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Comments

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First Ever Criminal Arrest For Domain Name Theft

gbulmash Met One of The OG Domain Thiefs (294 comments)

Back in 1995, I was working as a salesman at Circuit City and sold a VCR to Steve Cohen, the guy who stole sex.com. He was bragging to me about how he'd been offered a million bucks for it but wasn't going to sell. Then he ended up returning the VCR. What a tool.

more than 4 years ago
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Being Slightly Overweight May Lead To Longer Life

gbulmash But it's in CANADA (383 comments)

Wow, that makes me feel better about the batch of chocolate cheese I whipped up this weekend and the fact that later in the week, I'm going to experiment with substituting it for ganache in a chocolate truffle recipe.

Of course, the study took place in Canada. Skinny, underweight people dying faster in the cold of Canada just seems like a no brainer. I'd like to see the study replicated in the tropics to see if the numbers stand up somewhere that extra insulation doesn't help as much.

Based on the study, I need to lose 24 more pounds to get my BMI into the 25-29.9 range that had the highest longevity and I'm currently in the same longevity range as normal weight people. Woo hoo.

more than 4 years ago
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A Real-World Test of the Verizon MiFi

gbulmash Re:Sounds great... if you can justify the cost (118 comments)

Which wired arm of T-Mobile would you want to integrate their wireless service with?

And that's why I asked if there were potential anti-trust problems preventing such integration by Verizon, AT&T, etc. If they offered "internet anywhere" packages that bundled wired and wireless service, wireless providers without wired solutions could not compete on that playing field.

more than 4 years ago
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A Real-World Test of the Verizon MiFi

gbulmash Sounds great... if you can justify the cost (118 comments)

I know, it's all wow-ee-wow-oo-oo, but I'm still not impressed. If you're on the road a lot and can justify the extra cost of cellular access, yes, it's very cool. For everyone else, not so much. I just can't pay for a home plan and a wireless plan or multiple wireless plans for myself and my family. It's a luxury I can't justify.

We've got phones that are palmtop computing devices, internet access devices, phones, cameras, video cameras, and music/video players all in one. Device makers are embracing the mantra of integration. Is it that the wired arms of the telcos can't vertically integrate home and wireless access into affordable bundles due to anti-trust concerns or is it that they currently see that keeping them separate maximizes profit because the market just isn't demanding "internet anywhere" convenience at a workable price point?

more than 4 years ago
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Green GT's All-Electric Supercar Unveiled

gbulmash 24 hour charge?? (196 comments)

What interests me is how they'll power the car in a 24-hour race. There don't seem to be details on that.

According to their site, there's a large solar-powered charging station (100 square meters of photovoltaic surface) which can be used to charge the car between races, but unless they're seriously loading the thing with batteries, they're either going to need long pit stops for charging or the ability to swap out battery packs as fast as other cars can pit for fuel.

On the other hand, with their target date two years out and the rapidly evolving electric car scene, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some hot new prototype hitting the car show circuit around then that blew their doors off.

more than 4 years ago
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Originality Vs. Established IP In Games

gbulmash Re:I'm the worst person to try to please (71 comments)

A game that doesn't let you break out of the original plot is just a bit of an animated storybook in a way, but if it does, it's not true to the original book. In the long run, games must adhere to the spirit of the material, not the letter, or they;re just going to suck. And any hardcore fan who screams about it not adhering to the letter probably doesn't "get it".

more than 4 years ago
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Head First Rails

gbulmash Fail To Reinforce (57 comments)

"designed to fail to reinforce the learning process"...

I'm sure that's meant as "designed to fail, so that figuring out why they failed reinforces the learning process" but it reads as they're designed so that they fail to reinforce the learning process.

more than 4 years ago
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Supreme Court Declines Jack Thompson Appeal

gbulmash He'll Be Back (100 comments)

The problem with zealots and fanatics is that these kinds of setbacks only help to make them believe that they just need to fight harder. It's a sad, sick feedback loop where defeat reinforces their mania instead of chipping away at it. I seriously doubt this is the last we'll hear of Jack Thompson. He'll just come up with new and creative ways to be a thorn in the side of gamers and freethinkers.

Just because he's disbarred, he can still find some rich, old lonely lady to fund his evil plans... much like Lex Luthor did in Superman Returns. But seriously, even though he's not a lawyer anymore, that doesn't stop him from getting one to act as his proxy. He just needs to find another manically deluded soul who either has a law degree or the money to pay for lawyers, and he'll be back.

more than 4 years ago
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New Data Center Will Heat Homes In London

gbulmash Hey now, control yourself... (204 comments)

The Final Sentence of TFA: "The GLA (Greater London Authority) said that the agreed solution represents the best possible outcome within the specific constraints of the scheme and accords with the objectives of London Plan policy 4A.6."

You know, lavishing praise on a project like that is going to make all the other projects jealous.

about 5 years ago
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Describe your Copyright-free Utopia

gbulmash Not Evil, Just Broken (2 comments)

A lot of people who rail against copyrights aren't against the theory of copyright, but the practice. It used to be that copyrights lasted around as long as patents, now they last the lifetime of the creator plus another seventy years. Isn't 7 or 28 years long enough to profit on a movie, book, etc.?

Additionally, the ideas of fair use, being able to make backups of the stuff you buy, not being locked into a format, etc. are all being chipped away at by law, contract language, and DRM.

more than 5 years ago
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Startup Threatened Into Settling Over Hyperlinking

gbulmash Re:This just in.... (333 comments)

"Id quite like a link to the judge who made this ridiculous ruling too."

Yes, the name of this judge needs to be publicly spread around. He needs his share of the Streisand effect.

more than 5 years ago
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If I find an identifiable bit of satellite debris ...

gbulmash The South Park Answer (261 comments)

Pink Eye!

more than 5 years ago
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Google Privacy Counsel Facing Criminal Charges

gbulmash Re:Guessing how this is going to turn out... (242 comments)

The Polizia were just following the orders of a local prosecutor who decided he's going to split hairs on Google's legal status. Apparently "Internet Service Providers" are not responsible for what third parties post on their sites, but "Internet Content Providers" are. While most believe Google qualifies as an ISP (instead of an ICP) under the EU and Italian safe harbor laws, this local prosecutor doesn't.

Basically an asshole Italian prosecutor trying to pull off a high-profile publicity stunt to get him the name recognition to jump to a higher elected office. This is like Elliott Spitzer, the crusading Attorney General of New York who parlayed a number of high-profile prosecutions into a successful bid to become Governor... then pissed it all away, but that's another story.

The prosecutor's an asshole, and if there is justice in the world, he'll end up disgraced and out of a job instead of benefitting from wasting everyone's time to aggrandize himself.

more than 5 years ago
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A Waste Gasification Plant In a Truck

gbulmash Re:"removed"? (148 comments)

Only decepticon reformers turn it into CO2. Autobot reformers are much more responsible with the carbon.

more than 5 years ago
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Breathalyzer Source Code Ruling Upheld

gbulmash Re:Open Source (520 comments)

I guess this begs the question of just what "open source" means. Just because you can look at the source does not mean you can legally copy or modify it. To legally copy or modify it, you need a license. That license may be a paid license or it may be one of the free open source licenses like the GPL, the BSD license, or a Creative Commons license.

People who implemented or modified and implemented the breathalyzer software that was revealed at trial would still be guilty of various infractions if the breathalyzer manafacturer asserted copyright, whether or not they were compelled to reveal it by a judge.

. A lot of people tend to think that viewable source means "open source," but we've tended to equate "open source" with software and source that are released under a free license. "Viewable" source (i.e. if you paid a fee to get access to the windows source code so you could hack better drivers) and "open" source (like Apache or Linux) are very different animals, IMO.

- Greg

more than 5 years ago
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Another Attempt At Using the Courts To Suppress an Online Review

gbulmash Re:Chiropractors are quacks anyway (180 comments)

Quacks or not, the issue isn't with criticism of the chiro's services, but with his billing rates and practices.

But quackery is relevant here, because the doctor should have used a PR person to help him rebut the detractor's claims and used the threat of libel to make Yelp append the rebuttal directly to the criticism so they had to be viewed together. It would have been less costly all around. Better to defuse your detractor as a crackpot/quack than to sue him and give him legitimacy.

Is the doctor within his rights? If the claims made by Norberg actually are false, then he is. Was this the best way to handle things? Nope.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Renter Sued By Landlord For Complaining On Twitter

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbulmash writes "When Amanda Bonnen posted an angry tweet about her moldy apartment, she probably thought she was blowing off steam. But the Sun Times News Group reports her Twitter feed was public, her tweet was indexed, her landlord found it, and they claim it has so damaged their reputation they're suing her for $50,000+ in damages. Looks like another sue-happy company is going to discover the Streisand Effect."
Link to Original Source
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Sprint Advocates Abusing 911

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gbulmash writes "I got a couple of gross porn pics (one was poop porn) sent to my Sprint phone by a stranger using Sprint PictureMail. When I called the number Sprint said they were from, the guy on the other end denied it. So I reported it to Sprint via e-mail, figuring it warranted a little investigation. Two hours later, they e-mailed back and told me to call 911. Seriously? Sprint thinks a couple of dirty pictures sent a couple of hours ago is not only worth involving the police, but using emergency services to contact them? Is this company policy or a support rep who doesn't quite get the concept of 911?"
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What Happens When You Die?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gbulmash writes "What happens when you die? Or, more to the point, what happens to your data? We lock everything up with passwords and encryption nowadays so that undesirables can't get into our private data. But will your family be able to access the photos and videos on your hard drive after you're dead? Will your employer, employees, or partners be able to get into your calendar and spreadsheets to get vital information? Ask Leo recently addressed the question of what happens when you die and how to prepare for it."
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Check Scams Targeting Lawyers

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gbulmash writes "You've probably received a job scam spam, offering you a "financial representative" job where they're trying to get you to cash checks and send the money to another country. Now the crooks have started targeting lawyers for this scam. Their favorite marks are lawyers who specialize in collecting debts for foreign clients, because they're used to cashing checks for clients and wiring the funds overseas, and the crooks can pick up six figures in a single transaction. One lawyer would have been out $193,000 if his bank hadn't been smarter than he was."
Link to Original Source
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A Space Elevator Made of Bologna?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gbulmash writes "'Of course, I still come back to 100,000 kilometers of bologna slices, laid end to end. Bologna has nowhere near the tensile strength to be used as a construction material for the space elevator ribbon, but that much of it (985,434,353 slices) would weigh 61,589,647 pounds, contain 88,689,091,770 Calories and 17,375,178 pounds of fat... or for a Rough Equivalent... just the fat in 100,000 kilometers of Oscar Mayer bologna slices laid end to end would weigh as much as 2,465,897 babies.' — From Rough Equivalents"
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How Important Is Execution Speed?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "Recently, I found echoing 3x more data increased the execution time of a PHP script by nearly 100x. The reason I found for the slowing was that "echo" created more communications overhead to handle once a certain size was exceeded, particularly waiting for ACKs. So I wondered if the 100x increase in execution time was actually 100x more computationally expensive, or did all the waiting create holes into which other tasks could be slipped, such as processing more instances of that same script in parallel?

Is measuring the execution time a good/fair/poor indicator of a script's overall performance and processor demands? And if it's not good, are there better ways to estimate a script's demands on your server aside from massive stress-testing?"
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Barnes & Noble Too Swamped To Answer Mail

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "On December 23rd, Greg Bulmash received a notice from Barnes & Noble that his order was ready to ship. Only one problem... it already arrived three days earlier. Wanting to head off a possible duplicate, he e-mailed their customer service department. Three days later, they replied that they were too busy to reply. Huh?"
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Google AdSense Meltdown Continues

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "The Google AdSense reporting meltdown continued on Friday, with even worse reporting discrepancies coming to the fore and web publishers blaming it for real losses in income, while Google just says "don't worry, we're working on it" and that's it. With this problem dating back to the "scheduled maintenance" last Saturday, it's screaming toward being a week old, yet Google remains tight-lipped. Could we end up seeing some lawsuits as fallout?"
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Microsoft's XO Laptop Strategy... Huh?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "Microsoft is spending a "non-trivial" amount of money to get Windows XP working on the OLPC project's XO laptop. But why? Despite the conjecture that the Linux-based XO could convince millions of people in the developing world that they don't need Windows and build a huge base of developers for Linux, there still remains the question of how Microsoft would convince owners of XO laptops to buy and install Windows XP over the functional Linux-based OS already on it. It's doublful that Microsoft could encourage or coerce Negroponte to put XP on the machine, so whose arms will they twist?"
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Google AdSense Reporting Broken For Second Day

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "For the second day, webmasters running Google AdSense are seeing discrepancies in their reporting numbers that are becoming worrisome. A Google representative posted to a Google Groups thread on the subject that Google was aware of it, but that has been all the communication from Google so far. There has been no mention of it on the actual AdSense reporting site, nothing on the AdSense blog and no follow-ups to the post. AdSense publishers can only sit and wait."
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CNN Slams Apple For Trialware

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "When you think of computers that have been overloaded with unwanted trialware and demo programs to try to improve the manufacturer's margins, who do you think of? CNN apparently thinks of Apple. In a video story on how to avoid excessive amounts of trialware on your new PC, they displayed 25 seconds (from 2:07 to 2:32) of footage of an Apple store while their expert described how stores will charge you up to $130 to remove trialware and optimize the machine you just bought. Is this fair, or does CNN owe Apple an apology?"
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Have You Tried Rebooting The Death Ray

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "Schmerz von Evilstein: I just fired it at Switzerland to prove my evil intent to the U.N. According to observers on the ground, 3 chickens exploded, a goat lost its equilibrium, and a farmer had a burning sensation when he peed... though I can't be sure we're responsible for that last one.

Brad: Have you tried rebooting the death ray?

Full article"
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Ashton Kutcher's VOIP Service Has Fatal Flaw

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "In this article, a tech reviewer describes his experience with the beta of the new VOIP service, Ooma, which names Ashton Kutcher as it's creative director. The service uses the landlines of its subscribers to help it provide last mile connections for long distance calls, and the author points out two potential pitfalls for Ooma (slow adoption, telco lawsuits). But a blogger has pointed out the true fatal flaw in Ooma's plan... a simple TOS change by the telcos could turn your Ooma hub into a $400 paperweight."
Link to Original Source
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Why No High-MPG Diesels For The U.S.?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "While looking for a high-MPG minivan, wagon, or SUV, I've been finding that the pickings in the U.S. are pretty slim, but that there are plenty of fuel-efficient diesel models in Europe that get even better mileage than some of the larger hybrids for sale in the U.S. With the U.S. having so many people driving so many miles, it seems ridiculous that even Ford is offering highly fuel efficient diesels in Europe that they don't/won't offer here. Is there an actual plausible reason why these models aren't being brought to American markets aside from "marketing objectives"?"
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gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "Parallels sent out a pre-order notice for the 3.0 version of their virtualization software for running Windows on Intel Macs. In the e-mail, they note that the 3.0 version will support 3D graphics, and in the v3.0 upgrade info sheet, they state the new version offers "3D graphics support to play the hottest games and run the most popular applications." If it lives up to the marketing... woo hoo!"
Link to Original Source
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gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "In my discussions with anti-copyright activists, I have asked what business models would replace those powered by copyright to provide creators with financial incentive to create. Four came up most often: donations, ad revenues, sponsorships, and product placement. I don't include subscription, because paying a subscription fee for the exact same product you can get for free through another channel is technically a donation.

Well, the proof is in the pudding they say. While open source software has been proven viable, open source art... kids aren't hopping buses to Hollywood to pursue dreams of becoming open source rock stars. They're after fame and fortune. So I propose a challenge to those who oppose copyright. Create 5 break-out stars in five different artistic categories who gain that stardom on the strength of works that are licensed into the public domain or via an open source license. Prove your copyright-free business models can create the levels of fame and fortune that will inspire the next generation of artists."
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gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes ""Freakonomics" turned a lot of people on to how your name can affect your career prospects. Now a Wall Street Journal article is discussing parents who are considering how well their children will rank in Google searches when they pick the child's name. With everyone "googling" each other, common names make pages related to you harder to find. Is this the future of baby naming: search engine optimizing our children?"
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gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gbulmash writes "This essay claims that without copyright granting an author the right to set licensing terms for his/her work, the GPL could not be enforced. It says that those who support the GPL while calling for the abolishment of copyright are being unintentionally ironic, because they're calling for the abolishment of the exact thing that makes possible the alternative they're supporting. It concludes that if you support the GPL or any open source license (other than public domain), your argument is not whether to abolish copyright, but how to reform copyright."

Journals

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Google Treating Entity Codes Differently?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 5 years ago So, I've got a blog post about a company with an ampersand (&) in its name that's been generating some odd search results. If you search Google for the part of the company's name before the ampersand, my post is the #1 result. If you search for the whole company name but use & to specify the ampersand, my post is the #1 result. If you specify the ampersand as just plain & or &, the top result is the home page of a company with a slightly different name. The odd thing is that they use & throughout their pages to specify their ampersand while my page is using #038;. You'd think that Google would treat & and #038; the same, but it seems they're being treated differently. Or is it just me?

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Thought Experiment: Selling The Digital Original

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 5 years ago Recently I used my limited artistic skills to produce a cartoon of a giraffe's failed suicide attempt. In a flight of fancy, I thought about how I might sell it as fine art rather than mass merchandising it. AFAIK, one of the selling points for certain works of art is that you're buying the original.

But with digitally created pieces, how can you sell the original? How could you certify one digital file as an original vs. a copy? Would you sell the hard drive you stored it on while creating it? Would you buy a computer for each digital work and sell the computer? Do you sell the copyright with the piece, so you surrender the right to make copies?

Part of the value of art sold to collectors is in its scarcity, either through never copying it or allowing only a very few copies in a limited edition. How would you create that sense of uniqueness so that you can add that scarcity premium when selling a digital work?

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Predicting How Much Slashdot Effect A Page Can Take?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago What's the best way to measure a CGI script's usage of system resources (processor cycles, RAM) to predict how many users you can handle at once, or within a short time period, before your server is "slashdotted"? I figure there has to be a utility for stress testing a CGI-script or even a plain web page and measuring what levels of use start degrading performance and to what degree. So, any recommendations?

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Regular Expressions: A Bunch of Little Ones or One Big One?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago So I have a piece on my blog about detecting mobile browsers and some PHP code to do it. One part of the code checks 67 text snippets against the User Agent string, and a visitor asked if the way I was doing it -- putting all the snippets in an array and regex matching them one at a time -- was more efficient than using one giant regex with all the snippets in it.

So I actually tested it. When a matching pattern was hit very early on in the text, the giant regex was faster. But if there was no match or the match was much deeper in the text, the batch of smaller regexes performed better. Essentially, the batch of smaller regexes took the same time to run whether or not there was a match or where it occurred in the examined text. The giant regex slowed down the farther the match happened in the examined text and was slowest when there was no match.

As the length of the examined text grew, particularly with no match, the disparity between the giant regex and the batch of regexes grew. At 760 characters and no matching text, the giant regex was taking around 4.25 times longer than the batch of regexes. At 1520 characters (around 250 words), the giant regex had slipped to 5.4 times longer. Yet if there was a match in the first 10 characters of the 1520-character string, the giant regex was the same speed as if the match had come in the first 10 characters of a string 1/8th the size.

So while the giant regex would be more computationally efficient against shorter strings or ones where you knew the match would come early, the batch of many smaller regexes is actually better as a rule of thumb. It's faster against larger blocks of text when the match is deeper or non-existent, and if the text grows, it's computational needs don't grow as fast as those of the giant regex.

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Google AdSense Reporting Still Broken

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago Many web site owners use Google AdSense to help cover the costs of their sites or earn some money from them. But for nearly a week now, Google's reporting of exposures and clicks has been at least partially broken. I've been tracking this on my blog since I noticed one of my ad channels was reporting around 7% of what it should despite my site traffic being at normal.

Google acknowledged there were discrepancies after it became so bad you couldn't help but notice it, but they only did so on a thread in the Google Groups AdSense Troubleshooting group and have yet to offer an explanation or ETA for a fix. The next day numbers went down again, this time by a factor of 10 or so, and Google remained mum. As they started coming back up on Thursday, Google chimed back in with another "we're working on it" and that was it.

They say that this problem is just affecting specialized tracking, but isn't affecting aggregate reporting for a whole domain (basically, you're making all the money you should, but you just can't track where it's coming from in as much detail), but many webmasters are complaining of lower revenues to go with the lowered channel numbers. I know my clickthrough rate was the lowest I'd seen in months on the same day this problem was at its worst, though that could be a coincidence. Despite this, Google remains tight-lipped, giving webmasters a minimum of information and providing a minimum of reassurance (two posts in three days that merely state they know it's happening and are working on it). Hopefully they'll be more forthcoming when this is solved and they can do a postmortem on it. But, in the meantime, they're making a lot of people nervous.

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Decoding The Mysterious Future - A Mini Slashdot Effect

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago If you're a /. subscriber, you get to see stories before they're publicly posted (i.e. open for comment). On the story's comments section, they like to say "Posting will only be possible in The Mysterious Future!"

One problem. Those stories go up on the Firehose with their post time labeled on them. It'll say something like "Posted by Zonk on Thursday October 18, @02:10PM", only it's 1:45 PM. "02:10PM" is "The Mysterious Future". Now you have some time to compose your post in a text editor and copy it to your clipboard. At 2:10, the "reply" button appears on the page. For tne next minute or so, you'll get an error message instead of a form for posting. Then the system is ready and you get the posting form.

You type in your subject, paste in your response, count to "fifteen-one-thousand" to ensure you've waited the required 20 seconds from hitting the page to posting your comment... voila. First post.

And if you make it reasonably intelligent, it gets modded up enough so everyone visiting that discussion sees your post. If you've got a link in your .sig, you'll get a mini Slashdot effect (maybe 50 hits).

I wouldn't suggest marketing via the .sig in a first post as an effective marketing plan, but the traffic's a nice side benefit. Primarily the benefit is that just about everyone reads your post and you stop some idiot who would post GNAA stuff or "first post!" from getting there first.

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A Linux Critic Eats His Words

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago Whenever the question of whether Linux is ready for the desktop comes up, I've regularly cited Linux's hard-to-find drivers and codecs as the thing that gave Windows the edge. But I had an adventure in upgrading that's ended that criticism.

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Detecting Mobile Browsers

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago When I went to find out how to detect mobile browsers, I found out it wasn't simple or trivial. After looking at a number of scripts and a couple big lists of User Agent strings, I put together a free PHP script for detecting mobile browsers. It seems to do very well (no false positives on all 63 desktop browser versions tracked by BrowserCam, caught all the mobiles I've thrown at it so far), yet the code is very compact and easy to follow. There's also a quickie mobile browser detector using the code... if you want to see it in action.

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Is Google Page Rank Dead?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago It's been 158 days since Google updated their Toolbar Page Rank (TBPR), which are the Page Rank numbers the public can see. That's 36 days longer than their prior record longest gap, and two months longer than their "quarterly" average. Furthermore, it seems Matt Cutts has been oddly silent or dismissive on the topic for months. Is Google going to terminate public page rank numbers outright, just let them die a slow death of obsolesence, replace them with something different, or are they just running really slow for some unknown reason? What's up with Google Page Rank?

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Does Content Really Want To Be Free?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

To those who actually say "content wants to be free" with a straight face and seriousness of purpose...

"Content wants to be free" makes as much sense as "content wants to be a fireman when it grows up."

When you say "content wants to be free," you actually mean, "I don't want to pay for content." You're talking about your own desires, but the way a three-year-old does.

"Content wants to be free... and my teddy bear wants a chocolate chip cookie... and my shirt wants a hug."

Free content is a good thing, but let's stop talking like three-year-olds, please.

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New Malware Scam - You've Been Outed On YouTube

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago Just got a bogus e-mail, trying to get me to a malware infested site by telling me there's an embarrassing video of me on YouTube that shows my face. It may be targeting people who use private domain registrations.

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Malware Using Fake Registration Confirmations

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago So, I've been getting a flood of fake registration confirmations and Symantec finally put out a detailed warning about them. Spammers have already just about ruined it for small e-card sites. Now small membership sites will likely have increased bounce rates as overzealous spam filters reject or eat legitimate membership confirmations. Will spam have the eventual side effect of forcing every site owner who wants to send mail from their site into a $1200+ a year e-mail accreditation program?

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To The Moon And Back... In Rush Hour Traffic

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago CafePress recently announced they would begin charging an extra $3 for printing on the back of shirts, to bring their pricing in line with their competitors. Many of their t-shirt sellers place logos on the back of their shirts and CafePress is refusing to provide even a simple tool to just clear the backs of all the shirts in a store. I've calculated that the lack of that tool will cost enough man hours to go to the moon and back in rush hour traffic.

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Protecting Our Children... From Ideology

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago I've seen a lot of people shouting about how we have to protect our kids from porn on the Internet. But what about protecting them from ideology? Why is it not okay for someone to show my kid a picture of a bare breast, but it is okay for them to try to convert my child to their religion or political party? So, is ideology as dangerous as porn? If so, shouldn't we be doing as much to protect our kids from ideology as we're doing to protect them from pornography?

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Is Gary Coleman Evil?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago Gary Coleman has been shilling for Cash Call lately, trying to sell people on loans with outrageous interest rates (99.25% APR for example). These are the kinds of loans that help keep poor people poor. And that brings up this question: by virtue of making a buck off of this kind of exploitation of the poor, is Gary Coleman evil?

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Do Slashdot Editors Need Remedial English?

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago In two different front page stories, one on May 23 and one on May 25, the headline proclaimed that one party sued another. In both cases, they were threatening potential lawsuits if their demands were not met, meaning no one was actually suing in either story.

I have to believe that the editors took a moment to RTFA before placing it on the front page of Slashdot (though some may say that's akin to believing in the Easter Bunny). So, if that's the case, one of two problems is evident:

  • The Slashdot editors don't know the difference between a strong letter and a lawsuit, thus any time anyone sends them a threatening e-mail, they clap their hands to their heads and run around the office crying "we're being sued".
  • The Slashdot editors need a little remedial English study so they can learn that you only use the word "sues" to describe an action when an actual lawsuit has been filed... not threatened or implied, but filed.

I know we're not supposed to have high expectations for Slashdot, but knowing what "sues" means is not a high expectation, is it?

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Open Source Art: Put Up Or Shut Up

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago One of the arguments that go back and forth in the fight over abolishing copyright is that if copyright is abolished, the financial incentive to create is removed and the supply of quality work is diminished. The abolishionists counter that this is not the case, but that new business models will evolve to work with the new system. But the only ones they point to as currently working are all based around software. I don't see it any currently working for other art forms on any sort of large scale.

So I say "prove it". I have posed a challenge to the open source activists who want to abolish copyright. Nothing legally prevents artists from licensing their *original* work under open source licenses and using open source business models. So let's see these evolved business models at work. Let's see them create the levels of fame and fortune that inspire people to "suffer for their art". Or, if the concepts of fame and fortune are so antithetical to the cause, let's see them produce a significant community of artists in varied mediums who are making a decent middle class living solely from open source business models and open source licensing their art.

I'm sick of hypothetical examples. If Open Source models work for all forms of copyrighted intellectual property and this warrants abolishing copyright, then show me the money. Prove this is a workable real-world idea, and not just some utopian ideal that will never stand up in real practice.

The open source art world is a cool niche and occasionally produces some interesting stuff, but it's not producing the kind of quantity or success that proves it can be a substitute for copyright. It's time for those who advocate open source art to step up to the plate and swing for the fences instead of chattering from the dugout. It's time for them to prove their ideas are real and workable, not just nice dreams that would work in a perfect world where we were all altruists and willing to create art for art's sake.

So I challenge you to prove your claims on a large scale, prove your ideas and ideals work, and show the world that open source art is a viable alternative to copyrighting your art. By July 4 of this year, establish a central web site where this experiment/initiative will be publicized.

On July 4 of next year, declare your independence from copyright by documenting at that web site the successful open source art initiatives that have either produced comparable levels of stardom and wealth to copyright-driven models or have produced large communities of artists who are deriving a solid middle-class income from open source licensing their art.

If you can provide this proof, the quantity and quality of artists moving to open source models will increase significantly. If not, then perhaps some of you will start applying some of that formidable brain power to thinking about how to fix copyright and make it work better instead of abolishing it.

In the end, regardless of the outcome, society benefits. Either they learn a new, workable way that makes things better, or they get a new cadre of copyright reformers who will work within the system to make things better. But either way, once these models are proved or disproved, all the energy spent on debating hypothetical points can be refocused into creating real and beneficial change.

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Easiest Way To Stop Image Thieves

gbulmash gbulmash writes  |  more than 6 years ago Most stuff I see about stopping image thieves has to do with stopping hotlinking. But what about stopping people from merely copying the image or making it harder for them to find a URL to hotlink to?

This amazingly simple trick won't stop the dedicated thief, but makes it more work for those who know how to get around it and stymies those who don't. It's just HTML, no JavaScript, mod_rewrite, or plugins required.

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