Once upon a time, Usenet newsgroups were the Twitter, Facebook and forums of the online world. All the early Internet community makers were there, and important announcements such as the arrival of Mosaic by Marc Andreesen broke there first.
Then the inevitable happened, and Usenet slowly imploded. That could have been the end of it, but everyone assumed this fairy tale would come with a Hollywood ending after Google got involved and waved a magic wand over the Usenet archive and turned it into Google Groups.
Unfortunately, not a lot happened in the years since February 2001 when Google acquired Deja.com and that archive, with some 700 million Usenet posts appearing to be lost as far as anyone performing a Google search on specific newsgroups were concerned.
As Wired reported, "Searching within a newsgroup, even one with thousands of posts, produces no results at all. Confining a search to a range of dates also fails silently, bulldozing the most obvious path to exploring an archive" - oops! And Wired was reporting a year after the Usenet search bugs had first been spotted and Slashdotted.
The good news is that Google has, it would appear, finally fixed Google Groups. Apparently a bug was found within days of the Wired feature, and it is now possible to search specific groups for specific text and actually find what you are looking for.
The bad news is that date range searches are still not working, although Google has promised that it is now working on applying some tender loving care to Google Groups and getting the kind of functionality we expect from Google into place.