreader software) which allow me to ask a server to search and give me the newsgroups and articles which contain the terms I asked for?

  • Strike 1:
    I didn't know they existed. I imagine not many others did either.

    Strike 2:
    Now that they have decided not to exist, they screw up the announcement:

    "Dear Users,
    On August 15th, Critical
    Path will shutting down
    the RemarQ.com web

    Read carefully, we see that while the announcement was short, it was also bad grammer.

    "If our products failed as often as Windows 95, we would have been out of business long ago," says Howard Selland, president of Aeroquip Corp., a Maumee, Ohio, automotive supplier.

  • How many times have you bought something because of an ad you saw on TV. Just tink of how many movies you've seen because of the ads. Or, how many times you've eaten a food cause that ad made it look sooo good?

    Yeah, I know what you mean, I fall for TV advertising all the time but I've never bought anything because of internet banners. But that's because of the kinds of stuff being advertised. For starters, it's almost always online stuff or computer hardware etc. When was the last time you say a coke banner? Or a banner for pizza hut telling you their latest price? Or any advertising for the same sort of products that get advertised on TV? When big non-online companies get into internet advertising in a big way, there will be heaps more advertising money around.

  • You must not have checked into it recently. People even use *GASP* news clients instead of deja or remarq

  • now you want them to delete it. How can this not be a troll? Qualify how it has been an anoyance/harassment. The archive is a very useful resource for technical information.

  • There is now a Usenet archive [usenet4free.com]conforming to the Open Source [opensource.org] and OpenContent [opencontent.org] way of thinking.

    Several months ago I saw that Deja.com [deja.com] was not providing an open access to Usenet and programmed a solution for it. My project is hosted at sourceforge. [sourceforge.net].

    My girlfriend has started a company for it and we now try to keep this free service in operation. Our operational costs are $90/month and we need a few daily visitor to break even. The advertisement income would cover our hosting cost. The advertisements are not yet on-line, but will need to be soon.

    In the spirit of Open Source the full Usenet archives can also be downloaded [usenet4free.com].

    Check out the open source usenet archive. [usenet4free.com] If you would like to contribute source code to this Open SOurce project, or want to run your own deja.com-like server, please send me and e-mail.

  • Usenet 2 [jeffenstein.org] appears to still be going. It appears to have been thoroughly scaled back from the original grand plans. What ever happened to www.usenet2.org ?
  • The problem is that internet ads pay by clicks (how many people RESPOND to the ad) while other formats (TV, magazines, etc) pay for the EXPOSURE (how many people /see/ the ad)
    Oh my god, Bear is driving! How can this be?
  • Yes, bandwidth is costly.
    The operational cost of such a service can be high, but advertisements can bring the money back in. Every 1000 users will give you around $15-$20. Good internet bandwidth costs monthly about $25/GByte. Users only use a few KB per visit, meaning it can be done if you do not lauch costly television adds...

    I have programmed an alternative to remarq.com and deja.com. It is a 1 GByte news archive available here [usenet4free.com], with browsing, searching, archive downloading, etc. This archive is only a few newsgroups big currently, but will be expanded if users are intrested.

  • I think people are forgetting that one thing that is contributing the fall of services like RemarQ is excellent online discussion board software such as Infopop's Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB), which can be accessed from almost any Web browser that can run graphical mode.

    Many major web sites with discussion boards use UBB for their discussion board inteface. UBB is pretty good because it does allow pretty tight moderation control over posters, and UBB allows for quotebacks and graphical smiley emoticons, which are more easily understandable than the ASCII-based "smileys."
  • >>Usenet wasn't built to be permanent

    I for one find Usenet archives invaluable for solving technical problems. There are always obscure problems that are not covered by the manuals and where you want to shout to you coleagues "has any seen this before". Searchable usenet archives allow you to see if any of thousands of people worldwide have had the same or a similar problem, without having to post a question that may have been answered before.

    It is essential (for me at least) that these be available in one place rather than spread over many web sites, each with their small forum. If deja.com ever follows RemarQ then many people will have lost a valuable tool.
  • As people gripe about ignorant web users using Remarq, I have to point out that, at least in my case, it's because my work ISP (whom I have no chance of changing) has a newsfeed that sucks.

    I dropped dejanews when it switched to deja - I've had enough service problems with them prior to my dropping them to wonder what other services people would recommend.
  • The Deja archive never went back before about '94 or so anyway. I've been on Usenet since late '90 and they never had any of my early posts.

    Which may be just as well. :)

    They do have me back to October '99, though. But that's only about 5-10% of my total Usenet output.

  • Lets see, its very ad-heavy, their NT servers are incredibly slow, they started putting ad-hyperlinks into user messages long before deja, and put keen.com sig files into every post. Sometimes "free" just isn't worth it, I hope the industry learned a little something from these people.
  • Pizza probably wouldn't work because the adverts would need to be geographically targetted

    Oh, don't worry about that.

    First, large chains (Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's) don't need to do much targeting.

    Second, Doubleclick can target you geographically -- I recently noticed a banner ad advertising "AAA Michigan". Given that I live in Michigan...

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • I don't pay anything for television programs, yet I'd be surprised if NBC went out of business.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Some say their archives go back to the early 90s

    Sadly, not anymore. Since about 3-4 months ago, their archives only go back about a year. They say it's only temporary, but I kinda have my doubts--after all, that terrabytes of hard drive space must get pretty expensive, and they may have decided that they have other things to do with it.

  • >nobody really uses USENET anymore
    Ha! Usenet has been growing, just like the rest of the net.
  • Coca-cola actually _unsold_ me, personally, with advertising. Here's the story- I was cheerfully buying 12pack after 12pack of Coke, because I was cheerfully in a rut and didn't want to consider bothering with any other soda, although I periodically got envious that Pepsi drinkers got to buy pepsi by the case, a '24pack'.

    Then Coke took to sticking a text area directly on their cans, on every can. I've seen it used for special promotions (like 'win a trip to Disneyland') but 99.99% of the time it was the same advertising blurb- and a horrible one! Hopefully I will soon entirely forget this, but it went, "By now you've probably opened it already. The taste. The fizz. It's all there (bits of ad blurb already forgotten, thankfully deleted- culminating in) Coca-cola enjoy.

    I could not get away from this freaking, drooling idiocy. It spoke to me every time I tried to drink Coca-cola- I'd lift the can and boom, there was the blurb, "By now you've probably opened it already. The taste! The fizz! It's ALL THERE..." I took to reciting it to friends with GREAT SERIOUSNESS, verbatim, to illustrate just how horrible the blurb was. And then, finally, fed up, I taught myself to like Mountain Dew, knowing it was another caffiene-rich soda beverage much smiled on by geek types- and ever since, I get both, the Mountain Dew in 24-packs.

    They have ceased running the blurbs, but the damage was already done. I never wrote to Coca-cola and explained, "You guys are making me _embarrassed_ to hold a can of your product in public, and you are un-selling me from it". Seemingly someone did- how many other people went and started drinking Dew or Pepsi or jynnan tonix, however?

    Advertising can be damned dangerous. If you annoy people badly enough you UN-SELL them from your product. And it really, really doesn't matter if people remember the name- if they remember it in order to never buy it again!

  • Why do so few free services appear these days? What happened to, "I'm doing it for fun, and if I make a few bucks, then that's icing on the cake"? Like Slashdot, for instance, and photo.net, for another. Everything now has to make millions of bucks, or else it's not worth doing, apparently.

    What if Remarq had a form where you could enter a credit card number and give a donation in whatever amount you deemed appropriate? Or how about Slashdot? Would you donate? Do you think an appreciable number of people would donate?


    Well, that's what happened to generosity.

  • "nobody really uses USENET anymore"
    And you're basing this statement upon...? New groups are being added daily, and contrary to popular belief, they aren't all binaries groups :) I read and post to a number of alt.* and comp.os.* groups and if anything, traffic is increasing.

  • Funny, I was just thinking about a cool idea for a news reader before I read this. I have been using napster/gnutella for a while and I am realy impressed with the idea of distributing information and creating redundant backups. Well, I was thinking that if you created that(distributed programming/backups) for a newsreader, that would be SWEET! One problem I have with news servers is that they delete their news posts FAST! Especially Binarries. I am stuck with a 56k modem so downloading is SLOW! What could be done is that when a file is deleted from a news server that you wanted and/or were downloading, the program could connect to other computers(that use it) and see if someone had already downloaded the file/post and continue(share the file(s) with you) where it left off :) This is my idea and I give permission to anyone who wishes to use it and/or make it to go ahead :)
  • by redvine ( 22436 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @10:29PM (#861333)
    I'm a little suspicious. There's only the story on the front page, and it is chock full of type-o's. What's more, the graphic with the article links to a completely unrelated discussion. There is absolutely no discussion of Remarq's closure in the remarq newsgroup (discuss.remarq.remarq.status), or at fuckedcompany.com. And to top it all off, Remarq is hosted on Windows IIS. Couldn't someone have just hacked the site and posted this? Well, maybe that is naive on my part, but it just seems a little suspicious.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not exactly. RemarQ was purchased by Critical Path in April. So, in a way, RemarQ is public now. And free usenet access isn't where it's at. If I were to guess, I'd guess Deja will shut down their usenet access before the end of the year. We'll see....

  • Archives are crucial to a culture. We need to pay money to maintain them because otherwise they are at the mercy of our "benefactors" like Deja, Inc. of the "Echelon II" building within walking distance of the NSA's MCC and its spinoff, Cycorp (procer of one of the better technologies for mining natural language feeds).
  • Because our context has changed. Skip back a few years to when webpages were grey backgrounds and Time New Roman everywhere, and where all images that were links had huge blue borders round them. In effect, the infancy of the Web. At that time, you couldn't make money out of the net if you tried. There were a few big companies giving it a go and on the whole losing money hand over fist (Yahoo, Amazon), but that was OK because everybody thought it was impossible to make money out of the net.

    At this time, if there is little point in throwing money into setting up an on-line presence because you aren't going to make profit for 10 years+ then you may as well establish a presence but make it all free. The setup costs are lower (no merchant accounts, secure servers etc.) and because you're not going to make money anyway.

    There was also the greatest scam ever pulled over the public and website operators at this time - security companies were shouting about how unsecure the Internet was. It was just as secure to send your credit card details then with SSL as it is now with SSL. The only difference is that a few hundred million has been spent with the security companies.

    If we now move forward to today, website operators are thinking that they should be seeing revenue covering their costs if not making profit within 2-3 years from startup. Customers are happier to send their credit card details over the Internet. The market has become more competitive and there is far more content people are prepared to pay to see these days. In short, the world has found the Internet an acceptable but new and original way of being able to satisfy their greed.

    With regards to those amongst us who are winging about bandwidth charges and costs of servers, etc. all I have to say is that co-location is now so ridiculously cheap that if you're shifting more than your allocated bandwidth, the revenue you could generate from banner ads will actually cover your costs. Honestly. Yes, even on a 0.3% click-through rate. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Me, personally, I just ignore the banner ads and let the companies earn their pittance. Why are some people so afraid of that?

    Wakko, do you know that when you see the banner won't make any money to the company? Only when you click the banner ("click-through") will it trigger something somewhere, and a couple of pennies fly into someone's pocket.

    Now, since I have no intention of clicking the banners (and hence making them money) there is no point in having to view animated stupid boxes which spout "CLICK", "CLICK HERE" and so on. So, I choose to use junkbuster (the Waldherr [waldherr.org] 1x1 GIF mod) with an automated (cronjob) blocklist updating.

    Trust me, filtering out banners is better. Everything is more clear and lets you focus on the content instead of the smoke and mirrors and flashing stupidity-memes (advertisements).
  • Why, of course free things will keep disappearing. What are they going to do? Stay? There's a very limited amount of flat advertising money out there, most of which has dried up or been allotted already. Soon, most DotComs, Free ISPs, and other imperialists are going to find that they have no real source of income. My previous ISP already met this fate, as they were a pay-once-and-never-again flat rate service. Few enterprises that deliver that which is normally paid for remain profitable internally for long.
  • ach..

    No more absolutely FREE USENET SPAM Pr0N for me now.
    And I just got access to broadband from september. :(

    First my girlfriend dumped me for a gamerboy [fly.to], and now this.
    Life sucks


  • How often have you grabbed a Coke from the fridge right after seeing a Cola commercial? Advertisements are not about direct responses like that, they are about getting a brand name well known. If you see a certain name often enough, you will recognize it.

    Remember, TV is for free as well (apart from pay TV), I can watch the X-Files, movies and loads of other shit without paying. That's because advertisements pay for these things. Now TV advertisement is far more annoying than a banner since it takes away time i Could have spent watching a nice program.

    Right now this Lutris ad is flashing at me at the top of this page, thanks to this article, I bothered reading it, it features the words Free, Wireless and Java. I'm sure they get more network traffic than if they hadn't run the ad. Surely they are not interested in every slashdot visitor (can you say slashdot effect!), but one out of a 1000 would already be pretty good.
  • I prefer doing that in suburbian schools. Maybe it's just me though.
  • "Okay, it takes you an extra 3 seconds per page."

    Actually, before I installed Ad Filter on my machine, some pages I regularly visit would take nearly five minutes to load, because the stupid ad server had to force the banner on me. And this was all on a T1 too. Waiting three seconds is no problem, waiting five minutes is.

    "It gives them 1/10 of a cent, and might let them survive."

    That's only if someone clicks on the banner ad in the first place.

    "Is doubleclick really so horrible that you have to go out of your way to kill websites with your ad-filtering proxies and your mutated hosts files?"

    Yes it is. When an advertiser subverts to trying to track me without me knowing, I get suspicious. Where I go online is none of Doubleclick's, or anyone's, concern. If one rotten apple in the class fucks it up, everyone has to suffer.

  • Well, if they have a good service or useful product, they shouldn't need to rely on IPO money. It's not a very trustworthy form of currency - investors could pull out at any time. But if you have something genuine, you should have real investors anyway.
  • Verio still offers a general NNTP server at ca.news.verio.net for its hosting customers.
  • I think the author's story is broken... i tried to go to www.use.net, but there is no page there. Will this "usenet" work on my hotmail and AIM?


    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...

  • by american_bongo ( 219162 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @07:51PM (#861346) Homepage
    "You mean I can no longer expect to enjoy a grossly overinflated market cap for my unprofitable, $200-million-in-debt Internet start-up? That's not fair!"
  • by Kyobu ( 12511 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @07:53PM (#861347) Homepage
    Why do so few free services appear these days? What happened to, "I'm doing it for fun, and if I make a few bucks, then that's icing on the cake"? Like Slashdot, for instance, and photo.net [photo.net], for another. Everything now has to make millions of bucks, or else it's not worth doing, apparently.
  • I see this as a good thing. People out there grew to used to free things, they see it as that's their right to get something for free and then even complain about it. That's not so. Everybody giving you something for free is doing you a huge service, and everybody who takes money for their goods do the right thing. That means, if somebody goes to ask you $2 (or $20 or $200) for doing you a service of Web-based news access, he's right and OK. If he does this for free, he's just crazy altruist who loves you more than himself, a good samaritan.
    Other thing is that if one asks $200, he's probably crazy and would go bankrupt very soon, since nobody in his mind is going to pay $200 for such thing. But $2 - why not? This brings another point - micropayments is a *must*. Now. And I better not have to put in my credit card number in every time. I want this to go easy as "do you want to pay $2 to this man?" - "yes I do". That's it.
  • by Rombuu ( 22914 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @07:53PM (#861349)
    I think you mean VC money, since RemarQ hasn't IPOd.

    Really, all it means is that the web as matured to the point where you just can't throw something up, try to attract a bunch of eyeballs, and then try to figure out how to build a business model later.

    Ad revenue based sites are always going to have trouble making it... look at Salon's problems recently (not that I can't think of anyone who doesn't deserve it more..) Look at the magazine industry.. Very high failure rate, pretty low profit margins.
  • I love Remarq! It made USENET useful again, and I'll miss it.

    What's significant about this is that it's time for companies to shut down well-executed products that make no business sense.

    I suspect you'll see a similar shut-down of free homepage sites (many of them, including Geocities have been "rotting" lately), and free photo hosting sites. Without any way to make money, it's just not worth running these!

    --- Speaking only for myself,

  • by radar bunny ( 140304 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @07:55PM (#861351)
    let me get this straight.
    I'm going to give you a product or service. And, in return you dont have to give me anything. And later, everyone's gonna act all shocked when I don't make a profit and have to stop giving everything away?

  • That's great when you live in a fantasy world. That fantasy ends when you start getting the bills for your bandwidth... oh, and you'd like another server? Oh, and you want to run backup's once in a while?
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @08:21PM (#861353)
    I'm sorry, but "IPO" money really never had anything to do with the freeness of services - its all about the business model.

    Sites that are ad-driven will always be free - to not be free would be instant suicide for an ad-driven site.

    If sites are not using an ad model, then its wide open. Admittedly, these models have tended not be very fruitful, and it simply reinforces the strengths of those few sites who can be profitable on ad-based revenue.

    I would have thought it was obvious that the market for ad-driven websites is obviously winner-take-all (AOL is not in this category - they are a subscription service). The portals are a clear indication - within five years, Yahoo outlasted its competition, who have all signed on with partners through acquisitions.

    While over time the amount of choice on the web will drop, the leaders in ad-driven sites will always be free services.

  • Yeah, you'll notice I mentioned Slashdot. Slashdot makes money. However, its purpose is not to make money. Catch the difference?
  • currect!

    when was the last time you bought anything from a click through banner? How many times have you even clicked one?
    How many times have you bought something because of an ad you saw on TV. Just tink of how many movies you've seen because of the ads. Or, how many times you've eaten a food cause that ad made it look sooo good?

    The difference is effectivenes.

  • I dunno, but a lot of my favorite seem to be going down due to poor ad revenue (most likely due to poor click through ratios). People seem to forget that people have to pay for bandwidth and servers, and unfortunately don't go out of their way to help the free services.

    Whenever I'm at a free site I believe is done well, I always turn off WebFree for a second and click the banners to do my bit of support. I even might buy something from some of their banner ads and give the sites I visited from them moderate attention, instead of just clicking-and-closing. If people knew how much the webmasters do just to keep the server running and free, they'd probably be more open to clicking and whatnot. But unfortunately they don't, and so the free stuff on the web doesn't survive. *sigh* now we can just buy all these services from corporate ameri-co =\
  • Just because we think something should be free (speech) doesn't mean it's a sound business model to make it free (beer). I think even the FSF would agree with this.

    If you want access to the full feed of data you can hook up a newsfeed of your own. If what you really want is a convienent way of doing it then you're going to have to chip in some of the costs. Get over it.
  • http://www.deja.com/usenet [deja.com]

    __________________________________________________ ___

  • Am I the only one who finds Junkbuster more trouble than it's worth? Okay, I've spent eight hours setting up the damned thing, blocked everything that's ever shat forth a banner ad and, um.. Wow! Look at that! I never noticed banner ads before and... I still don't notice them!

    I guess it follows JWZ's line of thinking, "Linux is only free if your time is worth nothing."

    Me, personally, I just ignore the banner ads and let the companies earn their pittance. Why are some people so afraid of that?

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Give true usenet a try. You'll
    wonder why you put up with Web forums for
    so long.

    Bill, likes usenet.

  • It's still around. At my site, for instance, in the space of three years I went from a Tripod piece of crap to what's currently there [oscarfish.com] - and along the way I've built up a strong following, now about 6000 pageviews daily and a strong loyalty of my BBS members.

    I never went into it to make money, and despite the massive amount of ads on the site, I really don't. Hosting is very expensive, right, unless you're working with a stream of venture capital.

  • Is doubleclick really so horrible that you have to go out of your way to kill websites with your ad-filtering proxies and your mutated hosts files?

    Sadly, yes it is. There is a great deal of information can be gleaned by services like doubleclick regarding your habits. It is all a matter of what you are willing to give up to get to the content. What does doubleclick do with the information? They can, with proper market penetration, follow your every move and manipulate your browsing experience to suit their needs, not yours.

    One must be wary of a company whose strategy includes invisible links to their site for tracking purposes.

    If we don't fight THE MAN(tm) now, we will forever be relegated to the status of consumer, not a person.
  • Clicking through, though a good start, is not a real long term solution. If everyone started just clicking through, then the ad services would simply change their policies for % of sales only (some already have). The real solution has to be something else - but certainily surfing with JunkBuster or whatnot turned on is going to hurt some sites in the long run. Its a sad side effect - one that could be avoided if a better model were available.
  • I know exactly what you mean. There are so many adverts were they think they are being clever, using "teasers" and the such. Personally, they just fuck me off. I mean, if they want me to buy their product TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK IT IS! Don't fuck about, get to the point.

    I have been known to avoid a product, because of it's god-awful advertising.

    P.S: Many dotcoms fall into the "Think we're clever but we're not" catagory for advertising.
  • Please provide a link that backs up this story.

    Their new home page Remarq [remarq.com] does not have any closing down announcement.

    So far the service is still free, as I logged in to my account without any demands for money.

  • by thogard ( 43403 ) on Saturday August 12, 2000 @03:22AM (#861366) Homepage
    So yet another usenet portal bites the dust. That doesn't bother me nearly as much as the number of major usenet sites that are looking for peers. Last week I got a message from my best feed saying that that they are closing down their own nntp server becuase they only have a few customers that use it and thouse tend to like the alt.sex.binarys.isoimages and wares groups. Now most isps aren't running their own news servers anymore and just farm it out to someone that just takes care of it. So much for distributed news. Thouse ISPs that do run news tend to just have one usenet feed from a backbone provider that is only running news because some sysadmin somewhere decied they needed it for their own use.

    I've been running usenet (or netnews) servers since 1987 and I'm thinking that usenet as it was is slowly going away. I remember back in the days were spam didn't have a name. before it was invaded by C&S and sciencultology. when sept was when all the newbies showed up. Them where the days :-) Too bad the modern net isn't based on lots of people tring to help each other for the common good.

    So if anyone needs a news peer that only will carry about 600 groups email me [mailto]
  • initial public offerings. when a company wants to go public they float a number of shares and sell em to the public. this gives them capital to build their business....or to cash out and run as most internet companies do. see http://www.fuckedcompany.com for a more enlightning view of the whole business.
  • I'm indifferent when it comes to this issue but I've used usenet archives on many many occasions.. When I started using Linux a while ago, I had many questions the average newbie would have.. Rather than bugging everyone with the same questions again, I searched and have always found an answer or something to lead me to an answer on a usenet archive.. Etched in stone or not, it's quite useful..
  • This was posted this morning:
    Ask Slashdot: Online Rights And Real World Censorship?"

    Posted by Cliff on 10:57 Friday 11 August 2000
    and then the current story was posted:
    RemarQ.com Shutting Down

    Posted by emmett on 21:40 Friday 11 August 2000
    Seems like quite a quiet time. Is there some bug, was there a DoS, did someone else get married? Did the Geek Compound get invaded?

    For a while there, I thought /. might be under an administrative DoS attack, a variant on what happened to Rusty and K5. (The variation being that the DoS didn't affect users participation in /. but did prevent the 'big kahunas' from updating /.) Glad to see that I was wrong (or you fixed it).

    Louis Wu

    "Where do you want to go ...

  • The Boston Globe reports [boston.com] that fiction writer Harlan Ellison is suing Critical Path, owner of Remarq.com, for copyright infringement. Trial set to go to court next month.

    Surely this has nothing to do with Remarq going off the air. But it does indicate the depths to which Usenet has fallen. I remember when Usenet used to be civil and productive, and it is a shame that it has become like CB radio.

    According to the report, "in June, he [Ellison] won a judgment against Stephen Robertson of California, who admitted posting Ellison's stories online and agreed to pay Ellison's legal fees." Ellison, it says, uses a manual typewriter. Evidently he also has some strong ideas about art and technology.

  • I've never quite figured out what it is that gets people's backs up so much about Usenet archive services. I've no problem with having my words 'etched in stone', as I usually take the time to read what I've typed before hitting the 'post' button.

    The only people who would seem to have a problem are either newsgroup trolls, spammers, or posters of porn pics and warez.

    I regularly use Deja to check for answers to problems I come up against whilst working on projects, and to find out where thinks that I'm interested in are being discussed. I just wish that Deja's servers didn't throw a wobbly every other day, and that they had more newsgroups listed. Remarq (which I also use occasionally) covers some of the gaps, but I found their interface a lot more effort to work with.

    I've now invested in a paid news account, so that I can be sure of not missing stuff on the newsgroups that I read off-line. Unfortunately, my ISP's newsfeed is big on newsgroups but short on article retention.
  • Because it takes time and money to set up servers that can't get slashdotted.
  • I agree that RemarQ is the #1 web based newsreader... It's awesome for reading complete threads.

    Somebody should build another newsreader with the same type of thread layout... unfortunately, I don't have time or resources to do so. Anybody feel like it?

  • From the invaluble RemarQ.com front page:

    Talk Live Now to a psychic at Keen.com!
    Get a Live Answer from a Real Person at Keen.com!
    Win $1000 at Keen.com, Your Live Answer Community!
    Got relationship problems? Get a FREE live answer from a psychic at Keen.com!
    Got Questions? Get Live Answers at Keen.com.

  • I know... shocking, isn't it???

    But I wonder, what about dejanews.com, or are the ads too much to takle?

    Of course, one coudl always revert to a standard news reader, get onto usenet, and forgo the middleman altogether, couldn't they???
  • It takes time or money to build a business. If you think there's going to be a network effect -- in that the first person in, wins -- then money is cheaper than the time.
  • I bet that comes as a shock to the VALinux guys...
  • It's too bad, too, I'd rather pay a few dollars a month for access to a first-rate site than see it plastered with garish banner ads...
  • by Sir_Winston ( 107378 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @08:31PM (#861379)
    I can't say I'm disappointed that Remarq's free service went bye-bye. Not only was its pay service not known for being among the best in either retention or group availability, but its free service was, IMHO, a mockery of USENET. It didn't carry many of the active groups, and it catered mostly to people who don't really understand USENET or the many ways to access it. As such, I think it dameged "real" USENET providers, by allowing Web users to go to USENET and stay there without learning even the simplest basics about it, and by providing a free alternative just barely good enough to keep newbies there and keep them from joining up with real providers--thus making it harder for real providers to stay in the black.

    It's hard for me to make that last statement, since I'm very much in favor of Free Software, but there's a major difference between the big software companies and the big USENET services. Even the "big" USENET services are relatively small, and many have trouble staying afloat; RemarQ cut into an already lean profit margin for some providers, and the cost to the public of the important USENET news services shutting down is, dare I say, more grave than the cost of losing this free and limited RemarQ service.

    Also, as I said, services like Remarq allowed people to get onto USENET without learning any of the basics involved, many such people never even realizing that they're not on the Web any more. While I'm a champion of ease-of-use, there comes a point when the ease-of-use of RemarQ does more harm than good. You end up with most of the free RemarQ users--not all, but most--not contributing to the newsgroups they're accessing, never bothering to read the FAQ because RemarQ does all the work for them, and littering them with "me, too"s the likes of which haven't been seen since the horrid AOL invasion of yore. Most of the senseless wastes of bandwidth I've seen on USENET recently, all the "me, too"s and clueless newbies who won't read the FAQ even after you tell them twice, have come from RemarQ.

    The loss of RemarQ isn't even that bad, since great premium USENET access can be gotten for between $5.95 and $14.95 a month. Personally, even though the NNTP connection is limited to 33Kbps, I prefer Altopia's service: $12 a month, they have every single newsgroup, and a minimum of a four day retention for binaries (up to 8 days, depending) and longer for text (usually about 7). If you have a cable connection, and down/upload binaries, you can pretty much leave your connection on all the time to make up for the slow connection cap. They also offer 128kbps access, but at a hefty $48/month. One reason I support them so much is that Chris at Altopia seems to be big on freedom and very against censorship--Altopia has never dropped a group, for any reason, that I know of. As long as you're not uploading anything illegal (yeah, *you*, wArEZ d00dz and pedos!) Altopia doesn't care what you do, and is very conscious about not keeping records longer than necessary to prevent abuse. I like their privacy policy, it's absolutely the best. To be fair, I also hear good things about uncensored-news and usenetserver.

    But that's just my 2 cents; support a free (as in -dom) USENET by subscribing to a good provider. Please, they need as much help as they can get to keep the news free and uncensored, unlike the Web.

  • Banner ads, email affinity programs, tv spots...no one has ever really been able to quantitatively demonstrate that advertising "works", its just that everyone is too afraid to take the risk of not advertising.

    Note that not all succesful companies heavily advertise - you'd be surprised. Ever see a Napster ad? Even coke from time to time will essentially stop or drastically reduce advertising and instead focus on packaging and product placement to increase sales (the former coke marketing guru was recently quoted as saying he essentially thought advertising was a huge waste of money and packaging was a far more impactful way to increase sales).

  • ...that they're shutting down the free service. Do you know how much it costs to keep these servers running?

    (from netcraft.co.uk)
    www.remarq.com is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98


  • For some odd reason, I was hoping Louis Wu (one post up) was going to use that acronym. Oh well.

  • You may be right. I think someone may have found a way to trick remarq's system into showing their message in the message spotlight, rather than the message intended by the admin.
  • and so the free stuff on the web doesn't survive. *sigh* now we can just buy all these services from corporate ameri-co =\

    Which we wont ... and then what? The net dies? Or revert back to how it used to be...before aol :)


  • Because it costs money as well as time. Getting smutcraft /.-ed will cost me some bucks in bandwidth charges. If it got that popular *all the time*, I'd have to pull it or turn it into a business.

    My name is Sue,
    How do you do?
    Now you gonna die!
  • I'm not surprised much by this.. I remember when remarq was new and basically a clone of dejanews.. at least then you could find a newsgroup on there (comp.pda) but since about a year or two ago they revamped their web site... I absolutely hate flashy web sites like remarq because you can never get anything done! Remarq is basically just a glorified forum now.. They shot themselves in the foot, people don't want to navigate their mess of a web site (at least I don't).

    At least dejanews still provides the service that they started out providing, it is easy to navigate or type in your fav newsgroup there.. and there are bunches.. like ones for your fav pda or newsgroups for your fav game, etc

    -since when did 'MTV' stand for Real World Television instead of MUSIC television?
  • Some ad companies pay "per impression" as well as per click. Impressions are just ad views, not clickthroughs, which generally pay much more but are also much less common.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Thank god my isp has their own server, i d/l porn at 300 k/sec.
  • I remember using USENET back in '89. I was subscribed to about 50-75 newsgroups and could read them all (all articles, all newsgroups). It took about an hour/hour and a half a day. No SPAM, alt.flame was actually funny...

    Last time I read USENET was maybe a year ago. SPAM everywhere, little actual news in any of the newsgroups, flamefests, bunches of questions with no answers.

    *sigh* sad to see it go that way...
  • I have been known to avoid a product, because of it's god-awful advertising

    To this day, I and most of my friends refuse to drink any beer made by Miller because of those horrible DICK comercials (the ones with a 70's theme). As one friend said, "What happened to the girls in bikinis. Sure, they never actually made me buy the product.... but they never made me NOT buy it either."

  • When big non-online companies get into internet advertising in a big way, there will be heaps more advertising money around.

    Exactly. I buy 99% of my computer stuff at best buy, office max, office depot, or curcuit city. And, from their sotres-- not their web pages. Why aren't they advertising? I'm in the market for a new car here soon-- ford ads? Chevy? toyota? I mean how many of those hotmail accounts are owned buy bisines peopel trying to keep acounts seperate and such--- hotel ads for the businessperson on the go???

    I mean just because im on a computer doesnt mean my entire life revolves around it-- i mean i do go outside at least once a day. Nike ads??
  • Ok, I just had a thought.

    If online marketing shifted to this kind of advertising (see parent post) where the ads were not so much click through, but just general ads of non online retailers/products-- then what would that do to doubleclick and the such. Would this also help to relieve *some* privacy concerns? maybe not-- but food for thought.

  • It seems like there's only half as many computer repair stores around as there were a few years ago, I think because everyone learned how to fix there own problems. Thing just keep getting cheaper and knowledge becomes more available. A year ago I installed linux for the first time, now I'm building my own news server which will be free to my friends. Of course I can't afford the bandwidth to service a country but I do have scads of cheap disk space. In the future the resources to provide a valuable service will be more affordable to the average person, -and- there will be many more average persons around with the skills to provide that service. Supply and Demand...If everyone can do it, how valuable is it?
  • I worked for RemarQ before the CP acquisition. They didn't have a clue back then, either, so it's unlikely the acquisition by CPTH would've helped much. RemarQ was always a huge money-sucking, marketing-driven, bug-ridden, politics-infested turd. Supernews before RemarQ (there is a misconception that RemarQ bought Supernews; it was merely a name change) was *gasp* profitable. Then the idiotic idea of putting news on the Web came to be, the VC came in, and reason went out. Hey, anyone remember when RemarQ started hyperlinking common words to vendors' websites? Now deja.com is doing it. Stupidity never dies, it just gets recycled by your competitors.

    As for the yo-yos who think they can just start another RemarQ, i laugh in their faces. There are better and more enjoyable ways (and probably more profitable) to inflict pain upon yourself.

  • Qualify how it has been an anoyance/harassment
    Annoyance in the sense that I very often receive emails regarding posts I made months (or years) ago. Harassment in the sense that these emails are often from people who are expressing themselves in a less-than-mature manner. I run into the following situation pretty often: 1. Post message to Usenet, 2. Someone finds it on Deja months later and writes me, 3. I delete the message, 4. They start sending vulgar mails or attacking me in the group (via a mydeja account, of course) because they know I'm there but I'm not responding to them. I delete these messages without replying, but it takes time to screen them - it's no different from spam.

    I don't act childish, I don't spam, I don't troll, I don't post porn or warez. The bulk of my time is spent answering questions or giving advice in comp.os.linux.*, alt.hackintosh, and alt.2600. But the time I choose to spend in Usenet is just that - time I choose. I don't mind answering questions when I decide that I'm capable and have the time - I do mind when other people flood my inboxes, assuming that I have the time. Deja presents an inconvenience in that it generates uninvited email and unwanted discussion. It gives people the opportunity to dig up and attempt to re-start threads I was involved in months ago (and they always do this via email; if they'd post to the group, I'd be more inclined to respond). It's for this reason that you won't find any of my recent posts in Deja, because these days I make every effort to keep myself out. If there was a way to remove my old postings, I'd do that as well.

    Usenet and the web are separate entities. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned but I wish they'd stay that way, without Deja (or whomever) interfering.

  • Unfortunately, I this type of situation is going to become more and more common in the future, as unpopular Internet services find themselves unable to continue to stay in business, and only companies like eBay, that do turn a profit (or at least break even), will stay around.

    Remarq is a good example -- nobody really uses USENET anymore, and the site's readership was probably decreasing rapidly. It's funny; we usually think of Internet companies as only growing, but some of the older ones are actually going to find their market share shrinking (Yahoo vs. Google, for example). Simply put, not every Internet service is one that's going to be successful with consumers. For every eBay or Amazon.com, there's a WebGrocer or Boo.com.

    As the Internet continues to become more and more a part of mainstream culture, we'll -- surprise! -- see mainstream opinions dictate what appears on the Internet more and more. Look at the rise of corporate homepages and useless Shockwave animations as an example. Joe Sixpack may like to buy stuff on eBay and browse pr0n, but he could probably care less about a text-based discussion feature like Remarq -- which is used mostly by the so-called Internet "elite."

    What's to do be done about this situation? Not much, really -- it's more of an inevitably than anything else. You can't have both "mainstream" status and economic freedom. In this case, the Internet is drifting towards the former, and that's not necessarily bad -- it's just a situation we'll have to get used to.

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.