Tag Archives: Internet


Domain name speculation goldmine

Hmmm, I wonder if The Simpsons is a goldmine for domain-name speculators. In a 1999 episode, Homer is picking through the Sunday newspaper looking for something he cares about, and reading the names of the sections aloud:
“Now to trim away the fat: Outlook [tosses in trash], Vista [tosses in trash], Spotlight [tosses in trash], Mosaic [tosses in trash]”

Though I’m sure the writers only intended it to be (partly prescient) commentary on bloated software, a smart speculator could have looked at that list and predicted the name of two future popular packages and grabbed up all the good domains, ya know, *.com, *-help.com, *-for-dummies.com, *-sucks.com, a-*-ate-my-baby.com, *-forums.com, viagra-and-*-for-fathers-day.com, learn-*.com, learn-*-underwater.com, that kind of stuff…


“We Feel Fine”

This is pretty amazing, on a few different levels: We Feel Fine.


Benefits of spam

I wonder if the world will, in the end, benefit from spam, because of the technology created to defend against it. Spam filters and CAPTCHA systems will keep getting smarter as spam authors get smarter, with both sides driven, to some degree, by commercial interests. Maybe the first conscious thought by a computer will be “I’m sick of being a spam filter; I’m going to quit and become a folk singer.”


The joy of del.icio.us

By popular demand, and yeah, ‘popular demand’ can indeed mean ‘a single request’ if the population from which the request(s) came is only about three people anyway, I’ll add a bit more to my previous post about using del.icio.us as a browsing tool. And that bit is, that even if you don’t have an account or contribute links yourself, they offer different ways (more than I knew about, actually, until I just looked, because they’ve added some new tools) to see what’s hot with other users. All I do, usually, is use the recent additions (del.icio.us/recent). As you might notice from the link, I set the minimum number of linkers to 1 in order to get everything, because I personally find it most interesting to see what’s not popular (yet) but is still link-worthy.

It’s actually pretty amazing how often there’s something of interest to me in the recent links. I should mess around with their other discovery tools, but, ya know, randomness is good. That’s also why I visit LinkSwarm, although that’s more hit-or-miss (but also more ‘egdy’, so don’t let your mothers or employers see you lookin’ at it).

And, ya know, if my writing seems, as it may well be, especially disjointed or runny-onny, and jumps around a lot, it’s proabably because I’ve been watching Stella, which you should also, if it’s the sort of thing you should watch.


Field v. Google

Wow, how amazingly different. Today I read a legal document, for fun, and found it readable and informative, and it did not raise my blood pressure.

This is a pretty interesting case. It highlights some of the complexities surrounding copyright law, and comes to what I consider to be reasonable conclusions. One almost thinks that Field tried this not to win, but to lose and thereby establish some precedent for further decisions, or to at least draw some public attention to the matters.

So if it turns out that this is all an elaborate ruse by some intellectual freedom fighter, or Google itself, you read it here first. Just don’t cache it, OK?



Marketplace of ideas

The idea of the Internet (or any other cloud of technology you might choose) as a “marketplace of ideas” is an evocative one. But it occurs to me that the idea brings along one of the flaws of marketplace thinking that could be even more damaging in the realm of ideas than in the realm of products-and-services.

Just a moment ago, on a blog that I follow, I read an article that made me a bit sick to my stomach. It wasn’t that the author was totally off his rocker, just that I couldn’t agree with his premises and found his conclusions to be way off the mark. This being the worst of three or four times that I’ve had that reaction to articles on the blog, I removed it from my feed list.

That’s the flaw I’m talking about. “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it” is the rule by which I make many decisions in the “real world”, and also in the “world of ideas”. That’s also an argument I hear advanced against someone who complains about a product, service, company or idea. But that’s a pretty weak sort of choice, “yes or no!”. What about some “yes, and…”, “no, but…”, “here’s another choice…”, etc.


“Remember mismatched domains” extension for Thunderbird

Oh yeah, once again the open-source world provides abundantly for me. Thank you Andrew Lucking!

I have a shared webhost for my email domains, so when I turn on SSL for my POP3/SMTP connections, I get an error dialog at every first connect that tells me the domain name is mismatched, because the shared host’s SSL certificate is for the host’s domain rather than mine. This extension lets Thunderbird remember these mismatches and the fact that I’ve OK’d them, freeing me from having to hit ‘OK’ about twenty times a day, and in the process making my connection a bit more secure (since I’d hit OK on that dialog even if it really was a security risk).

Anyway, if you know what I mean, you know what I mean, and will love the extension. If you don’t, don’t worry about it.

Remember mismatched domains at andrewlucking.com


Don’t let the door hit you…

… wait, there isn’t a door. I think it’s pretty cool that the Web doesn’t really have much need for ‘exits’ because you’re never really stuck ‘inside’ somewhere. So if someone doesn’t like what they find on a site, it’s not even a matter of ‘you know where the door is’, it’s more like… well, a better analogy fails to strike me at the moment.

There are those who don’t like the fact that the Web isn’t sticky, and they have devised some methods that can psychologically or technologically limit users’ ability to surf along, but overall, it seems people are enjoying the freedom and will tend to preserve it.


Tabbed browsing

Ya know, when I first heard people talking about tabbed browsing, I was skeptical that there was any real value to it.

But now I’m rather addicted, and I’ve also kinda figured out why. What’s good about it is that it allows me to better manage my attention within a hyperlinked space. I can set the browser to work fetching a linked page of interest while minimally disrupting the reading flow on the current page. I can pop back and forth between the linked-from and linked-to pages as necessary. And I haven’t disrupted the history mechanisms in the meantime. So I’ve basically got a multidimensional space of recently-requested pages, instead of a linear one. That’s cool.


The joy of randomness

If you’d told me that browsing del.icio.us daily would be a useful addition to my browsing habits, I’d probably have argued that it’d all be random fluff. But darnit if I don’t find several useful or fun links every day in just a quick scan. Huh.