Version 5.05 Release Candidate Available...
We are very close to public release of version 5.05 and are ready for wider testing of 5.05RC2 to see if it is ready for prime time. While there are a number of smaller known issues, the new features, like having headers display while they download, make this a better version than the current publicly available 5.02 release.
Registered users willing to give is a try should read the Release Notes before downloading. Any issues not covered in the release notes, either post to the forums or contact us through the technical support form.
Happy Holidays ...
Thanks to everyone who supported us this year by registering. We are still pushing to release 5.05 before the end of the year. As you know, we don't bug you every year or every release for more money once you are registered. You can continue to support us by signing up for Usenet access through us. The services we list are the ones we personally believe to be the best in the industry.
Best wishes to you and your familes this Holiday Season from the guys who bring you NewsBin.
Common Technical Support Request...
The #1 issue we have coming through Technical Support is "Connection Failure". This is almost always self induced due to a firewall blocking NewsBin. Even if NewsBin was previously allowed through your firewall, if you upgrade NewsBin, it could be blocked again. The other popular cause is having the wrong news server address. You don't make up a news server address, it is either supplied by your ISP or you sign up for a news service such as the ones we list on our UsenetTools site.
If you are a Rogers Communications customer and you started receiving this error today, it is because Rogers has stopped providing Usenet access. They previously were using Giganews and you can sign up for a personal account with them here if you want to continue having access to Usenet.
We are working on bringing Version 5.05 to production level for release. It has many bug fixes and new features over the current production release of 5.02. If we are lucky, it will be available by the end of the year.
Rogers Communications Usenet Access Stops Today...
Rogers Communications customers will lose Usenet access supplied by Rogers today. Rogers previously used Giganews for their news service. If you want continued access you can sign up directly with Giganews. Their accounts range in price from $7.99USD to $24.99USD per month. We have links to Giganews and other quality usenet access options on our UsenetTools site.
Version 5.05 Beta 13 Available...
Beta 13 fixes a problem that Beta 12 introduced where the Pause button would sometimes turn on by itself. It also includes other performance optimizations and feature enhancements. Click Here for more details and the download link for Registered users.
Reminder: Rogers Communications customers will lose Usenet access supplied by Rogers on December 15, 2005. If you want continued access, you will need to sign up for a third party news service like the ones we list on our UsenetTools site.
Giganews announces 70 days of retention...
Giganews announced this week they now have 70 days retention in the binary groups and 875 retention in the text groups. As the ISP supplied news servers get worse and worse, Giganews gets better and better. If you are fed up with your ISP (or if you are a Rogers Communications customer about to lose usenet access), consider signing up with one of the services we list on our UsenetTools Site.
Even though 5.05B12 has only been out a few days, we are almost ready to make 5.05B13 available with some interesting performance improvements. More on that later.
Version 5.05 Beta 12 Available...
Big news for this beta version. It now shows headers as they download like the 4.x series did. This is probably the #1 complaint about the Version 5 series. We have listened and here is the result. Registered users can download the release here.
Keep in mind this is a beta version. There are some cosmetic settings that will be lost when upgrading to this version. Details are in the release notes.
It took 24 hours for our DNS to propagate but the sections of our site effected by the server work Saturday night seem to be available to everyone now.
We are very close to releasing a new Version 5 Beta that has some frequently requested features that were in Version 4. Look for an announcement this week if all goes well.
Forums back online.
Forums down for maintenance
We are doing work on the server that hosts the NewsBin Forums, Usenettools.com, and the Version 5 Documention wiki. It should be back up within a couple of hours.
Version 5.05B6 Beta Available
This beta release fixes the "hang" problem of 5.04 and has automatic retries implemented to ride through temporary connection losses or news server issues.
If you are a subscriber to Teranews, Meganetnews, Onlynews, or any of these news services reselling NNTPServer.com, Version 5.05 will work better for you.
Registered users can download Version 5.05 Beta 6 from the Beta Release Area .
Version 5.04 Release Removed
Due to reports of stalls or "hanging" problems, we have removed the 5.04 release and reverted to version 5.02, the last stable release.
People with intermittent internet connectivity problems, especially running wifi, are effected. If you are encountering a hang problem, or any other stability issues with 5.04, then we recommend you download 5.02 and install it over 5.04. This has been tested and you will not lose any settings.
Version 5.04 is still available for download in the Beta Release Section for registered users if you have a stable connection and want to take advantage of the improvements since 5.02.
We apologize for any inconvience this has caused.
Version 5.04 Release
Version 5.04 is now the official production release, available to all users. The major changes are:
Please read the release notes for a complete list of changes and to download this version.
Version 5.04 Pre-Release (Registered Users Only)
We have made version 5.04 available to registered users for further testing. The major changes are:
Please read the release notes for a complete list of changes (have to scroll down past version 5.02 release notes).
Priority list for upcoming releases:
1) Retries on download failures
2) Automatic download mode
3) Display headers while downloading
Version 5.02 Release
We have promoted version 5.02 to be the official release. This fixes the problem where some people were getting nagged from day 1 of the 10 day trial. Anyone currently running the trial is encouraged to download this release.
We are already testing a 5.03 version which has fill servers fixed and other small bug fixes that usually won't show under normal operation.
Version 5.02 Beta ...
For registered users who already know how to use version 5, we have a new version, 5.02, that has some fixes and changes. Highlights are:
Please read the release notes (need to scroll down past the "Stable Release Notes" to see the "Beta Release Notes") and then choose the "Beta Downloads" link to download the beta. You will need you registration key to download it.
New Version 5 Installer ...
Due to issues using the installer to upgrade from Version 4.x to Version 5, we have removed that capability and require that Version 5 be installed in a separate folder. If you have Version 4.x installed, you will be given the option to import your server and group configurations and your Version 4.x installation will be untouched.
Version 5 is a very different program and is largely incompatible with Version 4. We strongly urge you to read the entire Release Notes before installing. Version 5 is free for registered users. You will need to re-enter your key after installation.
Giganews Announces Increase in Retention...
Giganews has upgraded their storage capacity by another 20%, which has increased their binary retention to approximately 57 days as of October 3, 2005. Giganews has already upgraded their text retention to ~790 days and has increased the maximum number of concurrent connections on all current accounts to 10. Giganews offers a 3 day free trial for new users. Sign up here.
NewsBin Version 5.0 is our latest release. There are a number of differences from Version 4.0 so please read the entire Release Notes before installing. Version 5 is a free upgrade for registered users. You will need to re-enter your key after installation.
Version 5 Release!
We have officially released Version 5 to the masses! Version 5 is a free upgrade for Version 4.x users. The release notes has information about installing Version 5 as an upgrade.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in this 9 month development cycle for Version 5. That seems about right for a healthy baby...
Old Version 5 releases to drop dead soon.
Any Version 5 prior to Release Candidate 8 is scheduled to stop functioning as of October 1, 2005. If you start NewsBin and it exits immediately, then it has expired. Download and install RC8 to resolve this issue. This does not impact Version 4 series.
Remember, Version 5 will be a free upgrade for all registered users. Once Version 5.0 is released, development will continue, we have many plans for version 5.1 already.
NewsBin Version 5 Final Release Candidate.
This is our final Release Candidate, RC8. Barring any show stopper bugs, this will become the first version 5.0 Release. Only registered users can download RC8 until it is repackaged as the final release.
Version 5 will be a free upgrade for all registered users. Once Version 5.0 is released, development will continue, we have many plans for version 5.1 already.
NewsBin Version 5 Release Candidate...
The latest Release Candidate, RC6, is now available. We are getting close to final release. Only registered users can download version 5 until we are ready for final release. This one does not include the installer, either unzip into your current Version 5 folder or a new folder if you aren't already running V5.
Remember, Version 5 will be a free upgrade for all registered users.
Usenetserver.com says they are now recovering from their software glitch yesterday.
Version 5 is still being refined. It is usable but there are still a number of known issues that we are working on. Version 5 is currently only available to registered users. It will be a free upgrade for anyone registered before the final release.
Usenetserver having problems...
According to the Usenetserver's Network Status page, they are currently experiencing critical problems. We have received numerous tech support requests from people thinking NewsBin is at fault but that is not the case. If you need usenet access and can't wait for usenetserver to recover, we have a list of premium news services on our UsenetTools site. Newshosting.com offers the same service for the same price.
NewsBin Version 5 Release Candidate...
We are in the final stage of testing for NewsBin Version 5 and are making a Release Candidate available for download. This one includes many clean-up changes. The status of all functions are tracked in our wiki. Some of the shortcuts have changed and there is now an import function for Version 4 signature files. Complete details are in the release notes included in the zip file as well as the online release notes. This Release Candidate does not have an installer yet, you still need to extract from a zip file.
Giganews Unlimited Accounts...
Giganews has increased their maximum simultaneous connections from 4 to 10 for their unlimited accounts. They have 50 days of retention and are known for their reliability. If you are not already a Giganews subscriber, sign up here.
We are working hard to make a final release of Version 5 this month. A release candidate is currenlty being tested on the IRC channel. You can track Version 5 status on our wiki and view the outstanding bugs here. Version 5 will not be bug free but any known bugs should not effect how 99% of the people use the program.
Version 5 Beta 18 Release...
Due to popular demand, we have made the Version 5 user interface more configurable. There are now 3 windows by default, similar to how V4.x looks, and you can move the tabs into any window. You can still run the 2 window system if you like by re-configuring it.
There are a number of bug fixes in this release and we are now tracking a per/feature status to try to keep things from falling through the cracks.
Only registered users can try Version 5 beta. Please read release notes for all the details. Click here to register version 4.32 so you can then download Version 5 Beta. Version 5 will be a free upgrade once it is released.
Version 5 Beta 17 Release...
If you haven't been following the forums, we did a series of quick-turn releases trying to get the new Group of Groups feature working well. We went from B13 to B17 pretty quickly and B17 is fairly stable, although there are still known bugs.
The release notes for B17 have all the details. The v5relnotes.txt file included in the zip file has information for the releases since B13.
Version 5 Beta 13 Release...
Since the Beta 10 announcement on the 22nd, we had a Beta 11 that had a couple of problems and then skipped Beta 12 so now we are up to 13. This release fixes a cosemetic problems that cropped in to B11 and also has an improved TCP interface for anyone who wants to write their own utilities to tweak NewsBin settings on the fly.
Please read the release notes before downloading B13. For comprehensive information on changes for each release, look at the v5relnotes.txt file when you download the release.
US Supreme Court ruling on P2P...
An update on the never-ending struggle between file sharing and the MPAA and RIAA... Today, US Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter said, "One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright ... is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device's lawful uses" And on the other side of the fence, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Fred Von Lohmann, senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, fired back saying, "Nothing the Supreme Court could do is going to change the software they already have. The companies being sued ... could be put out of business tomorrow, and everyone who has their software could still continue to use it with no impact or interruption."
Version 5 Beta 10 Quick Turn Release...
We did a quick turnaround for a B10 release because we found that downloads started with NZB files would not continue on restart. There are also stall problems if you are only running master servers. The workaround is to make at least one server a slave server.
Please read the release notes to learn about the bug fixes that made it into this quick turn release.
Version 5 Beta 9 Now Available to Registered Users...
Quade has been busy these last few weeks while Dex was away. The latest beta release of Version 5 is now available to registered users. Changes include:
Please read the release notes to learn about all the bug fixes and new features.
Version 5 Beta 8 Now Available to Registered Users...
The latest beta release of Version 5 is now available to registered users. Search Spool is now hooked up along with a number of bug fixes. There are some cosemetic issues with this beta like the bottom windows is sometimes too big to scroll. Please read the release notes to learn about all the bug fixes and new features.
Version 5 Beta 7 Now Available to Registered Users...
The latest beta release of Version 5 is now available to registered users. There are still cosemetic issues but, functionally, we feel it is superior to Version 4 already. This is still beta software so please read the release notes to learn about all the bug fixes and new features.
Interesting Article in Wired...
We are mentioned in this Wired Magazine Article along with usenet. It is an interesting read...
Newshosting.com back up...
Even though they still have no power at one facility, they were able to get authentication working again by transferring those duties to another location. So they have recovered from a Friday the 13th bit of bad luck.
We hope to have Version 5 B6 available on our IRC Channel later today with a release tomorrow if we are lucky.
Friday the 13th Magic...
Looks like the infamous Friday the 13th hit Newshosting.com tonight. They had a power outage in the facility where their web server and authentication servers are. If you are getting connection errors with Newshosting.com, that's why.
We are working hard on getting Version 5 B6 out within the next couple of days. Quade is making good progress on it.
Happy Friday the 13th...
The current Version 5 Beta 5 release seems to have a slew of odd problems even though it is usable. For many, a system reboot seems to clear things up. We are working hard to do a quick-turn release of a Beta 6 that has dynamic update of the post list, queued download info in the status bar, and many small bug fixes.
If you are feeling brave and haven't tried Version 5 beta yet, you can read about it and download here.
Version 5 Beta 5 Available to Registered Users
Due to popular demand, Thumbnails are now implemented. We also are starting our multi-lingual support so this version will show Dutch if your OS was installed with the Dutch language selected. This release has many bug fixes. Please read the Release Notes before downloading.
Usenetserver.com up... again...
They just came back up a few minutes ago.
Need a break from Usenet in general? Like to download pictures? A fellow Shareware Author has developed a program that pulls pictures down from websites. Point it at your favorite err... photography site for example (another "P" word comes to mind) and it'll download every image it finds. It is called WebVacuuum and can be downloaded from the UsenetTools site in the General Tools section. Or you can download it directly here.
If you remain a hardcore usenet addict and are looking for a better news service, we have a list of the best on the UsenetTools site in the News Services section.
Usenetserver.com down... again...
We report this because we get a flood of technical support requests whenever their server goes down blaming NewsBin. Usenetserver has this announcement today:
Due to corruption in the overview system on many of our frontends as a result of the recent storage failures, we have to do additional emergency maintenance on our frontends. The outage should last 4-5 hours.
As a public service to our users, there is a list of reliable premium news services on UsenetTools. Of these services, NewsHosting has the most similar service offering and has a better track record than UsenetServer.
Usenetserver.com back up again (kindof).
They are allowing connections but are missing articles. According to their web site:
Usenetserver.com back down again.
Yes, they are down again. According to their web site:
Usenetserver.com temporarily down.
We keep getting reports of "Connection to Server Failed" messages today. If you are with Usenetserver.com, it is because they are blocking connections until they finish some maintenence. If you can't wait, please check our list of premium news services (who have never been known to do something like this) at our UsenetTools Site in the News Services section.
Version 5 Beta 3 Now Available
New Beta Available
Version 5 Beta 2 is now available for download. If you have been using Beta 1, this has big performance improvements in how headers are stored and loaded. Several bugs in our buglist have been fixed as well.
NewsBin Pro Version 5 Beta Status
We are working on the Beta 2 release. It will implement the most requested missing feature, Read Post Body. B2 will also have a much improved header database and a better autosave mechanism. Several bugs in our buglist have been fixed as well.
NewsBin Pro Version 5 Beta Status
Version 5 will be a free upgrade for all current registered users. We welcome registered users who are already very familiar with running NewsBin to try the new beta and provide feedback through our forums. A list of things not hooked up are in the release notes. Please read them and use the forums to find answers to any questions or report any problems.
Tutorials are now available for helping set up and use the new Version 5.
Verision 5 Beta can be downloaded from the release notes page.
NewsBin Pro Version 5 Beta!
No, it isn't vaporware, it really exists. After 1 1/2 years of discussion and development, and 3 months of Alpha testing, we are making the first Version 5 Beta available to registered users.
This is still beta, Version 5 was pretty much a complete rewrite so not everything is hooked up yet. A list of things not hooked up are in the release notes. Please read them and use the forums to find answers to any questions or report any problems. Start with the Version 5 Buglist so you know about the open issues. Verision 5 can be downloaded from the release notes page.
Hide NewsBin to the System Tray
One of our users, aEoLuS, wrote a utility that will minimize NewsBin to the system tray and optionally password protect it. It is available for download here. Download it and read the readme.txt file for more information.
Q: I lost my key to NewsBin, do I have to buy another?
A: No, use our Lost Key Request Form to retrieve your key.
Top Technical Support Request
Q: I get connection failures to my server, why?
A: Most likely problems are:
Version 5 continues to improve every day and we are on track to move to beta by the end of March, if not sooner. It uses a fraction of the RAM that 4.x uses, downloads at consistently faster rates, and allows as many connections as your news servers allow. Registered users can track alpha 5 testing progress in the Version 5 Alpha Forum. We have enough alpha testers for now, our advice is for you to hold off until beta if you like playing with the latest toys.
Somone looking over your shoulder?
A service exists that anonymizes and encrypts all your internet traffic, including usenet access. It is called Secure Tunnel and you can use them to access your current news server though an encrypted channel (Gold Plan, $7.95/month) or use their news service, which is connected to Newsfeeds/usenet.com (Platinum Plan, $9.95/month). All traffic between your machine and their service is encrypted. Traffic is forwarded from their service to your Premium News Service (won't work if you use your ISP's news server) or to any other internet destination including web or email. The destination news server only sees traffic from Secure Tunnel's servers, it doesn't know it is going back to your machine.
Version 5 is coming along, many alpha testers report they use it daily and haven't needed to go back to version 4. We hope to have a beta version available to registered users by the end of March. Registered users can track alpha 5 testing progress in the Version 5 Alpha Forum.
Continued Complaints about Incomplete Posts
We receive several messages every day from people reporting many incomplete posts in their newsgroups. Lately the complaints have been with Roadrunner, Cox, and NewsHosting. NewsHosting has reported server issues on their website and are working on the problems. Roadrunner and Cox don't appear to be doing anything about their issues and may be purposely limiting retention due to the growth of usenet and the cost to maintain news servers as a free resource to their user base. To ensure you are getting all headers available, right-click the newsgroup and select "Download All Headers". If you still have incompletes, it is a server quality issue. Make sure you have enough RAM to do this, guidelines for determining this are in this FAQ.
If you are relying soley on your ISP's news servers and are a serious usenet user, we recommend signing up with a premium news service. We have a list of the best in the business at http://www.usenettools.net in the News Services section.
Download Cap for Rogers Cable Customers
Rogers cable is putting a 60GB per month (total bandwidth used in/out) on each user. This has come about because of P2P traffic (specifically BitTorrent) but will impact you heavy downloaders with unlimited third party news server accounts as well. Read the article from Slyck and the message direclty from Rogers Cable .
A Word about Firewalls
We are getting more and more reports from users who find their news server access is either blocked by their ISP or bandwidth limited. New commercial firewalls can even block specific newsgroups. If you find you are being blocked, or have a datarate throttle on NNTP traffic, a solution is to choose a news server that allows access on ports other than NNTP port 119. There are a number of news service providers who offer NNTP access on alternate ports. The ones we know about are Giganews, Newshosting, Newsreader.com, and Usenetmonster. Links to sign up for these and other premium news services can be found on our UsenetTools site in the News Servers section. To use the alternate port, just go into your server properties in NewsBin and change the port number to one of the ports your news server supports. Many support port 80 so the ISP thinks it is web (HTTP) traffic instead of usenet.
Cox News Server Status Clarification
After reports from a few Cox users and more research, it sounds like they are having news server problems and did not cut their retention on purpose. From what we can tell, news.east.cox.net is the only one that is running properly but it is overloaded since the other 2 are having problems -news.west.cox.net and news.central.cox.net. Cox users can follow this and find out more on the cox newsgroup cox.internet.discussion.newsgroups.
Version 5 Alpha is progressing slowly, registered users can track the progress in our forums.
Cox News Server Comments
We receive several emails a day from Cox customers complaining about incomplete files. From what we can tell, Cox has capped the high traffic groups to around 7 days while lower traffic groups, or groups containing mostly single part posts (like pictures) have about 15 days. This means the completion rate for multi-part posts is way down in the high traffic groups. Many other ISP's may be following suite as usenet continues to grow and the cost to maintain decent news servers increases more than most ISP's are willing to handle.
If you are serious about usenet, we recommend signing up with a premium news service to augment your ISP's news server. We have a list of the best in the business at http://www.usenettools.net in the News Services section.
Yes, it has been a while since we updated the MOTD. We have been hard at work on Version 5 which is currently in a private alpha test. It has many improvements over the Version 4 series, most notable is a more robust download engine and no hard connection limits. You are only limited by the number of connections your news servers allow. We hope to be in a beta test for registered users in March, 2005. Version 5 will be a free upgrade for registered users of the Version 4 series.
Speaking of Version 4, the last official release if version 4.32. We have a beta 4.33B6 which has many bug fixes for some newer feature but, is not necessary for all users. You can read about the features and changes for both versions here
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year from the NewsBin Team!