Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, October 06, 2021

Think the Internet is ubiquitous and everlasting? Think again: A dispute between Level 3 Communications and Cogent Communications is impeding Web access for a huge chunk of the online world, calling into question the wisdom of the Internet’s architecture.

Basically, your online access can be choked off pretty easily, through legimate, semi-legitimate or wholly illegal means. It’s especially ironic, considering how the Web is perceived to be a wholly decentralized medium (which it is content-wise, but not as much so structurally, especially taking into account network access points). For everyone who can’t imagine a life without the Web, it’s a sobering thought.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/06/2021 10:50:21 PM
Category: Internet
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Email, IM, video services, news aggregation, advertising, wi-fi access… Google’s really serving up a bunch of stuff not even remotely related to its search functions.

I’ve noticed this trend for a while, and figure the company is doing the portal morph that seems inevitable in the industry. I figured it’s obvious.

It’s nice to know that no less a figure than Yahoo! Chairman Terry Semel recognizes this transformation as well:

Earlier in the conversation, Semel praised Google’s online search prowess, hailing the company as a pioneer in that field.

But then he noted that Google seems to be following in Yahoo’s footsteps by adding an array of new products like e-mail, photo sharing, social networking, personalized home pages and voice communications.

The additional features, Semel said, have made Google “look more and more like a portal. And as a portal, it probably would be rated No. 4.”

Semel didn’t specify which portals he considered to be superior, but he most likely was referring to Yahoo, Microsoft Corp.’s MSN and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL. All three of those sites are built around a mixture of e-mail, news, entertainment and e-commerce that consistently ranks them among the most popular destinations on the Web.

Naturally, Semel’s going to run a rival company down. But even if Google ascends to dominate the Web as the leading all-purpose media provider, it still proves my point: It’ll do so by sacrificing the search field, setting up a situation for yet another new upstart to come in and replay the process all over again.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/06/2021 10:30:30 PM
Category: Business, Internet
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Is it bank time for blogs? Time-Warner’s AOL division bought Weblogs Inc. today for $25 million, signifying that there’s money in this pajama-wearing pursuit.

Purely by coincidence, a blogging acquaintence of mine (who shall remain nameless) mentioned that they’d gotten a buyout offer for their online home recently. So the money’s coming from all over, it seems. (For the record, I haven’t had one come my way in months — not that I’m totally averse…)

AOL’s move marks a significant shift in the business of blogging. Consider: Before this, the biggest deals in the world of blogging involved blogging services, e.g. Google’s purchase of Blogger, News Corp.’s acquisition of MySpace. That involved the nuts-and-bolts of blogging — the Web hosting and interface software — which was considered to be the viable assets in the mix. But the Weblogs deal was based upon the value of the content being produced. In essence, the blog posts are what are being bought — that, and the audience they bring in, the brands they represent, and the advertising they pull in. It’s an epiphany moment. It’s the equivalent of the printed page being worth more than the printing press, and signals a maturation of the medium.

Will AOL’s acquisition signal a land rush? Sorta. Especially when you consider that it’s a cheap pickup, compared to other media properties (more reaction to the deal here). Jason Calacanis set the bar pretty low for an established blog-publishing network/house. But the lack of centralization in the field hampers any big-time M&A activity. I’d expect a minor flurry of deals for individual blogs, but it’ll pass quickly.

The question is, can well-known personally-oriented blogs retain their street cred as a division of a larger media company? Imagine, say, Instapundit functioning as a division of News Corp.; even with someone else taking over the blogging duties, but retaining the brand.

The ultimate object is to buy up blogs as advertising vehicles. If advertisers are really migrating online and away from print and broadcasting, it makes sense to stake out territory online while the cost of entry is low.

It’s one more step in the evolution of blogs as a medium (versus a format). I’ll be interested to see it all play out over the next six months.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/06/2021 10:12:45 PM
Category: Bloggin', Business
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run vinny run
It’s as though it were scripted: 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde, on the verge of retirement after going unsigned this season, returns as the Jets starter this Sunday versus the Bucs, the team where he started his career.

If there’s such a thing as karmic justice, Vinny will throw for 300 yards and a bunch of touchdowns in a trounce over Tampa Bay. It’s small compensation for ruining his career — all those INTs he accumulated in the orange creamsicle uniform pretty much blow his chances at entering the Hall of Fame — but it’ll provide momentary respite.

No, there’s not much chance of that. It’s doubtful the Jets can even beat the Buccaneers, and if they do, Vinny probably won’t be the reason. But here’s hoping.

UPDATE 10/10/05: Karma, baby. No 300 yards, no touchdown explosion, but Testaverde provided just enough stability to get the Jets the win, 14-12. Fitting.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/06/2021 09:11:25 PM
Category: Football
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save me
So Google has just rolled out an auto-save feature for Gmail, and is making a big deal of it.

I thought, that’s nice. But I’d never had an issue with my browser crashing while using Gmail, so I didn’t foresee it affecting me.

Then, today, for the first time that I can recall, my browser crashed, twice, while I was composing an email in Gmail. And yes, the auto-save feature did come through both times.

Coincidence?

No, I’m not accusing Google of anything dastardly. I could tell what was causing the Safari crashes: The piece-of-crap email client that I’m forced to use on my Mac at work. But it only does that when Gmail is in the browser. So I’m thinking that auto-save is causing that wonkiness. I’ll just have to remember to be careful; and ditch Notes (which might happen soon, anyway).

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/06/2021 08:42:13 PM
Category: Internet, Tech
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