The news server that a friend was maintaining had stopped responding for a while. Leafnode complained with:
warning: HOSTNAME: cannot resolve host name: Name or service not known
So I emailed my friend and asked. It seems that the hardware of HOSTNAME had failed, and that after a month or so I was the only person who wondered about its fate. No plans to put it back online exist.
And with that I realized that the USENET is now dead for me.