Internet::Observer::Archive::Year 2007

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Wikimedia Is Good Stuff

The Wikipedia is a great tool; however, many people in the academic world think it's more dangerous than terrorists.
   "Librarians and professors hate us because we, on the whole, 
    make life easy for students - sometimes too easy. I've been 
    watching the comments popping up while the fundraiser has been 
    running; a common theme is 'Wikipedia got me through college'."
    --Brian McNeil, Wikinews project contributor OMG! Wikipedia is gone! I'll flunk my exams!

[22 December 2007, top]

CyberMonday 2007 Was A Strong CyberMonday

U.S. online shoppers spent a record $733 million in a single day on "CyberMonday," according to market research firm comScore Inc.
   "CyberMonday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and is 
    considered the start of the online holiday shopping season 
    when consumers return to work and seek deals not found in 
    bricks and mortar retailers."

Some tidbits from comScore.

   + "the number of online buyers rose 38 percent from a year 
      ago while the average dollar spent per buyer slipped 12%"

   + "60 percent of the money spent on CyberMonday 
      came from work computers"

   + "44 percent of Internet users shopped online 
      during CyberMonday"

   + "most trafficked sites included those belonging to, Wal-Mart, Target, Dell and Best Buy"

[Extra] Yahoo!'s payment processing system had periodic outages on CyberMonday that prevented some consumers from completing shopping transactions. I suspect Yahoo! will investigate this and make sure it doesn't happen again in the future. These outages are the worse thing that can happen to e-commerce websites.

[22 December 2007, top]

A Google 'knol' Is a Unit of Knowledge

Google has "invited a group of people to try a new, free tool that they're calling knol, which stands for a unit of knowledge." Google went on to say the following: "Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it." Google says the "key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors. Books have authors' names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors -- but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted." Google claims that "at the heart, a knol is just a web page; we use the word "knol" as the name of the project and as an instance of an article interchangeably."

Is Google's knol project going to be a Googlepedia?

[Extra] Speaking of Google... It is sometimes entertaining when the Google results screen says "Did you mean"... { F Minus by Tony Carrillo}

[Extra] Interesting quote by Toby Murdock of Qloud: "Kids want unlimited music inside their social network. Music is the great Internet application."

[22 December 2007, top]

The First Three Dot-Coms?

The first three dot-coms? 15 March 1985, followed by and World's First Dot-Com

[Extra] Depressed kids should probably avoid the Internet.

   "Megan Meier thought she had made a new friend in cyberspace 
    when a cute teenage boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace 
    and began exchanging messages with her."

   "Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention 
    deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month 
    before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had 
    heard she was cruel."

   "The next day Megan committed suicide. Her family learned later 
    that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of 
    a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's."

The Internet is a great tool for creating fake characters.

[22 December 2007, top]

Cyberbullying In The News

Here is a phrase that needs to be retired in the 21st century: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." A girl, age 13, having fun in her Internet space, killed herself. The Internet does nothing more than transfer bits (binary digits) between networks, yet its "power" never ceases to amaze.

2007 is coming to an end and the bottom-line is that most people don't deserve access the Internet. With respect to the WWW (i.e. the web), a huge chunk of it is the world wide wasteland.

Newsfactor headline implies good news: "Prosecutor Rejects Charges in MySpace Suicide Case."

[04 December 2007, top]

Will the Internet Crash in 2010?

Can the Internet go belly-up?
   "Cable and phone companies provide broadband to 60.2 million 
    homes, accounting for about 94% of the market, according to 
    Leichtman Research Group."

   "To avoid a slowdown, these companies, and increasingly, wireless 
    services providers in North America, must invest up to $55 billion, 
    Nemertes says. That's almost 70% more than planned." Study Predicts Net Will Crash in 2010

[26 November 2007, top] Gives Facebook a Face Slapping

I agree with that too many websites default the wrong way when it comes to opting in/out of stuff. This has been true ever since the WWW started being used by the public at large. On the other hand, we are all free not to use Facebook if we don't care for their business practices.
   "MoveOn has started a Facebook group for its petition to make 
    Facebook's controversial advertising program into an opt-in 
    system. 'Facebook must respect my privacy,' the petition states. 
    'They should not tell my friends what I buy on other sites -- 
    or let companies use my name to endorse their products -- 
    without my explicit permission.'"'s homepage contained the following blurb.

   "Facebook, the social networking site, is violating our
    privacy.  Books, movies, or holiday gifts bought online
    automatically get share with everyone you know."

If MoveOn doesn't like how Facebook operates, then they should simply move on. By the way, the key phrase on's homepage is "everyone you know." In other words, this information is not made public to the world. For example, I would not learn what is buying for its favorite politicians if I were to visit their Facebook webpage. MoveOn Slams Facebook's Opt-Out Ad System

[24 November 2007, top]

U.S. Politicians Call Yahoo! Moral Pygmies

Yahoo!'s Chief Executive Office, Jerry Yang, got scolded by U.S. political dinosaurs over the role Yahoo! played in "helping identify Chinese dissident Shi Tao who was later imprisoned by the government."
   "While technologically and financially you are giants, 
    morally you are pygmies." --Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman 
    of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

The Wikipedia says the Pygmies were a "tribe of diminutive humans in Greek mythology."

There's an old saying that goes "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." The U.S. Congress can call Yahoo! whatever they want, but I am hoping Yahoo! becomes an even larger technical/financial giant.

If Yahoo! wanted to teach the U.S. Congress a lesson, they could move the company to China.

Let's finish this posting with a question... If Yahoo! is a moral pygmy, then what are most U.S. politicians? Nanopygmies?

[06 November 2007, top]

Microsoft Buys 1.6 Percent Stake In Facebook

Microsoft is investing $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Palo Alto, CA-based Facebook. Last year Yahoo! offered $1 billion for Facebook, but Microsoft's investment values Facebook at about $15 billion.

Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago.

As of late-October 2007, Facebook had approximately 50 million active users. You have to love this industry

[25 October 2007, top]

Colorado Rockies Online Ticket Sales Problems

The Colorado Rockies decided to world series tickets online, but their systems ended up being the victim of an "external malicious attack." The attack was do bad that the online ticket sales were halted for a period of time.
   "On Monday, there were 8.5 million attempts to connect with 
    the computers in the first 90 minutes after sales started, 
    he said, and only several hundred tickets had been sold 
    before the system had to be shut down."

   "The Rockies put close to 60,000 tickets up for sale online 
    only, and team officials said their computers were ready to 
    handle the expected crush. But two hours after tickets went 
    on sale, many fans reported they could not get access to the 
    ticket-sales Web site." Rockies Claim 'Malicious Attack' On Site

[23 October 2007, top]

Internet2 is Getting Faster and Faster

The following was written by Anick Jesdnum, AP Internet Writer.
   "Until recently, the Internet2 had a theoretical limit of 
    10 gigabits per second, which is thousands of times faster 
    than standard home broadband connections. By sending data 
    using 10 different colors, or wavelengths, of light over 
    a single cable, operators are boosting the network's 
    capacity to 100 Gbps."

There early users of Internet2 are physicists and astronomers. Blazingly Fast Internet2 Gets 10x Boost

[19 October 2007, top]

Internet Gurus Becoming Space Leaders

Internet gurus are really into space exploration and travel. Space is going to be a growth industry in the 21st century.
   Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, began 
   working a decade ago on protocols for deep space communications, 
   known as the Interplanetary Internet.

Vint Cert is Google's Internet Evangelist.

   In his speech as valedictorian at Miami Palmetto Senior High School 
   in 1982, Bezos talked about the importance of colonizing space.

Jeffrey Bezos is the founder and CEO of

   "We believe that these kinds of contests, in setting an ambitious 
    goal like going to the moon, are a really good way to improve the 
    state of humanity and the world and that's why we care about this."
    --Larry Page, Googler

Larry Page is a co-founder of Google. Internet Pioneers' Next Frontier

[11 October 2007, top]

UC-Berkeley Using YouTube; CMU's Randy Pausch

It is no surprise the schools are putting lectures on the Internet and what better tool for doing this than Google's YouTube. UC Berkeley first to post full lectures to YouTube

[Extra] Speaking of YouTube and online lectures... Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch is dying from pancreatic cancer and he gave his last lecture on 18 September 2007. Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

[04 October 2007, top]

Slashdot Turns 10 During October of 2007

Happy "birthday" to Slashdot.

According to, "October marks 10 friggin years of Slashdot, and nobody is more surprised about any of this than me."

  Who is "me?" 

  "Me" is CmdrTaco of the
       "wasting-your-life-one-decade-at-a-time" dept.

Slashdot wants to celebrate turning ten by having anniversity parties all over the world. Slashdot Turns 10 But You Get The Presents

[03 October 2007, top]

Happy 9th Birthday to Google Inc.

Google, Inc. turned nine years young on 27 September 2007. Happy Birthday to Google!

GDT::BAB:: Google Turns Nine Years Young

[27 September 2007, top]

Microsoft Might Invest In Facebook

Microsoft announced that it might pay $300 million to $500 million for a five percent stake in Facebook. At the high end, this would give Facebook a value of $10 billion. [27 September 2007, top]

Maybe No Google Street Views in Canada

Google's "Street View" service might not be allowed Canada.
   "Jennifer Stoddart, Canada's Federal Privacy Commissioner, 
    recently alerted Google and Immersive Media that Street View 
    very likely violates the country's Personal Information Protection 
    and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which prohibits commercial 
    use of personal data without the individual's consent."

We should assume cameras are everywhere, but we also assume that everything cameras "see" ends up on the Internet? Probably.

[23 September 2007, top]

The Emoticon Turns 25

The birthdate for the emoticon is 19 September 1982. Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Scott Fahlman was one of the inventors of the emoticon. In 2007, Fahlman leads the DARPA-funded RADAR project. The following was copied from Fahlman's CMU website.
	"Yes, I am the inventor of the sideways "smiley face" (sometimes 
	 called an "emoticon")that is commonly used in E-mail, chat, and 
	 newsgroup posts.  Or at least I'm one of the inventors."
[19 September 2007, top]

Wikipedia English Hits 2-Million Articles

Wikipedia announced that is has published its 2-millionth article in the English language version of the its encyclopedia. According to news reports, Wikipedia is the "sixth most visited network of Web sites worldwide." Wikipedia was started in 2001 and the English version of has signed up 3.4 million volunteer contributors. I'm a huge fan of the Wikipedia and it is a prime example of the Power of the Internet.

[Extra] TD Ameritrade was cracked and contact information on 3.6 million customers was obtained from crackers. The CEO of Ameritrade said that customers are receiving an increased number of "unwanted SPAM" email messages. The CEO needs to learn that junk email messages are spam, not SPAM. And for probably 99.999% of Internet users, the phrase "unwanted spam" is redundant. Who wants more spam?

[16 September 2007, top]

EU Wants Bomb Building Instructions Blocked

The European Union (EU) wants ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to block Internet searches for bomb-making instructions. The EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini told Reuters the following.
   "I do intend to carry out a clear exploring exercise 
    with the private sector ... on how it is possible to 
    use technology to prevent people from using or searching 
    dangerous words like bomb, kill, genocide or terrorism." 

Filter this, then filter that. What a huge responsibility for ISPs. In a nutshell, ISPs could end up being the g-d of bits.

[10 September 2007, top]

Send Text Messages Using Yahoo! Mail

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [27 August 2007, top]

The Internet is the New Afghanistan

The Internet is a powerful tool when it comes to forming groups.
   "The Internet is the new Afghanistan. It is the de facto 
    training ground. It's an area of concern."
    -- Raymond Kelly, New York police commissioner 

Despite the fact that the masses have been on the WWW for over a decade, many people (like most of today's politicians) are only now learning about the power of the Internet.

[16 August 2007, top]

DWT (Driving While Texting) Laws Coming Soon?

The popularity of POT (Plain-Old-Text) is causing many politicians to consider making it a crime to text message while driving. Getting caught using POT while driving could result in DWT (Driving While Texting) charges. [15 August 2007, top]

Define: ceice... Did You Mean: define:mice

I was checking to see if a sequence of letters comprised a word using the "define:" service provided by Google.
   I typed...  define:ceice
   Google responded with...  Did you mean: define:mice

   ceice not found in English, but hyperlinks into 
   Italian version of the Wikipedia...

The power of Internet (and Google) never ceases to amaze.

[02 August 2007, top]

Marc Andreessen Blogs About Blogging

On 10 July 2007, Marc Andreessen had been blogging for a total of five weeks and one thing he has learned is that he "should have started doing this years and years ago." Kudos to Andreessen for sharing his learning with us. Eleven lessons learned about blogging, so far

[02 August 2007, top]

Smiley Face Turns 25 Next Month

The birthdate for the emoticon is 19 September 1982. Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Scott Fahlman was one of the inventors of the emoticon. In 2007, Fahlman leads the DARPA-funded RADAR project. The following was copied from Fahlman's CMU website.
	"Yes, I am the inventor of the sideways "smiley face" (sometimes 
	 called an "emoticon")that is commonly used in E-mail, chat, and 
	 newsgroup posts.  Or at least I'm one of the inventors."
[02 August 2007, top]

Myspace = Suspension

The PLUG (Phoenix Linux User Group) holds their east-side valley meetings at a grade school in Mesa. Pictures of their meetings get posted the web and I came across one picture that says "MYSPACE = SUSPENSION." Myspace = Suspension

[16 July 2007, top]

Ning Raises $44 Million

Kudos to Marc Andreessen and the team for raising $44 million to help further Ning's growth.

Speaking of Ning... the July 2007 issue of Business 2.0 cover story was "50 Who Matter Now." Surprisingly, Andreessen wasn't on the list; however, coming in at number 48 was Ning CEO Gian Bianchini. Business 2.0 wrote: "Facebook and MySpace get the attention, but Bianchini's Ning might be the most exciting thing in social networking right now." Ning news: new investment round

[12 July 2007, top]

Digital Divide is Alive and Well

July 2007 started with almost 10 items queued for posting to the Internet Observer. This item should have been posted almost a month ago (i.e. mid-June of 2007).

An blogger (Cindy Hernandez) posted about students having problems finding stuff on the Internet and her posting prompted me to post the following comment.

   Comment from: Gerald8100

   06/12/07 @ 06:03
   Cindy wrote: "They'll spend, what I would consider, an enormous 
   amount of time searching for a specific definition of a word while 
   a perfectly fine dictionary sits only a few feet from them."

   Sad, but true. Just because somebody can use a computer doesn't 
   mean they know how to take advantage of the Power of the Internet.

   My browser has a (Merriam-Webster Online) text field that 
   allows for quick word lookups. In addition, I find myself using 
   Google's dictionary more and more. In the Google search field type 
   define: and then your word or phrase.

   The digital divide is as wide as it has always been.

[Extra] I'm hearing more and more people saying Google is "evil." What is evil are rabid-dog human-beings that unconditionally kill other human-beings. With that being said, those who claim Google is evil are darn lucky Google isn't. If Google were evil, the United States of America would the United States of Chaos.

[08 July 2007, top]

FLOSS Drives the Internet; IM, Email and Freedom

Here are two tidbits that I wanted to get recorded; however, I don't know where the tidbits came from.

Tidbit one...

   "The cost of starting an Internet company plummeted by 
    over 80% from 1996 to 2004. This trend was largely enabled 
    by open source software and powerful, cheap hardware."

No surprise here. With tools like and the coming of Web 3.0, the cost of starting an "Internet company" (whatever that is) will continue to drop.

Tidbit two...

   "IM is the preferred method of communication (with friends) 
    for those under 25 by a wide margin and email is the preferred 
    communication method for those over 25 by a significant percentage.
    This represents a major generation gap in communication modes."

Holds true for me, but then I don't have too many friends. Heck, I don't care for email anymore. If I want to maintain my current lifestyle, which I do, then I can be free of IM, but I cannot be free of email. I admire Umberto Eco who said: "I don't even have an email address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages."

[08 July 2007, top]

PFIR Thinks Google Needs an Ombudsman

Wow... it's been almost a month since I last posted to the Internet Observer.

I have been a fan of the PFIR (People For Internet Responsibility) for the last decade. When the PFIR speaks, I generally listen.

   "Lauren Weinstein, a cofounder of People For Internet 
    Responsibility and founder of the Privacy Forum, said 
    that his suggestion to appoint an ombudsman was motivated 
    out of fear for potential political and legal backlash 
    toward Google."

Google might be wise to follow Weinstein's advice. Privacy Expert Proposes Google Ombudsman

[Extra] It's not nice to blog about Google without blogging about Yahoo!

   "China should not punish people for expressing their political 
    views on the Internet, Yahoo Inc. said, a day after the mother 
    of a Chinese reporter announced she was suing the U.S. company 
    for helping officials imprison her son."

   "Jailed journalist Shi Tao, whose mother visited Hong Kong on 
    Sunday. Shi was sentenced to 10 years in 2005 after sending 
    an e-mail about Chinese media restrictions."

Power of the Internet example: Send an e-mail message and lose 10 years of freedom.

[Extra] More Google news... Google has opened an engineering research center in Shanghai. The center is co-headed by Wang Jing, who previously worked in R&D eBay Inc., and by Yang Wenluo, who worked at Intel Corp. Google has talent all around the world.

[08 July 2007, top]

June 2007 is National Internet Safety Month

This was news to me... The U.S. Senate designated June 2007 as National Internet Safety Month. The purpose of such a designation was primarily two-fold: to help U.S. citizens learn about "(A) the dangers of the Internet; and (B) the importance of being safe and responsible online." THOMAS (Library of Congress)

[09 June 2007, top]

Google and Yahoo are Hiring (and Hiring...)

It appears as though Google and Yahoo! are thirsty for new hires. A report by UBS indicated that Google and Yahoo! had "2,854 and 1,147 open positions," respectively, as of the end of their 1st quarters.

One job that is open at Yahoo! is Chief Technology Officer (CT0. Yahoo!'s current CTO Farzad Nazem resigned providing a great opportunity for somebody. Chief Yahoo! and co-founder Jerry Yang will be the CTO while Yahoo! looks for new leadership. Some investors are concerned that Yahoo! is experiencing a brain drain. A Look At Whom Google And Yahoo Are Hiring

[03 June 2007, top]

Using MySpace To Catch Sex Perverts

Makes sense... use social networking websites to catch sex perverts (and other forms of perverts). Again, there are many parts of the web that are just like the "Alt" Usenet group.
   "MySpace and eight U.S. state attorneys general have
    worked out a legal mechanism to hand over information 
    on convicted sex offenders found on its service."

As of mid-May 20007, MySpace had "identified, blocked and deleted about 7,000 such profiles, but had initially declined to hand over the information immediately, citing a disclosure law barring it from giving away the information without a court order."

[22 May 2007, top]

Video 911 To Help Fight Crime

New York City has started using video to fight crime. The police department has begun a $9.1-million project to install 500 cameras in 200 locations.
   "If you see a crime in progress or a dangerous building condition, 
    you'll be able to transmit images to 911 or online to" City 911 to add video

[21 May 2007, top]

Blogosphere Keeps Growing and Growing

The blogosphere just keeping bigger and bigger and bigger.
   "The blogosphere is the most explosive social network 
    you'll never see. Recent studies suggest that nearly 
    60 million blogs exist online, and about 175,000 more 
    crop up daily (that's about 2 every second). Even though 
    the vast majority of blogs are either abandoned or isolated, 
    many bloggers like to link to other Web sites. These links 
    allow analysts to track trends in blogs and identify the 
    most popular topics of data exchange. Social media expert 
    Matthew Hurst recently collected link data for six weeks 
    and produced this plot of the most active and interconnected 
    parts of the blogosphere." Map: Welcome to the Blogosphere

[04 May 2007, top]

College Coaches Use POT To Recruit Future Players

Plain-Old-Text is hotter than hot these days.

It appears as though college coaches use POT to communicate with recruits. They send so much POT that recruits are complaining about the volume of text messages they are receiving. It appears as though coaches are going to limited with respect to how they can use the Internet to contact recruits (e.g. e-mail and faxes okay, but text messaging and instant messages not okay). Text messages to be banned from college recruiting?

[Extra] Work on the inter-planetary network continues... The U.S. Department of Defense will launch a satellite carrying an Internet router into space in 2009.

[28 April 2007, top]

Colleges Becoming POT Advocates

It appears as though university leaders are going to increase their POT (Plain-Old-Text) usage. In the case of emergencies when students need to be contacted sooner rather than later-- POT-based SMS appears to be the best tool.
   "Mainly, what we think is that colleges should be using text 
    messaging systems." -- program director for Security on Campus, 
    a nonprofit organization that works with the Department of 
    Justice to help fight crime on campus.

   "With a text messaging system, it's the most reliable way to 
    communicate with students these days. It's the fastest way."

Email is not effective because students aren't always checking their email in-box; however, I suspect most students can help but take a peek immediately upon receipt of POT.

Some schools might use a product called Catchwind. Catchwind only provides for sending SMS messages for cell phones. Catchwind says their system can deliver "around 10 to 15 thousand every couple of minutes."

[21 April 2007, top]

Technorati Top 10 on 20 April 2007

I was visiting the website and ended up at a blog that had the following top 10 Technorati searches. The searches were reflective of what things were like on 20 April 02007.
  1. Cho Seung-hui    2. Joost     3. Ismail Ax    4. Virginia Tech    
  5. Youtube          6. Myspace   7. Sanjaya      8. Ubuntu    
  9. Web 2.0         10. Messi

Cho Seung-hui killed 33 people at Virginia Tech. "Ismail Ax" was the scralled across Seung-hui's arm.

Joost online TV that was started by the same guys that started Kazaa and Skype.

MySpace is a social networking website owned by News Corp., while YouTube is an ever growing video collection operated by Google Inc.

Web 2.0 is the continuation of the web after the correction of 2000-01.

Ubuntu is Linux distribution. On 19 April 2007 Ubuntu 7.04 (also called Feisty Fawn) was released.

Sanjaya was a contestant on American Idol.

I'm not sure about Messi, but there is an Argentina soccer star named Lionel Messi.

[20 April 2007, top]

The Internet Knows Nothing About Civility

Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini posted to his about the current trend toward disallowing anonymous blogging.
   "Print is civil. The Internet is not."

The Internet knows nothing about civility. The Internet transfers bits of information between machines. The Internet doesn't care how the bits are grouped; in other words, the Internet "sees" nothing but zeros and ones--and those zeros and ones contain zero information. Users of the Internet might not be civil, but Internet doesn't "see" users.

Montini asked: "Is anonymity the only way to have a lively debate or is it a crutch?"

According the Blogger's Code of Conduct, rule #5 states: "We do not allow anonymous comments." It goes on to say: "We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name."

I like the following generalized by Scott McNealy: "You'd live a much less civil life if you were invisible." McNealy believes that "no one should expect a completely private, annonymous online experience."

[14 April 2007, top]

Google Buys DoubleClick Inc.

Google announced it was buying DoubleClick Inc. for $3.1 billion. Google's DoubleClick purchases comes six months after it bought for $1.65 billion. DoubleClick was founded in 1996 and it "connects advertising agencies, marketers and Web site publishers seeking to place online ads. It has more than 1,500 corporate clients." [13 April 2007, top]

Code of Conduct for Bloggers

Tim O'Reilly is leading an effort to create a "blogger's code of conduct." In other words, YAFCE (Yet Another Form of Computing Etiquette). I like rule #2: "We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person." But I don't agree with rule #5: "We do not allow anonymous comments." Rule #8 probably should be rule #1, which in turn would make all the other rules un-necessary: "We get over ourselves in thinking that this whole blogging nonsense is at all important." Blogger's Code of Conduct

[10 April 2007, top]

ICANN Rejects Dot-XXX Proposal

The dot-xxx issue just won't go away, but on 30 March 2007, ICANN said no to creating the dot-xxx TLD (Top-Level Domain). ICANN had to reject dot-xxx domain primarily to ensure they don't become an Internet filtering tool. Kudos to ICANN.
   "This decision was the result of very careful scrutiny and 
    consideration of all the arguments. That consideration has 
    led a majority of the Board to believe that the proposal 
    should be rejected." said Dr Vint Cerf, Chairman of ICANN. Board Rejects .XXX Domain Application

[30 March 2007, top]

Federal Courts Says "NO" to COPA

A federal court ruled that the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) violates the First and Fifth Amendments and is "impermissibly broad and over-vague."
   "This court, along with a broad spectrum of the population across 
    the country, yearn for a solution which would protect children 
    from such material with 100 percent effectiveness. However, I 
    may not turn a blind eye to the law in order to attempt to satisfy 
    my urge to protect this nation's youth by upholding a flawed statute, 
    especially when a more effective and less restrictive alternative is 
    readily available (although I do recognize that filters are neither 
    a panacea nor necessarily found to be the ultimate solution to the 
    problem at hand)."

The Internet Observer believes that most laws concerning the Internet, regardless of their purpose, erode away at our computing freedoms. Child Online Protection Act

[24 March 2007, top]

Keeping Track of Sex Offenders

Many sex offenders have learned about the Power of the Internet. This "power"--which has been documented by the Internet Observer since 1998--can be good, bad, ugly and evil. The following is representative of what life is like during the spring of 2007.
   "The Arizona House of Representatives passed House Bill 2734
    by a vote of 59-0.  HB 2734 requires "sex offenders to register
    their email addresses, social networking pages and instant 
    messaging names for the state's online registery of sex offenders."

The Internet Observer have zero doubts that the power of the Internet has made it is easier for perverts to be perverts. The Internet is basically a mirror of today's society and obviously not all is well in the year 02007 (5-digit year used on purpose).

[16 March 2007, top]

Wiki Added To The Oxford English Dictionary

"Wiki" (a noun) has been added to the online Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The OED says the following about the word wiki.

   "This joins a small but distinguished group of words 
    which are directly or ultimately borrowings into English 
    from Hawaiian.  It has been suggested that in some ways 
    the OED itself resembles a wiki: its long tradition of 
    working on collaborative principles means it has welcomed 
    the contribution of information and quotation evidence 
    from the public for over 150 years."

Interestingly, the is a subscription service.

[16 March 2007, top]

This Stock is Going Up a Quadrillion Percent

From time-to-time (almost daily), I get email spam alerting me about a stock that is getting ready to up a quadrillion percent. Reuters has reported that the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) suspended trading the stocks of "35 small companies linked to spam email campaigns urging small investors to buy shares." The SEC estimated that 100 million stock related spam email message are sent every week. Most of the stocks mentioned in the spam email messages are pink sheet quoted penny stocks. Kudos to the SEC for taking this action. S.E.C. Cracks Down on Spam-Driven Stocks

[09 March 2007, top]

Email Might Be Dying

Email in-boxes are overflowing world-wide. Some people must process email messages the minute they hit their in-box. This, in turn, results in one interrupt after another after another. I feel for those people who do email processing via a cell phone. The cell phone is probably one of the most invasive communication tool to date and combining it with email is a double whammy for people who must process email immediately upon receiving. 12-step program for e-mail addiction stumbles

[08 March 2007, top]

Marketing On YouTube "Unorthodox"?

Ken Alltucker, Arizona Republic "Biotech" blogger at, had a posting titled "Corporate ads on YouTube?" He ended his posting as follows:
   "So what do you think? Is this a smart way to use alternative 
    media or a too-cute attempt to drum up sales?"

Alltucker's posting seeked comments, so I (Gerald8100) commented.

   If I were a company, I'd be a big user of YouTube 
   (and other YouTube-like websites).

   It is vital to remember that YouTube is Google and 
   Google is one of this world's leading 21st century 
   informatics company.  If you have information that 
   you want the world to "find," then companies to learn 
   and exploit the power of the Internet.

Alltucker quoted some CEO saying, "We realize appealing to consumers in both orthodox and unorthodox ways is imperative in this market." It appears as though this particular CEO considers YouTube "unorthodox" marketing, but at least he has his company YouTube'ing.

[08 March 2007, top]

Fun Web 2.0 Video at

Andrew Johnson, "Entrepreneurs" blogger, posted an item about Web 2.0 that contained a hyperlink to an excellent YouTube video. The Machine is Us/ing Us

I (Gerald8100) made the following "comments" after watching the video.

   Comment from: Gerald8100

   03/02/07 @ 15:13
   The power of plain old text. We owe great thanks to people like 
   Doug Engelbart, Ken Thompson, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and numerous 
   others. Text gets turned into information that can be used in 
   an infinite number of ways. "Write once, publish many."

   Web 2.0 is exciting because we've been doing informatics for 
   a long time; but, with supercomputers and grid computing, we'll 
   be doing 21st century Informatics.

   Mark Andreessen's latest adventure...

   Comment from: Gerald8100

   03/02/07 @ 15:17
   Foo... I mis-spelled Marc Andreessen's first name. It is Marc, 
   not Mark. Andreessen is currently Chairman of Opsware, Inc. 
   Opsware: "Automating IT."
[03 March 2007, top]

23 RIAA Letters Sent to ASU Students

Arizona State University (ASU) has been in the news lately thanks to students downloading music in violation of copyright. The RIAA has "launched a new and strengthened campus anti-piracy initiative that significantly expands the scope and volume of its deterrent efforts while offering a new process that gives students the opportunity to avoid a formal lawsuit by settling prior to a litigation being filed." On 28 February 2007, the RIAA sent "400 pre-litigation settlement letters to 13 different universities." 23 of the letters were sent to ASU. RIAA Announces New Campus Lawsuit Strategy

[01 March 2007, top]

Spamming Remains a Growth Industry

Spam just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. Most of the spam comes from systems located in China and S. Korea where U.S. spams laws don't apply. A large percentage of the email sent to the Internet Observer's primary email account is spam. The Internet Observer has noticed, however, that most of the spam is no longer porn related. 90% Of E-Mail Will Be Spam By Year's End

[25 February 2007, top]

State-of-the-Browser During Early 2007

Business 2.0 provides some colorful bar charts to show what's happening in the world of browsers. I don't know why not knowing something warrants being called an "idiot," but that's what Business 2.0 opted to write. Browser Wars: An Idiot's Guide

[25 February 2007, top]

Wikipedia Mentioned on American Dad!

The Wikipedia was mentioned during episode number thirty-six of American Dad! The episode aired on 18 February 2007 and it was titled "Black Mystery Month" (a play on Black History Month). The following was copied from
   Stan asks "If only there was a place where you could make 
   outrageous claims, and millions of people will believe you....", 
   then the scene flips to Steve typing up an article on "WIKIPEDIA" 
   on his home computer. Black Mystery Month

[19 February 2007, top]

Internet Root Servers Hit By a DDoS Attack

Three of the Internet's 13 rootservers were hit by a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. According to, the attacked rootservers were "operated by the U.S. Defense Department, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and UltraDNS, a company that manages traffic primarily for dot-org Web sites." Given the Internet's design, is is extremely difficult to bring it done (or crash it completely). reported that "zombie" systems might have been employed to do the DDoS attack. Hackers Strike at Key Internet Servers

[08 February 2007, top]

Newspapers Focus on Better Headlines

In the Internet world, the subject-lines on email messages, usenet postings and webpage titles have always been important. This has been true in the newspaper world also, but now newspapers must produce headlines that are easily found by Internet search engines. Newspapers search for Web headline magic

[Extra] On a 2007 episode of "The Office," the character Jim said that something they were discussing was confirmed by the Wikipedia.

[03 February 2007, top]

Yahoo! Updates Its Mission Statement

Adam Lashinsky, Fortune senior writer, went to a meeting at Yahoo! and he learned about the company's new mission statement.
   "Yahoo's mission is to connect people to their passions, their 
    communities, and the world's knowledge. To ensure this, Yahoo 
    offers a broad and deep array of products and services to create 
    unique and differentiated user experiences and consumer insights 
    by leveraging connections, data, and user participation. [...]"

Yahoo! is frequently compared to Google. As of 2 February 2007, Yahoo! and Google had market values of $38.56 billion and $147.49, respectively. At a stock price of $28.35, Yahoo!'s price-to-sales ratio (PSR) was 6.00. Google's PSR was 15.83 based on a stock price of $481.75.

[02 February 2007, top]

Spam, Spam, Spam and Then More Spam

The following is mostly true with respect to my primary email account.
   "The volume of spam rocketed in December to account for 
    a record 94% of all Internet-sent e-mail during the month."

The following needs to be turned into a BAB (Basic Arithmetic Bit).

   "The portion of e-mail that Postini pegged as spam reached 94% 
    in December, an all-time record. The company blocked 25 billion 
    spam messages aimed at 36,000 clients that month, an increase of 
    144% over the same month in 2005."

   "Just 15 minutes per day dealing with the increased volume of spam 
    can cost companies $3,200 per employee per year. [That] adds up to 
    tens of billions of dollars of lost productivity around the world."

Spammers, like crackers, are criminals.

[Extra] Speaking of email... Accidental email messages can be bad news and a couple of employees at the University of North Carolina are now aware of that fact. "Nearly 2,100 applicants to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were mistakenly told this week that they were accepted to the campus."

[28 January 2007, top]

VeriSign Continues Control of Dot-Com Names

Kudos to VeriSign...
   "The U.S. government has approved a deal under which 
    VeriSign, which has operated the .com domain since 
    1999, will retain control of the domain until 2012."

Despite dilution of the TLD (Top Level Domain) namespace, dot-com names are still important.

Note: Mountain View, CA-based Verisign Inc. is a public company with the VRSN ticker symbol. Deal signed on .com domain future

[28 January 2007, top]

Web2.0 -- Let's Hope It's More Than a Buzzword

The Internet Observer agrees with the assessment that Web 2.0 has become a buzzword, but we also consider it a keyword. The power of the Internet, which can be measured in an infinite number of ways, never ceases to amaze the Internet Observer.
   "'Web 2.0' has become a buzzword and it always scares 
    me when an entrepreneur comes in with a pitch and starts 
    spouting buzzwords," said Tim Draper, founder and managing 
    director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a venture capital firm 
    in Menlo Park." Is 'Web 2.0' Another Bubble?

[28 January 2007, top]

When Masses Get a Voice, the Voice Goes Bad

When the masses are given a voice, the following frequently happens. In Blog       01/19/2007 07:28 PM   

   "Because of repeated abuses by a couple of users, we have 
    temporarily suspended comments to Jon Talton's blog. We 
    apologize for any inconvenience. We hope to be able to 
    restore comments on his blog at a future date.
    -- Administrator"


Blogs are Internet-based. Blog postings are nothing more than POT (Plain-Old-Text). I think I recall a saying that went like "stick and stones might break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Blog postings are nothing more than words. Do people have a gun at their head forcing them to read a blog posting?

Cyberbullies 1, 0

[20 January 2007, top]

Lessig Writes About Network Neutrality

Wired 15.01 has a posting by Lawrence Lessig on Net Neutrality. Lessig writes about "last-mile broadband" and the issue of "traditional broadband providers" versus "municipal broadband." Lessig is looking for a "Linux-like miracle to counteract innovation-threatening broadband business models."
   "We pro-regulators were making an assumption that history 
    has shown to be completely false: That something as complex 
    as an OS has to be built by a commercial entity. Only crazies 
    imagined that volunteers outside the control of a corporation 
    could successfully create a system over which no one had 
    exclusive command. We knew those crazies. They worked on 
    something called Linux. I Blew It on Microsoft

[16 January 2007, top]

Blogging To Peak in 2007?

It appears as though many believe blogging will "peak" in 2007. A research firm predicts there will end up being 100,000,000 blogs. Currently, approximately 200,000,000 million blogs exist, but are not updated.
   "Everyone thinks they have something to say, until 
    they're put on stage and asked to say it."
    -- Daryl Plummer, Gartner analyst

Or until they realize nobody is in the audience. Blogging 'set to peak next year'

[16 January 2007, top]

Dot-XXX Discussion is On Again

The Internet Observer doesn't know why ICANN just doesn't make dot-xxx a TLD (Top Level Domain). Supposedly a new proposal by the company ICM Registry Inc. requires the hiring of "independent organizations to monitor porn sites' compliance with the new rules" that would be associated with the dot-xxx domain.

The following makes little sense.

   "Anti-porn advocates, however, countered that sites would be 
    free to keep their current '.com' address, in effect making 
    porn more easily accessible by creating yet another channel 
    to house it."

The TLD namespace has already been polluted; therefore, they should just go head and make dot-xxx part of the Internet.

[16 January 2007, top]

Spam More Popular Than Ever

Spammers are a creative collection of criminals. These days they like to embed text into images to escape spam-blockers.
   "Spam filtering firm Ironport claims that spam volumes 
    worldwide have doubled from last year, and that junk 
    email now makes up over 90 percent of emails sent. 

Ironport, which was recently purchased by Cisco Systems, says the "bad guys are simply outrunning most of the technology out there today." Ironport also reported that most spammers operate out of "Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia" which in turn makes them "immune to strict U.S. anti-spam legislation."

Spammers have basically killed my primary email address.

[Extra] It appears as though one faculty member didn't want to receive email messages from another faculty member.

   "A point was made that using the District's MEMO system 
    (work email) is a privilege and not a free speech right.  
    If someone is violating the email communications policy 
    then that person's email privileges need to be pulled.  
    A discussion followed regarding checking to see if the 
    district policy regarding email communications is being 

I guess there is at least one faculty member that doesn't know about email filters.

[16 January 2007, top]

Yahoo! Buys MyBlogLog--"Implicit Networking"

Yahoo! announced it is acquiring Yahoo! is paying over $10 million for the website, which was started July, 2006.
   [source: "About" webpage]
   "For all this talk of a global conversation throughout 
    the blogosphere, there's a lot to be desired. It's a 
    two-tiered system, with bloggers talking amongst each 
    other and the majority of the readers looking on from 
    the fringes. You may get to call out something from the 
    sidelines by leaving a comment, but things could be so 
    much better. For everyone."

   In other words... "everyone who reads a web site or blog 
   can learn about and engage with one another."

Yahoo!'s VP of Product Strategy is quoted saying, "This closes the loop between readers and publishers. Every publisher wants to know his readers, and the readers want to find out about each other. It's the power of implicit networking." About MyBlogLog

[09 January 2007, top]

Google Considered Number One Place To Work posted a story about Fortune's "100 Best" companies to work for and Google was number one.
   "Experienced engineers can expect to make as much as 
    $130,000 a year and receive 800 options and 400 shares 
    of restricted stock when they join. New MBAs can expect 
    between $80,000 and $120,000 and typically receive smaller 
    option grants."

Google pays well, but their "benefits" are almost priceless. Google is No. 1: Search and enjoy

[08 January 2007, top]

Cicarelli Wants Her Sex Video Off YouTube

Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of some soccer player, was video taped having sex in "shallow water on a beach." The video made it onto YouTube, but Daniela is not happy about that.
   "A Brazilian court ordered video sharing service YouTube, a unit 
    of Google Inc., to be shut down until it removes a celebrity sex 
    video from its site."

Cicarelli wants "$116,000 in damages for each day the video remains up. Some copies of the video have been taken off the site but users have reposted it."

YouTube is U.S.-based; therefore, it is unclear if the Brazilian court can help make Daniela rich.

[04 January 2007, top]

About the Internet Observer

The Internet Observer is a blog about the Internet. It is updated on a random 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 2007 it contained 470 postings. Reviewing archived Internet Observer postings is an one way to get an Internet related history lesson.

Internet Observer Archives: 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

[01 January 2007, top]

Creator: Gerald Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:20 MST