Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, April 11, 2021

dada a dad
It’s amazing, the sort of linguistic fragmentation you can come up with when you unshackle the palindrome from any relation to comprehensibility.

Like so:

K.O. Allah, teeth all A-OK.

Yo, Jesus is use joy.

Decades sap, passed, aced.

No, it never prevents a last never prevention.

Gnostic illicit song.

Definite dada vibe in those lines. And more of a surrealistic touch because they were hand-rolled, unlike some silly-long computer-generated string of random backward-forward lettering.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/11/2021 07:06:45 PM
Category: Comedy, Creative, Wordsmithing
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With the growing popularity of mobile-centric communications tools like Twitter, URL shorteners like TinyURL and bit.ly are becoming essential sub-tools for delivering hyperlinked info in under 140 characters. But they come off as a necessary evil, at best a stopgap before a better solution comes along.

For all the critiques against these redirecting links in terms of SEO, general Web architecture and the like, for me, it all boils down to this one deficiency:

URL shorteners make links opaque, which spammers love.

And “opaque” really means masked, in every sense: Not only can’t you tell by eyeballing the URL where a clickthrough will take you, you can’t even mouseover it and get a reading of the “true” URL in a browser status bar or comparable indicator, as you usually can from text/image-embedded hyperlinking. In other words, URL shorteners produce a blind link — exactly the type of online stuff that you’re generally better off avoiding.

Sure, most of the time, using this masking technique is simply a benevolent matter of convenience, either to save character space or to avoid potential broken links. But clearly, the potential is there for malevolence, ranging from the merely annoying (driving spam-destination traffic) to the truly hazardous (landing on a site-hijacking site or even a .exe link). Ultimately, it’s an unnecessary risk.

That said, I’m using TinyURL every time I post to this blog, in the form of the WordTwit plugin for WordPress; it pumps out the post permalink in a tweet, predictably with a compacted link. So I’m contributing to the problem. Hopefully, an overhaul to this system will come along to replace all this awkwardness.

UPDATE: I just discovered this: In Twitter’s built-in search site, search results containing shortened URLs include an inline “expand/contract” toggle, which effectively solves the blind link problem. Or it would, if it were extended to the live Twitter activity, which I hope will be the case shortly. Naturally, something like this would be a godsend for every other online channel that makes use of shorteners.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/11/2021 05:55:46 PM
Category: Internet
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