Tag Archives: internet

The Usenet Archive

November 23, 2013

On 23th of May 2001 I posted a blogpost that Google acquired Deja’s usenet archive.

For those of you not online before that time… back in 1999 we used the services of Deja and Remarq to find archived newsgroup postings. (I believe Remarq is now supernews and Deja is well.. Google Groups).

However… I noticed that, thanks to the long tail, I got a comment from Craig Stadler on that post 12 years later (today)… announcing a new newsgroup archive:

http://www.theusenetarchive.com/ 

(founded feb 2012)

The amazing thing about a weblog is (and you see that the 50th anniversary Dr. Who episode of an hour ago is still fresh in my mind…) that you “say something in 2001” and someone answers 12 years later, while you then can make a reply in the scope of that something you said in 2001.

I don’t understand why some blogs block comments after some time of posting, it’s fun to read that stuff again.

Theusenetarchive has an Alexa ranking of about 650.000 so probably it does need more visitors than currently.

I tried some queries but it probably does not seem to have an “advanced search” option or a help page on how to search on e.g. multiple words. E.g. when I tried “Edward de Leau” it showed all postings with “Edward” (which is a lot). I also tried to search on some of my secret old aliases (to be kept secret indefinitly grin) to search for posts dating back long before 1999 but I couldn’t figure out how the 2 date boxes should work. So I think the search interface needs some work. I could only get postings out of it showing me the latest usenet postings not the one e.g. with “words” between “1995” and “1999”.

Als when I clicked “Group List” I got “Query failed: No database selected”

So.. probably a new revision of the search gui needs to be in place (or maybe you the reader directly understand how it is supposed to work I didnt).

Delicious has been acquired by AVO!

April 27, 2011

So… here is the message you get when you try to bookmark a URL:

image

By clicking “I Agree” below, you agree to allow your account information, bookmarks and all other data submitted to Delicious to be transferred to AVOS. Once transferred, your information will be subject to the AVOS Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Here is the blog post: http://blog.delicious.com/

Here is the press release: http://www.avos.com/delicious-press-release/

Here is more information: http://www.delicious.com/help/transition (FAQ)

If you are interested in building the new big thing: jobs@avos.com. Smile

Forum spam campaign going around

October 25, 2010

image There seems to be some kind of Internet campaign to post on every forum and every thread that is even lightly political (even on WordPress plugins sigh…) the message that "George Soros is a nazi" with some vague story around it.

To be honest I never heard of this guy until all these messages popped up. So I went to wikipedia to find out and… discovered a hero!

I’m glad that I read about this person it gives me some hope for a better future:

- Soros has been active as a philanthropist since the 1970s, when he began providing funds to help black students attend the University of Cape Town in apartheid South Africa, and began funding dissident movements behind the iron curtain.

- Soros’ philanthropic funding includes efforts to promote non-violent democratization in the post-Soviet states. These efforts, mostly in Central andEastern Europe, occur primarily through the Open Society Institute (OSI) and national Soros Foundations, which sometimes go under other names (such as the Stefan Batory Foundation in Poland).

- Other notable projects have included aid to scientists and universities throughout Central and Eastern Europe, help to civilians during the siege of Sarajevo, and Transparency International. Soros also pledged an endowment of €420 million to the Central European University (CEU). The Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and his microfinance bank Grameen Bank received support from the OSI.

- In an interview with The Washington Post on November 11, 2003, Soros said that removing President George W. Bush from office was the "central focus of my life" and "a matter of life and death." He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat President Bush, "if someone guaranteed it."[39] Soros gave $3 million to the Center for American Progress, $2.5 million to MoveOn.org, and [40] to America Coming Together. These groups worked to support Democrats in the 2004 election. On September 28, 2004 he dedicated more money to the campaign and kicked off his own multi-state tour with a speech: Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush[41] delivered at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

- In August 2009, Soros donated $35 million to the state of New York to be ear-marked for under-privileged children and given to parents who had benefit cards at the rate of $200 per child aged 3 through 17, with no limit as to the number of children that qualified. An additional $140 million was put into the fund by the state of New York from money they had received from the 2009 federal recovery act.[21]

- According to Neil Clark in the New Statesman, Soros’s role was crucial in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Clark states that from 1979, Soros distributed $3m a year to dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union; in 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media.[44]

- Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Soros’ funding has continued to play an important role in the former Soviet sphere. His funding and organization of Georgia’s Rose Revolution was considered crucial to its success by Russian and Western observers, although Soros has said that his role has been "greatly exaggerated."[45] Alexander Lomaia, Secretary of the Georgian Security Council and former Minister of Education and Science, is a former Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation (Soros Foundation), overseeing a staff of 50 and a budget of $2,500,000.[46]

Former Georgian Foreign Minister Salomé Zourabichvili wrote that institutions like the Soros Foundation were the cradle of democratisation and that all the NGOs which gravitated around the Soros Foundation undeniably carried the revolution. She opines that after the revolution the Soros Foundation and the NGOs were integrated into power.[47]

Some Soros-backed pro-democracy initiatives have been banned in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.[48] Ercis Kurtulus, head of the Social Transparency Movement Association (TSHD) inTurkey, said in an interview that "Soros carried out his will in Ukraine and Georgia by using these NGOs…Last year Russia passed a special law prohibiting NGOs from taking money from foreigners. I think this should be banned in Turkey as well."[49] In 1997, Soros had to close his foundation in Belarus after it was fined $3 million by the government for "tax and currency violations". According to the New York Times, the Belarussian president Aleksandr Lukashenko has been widely criticized in the West and in Russia for his efforts to control the Belarus Soros Foundation and other independent NGOs and to suppress civil and human rights. Soros called the fines part of a campaign to "destroy independent society".[50]

In June 2009, Soros donated $100m to Central Europe and Eastern Europe to counter the impact of the economic crisis on the poor, voluntary groups and non-government organisations.[51]

- The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa is a Soros-affiliated organization. [1] Its director for Zimbabwe is Godfrey Kanyenze, who also directs the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which was the main force behind the founding of the Movement for Democratic Change, the principal indigenous organization promoting Regime change in Zimbabwe.

Etc… etc…

I know I’m probably showing my total ignorance of never heard of him since he is very rich and wrote quite some books and did all of this but… you are never to old to learn :)

Thanks for the spammers to let me find a new hero.

(I think it is time for my hero gallery on this weblog don’t you think?)

Opgepast: telefoon oplichting “press 9”

March 7, 2009

Opgepast mensen, de telefoon oplichters zijn weer aan het werk las ik op Tros Radar: http://forum.trosradar.nl/viewtopic.php?t=69168&sid=127c23f5d01f3151b231d041e700b2bc .

ik heb er hier in 2005 een stukje over geschreven: http://edward.de.leau.net/telefoon-spam-20050726.html

Dus dat doe ik niet nog eens over.

Het werkt zo: je wordt gebeld en er wordt gevraagd om een “9” in te toetsen (bijvoorbeeld omdat je een prijs gewonnen hebt) na wat gezever kom je dan verder en uiteindelijk wordt er gevraagd om je persoonlijke gegevens vermoedelijk ook je creditcard (dat was destijds zo).

Ook doorgeven aan je partner, getuige dit verhaal:

“We won a cruise!” my wife yelled through the telephone yesterday afternoon while I was at work. It turned out she had been called by a computer that left a message on our answering machine to dial a toll-free 0800 number to get our prize. Of course my wife called this number and the rest of the story you can probably guess. In all her goodness and naivety she provided those people from HolidayFloridaUsa.com with our Credit Card details. When she informed me about the 16-day trip to Orlando including a cruise to the Bahamas but that she had to give the our Credit Card for them to validate I freaked and told her to immediately block the Card but it was already too late: An amount of 864,53 euro´s was “reserved”.

Rethinking weblog navigation: structure and content

October 24, 2008

I was sitting in the car and rethinking navigation on weblogs in general. On large weblogs this is somewhat comparable with navigating the Internet. There are several ways to do so and I was wondering if I couldn’t write a plugin for WordPress to centralize all navigation possibilities within 1 widget.

1. Content Independent

1.1 Based on order of posting

1.1.1. Navigate posting by posting

Weblogs have already a build in navigation system: they are ordered by date. So you would typically see the newest blog postings on top and the oldest blog postings at the end. Pretty neat feature! The way to navigate through this is:

Use the scrollbar of your browser to scroll down to older postings. This is not needed to be included in the navigation panel. However it actually could be included if we would make the navigation panel a “floating on top widget” we could then include an arrow up and arrow down button to jump to the next posting.

image 

1.1.2 Navigate page by page

By using the forward or backward option which shows an amount of postings as defined to fit on 1 page. Obviously one of the buttons will be greyed out when either the newest posting or the oldest posting is on screen.

image

1.1.3 Navigate by a specific page

A variation on 1 is to actually make it possible to jump to a specific page within the collection of pages.

This is comparable with visiting all webpages on the Internet, one by one, just order them by IP address instead of URI (e.g. start with 0.0.0.0 and end with 255.255.255.255 (which is the end of the Internet), then order them on portnumber e.g. 0.0.0.0:0 to 0.0.0.0:99999 and then index the pages under it and put them all in a long list. Just click on the number you want to jump to.
On a weblog this can be compared with the paging tool, you start by reading the first page and you end with the last page. Each page contains several posts. It’s the oldest navigation we know. A book.
Content has nothing to do with it.

image

1.2 Navigate by dates

1.2.1 navigate date by date

Weblogpostings are written on a certain date. Sometimes you find the date to be a header and several postings under it. I did this for quite a while. It does not hurt the logical order of the page and is secretely another build in navigation component. You often find a little calender on weblogs to let you travel to specific date or month.

1.2.2 navigate month by month

Another variation on this is to group them on groupings of dates e.g. per month or per year. In most cases these are called the archives and you find a link to these on almost all weblogs. This is typically something I would regard as belonging inside a navigation element since it is another variant of 1.1 and really not dependent on content.

I have combined both the archives (in a duo pull down menu) and the calender in the to be widget:

image

1.3. More content independent navigation

Other content independent ways of navigation are e.g. to display all postings by one specific author (which is useless on my weblog since I am the only author) or e.g. by amount of comments. Apart from that there are countless more which I have put in a little pulldown menu (e.g. “latest 10”), in here could go the numerous (sql) queries on the database.

image

1.4 Random Post / Page / Month / Date

A random posting is not really tied to a “task” but for whatever reason people like to use it. Maybe to get an impression of the weblog overall or just to waste some time. Since it is tied to the concept the pulldown menu of e.g. author will contain the word “random” and the pages will contain the word “random”.

image

Random postings are not the same as Stumbling postings. In the case of stumbling a preselection of best postings has been made, so that is tied to the content on which more in chapter 2.

2. Content Dependent

Navigation on content is used internally but also externally of the weblog e.g. websites that aggregate my content will e.g. categorize all postings posted on a certain topic on the same page.

2.1 None Annotated Hierarchical

2.1.1 one level deep navigation (tags)

When you begin for the first time on the Internet you might keep a simple small list of bookmarks. When the Internet began this list was also small and simple. Just the location and a short description. Within the weblog, postings can be tagged. Though one posting can have multiple tags you still can reach only one set of postings under a single tag. It’s a 1 level deep navigation. While this is only about content, tagclouds can visually express how many postings are in side a certain navigation element: the tag. Obviously you can display tags on many other features e.g. on newest or oldest dates. On the Internet you can find countless variations on how to display tags. Many are extremely cool. For now, I choose the well known tag cloud for the example.

image 

2.1.2 two level deep navigation

Older internet directories like the statcounter directory or startpagina use a 2 level deep navigation. You have the topic and within the topic several subtopics (in the case of startpagina pages with table parts). Normally you don’t have this division inside a weblog, but obviously you could use your tags or categories to create within these specific pages subcategories to 2 levels deep. E.g. on my music page I have put some bookmarks in seperate webparts, which can be regarded a 2 level deep structure. This is typical something for in the sidebar. It’s also the directory structure e.g. stumbleupon uses so you align with those topics to start with (or align with startpagina topics) (or any of the other hundreds of choices).

In a sense categories are pretty cool because you get a little extra space in Google that displays your subtopics (if you have included the categories in your sitemap).

It’s not something typically present in the weblog world. There are “categories” but these allow up to N level deep subcategories. However in the WordPress taxonomy by default “tags” and “categories” are defined as a taxonomy type. We could just as well add a new taxonomy type which is standard only 2 levels deep, maybe call it “startpage” or something more logical. Since it does not exist in WordPress I will not add it to the widget. However it might be something to add. Most logically it would fit with the “links” one can save in there.

Hmmm… Let’s assume the links in WordPress can be ordered only 2 levels deep, then it can be added like this:

  image

(and function as your blogroll too). The links thing will contain collection of all your external links on seperate pages.

2.1.3 N level deep navigation

On the Internet you find directories of websites. These are first things people made when websites began to grow. Well known directories are dmoz, yahoo, about and startpagina. Within a weblog you can often navigate based on e.g. categories assigned (default in WordPress) or tags (default in WordPress). The first one is hierarchical, the second one is flat. In between is a long array of options e.g. startpagina is only 2 levels deep : topic of the page, header of table while dmoz is very deep.

In WordPress and basically any other Weblog system you can do this by categories.

 image

2.2 None Annotated – Non Hierarchical

2.2.1 Search on keyword

What Google did was taking all urls of e.g. dmoz and just ranked them inside their categories based on popularity. So it combined the already categorized urls with a popularity ranking. This was useful since noone likes to click through hierarchies.

So we can either include the default WordPress searchpage or the Google search (paid for each search) inside the navigation widget:

 image

2.2.2 Search on specific things / within categories / content based / etc…

We can specify an endless list of combinations on which people would like, within a specific task, to search. We will summarize this with “advanced search” which opens up a dialog with many extensible options maybe even complex formulas, objects and regex… we might even add extra information like “latest searches” or “based on your referrer information you are probably searching for this.

image

2.3 Annotated – non Hierarchical

2.3.1 Stumble

If we allow users to rate postings on our weblog we could let them stumble through our most popular postings to give a good feeling of our weblog. There are a multitude of plugins available e.g. “stars” to retrieve information on how your users feel on your blogs.

image

2.3.2 Based on Comments

You could even say that comments are a way of annotating too to give an indication of the content. You could think of “latest commented on” or “most commented on” type of queries.

 image

2.4 Annotated Hierarchical

2.4.1 Stumble within a categorie

Stumbleupon let’s you stumble within a certain category or even within a certain site like wikipedia. All the urls are annotated and judged by people and the more people like a certain page the more it will flow through the network. This can be added very simple.

image

2.5 Other Content

There is much much more navigational stuff to add. It would just seem like a neat idea to just place all ways of default navigation in a sort of default box so a visitor would have a 1 place control panel to navigate through your site instead of having to look for it at the top, at the side and in the footer.

Some extra ideas to finish off: add a sitemap link, surf by images and some default links.

image

Whenever I will find the time I will give it a go :)

The popularity of 192.168.1.70 *LOL*

June 30, 2008

Every computer attached to the Internet has a number. For instance, this site has the number “[64.13.232.128]”. Via a translation table (DNS) this is shown in your browser as “leau.net”, a name one can hire for some time to attach to a certain number.

But some numbers are special. Number which are in the range 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.255 for instance are reserved for internal network use. This means that your local laptop, router and other computers at home have often numbers in this range (there are other options).

So web sites with this number should never be present in any search engine or other meta site archiving tools.

However, when I reinstalled the SeoQuake toolbar (after installing Firefox 3 on my U3 drive) I noticed that remarkable these internal sites DO have entries in Google, in Yahoo, in MSN, which, I think, is a bug. Think about it: spidering links to internal pages and showing them in a public search engine is useless. Google has done his job well and doesnt show information on the sites however MSN does AND this does make it interesting to see what people have running at home. It is ALSO a security risk since IF there really is a link, clicking it could pass parameters to the sites you run at home at internal LAN addresses (a lot of people seem to run private mailservers…).

image

The most remarkable was the site of the Internet Archive where you can see the following archived page from 2000 under the IP address 192.168.1.80 (above). You can see the page of their WIFI router! the SID is “tsunami” … They actually archived their own LAN pages haha… ultimate version control!

Now go ahead and try the other LAN addresses :)

12