Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Internet Archives
Sunday, April 13, 2003 Permanent link to this day
I want my VPN

Use a firewall, go to jail: on new state bills, including in Florida, designed to extend the DMCA in new and unfriendly ways. These are being pushed by the MPAA, complete with model legislation.

Here is one example of the far-reaching harmful effects of these bills. Both bills would flatly ban the possession, sale, or use of technologies that "conceal from a communication service provider ... the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication". Your ISP is a communication service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal -- with no exceptions.

See also: The EFF's State-Level "Super DMCA" Initiatives Archive [via Rebecca's Pocket]

Sunday, January 12, 2003 Permanent link to this day
Vanishing act

Elsevier's Vanishing Act: on a risk of electronic publishing compared to the print form: articles cannot be removed from a print journal. [via Booknotes]

Friday, December 27, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Penny for your thoughts

Thought Communication: in which Stephen Bush and Amit Kulkarni advance the notion that emergent behavior in active networks will lay the foundation for a radical change in the amounts and types of information which can be transmitted over a network, possibly leading to the ability to move structures representing the human thought process between collaborators.

Monday, May 27, 2002 Permanent link to this day
When you need to know the Mayan date

Calendar Converter: a Javascript tool that will convert dates between different calendar systems. [via abuddhas memes]

Friday, May 24, 2002 Permanent link to this day
We don't need a law for everything

The Congress, in a push led by John Shimkus, is well on it's way to passing a law, the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002, to enable a kids safe domain: The Coalition to Protect Protozoa shows it's really not that complicated by introducing

In a followup to the "dot kids" legislation (H.R. 3833) to create a "dot kids dot us" domain proposed by Congressman John Shimkus (R-Illinois), the Coalition to Protect Protozoa has taken the initiative to create a new safe place for protozoa on the Internet under the "dot protozoa dot us" domain.

"This is the perfect place to locate material which has been reviewed for acceptability and viewership by America's protozoa," creator Matthew Kaufman explained. "Protozoa are the most abundant animals in the world in both number and biomass, significantly outnumbering our own children, and we have now taken the first step to safeguard our nation's protozoa."

[via Politech]

Sunday, May 12, 2002 Permanent link to this day
But it must be true...

Global Village Idiocy: Thomas Friedman on the spreading of misinformation over the net and the tendency of people to believe what they read.

At its best, the Internet can educate more people faster than any media tool we've ever had. At its worst, it can make people dumber faster than any media tool we've ever had.

Sunday, May 05, 2002 Permanent link to this day

Virtual Diasporas and global problem solving project: looking at the uses, both good and bad, of the net and other communication technology to bring communities together from wherever their members have spread to.

See also: Dial-in Diasporas

Thursday, April 18, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Surfing the net in 5-7-5

Haikoo!: the haiku powered directory. [via aaronland]

Barely translucent

Censorship Wins Out: on the obstacles to the Internet being used as a free flow of information from opaque countries, in particular the control of governments over technological and economic access to the net.

A decade or so ago, it was all clear: the Internet was believed to be such a revolutionary new medium, so inherently empowering and democratizing, that old authoritarian regimes would crumble before it. What we've learned in the intervening years is that the Internet does not inevitably lead to democracy any more than it inevitably leads to great wealth.

[via Snowdeal]

Monday, April 15, 2002 Permanent link to this day

Saturday, April 13, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Integrated blogging

mozBlog: an add-on to Mozilla that supports the Blogger API, letting folks post to their blogs directly from the browser. Now that's cool. [via Confessions of a Mozillian]

Friday, March 29, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Conspiracies and the Net

Beyond Skepticism: The Rise of 9-11 Conspiracy Theories and the Discourse of Armchair Sleuths

Thanks to the Internet, evocative information spreads faster than kudzu. Whereas in the past only the most dedicated would take the time to spend hours in that dark library microfiche room, it now is remarkably easy to become an amateur stay-at-home sleuth finding what may appear to be inconsistencies in official stories. We no longer need to get close to that strange man on the corner to read his placard or take a pamphlet. The Internet again becomes the whipping boy of modernity, exacerbating the old customs of gossip and credulity as only it can.

Filter this

Filtering Software: The Religious Connection: Nancy Willard from CATE's Responsible Netizen examines the relationships between eight companies which produce internet filtering software and conservative religious organizations. [via BookNotes]

Saturday, March 16, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Digging deeper

direct search: a huge collection of specialized search engines for the invisible web. These are the places that Google just doesn't get deep enough to find. [via Red Rock Eater]

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Thomas links

This set of examples of how to link to a Thomas document should prove quite useful, since the URLs returned from many of their searches are transient. [via Boing Boing]

Saturday, March 02, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Ethics of the Net

The Vatican on the ethics of the Internet

Use of the new information technology and the Internet needs to be informed and guided by a resolute commitment to the practice of solidarity in the service of the common good, within and among nations. This technology can be a means for solving human problems, promoting the integral development of persons, creating a world governed by justice and peace and love. Now, even more than when the Pastoral Instruction on the Means of Social Communications Communio et Progressio made the point more than thirty years ago, media have the ability to make every person everywhere "a partner in the business of the human race".

[via NewsTrolls]

Friday, March 01, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Olympic logos

Did you miss one of Google's Olympic logos? [via rc3]

Thursday, February 28, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Content vs bandwidth

The Web Is for Serving, Not Surfing: on control of bandwidth, and hence content, by broadband providers as reflected by terms of service restricting home servers.

The three central tenets of the Internet are peer-to-peer, distributed control and free speech. If you ask me, the broadband companies are in favor of none of these. Since all of the broadband companies are also involved in the "entertainment" business, peer-to-peer distribution of entertainment, news, movie, books and music has them running scared. After all, if end-users of broadband also can be service providers, the power of the entertainment establishment is lessened.

I agree with the worry over the consolidation of content and bandwidth providers, but preventing home servers isn't really a symptom of that. It's cheap enough to get hosting these days. [via dangerousmeta]

Tuesday, February 26, 2002 Permanent link to this day
I can stop any time

Turning into digital goldfish

If you are spending too much time on the internet and are concerned that it is affecting your concentration, you are not alone.

The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds - the same as a goldfish.

Hey, did you see the U.S. version of the Register? [via Plep]

Monday, February 25, 2002 Permanent link to this day

Help design the (everchanging) flag of The Net. [via Lisa Lynch]

Saturday, February 23, 2002 Permanent link to this day

Monday, February 18, 2002 Permanent link to this day

Two interesting sites with similar names but quite different in their own way:

Saturday, February 16, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Cyber Security Enhancement Act

Cybercrime Bill Ups the Ante: on the increased penalties for computer crime proposed in the Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2001, in particular up to life for those where the alleged evildoer knowing trying to cause death or serious injury. I haven't figured out the rest of the impact on penalties, but I don't think that specific one is a bad thing. Opening statements from committee members and witnesses at a House Subcommmittee on Crime hearing earlier this week are available from their site and include:

. [via Red Rock Eater]

Thursday, February 14, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Network trends

Scrambling the Equations: Potential Trends in Networking: Andy Oram on the near future of the net.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 Permanent link to this day
An OS for the net

The Worldwide Computer: on efforts to take Internet distributed computing to the next level, Internet-scale operating systems. [via also not found in nature]

Hyperlink hearing

Company says it owns hyperlinks patent: on the preliminary hearing into the British Telecom hyperlink suit. It sounds like there's a clueful judge handling this cases.

Saturday, February 09, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Please deposit 25 cents for 5 more clicks

British Telecom will try to defend its claim that a patent it holds covers hyperlinks on the web in Federal Court tomorrow in a hearing involving an infringement suit it filed against Prodigy.

See also:

[via Boing Boing]

Communication in a time of war

Contact and Impact: Over the Lines: on communication and the Internet in a time of war, using a recent lecture by Mark Poster as a jumping off point.

New Dark Age

The New Dark Age Revisited

In 1996 Mark Stahlman, a former technology analyst on Wall Street, espoused his theories about the rise of the New Dark Age. At that time, he couldn't have foreseen how quickly circumstances would develop to this end. Even so, the new dark age has turned out to be not exactly what he -- or many others like him -- thought it would be. Then, in the heyday of the "Internet Revolution", it was considered that technology would play a fundamental role in the new dark age. In essence, the new dark age would be primarily a digital dark age.

Recent events, however, have shown this not to be the case. Unlike Stahlman's prophecy that we would be psychologically programmed and that new media networks would become the mechanism of psychological destruction and seamless surveillance, the new dark age has descended in a much more simple manner: that of self-censorship and collective amnesia. In other words, the latest in technological wizardry is not required to plunge us into the depths of darkness.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002 Permanent link to this day
USPS auctions

The Post Office is testing Ebay auctions of undeliverable items. [via dangerousmeta]

The Grid

The Grid: A New Infrastructure for 21st Century Science: on the next step for the net.

What many term the "Grid" offers a potential means of surmounting these obstacles to progress. Built on the Internet and the World Wide Web, the Grid is a new class of infrastructure. By providing scalable, secure, high-performance mechanisms for discovering and negotiating access to remote resources, the Grid promises to make it possible for scientific collaborations to share resources on an unprecedented scale, and for geographically distributed groups to work together in ways that were previously impossible.

[via Metafilter]

Friday, January 18, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Spam laws

Spam laws from around the world. [via Red Rock Eater]

Monday, January 14, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Time of day

This time of day page leaves me speechless. Of course, that's not hard today. [via jrobb]

Thursday, January 10, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Anarchy on the Net

The Internet's Invisible Hand: on the anarchy of the net, predictions of impending disasters, and how it can continue to grow.

Thursday, January 03, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Mozilla keywords

Did you know you can put keywords in Mozilla bookmarks, then use them in the URL bar? I didn't. [via dangerousmeta]

Wednesday, January 02, 2002 Permanent link to this day
I'll bet you thought they didn't have computers then

The U.K Public Records Office has made its 1901 census available online as part of a project that is also working on 1881 and 1891 data.

Tuesday, January 01, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Arabic translations

CNN mentions one way to get translations of Arabic news, like Al-Jazeera: the Ajeeb web-based translator. It seems to have a problem with some of the longer pages unfortunately. There's also WBUR's translations of Al-Jazeera, which I've linked to before. They've been on vacation since the 20th but should be back tomorrow.

Monday, December 31, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Internet Leash Laws

Internet Leash Can Monitor Sex Offenders: Sangamon County in Illinois is installing Security Software Systems' Cyber Sentinel on the computers belonging to four sexual predators on probation in order to monitor what they do online. Peacefire looked at how Cyber Sentinel works and the effectiveness of its blocking last year.

Sunday, December 30, 2001 Permanent link to this day
AOL spam filters

AOL's spam filters have been rejecting mail sent from Harvard to its early applicants. [via Red Rock Eater]

Friday, December 28, 2001 Permanent link to this day

Wishing you hadn't upgraded? Try They don't have a lot of programs yet but it's a neat idea. [via linkfilter]

Wednesday, December 26, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Dark address space, revisited

Arbor Networks has a slide show and tech report available on their research into the Internet's dark address space, which I linked to last month. [via BBC News (story)]

Sunday, December 23, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Reliability on the net?

2002: The Carpetbaggers Go Home: Cory Doctorow takes on the idea that it's possible to have a reliable business model, at least on the level that business is used to, on the Internet because, by definition, the Internet is not that reliable. [via Voidstar]

MPAA wars

Coming Soon: Hollywood Versus the Internet: On the conflict between the "Content Faction" and the "Tech Faction" over what we can do with our computers. [via the null device]

Segmented net

Brace Yourself for the Segmented Internet: on the possibility that local censorship policies will increasingly pressure countries into implementing gateways that control access to foreign content. [via Interesting People]

Tuesday, December 18, 2001 Permanent link to this day
AdCritic.gone is going to that Great Website in the Sky. [via Flutterby]

Sunday, December 16, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Google catalog search

Google has a new mail order catalog search. [via Blogdex]

Friday, December 14, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Internet for Dummies

Partnership for an Idiot-Free Internet: dedicated to educating the new Internet user. [via wood s lot]

Thursday, December 13, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Blogspace deep field map

I'm not sure how useful this is, but it's kind of neat: the Hubble's deep field shot of the universe used as map of the blogspace. [via abuddhas memes]

Get a bigger drive

Click here to download the Internet. [via Bifurcated Rivets]

Open editing

The NY Times looks at open editing on Wiki's, in particular the Wikipedia. [via Voidstar]

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 Permanent link to this day

So, why is it illegal to link to DeCSS, but it's legal to post instructions on how to make a Pink Hello Kitty Laptop? [via linkfilter]

Friday, December 07, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Shoring up the net

A new Federal lab, The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center, was created by the Critical Infrastructures Protection Act. One of it's first acts will be to draw a map of the Internet to identify places needing protection. I certainly hope they're going to use pencil. [via Interesting People]

Support this

The Authority Finder: Type in a statement and it finds quotes to support it. [via jerrykindall]

Tuesday, December 04, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Biking on the net

Brazilian architect Argus Caruso Saturnino is planning on riding his bike through 29 countries, posting photos and journals to the web as he goes, with translations to English and French.

Monday, December 03, 2001 Permanent link to this day

Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy [via wood s lot]

Sunday, December 02, 2001 Permanent link to this day

I don't know who these people are, but they get around. [via">]


Tracking down references on the previous item led me to Quintessence of the Loon: devoted to weirdness and madness on the World Wide Web.

Community standards

A look at whether the Internet affects the community standards doctrine - is the whole country the community now?

Bye Bye Excite@Home

Excite@Home has started dropping parts of its network: 850,000 AT&T customers were cut yesterday after AT&T refused to make a $100 million payment in order to continue service.

Saturday, December 01, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Collective recollection

Random access memory: an experiment in collective recollection [via Bifurcated Rivets]

COPA hearing

NPR's Nina Totenberg gives background on COPA and then reports on the Supreme Court hearing on the law.

Friday, November 23, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Censoring the boards

On censorship of message boards by major providers. [via Undernews]

Tuesday, November 20, 2001 Permanent link to this day
Playboy hacked has been cracked. The attacker, going under the name "martyn luther ping", has apparently contacted customers with their credit card info. [via Metafilter]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley