Re the latest article:
I think the ideas of a single, globally-replicated Usenet and massive multi-server IRC networks are out of touch with today's Internet. Both Usenet and IRC could be massively simplified if there were a lot of independent servers hosting disjoint groups/channels, just like the Web. (This isn't my idea, but I don't remember where it came from.) Sure you have the occasional slashdottings and outages, but you avoid a lot of complexity and waste.
So what should be done about RSS? The existing Web proxy infrastructure should help, but maybe for some people it isn't helping enough. (Consider this: My RSS channel probably gets about 2x as many hits/day as all the other pages on my weblog combined. Granted, the RSS hits don't use much bandwidth thanks to ETags.) I'm tempted to suggest Astrolabe/NewsWire, but it looks even more complex than NNTP. UserLand defined a notification system for RSS, but it's probably useless for the 99.9999999% of the Internet that's now behind NATs.
I didn't post this as a comment on the article since it's mostly just uninformed ranting. :-)