Tag Archives: internet

On the quest for Doonesbury

Last night I spent nearly 2 hours in the Doonesbury archive looking for a strip which I remember reading when I was just working at IBM. This morning I figured I’d keep going back through the archive on the off chance that it was earlier than I thought, it was. From August 4th, 1996:

This is one of the easiest ways to explain to people what spiders do on the internet.

Making the internet a better place

When it comes to the Internet there is something we’ve all done that’s bad for us.  You know you’ve done it.  You’ve probably done it when people weren’t watching, when you were all alone.  You know what I’m talking about: reading comments on websites.

You find yourself involved in an article that you may or may not agree with, but you find quite interesting.  Something the author spent some time on, weighed different wording, and tried to create a coherent statement.  They might even have provided helpful links and footnotes to let you learn more, or to back up their thoughts.  You are so enthralled that you keep reading at that level of interest as the article comes to an end.  You want more, so you keep reading.

Wait, what was that, when did the article reference nazis?  What’s this?  Conspiracy of big pharma?  but I thought this article was about nice places to go picnicing?  The author is a free mason?  When the hell did Apple’s new product become relevant to this article?  Oh … no … I’m lost in a see of comments written by crazy people.  Help me I’m getting dumber by the minute!

Well, there is a solution.  There is this very nice addon for Firefox called CommentBlocker.  Install it and now the internet immediately becomes a better place.  Average IQ of your reading experience goes up by at least 20 points, and your overall satisfaction interacting with the web goes way up.  As a bonus your faith in humanity goes up a couple of points as the loud and angry trolls, ones that aren’t willing to put their name on their statements, no longer get to dominate the conversation.  If there is a site where the comments are of high value, or you just need a little crazy in the afternoon to keep you awake, in one click it will return the comments, but for that site only.

Take back the web, don’t feed the trolls, use CommentBlocker.

VMWare’s new stand

Read over at James Governor’s redmonk blog:

Maritz said that other major tech firms were still “consolidating the client/server stack” while VMware wanted to capture a new wave of application development.

“Developers are moving to Django and Rails. Developers like to focus on what’s important to them. Open frameworks are the foundation for new enterprise application development going forward. By and large developers no longer write windows or Linux apps. Rails developers don’t care about the OS – they’re more interested in data models and how to construct the UI. Those are the things developers are focusing on now. The OS will fade into the background and become one of many pieces. We plan to do the best job of supporting these frameworks.”

Or as he said to the analysts:

“Our goal is to become the home of open source and open framework-based development”.

I think this is really what the “post PC” era really means, desktop applications are going to become a niche market, only to be used if the task can’t be done on the web, in the cloud.  Lots of really interesting stuff in that article that you should check out.

A is for Amazon

Now that google instant search has be released on the world I was curious what my internet alphabet is, so I typed each letter one at a time to see what came up.  Here are the results.

A is for Amazon

B is for Best Buy

C is for Craigslist

D is for Dictionary

E is for Ebay

F is for Facebook

G is for GMail

H is for Hotmail (really… is that still around?)

I is for Ikea

J is for Jet Blue

K is for Kolhs

L is for Lowes

M is for Mapquest

N is for Netflix

O is for Orbitz

P is for Pandora

Q is for Quotes

R is for REI

S is for Sears

T is for Target

U is for USPS

V is for Verizon

W is for Weather

X is for Xbox

Y is for Yahoo

Z is for Zillow

Results may vary per individual.  If you find something dramatically different, I’d be curious what it was.

HTTPS Everywhere: interesting idea, terrible implementation

Last night I finally figured out why Amazon wouldn’t let me view inside books, it was because I still had HTTPS everywhere enabled for amazon.  It’s a neat idea to force your web session secure for sites that support it, but don’t make it easy.  Good in theory… in practice not so much.

When I finally figured out that it attempted to work with Amazon I noticed that I had disabled all the sites I actually use in the tool.  Twitter is rediculously slow under https, like 1 minute to load a page slow.  Google images aren’t searchable under https, so you don’t see it on the sidebar as an option.  Some of the facebook javascript wasn’t fetchable over https.  Wikipedia inbound search from google doesn’t work if it’s enabled.

It makes me wonder what part of the internet is used by the folks writing this addon, because it doesn’t seem to be the same part that I’m using.

The new “pick two”

I think that the whole Facebook dust up around privacy really has brought us a new pick any two triangle diagram:

The New Pick Any Two

When it comes to some kind of online services you only get to pick two of: privacy, no effort, and no cost.  With free services, that you don’t have to manage yourself, it should be no surprise that you have to give up privacy.

I’m sure there is a better wording for the pyramid, or even a better distillation of the legs.  If you’ve got any thoughts on that front, please post a comment.