Tag: Net

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I Got to Giggle About Gaggles

Sometimes I can only laugh at the strangeness of Internet domain trading and squatting. In August 2015, I registered, for two years, the dot net, org, and xyz extensions for gaggles. The com was taken. I grabbed gaggles to create an email address for people to contact me to support my then-in-progress exposé about Google. With the sound geese make in mind, I sniped at the search entity’s new parent company and alphabet.xyz domain.

Last month, I let all three expire. I own too many domains that are too costly to keep for the value they give: None. Had gaggles.com been mine, though, I would hold them all. More renewals are passing by, or have gone. Meanwhile, I got to giggle about gaggles, because someone else snatched up the dot net and would like me to buy it back. Eh, seriously? 

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Remembering My First Website

This afternoon, I looked over Archive.org’s Wayback Machine for the first time ever and was delighted to find cached copies (e.g. snapshots) of my first, personal website at editors.com, which I registered in August 1995. Foolishly, when needing some extra money, I accepted a $3K offer to sell my first domain in May 2004. I have lots more to say about that decision—in the future. For now, let’s look at the past.

At the time of the site’s snapshot, Dec. 27, 1996, my family prepared to leave my hometown of Caribou, Maine—where we had been for about 18 months—and return to the Washington, D.C. area. There I would take the editor’s position at Government Computer News responsible for the newly created State and Local section. 

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Network Solution’s Auto-renew Scam

A year ago when everyone dumped GoDaddy I transferred all my domains to Network Solutions—for each, $6.99 plus $6 private registration. At the time, I confirmed that, like GoDaddy, I could batch renew and get a big discount.

Something strange happened in the last 48 hours; there are unexpected charges, from Netsol, on two credit cards: $37.99 and $107.99, and I can make no sense of them from Domain Manager.

The Web We Weave

The Net’s interactivity gives us powerful new tools for finding information, expressing ourselves and conversing with others. It also turns us into lab rats constantly pressing levers to get tiny pellets of social or intellectual […]

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Spoof Me, To Hell With You

I have reached a point where managing a domain is becoming too arduous—at least from Webhost Yahoo!. There has been a marked increase in comment spam. Worse, yesterday my domain was spoofed by spammers.

Around 3:12 p.m., my inbox started filling up with returned e-mail from my domain name at my domain name. No such e-mail address exists. Someone had spoofed that address off my domain to make it seem like spam messages were coming from me. The returned messages probably represent a fraction of the thousands sent out over the last 24 hours. 

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We Should Do Something

Each year, Kensington, Md., holds an annual Labor Day parade. For pictures I took last year, I held back one of the best: A very young girl sitting next to an American flag. Her facial expression and composition evoked the patriotic sentiments of the day. But her tank top had partially fallen down to reveal a nipple. As much as I liked the image, I kept it from my online collection of the day. I know that out there, scouring the Internet, are pedophiles that get off on pictures of kids.

Today’s New York Times story “Using Nearly Nude Pictures, Child Sex Sites Test Laws” takes a stark look at this dark underworld of online predators. But the predators aren’t just pedophiles. The story looks at the lurid world of child modeling, which pictures skirt the definition of child pornography. 

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SmugMug, Finally

Back in February I praised photo-sharing site SmugMug. I sporadically and half-heartedly uploaded photos there, as I pondered Flickr. I was strongly attracted to Flickr’s community—everybody seems to hang-out there—appeal. Last month, Thomas Hawk joined Zooomr, which created another quandary. Thomas’ Zooomr support simply couldn’t be ignored.

After weighing Flickr’s community and Zooomr’s Thomas endorsement,, I’ve decided to stick with SmugMug and really start using it. I spent part of the last two days adding new photos to my SmugMug site. The decision comes with angst, because Flickr and Zooomr also appeal to me, for different reasons. 

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Cancel Me, Cancel You

Ah, the power of the single voice, amplified by the reach of the World Wide Web. Today’s New York Times story, “AOL Said, ‘If You Leave Me I’ll Do Something Crazy’“, once again highlights the power of the Web, particularly Weblogs or content-sharing sites like YouTube. Randall Stross’ story is also a tell-tale account of how difficult can be account cancellation.

The story starts with a Bronx man’s 21-minute phone call seeking to cancel his AOL account: “Vincent Ferrari, 30, of the Bronx…recorded the five minutes of interaction with the AOL customer service representative and, a week later, posted the audio file on his blog, Insignificant Thoughts. Shortly thereafter, those five minutes became the online equivalent of a top-of-the-charts single”. 

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Damn Spam

Well, days after completing a big work project, I’m still playing catchup on reading. Fortunately, my RSS reader caught and retained lots of good stuff—like this: A Thursday Wired story about a Russian spammer beating […]