Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, August 30, 2021

RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) is what all the cool kids are using to power their way through the Web. Uber-geeks use RSS readers to get the lowdown on hundreds of websites in only a few minutes.

In fact, some hardcore users are so hooked on their readers that they won’t even look at a website unless it’s got an RSS (or comparable XML, Atom or similar) feed. Which begs the question: Is a website fully-functional if it doesn’t sport a web feed? More to the point for the cutting edge of Web content creation, is a blog truly a blog if it doesn’t have a feed?

Granted, a blog, conceptually, is nothing more than a web page (most likely maintained via some sort of content mangement system). But while I’m interested in what these bloggers have to say, without an RSS feed, I’m unlikely to visit their blogs again, unless I happen upon them linked from someplace else. My mode of interaction with the Internet has changed so drastically over the last 2 years that, without a feed, they’re barely on my radar screen. Which raises the question: at this point, is it a blog if it doesn’t come in RSS? I’m tempted to say no.

Obviously, Greg Gershman at Blogdigger is biased, as his whole business model depends on the promotion of Web syndication feeds. But his view is shared by plenty of others.

Personally, I’ve only dabbled with newsreaders, and don’t find them to particularly enhance my online time. But others consider them indispensible. Any thoughts out there?

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/30/2004 11:56 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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Sometimes I feel kinda old at 33. But I can take solace in the fact that I’m younger than the Internet, which turns the ripe old age of 35 this October. (The official date is October 29th, when UCLA will have an anniversary celebration; save the date!)

This nice timeline graphic shows off some impressive milestones in Net history, including:

1979 - Birth of emoticons.
1980 - First virus-induced crash.
1985 - First domain name (symbolics.com) registered.
1994 - First spam email and banner ad.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over three decades of cyber-fun, especially considering that the commercial World Wide Web has been around (depending on how you define it) for only about ten years. It really illustrates how young the whole medium still is (but not as young as me!).

Six degrees of separation time: I got to meet one of the fathers of the Internet. When I was working for Luntz, Suleiman & Associates a few years back, I talked a few times with Len Kleinrock, who was then looking for help in launching his Nomadix venture. While Vin Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee get the most mention as Internet pioneers, Kleinrock’s role in developing it was just as crucial.

Len’s a nice guy, sort of the typical absent-minded professor type. He even related to me the story of the first-ever message sent via the Net, which caused the whole system (then confined to just two computers) to crash midway through. One additional tidbit: The two computers involved were actually in the same room, connected to one another by a cable.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/30/2004 11:38 PM
Category: Internet
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e to the c
When your school’s international notoriety makes the front page of the New York Times, you’ve just gotta respond.

Just remember, there’s no such thing as bad press:

[Eckerd College President] Eastman saw a positive side. He said higher education colleagues across the nation congratulated him for getting Eckerd recognized as the leader in overseas studies and for creating a new policy on the issue.

But some chafed at knowing a national audience was learning about past missteps. Others seemed to be in denial. Some alumni from the 1970s called and sent e-mails to Eastman insisting they had never misbehaved like that while in college.

“Is that so?” he asked them. “I’ve heard a little bit differently about your class.”

Great closing quote by the Prez. I can’t comment specifically on the Classes of the ’70s, but I know that by the time I got there in ‘89, there was nothing tame about Eckerd’s campus life. Let’s just say that, even discounting whatever happened before or after enrollment, there’s plenty of blackmail material to make EC grads of that era think twice before running for office.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/30/2004 10:29 PM
Category: Florida Livin'
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It’s 25 years into the future, unfortunately. This, despite the best efforts of NASA, Moller International and Boeing’s Phantom Works division.

At this point, it doesn’t matter. All that stuff — flying cars, Moon condos, teleportation — is part of our old future. It was supposed to be here when the year 2000 rolled around. That didn’t happen, so it would be anticlimactic now.

By the way: Is it even possible to mention the concept of flying cars without “The Jetsons” coming up?

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/30/2004 10:15 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech
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My friend Kirby tipped me off about a billboard in Tampa that’s hawking something called “Booty Beer”.

I haven’t seen the billboard myself, and haven’t had a chance to grill Kirb for more information. However, a quicky web search uncovered Buccaneer Brewing Co. as a likely candidate. Their product tagline says it all: “A little booty in every bottle”.

Admittedly, it’s not the definition of “booty” that I had in mind. But I’m sure the brewers are well aware of the double entendre related to another word for pirate treasure. If nothing else, they’re hoping for a high volume in novelty sales.

Buccaneer Lager (or Buccaneer Beer, or whatever) is due to flow in November, making it even more likely that it’s being preceded by plenty of advertising. Targeting the Tampa Bay area with a Buccaneer-monikered brew also makes a lot of sense, given the built-in fanbase of the Tampa Bay Bucs (and secondarily, the annual Gasparilla celebration). Football and beer just plain go together! So much so, in fact, that unless Buccaneer Brewing has an agreement in place with the local NFL club, they could be risking a legal tussle. While there’s an ample amount of Bay area businesses that have adopted the Buccaneer name, many for decades, the football team could persuasively argue that a beer product is closely enough related to their core business and customer base that it would constitute infringement on their trademarks. Again, Buccaneer Brewing would be smart to take care of this ahead of time, rather than going in blind (and perhaps counting on it’s headquarters being in the Bahamas as some sort of protection).

UPDATE (9/1/04): As Matt informed me in the feedback (and Kirby earlier related to me on the phone), I missed the mark: There is indeed a Bootie Beer, and it looks like it’s more in the spirit I originally envisioned. It’s all in the spelling.

I’d look deeper into the Bootie brew, but I don’t feel like struggling through the annoying Flash site. I imagine I can fill in the blanks, sight unseen.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/30/2004 05:16 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Florida Livin', Football
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