Today we reached a new milestone! Our binary retention has crossed the 2,200 day mark. It’s always exciting when we reach nice round numbers like 2,000 days or 2,200 days. It’s a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come as a company (and an industry). Thanks to our amazing customers for making this continued growth and improvement possible. We couldn’t do it without you!
Today is an important date in the history of both usenet and the world-wide-web. On August 6, 1991 Tim Berners-Lee (while working at CERN in Switzerland) announced his idea for the WorldWideWeb on the usenet group alt.hypertext. The post was one of the most important steps in bringing the modern communication age into existence.
Tim Berners-Lee’s Original Post
The following is a copy of the original post (minor formatting changes made).
In article <64…@cernvax.cern.ch> I promised to post a short summary of the WorldWideWeb project. Mail me with any queries.
WorldWideWeb – Executive Summary
The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system.
The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups.
The WWW world consists of documents, and links. Indexes are special documents which, rather than being read, may be searched. The result of such a search is another (“virtual”) document containing links to the documents found. A simple protocol (“HTTP”) is used to allow a browser program to request a keyword search by a remote information server.
The web contains documents in many formats. Those documents which are hypertext, (real or virtual) contain links to other documents, or places within documents. All documents, whether real, virtual or indexes, look similar to the reader and are contained within the same addressing scheme.
To follow a link, a reader clicks with a mouse (or types in a number if he or she has no mouse). To search and index, a reader gives keywords (or other search criteria). These are the only operations necessary to access the entire world of data.
Information provider view
The WWW browsers can access many existing data systems via existing protocols (FTP, NNTP) or via HTTP and a gateway. In this way, the critical mass of data is quickly exceeded, and the increasing use of the system by readers and information suppliers encourage each other.
Making a web is as simple as writing a few SGML files which point to your existing data. Making it public involves running the FTP or HTTP daemon, and making at least one link into your web from another. In fact, any file available by anonymous FTP can be immediately linked into a web. The very small start-up effort is designed to allow small contributions. At the other end of the scale, large information providers may provide an HTTP server with full text or keyword indexing.
The WWW model gets over the frustrating incompatibilities of data format between suppliers and reader by allowing negotiation of format between a smart browser and a smart server. This should provide a basis for extension into multimedia, and allow those who share application standards to make full use of them across the web.
This summary does not describe the many exciting possibilities opened up by the WWW project, such as efficient document caching. the reduction of redundant out-of-date copies, and the use of knowledge daemons. There is more information in the online project documentation, including some background on hypertext and many technical notes.
A prototype (very alpha test) simple line mode browser is currently available in source form from node info.cern.ch [currently 18.104.22.168] as /pub/WWW/WWWLineMode_0.9.tar.Z.
Also available is a hypertext editor for the NeXT using the NeXTStep graphical user interface, and a skeleton server daemon.
Documentation is readable using www (Plain text of the instalation instructions is included in the tar file!). Document http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html is as good a place to start as any. Note these coordinates may change with later releases.
Our 3rd Annual Summer Blocktacular Sale is here! Just like the past 2 summers we’re giving you a great chance to add usenet blocks at exceptional discounts. This year, we’re discounting our popular 2 TB usenet blocks to just $60. 2 TB is a huge block and will last you for quite a while, plus it can be shared with your friends for an even better deal.
How To Buy
Subscribe for Updates on Future Promotions
We’re always running amazing promotions that you won’t want to miss. So be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay in the loop. No spam – guaranteed. Join our Terabyte Tuesday mailing list. Join our Happy Hour mailing list if you’re interested in seeing our lightning sales.
Awesome VPN Service from Ghost Path
We partnered with Ghost Path to offer VPN access to all NewsgroupDirect customers at a great rate. As an NGD customer you can get a VPN account for just $6/month right now. VPN is like an SSL connection for your entire computer/phone/tablet. All of your internet traffic is encrypted and secure. Highly recommended.
The Fine Print
The sale runs from 12 AM EST on July 27 until 11:59 PM EST on August 10. No discount will be honored after the sale expires. The discount is available to both new and existing customers. You are free to purchase multiple blocks, at the discounted rate, if you choose. Coupons (new or existing) do not apply. All blocks receive a 10% allowance for headers, so a 2 TB purchase will actually give you 2.2 TB, or 2,200 GB.
There has been a recent data breach at NewsgroupDirect. This is an ongoing investigation and things may change, but as of now we believe that someone unauthorized was able to gain access to our systems between May 1, 2014 and July 8, 2014 (tentative dates). We believe that only new accounts created during this time period are affected. If you paid with Worldpay then you are unaffected.
I am extremely sorry that this happened. Our mission at NewsgroupDirect is to provide the best customer service in the usenet industry, and we’ve let you down.
What You Need To Do
1. Check your credit card statement and look for any unauthorized charges. If you see anything out of the ordinary then please email us with your NewsgroupDirect username and the date that you registered for our service. This is an important part of the investigation. Remember, you are not liable for fraudulent charges on your credit card.
2. Contact your credit card company and have them revoke your existing card and issue a new one.
3. Login and change your password. We don’t have any reason to believe that passwords were compromised in any way, but it’s best to be safe.
What We Are Doing in Response
1. Most importantly, we want to make sure that our customers’ needs are met. If you need help with anything as a result of this data breach then please let me know.
2. Increased Security Measures. We believe that we have identified and fixed the vulnerability that allowed someone to gain access to our system. That’s the first step. Beyond that we will be working to strengthen all of the security measures that we have in place and implement new ones.
3. We will continue with our forensic investigation into this issue and will post a more detailed incident report here when the investigation is completed.
I deeply regret this incident and look forward to earning your trust again.
CEO / NewsgroupDirect
p.s. My personal email is [email protected] Feel free to reach out to me there with any concerns or questions.
Update – July 15
Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding about this issue.
We have now concluded our investigation. Here’s what we’ve determined:
- The unauthorized access into our system originated on or near May 28, 2014.
- The source of the intrusion was stolen credentials from the computer of a developer that was hired (and subsequently fired) over the past couple of months. It appears that there may have been malware and/or a keylogger on his computer that led to our information and information about his personal accounts being taken.
- The attack was perpetrated by a code insertion into our signup process. This malicious code allowed card data to be harvested before it could be sent securely to our trusted 3rd party storage service.
Changes We’re Making
- We already routinely cycle all of our system passwords. We’re going to increase the frequency of this cycling.
- Over the next few days we will start using tokenization in our signup process to make sure that raw card data never reaches our servers in the first place.
- We will also be implementing new security measures for new employees to insure that their computers are free of any malware before having access to our infrastructure.
We realize this has been an inconvenience to our customers. We want to compensate the affected users as best we can. If you signed up for a new NewsgroupDirect account between May 25, 2014 and July 8, 2014, using a credit card, then you will receive the following, depending on which type of account you have.
- If you have a block usenet account you will receive a free 500 GB block.
- If you have a subscription then you will receive 2 free months.
Please allow up to 10 days for your account to be updated.
We have received an overwhelming amount of support from our customers over the past week. I want to personally thank you for being supportive, understanding, and for continuing to be the best customers in the world.
Please feel free to reach our to us if you have any questions at all.
It’s Independence Day in the US, and we’re celebrating with a one-day sale on our 250 GB blocks. Today only you can pick them up for just $10. The sale will end at midnight EST tonight.
Our 250 GB usenet block has access to our world-class retention (currently over 2,140 days), speed, completion, VPN access, and our industry-leading customer service. NewsgroupDirect blocks never expire, so you can buy as many blocks as you want and never worry about losing them. NewsgroupDirect blocks are also shareable, so you can buy a block and share with your friends.
How To Purchase
The Fine Print
The sale runs from 12 AM EST on July 4 until 11:59 PM EST. No sale prices will be honored after the sale expires. The sale price is available to both new and existing customers. You are free to purchase multiple 250 GB blocks if you choose. Coupons (new or existing) do not apply to special rates on Terabyte Tuesday. All blocks receive a 10% allowance for headers, so a 250 GB purchase will actually give you 275 GB.
As part of #NGD10 we’ve decided to do something that we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. We’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the tools that we use everyday. These are the tools, apps and technology that we rely on to make sure to keep our team in sync, and therefore to make our service as good as possible.
We have always strived to have the best customer support experience in the usenet world, and Zendesk has been a key to making that possible. We experimented with a few different helpdesk solutions in our early years, but moved to Zendesk as soon as it became available back in 2007/2008 and haven’t looked back. Using Zendesk our team can handle support requests more efficiently than was ever possible with previous helpdesk solutions.
Like almost everyone we have settled on WordPress as our blogging platform. It’s as well-made as it is ubiquitous. Before WordPress we didn’t consider blogging… that’s how good WordPress is.
Basecamp is the world’s best project management software. We use it to manage all aspects of our company, from to-do lists to the many projects that we have going at any given time. Over the last couple of years they have added high-quality mobile apps as well, which helps the team on the go.
We have used Rackspace for our hosting for the last 5 years or so. Once cloud hosting became readily available we immediately went in that direction instead of relying on dedicated servers. We’ve found that Rackspace has fantastic support as well, which has come in handy many times.
At our core we are a web development company. Development is what we do and it’s what we love to do. We started out back in the early 2000’s using PHP as our language of choice. Over time other languages, like Ruby, have become more popular choices for web dev, but we’ve been able to stick with PHP thanks to the awesome PHP framework CakePHP. CakePHP gives PHP the power and ease of use that newer languages have without having to rewrite our entire codebase.
#NGD10 Rolls On
Just a reminder that #NGD10 is still going on through the rest of June. We’ve giving away 5 free unlimited accounts for 1 year each Friday, including this Friday, June 27. Just email [email protected] with subject #NGD10 to enter. Be sure to include your name.
NewsgroupDirect opened for business in May 2004. The last 10 years have been an incredible experience for the entire NGD team. We’ve seen a lot of change in our industry. We’ve seen competitors come and go. But our fantastic customers have been there the whole time. We want to thank you for all of your support… without you we wouldn’t be having this celebration. Here’s to the next 10 years!
How We’re Celebrating
Deals! We will have fantastic deals throughout the month. Right now we have unlimited accounts available for $60/year (or $10/month). That deal will end on June 14 and will be replaced by another great promotion.
Giveaways! Each Friday in June we’re going to be giving away 5 free usenet accounts. These will be unlimited accounts and will be valid for a year. Enter now for the June 20th giveaway.
Behind the Scenes! We will give our loyal fans some unprecedented access to how we work at NewsgroupDirect. We’ve never done anything like this before, so we’re excited!
Our mailing list members are always the first to hear about what we have going on. For example, the first 2 giveaways were announced only to the mailing list. I highly recommend you join both the Terabyte Tuesday list and the Happy Hour list. We won’t spam you, ever.
Again, thank you to the best customers in the world. You’re amazing!
The best deal in usenet is back! For the next 48 hours we’re discounting our 1 TB blocks to just $35. That’s a savings of $65 per block. Terabyte Tuesday will last for 2 days, from 12 AM EST on May 13 until 12 AM EST on May 14.
Our 1 Terabyte usenet block has access to our world-class retention (currently over 2,095 days), speed, completion, VPN access, and our industry-leading customer service. NewsgroupDirect blocks never expire, so you can buy as many blocks as you want and never worry about losing them. NewsgroupDirect blocks are also shareable, so you can buy a block and share with your friends.
How To Purchase
Want To Know About Future Promotions?
Want to be the first in line to find out about Terabyte Tuesday and our other awesome promotions? Join our Terabyte Tuesday mailing list. We respect your privacy, so you’ll only receive notifications about Terabyte Tuesday.
We also now have a dedicated Happy Hour mailing list. Happy Hour is our newest promotion where we offer a deep discount for a couple of hours, 3-4 times per month. Join the mailing list if you’re interested.
The Fine Print
The sale runs from 12 AM EST on May 13 until 12 AM EST on May 14. No sale prices will be honored after the sale expires. The sale price is available to both new and existing customers. Sale only applies to 1 Terabyte (1000 Gigabyte) accounts. You are free to purchase multiple 1 TB blocks if you choose. Coupons (new or existing) do not apply to special rates on Terabyte Tuesday. All blocks receive a 10% allowance for headers, so a 1 TB purchase will actually give you 1.1 TB, or 1,100 GB.