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AOL ditches newsgroups

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AOL is pulling the plug on servers hosting newsgroups. AOL subscribers will no longer be able to access such groups directly but will have to go through Google.

Subscribers who try to access newsgroups receive the following error message from AOL: "From early 2005, AOL members will no longer be able to use the Newsgroup service through AOL. You will however be able to access Usenet newsgroups via Internet Explorer, or Google at http://groups.google.com/. For AOL alternatives, go to AOL Keyword: Community."

An AOL spokesman said the service is being withdrawn because so few people use it: "Google does a very good job of hosting newsgroups and the typical AOL user probably doesn't use newsgroups that often." ®

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