Internet::Observer::Archive::Year 2001

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Yahoo.com to Buy HotJobs.com

Yahoo has agreed to pay $10.50 per HotJobs share in a cash and stock deal, valuing the company at $436 million. TMP Worldwide, operator of No. 1 job website Monster.com, had agreed to buy HotJobs in a stock deal initially valued at $460 million. But that offer had declined in value to about $355 million due to a drop in TMP's stock price. [ Yahoo! Press Release]

[Extra] America Online Inc., the world's largest Internet services provider announced that its worldwide subscriber base has surpassed 33 million.

[28 December 2001, top]


Intel Sues a Spammer; US Talibanner Liked Usenet

A former Intel employee upon losing their job sends a crap load of email to the remaining Intel employees. Intel pursues legal action against the former employee and wins. [ Sending Email is Like Trespassing]

I have a bunch of people/companies trespassing by sending spam to my in-box. If I had Intel's money, then I'd go after them, too.

[Extra] Taliban Fooalker was a Usenet user when he was 14. His posting handle was doodoo@hooked.net

[21 December 2001, top]


Google Archives 20 Years of Usenet

Google now has twenty (20) years of Usenet archived. They are creating a webpage that contains a time-line of hyperlinks to some of the more memorable postings (e.g. first mention of Microsoft in 1981, early reference to emoticons in 1982, Stallman's GNU announcement in 1983, first mention of the term 'search engine' in 1988, first warning of the Morris Internet Worm in 1988, Torvald's Linux announcement in 1991, Andreessen's Netscape announcement in 1994, fist mention of Google in 1998 and so on). 20 Year Usenet Archive on Google Groups [hyperlink from KevinO]

[Side-bar] I first introduced Google to my students when its URL was google.stanford.edu.

[14 December 2001, top]


Hodgepodge: Amazon/Egghead; Email Forwarding; UMD; Terrorists

Amazon.com Does Egghead.com
Amazon.com announced that it bought some of the assets of Egghead.com. These assets included the Egghead.com domain name, some intellectual property and almost all business documents, product information and website data. The acquired assets included the Egghead.com customer data, but Amazon said they weren't going to do anything with this data. [How will we know?]

About Forwarding Email
Email users should practice good network etiquette when it comes to forwarding email. In many cases, it is appropriate to ask the sender of the email if forwarding is an okay thing to do. There have been many times when I've sent email to somebody who in turn forwarded my email message to somebody else. If an email messages says it is okay to forward, then forward; otherwise, you should seek permission. [ Email Forwarding Illegal in Australia. Laws set out maximum penalties of five years' jail or fines of $60,000.]

It's UMD.edu Versus TerpIdiots.com
The University of Maryland is annoyed with the TerpIdiots.com website because they use the term terps [plus I don't think they like some of the things students say about the school, but I speculate]. In a twisted fashion I was able to connect SCC football to the C programming language via TerpIdiots.com and the University of Maryland's CS Department website. Here is the story.

The Internet is Good, Bad, and Ugly
Terrorists use the Internet. I'm shocked [not]. The Washington Post reports Agents Following Suspects' Lengthy Electronic Trail.

[07 December 2001, top]


Amazon Has a Killer [good] October 2001

Amazon.com is an amazon when it comes to selling stuff online. Amazon does about $3 billion in annual sales and sells not only books but also stuff like toys, music, software, tools, DVDs, health and beauty aids, and so on. The company's homepage claims it has the "Earth's Biggest Selection."

At an investment conference held in Phoenix, AZ, Bezos (Amazon's founder, president and CEO) announced that his company "had a great October." Wall Street liked Bezos' enthusiasm and sent the company's stock upward to $11.50 per share (post-911 low was $5.51). [ AMZN chart]

[Extra] They may be having a party at iParty.com given the fact that iParty.com stock has moved up to $0.60 (that's sixty cents) per share from a post-911 low of $0.09 (that's nine pennies) per share. iParty.com is a website that helps with party planning and supplies. [ IPT chart]

[Extra] Good news for online retailers like Amazon.com and iParty.com: U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law a two-year extension of the ban on Internet-related taxes. He claims the ban will "ensure that the growth of the Internet is not slowed by additional taxation." [The topic of taxing the Internet is huge.]

[30 November 2001, top]


Yet Another About The Internet (YAATI)

Trying to maintain the Internet Observer is an impossible task because the Internet is so huge. I have nothing to post this week, yet I have all kinds of stuff that could be posted. In some cases when these events occur I do a smorgasbord or a potpourri, but in other cases I write YAATI (Yet Another About The Internet).

The Internet plays a major role in the daily operations of our world. It is a precious resource that I hope remains open and free for the rest of my lifetime.

The Internet must always be a source of fun. If it becomes nothing more than a business tool, then my computer life will be done.

The Internet is definitely territory that can be used as a forum for ewar.

The Internet has numourous powerful tools, but the power of the hyperlink never ceases to amaze me. It is such a simple concept: click on some text and the whole wide world is made available to us.

The Internet allows us to establish connections that provide only positive inputs.

The Internet is a great enabler of groups.

The Internet is cool.

The Internet Observer now returns to observing The Internet.

[23 November 2001, top]


Email Stuff::NAU President; Inmates; Ecommerce

Owen Cargol, the ousted President of NAU (Northern Arizona University), needs to take the CSC185 (Introduction to the Internet) class at SCC. In that class he would learn that email is archivable. Even though he may delete email messages from his in- and sent- email boxes, they probably are not physically deleted from servers. More importantly, the recipients of the email can save them, print them, and even edit them. [definition: archive]

Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison cannot receive email electronically, nor can they receive printed email messages delivered via the U.S. mail. Websites such as Inmate.com facilitate the sending of email to prisoners. [This was a pre-911 ruling. More...]

Ecommerce is a tool of the 1990s and 21st Century, but its success is strongly dependent on the effective use of the 30 year old email application. [ Survey: Email Marketing Important to Ecommerce]

[16 November 2001, top]


More dot-stuff [more stuff about domain names]

Dot-biz domain is up and running. According the Domain Name industry, dot-biz is dedicated to the business community. According to Register.com "simply put, .BIZ means business."

Dot-museum allows museum institutions worldwide with the opportunity to have a consistent, identifiable TLD (Top-Level-Domain) name. Up to now, some museums have dot-org names, while other have dot-com and dot-net names. [The Getty has the dot-edu name getty.edu.] To date, approximately 1000 museums have registered for dot-museum names.

[Extra] It was suppose to open on 15 September 2001, but due to world events the opening of the SPAM Museum was postponed.

[09 November 2001, top]


Dot-stuff [stuff about domain names]

I am still amazed that an industry has been formed that deals with nothing more than names (i.e. Domain Names).
Prices that some domain names have sold for.
   Business.com................ $8.0 million
   AsSeenOnTv.com.............. $5.1 million
   Altavista.com............... $3.3 million
   Wine.com.................... $2.9 million
   Autos.com................... $2.2 million
Does anybody want to buy AzFoo.net?

It appears it will be easier for us to get dot-us domain names and that the dot-us domain names will have a simplified syntax. NeuStar to Administer dot-us Domain

As observed earlier in the year, dot-edu domain names are going to be more freely available. To date, community colleges (at least a majority of them [Maricopa County Community College District is an exception]) have not be able to get a dot-edu. This is first order of business. Educause to Administer dot-edu Domain

You can now register dot-info domain names. In addition, dot-biz domain names are on the horizon.

In the future, you may have to prove you are an organization in order to get a dot-org domain name.

There is a Bill in our House of Representatives to introduce the dot-kids-dot-us domain name. This Bill is a result of the Internet community's refusal to add the dot-kids domain to the system. The dot-kids-dot-us domain would be administered the federal government.

Numerous countries have made lots of money by giving up their two character country codes. The country of Tuvalu was given $50 million ($50,000,000) for their two-character Internet country code (dot-tv). This was done so websites could have dot-tv domain names (e.g. http://www.tv). Sadly, Tuvalu's domain name money cannot save it from becoming history.

Tuvalu has publicly conceded defeat to the sea rising around them. Appeals have gone out to the governments of New Zealand and Australia to help in the full-scale evacuation of Tuvalu's population. The dot-tv domain names live on, but it is Farewell Tuvalu.

[02 November 2001, top]


Email Goes To War

The Internet-based email application, which is the one of the oldest and most popular applications in use today, has played a major role in the writing of history.
"The way that people use e-mail reflects their own lives, with some people using it to create a sense of community, with others using it to fan the flames of destruction."
Full story from BBC News: Email Goes to War

Extra from the LA Times: Email Capability Changes Lives of Sailors Far Away

[26 October 2001, top]


Anthrax Worries Increasing Internet Usage

I never thought there would be an Internet Observer posting that dealt with Anthrax, but never say never.
  • Because of the Anthrax problem, many people are starting to look at doing their bills online.
  • Because of the Anthrax problem, many people are starting to think about doing ecards for the upcoming holiday seasons.
  • Because of the Anthrax problem, bulk-mailers are turning to email (spam).
  • People are using the Internet to get information about Anthrax and to buy Anthrax related drugs. Here are Anthrax related dot-mil [This may be the first ThurmUnit hyperlink to a dot-mil website.] and dot-gov websites. [Alternate hyperlink: AddictionLibrary.org::Anthrax: Signs, Symptoms, Vaccine and Treatment]
[19 October 2001, top]


The Dot-Com Industry Going Belly-Up (dying)

There are many people out there who believe the dot-com industry is going belly-up (i.e. it is dying). I don't believe this to be true.

The dot-com industry is transitioning from a speculative, hyper-growth, industry to an industry that is more in touch with reality. [Should a domain name be worth a million dollar? Should somebody who has a dot-com idea, but no practical business or computer experience, be able to raise millions in venture capital money? Should a public dot-com's market value be based upon approximated hit counters? Should there be any value attached to spam emails, banner advertisements and marketing-oriented popup windows?]

Regardless, there are numerous resources on the web that are doing a good job documenting the history of the dot-com industry. Here are some hyperlinks.

The dot-com industry has made mistakes and it will continue to make mistakes. But I have to remain bullish on the Internet. The Internet has allowed me to connect with Dylan Tweney. He wrote the following.

For years we've been hearing about how the Internet was designed to withstand nuclear attacks. Well, at least we know it can resist terrorist bombardment, as was proven on Sept. 11 when the World Trade Center's collapse took out a massive chunk of Manhattan's telecommunications capability. The Internet Emerges as the Most Reliable Way to Communicate by Dylan Tweney.

[12 October 2001, top]


Email is 30 Years Young; PFIR

[Item]
Ray Tomlinson is considered the father of email. This year (2001), the email application turns thirty (30) years young. Today, email is the most popular Internet-based application. [I first used email in 1980 and my email program was the Unix mail command. Today I use pine.] [ DailyNews.Yahoo.com article]

[Item]
PFIR is the People For Internet Responsibility. It is a global, ad hoc network of individuals who are concerned about the present and future operations, development, management, and regulation of the Internet in responsible ways.

[05 October 2001, top]


Be Careful How and What You Post

When posting information to the Internet, it is important to remember that the information can become available to everybody who uses the World Wide Web (WWW). Here is a snippet of a message that was posted to the AZIPA mailing list [2600+ members].
   Message: 3
   Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 09:36:12 -0700
   From: "Jason Harris" <jason.harris@harristechnologies.com>
   Subject: Updated resume for a friend of mine looking to 
            do sales, cust serv, admin

   Kristal K. Foo
   1234 E. Foo Ave.
   Foo, AZ  85236
   (480) 555-9876

   OBJECTIVE: To work in a fun and energetic company 
   in a sales or sales support role.  I like to be 
   challenged and to learn new things.  I have always 
   been a hardworking, punctual and dedicated individual.  
   I pride myself on being able to get the job done and 
   tackle tasks with a positive "can do" attitude.
[Note] Name, address, and phone number were changed to protect Kristal.

Typically, a message is posted to AZIPA using email and in turn the message gets emailed to all Members of the mailing list group. But every sent message also gets posted to the YahooGroup website that supports the mailing list. In other words, this message can be located on the WWW at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/azipa/message/15330 [And now it can also be found on ThurmUnit.]

In a nutshell, we know where Kristal lives along with her phone number.

[28 September 2001, top]


HTTPS Usage is a Requirement

When entering data into a webpage, I do not click the Submit unless I see https as the protocol in the URL. For example,
   https://www.AmericaIsGreat.usa

HTTPS is the secure version of the Hyper-Text Transmission Protocol (HTTP). Data transferred over the Internet using HTTPS is encrypted.

I would not trust a URL like the following:

   http://secure.donations.foo

The word secure in the URL means nothing. It cannot be trusted.

[Exercise] Get a version of Apache running on the csdev.sc.maricopa.edu machine that allows HTTPS to be used.
[21 September 2001, top]


Last Week was 404 -- This Week It's 911

Last week we dicussed the 404 HTTP status code. This week 404s are insignificant. The following are a small number of items that have ended up in my in-box since America was Attacked.
  • A source at Yahoo in London said the company had to build a new computer server to handle the excess traffic. This action appeared to work as the news section of the site had become readily accessible by 1600 GMT.
  • eBay Bans Sale of All Trade Center Memorabilia
  • CNN.com which is affiliated with the AOL Time Warner-owned 24-hour CNN news channel, said it saw record traffic, hitting 9 million page views an hour since the tragedy occurred, compared to ordinary volume of 11 million page views per day.
  • The FBI setup the website www.ifccfbi.gov to allow people to report terrorists activity.
  • Unable to connect via wireless and landline phones, many New Yorkers posted messages on Web sites, signed on to instant chat services and used e-mail to contact loved ones.
  • Chain Emails Used to Rally Americans After Attacks
  • Major Web news outlets such as CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Yahoo News, ABCNews.com and FoxNews.com have been left unaccessible or slow to respond.
  • Verizon Communications said late on Tuesday that it would make calls from its 4,000 pay-phones in Manhattan free "for the duration of the current emergency" after the attack on the World Trade Center.
  • From Bill Austin: "One of my high traffic web pages has more than doubled the previous record high visitors today. About 50 percent of visitors show one of these two search results as the referrer." http://www.google.com/search?q=death+quotes and http://www.google.com/search?q=mourning+quotes
  • Federal police are reportedly increasing Internet surveillance after Tuesday's deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
  • Internet Performs Global Role, Supplementing TV
This list could go on and on and on and on...
[14 September 2001, top]


404 -- Page Not Found [linkrot]

Linkrot is a term used to describe a hyperlink that when clicked results in a page not found error -- the infamous HTTP status code 404. If you are the owner of a website, then linkrot is bad. [ThurmUnit is experiencing major linkrot.] Here is hyperlink that is suffering linkrot. Unlike the cszero server, some websites return interesting and fancy 404 webpages.
[07 September 2001, top]


Search Engines Other Than Google

When it comes to searching for stuff on the Internet, Google is our favorite search engine. To some extent, we are a Google-ite. Google has set a level of performance that some new search engines are trying hard to beat.

WISEnut | Teoma | Lasoo | Starpond | Vivisimo

For us Google-ites this is hard to accept, but there are Search Engines Other than Google. [source::WiredNews]

[31 August 2001, top]


AT&T Rules; AOL Does Not

The hardest part about maintaining the Internet Observer is that the Internet is so interesting to observe. There is so much good stuff to be found. For some, the Internet is filled with bad stuff. I guess this balance helps to Keep The Internet Fun.

This week's postings were obtained from the Arizona Internet Professionals Association [AZIPA] YahooGroup.

AT&T -- This is Cool
Two surveys (by Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates) awarded AT&T WorldNet the Number One ISP rating followed by BellSouth and EarthLink.

AOL -- Just Isn't Trusted
AOL received lower consumer satisfaction ratings than Microsoft, both as an Internet service provider (ISP) and an email provider, according to a Gartner survey as reported by E-Commerce Times.

AZIPA.org | AZIPA YahooGroup
[2699 Members as of Fri Aug 24 14:31:51 MST 2001]
[24 August 2001, top]


Can the Internet *Not* Be a Sure Thing?

The following quote does a good job describing the Internet.
"The Internet is a dumb network with smart terminals. The network itself functions automatically through pre-determined algorithms of routing and formatting. Once the network is built, there is no internal intelligence required for each transmission. The intelligence of the network is concentrated at the endpoints, the personal computers and servers at the terminus."
The End of the Internet as We Know It from Dismal.com [The Internet Observer contains a couple of Internet 2 postings.]

[extra] The Industry Standard was launched in the spring of 1998 and I have enjoyed its website for the last couple of years. It has been a leading -- and respected -- source of Internet news. It makes one wonder how good you have to be in order to be a dot-success. I am sad to see The Industry Standard become a dot-failure. [ More... from the Washington Post]

[17 August 2001, top]


Yahoo Removes Pro-Anorexia Websites

Websites have been created by people who call their eating habits a lifestyle choice rather than a disorder. Many other people disagree and want these websites off the Internet. Yahoo has decided to disallow these websites to be hosted on their servers. Poor Yahoo -- it is like George W. Bush on stem cell research -- no matter what you do, you are damned. Yahoo is a leading Internet company and its actions weigh heavily with those having money. If Yahoo bans something, then other Yahoo-like websites may follow their lead.
"These sites can be life threatening to people with eating disorders. It was a real challenge to get them removed because we're up against free speech."
Holly Hoff, of the National Eating Disorder Association
Observing the Internet is so interesting.
[10 August 2001, top]


Using the Net While on Vacation

Many people take computers with them when they go on vacation. I cannot fathom taking a computer on a road trip, but that is a personal decision. For some, vacations are something they do because the company requires them to use their vacation time, but for others, a vacation is a chance to disconnect from the Net and reconnect with Mother Nature. From NewsBytes.com comes this common sense article Checking Work Email on Vacation Fuels Burnout.

[Email Etiquette] Many people use an auto-responder to send email replies when they are not able to process received email in a timely fashion (e.g. they are on vacation). If you use such a feature, then be concerned about the mailing lists to which you are subscribed. For example, assume you belong to the [cszero] mailing list and member Joe posts a message. If you have an auto-responder enabled, then Joe will get email from you telling him you are gone. For Joe, this will usually be spam [i.e. they don't care you are gone]. Here is a tip: If you use an auto-responder, then suspend or un-subscribe your membership on your mailing lists and resume or re-subscribe upon your return.

[27 July 2001, top]


GoogleBits for July 2001

GoogleBits... bits of information about Google.
  • Google Zeitgeist -- Search patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google -- is a webpage that allows us to see what type of searching is being done with Google. [Google also provides a definition for Zeitgeist -- the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.]
  • Google usage in Russia is rapidly growing. The three leading local search engines, Yandex.ru, Rambler.ru, and Aport.ru, had cornered almost the entire Russian-speaking market between them, but Google's share of the market has tripled since September and if traffic through Google.Yahoo.com in Russia is added in, Google is now the second-most popular search engine in Russia.
  • Google Wins Best Practices Webby Award
[20 July 2001, top]


ICANN May Be Forced to Add Dot-Kids

Congress may pass a Bill that would prohibit ICANN (which is overseen by the U. S. Department of Commerce) from adding any other ICANN-selected domains to the root until dot-kids was created.

The legislation includes rules that the dot-kids domain operators would have to adhere to in order to ensure content on the domain is appropriate for children (i.e. domain names ending with .kids imply a kid safe website). I wonder what type of websites Sex.kids or TripleX.kids or Naked.kids or ForSale.kids or WillTrade.kids would be?

From ICANNWatch.org comes Congress May Require ICANN to Create .kids.

[13 July 2001, top]


Let Google Find Images For You

Images.Google.com can be used to search for images. Here is a search for images of Thurman. [Note: this only works if the Mature Content filter is off. When it is on, no images are found.]

Don't forget that Groups.Google.com provides nice access to the Usenet newsgroups.

[Extra] Google has announced that they are thinking about going public.

[06 July 2001, top]


Juno and Netzero to Merge

This is old news, but still relevant.

ISPs [Internet Service Providers] Juno and NetZero have announced plans to merge their operations, creating a new ISP called United Online that will be second only to AOL Time Warner in its number of subscribers. The new ISP will have around 7 million customers. Isn't there a saying that goes two wrongs don't make a right? SatireWire.com announces Juno, Netzero merge to create hugely unsuccessful company.

[29 June 2001, top]


Cyber-Seuss Says Goodbye

Last week we reported that Suck.com has decided the web business sucked so they discontinued posting new material to their website.

On 31 May 2001, after six years of operation, Cyber-Seuss announced it will no longer be a functional website.

A quote from Dr. Seuss
"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
Cyber-Seuss says goodbye.
[22 June 2001, top]


Suck.com Sucks It Up and Quits

We have posted previously to the Internet Observer about the Suck.com website. It appears, however, that the day of observing Suck.com have ended. This sucks!
[15 June 2001, top]


The Big Four; ICANN and Domain Names

The problem with running the Internet Observer is the volume of good stuff to observe. Here are a couple of news items reported this week.
  • Four companies -- AOL Time Warner, Microsoft Corp, Yahoo, and Napster -- now control half of all minutes spent online by U.S. users, according to a new report released this week by research firm Jupiter Media Metrix. [ DailyNews.Yahoo.com]
  • Big deal is being made concerning .biz domain names. [Who is going to own show.biz?] I'm constantly amazed that domain naming has become a viable business. In addition, there is pressure to start an alternate domain name root. If you use Unix, then you know the power of root is all powerful. One root is enough and let's be sure it is managed by ethical computer gurus. [ ICANN Struggles with Internet Names]
[08 June 2001, top]


The First Ten Domain Names

The Domain Name System (DNS) allows machines on the Internet to be accessed by domain name rather than IP address. DNS was initiated in 1985 and the following table lists the first ten domain names entered into the system.
History of Internet Names
symbolics.com Symbolics Technology, Inc 3/15/85
bbn.com BBN Corporation 4/24/85
cmu.edu Carnegie-Mellon University 4/24/85
purdue.edu Purdue University 4/24/85
rice.edu Rice University 4/24/85
berkeley.edu University of California at Berkeley 4/24/85
ucla.edu University of California, Los Angeles 4/24/85
rutgers.edu Rutgers University 4/24/85
mit.edu Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5/23/85
think.com Thinking Machines Corporation 5/24/85
[01 June 2001, top]


No More Finger Usage at the U. of Michigan

The last command the Introductory Unix class at SCC saw this semester was the finger command. After demonstrating it, we indicated that we were probably going to disable the finger on some systems because it violates user privacy and there have been security issues discovered with it over time. It turns out these concerns are not without justification.

After eight incidents of network-related stalking on its Ann Arbor campus in the last three years, the University of Michigan has discontinued using finger.

Finger is an old Internet application that was written to help network research engineers and scientists keep in touch. Some of U. of Michigan students used finger to locate where on campus certain students were working (i.e. finger was used by students to stalk other students).

U. of Michigan Deactivates Internet Program Linked to Stalking Incidents from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

[Example] I've used finger to see if my sister has read her mail. Here is sample output from fingering my account gthurman on the azdot.net computer.

   $ finger gthurman@azdot.net
   [azdot.net]
   Login: gthurman                      Name: G.D.Thurman
   Directory: /home/gthurman            Shell: /bin/bash
   Last login Tue May 22 11:08 (MST) on pts/1 from csnet.sc.maricopa.edu
   Mail last read Thu May  3 05:39 2001 (MST)
   No Plan.
Note: if I had a .plan file located in my HOME directory, then the content of the .plan would have been displayed where you see the line No Plan.

What is finger? from the Jargon Dictionary.

[25 May 2001, top]


The Internet and the Power to Form Groups

If you are a long term ThurmUnit member, then you know I like a guy named David Weinberger. Weinberger writes JOHO (Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization) and is one of the people behind the Cluetrain Manifesto which deals with web ethics. Weinberger published an interview with David Reed. Weinberger referred to Reed as an Internet graybeard. Reed was an MIT Professor at the time the Internet was invented. Reed was Chief Scientist at the company that created VisiCalc (the first killer application for the PC). Reed has worked for Lotus. Reed is now an entrepreneur and consultant [that's nice]. Weinberger says Reed is a nice guy who works with non-profits. Reed has a computing law named after him and it is called Reed's Law. Reed's law has to do with the Internet's power to enable the formation of groups. Here are some quotes from the interview.
   "Group forming is the technical feature that
   most distinguishes the Internet's capabilities
   from all other communications media before it."

   "The Internet's architecture also supports
   group-forming networks whose members can assemble
   and maintain persistent communicating groups."

   "Anyone who is serious about the Net must learn
   to Get the power of group-forming communities."

   "As a student at MIT, I learned that the number
   of distinct subgroups that can form in a set of N
   members is 2-to-the-N, which means that the number
   and value of group-forming options grow exponentially
   as N increases."

At the start and end of the interview, David Reed gives credit to two guys named J.C.R. Licklider and Bob Taylor. He shares a great quote from these guys and you should read it for yourself.

Interview::David Weinberger Introduces Us to David Reed

Internet Supports Group Formation

[18 May 2001, top]


Google's Usenet Archive Complete

Google has integrated the full Usenet archive to provide complete access to Usenet data since 1995. The archive contains more than 650 million messages (over a terabyte of human conversation).

It is always good to remember that stuff posted to the Internet is archivable. I've posted to the Usenet newsgroups a handful of time since 1995 and a Google Usenet search proves it.

[04 May 2001, top]


Keep McVeigh Off the Internet

On 16 May 2001, Timothy McVeigh is going to be deleted and he wants his deletion broadcast nationally and prosecutors want a closed-circuit telecast to an invitation-only audience of his victims' family members. The Internet community is claiming if you can see McVeigh's removal via TV, then why not broadcast it on the Web.

I found the following paragraph by Paul Burns [HTML Goodies To Go] something to ponder.

"What I do care about is someone seeing the execution after the protected feed is finished. My main concern is that once the pay-per-view broadcast is over, then just about anyone will be able to see the execution. Many who paid the fee will capture it. Once the feed is captured, I can easily see animated gifs and copies of the actual death scene popping up all over the Web."

If a data stream of McVeigh's execution is transmitted, then it will be copied and some people will make money off of their copies. The Internet will allow McVeigh to live and continue to cause collateral damage. Let's Keep The Internet Fun and keep McStupid off of it.

[27 April 2001, top]


Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!

YAYA::Yet Another Yahoo Annotation

[YAYA] Front page attention was given to the fact that Yahoo offers hard-core pornography on the Internet. It was old news because Yahoo has been doing this for sometime. But the report was issued at the same time the Company reported better-than-expected first quarter results and a 12% reduction in its workforce.

[YAYA] The following was posted to the Arizona Distance Learning Association [http://azdla.org] mailing list concerning Yahoo's porn business.

I can think of no organization better positioned to offer a STRONG VOICE of protest. If Yahoo is driven out of the market in less than a week by the strength of actions by boycott or other steps, it will speak well for our nation and its people. Your suggestions regarding how best to express this will be appreciated.
I don't think the AZDLA can take sole credit, but it happened: Due to public pressure, Yahoo is going to close their porn business. [Earlier this year Yahoo stopped the auctioning of Nazi stuff.]

[YAYA] Having a job at Yahoo is no guarantee that you will always have a job. Yahoo has more than 3,200 employees. What do all those employees do? A 12% reduction in the work force may be appropriate.

[YAYA] Yahoo! Japan is Japan's dominant Internet portal and its net profit hit a record 2.97 billion yen ($24.49 million) in 2000/01, up 158 percent on increasing advertising revenues. [Yahoo owns 38% of Yahoo Japan]

[YAYA] The SEC requires companies to provide shareholders with a performance graph that compares investment in the Company with other investment options.

                    YHOO      NASDAQ Market    JP Morgan H&Q
                                 Index         Internet Index
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    4/12/96     $   100.00       $100.00         $  100.00
   12/31/96     $   130.77       $117.53         $   96.11
   12/31/97     $   799.04       $142.96         $  128.98
   12/31/98     $ 5,467.79       $199.61         $  300.27
   12/31/99     $19,970.19       $370.45         $1,041.13 
   12/29/00     $ 2,775.00       $224.91         $  400.59

[YAYA] Yahoo hired a new CEO. He is Terry Semel and he comes from Hollywood where he was Chairman of Warner Brothers. [Semel purchased one million shares of Yahoo! common stock from the company in a private placement transaction.] [ Yahoo Press Release]

[20 April 2001, top]


Educase to Control Dot-Edu Domain Names

Email from Chronical.com:
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE announced on Wednesday that it intends to hand over management of the ".edu" Internet domain to Educause, the academic-technology consortium. The group's first order of business will be to extend ".edu" addresses to two-year colleges. [ Article]

I've been on the EDUCASE mailing-list for at least of a couple of years and it distributes good stuff. Lots of material about computing and its roll in education, work, and life. I am confident they will do an excellent job controlling the dot-edu domain name allocations.

The Maricopa Community College District (MCCD) is one of the largest Community College Districts in the country and it is highly respected. I suspect because of its size, MCCD was awarded a dot-edu domain name. To me, Community/Junior Colleges rule and every valid Community College deserves a dot-edu domain name. If a dot-com can have a dot-edu because they provide educational services, then a Community College must qualify. Object-oriented students should notice that a Community College is-an education provider, and education providers receive dot-edu domain names; therefore, by inheritance, Community Colleges should receive dot-edu domain names.

[Extra] Eric Schmidt Becomes Chairman of Google's Board Eric Schmidt is highly regarded in computing circles. Schmidt is currently Chairman and CEO of Novell and prior to that he was Chief Technology Officer at Sun Microsystems. Dr. Schmidt [Ph.D. in Computer Science from Berkeley] has also worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Bell Labs. He is 45 years old.

[13 April 2001, top]


Sex.com; School Shootings; Dot-Org Restrictions

About Sex.com
The former operator of Sex.com has been ordered by a Federal judge to pay $65 million in damages for fraudulently taking control of the website. The domain name was obtained in 1995 using a forged letter. Don't believe it? From WiredNews comes Cost of Sex.com: $65 Mil.

Teen Internet User Helps Prevent School Shooting
Tarryn Pitzer, a teen who volunteers to talk with troubled teens, communicated with a teen student who made statements regarding thoughts of violence toward his classmates. Tarryn alerted the FBI about a potential school shooting. The school is in Pennsylvania and she is in New Zealand. It really is a World Wide Web. [TeenHelp.org]

Prove It or Lose It
There is some concern that owners of dot-org domain names will have to prove they are nonprofit organizations in order to keep the dot-org suffix. ICANN is considering restricting dot-org to nonprofit groups. Maybe by the time this all happens, I will have gotten around to doing something with http://KeepTheInternetFun.org.

[06 April 2001, top]


Frowny Emoticon :-( Trademarked?

It is hard to believe this not a joke, but it looks valid to me: Frowny Emoticon :-( Trademarked to Despair, Inc.. The Company, which uses the frowny emoticon as a their logo, claims it filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Dallas, alleging trademark infringement against over 7 million individual Internet users. The company has requested separate injunctions granted against each. It is believed to be the largest single trademark dispute in history.

In my Internet classes we have always preached that emoticons should not be used because they may not be understood by the reader, but now maybe we should avoid using them to keep from being sued.

Not sure what an emoticon is? ThurmBit::Emoticons [ASCII faces]

[30 March 2001, top]


Internet March Madness

It's March Madness time! There is so much to observe when it comes to the Internet. To help reduce the length of my items-to-be-posted queue, I resorted to doing another smorgasbord type posting.
Better Business Bureau: Don't Hyperlink To Us
A website that contained a hyperlink to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received an email from Beth Zialcita, a trademark enforcer at the organization, asking them to remove their hyperlink to the BBB website. The BBB claims the hyperlink "may imply or mislead consumers into assuming that our organization supports your business or that there is a business relationship between us." I can't resist -- here is a hyperlink to the Better Business Bureau.

Larger Banner Advertisements Are Coming
From the this sucks category... larger banner advertisements are on the horizon and proof is provided by Salon.com which says it will start using larger advertisements. It also plans to roll out a subscription-based service next month for readers who wish to avoid those larger ads.

Busboy Uses Internet to Steal from the Rich
A 32 year-old NYC busboy was caught with the Social Security numbers, home addresses and birth dates of 217 corporate heads, celebrities and tycoons (e.g. Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Ted Turner). The busboy obtained this information using the Internet. I've been telling TylerT [my son] that being a busboy can be an easy and fun way to make money, but this isn't what I had in mind.

Loudcloud Goes Public
Shares of Loudcloud Inc. (nasdaq: LDCL) tumbled well below its $6 IPO price and it appears some of IPO underwriters abandoned the stock. Loudcloud is Marc Andreessen's company [think Mosiac/Netscape]. Loudcloud's stock has dipped as low as $3-7/8. The company should be proud of itself for going public when it did -- that took guts in today's market. According to Wall Street, the Internet might as well be called foo.

WIPO Says No to the Boss
In a weird ruling (given previous judgments for Madonna, Sting, Julie Roberts -- just to mention a few), WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization) has decided that rock star Bruce Springsteen has no right to the BruceSpringsteen.com domain name. If you want to get to Bruce's website, then you need to visit www.brucespringsteen.net. For more about Domain Name disputes over celebrity names go to GigaLaw.com.

[23 March 2001, top]


IRS Employees Love to Surf the Web

The front page of the 02 March 2001 Arizona Republic had the following story.
Internet misuse is found at IRS
The Treasury Department has discovered that more than half the time IRS (Internal Revenue Service) employees spent on the Internet was for personal reasons rather than work purposes.
The article contained some interesting statistics.
  • one workstation accessed over 172,000 web objects resulting in over 120 hours of Internet access transmission time during a 21-day period [that's a lot of surfing; thank goodness for high-speed connections]
  • employee misuse created demand on telecommunication lines for which the IRS pays $390 million a year
  • IRS employees like streaming media -- they watch lingerie shows and auto shows, and listen to web-enable radio stations

The primary non-work related Internet usage was financial stuff (getting stock quotes, banking, etc.) [26%], personal email and chatrooms [23%], and miscellaneous stuff (sports, sexually explicit and gambling websites [14%]. On the positive side, only 7% of the Internet accesses were shopping related.

[09 March 2001, top]


Napster is Very, Very, Very Cool!

The Napster case has resulted in the establishment of laws that have a strong influence on the computing world in general and society as a whole. I don't understand the following:

If I'm producer of music, then I want my music heard. Yes, I need and require money; but if the whole wide world is listening to my music, then the money will be free flowing and we will never have to worry about money ever again.

A few days ago Napster offered the RIAA (Radio Industry Association of America) a billion dollars [$1,000,000,000] to cover copyright issues and the RIAA said no. Now, I hear that a Roy Orbison "clan" is claiming that there have been over one million copyright violations committed. Do you think they smell easy money? money.

I confess -- I used Napster to find and download Roy Orbison and KD Lang doing a live version of Crying. It is a pleasure to listen to. I thank Roy and KD for their talents and for sharing those talents with us; I'm envious.

Coming sometime this summer -- we think -- Napster is going to charge for usage. Pricing numbers have been published, but they are subject to change.

The following was quoted from today's (02 March 2001) WiredNews Posting.

"A district court judge could issue an injunction that would force Napster to monitor activity on its network. Napster will plead that such a ruling would force it to shut down."

My Napster ThurmBit is old [last updated 04 August 2000] and needs to be updated badly, but it still provides a decent introduction to Napster.

Extra
Napster was suppose to start blocking the sharing of selected songs, but as of Mon Mar 5 09:24:30 MST 2001 it appears nothing has happened. Searching and downloading are working fine. Usage is down from the weekend's high -- which was higher than I've ever seen it before. As of this moment there are 1,500,249 files; 6,435 gigabytes (GB) of information; 7,666 libraries. During the weekend I saw over file count of 2.2 million. I'd have to lookup how to write the figure 6,435 gigabytes in bytes. I know that 1 megabyte is 1,024,000 bytes and that there are 1,024 megabytes to a gigabyte -- budding programmers can take it from there.

More Extra
While I was typing in the previous Extra the following was received via email:

Napster Begins to Block Songs
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,22626,00.html?nl=mg

[02 March 2001, top]


This Resource is Experiencing Buffer Overflow

The Internet Observer is experiencing information (i.e. buffer) overflow. As we sit typing stuff in, my IN-BOX continues to get larger. We end the week with a box containing over 100 messages, many of which have not been read but I know they have good content. A few of the messages I've read require a response, but the response requires effort on my part. Our blanket excuse is that we are lazy, but that is not true. Instead, it is wanting to do everything now in Internet time.

I decided to pull out some archive material as a filler for this week's Internet posting. What's a URL? explains what a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is. We are coming a society of URL givers, but are we sure we understand what a URL is?

[23 Feb 2001, top]


Google To Grow Usenet? Is Usenet the next WWW?

Many Usenet users get Usenet messages from their ISP. Because of volume, most ISPs cannot store the Usenet messages for long; therefore, they get removed from NNTP servers.

The Usenet archive is a unique asset because many Usenet servers do not receive all available Usenet newsgroups,

Now (16 Feb 2001), Usenet data is available only in a limited beta form. Google has said in the coming months it will restore access to the entire Usenet archive and add features to its website to let users search, browse, and post Usenet messages.

Goggle is attempting to commercialize Usenet. Others have attempted this before, but to no avail primarily because Usenet is POT [Plain-Old-Text]. It is going to be interesting to see how well Google handles this invaluable resource. Google has a chance to introduce a new generation of Internet users to a Usenet community that spans the world. It is a community that since 1971 has been open and free. Today the exchange of Usenet data is incredible. Some of the data is precious, some of the data sucks. Usenet is about groups and the Internet is an enabler of generating groups. A future posting to this resource will ponder the excitement of groups.

Google Press Release
Google Acquires Usenet Service and Assets from Deja.com

When you want information about Usenet, then Google is providing the world some free excellent dot-edu materials. If you like the way I take notes, then here is what I have to say about Usenet.

Thank You Google.

[16 Feb 2001, top]


Register.com Turns a Profit

Holy Cow... not all dot-com's are losing money. Register.com (Nasdaq: RCOM) , the second largest registrar of Domain Names, posted a profit for its 4th quarter [quarterly revenues were $28.9 million and earnings were $0.06 per share; analysts had been excepting the company to report $0.02 per share loss]. The company registered about 655,000 new and transferred domain names in the 4th quarter of 2000. That sure seems like a lot of domain names. [ More... Yahoo!News]

[Extra] I discovered that AZReporter.com has a copy of ThurmRecipe::Spaghetti Omelet in the food section of their website.

[09 Feb 2001, top]


Volkswagen Wins Rights to the VW.net Domain Name

A federal appeals court on 22 January 2001, backed a ruling by a lower court that ordered a company to relinquish the vw.net domain name to carmaker Volkswagen, which laid claim to the URL because of company trademarks. The 3-0 opinion delivered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, says that Virtual Works, an ISP, violated the 1999 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) by registering vw.net in bad faith and with the hope of one day profiting from Volkswagen's "VW" trademark. Virtual Works registered the URL in 1996 and operated its business for two years before the trademark conflict arose. Here is a copy of the court's opinion. [Source: Declan McCullagh]

Originally, .net TLDs were reserved for ISPs, but Network Solutions stopped this practice September 1995. In 1996, Network Solutions was the only resource allowed to register domain names. Today, there are numerous resources that can register domain names. I like to use Gandi.net.

[02 Feb 2001, top]


eGroups is now Yahoo! Groups

It appears as though egroups has been "deprecated" [Java and XHTML humor]. The eGroups we had are now called yahooGroups.

I think Yahoo! has done an excellent job merging other websites into theirs. Yahoo and eGroups integrated nicely from an end-user perspective. I'm sure they used the merge to improve their internal structure to make these type of tasks easier in the future.

Do you know what YAHOO stands for? If no, then click here. [The dreaded "click here" phrase. It's use should be avoided.]

Yahoo! provides the following special announcement for eGroups users.

The old eGroup URLs will continue to work for a while, but I'm going to start using the new ones. Here they are.

[cszero] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cszero/
[csc200] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/csc200/
[csc285] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/csc285/
[azunix] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/azunix/
[26 Jan 2001, top]


I've Become an EFF Member

The state of Virginia has a law that bars state employees from using their state computer to access websites containing sexually explicit content. The 12 Feb 1999 Internet Observer posting was about six professors whose legal challenge to the Virginia law was denied by an Appeals court. Here is an update: On 08 Jan 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court also rejected their challenge.
High Court Upholds Speech Limits from WiredNews::Politics
Related Internet Observer Posting from 12 Feb 1999
Protecting Rights and Promoting Freedom in the Electronic Frontier
I became a paying member of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org)
on 09 Jan 2001.
[Free Speech Ribbon]
[19 Jan 2001, top]


Why is There an Internet Observer?

The Internet Observer is a blog related to the Internet. It is updated on a weekly basis and covers a wide array of Internet topics such as privacy, security, browser usage, server usage, domain name speculation, ecommerce, and so forth. The following blurb summarizes the goal of the Internet Observer.
Because of the constant evolution of the Internet this document could be updated every minute of every day, but that would result in too information overflow. The primary objective of the Internet Observer it to open our eyes to just how powerful the Internet is and to help us realize that the Internet is here to stay. We are becoming a "networked" society and if you use the Internet, then you are a member of the cyber-community. If users of the Internet are Internet-literate, then the Internet will be a better place for all of us to work and live.

The Internet Observer was started August of 1998 and as of 01 January 2006 it contained 376 postings. Reviewing archived Internet Observer postings is an one way to get an Internet related history lesson.

[12 Jan 2001, top]
Author: G.D.Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:20 MST