So-Called Cool Web Sites and Other Stuff

Posted in Internet on June 30th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Time’s 50 Coolest Websites 2005.

:: Interesting article from The Guardian Unlimited, called Riddle of the Bands, in which the question is asked: “Is there any point trying to get meaning from the wishy-washy lyrics of bands such as Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol? Or have musicians just run out of things to say?”

Spam Spam Spam Spam

Posted in Internet on February 4th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Didn’t think spamming could get any worse? Think again:this isn’t good news:

SPAMMERS TRY A NEW TACK – Tired of being blocked by “blacklists,” spammers are turning to a new technique — routing it directly through the computers of their Internet service providers, rather than sending it from individual machines. The result poses a dilemma: to block spam coming directly from an ISP’s servers would mean blocking all its mail, crippling the system. “From what we’ve seen, the volumes of this type of spam are going up dramatically,” says Steve Linford, who heads up the Spamhaus Project. “We’re really looking at a bleak thing” if ISPs don’t quickly deploy countermeasures, he adds. Such measures could include more aggressive monitoring and limiting how much mail is being sent from individual machines on their networks. In addition, ISPs should beef up efforts to authenticate mail they pass on through their own computers, says Linford. A study released yesterday estimates that deleting spam costs nearly $22 billion per year in lost productivity, based on a survey of 1,000 adults who said they spend about three minutes per day trashing spam when they check their e-mail. (Washington Post 4 Feb 2005) <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61901-2005…> – (requires registration to view)

Center for the Digital Future Identifies the 10 Major Trends Emerging in the Internet’s First Decade of Public Use

Posted in Internet on October 8th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: The USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future has completed a study of the impact of online technology (note – 105p pdf document), specifically how the Internet affects America. I don’t know of an equivalent study underway in Canada. From the press release, among the findings from Year Four of the Digital Future
Project:

-Internet access has risen to its highest level ever. About three-quarters of Americans now go online.
– The number of hours spent online continues to increase, rising to an average of 12.5 hours per week – the highest level in the study thus far.
– Although the Internet has become the most important source of current information for users, the initially high level of credibility of information on the Internet began to drop in the third year of the study, and declined even further in Year Four.
– The number of users who believe that only about half of the information on the Internet is accurate and reliable is growing and has now passed 40 percent of users for the first time.
– The study showed that most users trust information on the websites they visit regularly, and on pages created by established media and the government.
– Information pages posted by individuals have the lowest credibility: only 9.5 percent of users say information on those sites is reliable and accurate.
– Television viewing continues to decline among Internet users, raising the question: “What will happen as a nation that once spent an extremely large portion of time in a passive activity (watching television) transfers increasingly large portions of that time to an interactive activity (the Internet)?”

Here are the top ten trends identified by the Center:

  1. In America, The Digital Divide Is Closing, But Is Not Yet Closed As New Divides Emerge
  2. The Media Habits Of The Nation Have Changed, And Continue To Change
  3. The Credibility Of The Internet Is Dropping
  4. We Have Just Begun to See the Changes to Come in Buying Online
  5. The “Geek-Nerd” Perception Of The Internet Is Dead
  6. Privacy And Security: Concerns Remain, But The High Levels Are Changing
  7. The Internet Has Become The Number One Source For Information For Internet Users
  8. The Benefits – and Drawbacks – Of The Internet For Children Are Still Coming Into Focus
  9. E-mail: “E-Nuff” Already?
  10. Broadband Will Change Everything – Again

How News Travels on the Internet

Posted in Internet on March 18th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Interesting graphic from Steven Van Dyke.

First Batch of Spam Lawsuits in the USA, Zurich is #1

Posted in Internet on March 10th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Four of the largest ISPs in the States have filed six lawsuits against hundreds of large-scale spammers. The plaintiffs are Microsoft, AOL, Earthlink and Yahoo. While I’m sceptical about the lawsuits, it’s nice to finally see some serious legal action being taken to fight back against spammers. The lawsuits were filed subsequent to the passing of new anti-spam legislation in the US. Now, can we get the same thing happening in Canada, please?

:: Mercer Human Resource Consulting has released a World-wide quality of life survey, and Zurich and Geneva topped the list for 2004, with Vancouver BC, and Vienna, close behind. Further details of the survey reveal that Calgary is the cleanest city on Earth! It’s not clear from the report which cities from the planet were included in the survey.

101 Ways To Save The Internet

Posted in Internet, Music on January 13th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Wired offers 101 Ways To Save The Internet. Among my favorites:

    1 Unleash vigilante justice on spammers: One activist has proposed filters that launch distributed denial-of-service attacks back at spammers. Great. Just make sure we have the right addresses first.
    2 Slash song prices charge 29 cents per download. You”ll make it up in volume.
    3 Quit already, Jack Valenti
    9 Hands off Internet phone calls: Just because the creaky old phone system was regulated to death doesn’t mean VoIP should suffer the same fate.
    10 Free the handsets: We should be able to buy any cell phone and match it with any service plan.
    24 Release Episode III on the Net: It’s going straight to video anyway.
    30 Scramble archived addresses: Online archives of mailing lists are a treasure trove for spammers. Give members the option to have their addresses scrambled in posts.

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