OT: news.individual.net - not free

Discussion in 'Computing' started by waratah, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. waratah

    waratah Guest


    I received the following email from news.indivual.net - basically you will
    have to pay for the service from 1st April 2005.

    Has anyone else received this?

    Are there any recommendations for other free Usenet services?

    thank you,

    w a r a t a h


    Dear users of News.Individual.NET,

    effective from April 1th, 2005, use of News.Individual.NET will
    not be free of charge anymore. The news service will continue as
    a fee-based service.

    The details:

    Effective immediately, registration for our news service is only
    possible through our web site:


    Registration by e-mail (as hitherto) is no longer possible.

    Holders of existing accounts who want to continue using their account
    need to convert it into a pay account. This is also only possible
    through our web site:


    You will also find all details on payment options, terms of use, and
    terms of contract on the web site.

    The time until March 31th, 2005, is a transitional period so that
    holders of existing accounts will have plenty of time for convenient
    conversion. Sign-up for new accounts or conversion of existing accounts
    made within the transitional period (before April 1th, 2005) will not
    cause any disadvantages:

    Contracts concluded within the transitional period will last until
    March 31th, 2006 (Annual Subscription) or June 30th, 2005 (3 Months
    Subscription) without additional costs. Then the contracts will auto-
    matically renew themselves for another year or another three months

    Important notes:

    Effective from April 1th, 2005, all non-converted accounts will stop

    Users who use the server News.CIS.DFN.DE as part of the DFNNetNews
    project are not effected by the changes described above. Nothing will
    change for these users, they do not need to do anything.

    The fee:

    The fee for an account for News.Individual.NET is 10 EUR per year
    (annual payment), that converts to only 0.84 EUR per month. The price
    includes VAT at 16%.

    The background:

    The tradition of running news servers at Freie Universitaet Berlin goes
    back as far as 1989 (historic keyword: "Methan"). The news service was
    open for external users ever since: Until 1992, there was no access
    restriction at all (as usual at that time). Later, a basic access
    management where IP numbers and domain names were added on request was

    Starting with the CIS project (a third-party funded project of DFN)
    of ZEDAT of Freie Universitaet Berlin, the news service was expanded
    by the feature of registration for individual users in the beginning
    of the year 1998:

    News.CIS.DFN.DE was born. (*)

    (*) see Message-ID: <6apqmg$rbe$>

    After the CIS project was finished in mid 2002, the administrators kept
    this service alive by maintaining it mainly in their spare time. Since
    this was not sustainable in perpetuity, options on how to raise money
    from external people and institutions for the provision and maintenance
    of the service had to be researched and created. Several approaches to
    find sponsors for the service eventually failed, especially due to the
    lack of understanding by the potential sponsors for the nature of Usenet.

    Since July 1th, 2003, ZEDAT offers - again in cooperation with DFN - news
    services to other research and education institutions for money (service
    name: "DFNNetNews"). In the course of this cooperation, the server name
    "News.CIS.DFN.DE" vested exclusively to DFNNet
    "News.Individual.DE" and "News.Individual.NET" are the new server names
    under which the service is available for the more than 250,000 external
    individual users that were registered since the beginning of 1998.

    After a long evaluation and preparation period, the service will convert
    to a fee-based service for these external individual users effective from
    April 1th, 2005. We regret that it is no longer possible to offer this
    service free of charge.

    We would be very happy if our service convinced its users of its quality
    and of the engagement of its operators during the many years of its
    existence so that they decide to stay our users even if the service is not
    free of charge anymore.

    Besides, we would - of course - like to thank all people that recommended
    our service over the years and used it responsibly and carefully in the
    spirit of Usenet!

    Best regards,
    the NetNews Team of Freie Universitaet Berlin


    CIS = DFN project "Center for Information Services"
    DFN = Germany's National Research and Education Network
    ZEDAT = Computer Center of Freie Universitaet Berlin
    waratah, Feb 26, 2005
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  2. Yes, me also, like I would guess everyone else so registered.....

    David Springthorpe, Feb 26, 2005
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  3. Yes, I have received it also.
    I am also looking. See http://www.newsservers.net/ and
    http://www.proxy2.de/news.php for some information.
    Stephen Harker, Feb 27, 2005
  4. waratah

    MW Guest

    Yes, I have too.

    MW, Apr 4, 2005
  5. You misunderstand Tony. news.individual.net isn't a newsgroup It's a
    news service which sends you emails if you've subscribed to it.

    John Atkinson, Apr 4, 2005
  6. err, no, it is the same as google, except articles are not 24hours+
    And google is a web based services, whereas news.individual.net was
    accessed via a news reader.
    Terry Collins, Apr 4, 2005
  7. Correction noted. But, it's not a usenet newsgroup, and it's not
    accessable as such via Google Groups, which is what Tony seemed to be

    John Atkinson, Apr 4, 2005
  8. waratah

    Phred Guest

    It still is. It's the best news server I've found to date -- so good
    in fact that I actually coughed up my Euro10/year to stay with it.
    (How's that for a pov, Rod, if you're listening. :)

    Tried Google once -- even signed up for posting on it -- but the user
    interface was a proverbial PITA so I haven't been back in several
    years. Maybe it has improved? (Though I can't see how a web
    interface could ever really compete with a decent news reader.)

    Cheers, Phred.
    Phred, Apr 4, 2005
  9. Phred wrote:
    Google Groups is now much much worse than it was, if you want a quick
    lesson in how _not_ to do things, go and have a look.

    It's fair begging to replace AOL as the canonical example of "How Not to
    Do Things..."

    Gary B-)
    Gary R. Schmidt, Apr 4, 2005
  10. I'd go along with that although I should mention that Individual Net
    allows access to text newsgroups, but not binary groups.
    I'd almost go along with that. ;-)
    I used the free news service provided by DFN-CIS for many years before
    they changed their name to Individual Net. Their news service has
    always been very good and as more people became aware of that
    thousands (millions?) of new signups have occurred.

    I've been astonished to learn that many former free users won't cough
    up and pay, so at least NIN will have a temporary reprieve in the
    numbers using their service while receiving some new income for the
    first time.
    Stuart Naylor, Apr 5, 2005
  11. Stuart Naylor wrote:
    As I read it, the system was set up with a long-term grant from the
    German Education/Employment Ministries, and that has run out, so to keep
    it going for external users they need to charge.

    Locals, i.e. those who can access "news.individual.de" aren't charged,
    there is some sort of ongoing finance for that.

    It was all covered in their own newsgroups, in German, and mine is very
    rusty (well, effectively non-existent) and I didn't see 10Euros as a

    Gary B-)
    Gary R. Schmidt, Apr 5, 2005
  12. I wasn't aware of that, thanks for filling in the reasons for why they
    needed to start charging.
    My knowledge of German is also sadly lacking so I won't bother trying
    to read their own newsgroups.
    Stuart Naylor, Apr 5, 2005
  13. Bog standard.
    Lots of people also have other "free" alternatives
    And some people can not afford the extra, no matter how small it might
    seem to some people.
    Terry Collins, Apr 6, 2005
  14. Too late now for the next 12 months - I've coughed up my 10 Euros.....

    David Springthorpe, Apr 9, 2005
  15. waratah

    Tony Smith Guest


    I'd say you made a wise choice.
    I use both Berlin Uni and Terranews because Berlin doesn't support
    binary groups and I need by daily fix of aviation photos.

    Over the past 3 years (or thereabouts) Berlin's availability walks all
    over Teranews. If Teranews experiences any bandwidth or hardware
    problems, the first thing they knock on the head is the "free" server.

    That is of course their perfect right, after all I could pay for their
    full commercial service, but I doubt it would be any better (if in fact
    as good) as Berlin Uni's.

    Tony Smith
    Tony Smith, Apr 9, 2005
  16. waratah

    michael t Guest

    Yep, I reckon it's alright too and coughed up the 10 Euros.
    michael t, Apr 9, 2005
  17. waratah

    Phred Guest

    I coughed up my Euros too, but it will be interesting to see how it
    all works out in the long term. Most likely service will continue "as
    is", and that will be great. But I see two potential problems:

    1. Paid-up users may become more demanding of their "rights" as
    subscribers to the point where NIN just says "Bugger it" and shuts
    down. Or

    2. Not enough of the existing "customers" cough up the loot to make
    the exercise self-supporting, so the Uni pulls the plug on the system
    some time down the track.

    But this is all just the pessimistic paranoia in me coming out this
    evening. :)

    Cheers, Phred.
    Phred, Apr 9, 2005
  18. I watched some of the royal wedding and had the same reaction also.....

    David Springthorpe, Apr 10, 2005
  19. waratah

    michael t Guest

    michael t, Apr 10, 2005
  20. waratah

    Tony Smith Guest

    Two boring old gits got married, thus doing the world a favour as on
    the balance they can now only make each other miserable.

    Tony Smith
    Tony Smith, Apr 10, 2005
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