Fifteen years ago
this week, programmer Ron Britvich
launched version 1.0 of Active Worlds
. Started as an autonomous project of Worlds, Inc.
(a spinoff of educational gamesmaker Knowledge Adventure
), Active Worlds was one of the first and most ambitious attempts to create a 3D virtual community on the web.
Built on the architecture of Britvich's Worlds Chat
beta, Active Worlds debuted
in the form of Alphaworld
, a sunny green infinite plane open to public building
. In its opening years Alphaworld experienced a land rush of construction
, resulting in an anarchic starfish sprawl larger than the state of California
. A sister company, Circle of Fire, was soon founded to craft additional themed hubs
, and once individual ownership of worlds became possible the AW community spawned a veritable universe of hundreds of worlds
Although the company
has seen its ups and downs
since those heady times and its fortunes have slowly dwindled, the Active Worlds platform survives
to this day
. Look inside for a simple guide on how to log in to the (free) service, rundowns of the best worlds, links to essays analyzing the program's legacy, and other content summing up its venerable community
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 4, 2010 -
is 37 Signals' latest offering is free sharable to-do lists. You can keep them to yourself, share them with only specific people, or share them with the world. So now you have no
excuse for forgetting to buy milk on the way home.
posted by riffola
on Jan 20, 2005 -
A new MS Internet Explorer vulnerability is discovered.
Most digerati already know about the spammer and lamer trick to publish URLs that look like legitimate hostnames to fool people in to trusting a malicious site. This trick is frequently used by spammers to steal people's PayPal accounts, by tricking them in to "resetting" their password at a site owned by the spammer but disguised as PayPal.com.
Today's new IE vulnerability is significantly worse. By including an 0x01 character after the @ symbol in the fake URL, IE can be tricked in to not displaying the rest of the URL at all. Don't expect a patch right way, the guy who found the hole released it to BugTraq on the same day
he notified Microsoft. (via Simon Willison)
posted by dejah420
on Dec 9, 2003 -
one of the most interesting website interpreters i've ever seen. i'll just quote the site: The Internet BOXPLORER browser offers a rectangular view of the World Wide Web. It abstracts web page layouts to produce what are frequently rather colorful compositions. BOXPLORER purifies the Web, making it safe for children of all ages -- free from controversy and advertising.
Translation - very interesting graphic renditions of any site
posted by tatochip
on Nov 26, 2002 -
is Google for your inbox (and outbox, too). It's written in Java and actually works on a number of platforms, using a browser-based interface. Jon Udell describes the way he uses Zoë in this O'reilly article
But be warned
: navigating through archived email from five years ago is as humbling as it is addictive.
posted by gdog
on Oct 9, 2002 -
The W3C's RAND Patent Policy
commenting deadline has been extended. At first glance, the new policies seem to encourage software patents, but after reading the whole thing and the W3C's response to current comments, it looks, to my admittedly naive eyes, as though the W3C is trying to make it so that companies using proprietary software are going to have
to make it available to other people for licensing. Why is this new structure potentially a bad thing?
posted by cCranium
on Oct 2, 2001 -
is a bookmark manager that allows you to access your favorites list from multiple machines. However, their server does not seem to be responding.
Since I was out of town (and away from my machine) for all of last week, can anyone tell me what the deal is?
posted by Irontom
on Jul 17, 2001 -
Big Blue moves into the web services arena,
claiming to be the first company to provide such services. Ever hear of .NET? Seems to me that they've been rolling a framework (that's got BETA development tools already) since last summer.
i think the most poignant point in this article isn't the fact that IBM's making false claims, but this quote by Peter O'Kelly:
``It's amazing that these guys are agreeing to work with the same standards. They've finally realized it's a disservice to customers when they try and compete on the basis of proprietary formats and protocols."
Now if the browser wars could end, we'd all be in better shape.
posted by tatochip
on Mar 14, 2001 -
iCab 2.1 is out
for a program written from scratch by one or two people (Alexander Clauss seems to be the lead), it's astounding. Absolutely full support for HTML 4 – every extended character (iCab seems to use its own font), weirdo tags like LONGDESC, ACRONYM, and ABBR, TITLEs on everything (no popups: text appears in status line). Filter out ads automatically. Only browser other than Lynx that handles metadata like LINK REL="next". The damn thing validates your code for you
(click the smiling or frowning icon at the right of the address bar). And so on. And so on. I love this program. And yes, I'm in the minority
. What else is new?
posted by joeclark
on Aug 21, 2000 -
absolutely fabulous new toy for me to play w/, spiders the web, does a visual map of what you are finding. (I was actually workig on something to do almost the same thing, now I don't have to :)
posted by sonofsamiam
on Jun 3, 2000 -
seems to be over a year old, but it's news to me. Did you know that cookies set on international domains (those ending in generic things like co.uk or co.nz) can be read by other servers
within those top level country domains? Scary stuff if you're using even the latest versions of Netscape on international sites.
posted by mathowie
on Jan 17, 2000 -