Archive for August, 2006

What in the world was AOL thinking?

Monday, August 7th, 2006

By now, most of you have probably heard about the public release of hundreds of thousands of search query records by AOL ostensibly for research purposes. While the search queries were supposed to be anonymized by subsituting AOL usernames with numbers, the information in the search queries themselves are quite sensitive including names, addresses, SSN numbers and even includes some alarming search queries.

An AOL spokesman has since apologized for the leak, but as they say, the horse is already out of the barn. Not to mention that I’m sure there are attorneys already looking into this.

Update: The NY Times was able to track down a woman in Georgia via her AOL search requests included in the released data.

Also, CNET lists some of the search queries.

[tags]AOL, AOL data leak [/tags]

User agent messaging

Monday, August 7th, 2006

To Whom It May Concern,

Yes, I do look at my log files.

[tags]cute reader tricks[/tags]

Monday morning commute

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Nothing like starting out your Monday nearly getting rear-ended on the way to work. The worst part about it is that a cop caused the near-rear-ending.

If I take 202 North to work, there is a usual backup right by where Route 30 merges into 202. Well, the cop in an unmarked car was sitting maybe a good 1/8 of a mile south of today’s backup. There was a big Chevy Suburban in front of me who slowed down before the backup. I couldn’t see why he was slowing down so soon, but at least I was paying attention to him, so I slowed down.

And then the car behind me wasn’t paying so close attention apparently and all of a sudden I hear a “screeeeeeeech“. I look in my rearview mirror to see a woman and a man in an old mazda with an “oh s***” look on their faces. Good grief.

Of course the cop was just sitting there (I’ve seen him there on a few previous mornings), slowing down already slowed down traffic doing plate checks. He didn’t have his radar on at all, as evidenced by my radar detector.

[tags]Monday morning commute[/tags]


Sunday, August 6th, 2006

The British Web consultant group Silktide has a free Web sitescore program that will analyze a site for design, popularity and accessiblity. Interesting to see their take on Web marketing and design. Also, cleverhack isn’t that slow.

Sitescore for

[tags]Web design, Web marketing, Web [/tags] screenshot

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Screenshot from the technology section. Whoops. technology section

[tags], whoops[/tags]

Eighth cleverhack podcast

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

The eighth cleverhack podcast is now posted. Features discussion about geeks who play musical instruments, Web site architecture and why I’m not enthused about the idea of Fedora Women.


Download Podcast

Google WAP proxy user agent

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

User agent for the Google Wireless Proxy, used by folks browsing the Web via Google properties on their cellphones. This is not a googlebot, instead it’s an actual user on their cellphone.

Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 06 14:55:05 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 4969
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; Google Wireless Transcoder;)

[tags]Google, Google Mobile, Google WAP Proxy, Wireless, Wireless browsing [/tags]

Saturday afternoon RSS and Web 2.0 aggregated roundup

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Here’s a few cool RSS and Web 2.0 things I’ve found on my journey around the Web this Saturday afternoon.

I think I have almost found holy grail of adding the cleverhack RSS feed to several RSS feed readers at once. The service is called MultiRSS.

Talking about RSS and the new My AOL feeds beta which is looking all Web 2.0, I’m amused by this not evil user agent for the MY AOL feed crawler.
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 Compatible - AOL xpRSS (not evil) 1.0

And now you can add cleverhack RSS feeds to MY AOL.

Finally, I came across this blogspot blog which seems to be doing similar RSS and Web 2.0 research/messing around/etc. as I am. What intrigues me the most is the blog’s feedburner feed in which, if you look closely, the author managed to embed links to, My Web Yahoo and furl. So, basically the user reading the feed wouldn’t have to initially enter a browser to begin the bookmarking process. I thought that was clever.

Finally, yet another Web 2.0 social bookmarking service called Blue Dot. Props to the user interface, although it’s yet another Web 2.0 social bookmarking service so I am not sure what differentiates it from other services.

[tags]RSS, RSS feeds, RSS Readers, Web 2.0, MultiRSS, My AOL, Blue Dot[/tags]

Add cleverhack podcasts to Creative ZENCast

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Add cleverhack podcasts to Creative ZENCast

[tags]podcasts, mp3 players, Creative ZENCast[/tags]

So hip that it hurts to think about it

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

So, the NY Times has an article today about how rose wines are The Summer Drink To Be Seen With.

If you log in to read the article, there is a hilarity inducing image of three hipsters drinking such wine and a sidebar image of Coppola’s Sofia Rose Wine, a wine that I reviewed a few podcasts ago.

[tags]hip, hipster, rose wine, NY Times pop culture, sarcasm [/tags]

Google Desktop question

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Here’s the log for someone using Google Desktop to read my feed….


Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 05 07:35:02 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 24988

Referer: -

Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; Google Desktop)

Now I can see this person is a regular feed subscriber as the user agent hits my site regularly, I can see them clickthrough to posts, etc. All well and good, etc.

Now my question is, does Google Desktop hit a site’s RSS feed when the person is just viewing a site but is not subscribed to the site’s RSS feed? This behavior would be similar to Firefox hitting a site’s RSS Feed and showing the nicely orange RSS icon in the address bar.

I would test this behavior but there is no Mac OSX version of Google Desktop.

[tags]Google Desktop, RSS, RSS feeds, RSS Readers[/tags]


Friday, August 4th, 2006

the quality of my day is determined by the difference between a colon and a semicolon.