Facebook today announced their Graph Search during a live event at their headquarters. Some say it is Facebook's attempt at taking down Google and taking over web search (they did partner with Bing), but more astute observers see LinkedIn, Yelp, and OKCupid in their crosshairs too based on the live event demos. [more inside]
The Great Firewall of China connects to a server within China, and lets you know if your site is blocked or not, per the government's internet censorship.
OpenDNS is an interesting idea -- take the basics of DNS, add a bunch of features like caching servers, a phishing blacklist, and search engine fired off for misspelled domain names. Pretty handy and nice to see a service pop up where I thought browsers would someday fix (like typos). No software to install, just point your DNS at their IPs.
Artocracy is aiming to use the net to democratize yet another expensive thing in the world: the sale and distribution of art works. While the first works offered aren't that impressive and having to use your own inkjet is a limiting factor, I like the direction this is going in. From their Gallery, you can purchase prints from a dozen or so artists, in the range of $20-50, and then print as many as you wish at home. The Seattle PI has a full story. Perhaps this will spark a "long tail" of small change art sales from folks used to getting several thousand per canvas sold, while at the same time allowing any Tom, Dick, or Harry to have some nice looking apartment walls at home.
You got my Slashdot in your MetaFilter! The Fox News York Times! A gun-free NRA! Indy Free Republic Media! Megnuttke!
The Terrorism commercial from Redmond. "I help make the internet vulnerable to terrorists." (quicktime parody)
Lee Felsenstein, saving the world with wifi and a bike. This old school computer hacker built a human powered wireless internet station named as one of the best inventions of 2002. Now he needs to raise $25,000 to wire five villages of farmers to the web (to obtain weather info, pricing data) and to each other. This is another story that reminds me not all of this technology is for gadget geeks. It really can help improve peoples' lives, as shown by the varied projects coming out of the Tech Museum grant winners and groups like this.
A small company with an obscure patent is suing e-commerce site owners. If you sell something on the web, you may be next. It's hard to tell if they have any legitimate claims or if they're simply extorting money from the people they threaten.
Verisign (aka Satan) is set to relinquish the management of the .org domain pool this week, after agreeing to drop both the .org and .net registries to keep the .com one until 2007. ICANN is meeting on it this week (webcast). The list of all interested parties with competing applications is here, but personally I'm pulling for Carl from media.org's proposal for a public trust. For anyone that owns a .org domain, this is one to watch.
This orthopaedic surgery site seems more like a design exercise than an actual attempt at an informative site. Imagine that someone told you to make the site using poor technology choices, couple it with non-professional content not conducive to trusting the doctors, and add a map to the office that does more to enable chuckles than get people to into the business. It's so bad, it's good, and most definitely do not skip intro on this one.
Tonight the lead council from Live365 will be taking calls and answering questions live online here in just a few hours, about the recent CARP proposed rulings for internet streaming radio. If you're interested in seeing internet radio live on, give it a listen, if you prefer the RIAA's stranglehold on distribution and prefer hearing Creed streamed over any one of the thousands of identically programmed ClearChannel outlets, feel free to ignore.
You know Jakob Nielsen's old saying "users don't scroll?" Maybe it's because you'd be violating his patent if you did. You got mail? Nope, that's also Jakob's patent. When was the last time this site updated? Again, don't ask or you could owe Jakob. Did I misspell anything in this post? Don't hit the spellcheck button, or it's violation time again. And that's just the tip of the scary patent iceberg. Is it a good idea for Jakob to have all these patents on basic internet application functions?
Remember the scary-sounding Hailstorm that was set to prove how evil Microsoft's system is? Well worry no longer, because it's now called .NET My Services. How could something with such a cute, gentle name like that be bad for users?
AOL may buy AT&T broadband in a deal that could allow them to own the browser, net access, data pipes, and content for a vast majority of internet usage and users. How far will AOL/TW go to control any and all forms of media? Are hearings to break the company up far off?
How often are legal threats used to silence Internet activity? Help us to find out and counter baseless threats with the "chilling effects clearinghouse."
How often are legal threats used to silence Internet activity? Help us to find out and counter baseless threats with the "chilling effects clearinghouse." Harvard Cyber Law and the EFF combine forces to get a handle on over-zealous cease-and-desist orders issued over websites. Mattel has been so active in this area that they became the butt of jokes about it. Hopefully stupid stuff like this will start decreasing, or at least, there will be a group you can contact when you need support against these types of actions.
Uptime, a free web server monitoring service I (and many others) have used for over 4 years, is going down for good. Arsdigita is taking it offline tomorrow at 5PM ET, and instead is offering the source. I suppose it probably has something to do with this.
SpamCon 2001 gets underway in one month. It's a meeting of the minds to crush spam and guys like this. But it's probably too late. Can legislation ever make a dent in spam? Are technical solutions possible (no open SMTP ports allowed)?
New.net lauched today, with their attempt to create their own TLD registrar that seems like a bastardization of DNS. Most people will need to download a plugin, is there any chance this could be successful? Is ICANN doing anything to stop them or will they just die on their own?
Register.com and Staples are offering $1 domains for a limited time. What's the catch?
Oh great another "weblogs are stupid and they all suck" article came out, but what I really want to know is: why does the other article running this week at ALA acknowledge that "99% of everything is crap," but the weblog article doesn't? Comparing the cruft at the bottom of weblogs with the 1% best of writers (Ginsberg and Kerouac) seems unfair and pointless. And where are the solutions? Tell everyone to stop? Tell them to write better? What's so hard about ignoring the sites you don't like instead (I do that with most advertising)?
Porn on the net is not a problem. Readers chime in on an opinion column with opinions of their own. My favorites "All one has to do if you don't want to read such garbage is to delete it when you first sign onto the Internet" (this guy obviously has no clue how the web works) and "Is there software I can buy to block out you?" In this article, Porn site supporters and detractors both seem to agree that users have to go out of their way to see pornographic content on the web. You have to click on the link to see porn. Funny how the writer of the original article couldn't figure that out. Is porn really that much of a problem on the web, or are some people just too embarrased to admit that due to some curiosity, they wanted to follow the links?
Yet Another Domain Name Dispute Develops (YADNDD): chunkymunky.com gets a Cease & Desist from chunkymonkey.com. One is a windows software site, the other a fan site about a cartoon character. Is there any cause for confusion on the part of users wanting to visit either site (actually, one would have to misspell "monkey" in order to get to the windows site)? Should the chunkymunky.com site owner have taken down his/her site? Who is going to protect domain owners from future things like this happening?
The Image Resource site at the Art Center College of Design is about a gallery show of net Art (art with a big A), which starts in a couple weeks. It's nice to see pure art for art's sake on the web. I also came across a new art site (that isn't in the gallery show) at Immerse.
This new "FreeNet" sounds like a perfect utopia, where all information is free like beer, and not just free like speech. Some of the provisions for the network, like not being able to remove a file, remaining anonymous, and not even being able to track down where the files are really coming from make it sound like a anarchist's paradise. I'm wondering though, will it be a place to exchange banned books, or will it be clogged with porn, warez, and mp3s? Will it be populated with idealists against censorship, or AOLers wanting free stuff? Do things always go to the lowest common denominator right away, or does it take time?
A Federal Judge OKs deep linking to commercial websites. I'm very happy to see this, since hypertext and hyperlinks are the basis of the web. Hell yeah!
We may be lonely, but at least we're enjoying it. Today, the results of a new internet use survey were released. The main finding is that 70% of users say that the internet is improving their lives, another notable stat was that over 50% of those polled had used the internet before. There was one odd thing they found, almost 60% said they enjoyed the idiot box (TV) more than the internet. Could it be because you actually have to participate to use the internet, and it's not a passive medium? Personally, I can find more enjoyable content on the web in five minutes than I can surfing a TV dial for a week.
Who wants to marry a washed-up sitcom and cheesy movie star? Tom Arnold decides to use the web on his quest for love...
Do we all need to get out more? Although they're putting the "too much time with computers, not enough social interaction" spin on this study's findings, there are actually some good results of it. Heavy internet users spend less time in traffic (because they look up traffic before going anywhere?), less time in malls (shopping online instead, duh), and less time watching TV (this is the best news of all, I barely watch it anymore because it's mostly inane garbage, whereas on the internet, I can find interesting things to read and enjoy). As for the less face time with friends and family, I have a growing number of friends online that I consider to be as close as any Real Life friend could be.
AOL jumps on the get-rich-quick bandwagon. "Every time you generate a new member for AOL who stays for 90 days, AOL will pay you $15. Imagine how much extra cash you could make! Make $20,000, $40,000, $80,000, $100,000 - the sky is the limit!" Wow, it almost sounds easier than working...
Mark your calendars: PBS is running a special called "Code Rush" in late March, about the hectic coding schedules that Netscape employees like Jaime Zawinski coped with in early 1998. It sounds like it's going to be good and will probably be similar to other stories about the formation of Netscape.
This article at zdnet is all about how wireless web devices aren't that handy, and how our lives would suck if wireless web access was everywhere. I heartily disagree. I have a wireless 2Mb LAN connection at work and it's liberating (it's possible to code, listen to shoutcast mp3 streams, and check email outside or down at the coffee house next door). My PCS phone is useful too, I can surf a few important websites when I don't have a laptop around, getting news, weather, and email. Wireless access is certainly a Good Thing, and should make our lives easier, but the article's author is blaming the possible deluge of information on wireless, instead of the user. How would a wireless broadband connection make your life better or worse?
Flyswat is a crazy new app that adds metadata to any page you're viewing on the web. When you click on the newly hyperlinked words, it shows a popup with extra info about the word. Here's this site, Slashdot, and prolific.org screenshots (notice it actually recognized "0sil8" as a word). I also thought it was kind of funny it uses the same link colors as this site for it's hyperlinks. If you thought weblogs were a huge time sink, just imagine when every page you see has all sorts of offsite related links...
GiveMeTalk.com is a portal of online talkradio. They also feature free-hosting of submitted shows. Will they spawn millions of new Rush Limbaughs? Let's hope not.
Kevin Mittnick is finally being released from prison today, but I wouldn't call what he's getting as being "free". Prohibiting Kevin from touching a computer for 3 years? This isn't like giving a toddler to a ex-con child molester, it's a computer. A person can do a lot of things besides hack into company servers. How does anyone expect Kevin to make the $125 restitution he owes each month, if he can't use a computer or get a job that requires a computer? Now that I think about it, what percentage of decent jobs are completely free of computers?
Carl wrote a great Industry Standard article lampooning online marketing, and I couldn't help but laugh at seeing a "B to B Convention" banner ad running at the end of it (screenshot).
This page 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.
The bandwidth speed test over at MSN seems to be the most accurate one I've used so far. It gave out statistics that are very close to what I expected, and didn't choke just because I'm on a T3. (thanks blogblog)
Now this is something you don't see everyday. There's this small Canadian airline that has an interesting legal disclaimer you see right before you start ordering a ticket. Scroll down to the paragraph that starts 'PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS' which includes some compassionate nuggets like 'The WestJet® Web Site is not designed for use by persons with special needs.' What a warm, caring bunch of folks, eh?
Remember the Wired Magazine cover with the giant hand, that was all about push? Re-read the old article, it sounded far-fetched then, but with daily headline emails from numerous internet news sites and information tracking services that can icq or page you with information, push isn't dead. We're actually using push content, we're just not calling it that. (thanks Michael for reminding me)
Yet another reason why HTML email sucks. WebTV should limit incoming messages to plain text only, or at least let users turn off HTML rendering in their mail clients.
T-3 connections over a satellite are already possible accroding to Tachyon. Wow, as soon as a global broadband wireless network is in place, you'll see civilization undergo *major* changes.
Thanks to the scarcity of good domain names, we're stuck with stupid ideas like piiq.com. Here's their deal: you put the letter 'p' and 'q' around anything you want, and their site will come up, like pbookq.com, ptoysq.com, and pfoodq.com. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Bob Metcalfe on how to be a startup millionaire. I love Bob, ever since he left 3com, he's been a prolific writer on the tech industry. This time he tells how to grow a successful company in 8 easy steps.
Due to the recent truce between the ICANN and NSI, new suffixes may be prevented from ever being allowed or at least delayed. It's a shame, because good URLs are running out fast and domain squatters are making a killing.
Andrew's launched Diaryland.com. This is the same person that brought you pitas.com, he's making easy web interfaces for all those things that people usually learn HTML for. It looks pretty cool for people just starting out. So he's done weblogs, and now diaries, I wonder what's next?
Woo hoo! I got my story about the 30th anniversary of the Internet posted at Slashdot. My original version included photos, so you might want to check out that version instead.
While I still work on my writeup of the event, let me share one URL I heard there for the first time. eCompanies.com is a consortium of successful Netprenuers in the LA area that want to fund your great idea. It looks like they will accept and review business plans and offer venture captial to those deemed worthy.
Earlier today, I attend the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Internet, which took place at UCLA. It was an amazing event that was attended by the web's brightest. I'm writing it up and editing my photos of the event and it should be running tomorrow at either slashdot or evolt, expect to see a link to it soon.
A great story on IBM.com's redesign. I have rarely used IBM's former site because it was so hard to find things. I just revisited, and I could find several products I own in only three links off the index page. It's a lot better now.
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