It has been many weeks since we first launched the UsenetServer Innovation Challenge, but at last, the time has come for our winner to claim victory and take home his or her Raspberry Pi 2 to build and complete their new project!
Before we declare our winner, we have a bit of background on the project and how our judges arrived at their decision. Our panel of judges consisted of four experts in the world of Usenet. They were tasked with judging and scoring their top two favorite entries based on four main criteria: 1) Creativity, 2) Feasibility, 3) Originality, and 4) the inclusion of a UsenetServer service. Each of the criteria was given a score rating from 1-10, meaning that with a perfect score, a winner could earn up to 80 points. The entry that received the highest overall rating score in all of the combined categories was declared the winner of our challenge. In all, there were 27 total eligible entries and our four judges narrowed it down to five finalists. It was a close race — our winner won with 69 points and our first runner-up earned 56. Many of the other entries considered included home automation projects and smart home features. Our winner, Jason, won by proposing the following project with a Raspberry Pi:
Jason – The current Raspberry Pi project I’m working on includes a PHP backend that runs a PHP script that routinely checks an NZB RSS feed from any online NZB search site service that offers one. It then pulls any newly posted NZB links, cleans up the RSS entry, and sends the NZB download link (via Pushover) to my Android phone and tablet. From there, Android’s Tasker and Auto-Notification intercept the notification, and create a new notification with a “Download” button and the name of the Usenet binary posted. Once the download button is pressed, the NZB Link is sent back to SABnzbd’s API (which is also running on the Raspberry Pi). Then the download is queued up and started. I also get a Pushover notification when the download has completed, and whether it was successful or not. This system currently works great, and I can easily queue up new binary downloads from my Android Wear watch-device as soon as they are posted to the NZB search site. The next phase of the operation is to build a web-based interface to tell the PHP script to skip notifying me if a post has any specific text in the title, or send a “high-priority” notification with different text in the title.
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We look forward to following Jason’s progress on his winning project, and we will have more posts in the future detailing its development! We were so excited and pleased with the variety of entries we received and would like to give a big thank you to everyone who participated in our challenge.
Never stop inventing and creating new things — you, the innovators, are building our future!
When we started the UsenetServer Innovation Challenge, we pressed our users to get those creative juices flowing when we asked them to build a Do-It-Yourself project using a Raspberry Pi 2 micro computer as the starting point and key component of the project. We had no restrictions and left the field wide open for entries with only one caveat: the incorporation of our Usenet or VPN service. While we don’t have our winners yet, we wanted to share with you some samples of the awesome entries submitted before the judging period comes to a close!
The PocketPi is a project that uses solar technology in conjunction with multiple
sensors to create a sleek, portable survival device that would function even
without common power. These devices are fitted with a module that allows for 3G
connectivity. This allows for the device to connect to the UsenetServer network
and provide search data with an easy to use interface. This includes current
weather conditions, and the network is also used to upload data from a range of
sensors, to provide cloud-based analysis and data mining to find patterns.
Basically, the PocketPi is a very portable, very sleek and rugged piece of
equipment that is waterproof, dust-proof, etc and utilises the cloud to provide data
to the user, even if they are out-of-bounds of accessible power
This Valentine’s Day, UsenetServer has been bitten by the love bug! We care about our users very much and with Cupid’s help, we’re going to give them some love – Usenet style. We would like to show our gratitude to our users by giving away random Usenet Valentines! Click the graphic below and enter the UsenetServer Love Instant Win Sweepstakes for a chance to win a month of free unlimited Usenet service + VPN access! Enter daily to increase your odds!
Participation in the UsenetServer Love Instant Win Sweepstakes is subject to the official rules.
For users looking for a bigger, longer, more permanent love, take a look at our Partner’s Special and save big! Earn a deep discount-off our regular pricing plans and subscribe for a full year to get free VPN access too!
UsenetServer provides world-class premium tier-1 Usenet access to users all around the globe at the best value in the industry. We offer access to over 110,000 newsgroups, including discussion groups covering topics from iOS app development to March madness bracketology and usenet binary groups including user-generated videos, audio files and software. Our vast array of newsgroups coupled with our robust network infrastructure and server farms in the United States and Europe, UsenetServer provides first class high speed access to the Usenet at the lowest price.
Most of us are spoiled these days by having a broadband or high speed connection to the Internet. In fact, some of us don’t even want to use the Internet if it’s slower than 10 megabits per second – we have a need for speed. So it will come as good news to our users to hear that under normal circumstances, users of UsenetServer will get good download speeds maxing out their connection with ease. We have built a first class tier-1 network infrastructure with our user’s bandwidth needs in mind to deliver the best speeds possible. Try as we might though, we sometimes have users whose ISPs do not have good routes to our servers. In other words, sometimes there are Internet bottlenecks between our users and our Usenet servers. For the users who fall into this category, don’t worry – we have a solution! Users experiencing slower-than-normal download speeds from our servers can increase their download speeds by using a better route.
Finding a Better Route to Our Usenet Servers
In order to provide the best possible access and download speeds to our users, our Usenet servers listen on different NNTP ports that each provide a different possible route to our servers than the route your Usenet client would take to connect to our default NNTP port of 119. We offer several ports to choose from for users’ Usenet clients to connect to for both our secure and non-secure servers. See the list below for all our available NNTP ports. If users are having speed issues, they should set their Usenet client to use the NNTP port that will give them the best possible speed.
Server and NNTP Port List
Non-secure server: news.usenetserver.com Ports: 119, 23, 25, 119, 3128, 8000 and 9000
Secure Server: secure.Usenetserver.com SSL Ports: 443, 563, 8080
There is no shortage of conversations to join or binaries on Usenet. In fact, there is often so much to read and so much to choose from and explore, it’s difficult to know where to begin when searching for things. More often than not, our users are wanting to download many posts at the same time by downloading multiple NZBs. One of the best ways to make Usenet downloading easier is to use SABnzbd to batch download NZBs.
What is SABnzbd?
SABnzbd is a light-weight yet extremely powerful web-based user interface that allows Usenet users to batch download large quantities of NZBs with very little hassle or interaction from the user. SABnzbd also comes equipped with a complete, fully functional NZB post-processing engine that will automatically PAR-check the RAR sets of the posts, repair components if needed, and finish the process by extracting the files within the RAR sets.
How NZBs are Imported
The developers of SABnzbd have made it easier than ever to import NZBs, leaving users with several options to queue-up their must-have posts:
- Users can click the “Add NZB” button and manually add NZBs to the queue
- RSS Feeds from popular NZB search providers can be read and NZBs imported
- SABnzbd has a built in API for 3rd party application support to receive NZBs
What Platforms Are Supported & Where Do I Download?
SABnzbd runs on Windows, OSX, Linux, Unix, BSD, you name it! SABnzbd is written in Python, so it will work practically anywhere. To give SABnzbd a whirl and start downloading right away, visit http://sabnzbd.org/
Need a Usenet Account?
Are you ready to get started and need a Usenet account? Get unlimited downloads and over 2300 days retention starting at $10/month – Signup Now!
If you like to browse the Usenet newsgroups the old fashioned way, you more than likely use headers to see all available posts in a group instead of using NZBs to download only specific ones.
Downloading and browsing Usenet headers is the oldest method of browsing the newsgroups. Each Usenet post has a header and the header contains information like the time and date posted, poster name, subject and Usenet server upload path.
Because some newsgroups can have a high post count, we recommend you download more headers at one time to see more posts. To download more headers in a group, increase your initial header records size to see more posts in a larger group. To browsing headers, we recommend Unison for Mac and Newsbin Pro for a Windows PC. To see a demo on how to browse headers with Newsbin Pro, watch the video below:
Today’s Usenet users do not want to wait long to download article sets after they have been posted to newsgroups. This is why download automation has become a popular and important feature for many Usenet users. There are many NZB downloader clients out there to satisfy even the most avid Usenet user, but there is only one that stands out of the pack due to its ease of use, features and efficiency, and it’s NZBVortex.
NZBVortex is a lightweight, feature rich, batch NZB downloader for Mac OSX. For those who enjoy simplicity and power, NZBVortex is a very attractive option. NZBVortex allows users to automate NZB downloads with its built-in RSS feed reader; queue up and download a set of NZBs stored locally and detect password protected archives on the spot.
To give NZBVortex a try, visit their download page or visit the app store for an 50% discount on the full version for only € 8,99.
Benefits and Features include:
- Very efficient: low CPU, memory and disk IO usage compared to the competitors
- Smart junk detection (fake and junk downloads)
- Minimizes download size by skipping as many files as possible
- Downloads par2 files only if required and does par2 check only if required
- RSS Feed integration – automatically add your favorite NZBs
- Deep Search integration with multiple search engines
- A Mac native interface and also a web interface to control by remote
- Much more like: scheduler, speed limiter, sleep when done, etc.
New in 3.0:
NZBVortex Cloud: Clients work together by sharing download information between clients.
Some examples are:
- Download results
- Download titles
- Passworded files without a password (Will pause the download)
- Junk status
Developed by Newsbin, an NZB is an XML file format containing a full list of message IDs for the binary content you want to transfer on Usenet. Simply put, an NZB file serves as a table of contents of Usenet articles to download for your NZB client or newsreader.
Because each binary file is broken up into smaller compressed files (usually RAR format) along with PAR parity files to to repair any missing parts after download, these smaller parts are spread across many Usenet messages or articles to make it possible to store the entire file on the Usenet. An NZB points to all the parts that make up the file you want, making it the easiest and fastest way to download binary content from the Usenet.
Getting started is easy!
- Sign up with UsenetServer
- Get a Newsreader
- Search with Global Search!
Free, Fast and Easy Global Search Helps You Find Exactly What You’re Looking For
The Usenet is stacked with so much client produced substance, it might appear to be overwhelming at times to find exactly what you’re looking for. One of the best benefits of using Usenetserver is Global Search transforms how you search through over 111,000 newsgroups.
Usenetserver’s Global Search makes the Usenet more user-friendly, making things simple to find. It also permits our clients to rapidly and effortlessly scan the newsgroups for articles that match their search keyword criteria, select the desired results and create a custom NZB file to download the articles.
With Global Search, you can additionally channel articles by post age, post date and poster name. Usenetserver’s Global Search is accessible for all Usenetserver subscribers. Global Search makes searching the Usenet a truly enjoyable experience.
Sign up today to check out Global Search and to get these other amazing features:
- Unlimited Access
- Uncapped Speed
- Encrypted SSL
- 1904 Days Retention
- 20 Connections
- 99%+ Completion
- 24/7/365 Support
UsenetServer Surpasses 5 Years of Retention
UsenetServer has reached a newsgroup retention landmark of 1865 days of NTTP retention, which is over 5 years!
Newsgroup retention is the length of time that a newsgroup article post is available to subscribers. Over 5 years of retention means that UsenetServer subscribers can access newsgroup posts that were added up to 1865 days ago (over 5 years) with 99% completion.
Now with over 5 years of retention, all UsenetServer plans include:
- Blazing Speed – Direct access to UsenetServer’s Tier-1 Usenet network connecting to over 800 broadband access providers translates to blazing download speeds.
- Unlimited data transfer – You’ll easily maximize your speed with the large number of concurrent connections.
- 256-bit SSL access – SSL encryption helps ensure that your username and password remains safe from identity theft. Additionally, SSL encrypted access helps you avoid any attempt by your ISP to throttle your bandwidth speeds.
- Over 100,000 discussion groups – Network globally with over 100,000 discussion groups – text and binary. Exchange ideas with millions of people by accessing UsenetServer.
- Savings – Offering some of the lowest prices for premium Usenet access, you can get unlimited data access with 20 concurrent SSL connections for up to 75% less than other providers.
Get started now with your free usenet 14-day trial with a 10GB download limit.