Microsoft being in charge

Microsoft being in charge of a national ID system via Passport is scary to the point of appearing comical, as if it’s a big joke. I’ve avoided creating a passport account until now, and I sincerely hope I’m not forced into it by the government. Could you imagine the ease at which future identity theft will take place? This week Microsoft released a patch for their simple web server, which fixed ten exploits that were discovered in the past couple weeks. You’ll probably just have to download a small .exe from a hacker/cracker site to assume someone else’s identity if this goes through.

By the way, what problem does a national ID card solve again? I’ve never heard a satisfactory answer to that one. Is the ultimate goal that anyone without a card is a terrorist? How about a national “dye your head red” campaign. Anyone without a redhead is shot on sight. Seems logical and foolproof as a national ID card.

After getting a geocities page

After getting a geocities page that explained the account had exceeded its daily bandwidth allowance, I realized something. As we inch ever closer to the end of free anything on the web, things that orginate on free hosts have no chance of ever getting popular or taking on a life of their own. The most famous case would be the homepage of Mahir Cagri. The original page isn’t around anymore, though if it were to happen today, I seriously doubt it would have ever gotten big enough to create things like this or this.

Here’s a company worth avoiding:

Here’s a company worth avoiding: Dialpad. I tried out their telephone-on-your-PC services a couple years ago, and today was surprised to find a dozen new spam messages sent directly to my personal account. After checking a couple of the messages I noticed the small print “this message was brought to you by one of DialPad’s partners.” I accessed my dialpad account to make sure I never opted into any of this, and sure enough, next to the question “Would you like to receive occasional email offers from Dialpad or its partners?” the “No” option was selected. Their privacy policy states that all their email and partner email is opt-in, though I’m afraid my information has already been sold. With actions like this, I can’t possibly TRUSTe them ever again.

After reading Jason’s comments on

After reading Jason’s comments on an upcoming “warblog” book, and seeing their response, this passage explaining the warblog book editor’s resistance to presenting a balanced view stood out:

“At the same time, and perhaps I’m wrong, there’s very little interest in printing Chomsky-style prattle. A “balanced, accurate snapshot” of the Web would include the white supremacists who cheered the collapse of the towers on September 11, Jorn Barger’s conspiracy theories implying Israel was behind the attacks, Saudi newspapers telling tales of Jews baking Gentile blood into pastries, Counterpunch’s and Robert Fisk’s excuses for the terrorists, and Arab newspapers on alternate days applauding Osama Bin Laden for his bold strike and denying that he had anything to do with it. It would include masses of frankly unreadable attempts at writing from people of all viewpoints.”

Out of all their examples, only Jorn Barger would even be considered in a book of “bloggers’ views of September 11,” the rest are a nice example of argumentum ad consequentiam. None of those points matter, because they don’t even represent the contents of the book. Impressive attempt to derail the criticism with hyperbole though.

If one were going to compile a review of weblog reactions to September 11, I would think Dave’s site and Jason’s site during that day, and in the days that followed, in addition to the giant MetaFilter thread and every Blogger weblog post that mentions relavent terms perfectly capture many people’s shock and horror as the day’s events unfolded. The broad range of reactions are shown in all those posts. Calls for peace intertwine with calls for arms. Descriptions of real time events as they happened, filled with pain, horror, anger, and sorrow. It doesn’t require digging into the edges of the political spectrum to get an accurate picture of blogger’s view of the day, it’s all out there in the open, and quite easy to find. The original post that brought it up, though heavily exaggerated, doesn’t sound like the book will really cover blogger’s views of September 11, nor communicate the great power of weblogs and the good things they did for a lot of people that day.

The real story is much more than presenting a bunch of hawkish warblog posts in book form. The real meat of the story is manyfold, it starts with the fact that major news sites were unreachable, and weblogs filled the gap, that people could share their first-person accounts in text, video, or photographic forms just hours after it happened, others could locate missing folks via the web, and everyone could write about how they felt, getting their anger, confusion, and frustration out.

Forty years from now, we’re going to ask each other “Do you remember what you were doing in America on September 11, 2001?” and like our parents telling us where they were and what they were doing when they heard Kennedy was shot, we might be able to point to actual weblog posts as a historical record. A range of reactions would be interesting, to get an accurate picture of what the weblog world looked like in the aftermath of 9/11.

I don’t think a collection of post-9/11 essays from a group of armchair generals would be interesting nor provide any lasting value, it’d simply restate prevailing opinions of the time and instantly date the work. I would hope the editors are shooting for something lasting and substantial, though I’m not holding my breath.

The latest news in

The latest news in the domain theft of hoopla.com is an outrage. Transfer your domains off Network Solutions, if you’ve still got domains there.

I’ve had experience with Joker and Dotster, and have heard good things about DomainMonger and PairNIC for transfers as well. It could happen to anyone, and it’s in your best interest to no longer allow NetSol to control your domain.