September 22, 2003

Scam city

Wizbang: Word Of Mouth - SCAM!

I had an e-mail from a site called Word of Mouth Connection. My spam filter caught it, but it caught my eye before I deleted it, and I checked it out.

The e-mail and website claim that someone was looking for information about me, and that someone else, who had dealt with me in the last year had information to provide. You can't see who the requester is, or who the source is.

I did a little looking around, and found the above weblog post, from July at Wizbang! It looks like the whole thing is a scam intended to get curious cats to cough up $20 to use their anonymous e-mail system.

They harvested my e-mail address from here on NotD, I'm sure.

September 22, 2003 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 18, 2003

Amazon hosed?

From the "one-you-don't-see-every-day" department:

Update (9:15 a.m.): They're back.

August 18, 2003 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 06, 2002

It was a really good paper...

uComics | FoxTrot

Ellen Feiss makes a special guest appearance in Bill Amend's geekier Family Circus, FoxTrot.

Seen at MacMinute.

November 6, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 05, 2002

You have been un-assimilated

I finally did something yesterday I've been meaning to do for a long, long time.

I dumped AOL.

I was a charter subscriber to AOL, back when dial-up was either into a bulletin board system or to a university gateway, and loved having a single "go-to" location for any new Mac freeware/shareware. As a charter subscriber, I got a price break, so for the last too many years, I've been paying $9.95/month for essentially nothing.

With DSL in the house, essentially free Earthlink dial-up access included with the DSL, and Frank out of a job, it seemed just the time to unsubscribe.

I actually tried to unsubscribe once before, but didn't have the patience to jump through all the hoops (I think at that point you had to unsubscribe online, and I didn't have AOL on any of my machines then).

Yesterday, it was fairly easy. I got handed off to a second representative, Mike, who asked me for the mailing address.

Hmmm....I thought, was that 2 addresses or 3 addresses ago? I guessed right -- it was Hill Street in Athens, but couldn't remember the ZIP code without a little assistance from Mike, who could review our online activity for the last 18 months, and see we haven't used the service in that long.

"Mr. Steele," he said. "You've been with us since I was 11 years old. Why do you want to unsubscribe now?"

"Well, Mike," I answered. "We've been meaning to unsubscribe since about the time you were 15."

November 5, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 23, 2002

RSS application I would kill for

Job hunting sucks.

Lots of sites have "Careers" pages, or "Jobs" pages, or "Employment" pages. Surfing from one site to another, looking for new entries, while sitting at the keyboard of a text-processing and general computing machine unthinkable in 1980, sort of chafes my chaps. It would be so much better if the sites would maintain RSS feeds of their job listings.

The RSS Entry would just be the barebones of the job, of course:

<title>Window Washer</title>
<description>Fortune 500 company in Charlotte seeks talented, experienced window-washer. Must provide tools, rope, and lift.</description>

If it matched up, you would visit the site for application details.

I imagine we'll start to see vertical applications of RSS like this shortly; recruiting companies could serve as "job aggregators," attracting applicants by having deeper, broader feeds of available positions.

October 23, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 16, 2002

Threaded aggregator? Comment on Repeats

Quoting myself, at the link above:

... I think the reason it bugs me is that the aggregators don't aggregate by subject, but by site.

I've been thinking about creating an aggregator that would group posts by the URL they point to, or by keyword, rather than by who wrote the post. That way, you could see what every site you subscribed to thought about the Microsoft "switch" page, then about subject Y, then subject Z.

This is part of the attraction of Daypop, but a story has to be pretty widely 'blogged before it appears in their top 40, and it may get there because it's being discussed by sites I don't want to read (I can imagine a lot of people not caring about what the warblogging community, or the Mac geek community, or the insert-community-here community think is important). The reverse is also true: A story that's widely discussed in my circle of web feeds may never make Daypop.

Brent Simmons has already mentioned keyword folders as one possible improvement in NetNewsWire Pro, but I've never seen anyone discuss making the structure follow the content instead of being presented by site.

Does anyone else think that a threaded aggregator would be the bees' knees, the cat's pajamas, and Chester's Chee-tos all rolled into one?

October 16, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 14, 2002

Vote for your favorite

Best of the Mac Web Survey #4

LowEndMac is kicking off their annual "Best of the Mac Web" survey. They're accepting votes through a week from tomorrow, October 22. Rather than having a best-of and a rest-of, as they have the last 2 years, they're throwing 100 sites up in the air to see where they land.

October 14, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2002

Apparently, our readers need caffeinated soap | Site for the Truly Geeky Makes a Few Bucks

The recent fascination with Linux and Open Source in general that has seized the New York Times continues with a profile of Slashdot, which recently turned 5, and has an audience of around 2 million.

Next week: Front-page profile of Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum with their new Parrot programming language?

October 13, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 08, 2002

Once more into the breach

Lessig Blog | keeping focus

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Eldred v. Ashcroft tomorrow. The suit seeks to declare unconstitutional the repeated extension of copyright term that has occurred over the last couple of decades.

Lessig, the lead attorney for Eldred, has lost this case at every level so far, but the Supreme Court chose to hear the case, so anything can happen.

The decision, of course, will arrive whenever the Supremes want it to, probably next spring.

October 8, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 26, 2002

Daypop returns

Daypop Top 40 Links

Daypop is back. They're a perfect example of what I think of as a key principle of innovation: think about what happens when you abstract things by one more layer.

Instead of just aggregating links to stories, Daypop tracks the relative popularity over time, reminding us that sometimes it's the data about the data that's really interesting.

TV Guide and Google both exemplify the same thing: Google changed the world by going beyond a simple index of pages, adding the dimension of "who else finds this interesting?" TV Guide has proven the value of metadata by in some years being more profitable than the three networks combined.

And, of course, that's how we got calculus.

September 26, 2002 in About the web | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack