The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim


Gas: Desperate Atlantans Use Twitter To Find Gas“They’re tagging their posts #atlgas whenever they spot some and letting others know the price and location.” View a twitter search for #atlgas.

Google serves up a fresh take on the browser“Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today’s complex web applications much better.” Meanwhile, back at the Redmond Ranch, IE 8 consumes more RAM than Windows XP. And some would remind you, “the bad news is that Internet Explorer version 6 has 25% of the market.” Yep, a quarter of surfers still use a seven year old browser. It’s like carrying a brick-phone around.

Blogging Kills?“Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December. Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.” If you are experiencing “nonstop strain,” I’d say you’re not blogging. You’re working. And it sounds like a bad gig. You should quit. Because typing your thoughts does not cause heart attacks, but other things do.

The Connection Has Been Reset“In reality, what the Olympic-era visitors will be discovering is not the absence of China’s electronic control but its new refinement—and a special Potemkin-style unfettered access that will be set up just for them, and just for the length of their stay. According to engineers I have spoken with at two tech organizations in China, the government bodies in charge of censoring the Internet have told them to get ready to unblock access from a list of specific Internet Protocol (IP) addresses—certain Internet cafés, access jacks in hotel rooms and conference centers where foreigners are expected to work or stay during the Olympic Games.”

Gmail: Report Bug — Just today, using the older version of the Gmail interface, I noticed a prominent new link at the top of the page, “report bug” (it does not seem to appear in the newer version). Perhaps my message got through.

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: Monkey Boy’s three-legged race“Ballmer said he loved when his rivals merged, because whenever the also-rans in any market start teaming up they might as well be waving a white flag. Because it’s over. You’ve beaten them. You’ve driven them to despair. They haven’t been able to beat you on their own; there’s no way they’ll do it together.”

Joyent switches to Dell servers solely because Sun makes theirs so hard to buy“We’ve talked with all sorts of Sun sales people. They put us into a special group for internet companies. We have made personal appeals to senior executives at Sun (that generally are answered … thanks for that). We’ve passed out bottles of 18-year old scotch. But the fact remains: every time Joyent engages Sun sales, they can’t really sell me something.”

This is the Future of the Internet — A Stupidity Filter for YouTube comment threads. Someday Bayesian/AI filters like this will be standard procedure, built in to browsers by default, and the only way to manage the corpus of idiocy that user-generated content can become at such popular sites.

Why Would Anyone Use Comcast?We’ve heard they have bandwidth limits, and though they won’t tell you what they are, lots of people have been cut off. Now, we read they are combining with Symantec to filter email, including political content, in a manner that is apparently ripe for exploitation by political opponents.

20×200“Great Art. $20. Really.” I love this idea, it has a lot of potential.

NY Times to End Charges on Web Site“What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to These indirect readers, unable to gain access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.” Um, yeah, that’s what I said nearly three years ago.

Are You Getting Quechup Spammed?“Enter the password, however, and it will proceed to mail all your contacts without asking permission.” It sounds like “Quechup” is the new Spymac. If you get an invite (and it won’t be from me), ignore it.

Google: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet“They’re looking to come in and completely usurp the telcos at both the business level and the consumer level.”

The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer“While the Internet has produced some strange new job descriptions over the years, it is hard to think of any more surreal than that of the Chinese gold farmer.”

For Pornographers, Internet’s Virtues Turn to Vices — Perhaps the ultimate evidence of how the Internet can be disruptive to established businesses, even those who first profited from it.

LOL Feeds — Combine two pointless but fun web trends, (LOL Cats and Twitter), and you can end up with something like this.

im in ur programmz, codin in ur dialect: LOLCode and Feline Dialectology“As a linguist, this is really, really exciting. People are already trying to step in and enforce the ‘rules’ of the LOLCat dialect. It seems like, as a ‘native speaker’ of LOLCat, the author of this page had a distinct intuition about the ‘proper’ means of expressing a concept in this dialect. Truly incredible.”

LOLCODE“I HAS A VAR; IM IN YR LOOP;” Geek code jokes. I love it (non-geek explanation here).

Cursor — “Pointless” web exercise that makes me giggle.

The Visible Man: An FBI Target Puts His Whole Life Online“The Bangladeshi-born American says the US government mistakenly listed him on its terrorist watch list — and once you’re on, it’s hard to get off. To convince the Feds of his innocence, Elahi has made his life an open book. Whenever they want, officials can go to his site and see where he is and what he’s doing.”

The old Arbitrary Secondary links archives (1/2003-11/2005) are still online

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