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Piracy Your Rights Online

Newzbin2 Closes For Good 204

Posted by samzenpus
from the So-long-farewell-auf-weidersehen-goodbye dept.
AlphaWolf_HK writes "Newzbin2, one of the most recognized index sites for usenet, has closed for good. A statement reads: 'It is with regret that we announce the closure of Newzbin2. A combination of several factors has made this the only option. For a long time we have struggled with poor indexing of Usenet, poor numbers of reports caused by the majority of our editors dropping out & no-one replacing them. Our servers have been unstable and crashing on a regular basis meaning the NZBs & NFOs are unavailable for long periods and we don't have the money to replace them. To make things worse all our payment providers dropped out or started running scared. The MPA sued Paypal and are going at our innocent payment provider Kthxbai Ltd in the UK. Our other payment provider has understandably lost their nerve. Result? We have no more payment providers to offer & no realistic means of taking money (no, Bitcoin isn't credible as it's just too hard for 90% of people).'"
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Newzbin2 Closes For Good

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  • Kthxbai (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hsien-Ko (1090623) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:38AM (#42138933)
    Apt.
  • Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:40AM (#42138941)

    Corporations do it better than governments ever could.

    • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:09AM (#42139037)

      Make no mistake about it, this IS the government doing it. What happened is the government has effectively given the MPAA governing powers.

      The whole reason ACTA is currently law is because Hollywood basically purchased Obama. If he ran it through the houses, as is required in the constitution, it wouldn't have passed due to the recent furor over SOPA. So, he just ignored the constitution and signed it anyways. If you need proof, look here:

      http://www.ustr.gov/acta [ustr.gov]
      http://www.ustr.gov/webfm_send/1862 [ustr.gov] (PDF)
      http://www.ustr.gov/webfm_send/1740 [ustr.gov] (PDF)

      All of those "free" poses, endorsements, and photo shoots from Hollywood celebrities weren't actually free, and Obama knew that. He had to take care of those who got him elected in order to get re-elected. This is the "change" that many "hoped" for.

      • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Seumas (6865) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:57AM (#42139163)

        The smart thing about self-censorship is that we have all of these industries gleefully starting up complex censorship systems to censor their own content, because they're under threat of the government doing it if they don't do it to themselves (and their users).

        If the government did it, you could shout "CENSORSHIP!" and take them to court. And win.

        When the private industries do it (MPAA, ESRB, RIAA), everyone says "Only governments can censor things. This isn't censorship, because it's private industries doing it. If you don't like it, don't watch movies, listen to music, or buy software!"

        The same thing is accomplished. Perhaps more effectively, without any of the accountability under the law. It's sickeningly clever.

        • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday November 30, 2012 @04:41AM (#42139487)

          No, the government censors. DMCA? We're not allowed to talk about breaking digital locks. If you do, you go to jail. The MPAA themselves cannot put you into jail, but they can force the government's hand thanks to that law.

          The MPAA can sue you as well. But ultimately, how do they collect? They can't just go to your home and start taking your belongings and drain your bank account. They need a court order for that. The government makes that possible, and they send in the police to take it and hand it over.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            The MPAA can sue you as well. But ultimately, how do they collect? They can't just go to your home and start taking your belongings and drain your bank account.

            And it's the government that stops that from being possible.

            Your point?

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          When the private industries do it (MPAA, ESRB, RIAA), everyone says "Only governments can censor things. This isn't censorship, because it's private industries doing it. If you don't like it, don't watch movies, listen to music, or buy software!"

          Asking you to pay to watch listen or use something is not censorship. If you think all cultural, physical and intellectual products should be freely available to all under a communistic Star Trek-type system, fine. I wouldn't disagree. But we'll have to move way beyond capitalism first, and I doubt most slashdotters would want to go there.

      • by Genda (560240) <mariet@ g o t . n et> on Friday November 30, 2012 @03:04AM (#42139195) Journal

        I'm sorry, just because Hollywood has bought the Democratic party doesn't mean they're above showing the Republican party a good time to pass a bill. Both sides of the aisle are equally whore ridden and I can show you the votes to prove it, so don't even bother. Obama just made it easy for the bullies in Hollywood to have their way. To be absolutely honest, as much as I'm offended by what these parasites have done to music, movies and game, I'm flat out terrified at what the rest of Corporate America is doing to patents, copyright, and more fundamental human Intellectual Property.

        I saw a routine by a comedian the other day about how "They" indoctrinate presidents now. Obama is brought into a huge, beautifully appointed board room, sits at a hardwood burl meeting table and suddenly the lights dim and huge screen drops from ceiling. Then a short piece of jumpy film plays, its JFK in Dallas, seen from the top of a grassy knoll, through telescopic sights. Them BLAM. The screen recedes and the lights come up. And a disembodied voice come over the ceiling speakers and in a Texas drawl... "We liked that boy... We don't like you. Son, you gonna git an orientation tomorrow morning at 0600 sharp and we expect you to do what we tell you to do. Got it?

        • What part of his post made you think that he didn't know that it's a bipartisan problem? I would think that that's obvious to everyone right now. I mean, if it becomes obvious that the Republicans can't get elected in a majority anymore, then Hollywood might stop throwing money their way, but until then they need to know that whoever gets elected, they own. None of this contradicts what he said. He knows. Everyone knows. It's fucked.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by crtreece (59298)
          Sounds a lot like a routine that Bill Hicks did in the early 90s.

          "I have this feeling that whoever's elected president, no matter what promises you make on the campaign trail - blah, blah, blah - when you win, you go into this smoky room with the twelve industrialist, capitalist scumfucks that got you in there, and this little screen comes down... and it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you've never seen before, which looks suspiciously off the grassy knoll.... And then the screen comes up, the lights come on, and they say to the new president, 'Any questions?'

          "Just what my agenda is."

          • by Skynyrd (25155)

            Apparently they didn't like the fact that he let the rest of us in on the secret.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Hollywood purchased everyone that looks like they may get enough power to make Hollywood pay tax.
      • So then... Hollywood does choose the simple method: they buy ALL candidates and then just sit back and relax.
        Money. Bringing power since... well, birth.

    • Re:Censorship (Score:4, Informative)

      by klingers48 (968406) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:36AM (#42139113)
      It's not even that simple. Look at the loaded, opinionist title of that article:

      Piracy site Newzbin2 gives up and closes 15 months after block

      Yeah, yeah... I know we all kind of give that knowing smile and half-eye-roll thing whenever we mention "legitimate usage!"... But still, the deck's stacked against them from the get-go. The media is abusing their position as much as the government to push the agenda of Big Content. Kind of frustrating really.

    • by Shoten (260439)

      Corporations do it better than governments ever could.

      That's because there are no laws against corporations doing it.

    • by Jonah Hex (651948)
      Unfortunately all the credit card and payment providers really do censor the websites that can use them, especially once you want to include any type of nudity on your site. Even nudity for artistic/dramatic reasons can force sites like mine into the "high risk" providers who deal with the porn industry and their huge markup. I've had to be extremely careful with nudity to avoid getting labeled porn. - HEX
    • by fatphil (181876)
      What is this distinction between "corporations" and "governments" that you are trying to draw?
      http://www.geke.us/MPAAVenn.html
  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:49AM (#42138957) Homepage Journal

    lemme go submit this to Pud at fuckedcompany.com... brb

  • by Paran (28208) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:52AM (#42138971) Homepage
    Let someone else take over where they're now leaving off, just like they did for newzbin1.
  • Google Groups next? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:58AM (#42138999)

    Good, now can Google Groups be the next one to close?

    Seriously, while Usenet archives done properly can be of some good, Google's is the worst ever.

    Search for information on medicine, get online pharmacy posts in the archive search.

    Search for someone by name, and if there are any flamewars, ridicule, and/or defamation posts containing their name in the subject, those posts will be at the top of the search. Posts with actual useful content be damned, all they go off of is the subject keywords and maybe the references header.

    Search for any topic not medicine information or by someone's name, get a random assortment of old and new posts by default, rather than a sorted order by date from newest to oldest, due to the default being by "relevance".

    Oh yeah, and the Usenet archive is also used by employers and coworkers alike for trying to use outdated posts as either disqualification of employment or trying to get someone fired. Like it's some important background check from the long irrelevant past, while others including celebrities spout off on Facebook and Twitter.

    (Yeah, I know about that Ron S, Sarah A, and Spencer S--but it didn't work, right? Come on Ron, you only shared the fact that YOU recently discovered the archive with your coworkers, but in fact HR made some minor changes but not as expected, didn't they? From what I heard, including a separation of two team members so there was a little less contact between them, and one was possibly up for a one month suspension from work--it was your call right Ron? How do I know? Ron, instead of taking it to a conference focus room (HP SD called them focus rooms, right?), you talked about it in the cube aisles. But the Google Groups 20 years backfilled archive had been around since 2001--you were that many years uninformed about Usenet.)

    Anyway, I get a better search using Google web search (sorry, Everything) than I do with the Groups search. The Google Groups search may be good for finding spam, blackmail material, or seriously old outdated posts, but the search quality of the Groups search really does suck.

    • Aye, dreadful (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Very true, Google Groups must be the most atrocious service in existence from a major provider. If one of my students created something that appalling for a project they'd be very lucky to get through. It provides neither good functionality nor good aesthetics. The only adjective that comes to mind is "primitive", and given that this is a Google service, also "pathetic". Google should really be ashamed of their incompetence.

      But nobody cares.

    • Spot on. The original Usenet archive was a great resource, especially the older stuff. A fantastic history and repository of knowledge that was starting to be lost. When google first took it over, it was ok but slowly it had been made harder and harder to find the actual Usenet posts amongst the ads,forums etc. Heck, even forcing it to a specific newsgroup by name often fails to find tuff you know damned well is there.
    • by fatphil (181876)
      Agreed.

      I've said, on usenet, "google groups sucks" probably between 50 and 100 times, but if you search for those posts, you'll be lucky if you find more than a handful. Oooh - it doesn't return any now! The best thing is that I use this example every time it's relevant. The more they suck, the more I say they suck, and the more they demonstrate that they suck. It's hard to use this example without mention the concept of censorship.

      I'm guessing that "google groups sucks" might be the new "X-no-archive: yes"
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Not to mention that half the spam comes in through google groups. To such a point that many recommend filtering posts out from that provider entirely!

  • wtf is newzbin2? I used USENET but since existence of online forum... what's the point?
    • by suso (153703) * on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:12AM (#42139051) Homepage Journal

      wtf is newzbin2? I used USENET but since existence of online forum... what's the point?

      The irony is your username is grumpyman.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Usenet is now widely used for broadcasting unauthorized copies of copyrighted material. Something like a gigabyte digitized movie would be split unto 100's of Usenet posts. One way to get the movie would be to manually find and download these 100's of posts one by one. Another way is with an automated client that would get an index file pointing to the 100's of Usenet posts, and use the index file ot retrieve the individual posts without manual attention. Putting the index file together required sitting

      • by grumpyman (849537)
        Wow didn't realize... holy crap. I recall .bin splitted into 30 posts to get a single GIF : )
      • XSUsenet.com. I found it after having my interest in Usenet boosted by the article, so I looked for a free server to browse. Everything else asked for subscription upfront, and my wallet remains shut at the moment.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      USENET is an efficient way to distribute files, and very popular because it's download only (so no uploading or tagging your IP address). The thing with Newzbin2 is that they provide NZB files which are index files that your usenet provider (for those that offer web-based interfaces like Easynews) or your NNTP client can easily parse and retrieve the appropriate postings to reconstruct the file. It's basically a list of posts.

      This is important as retention at the two major USENET providers (most are reselle

    • Re:Seriously (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nyder (754090) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:17AM (#42139067) Journal

      wtf is newzbin2? I used USENET but since existence of online forum... what's the point?

      Newzbin2 (or any sites like it) is a search engine for usenet and will put the files you select in a convenient .nzb file that you then load up in your usenet reader (that supports it of course), and it will automatically grab the files you had selected.

      For example, I can search the alt.binaries.multimedia newgroup for a poster called tvdude, and it will lists the files he has uploaded.

      This is more convenient then having to download all the headers in the newsgroup and having to sort thru them to find what you want. In fact, it's made it so easy to get stuff that usenet became more popular and is being targeted now with DMCA notices.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Back in the day I've used Usenet on and off, it was entertaining, sometimes useful. Heaps of forums on all kinds of topics.

        Yet the binaries part that's what I never really got - most of it can be found on various torrent and file sharing sites as well, and the binaries are also seemingly the undoing of Usenet. This search engine is being targeted by the DMCA, that must be primarily for files posted in binaries groups, like your example. Other ISPs stopped hosting Usenet because of DMCA take down notices, an

        • Re:Seriously (Score:4, Informative)

          by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday November 30, 2012 @04:53AM (#42139523)

          Usenet binaries are SOOO much better than torrents. Zero chance of letters from your ISP, you have no reliance upon other people to keep seeding forever, you max out your pipe (mines 30Mbit) all the time, you yourself don't need to seed forever (go ahead and delete it when you finish,) and there is some great software that automates everything you want.

          For example, I don't need to hit the pirate bay and find an ideal release of the dark knight rises. Instead I type the name (even a partial name) into couchpotato, and it automatically finds it. I can even tell it what quality I want it in, whether it is a full 50GB blu-ray rip, or maybe aim for 1080p with 10GB file size. (Generally I do the later, and only do BD rips for really good movies.)

          I can also automate downloading all of my favorite shows as they air without having to manually do anything. Dexter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and others automatically download on to my NAS without having to visit a single website. Just set it to get that show, and forget it. That program is called sickbeard. If a release of an episode is broken (happens sometimes, happens even more on torrents,) and a proper is released, it automatically downloads the proper release and discards the bad one.

          • I can also automate downloading all of my favorite shows as they air without having to manually do anything. Dexter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and others automatically download on to my NAS without having to visit a single website. Just set it to get that show, and forget it.

            Plenty of torrent clients (like uTorrent) support RSS just for that nowadays. You just go to a site like showRSS [karmorra.info], pick the shows you want and copy-paste the RSS into your client.

            • Re:Seriously (Score:4, Informative)

              by zootie (190797) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:14AM (#42139833)

              Still, the raw speed of usenet and the set it and forget it nature is so much better than torrents. Torrents take babysitting to make sure you get them right (and you have to keep them around longer when you're done if you want to be a good citizen and make sure the ecosystem keeps working). With nzbs, you just chose them once and you're pretty much done in seconds (with the selection) and you're watching content in minutes (and there are many automation tools that blow RSS out of the water).

              There is also the liability issue. With torrents, depending on local laws, you're usually liable because you're transferring data to others. With a distributed system like usenet, (most legal precedents place) the liability on the side of the poster (good luck finding him/her), and you're just catching something that is out there, and not taking any further action. It detaches providing something from consuming it.

              BTW, Sickbeard can also work with torrent files, but I don't know how much automation it supports.

        • by guises (2423402)
          Usenet as a discussion forum has been dying thanks to web forums, and no other reason. It's too bad, functionality is much greater with Usenet, but much like email clients vs. web mail most people seem to think that having these discussions on web pages is more convenient.
      • by Inda (580031)
        I never really used .nzb files unless they were posted to the group.

        I never found it a hassle to subscribe to a dozen groups, set the client to update once an hour, and leave it at that.

        Pick a site like, I dunno, VCDQ to find folder names and search in my client. .nzb files were always for the lazy and against the spirit of things.

        It used to take me longer to unpack the RARs and that was always a favourite boast of mine.

        So many good groups died over the years, and that was sad. No one gave props for floods,
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865)

      That usenet is essentially a decentralized discussion facility and you don't need to be forced into an online forum for the discussions? That it's just simple text without pages full of ads and idiots putting a hundred megabytes worth of shit in their signature line? That you can participate in discussions of over 100,000 subjects without having to sign up for 100,000 different accounts at centralized websites, each owned and moderated and maintained by different guys?

  • by rueger (210566) * on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:36AM (#42139109) Homepage
    Which, according The Reg, will now allow a 10 gig attachment. [theregister.co.uk]

    Google vs MPAA??
    • MPAA: Dear Google, It has come to our attention that the following links to online attachments need to disappear right quick under the DMCA for reasons.

      Option 1
      Google: Go fuck yourself. You want to drag this out to a lawsuit? We'll see who has deeper pockets and greater political clout. USER FREEDOM, ARRR!

      Option 2
      Google: Well since our own TOS says people can't use our services for illegal activities and you have made a compelling case that this is the case here... OK.

      Oh, and of course the Google Drive 'at

      • Google: Go fuck yourself. You want to drag this out to a lawsuit? We'll see who has deeper pockets and greater political clout. USER FREEDOM, ARRR!

        I'm pretty sure Disney, Sony, Viacom, News Corp, Comcast and Time Warner (the parent companies of the MPAA studios) combined beat Google in each of those categories by quite a lot.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Your gmail is not public, or is it?

      So not only can the RIAA not see what you attach to your e-mails, it is private distribution to a single recipient (or at least a highly limited list of recipients) which is a quite different ballgame than public distribution.

      • Back before things like bittorrent and even gnutella, it was common to spilt movies up into 1MB files and store them in various free hosting places, then place a load of links to the component parts somewhere. One common trick was to register for a load of hotmail accounts and send the file as an attachment to a fake email address. It would then sit in your sent folder. You could then share the login details and anyone would be able to download it. The same thing would be possible with gmail, only this
  • Usenet has remained a great resource all these years. Even today. (Look at the wealth of create comp.lang groups). Between ISPs dropping Usenet as part of their service and dedicated usenet services being shutdown under the crush of harassment and threats -- it seems like it's almost time to say our goodbye's to something that really shouldn't be dying. :/

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Vintermann (400722)

      Why not?

      * In has a distribution model that's suited for extremely slow lines, and less suited for regular ones
      * It has virtually no spam protection. This has been an issue for a long time.
      * It's not extensible, it will not improve in these areas.

      Other than being a single go-to place, what does Usenet really have over a good web forum these days? It's only nostalgia keeping it going. As long as it's archived (and Google's doing that, although their archiving in this area leaves a lot to be desired), little o

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        It's the binaries that have to be dropped. But then many of those newzbin type sites will lose most of their audience I suppose.

        And what it has over a web forum: no single point of failure. No need for someone to maintain that one site, that one interface. No need to use a web browser, there are other ways to access it. Easy local archiving if you like.

        Spam is an issue, can't deny that.

        • For binaries, there are especially many options, most of which are distributed. Just about the only "advantage" Usenet has for those it's that it's relatively inaccessible, and thus hip. I understand some pirate types actually value that.

    • USENET hasn't been used for discussions since some time in the mid-90s. And yeah, it should be dying. Its model (replicate ALL content all over the internet) is reduntant nowadays. For everything than the alt.bin.* hierarchy that is. I use USENET extensively for downloading stuff since the 90s and I find it a mark of extreme hypocricy when people say it's used for "discussions" or "dissemination of ideas". It's not. It's used for downloading stuff by everyone but a minuscule minority.
      • I wonder what the NNTP server admins like about the huge data usage?
        • The money people pay to access the servers.
        • ISPs like it because it keeps the traffic on the network. NTL (a cable ISP in the UK, now part of Virgin Media) used to run usenet servers and you could download stuff from them at line speed. The traffic was going directly from their server to the client, and was often mirrored nearer the edge. They stopped, and everyone switched to Bittorrent and their off-network bandwidth spiked to such a degree that they brought it back again a few weeks later. They turned it off again after a few years, but for a
          • What you're describing hasn't been happening for more than a decade. There is no major ISP that runs NNTP servers nowadays, because the legal scenario you are describing isn't as clear as that. They would be directly liable for hosting copyrighted works, so they stopped running it. An NNTP server, also, is not a cache. It's a mirror, and they wouldn't be protected as a carrier but they would actually be liable as a publisher.
          • Virgin still have a NNTP server - I'm using it right now.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      You realize that the size of usenet, and retention has done nothing but increase over the last decade right? Cheap storage has pretty much guaranteed that. It's not going anywhere. In 2000 we were at 82GB a day, and in the first month of 2012 we were at 9.29TB a day.

      If anything, what's pissed me off more is usenet providers that use hosts who aren't accepting "out of country" credit cards anymore. I was with astraweb for the better part of 6 years(and was with giganews before that), until 2checkout stop

    • Usenet is doing fine. It's just the suckers getting weeded out. Go check out the forum at http://dictatorshandbook.net./ [dictatorshandbook.net.] On the surface it's a communications forum for commenting on bad governmnets. Underneath it is an INND server reachable via NTTP.

      Usenet technology is still useful, and in an age where everyone wants you to post under your real name and link it to everything else you do, say, or buy, I'd say Usenet technology is more indispensable than ever.

  • by lemur3 (997863) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:56AM (#42139159)

    This was a neat website, useful.. my usenet downloader even was integrated with the websites bookmark feature.. this was pretty darn cool...

    sadly.. once they lost PayPal as a payment option ..the end was nigh. ..I left and i guess others did too..

    • by mark_reh (2015546)

      Losing Paypal isn't a big deal. You can call your credit card company (if you have a card) and ask them to issue a single-use number for you. Then you can pay with your credit card without giving away your actual card number.

  • Now maybe finally we'll see the end of torrents split into hundreds of RAR archives.

    • by willy_me (212994)
      Hope not, by splitting into multiple rar files you can prioritize the order that they download. If you can get the first couple of rar files completely downloaded, you can unrar them or play them in VLC to verify you're downloading what you intended to. If it's just one big file it's much harder to preview and it's easy to waste a pile of bandwidth on garbage.
      • My torrent client supports downloading segments in order for preview purposes, if I want to do that.

        My rar client, however, I can't convince to unpack half a file.

        Also, there are often multiple files, and I only want one.

        If you want to keep seeding and use an unpacked version, you need to keep two copies around (especially annoying when it is a 1.4 GB video file which wasn't compressed anything whatsoever by winrar). Meaning most people delete the rar junk. Meaning stuff doesn't get seeded.

        Compression in to

        • Scene (the source of the rip) still relies on FTP. As long as the source is compressed and people can verify easily using the sfv file that it really is that particular scene release, rar files are here to stay.
           
          And most people dont delete their rar files, they simply use a player like VLC that supports rar files (it even supports incomplete rar files).

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          My rar client, however, I can't convince to unpack half a file.

          If you open up the full WinRar window (instead of right-clicking and choosing 'extract'), there is an option to "keep broken files" when you hit the "extract to" button.

          Whenever I have a bad archive, I pull out the full file and use bittorrent to fix the broken section.

  • There are a small handful of occasions in my life where I happened upon a solution for some common problem and, about a month later, found that someone had just come out with a similar solution, and NZB files were one of those. However, my idea was to have the posting apps upload some kind of manifest after they finished posting the content, while Newsbin had a bunch of mechanical turks busily aggregating the posts by hand.

    Now, all of that manual effort was great for providing the critical mass of NZB fi
  • Aren't they mostly mutually inclusive?

    (no, Bitcoin isn't credible as it's just too hard for 90% of people)

    The people that are on usenet should be savvy enough to a) have already heard of BitCoin, and b) know how to use it.

    I can't believe that 90% of their users are newbz.

    • by faedle (114018)

      The "hard" in BitCoin is at the interface between BitCoin and actual money.

      For starters, BitCoin is (by design) a volatile trading market, so from minute to minute the value of a BitCoin (against your local currency) fluctuates. In the past 30 days it's fluctuated by as much as 20% against the USD. "Real" currency markets don't fluctuate quite that dramatically. Compare BitCoin to USD to, say, USD to CAD over the last month. A Canadian merchant can pretty much accept a US Dollar at par value and know th

    • The people that are on usenet should be savvy enough to a) have already heard of BitCoin, and b) know how to use it.

      Just because we know how to use BitCoin doesn't mean that we want to. Paying by BitCoin means:

      1. Buying bitcoins (which is effort since I already have USD and a credit card) or mining bitcoins, which would cost me more in electricity than I would earn by mining.
      2. Owning bitcoins. Bitcoins are difficult to spend (most mercants don't accept BC), fluctuate too much in value as compared with USD, and you need to keep backups of your bank (or use an online "bank", which is subject to hacking).
      3. Spending bitcoins. Also

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