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From User: Decius

Current Topic: Technology

More experiences with GoDaddy, free speech, and domain deletion [Politech]
Topic: Technology 2:39 am EST, Jan 28, 2007

Last your GoDaddy yanked the domain for the data center where my computers are hosted. ( They managed to take thousands of domains offline as a result. I helped get them back online by recording two phone calls to their tech support department.

GoDaddy shut down an entire internet provider overnight in January by killing their domain, which broke their DNS resolution. You can listen to phone calls in which their customer support people refuse to bring the domain back online in spite of the fact that 100s of customers are offline. Whats more, people who work for GoDaddy show up in the threads and start threatening the person who posted the recordings!! The fact is that $8 domain name registrations sometimes have millions of dollars riding on them. A company with this sort of flippant attitude about people's network infrastructure shouldn't be responsible for it.

I think it may be time to formally start a boycott of their services and get press around it. At a point when they are spending a ton of money on a Super Bowl commercial, and their marketing department is probably throwing it's big yearly bash, they should have another issue on their minds.

One big question remains.. What good registrars are out there these days? I have not had a chance to do any research.

More experiences with GoDaddy, free speech, and domain deletion [Politech]

Taiwan Earthquakes Boil Internet
Topic: Technology 6:17 am EST, Dec 30, 2006

I've seldom seen as much disruption of the Internet as is still being caused by the Taiwan Earthquakes of 26-27 December. Six undersea cables cut at once may be a record, as may disruptions from Taiwan to Nepal.

This link has an animation of Internet routing chaos in Singapore after undersea fibers near Taiwan were cut. This doesn't actually convey much information worth a damn, but I think I lived it once, and was too screwed up to notice. Kudos to the Internet for making that possible.

Taiwan Earthquakes Boil Internet

Life With Alacrity
Topic: Technology 1:44 am EDT, Sep 14, 2006

A blog on social software, collaboration, trust, security, privacy, and internet tools, by Christopher Allen.

It is clear this is an excellent blog just based on a once-over. I'm going to have to catch up on this guy's content.

Life With Alacrity

Puppy smoothies: Improving the reliability of open, collaborative wikis
Topic: Technology 1:40 pm EDT, Sep 11, 2006

The reliability of information collected from at large Internet users by open collaborative wikis such as Wikipedia has been a subject of widespread debate. This paper provides a practical proposal for improving user confidence in wiki information by coloring the text of a wiki article based on the venerability of the text. This proposal relies on the philosophy that bad information is less likely to survive a collaborative editing process over large numbers of edits. Colorization would provide users with a clear visual cue as to the level of confidence that they can place in particular assertions made within a wiki article.

Congratulations to Tom, who has been published in this month's issue of First Monday.

The material his article covers was first presented at last year's PhreakNIC Conference. Video of the talk (Google Video) is available. The point where Tom talks about his reliability system for Wikipedia is about 30 minutes into the presentation.

Update: Instalanche.

Update2: Slashdotted.

Puppy smoothies: Improving the reliability of open, collaborative wikis

27B Stroke 6: Fun MS bug.
Topic: Technology 7:57 pm EDT, Jun 14, 2006

Open Notepad and type in this phrase, without the quote marks and with no carriage return: "Bush hid the facts". Now save it and open it again.

Seriously, try this before you click through this link.

27B Stroke 6: Fun MS bug.

A Break for Code Breakers on a C.I.A. Mystery
Topic: Technology 6:09 pm EDT, Apr 22, 2006

Congratulations to Elonka on making prime coverage in the New York Times ...

For nearly 16 years, puzzle enthusiasts have labored to decipher an 865-character coded message stenciled into a sculpture on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters in Langley, Va. This week, the sculptor gave them an unsettling but hopeful surprise: part of the message they thought they had deciphered years ago actually says something else.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Sanborn left a phone message for Elonka Dunin, a computer game developer who also runs an e-mail list for enthusiasts trying to solve the "Kryptos" puzzle. For the first time, Mr. Sanborn had done a line-by-line analysis of his text with what Mr. Gillogly and Mr. Stein had offered as the solution and discovered that part of the solved text was incorrect.

Within minutes, Ms. Dunin called back, and Mr. Sanborn told her that in the second section, one of the X's he had used as a separator between sentences had been omitted, altering the solution. "He was concerned that it had been widely published incorrectly," Ms. Dunin said.

Ms. Dunin excitedly started sending instant messages ...

Another CIA leak?! Can't these people keep a secret? Shesh!

Ok. So let me see if I am following correctly. I'll translate into Rummy.. As I understand it, there are known knows, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. This was a known known intelligence, that turned out to include an unknown known error due to Sanborn. Now the full information is in the hands of hackers and terrorists everywhere, looking to break the CIA cafeteria.

Information about anything in regard to the CIA cafeteria must be heavily protected, and must not leak into the public domain.

And now, your moment of zen.

Good job Elonka. You rock.

A Break for Code Breakers on a C.I.A. Mystery

Canada suspends involvement with ICANN.
Topic: Technology 3:41 pm EST, Mar 24, 2006

While the ICANN Board considers these concerns, and until they are remedied, CIRA will as of this date:

* Suspend its voluntary contribution of funds to ICANN;
* Hold in trust CIRA's voluntary contributions to ICANN;
* Suspend consideration of any Accountability Framework;
* Decline to host or be a major sponsor of any ICANN event; and
* Cease chairing the ccNSO's IANA Working Group.

Canada is the only place in the official DNS system with what I would consider a reasonable whois privacy policy.

Canada suspends involvement with ICANN.

Answers from Vint Cerf: The Road Ahead for Top-Level Domains
Topic: Technology 6:04 am EST, Mar 15, 2006

The last three questions of this CircleID interview with Vint Cerf came from MemeStreams founder Tom Cross. Read on...

Q14: Years ago it was often argued that consumers in the United States were confused by domain names in TLDs other than .com… Has the popularity of search engines, and particularly search bars in web browsers, changed playing field in terms of consumer’s ability to use alternate TLDs and the amount of traffic seen by sites in alternate TLDs from U.S. consumers?—by Tom Cross

Vint Cerf: That’s a good question. There isn’t much doubt that “.com” became a kind of symbol for domain name registrations in the US. My honest impression is that search engines have tended to diminish the importance of “guessing” domain names although I understand that a substantial number of people still try that—and if they fail, they likely turn to search mechanisms. A more serious problem has been that JAVA programmers for web pages often don’t know that there are more than seven gTLDs and that many of them have more than three letters. That leads to rejection of email addresses and other entries into web forms that make reference to domain names. We need some educational outreach to fix that.

Q15: Does ICANN view the bulk domain monetization business as a legitimate activity that contributes constructively to the Internet as a communications tool?—by Tom Cross

Vint Cerf: As an engineer, I must admit that this particular “business” has been a surprise for me. However, it seems to fit within the present framework allowed by domain name operation. Advertising seems to be the primary driver here and it is argued by interested parties that advertising is an important form of commercial communication and therefore qualifies as a constructive Internet application.

Tom Cross (CircleID comment): In particular, with regard to question 15, if you replace the words “domain name” with the word “email” you have an answer to why Spam is good for the Internet. One need not make a general indictment of all commercial speech in order to observe that a practice which increases the street price of domain names by several orders of magnitude while providing comparatively little value in return might not be the most effective use of an artificially scarce namespace. This is where your justification for broadening the number of TLDs lies.

Q16: How much of an impact does the bulk domain monetization business have on the revenue that registrars, registries, and ICANN generate from the domain name system?—by Tom Cross

Vint Cerf: That’s a good question and I don’t know the answer. Probably a key metric is the ratio of bulk domain registrations vs. registrations that are related to resolvable addresses leading to web pages, email boxes, etc. Perhaps some of the registrars and registries who are reading these Q&As would be willing to respond to that question.

At the time of this posting, none of the registrars or registries have chimed in.

Answers from Vint Cerf: The Road Ahead for Top-Level Domains

Pentagon Funds Diplomacy Effort
Topic: Technology 4:29 am EDT, Jun 12, 2005

If perhaps you once dismissed the business plan for General Memetics Corporation, consider briefly the $300 million value of the contracts discussed in this article.

The Pentagon awarded three contracts this week, potentially worth up to $300 million over five years, to companies it hopes will inject more creativity into its psychological operations efforts to improve foreign public opinion about the United States, particularly the military.

"We would like to be able to use cutting-edge types of media," said Col. James A. Treadwell, director of the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, a part of Tampa-based US Special Operations Command. "If you want to influence someone, you have to touch their emotions."

"What's changing is the realization that in this so-called war on terrorism, this might be the thing that wins the whole thing for you. This gets to the importance of the war of ideas."

Pentagon Funds Diplomacy Effort

Find Cheap Gas with Google Maps
Topic: Technology 8:35 am EDT, May 19, 2005

] Mashing up Google maps and Gasbuddy = locations of cheap
] gas in your area on a Google map (map or satellite view).
] Just choose a city- then the data on the right side is
] updated cheapest gas prices. If you have mobile high
] speed access you could add a GPS and have this running
] while you drive. In the future, maybe our cars will do
] this for us.

I was just able to use this to find two local gas stations with sub-$2 a gallon prices. And this is in Jersey, so that's full service.

Find Cheap Gas with Google Maps

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