PATH: BS | Technology | Internet | Web Sites

Short Toots

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[Essential Factoids]
  • A school in Colorado has banned flag-waving. Plus, apple pies have been ruled "Too sticky" for the cafeteria's floors.

  • In a speech given in Washington, D.C., President Bush said about democracy, "One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry." Apparently, in monarchies, dead children are met with laughter and merrymaking.

  • A study in Michigan found that children behave better, and sleep more soundly, after their tonsils are removed. It helps if the parents threaten to take them back to the hospital and have other parts cut out if they don't straighten up.

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Illegal Government Cookies, Anyone?

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It seems that in addition to the warrentless spying that the NSA has been doing on American citizens, in clear violation of U.S. law, isn't the only way they've been keeping an eye on us. There was also the illegal cookies.

In a posting on his googlewatch.org website a privacy activist, Daniel Brandt, says he discovered that the NSA was using tracking devices when he logged on to the agency website on Christmas Day. He found the site was using two persistent cookies that would not expire until 2035, well beyond the life of most computers.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-01-01 20:40:37 | Comment on this Article

Million Dollar Home Page Idea

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a million dollars in four months on the Internet. And, astonishingly enough, it's legal, and does not involve food items shaped vaguely like religious icons.

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eBay Can't Even Tell Which "eBay E-Mail" is Fake

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A sophisticated phishing attack has proven to be so successful, it has tricked eBay Inc.'s own fraud investigations team into endorsing it as legitimate, according to an independent security consultant who reported the attack to eBay.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-12-21 01:09:11 | Comment on this Article

You've Got Mail! (and Herpes)

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A new web site has been launched in Los Angeles with the noble concept of allowing people to e-mail others anonymously and notify them that they may have been exposed to a sexually-transmitted disease.

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Is Overstock.com's CEO Completely Insane?

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Amidst a myriad of complaints over customer service, falling stock prices and other problems, revelations surface that Overstock.com, the online retailer that masquarades as a metaphor for an orgasm, has a CEO that may very well be a total nutjob.

CEO Patrick Byrne has held calls with financial analysts in which he delved into his sexuality and experiences with cocaine, in the midst of a tirade on how a cabal led by a "Sith Lord" was out to destroy his company.

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Which Search Engine Is Most Relevent? Take the Blind Test.

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Here's an interesting process. You type in a search query, preferably something you're familiar with; the site displays un-branded results from popular search engines and you vote for which one you think is most relevant. Afterward, the results are revealed and you can see how others have voted. A nice, objective method of analyzing the usefulness of the Internet's most popular search engines.

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Microsoft Blacks Out Area 51; Google Doesn't

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[Beating Dead Horses]
In the war between Earth image browsers, it doesn't seem like much of a challenge. Microsoft's satellite imagery shows vintage stuff like the twin towers and the nonexistence of things like Apple's headquarters (presumably due to old satellite data) whereas Google's system is up to date and in color. Another interesting tidbit is that the infamous Area 51 shows up on Google but Microsoft has it blacked out. No word yet if Microsoft has also blacked out Barbara Striesand's home.

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Fox Acquires MySpace.com

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New Corporation, run by Rupert Murdock & Co., which also owns Fox, has acquired Intermix Media, Inc., operators of the popular MySpace.com online community. This move heralds the formation of a new division within Murdock's empire, Fox Interactive Media. News Corp shelled out $580 Million in the transaction.

It wouldn't be difficult to speculate that the motive behind this was to recapture the audiences that have been lost to New Corp's other television, print and cinema divisions. The big question is whether people will start a mass exodus from MySpace if they start seeing Bill O'Reilly ads all over the place? Can we now expect MySpace.com to be "Fair and balanced?"

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-07-21 23:38:13 | Comment on this Article

Popular Web Site Desperately Tries to De-Promote Itself

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SomethingAwful got a segment on G4-TechTV and the order came down from high up, "If we see an increase in traffic as a result of your TV appearance, you've failed." Watch as the hilarity unfolds as a popular counterculture web site, desperately tries to de-emphasize its significance on a burned out cable channel.

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Dell Shuts Down Part Of Its Online Customer Service

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Want to complain on Dell's website about its customer service? Too late - the Customer Support Forums, operational until last Friday, have been shut down, apparently to try to quell bad publicity there about Dell products and especially after-care service.

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Hackers Shut Down Phishing Sites

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[Activists]
In the wake of the government and law enforcement's seemingly profound inability to enforce fraud laws and go after spammers and scammers online, computer people are taking matters into their own hands and taking action against online scam operations.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-05-26 14:48:01 | Comment on this Article

PA Republican Wants To Stop Free Weather Reports

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Pennsylvania representative Rick Santorum, under the control of corporate interests who run commercial weather services, is introducing legislation to shut down the free weather information available online from the National Weather Service. This is taxpayer-funded, valuable information available to the people that is encroaching on profits of select corporate interests and they're buying politicians to shut it down. Shame Shame.

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Your Macromedia/Flash Browser Plug-In Has Been Spying on You!

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Who knew? Though we probably should have suspected, that Macromedia's Flash Plug-in, which most browsers are using to view cute animation and annoying ads, also has the ability to store personal identification information and even listen in on your computer's microphone or internet-enabled camera!

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How To Destroy A Web Page For Fun

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[The "Buzz"]
A new site promises an interesting and creative way for people to take their frustrations out on web sites.

Still no cure for cancer, but it's refreshing to know that more technical people are spending so much time and energy on important pursuits like these.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-07-17 18:22:54 | Comment on this Article

Utah Governor Forces ISPs To Filter Internet Content

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Utah's governor has defied criticism from technology firms and free speech activists to sign into law a bill designed to protect children from Internet pornography, which forces ISPs to block access to web sites deemed "harmful to minors". Utah huh? I thought the Mormons were supposed to be the model family structure? Are they now admitting that they need state-sanctioned help in controlling what media their children have access to? Then again, this state also has the highest prozac consumption in the country, so methinks this bubble has finally burst.

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Online Banks' Poor Web Design Compromises Customers' Security

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The "net-smart" consumer knows better than to fall for phishing scams where dubious people try to con you into submitting personal information into a mysterious web form, but now thanks vulnerabilities and poor design in many online banks' web sites themselves, crooks can use the bank's web site, such as Charter One to display the illegal activity within a frame from their own web site! To add insult to injury, Netcraft reports that most banks are among the slowest entities to fix these types of problems.

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DailyKOS offline/down/sabotaged

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[Activists]
The infamous left-oriented web site DailyKOS, for whatever reason, is currently offline. It's actually still online but due to site design, poor choice in domain registrar, they are being kept offline.

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Amazon seeks to patent search history, and never delete it.

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The USPTO has published Amazon.com's patent application for Persistently storing and serving event data, a fancy way of saying Amazon wants to own the process of remembering everything a user searches on. What's even more interesting is that as part of the patent application, Amazon's version of allowing a user to "delete his search history" merely renders the information "undisplayable" but still makes the information available for other (potentially dubious?) uses. Furthermore, Amazon requested the USPTO to not make the application public.

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Gangsta Cultcha Hits Da Search Engines Y'erd Meh!

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[The "Buzz"]
You say you want to do some research for your term paper, but you want it with an urban, gangsta rap edge that so beautifully epitomizes your Infro-mational needz? Well, worry no mo, mah nizzle... Gazoogle iz in da howze!

READ MORE | 15 comments since 2007-11-30 11:39:38 | Comment on this Article

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