Internet::Observer::Archive::Year 2002

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CyberBegging... or ePanHandling

Cyber-squatting, cyber-security, cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism, cyber-warfare... how about cyberbegging? Yahoo started a begging category with four sites in 1996, but these days Yahoo calls it epanhandling. As of late December 2002, there are 63 sites in the E-Panhandling category.

[27 December 2002, top]

Google Spawns Froogle

Google has added Froogle to their website.

Google says... "Froogle is a new service from Google that makes it easy to find information about products for sale online. By focusing entirely on product search, Froogle applies the power of Google's search technology to a very specific task: locating stores that sell the item you want to find and pointing you directly to the place where you can make a purchase."

Goto Froogle...

[20 December 2002, top]

The Power of the Internet and the Hyperlink

This Internet Observer posting is the last one displayed in front of Fall 2002 students and I feel the need pontificate.

Almost on a daily basis I experience the Power of the Internet. It energizes me each time it happens. It is so appropriate we call it a Hyperlink.

The Internet is an enabler of group formation.

As per the Internet Society -- The Internet is For Everyone.

The Internet Observer is almost five years young. I'm looking forward to posting future Internet observations. Will we still be using the Internet ten years from now?

Learn all you can about the Internet and let's Keep The Internet Fun.

[13 December 2002, top]

Martha Stewart and Phoenix Coyote Spam

On Monday, 01 December 2002, I got spam messages (quantity 2) for Martha Stewart stuff.

On Tuesday, 02 December 2002, I got a spam message from the Phoenix Coyotes.

Martha... Coyotes... what will tomorrow bring?

Here is a quote copied from Yahoo!

" The average American will get more than 2,200 spam, or unsolicited bulk email, messages this year and 3,600 by 2007, Jupiter Research forecasts. "

Average American needs to be defined.

What If?

What if my employer asks me to send email messages that I believe are spam -- what position do I take? Employee or Profession? If I pick Profession, then I may not be an Employee anymore. Position taking can result in losses of various kinds.

[Bonus] Here is a spam email message that I received after making this posting.

   Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 06:40:05 -0800
   From: Love Finder <ptd@primetimedirect.net>
   To: THURMUNIT@INFICAD.COM
   Subject: View Photos of Singles in Your Area

[06 December 2002, top]

Sheriff Joe and the Internet; Retailers Employ the DMCA

[Item] Here is a headline from the Friday, 22 November 2002, Arizona Republic: "Net auctions trageted for crackdown -- 5 in Valley arrested in fraud probe." Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has "vowed" to use his computer-crimes unit to crack down on Valley users who use the Internet to steal from other Internet users. Five have been arrested, but sheriff Joe thinks there are a whole bunch more on the verge of being captured.

The Republic article stated that since January of 2002, the Sheriff's office has "investigated about 127 computer-related crimes and 800 complaints about Internet related fraud."

This news story is a story for primarily two reasons: 1) criminals are everywhere; and 2) most people who are users of the Internet are not Internet literate.

[Item] WiredNews::Big Retailers Squeeze FatWallet -- Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and so on are using the DMCA and copyright law to block websites from posting upcoming sale prices before they are published by the retailer.

[22 November 2002, top]

Grep, Thurman, Google, Uma, Herb Mumford

This week's Internet Observer posting morphed itself into a GDT::Bit. The bit is about Google and some observations about its search results when the string thurman is used in the query string. [ GDT::Bit::A Google Moment]
[15 November 2002, top]

Changes Made to the Internet's Root Servers

Due to recent attacks on the 13 root servers of the Internet, Verisign - which operates two of the root servers - moved one computer to a different building in an unspecified location in northern Virginia and onto a different part of its network. The change was implemented to "ensure that a hardware outage or focused attack targeting part of its network could not disrupt both servers." [NandoTimes.com] [ Slashdot.org::Root Zone Changed] [ WIA.org::DNS Root Servers ]
[08 November 2002, top]

WAI: Web Accessibility Initiative (The Internet is For Everyone)

A blind person who uses a screen reader to browse the web is suing Southwest Airlines because he couldn't use their website to make a reservation. Man Sues Airlines for Fare Access [WiredNews::Politics]

I know that for my employer (the Maricopa County Community College District) web accessibility is a huge issue. To help make the web usable by all, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is working on the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

[Side-bar] At this year's 2002 CPSR Conference, a person from the W3C's WAI committee gave a presentation and they mentioned that some people browse the web using their eye-brows instead of a mouse and keyboard. Her presentation reminded me that I am illiterate when it comes to how the disabled use computers.

[RFC 3271: The Internet is For Everyone]
[01 November 2002, top]

Another Internet Movie? The Good, The Ugly, The Evil

The Internet is coming under attack from all fronts: computer crackers, politicians and judges.

[The Good] On Monday, 21 October 2002, a cyberattack took down 9 of the 13 root servers of the Internet, but the attack went unnoticed by the majority of Internet users for the following reasons.

  • the design and implementation of the Internet does not depend on any single server
  • measures were taken to protect against the attack
  • the attack lasted for a short duration

The denial-of-service attack flooded targeted servers with 30 to 40 times the usual amount of traffic, causing seven to fail and two others to fail intermittently. [source::CNN.com]

[The Ugly] George W. Bush speaking about the Internet. I made the mistake of turning on Fox News to get an update on the sniper and there was U.S. President George W. Bush talking about the Internet. Here are some quotes that I jotted down.

	75% of our children are online.

	We've got a widespread problem.  Internet porn 
	is available to any child.

	The Internet is a tool that lures kids to danger.

	Every day we learn more about the evil on the Internet
Bush wants the Senate to pass legislation to bypass a Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban of computer simulations of child pornography. Bush urges law against virtual child porn. [FreedomForum.org]

[The Evil] The Internet was subjected to a cyberattack. [see The Good]

Article from CNN.com
DNS Root Servers
Root Name Server Operational Requirements [RFC::2870]
[25 October 2002, top]

Potential Internet Movie? The Good, The Bad, The Evil

Observing the Internet exposes us to stuff that is Good, stuff that is Bad, and stuff that is Evil. This week has been no exception.

[The Good] The Internet Society (a group of 11,000 engineers and other networking experts) has been awarded control of the dot-org TLD (Top-Level-Domain).

There are approximately 21.2 million dot-com names. Dot-org, at 2.3 million names, ranks behind dot-net, Germany's dot-de and the United Kingdom's dot-uk.

[The Bad] Residents of north Phoenix have warned that they are going to take pictures of people who visit the newly opened Castle Megastore. They are going post these pictures to the WWW for the entire world to see. These people are hoping to scare away those who are timid soles who are unable to stand-up for the their freedoms.

Note: I am planning on visiting this Castle in order to take pictures of those taking pictures and my pictures will be posted to AzFoo.net.

[The Evil] The person suspected of an idiotic bomb attack in Finland may have used an Internet chatroom to learn about home-grown explosives. Other terrorists (e.g. "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, and members of the al Qaeda network) have admitted to learning about bombs from the Internet.

The terrorist acts are evil in and by themselves, but these type of activities can result in increased Internet regulation. In other words, evil gives birth to more evil, which in this case is the loss of our computing freedoms.
[18 October 2002, top]

Jakob Nielsen Alertbox Articles; Yahoo! Turns a Profit

Jakob Nielsen [GDT::DreamTeam member] is considered a web-usability guru. He periodically publishes a newsletter called the Alertbox that helps us learn about designing webpages and websites.

Many web developers dismiss Nielsen's teachings because they border on the simplistic, but Nielsen understands how humans interact with machines that understanding is crucial is designing and developing usable computing systems.

Here is a short list of recent Alertbox article worthy of review.

[Extra] Yahoo! to Yahoo! for having a profitable third-quarter on a good increase in revenues. [ GDTStocks::Yahoo Makes Money]

[11 October 2002, top]

ISOC May Manage Dot-org TLD; Verisign May Lose Dot-com Control

[Item] The Internet Society (ISOC) is getting close to becoming the "manager" of the dot-org TLD (Top Level Domain). [I consider this good news.] Internet Society (ISOC) Dot-org Bid [ISOC.org].

[Item] ICANN may take away Verisign's (Network Solutions) ability to register dot-com domain names. ICANN's actions are " based on a broad, long-standing pattern it (Network Solutions/Verisign) has exhibited of failing to abide by its agreement to provide complete Whois data, and to take steps to correct reported inaccuracies in that data." Steps to Improve Whois Data Accuracy [ICANN.org]

[Item] I register my domain names ($10-$12 per year) and do whois look-ups using Gandi.net

[27 September 2002, top]

GDT is a Blogger (What's a blogger?)

The MOTD and its respective off-shoots (Internet Observer, Security Watchdog and the Unix and Linux Logger) are all examples of weblogs. To some extent, I am a blogger. Here is a definition of a weblog that sounds good. [I don't remember the source.]
A weblog is an easy-to-update online journal, with the most recent entries at the top and older entries below that, in reverse chronological order.

A weblog can be a useful tool for personal knowledge management as well as for public communication.

Personal knowledge management is what I have been doing with the Internet since 1996. And since you are reading this, then you see that I also use the Internet for public communication.

What's a blogger?

[20 September 2002, top]

Fear Dot-Com (the movie); China Okays Filtered Google Usage

The following quote was copied from WarnerBros.com.
"A brash young police detective joins forces with a beautiful, ambitious Department of Health researcher to find the answers behind the mysterious deaths of four people who each died 48 hours after logging on to the Internet site FearDotCom.com."
Fear Dot-Com, the movie, is supported by a website located at FearDotCom.com. [ More... from WiredNews]

[Update] China has restored access Google, but is still blocking some content it deems politically taboo as part of a media crackdown ahead of November's Communist Party congress. The Altavista search engine remains blocked.

[13 September 2002, top]

China Blocks Google; Fortune on Google; How Many?; BT Hyperlink Patent

[Item] Google is popular among China's "45 million" Internet users because it is good. "Amid government calls to tighten media controls ahead of a major Communist Party congress, China blocks access to Google ."

[Item] Speaking of Google... it is the subject of this recent Forbes.com cover story Google: All the Right Moves

[Item] How many people in the world use the Internet? Approximately 580.78 million (about 9.6% of the total world population). Interesting observation: Europe has more people online than Canada and the USA combined (185.83 million versus 182.67 million). How Many Online?

[Item] Quote from EDUCAUSE.

"A federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by British Telecommunications (BT) claiming a patent on Internet hyperlinking technology. The company had sued Prodigy Communications Corp., saying that Prodigy had violated BT's patent when it used hyperlinks. A spokesman from Prodigy, now a part of SBC Communications, said that because Prodigy was the first commercial ISP in the United States, it was chosen as the target of BT's patent claim."
Hyperlink Patent Case Tossed

[06 September 2002, top]

BusinessWeek online Cover Story: The Underground Web

BusinessWeek.com could have easily posted an article that taught reader's how great the Internet can be. BusinessWeek.com could have written about the Good or the Bad, but instead they opted to document the Ugly.

The 02 September 2002 BusinessWeek online cover story starts with the following warning:

"Warning: You are about to enter the dark side of the Internet. It's a place where crime is rampant and every twisted urge can be satisfied. Thousands of virtual streets are lined with casinos, porn shops, and drug dealers. Scam artists and terrorists skulk behind seemingly lawful Web sites. And cops wander through once in a while, mostly looking lost. It's the Strip in Las Vegas, the Red Light district in Amsterdam, and New York's Times Square at its worst, all rolled into one--and all easily accessible from your living room couch.

The article ends with the following paragraph.

"There will always be a seedy side to the Internet, just as there is one to every city. Cleaning up the Net will take vigilance and a slew of legal and public actions. For now, though, the Web has too many dark and dangerous corners and too little law and order."

The Underground Web

[30 August 2002, top]

1-800-Flowers.com a Dot-Success; Don't Link to Us

1-800-flowers.com is a dot-com that has survived the dot-bust of the early 21st century. 1-800-Flowers.com is an etailer (online retailer) that sells "thoughtful gifts for all occasions." The company reported revenues of $140.3 million for its fiscal fourth quarter ended 30 June 2002. The company turned a profit of $5.5 million, or $0.08 per share. [ Press Release]

[Extra] Some websites have interesting policies when it comes to other websites hyperlinking to them. DontLink.com is a website that documents what it calls "stupid linking policies." Here is a hyperlink to Don't Link to Us.

[23 August 2002, top]

Politicians, Lawyers and Hollywood Want to Control the Internet

I am convinced that politicians and lawyers want to take over the Internet. H.R. 5211 is legislation that would legalize certain forms for computer cracking.

The following was copied from the Electronic Frontier Foundation Action Center.

Representative Howard Berman has introduced legislation that would grant copyright holders near-immunity from the law while attacking a citizen's computer. The bill protects copyright holders from legal action stemming from denial-of-service attacks on people whom they suspect of using material in an unauthorized way on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Exempting a single industry from civil and criminal penalties is unprecedented. This kind of vigilantism is explicitly prohibited by law; Rep. Berman wants to make sure that the law doesn't apply to copyright holders.

I've liked Dylan Tweney's stuff for a long time. These days he gets articles published by Business 2.0. In his 08 August 2002 article, Tweney claims H.R. 5211 is Carte Blanche for Hackers

The 05 July 2002 Security Watchdog posting contained this hyperlink to a 25 June 2002 press release: Berman Announces Legislation to Foil Peer To Peer Piracy.

[09 August 2002, top]

The Senate Thinks They are Upgrading Their Email System

Here is a quote from WashingtonPost.com:
"The U.S. Senate has begun upgrading its offices to Microsoft Outlook, replacing its 12-year-old system. The House of Representatives began replacing its aging email system in 1996, but the Senate until now continued to use 'cc:Mail,' a program developed in 1985 and in service at the Senate office since 1990."
Do I sense an oxymoron? Upgrading to Microsoft Outlook...
Senate Getting Badly Needed E-Mail Update
[02 August 2002, top]

Dot-Edu Domains Expanding; Yahoo Internet Life is Dead

EDUCAUSE, the higher education IT nonprofit that oversees management of the dot-edu domain, has opened a public comment period on a proposal to expand the eligibility requirements to obtain a name in the domain. Educause Considers Letting More Colleges Use '.Edu' Address [From the Chronicle of Higher Education, 05 July 2002]

[Extra] I guess my subscription to Yahoo Internet Life is dead. Citing decreases in advertising revenues and market share, Ziff Davis Media is ending publication of Yahoo Internet Life. I was one of more one million paying subscribers. [ More... from ZDNet.com]

[26 July 2002, top]

Hyperlinking Battles Continue

A Danish Court decided on 05 July 2002 to forbid direct linking to 28 Danish Newssources from the Newsbooster website. There is serious legal crap going on with respect to hyperlinking. Newbooster.com

[Extra] Here are a couple of articles by Tim Berners-Lee concerning Links and Law and some dangerous Myths about Links.

[12 July 2002, top]

June Cleanup: Netizens Netbook; Email Independence; Search Engines

[Item] Before anybody starts using the Internet they should be required to read the Netizens Netbook.

[Item] Simson Garfinkel writes that we should Declare Email Independence. [Damn, the days of the free Internet just keep disappearing -- now you have to pay to read some of the articles at TechnologyReview.com.]

[Item] Same query (search) string submitted to different search engines results in little overlap. From SearchEnginesShowdown.com comes Different Search Engines give Different Results.

[05 July 2002, top]

NPR Doesn't Like Hyperlinkers

I hope this never comes true, but someday placing a hyperlink to anything but a homepage may be a criminal act. If this does happen, then I will execute the following shell script:
   kill -9 ThurmUnit
   rm -rf ThurmUnit
   userdel ThurmUnit
   sync; sync; sync
   exit 1  # 1 implies failure

The National Public Radio has a website [and I like it], but they are sensitive about other websites hyperlinking to it. NPR -- Hyperlink Permission Form. [What a form!]

[28 June 2002, top]

FBI.gov; FAST vs. Google; Nielsen and Andreessen Interviews

E-Gov, an organization that promotes wider use of IT in government, has selected FBI.gov to receive a top award for being a public portal that makes information available to citizens (or should we write... netizens).

I checked out the FBI.gov website and encountered the following tidbit about Mildred C. Parsons.

Mildred C. Parsons will retire from the FBI on June 28th, after nearly 63 years of dedicated service to her country. At age 88, she is the longest continuously serving employee in the FBI. Significantly, "Millie" has never taken a day of sick leave in her 62 years and nine months with the FBI. [ More... from FBI.gov]

FBI... Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI... Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity

[extra] PixelSurgeon::Interview::Jakob Nielsen
Here's a quote: " I hate difficult technology. It annoys me on a personal level to see designs that violate usability principles that we have documented years ago. Every time this happens, which is several times per day, I get motivated to continue my work and evangelize usability even harder. Computers don't have to be this difficult."

[extra] Andreessen Interview: Browser Wars Aren't Coming Back
Here's a quote: " For mass market adoption (open source) is clearly not compelling yet or (Opera) would have more adoption than it does. Other things are more important. Bundling with the (operating system) is clearly more important for adoption. When you're competing against something that's both being (promoted) by a monopoly and is free, good luck competing, have fun. My attitude is, everybody should try competing with Microsoft once in their life. Once."

[extra] FAST's AllTheWeb.com Larger Than Google
2,095,568,809 webpages versus the 2,073,418,204 (that is approximately 1.06%). 1% of a large number is also a large number. The FAST search engine has indexed approximately 22 million (22,150,605) more webpages than Google. [When it comes to search engines, I'm not sure size matters.]

[21 June 2002, top]

Newsbytes.com Shuts Down (i.e. it's gone)

On 31 May 2002, the Washington Post shut down its Newsbytes online IT news service. Newsbytes.com has been a good resource and I am sorry to see it go. When a dot-com is shut down, then you have to worry about linkrot (i.e. hyperlinks that don't work). ThurmUnit has six hyperlinks to Newsbytes.com that need to be fixed. A visit to www.newsbytes.com results in a re-direction to the Washingon Post Technology website.
[14 June 2002, top]

Kartoo (YASE - yet another search engine)

Kartoo is a meta search engine which presents its results on a map. Meta search engines collect search results by searching other search engines such as Google, Teoma, AllTheWeb, and so on. Here is a non-flash (no map) search for ThurmUnit using Kartoo.com.
[31 May 2002, top]

Dilbert Does Google

Dilbert appeared this week on Google's homepage. Dilbert and his co-workers will work on redesigning the logo on Google's homepage. What responsibility! Google and Dilbert Doodle Together [Google Press Release]

[Extra] Here come the .kids.us domains. To facilitate the creation of a new, second-level Internet domain within the United States country code domain that will be a haven for material that promotes positive experiences for children and families using the Internet, provides a safe online environment for children, and helps to prevent children from being exposed to harmful material on the Internet, and for other purposes. H.R.3833: Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002

[24 May 2002, top]

AOL Does Google

It is hard to believe, but finally there is something positive to write about America Online, Inc.: AOL has decided to use the Google search engine.
"Google is the reigning champ of online search," AOL Time Warner co-Chief Operating Officer Bob Pittman said in a statement.
Google Press Release

[Extra] In his latest book, The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World, Lessig argues that imminent changes to Internet architecture plus court decisions that restrict the use of intellectual property will co-opt the Net on behalf of Establishment players -- and stifle innovation. Lawrence Lessig Interview with BusinessWeek.com [29 April 2002]

[17 May 2002, top]

Domain Name Stuff -- Verisign; ICANN and dot-org

VeriSign, the largest registrar of dot-com, dot-org and dot-net addresses, reported a sharp decline in quarterly renewals of expiring web addresses. Is this a surprise given the dot-crash? Recall the 08 February 2002 Internet Observer posting about Google minimizing the importance of domain names. Recall the 18 January 2002 posting containing the Esther Dysan quote: " People aren't paying $5 million for just the name pets.com anymore."

VeriSign shares plunged nearly 45 percent to $10.11 on the news and it was most actively traded issue on Nasdaq. And of course, Verisign is now the subject of a shareholder lawsuit accusing the company of misrepresenting its prospects and concealing improper accounting activities. [ More... from Wired.com] (nasdaq: VRSN)

[Extra] ICANN is looking for somebody to take over dot-org administration. If you want to get a dot-org domain name, then now is probably a good time to get one. In the future, you may have to prove that you are an organization in order to obtain a dot-org domain name. [ ICANN Announcement]

[10 May 2002, top]

Internet Society Says: The Internet is for Everyone

The Internet is for Everyone by Vinton Cerf from the Internet Society.

Many consider Vinton Cerf to be one of the fathers of the Internet. He has been actively involved in its development since the 1960s. Cerf has authored RFC 3271. Here are some quotes from his RFC.

  • The Internet is in its 14th year of annual doubling since 1988. There are over 150 million hosts on the Internet and an estimated 513 million users, world wide.
  • It is sobering to realize that only half of the Earth's population has ever made a telephone call.
  • It is estimated that commerce on the network will reach somewhere between $1.8T and $3.2T by 2003. That is only two years from now (but a long career in Internet years).
  • The Internet is proving to be one of the most powerful amplifiers of speech ever invented. It offers a global megaphone for voices that might otherwise be heard only feebly, if at all.
  • Be thoughtful in what you commit to email, news groups, and other Internet communication channels - it may well turn up in a web search some day.
  • Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if Governments restrict access to it, so we must dedicate ourselves to keeping the network unrestricted, unfettered and unregulated. We must have the freedom to speak and the freedom to hear.
  • Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if its users cannot protect their privacy and the confidentiality of transactions conducted on the network.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.
RFC 3271:: The Internet is for Everyone by Vinton Cerf from the Internet Society.
[03 May 2002, top]

AOL #1; The Pope Speaks about the Internet

[Item]
Headline News: AOL Posts $54.2 Billion Loss. AOL's first quarter results for 2002 reflect the biggest quarterly loss in U.S. history. $54.2 billion written out is $54,200,000,000. [AOL Time Warner press release]

[Item]
These days I suspect the Internet is not at the top of the Vatican's list of priorities, but earlier this year the Pope spoke about the Internet. Note: the Vatican has its own two-character country code (dot-va). The Vatican.va website contains the following pontification posted to it: Ethics in Internet.

[26 April 2002, top]

Linkrot in Distance Education; Henley/Eagles/Britney/Yahoo!

Two researchers from the University of Nebraska have found that the rate of linkrot is similar to that of the decay of radioactive substances. The hyperlinks in three courses studied had a half-life of 55 months: Half of the hyperlinks would be expected to have died in 55 months, half of the remaining hyperlinks would be expected to have died in another 55 months, and so forth. Chronicle.com offers this interesting article about the Extent of 'Link Rot' in Distance Education. [ThurmUnit continues to suffer heavy linkrot.]

[Yahoo! Extra] Yahoo! continues to foo me off. Don Henley was in Phoenix to put on a show. I like Henley's music. I saw Henley in concert a few years ago and enjoyed it completely. Henley returned a year (or two) later and put on the exact same show (boring). Prior to Henley's recent show (which I did not attend), he was asked what new music he will be doing -- his response was as follows: None, because if I do new music, then somebody will tape it and it will show up on the Internet. As a result, my new music won't generate any money for me.

Now, Henley's old group -- the Eagles -- have announced they are touring and Yahoo! is helping promote the concerts. [Hey Eagles, Yahoo! (along with Pepsi) during the 2002 Super Bowl also promoted Britney Spears.]

[19 April 2002, top]

Foo to Yahoo!, but Yahoo to Mozilla

I was going to write about how one school did a study on how linkrot effects distance learning. Instead, I need to write about Yahoo!

I have been pro-Yahoo! for a long time. I've written lots of stuff about Yahoo! I've used Yahoo! audio clips in my Internet classes. The [cszero] YahooGroup was started in October of 1999 [it was an eGroup at the time]. I find my.yahoo.com a useful application. Yahoo's website is huge and well designed. I think it is okay to have thurmunit@yahoo.com as a secondary email address.

From a computing perspective, Yahoo! is defaulting the wrong way. This requires unsolicited, uncompensated work on my part. I have to allocate my time to undo something that I didn't do in the first place. If I want a service, then I will seek it out; otherwise, leave me alone.

I'm mad at Yahoo!

[Good Stuff] I found this article on My.Yahoo.com -- Mozilla poised for revival.

[12 April 2002, top]

YASE (Yet-Another-Search-Engine) -- Teoma

I don't remember when, but Wired News wrote an article about new search engines under development. Teoma was mentioned so I added a hyperlink to it on the ThurmSearch webpage for later review.

Time passes along.

Wired News has another story about it. Teoma is going to explore the dot-com environment. Google started as a dot-edu.

I announced it to [cszero] using an obscure route. April Fools on Google is posted. Follow-up posting on Google and animal activists. I indicate that this could destroy Google. In that case I better have a backup search engine -- maybe Teoma?

Now I receive (in plain-old-text) the following from U.C.L.A. Professor Phil Agre.

	new search engine
	http://www.teoma.com/

Agre's posting confirms to me that it is time for this posting; therefore, I test Teoma by searching for Thurman.

This is a copy/paste of the first page of search results Apr 3 07:08:11 MST 2002.

  Top 200 of about 41900 matched (Showing 1-10)
  1.  Rep. Karen L. Thurman, 5th District Florida
  Rep. Karen L. Thurman, 2224 Highway 44 West, Inverness, 
  Florida Phone: 1-800-833-4352 Statement on Terrorism 
  Emergency Information Update... 
  http://www.house.gov/thurman/

  2.  ThurmUnit: Computer Programming Resources by G.D. Thurman
  Home page for Gerald (G.D.) Thurman Choice lists containing 
  links to all parts of the ThurmUnit website. ... G.D. Thurman 
  email:... 
  http://www.inficad.com/gdt/

  3.  THURMAN Surname Repository
  Thurman & related Surname genealogical repository with over 
  47,000 individuals for on-line viewing in six major databases. ... 
  THURMAN's QUEST... 
  http://www.megabits.net/~lthurman

Wow... where's Uma?

I like Teoma. I added a hyperlink to it on ThurmLinks.

[Internet Search:  Google | ... | Teoma]

[05 April 2002, top]

Jobs at Google; DMCA Causes Google to Censor Search Results

[Item -- Google's Hiring] On Thursday, 28 March 2002, Google's homepage contained the following hyperlink: We can't hire great people fast enough. These days not too many dot-coms can make such a claim. Working at Google would be an excellent learning opportunity. Plus, you get a chance to eat well. [Update: Today, 29 March 2002, Google's homepage hyperlink is worded You're brilliant. We're hiring.]

[Item -- Google Succumbs to the DMCA] Google has eliminated hyperlinks to the website http://xenu.net because of the DMCA. Here is the first paragraph of an email message Google sent to the censored website.

We removed certain specific URLs in response to a notification submitted by the Religious Technology Center and Bridge Publications under section 512(c)(3) of the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Had we not removed these URLs, we would be subject to a claim for copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URLs included in that notification are attached to this email. [ complete email message]

It appears as though Google has stopped filtering Xenu.net because it shows up as hyperlink number four when a Google search for scientology is executed.

[29 March 2002, top]

911 Effect on Google; Yahoo! Candyman; Hit Counters

[Item] The Attack on American that occurred on 11 September 2001 resulted in changes to the Google website. It also resulted in different ways Google was used by users. From FirstMonday.org comes this interesting writing on the Effects of September 11 on Google.

[Item] Two catholic priests, two cops, and so on have been arrested as a result of the FBI's Candyman operations. Operation Candyman was a child porn crackdown that the FBI was able to conduct thanks to Yahoo email operations. [How dare the FBI dub one of their operations Candyman; Candyman is one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs.] [Yahoo Search: operation candyman]

[Item] AZIPA posting:

   Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 10:40:45 -0700
   From: "Paul ????????" <?????????????@hotmail.com>
   Subject: ISO:  Free web counter

   Azipians,

   Looking for a web counter I can put right in an web page 
   (javascript or ?) that keeps basic statistics (hits) and 
   perhaps origination domain (aol.com, etc...).  There are 
   a few on volition.com, but I'm looking for real-life 
   experiences.  Thanks, -Paul
I like this hit counter. [It probably is as accurate as any other hit counter on the web.]

[15 March 2002, top]

EDU Related Postings

[Item]
The following was obtained from EDUCause:
Doctoral dropouts from universities in Silicon Valley are returning to school due to the dot-com correction. Example: Stanford has seen a 40% jump in graduate school applications. Professors at schools like Stanford and UC-Berkeley are happy because now they have students to help them do their research. According to the San Francisco Chronicle Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin, is considering returning to Stanford. Brin was quoted saying, "The funny thing for me is that I show up on campus and people assume Google has gone out of business. So I have to be inconspicuous."

[Item]
From the Great Falls Montana Tribune comes the story of a high-school student who created a website containing pictures and bios of his school's "hottest 10 freshman girls." [More... Declan McCullagh's Politech]

[Item]
Last semester there was an Internet Observer posting about the University of Maryland and the TerpIdiots.com website [school versus students]. Thanks to 'Greg' I learn that this story continues. [ TerpIdiots.com becomes IdiotsWontStop.com]

[Item]
Every year around September a new group of Computer Science students begin learning about Usenet. And every September the signal-to-noise ratio loses signal and become noisy. [More... Eric Raymond laments about Septembers]

[08 March 2002, top]

Summary of Future Internet Observer Postings

This week's posting was suppose to be about a search contest being sponsored by Atomz.com, but the posting needed a ThurmDisclaimer so I decided to save it for another time.

This decision forced me to find another posting, but the Internet Observer works-in-progress directory is full of stuff to pick from. Here is a directory listing. I can't decide what to pick; therefore this week's posting is a summary of postings to come.

  • Tempe wanna-be council member becomes a cybersquatter and the Arizona Republic thinks that is okay.
  • Brad Templeton may be a future ThurmDreamTeam member. [The rec.humor.funny Usenet archive.]
  • John Perry Barlow may be a future ThurmDreamTeam member. [EFF co-founder and Grateful Dead lyrist.]
  • Bob Bremer may be a future ThurmDreamTeam member. [The father of the escape sequence and maybe the true owner of the hyperlink.]
  • Email usage after 911 explodes.
  • Local cops roll their own porn websites.
  • New ThurmUnit object: ThurmOogles
  • Digital Angels [installing computer chips into humans]
  • PayPal.com goes public and is immediately hit by class-action suits.
  • EnronOwnsTheGOP.com is told to shutdown or else risk being sued.
  • Olympics.com website scores low when it comes to usability. [Jakob Nielsen]
  • September means back to school and that means a new round of junk posted to Usenet. [Jargon Dictionary]
  • British Telephone continues to claim it has a patent on the hyperlink.
  • RFC 3098::IETF::How to Advertise Responsibly Using E-Mail and Newsgroups
  • WiredNews::Business::SEC to Naive Investors: 'Gotcha'
  • "Terrorists Use Internet" so says the NIPC. [National Infrastructure Protection Center]
  • Beaner's Heaven [a memorial website for a dog].
  • Drugstore.com getting ready to turn a profit.
  • Protect yourself using WPOISON.
  • The pope speaks out about the Internet.
[01 March 2002, top]

The Obituary Page at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Death... a topic that I've been writing about, but keeping private for future postings.

While writing about death I stumble across the following hyperlink that leads us to an excellent resource for Learning About Computing.

The Obituary Page says it was last updated on 22 February 1999. This posting is being written on 21 February 2002 -- The Obituary Page has not been updated for three years. [The Obituary Page is fetched from a server in the Computer Science Department at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UofNcl).]

This U of Ncl class looks similar to the CIS166 I do at SCC: Comp Sci, U of Ncl: CSC820 Internet Programming 2001-2002

[22 February 2002, top]

Google is Good [damn good]

YAGP (Yet-Another-Google-Posting)

  • Google hates webpages that do pop-ups almost as bad as I do. A computer user who uses a browser program should not have to down-load and install programs that try to stop pop-up windows from happening. Here is a Google publication that explains why there are No Pop-up Ads on Google.
  • Google is offering $10,000 to the person or team that can come up with the best software program for compressing, organizing, linking or otherwise manipulating a mass of raw search data. I suspect Google will end up getting a great program written for them as a result of the First Annual Google Programming Contest.
  • Google now has a section on its website that indexes several news sources in real time, aggregating the top stories. They provide a collection of hyperlinks that are the Google News Headlines.
  • This is not a Google resource, but it Google related. Googlewhacking is a contest to find that elusive query (two words - no quote marks) that results in a single, solitary result.
[15 February 2002, top]

Google Minimizes the Importance of Domain Names

With increasing frequency I use Google to find websites instead of relying on Domain Names. In other words, domain names have little or no value to me because Google is so fast [and good] at finding homepages. I've heard others express the same opinion and the most recent 'other' was EDUCause.
"Google's second-most queried search term during 2001 was 'CNN,' which raises the question of why so many of Google's users are choosing Google to find CNN rather than just typing in www.cnn.com. The most compelling explanation is that many believe Google has a better chance of finding correct URLs than independent guesswork about a Web site's domain name. This proclivity for Google is tempering the frenzy for registering domain names, especially compared to two years ago when companies believed it was essential to own domain names semantically related to their business activities.
[08 February 2002, top]

The W3C Speaks About Patents

my.yahoo.com provides me a hyperlink to information about the W3C considering allowing patented stuff into the Internet standards. [The W3C is the World Wide Web Consortium.]

[Extra] EDUCause::TheChronicle::DailyNews::01/29/2002
Anonymous Professor A federal judge ruled last week that a web-hosting company has until 08 February 2002 to reveal the identity of a professor who has anonymously published a website criticizing administrators at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

[01 February 2002, top]

AOL Time Warner Netscape Sues Microsoft

Netscape, which these days is part of AOL Time Warner, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft that alleges, beginning in 1995, Microsoft harmed Netscape in a series of illegal acts aimed at promoting Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser at the expense of Netscape Navigator. [ AOL Time Warner press release]

When Netscape was just Netscape, it didn't have the size to do serious legal battle with Microsoft, but AOL Time Warner is huge company (about $40 billion per year in revenue versus $30 billion for Microsoft). Although Microsoft will have to spend more money defending itself again AOL Time Warner than some small start-up company, it can easily recover these costs by collecting more money from those of us who are stuck using their products.

CNET.com provides this article about Industry reaction to the lawsuit. Here are a couple of quotes from the CNET.com article.

Eric Raymond said he opposes the lawsuit and all suits that arise from antitrust issues. "I'm opposed to antitrust law in principle," Raymond said. "Markets solve these problems. The government doesn't. Antitrust law gives governments more power than they should have."

Raymond continues by saying "This puts me in the peculiar position of more or less siding with Microsoft, or at least not against them. I'm an open-source guy and think the things Microsoft has done are scummy and should make consumers angry and should cause wholesale rejection of Microsoft's products. But I don't think the government has any business meddling in this market or any other."

[Extra] Amazon.com Reports 4th Quarter Profit
This is the first quarter that Amazon.com has turned a profit. Net sales for Amazon.com's 4th-quarter were $1.12 billion. It was the company's first-ever billion-dollar quarter.

Amazon.com announced its earnings on a day that was generally a downer for high-tech stocks (.e.g. Sun Microsystems down 10%, Cisco down 4%, Intel down 5%, Oracle down 3%, Microsoft down 2.5%, Dell Computer down 5%), but its stock ignored the masses and climbed 24% to close at $12.60 per share.

[25 January 2002, top]

The Domain Name Games Continue

Domain name investing, domain name squatting (speculation), domain name disputes, domain name TLDs, domain registrars, and so on and so on. The following was obtained from EDUCause:
Former ICANN Chairwoman Esther Dyson agreed with the analysis of Netcraft that the end of the dot-com boom is what has led to a reported decline in domain name registrations. Dyson noted that the dot-com fizzle has also led to a drop in the perceived value of generic dot-com names. "People aren't paying $5 million for just the name pets.com anymore," said Dyson. Dyson believes that these decreases in value will benefit the integrity of the DNS system as a whole, and she said that the current domain name trade has "a sense of sleaziness that I think is a pity." Ex-ICANN President Mike Roberts said that during his tenure at ICANN roughly 33 percent of registered domain names lacked websites, and what is happening now is that many unused TLDs are not being renewed.

The EDUCause posting indicates that just maybe domain names by themselves should not be able to support a variety of industries, but then Verisign comes along and buys the dot-tv for $45 million. [ press release]

[Extra] Domain Names ending in dot-name are now active. The dot-name TLD (Top Level Domain) joins the dot-biz, dot-info, dot-coop and dot-museum TLDs, which were recently added to the DNS (Domain Name System). The current ICANN President, Stuart Lynn, was quoted saying that restricted new TLDs similar to dot-museum and dot-edu are likely to create fewer problems than any new general public TLDs such as dot-info and dot-com.

[18 January 2002, top]

About the Internet Observer

The Internet Observer is a collection Internet related items. It is updated on a weekly basis and covers a wide array of topics such as browser and webserver 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 way too much information. The primary objective of the Internet Observer it to open our eyes to just how expansive the Internet is and to help us realize that like-it-or-not 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 January of 1998. As of 01 January 2002, there have been 179 postings to this resource. Reviewing archived Internet Observer postings is an interesting way to get an Internet related history lesson.

Ralph Nader quote:

"The technology of the Internet is far ahead of any legal framework, any ethical framework or global framework."
One of the objectives of this resource is to observe [and maybe participate in] how the frameworks mentioned by Nader evolve.

[11 January 2002, top]

Spam Attacks To Get Worse During 2002

Analysts [whatever this implies] guess that email volume, much of it junk, will grow 45 percent in 2002, compared to 40 percent in 2001. Junk email is called spam.

I've been collecting spam email messages, but they are wasting space on my disk drive.

If I wrote a Programmer Oath, then a programmer would have to try to do the following:

If my employer asks me to send spam, then I say no. If my employer says to send the spam or risk being fired, then I say I won't do it. If my employer fires me for not doing it, then I find another employer.

I explain my firing as follows:

My employer ordered me to send spam and I ignored it; as a side-effect of my action, I was fired.

If I don't get hired because of my response, then I learn about an employer that I don't want to work with.

Time and time again I use this quote from Andrew Koenig.

One of the key characteristics of professionalism is a loyalty to the profession that transcends loyalty to any single employer.
-- Andrew Koenig {programming guru (C/C++/Python to name a few)}

For the good of the computing community, programmers must help eliminate spam.

[04 January 2002, top]
Author: G.D.Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:20 MST