Information Technology has changed much in the past four decades: it has gone from a relatively niche profession, mostly based on research and implementation, to one of the largest industries in the world.
Whereas it was before based on programming, software development, and hardware, it now encompasses an enormous breadth of professions, from implementing Enterprise Resource Software to creating cybersecurity threat assessments.
Nearly every company in the world relies on the systems that IT professionals develop, maintain, and protect.
With over 3 million IT professionals nationwide – and over 24 million worldwide – there’s a huge demand for computer-focused forums where IT workers can discuss essential topics with one another in a secure environment.
Usenet has been a leading platform for IT professionals since its inception in 1980. Built by two Duke University graduate students with a passion for computing, it remains a great place to find powerful insights from leading voices in information technology.
Usenet is accessed through Usenet providers that use strong privacy practices, and the entire network is SSL encrypted, meaning there are no security concerns. However, with so much information available, picking which Usenet newsgroups you’d like to explore can be challenging.
Today, we’ll look at four of the best newsgroups for IT professionals, from industry analysis to more laid-back recreational discussion.
Comp.AI has been around since the 1990s, when it was launched to help those developing these technologies learn from one another and stay abreast of advances, but it has become even more relevant today, now that Artificial Intelligence has become such a major component of everyday life.
People use AI for everything from generating art to helping them perform background research on a variety of topics, but privacy concerns abound, as do ethical considerations.
At comp.AI, those working in IT can read articles about unique uses for AI, as well as find a sounding board for their own considerations on how to keep AI safe but effective.
A venerable Newsgroup with a rich history, comp.risks is the home of the RISK Digest, published by the Committee on Computers and Public Policy of the Association for Computing Machinery. It discusses security blind spots, as well as unintended hazards posed by the design of automated systems.
Here, you can review 38 years of discussions on cybersecurity, ranging from cryptography to public policy; there are also frequent book reviews and technical writeups by leading industry writers.
It’s incredibly popular with many IT professionals and those throughout the tech sphere, including system administrators, cybersecurity managers, and computer engineers.
Focusing on telecommunications, this newsgroup explores telecom development, implementation, and management, particularly phone systems. You’ll find discussions on the best communications carriers, analysis of 5G implementation, ISP performance reviews, and the latest news in the industry, such as employment trends in the telecom giants.
It’s very helpful for those who want to stay abreast of changes in telecommunications, including how government funding or policy shapes peoples’ access to Internet and phone service.
There’s much discussion around litigation and stock prices for various telecom companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, which can be instructive for investors and corporate lawyers alike.
You’ll also find incredibly fascinating information, like maps of submarine cable systems, which you can’t find anywhere else.
When you’re an IT professional, you think about computers and security systems all the time; it can seem as if they’re always around you. However, it’s important to be able to switch off and relax at the end of a long day administrating systems or analyzing security threats, and alt.folklore.computers are one of the best places to do so.
There are a variety of urban legends that have risen up around computers and technology, such as haunted video games or secret codes inside programs that can open up undisclosed tools; these are both fascinating and quite fun to read, especially if you already love everything to do with information technology.
Alt.folklore.computers are the home for all these myths and legends in the technology age; you’ll find debunkings and analysis of the most fragments of computer history, whether that is obsolete coding languages known only to a few or hardware setups that are barely recorded in any manual.
You’ll also find more light-hearted fare, such as people testing out AI to create fake urban legends about computers or mimicking the style of famous authors.
IT is a vital field that plays a crucial role in the modern world, and it has developed a vibrant community – particularly on Usenet.
If you’re tired of scrolling through coding memes that have little substance, check out the internet’s original social network, where you’ll find fascinating fare from professionals of the highest caliber.