30 November 2004
[internet] Penny Arcade: Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad
15 November 2004
[spam] Trial Shows How Spammers Operate‘As one of the world’s most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of Internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need. [..] In a typical month, prosecutors said during the trial, Jaynes might receive 10,000 to 17,000 credit card orders, thus making money on perhaps only one of every 30,000 e-mails he sent out. But he earned $40 a pop, and the undertaking was so vast that Jaynes could still pull in $400,000 to $750,000 a month, while spending perhaps $50,000 on bandwidth and other overhead, McGuire said. “When you’re marketing to the world, there are enough idiots out there” who will be suckered in, McGuire said in an interview.’
10 November 2004
[apocalypse] 19 End-Of-The-World Prophecies — We missed at least one apocalypse last month: ‘2004-OCT-17: Clay Cantrell computes the date of the Rapture from size of Noah’s Ark with particular attention to the precise location of the “escape window” in the top of the vessel.’ [via Kevan’s Delicious]
23 September 2004
[distraction] 56K Modem Emulator — the sound of the internet on dialup (I don’t miss it!).
4 July 2004
[web] Ghosts in the Machines — “What happens to your online self when you die?” – a question most bloggers have probably asked themselves occasionally … ‘The multitudes of LiveJournal communities and Web pages devoted to deceased young people are a testament to how real some of the relationships between online friends can be, and also how persistent online culture has become, even in the way we approach mortality. Pieces of people’s lives become nonphysical totems to their memory and exist indefinitely until the next hard drive wipe or crash.’ [via]
4 May 2004
[blogs] Will RSS Readers Clog the Web? — it isn’t so much that the web can’t handle RSS traffic more that webloggers can’t afford the bandwidth bill … ‘Some think a solution to the problem might be found by integrating desktop applications into a peer-to-peer network, which would distribute the load among hundreds of clients. A central server would coordinate various readers, allowing some to check the original source of the information and passing on new information. Instead of 100,000 aggregators tapping CNN’s website hourly, only a handful would, passing headlines to other aggregators.’
13 February 2004
[quote] Marc Smith: ‘If you’re 1 in a million, then there are 768 of you on the Internet.’
22 January 2004
[web] Attention, Please — article about how technology is constantly distracting us … ‘”Surfer’s Voice [is the] habit of half-heartedly talking to someone on the telephone while simultaneously surfing the Web, reading e-mails or trading instant messages. On one end of the phone is an annoyed colleague or family member discussing an important topic. On the other end, a party puts on a meager soundtrack of knowing participation: “OK… uh-hum… right… OK.” It is punctuated with surreptitious tapping of a keyboard. The brainy people who study these things call this phenomenon “absent presence.”‘
25 July 2003
[star wars kid] Star Wars Video Prompts Lawsuit — BBC News update on the Star Wars Kid‘Since the original was posted on the Kazaa file-sharing system, it has been downloaded and passed around to millions of people and Mr Raza’s story has been featured in newspapers all over the world. Now there are about 38 versions of the original video that add all kinds of effects to his stick twirling tricks or mock Mr Raza.’
24 June 2003
[blogs] Cory Doctorow on the Today Programme — one of the authors of Boing Boing was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning.
23 March 2003
[war] Iraq Still Online — brief article about the status of Iraqi Internet. (Where is Raed? has not updated since Friday) … ‘It’s not immediately clear, however, whether Iraqis have been able to easily access the Internet since the initial attacks. Repeated checks of the abbreviated log files for and reveal only a few hits from users of SMS and AIT, the two satellite ISPs that supply Iraq.’
25 January 2003
20 September 2002
[web] The Online Life of Bigplaty47 — from upsideclown

‘call_me_katy: why weren’t you there???? say something!!!!!
call_me_katy: I’M CRYING i thought i knew you, i thought i might love you
call_me_katy: and you do this, you did this
call_me_katy: YOURE MAKING ME CRY
call_me_katy: you have no heart. no heart at all
bigplaty47 has signed off.’

9 August 2002
[] The Bot who Loved Me — just how low can internet marketing schemes go? … ‘Perhaps the most extreme is the Crush007 site. Based in Malaysia, it sends a fake crush e-mail to an unsuspecting stooge. The site then goads the sucker to reveal all kinds of personal facts, including “how many times does she/he masturbate a week?” and “names of his/her biggest crush.” The homepage makes no secret about its motives: “We have developed this website just to help you find out who your friend’s crushes are, and also not to mention, their biggest, most well kept secrets.” Fear for the dorkiest kid in the class, thrilled that someone actually has a crush on him, who is about to be the victim of an Internet humiliation machine.’
5 August 2002
[i kiss you] Mahir Is Not A Terrorist‘Who is want to come TURKEY I can invitate ….. She can stay my home …….. I speake turkish , english , rusian , I want to learn other language ! I do not want to learn about terrorism !’ [kinda via Metafilter]
9 May 2002
[net] Me and my Net Stalker — interesting article on stalking over the internet … ‘…last year Gobion Rowlands logged on as usual to check his email. There was a message from an unusual Hotmail address. Its title was Gob on Rowlands. Its text – not for sensitive eyes – read: “You probably don’t remember me, but I haven’t forgotten you. So you’re still into your wanky dungeons and dragons shit… Clearly you have lived up to your full potential: a self-obsessed arsehole with bad kidneys. Oh yes Rowlands, I fucking know who you are… So why am I emailing you? Just to let you know that you can’t leave your past behind…”‘
23 April 2002
[p2p] Would You Download Music From This Man? — Wired profiles a “master of the file sharing universe” … ‘What motivates someone to collect more music than he could ever possibly listen to, more movies than he can watch, more games than he could ever play – and so actively spread the wealth? It’s no stretch to say Verner’s responsible for millions of dollars in lost revenue for the record labels and movie studios. And while he considers those industries “damn greedy,” it’s not malice that drives him. “A lot of people out there don’t have any idea what their computer really is for and how much they can enjoy it,” he says. “I think I’m doing a public service.”‘
30 March 2002
[dead] Googling for “Queen Mother” gets some interesting results at the moment … ‘Queen Mother – free the lady within.’

28 March 2002
[web] Tom and Cal have revamped The Barbelith Underground. Grant Morrison described it as the bulletin board for ‘cool egghead stoner motherfuckers’. Enough of a recommendation? [Related: The comic section on Barbelith is here / What does “Barbelith” mean?]
27 February 2002
[blogs] Metafilter: A Methodology — an examination of what is wrong with Metafilter‘This brings us to Matt Haughey, the owner and proprietor of Metafilter. Mr. Haughey is frequently overlooked for his efforts at hosting the site, maintaining Metafilter order and overseeing the day-to-day operations of Metafilter. Dwindle has presented new evidence that Mr. Haughey may face mortal danger in light of the high stress levels of trying to judiciously govern a community with so many disparate users. As we shall see in the ensuing statistics, Mr. Haughey’s efforts are not only overlooked, but they may lead to his untimely death, which, aside from depressing the living hell out of Dwindle and myself, would also lead to the death of Metafilter.’ [via Metatalk]
21 February 2002
[blogs] Linkpimp — lots of headlines and links … ‘Meta to the bone, big daddy’
11 February 2002
[web] Workers of the world, Reunite — profile of the creators of Friends Reunited‘it makes fascinating reading for anybody remotely curious about people’s lives. “We had no idea how much appetite there would be for it. We had underestimated people’s interest in the past. People are nosey. They just can’t help being interested in what people get up to,” said Mr Pankhurst. The idea for the site was Julie’s. When she became pregnant, she wondered how many of her school friends had had children. She tried to find out via the internet, but discovered little to help her, so the couple decided to set up their own website dedicated to school friends. That was in October 2000 when they thought it would be little more than a diversion, an amusing hobby…’
8 February 2002
[web] I have seen the Future … essay by James Gleick: ‘The hardest fact to grasp about the Internet and the I-way is this: It isn’t a thing; it isn’t an entity; it isn’t an organization. No one owns it; no one runs it. It is simply Everyone’s Computers, Connected. It is the network of all networks — the combination of all the large and small university, government, and corporate networks. It extends to individual PC’s at the end of the line, like shacks at the ends of dirt roads not far from the turnoff to U. S. Route 1.’ [via]
22 January 2002
[comics] Larry Young looks at how many comic book publishers feel about internet users‘Many comic book publishers hold you in disdain. It’s true. Secretly (because, really, how would it look if this got out?), many of the folks who toil daily to bring you your comic books really could not care less about what you think. And by “you” I don’t mean the “audience,” because entertainers need an audience to entertain. Almost by definition. If you’re producing something for public consumption, chances are you wouldn’t mind hearing some applause now and then. No, by “you,” I mean “Internet users.”‘ [via Neilalien]
9 January 2002
[cams] Webcam World — a Google Image Search for webcam32.jpg… [via Kottke]
2 December 2001
[evil] Honestly, you haven’t Changed a Bit … an Observer Journalist meets her first love and profiles Friends Reunited‘…others take a darker view [of Friends Reunited]. ‘The majority of people leave school feeling like a failure,’ says Oliver James, clinical psychologist and author of Britain on the Couch . ‘They’ve failed academically, or on the sports field, or sexually. That’s why so many people have recurring dreams about school examinations – it’s a way of managing anxiety. These people may desire to return to the past, but this time they want it to be a different experience, a more positive one. To be given the opportunity to do that is obviously very attractive.’ Hence all the biographies on the FriendsReunited site in which people refer to the fact that they are no longer fat or spotty, and boast that they are happily married with two gorgeous children. These people are bolstering their self-esteem, something that school – and especially the horrid little beasts in the playground – singularly failed to do.’
27 November 2001
[school] Foe’s Reunited … confirms my feeling that Friends Reunited is evil and wrong. ‘Man’s greatest joy is to slay his enemy, plunder his riches, ride his steeds, see the tears of his loved ones and embrace his women.” – Genghis Khan’ [via Parallax View via Dutchbint]
14 November 2001
[history] Inspired by Tom… here is some of my Internet History…

16 October 2001
[emergence] Only connect — why the internet is like an ant colony …

‘The simplest rule of all the systems I talk about in the book is: learn from your neighbours. An individual ant alters its behaviour based on the behaviour of other ants that it happens to encounter; out of all those semi-random encounters, the higher-level order of the colony emerges. A neuron in your brain decides to fire or not to fire based on the input from other neurons to which it is connected. A given “block” in the game SimCity decides to raise or lower its crime rate or pollution levels based on the crime or pollution in neighbouring blocks. All of these systems follow relatively simple rules, but they project those rules out over thousands (or, in the case of the brain, billions) of interacting agents. Given enough interactions, and given the right rules, something magical happens: the colony starts organising its workforce; the brain starts thinking; the simulated city comes to life on the screen.’

30 August 2001
[web] At home with TVGoHome — BBC News interviews Charlie Brooker … Brooker: ‘I’m still totally interested in doing internet-based things. The nice thing about the internet is that it’s a great leveller. TVGoHome was done on a budget of nil. The one thing that matters is coming up with a simple idea. I don’t know why more people don’t try it and do it – come up with something simple and try to build an audience. Everyone seems to want to create Onion rip-offs, but there’s plenty of room for good online comedy content.’ [Related: Zeppotron, TV Go Home]
30 July 2001
[profile] Mum, this is my porn empire… The Independent profiles Benjamin Cohen — a young “ whizz”. ‘He shows me his bedroom, where it all began. It is lime and turquoise, with a sweet little single bed and, still, Winnie the Pooh books in the bookcase. Have you had sex, Benjamin? “I’m not telling you that.” “Why not?” “Because I’m just not.” Benjamin, by the way, is a Tory, an admirer of William Hague who, yes, would one day like to get into politics himself. “Do you think the porn thing will be a hurdle?” he asks.’
29 July 2001
[internet] Taming the Wild, Wild Web — interesting article on Big Corporations growing discontent with the “unreliable, uncontrollable, unruly” Internet… ‘The business world’s discontent has increased as the Internet economy has unraveled over the last year. That’s not surprising, given that the network was first mapped out more than 30 years ago, when it was devised as a coast-to-coast system connecting universities working on projects financed by government grants. “The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn’t excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws,” said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. “The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn’t have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network.”‘ [via Digital Trickery]
19 July 2001
[web] 20 Questions Ask Jeeves Can’t Answer. ‘Who’s your daddy?’
4 June 2001
[web] Tom launches the Barbelith Zine… also check out the Barbelith Collective (Blogs) and the Barbelith Underground (Chat). ‘… grew out of discussions of some of the issues raised in [The Invisibles], and went far beyond them almost immediately. It’s a home for dialogues about society, technology, media, magic, religion, sex, and what-all else. It’s a community which is boisterous, passionate, sometimes acerbic, yet on occasion surprisingly tender and supportive. Debate is fierce and standards are high, but no one should feel excluded or too shy to contribute.’
23 May 2001
[kaycee] More Kaycee Links — includes photos and archived webpages.
22 May 2001
[kaycee] Comprehensive list of Kaycee Nicole hoax links and FAQ. Also here’s a summing up of recent developments‘One of the local papers seems to have reached Debbie and gotten a story that her daughter Kelli and her N’Sync friends created Kaycee to meet boys. Debbie found out about it, and somehow took over the character (maybe starting out as a protection thing?), added the cancer, and it snowballed. Everything was going fine until she became SO big a net.celeb that people were insisting Kaycee attend SXSW and then JournalCon, offering airfare etc. So it would have been very unbelievable for her not to show. This is why she was “killed”.’ [via Metafilter]
21 May 2001
[fiction] Metafilter — Kaycee did not exist. Here’s a summary of what happened‘Did anybody to do with this whole mess actually die on Monday?’
19 May 2001
[wtf?] Metafilter: Is it possible that Kaycee did not exist? ‘This is a really delicate thing here. Please be really thoughtful about this. I promise I am not trying to stir the shit without cause.’
16 May 2001
[doh!] Chegger’s gets Hacked. [Related: Chegwin Nude! Chegger’s Bedrooom.]
1 May 2001
[domains] UH! TEARS BABYTom’s reaction to losing the Freaky Trigger domain‘…this afternoon,’s new owner scented money and wrote to me – somebody had offered him $200 for the site and of course he wanted to see if I was interested first. After all, I had “previous involvement” with I was, obviously, not interested: I wish this person joy in making cash out of the domain name because I certainly never did, but he’s not getting a penny from me.’
6 April 2001
[piracy] Science Friction — Harlan Ellison goes after the fans who post his work on-line… ‘…Robertson is an archetypal member of science fiction fandom, an intensely loyal and active community of readers. For decades, sci-fi fans communicated through mimeographed zines and at annual conventions. When the Net came along, with its chat rooms, fan sites and file swapping, it was as if they’d finally made contact with the mothership. But Ellison is underwhelmed by such devotion, especially when it involves trading his stories. “At some point,” says Ellison, “you just look around and say, ‘Mother of God, the gene pool is just polluted and we really ought to turn it over to the cockroaches if we can’t do any better than this!”‘ [via WEF]
2 April 2001
[chat] The Barbelith Underground has returned…. the bulletin board for ‘cool egghead stoner motherfuckers’.
13 March 2001
[history] Old (1997) Danny O’Brien email looking back on his experience of Wired UK: ‘So, I’m sitting in Louis Rosetto’s brand new giant office in SOMA with Louis, Kevin Kelly, Jane Metcalfe, and John Plunkett (Wired’s designer). Kelly asks me what the UK scene is like. And, I’m thinking “well, it’s Cix, and it’s demon.local, but I fucking hate them because they’re brain-damaged jabbering fools who think it’s the height of sophistication to express their crippled emotional needs in terms of Blackadder quotes and I’m fucked if I’m giving this to them”. (You know what I mean.)’
6 March 2001
[expletive deleted] BTopenworld CE insults Net users ‘A senior exec at BT has slurred the good name of British Net users describing their online activities as a “passive and sometimes rather weird kind of entertainment”. BTopenworld CE, Andy Green, delivered his insults during a debate organised by the Parliamentary IT Committee (PITCOM) on the White Paper on the Regulation of Telecommunications.’ [via Digitaltrickery]
24 February 2001
[all your base] When Gamer Humor AttacksWired News analyses the ‘All your base are belong to us!’ meme… ‘Parody? No. It’s the Dada “reality” of a medium that refuses to be tamed into predictability. Armies of marketers toiling for years can’t figure out how to grab Web-users’ attention, and then a flash file with screen-shots from an outdated arcade game accompanied by clumsy subtitles conquers the world. Is it any wonder no one can figure out how to make money off the Web?’ [Related Links: All Your Base… Flash movie]
16 February 2001
[meme] ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!! [Related Links: Metafiler Post]
13 February 2001
[internet] Disturbing report on the BBC’s Panorama about an internet community of paedophiles called Wonderland… Here’s a transcript of the TV programme. ‘The first thing anyone does when they get online is go looking for the porn, it’s just one of those things. And I found that fairly easily and within 24 hours I’d found the child porn as well. I didn’t expect to find it at first, I thought well it’s an urban myth, it’s just something you hear about on the news and there it was, it was sitting in front of me. I had people I could talk to. I had people that I could trade images with as well. But I had friends. I’d never had so many friends. I had friends all over the world.’ [Related Links: RegisterPaedophile says why he loves the Net, BBC NewsPaedophiles’ vast ‘lending library’]
5 February 2001
[infinite fanboys] I have not got the time to investigate this archive of Internet Fan Fiction… but it looks pretty comprehensive. If you find any amusing / sick / insightful fan fiction let me know
22 January 2001
[net] Row over crackdown on adoption websites. Just how stupid is the British Government? ‘The government is to clamp down on adoption over the internet by warning British-based service providers that they face criminal prosecution for relaying material which infringes British adoption law, it emerged yesterday. The extraordinary move by the Department of Health, which came as the controversy concerning the case of the couple who adopted twins on the net continued to gather pace, was immediately attacked as unworkable.’
2 January 2001
[weblogs] Interconnected has some interesting thoughts on Google and weblogs: ‘This explains why weblogs rank so high in Google. The integrity of PageRank relies on the fact that you only own your own page, so you can’t force much linking to your ‘site to up your rank. The weblog community has several features that break this model: The tendency for links lists to be on every weblog page (and there are often many pages of archives too), and the large amount of reciprocal linking. The community appears as a very highly connected network, and this effect is magnified because of the large amount of the links on weblog pages compared to other ‘sites on the web.’