social networking software gone mad

August 25th, 2004

Now this is an interesting concept…if only I went out.

Or, had friends who were hip with this text messaging thing.

xml to csv

August 25th, 2004

Does anyone know of an app that will convert XML files to CSV?

And no, I do not have access to the latest version of Microsoft Office. And Open Office could do it, but I’d be forced to create a filter by hand.

gmail invites

August 22nd, 2004

I just got a few and I headed over to to donate some invites to soldiers serving overseas.

Ya just gotta love the Internet

August 22nd, 2004

Nothing like taking a quick check at site stats to discover that someone from a .mil IP address with a Baghdad Time (BT) timestamp was looking at your picture.

Update Linkroll

August 21st, 2004

I wish I had seen this WP plugin for Update Linkroll earlier.

The plugin is used in WP 1.2 to update the linkroll. For some reason in 1.2 the one line of PHP used to update the linkroll had not been included in the index.php template.

// Uncomment the next line if you want to track blog updates from

Anyway, my linkroll should be updating now. We’ll see.

Update: I hadn’t realized that isn’t working anymore so I’m trying to use the updating service

Just because Wired’s shift key is stuck

August 17th, 2004

does not mean we all have to follow.

In other words, on my blog, the words Internet, Web and Net will still be capitalized in postings. Those nouns, to me, do not represent a mere publishing system, but they denote places. Places where *I* exist. Places where I have existed for the last decade. And in proper English place names are capitalized.

However, I will note that isn’t it interesting that a Web magazine is declaring that the Internet, Web and Net are “another medium for delivering and receiving information”. Well duh…for Wired is the electronic version vastly different than the paper version? Not really — for Wired, it’s all about delivering content to consumers.

Warner’s Tryst With Bloggers Hits Sour Note

August 16th, 2004

From The NY Times

Earlier this month, Warner became the first major record label to ask MP3 blogs to play its music. The blogs - which are relatively new but increasingly popular - are personal Web sites that offer music criticism right next to the actual music, in the form of downloadable MP3 files.

But as is sometimes the case when marketers try to insinuate themselves into online communities, the company’s approach did not go as planned. Warner… ran into a culture clash with the small world of MP3 blogs, annoying some of the very people it wanted to win over, especially after one or more people at Warner apparently posted anonymous messages to make it appear that ordinary music fans were defending the label.

In the week after the song was posted on Music for Robots, a message board on the site attracted some thoughtful commentary on Warner’s move. But a few comments, posted under several different names, stood out because they looked like something one might read on a teen-pop fan site.

A check of site records by Mr. Willett revealed that all four of the suspect comments had been posted from the same Internet Protocol address, indicating that they came from the same computer or from a computer within the same company. That address was also the source of two e-mail messages that Ms. Bechtel sent to a reporter, as well as the original messages sent to the bloggers.

The entertainment industry has for some years been going into chat rooms and message boards to promote its products. But Ms. Bechtel said this kind of activity was not part of the Secret Machines campaign. She said the comments could have been posted independently by fans of the band who worked at the company.

Mr. Willett said that it was obvious the favorable comments on his site had not been left by “real people,” and that they had soured his opinion of Warner Brothers’ Internet efforts. “I know we’re dealing in relatively uncharted territory here, but I’d expect a slightly different level of participation,” he said. “We’re not an AOL chat room.”

Hehe. The article summary could be written as “Music blogger pays attention to site stats, exposes amateurish attempts of BigMusicCo to gain blogger cred.” It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who looks at site stats. After a bit of googling, I have found the Music for Robots Sells Out post for your edification and intellectual curiosity.

(One would think that the NY Times would maybe perhaps link the darn post they’re discussing, but apparently the idea of “contextual hyperlinking on the Web” hasn’t reached their online editors yet. )

comment spammer using perl

August 13th, 2004

Stupid comment spammer left a comment in an old story that attempted to appear somewhat legit but the one URL he used went to a site for pain meds. Interesting user agent.

Url: /index.php?s=
Http Code : 200

Date: Aug 13 21:44:03
Http Version: HTTP/1.0″
Size in Bytes: 41677

Referer: -
Agent: libwww-perl/5.800

e-Commerce turns 10

August 13th, 2004


Few remember or have ever even heard of the Web retailer, but on Aug. 11, 1994, the college grads that founded NetMarket in Nashua, N.H., claimed they had conducted the very first secure retail transaction on the Web.

They said the first item purchased via a Web site protected by commercially available data encryption technology was the CD “Ten Summoner’s Tales” by Sting, according to former NetMarket founder Daniel Kohn.

Web retailing began to flourish the following year, when Netscape (now a division of Time Warner) came out with a version of its Web browser that incorporated the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security protocol, Kohn said. SSL creates a connection between a desktop computer, or client, and a server, over which data can be sent securely. The most recognizable sign of SSL at work are Web addresses that begin with “https:” rather than the more familiar “http:” designation.

While 10 years of fine-tuning the technology have made e-commerce easier, data security remains a concern for online shoppers and merchants. Though SSL is nearly impossible to break, hackers have found other ways to attack, using computer viruses, “phishing” and other tricks.

Despite the threats, most people are more comfortable than ever with shopping online, said Darin Sennett, director of design and technology, at Powell’s City of Books. The Portland, Oregon, book store has been taking orders online for nearly 10 years and has been largely unaffected by such attacks, he said.

What were they thinking?

August 13th, 2004

For some reason, I don’t think it was the smartest move in the world for the Google founders to give an interview in Playboy. Not merely because the publication could taint their IPO, but what about branding?

National Hurricane Center NOAA Atlantic storm feeds

August 13th, 2004

I have been following Charley’s forecast via NOAA, when I discovered that the National Hurricane Center NOAA offers RSS feeds for their Atlantic and Pacific storm forecasts. Pretty cool.

Atlantic storms
Atlantic storms (SP)
Pacific storms

The Blog Busters

August 10th, 2004

From the Guardian

They were once seen as the preserve of the geek, but nowadays personal opinion and diary pages - weblogs or “blogs” - are so powerful that huge corporations are taking an interest.

The sites that started as observational home pages for enthusiasts have become so powerful that they are starting a new industry of blog monitoring in which media companies scour the net to advise brands on how their name is being talked about online, away from the traditional newspaper and broadcast media sites.

Lord knows that I’ve written about my experiences with corporations large and small here. To be fair, I usually write when I really really like something or I’m completely disillusioned.

Via Instapundit