Archive for internet

Happy 40th, Internet!

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 by Deems

Forty years ago, today the first bits of data were sent between a computer and what we today know as a router, over a data cable. One month after that the “Internet” uttered it’s first words, well, word since only the letters L and O (part of the intended LOGIN message) were sent before the system FAILed.

That was the Internet’s “big bang” that started it all. Had they not been successful on that day, would we have such an inter-connected world as we do today? The way the Internet has grown today and the multitude of things that happen we forget (or some simply just don’t know) that it’s all down to tiny little “gates” opening and closing letting through electricity or not, representing the 1’s and 0’s of the data we send and receive.

UCLA’s Leonard Kleinrock explains, in the video below, what they did on September 2nd, 1969 and in the following 3 months thereafter. [via Boing Boing]

Bring down IE6

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, 24 March 2009 by Deems

bring-down-ie6-logoIn short what the campaign boils down to is to convince Microsoft to drop IE6 completely and allow newer versions to work on older Windows operating systems.

Ever since the release of IE7 and other non-Microsoft browsers clients have insisted that we as developers not excluded visitors with older browsers. This in turn, means a lot of time being spent doing browser compatibility and adding in IE6-specific code hacks to make sure it looks reasonably well, and still works, in IE6.

Up until recently, IE6 was the “previous” version of Internet Explorer and most common development practices is to support at least one major version prior to the current major released version. Now that IE8 has been released IE6 should be sent to the graveyard. It’s like the old days where we had to support Netscape browsers (before the Mozilla team brought out Firefox and Opera had a big enough market-share and Chrome was not even an idea on Google whiteboard).

Yes, there are many companies that are still using Windows 2000 on their desktops so, from a Microsoft offering persepctive, cannot use anything other than IE6 – but shouldn’t Microsoft at least have ported IE7 (if not IE8 also) to work on Windows 2000? Microsoft, I’m sure by now, knows what a disaster IE6 is and Windows 2000 users are going to be around longer than IE6 users (out of choice?) so doesn’t it make sense to make their newer (and more secure?) browsers available to older operating systems?

Developers and designers are shouting “enough is enough”. It’s time to put the old dog down. You can read more about this on the article on the Bring Down IE6 campaign website.

Get yourself fired in 140 characters, or less!

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , on Tuesday, 24 March 2009 by Deems

At the beginning of this month, I posted an article about having your own brand on the Internet. Last night on MSNBC was an article posted about a guy that tweeted something about his pending new employer, that quite possibly, would have lost him the new job.

Why? Because he tweeted the following:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

Then, literally, moments later someone tweeted the following:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

He tried changing his profile to private so that it would not be included in the public timeline but the Internet is a funny place, with caching and all. Someone even created a website in honour of him, nicknamed CiscoFatty.

It seems people just don’t understand that if you say something on the Internet, and especially so on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that someone you may not want to find out, is bound to find out. But my boss isn’t on my friend’s list, I hear you say. Yes, that may be so but the theory behind six degrees of separation means that your boss is connected to you, whether you like it or not.

The MSNBC article includes some great “case-studies” of people that have gotten themselves into serious trouble by virtue of what they said online.

Thanks for the link, Baldricman.

Happy 20th Birthday, WWW

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , on Friday, 13 March 2009 by Deems

It almost seems like just the other day in the early 90’s when I was tinkering with HTML in Notepad. Just look where we are today with social-networking and rich Internet applications. 

The forefathers of the Internet, Berners-Lee and Robert Caillau, have some concerns though.

“There are some things I don’t like at all, such as the fact that people have to live off advertising,” said Caillau, who preferred the idea of direct “micro payments” to information providers.

“And there’s the big problem of identity, of course, the trust between the person who is consulting and the person who provides the page, as well as the protection of children,” he added. – source News24]

I wonder what things will be like for our kids, 20 years down the line – hopefully I’ll still be senile enough to be able to check things out for myself!

Online gambling, cheaters unmasked

Posted in Games, General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, 4 December 2008 by Deems

poker
We all like playing games in some or other shape or form – some more challenging than others, some more intelectually challenging than others. But one game that is becoming more and more popular is poker. And with the advent of the Internet and more and more connectivity to it, it’s now become easier than ever to play online poker, either through your local casino, having their own online gaming website, or other international gaming website, not affiliated with any casino. 

In the United States, online gambling is illegal, but since almost all of the gaming servers are hosted in countries outside of the US jurisdiction, there’s little that can be done. 

Last weekend I bought myself a 1000 chip poker set to play with at home with friends and family – I’ve always wanted a set of my own. Now, I’m by no means a gambler – I don’t play the poor-man’s-tax (lottery) and don’t visit the casino (a big one just 5 mins drive from where I stay) but I do like playing with friends the odd game or two for fun – or as a charity event with a few colleagues. Some people are obsessed with it and spend their own earnings, and those of others without the blink of an eye (after all they don’t want to show their tell).

It has become so easy (availability of sites to play on) to play online poker these days that everyone can do it – and if you don’t want to just play for funny-money, you can simply use your trusty plastic credit card and purchase some credits to play online. But even then, because you’re not dealing with the physical chips and money in front of you, it almost doesn’t seem real – well that is, until the end of the month when you get your credit card bill and you don’t know how you’re going to pay it off!

As with things like death and taxes, there is another thing that is inevitable – cheaters.

pokercomputerCBS’s 60-minutes recently did a story on how some online gamblers found out that they were being cheated out of their money by a player who kept on winning, no matter how they played. And, as they say, when the chips are down and the cards are dealt, it was uncovered that the guy cheating people out of their money, was none other than an ex-employee from the online casino, who had managed to find a work-around for the software that as an administrator could see all the other player’s cards on the table and thus would always end up the table winner.

You can read the full report on CBS’s website or view the video. Maybe next time think twice before playing online, for money.

Thanks to Connie for spotting this one and passing it on to me.

MySpace – making the web uglier

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , on Monday, 27 October 2008 by Deems

<Rant>

You know, back in the early days of the Internet people were left to their own devices and added scrolling marquees, flashing text and TONS of animated GIFs to their pages to “spruce” (sic) them up. And as the Internet became more popular among more people, others too, who weren’t that technically (?) minded, wanted their own space on the Internet too – along came blogging tools and websites offering easy ways to publish your own content online. 

Even though I’ve had various personal, company and group-related websites up since the mid-90’s I’ve only been active on the blogosphere for the past 3 months, and I’m glad I did a little bit of research before starting – especially when it comes to picking a blogging-tool.

I initially was going to go with my own provider’s blogging tool but I didn’t like the templates, features or usability. The same applied to Blogger and MySpace (and boy was I warned about MySpace). I really thought the early days of ugly websites were gone by about 2000 but it seems MySpace has provided a platform for people to create ugly sites again (like they did when they first created and releases MS FrontPage). I’ve been to about a dozen or so MySpace pages of various people I’ve wanted to see profiles of and I’ve yet to see a decent looking page on that platform other than (maybe, at  stretch) the MySpace home page.

So then I finally settled on WordPress.com and looking back, I’m very happy I did.

</Rant>

The end is near…

Posted in Funny, General with tags , , , , on Tuesday, 23 September 2008 by Deems

 

Never mind the light at the end of the tunnel, I found the very end of the tunnel, follow this link to see for yourself!

The Real Browser Wars

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 by Deems

Up until recently you’ve had the two main camps, those favouring Mozilla’s Firefox browser and the die-hard Internet Explorer, can’t/won’t be bothered to change, users. I mentioned recently that Google had entered the browser war-games and not too long after that I gave you my first impressions of Google Chrome (beta).

Well with the advent of Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 (beta) and the already available extensions for Firefox the battle for the browser is ON! As usual the team at Lifehacker have done another analysis of the newer features the different browsers are competing with – take a look for yourself and decide which browser you think is going to win and which if the features you think will make that browser the top-contender. Chrome’s market share of browser usage ist increasing fast, yes it’s new, and quite stable for a beta, but will it live up to people’s expectations?

Google enters browser-wars

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 by Deems

Google will be launching their version of the web browser, called Chrome tomorrow. They’ve apparently created a browser that is robust, light-weight and caters for Web 2.0 better than other browsers currently do. With the amount of Google gadgets and applications available to replace desktop applications it could mean we would one day be solely using Google’s applications. Like Microsoft, except without the hefty cost to the end-user!

Buzzword: Discomgoogolation

Posted in General with tags , , , on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 by Deems

If there weren’t enough already it seems we have a new one. Used to describe someone who suffers from the anxiety of not being able to connect to the Internet. The term comes from discombobulate, which means to confuse or frustrate, and Google. Fore more info just do a quick Google search for news articles and the like.

It seems to affect mostly Britons and Americans – luckily South African’s don’t suffer from ths really since our connectivity is so bad, being disconnected most of the time is just a way of life :-)

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