Thursday, February 25, 2010

Twitter Digg and Predictions

I just looked at an old TechCrunch article Did Twitter Just Pass Digg? [January 20th, 2009] The author, and many of the commenters, cannot believe that Twitter caught up with Digg. I wish I had seen this article earlier. I cannot believe that they didn't see how FAST Twitter was growing. It is immaterial whether Twitter surpassed Digg in January of 2009 or a month or two earlier or later.

To be fair to the writer, and the commenters, Twitter and Digg have two very different models and their usage is difficult to compare. How does one compare a tweet with a news aggregator such as Digg?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The EFF and Net Neutrality

The following quotes come from the ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION's
January 14, 2010 submission to the FCC regarding net neutrality legislation.

In order to protect the free speech interests of Internet users, the Commission should reject copyright enforcement as “reasonable network management.” Copyright enforcement has nothing to do with the technical business of network management.
Congress has not deputized the FCC to be a free roving regulator of the Internet. On the contrary, Congress has consistently preferred to protect the Internet from excessive regulation. So while EFF strongly endorses the goals of this Commission as stated in the NPRM, a limitless notion of ancillary jurisdiction would stand as an open invitation to future Commissions to promulgate “policy statements,” issue regulations, and conduct adjudications detrimental to the Internet.

We need to be able to allow ISPs to provide greater access to the services that need it, such as real-time applications, while ensuring that they do not pay attention to content. ISPs cannot both be doing the government's bidding regarding law enforcement of copyright and illegal material AND at the same time be expected to be "net neutral." That is asking the impossible.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Facebook partners with AOL

ReadWriteWeb has an excellent post on the partnership between Facebook and AOL. Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login

The partnership reinforces the idea that our Facebook profile is at the center of our online existence. Whether or not someone is signed into AOL is no longer what's at stake here, it's whether or not the user is logged into Facebook.

With all its problems Facebook has become THE social networking site. Some people are concerned with Facebook becoming a "monopoly." Privacy, and Facebook's approach to personal information, is the concern; not monopoly powers.

Monday, February 8, 2010


For all those people who wonder what we mean when we say "PWNED."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Personal Blogs and Privacy

How does one make a blog in which NO ONE but you and a selected few can have access to the information? If you're a corporation with sensitive information the only answer is in a password-protected directory in a secure-hosted environment.

How about if you're a smaller entity or private individual and would like a more cost effective solution. For instance you want to have photos of your trips, or your children but you don't want these photos and private moments available to the world at large for this year and next. Blogger, for instance allows you to limit viewers but you must enter each and every accepted email address. This can be a time-consuming and irritating task if names are constantly added.

The best solution would be to have your blog in a password protected directory. Unfortunately some services, such as Blogger, doesn't allow that anymore as they have suspended their FTP service.

Your best solution is limited to finding blogging software that will store the photos and the blog posts on YOUR domain. You will then need to password protect those directories. At that point you will be completely safe from the Search Engines prying eyes.

There is another solution. It's not perfect but it should suffice for all but the most paranoid and that is to add tags telling search engines not to index the pages. The reason this is not perfect is that the tags are merely a suggestion. The search engines can still index and display the pages if they want. Chances are high that they will not index and never display these pages. But, it is not assured.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Excel, Sorting Date - Sometimes retyping is the answer

Had a brain dead moment. I was trying to sort an Excel file by date but some of the rows were not sorted with the rest.

I checked to see that the cells were indeed dates:

(select column > format cells > number >date). That worked for some of the lines.

Some of the dates had a leading space or some other non-alphanumeric character, that happens sometimes when you’re copying and pasting data from different files. That’s easy to solve as well:
Select the date cells with a problem.
Go to Find and Replace (CTRL+F)>Replace and remove the space

That left several cells with a problem. Couldn’t figure it out, this was the brain dead moment. Spent 15 minutes on 15 or 16 lines in which I couldn’t figure out the problem.

I tried retyping the date and – lo and behold – it worked. Same thing with HTML code sometimes retyping simply works.