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V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014):

USENET USErs' NETwork (Internet)
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

Usenet /yoos'net/, /yooz?net/, n. [from ?Users' 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 and the University of North Carolina, it has swiftly grown to become international in scope and is now probably the largest decentralized information utility in existence. As of late 2002, it hosts over 100,000 newsgroups and an unguessably huge volume 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 ? 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 Usenetters.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

Usenet Usenet news /yoos'net/ or /yooz'net/ (Or "Usenet news", from "Users' Network") A distributed bulletin board system and the people who post and read articles thereon. Originally implemented in 1979 - 1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University, and supported mainly by Unix machines, it swiftly grew to become international in scope and, before the advent of the web, probably the largest decentralised information utility in existence. Usenet encompasses government agencies, universities, high schools, businesses of all sizes, and home computers of all descriptions. In the beginning, not all Usenet hosts were on the Internet. As of early 1993, it hosted over 1200 newsgroups ("groups" for short) and an average of 40 megabytes (the equivalent of several thousand paper pages) of new technical articles, news, discussion, chatter, and flamage every day. By November 1999, the number of groups had grown to over 37,000. To join in you originally needed a news reader program but there are now several web gateways, cheifly Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/) (originally Deja News). Some web browsers include news readers and URLs beginning "news:" refer to Usenet newsgroups. Network News Transfer Protocol is a protocol used to transfer news articles between a news server and a news reader. The uucp protocol was sometimes used to transfer articles between servers, though this is probably rare now that most sites are on the Internet. (http://openmarket.com/info/internet-index/current-sources.html). Notes on news (http://ifi.uio.no/~larsi/notes/notes.html) by Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen . [Gene Spafford , "What is Usenet?", regular posting to news:news.announce.newusers]. (1999-12-17)