/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 World-Wide 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.
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