V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014):
USErs' NETwork (Internet)
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
/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
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):
/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.
Notes on news
(http://ifi.uio.no/~larsi/notes/notes.html) by Lars Magne
[Gene Spafford , "What is Usenet?",
regular posting to news:news.announce.newusers].