Posts Tagged ‘Internet

Coding in the cloud

Posted in Technicalon Dec 30, 2013

I’ve been looking for ways to write code inside a web browser.  There are a number of offerings, and I plan on giving a serious look to the free ones.

So far, I’ve come across, It seems like a good site to share code snippets that can be executed right on the site. Kind of like a YouTube-like site for sharing code.  It isn’t the sort of site that you would want to code a large project, but good for sharing just a chunk of code that might be useful by others or useful for programming instruction.

Some of the things I am looking for when writing code in the cloud is the ability to import, export, run, and write code easily.  I am especially looking for the ability to work along side my existing development practices on my home computer.

Why I’m against SOPA and PIPA

Posted in Politicson Jan 17, 2012

There are bills underway in the U.S. Senate and House that have very dangerous consequences for the Internet. SOPA and PIPA are meant to protect intellectual property online, but they give far too much enforcement power to the government.

The bills allow the government to immediately shut down entire websites because they didn’t filter user content that might help someone obtain an illegal copy of something. For example, Wikipedia could be shut down immediately and without warning because someone posted an except of a book that they didn’t have permission to post. Facebook could be shut down because someone posted a link to a picture that was copied without permission.

This would be like the government shutting down and entire mall because someone walked through it with a copied CD in their pocket. According to these bills, the mall should have searched people before they entered the mall to make sure they didn’t have any illegal copies of media on them.

These bills go beyond punishing those who illegally copy intellectual property. They will also punish anyone who allows any communication about such piracy. Since the Internet was built on the ideals of allowing people to freely communicate, punishing people who allow free communication will severely hinder the Internet. These bills would mandate censorship of the Internet, punishing people who allow free speech.

On Wednesday, Wikipedia and other web sites are going dark in protest of these bills. I support their protests. While shutting off access to the sites may seem extreme, it is only an example of what could happen to those sites if these bills are allowed to pass.

Growth of the Internet

Posted in Technicalon Oct 28, 2008

On the LDS Media Talk Blog, there was a post about the growth of the Internet.   I wondered if the growth has been increasing or decreasing, or if it is reaching a plateau.

To answer that question, I decided to plot the numbers on a logarithmic scale:

Using a logarithmic scale, it is easy to see the rate of growth.  As you can see, up until 1997 there was a very substantial growth.  In 1996, for example, the Internet grew by 900%.  Between 1998 and 2001 growth slowed so that it only (on average) doubled in each of those years.  Since then, we’ve established a slower, yet still substantial rate of doubling only every two or three years.

According to a Slashdot article, 62% of Americans who access the Internet with a slow, dial-up modem, don’t want to upgrade to a high-speed connection.

This may seem alarming to many. Why wouldn’t people want a faster connection to the Internet? I think cost is the biggest factor. I keep seeing TV commercials for dial-up accounts for under $10 per month. A broadband connection, on the other hand, would cost at least two or three times that amount. Why should people pay perhaps another $150 per year just to download their email and favorite recipes a few seconds faster?

Interestingly, about 3% of the visitors to this website access it through a dial-up modem.

Another interesting stat, for an e-commerce site that I run, dial-up visitors generate the highest per visit value. Dial-up visitors are more likely to make a larger purchase than broadband visitors.

Why I’ve switched to Yahoo!

Posted in Technicalon May 6, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I claimed that I was prepared to ditch Yahoo! if Microsoft bought them. Now that Microsoft has withdrawn its bid for Yahoo, I’ve decided to make efforts to use Yahoo more than I have in the past.

Yahoo’s ability to withstand a Microsoft bid was based in Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s claims that Yahoo has more potential and is worth more than Microsoft was willing to pay for it. Yang wanted Microsoft to pay $37 per share, and Microsoft only offered $33 per share. Now today, analysts are saying that if Yang is on a limited time line to get the trading price of Yahoo stock above $33 to prove he was right about not selling out to Microsoft.

I believe that Microsoft ownership of Yahoo would be very bad for the Internet. While Microsoft has currently withdrawn its bid, there is always the possibility that Microsoft will, in the future, attempt again to buy Yahoo. High stock prices are the biggest deterrent from future buyout attempts.

I want to do what I can to allow Yahoo stock prices to increase. I figure that I can do this by giving Yahoo as much legitimate business that I reasonably can. The easiest way to start is by switching the default search engine in my web browser to point to Yahoo. Perhaps I’ll find additional ways to give Yahoo more of my business. This is my small role in keeping Yahoo away from Microsoft.

A Cnet News blog claims that Yahoo! might be bought out by Microsoft this week. If this happens, I am prepared to cancel all of the Yahoo! services that I currently use. I have little or no faith that Microsoft’s management of Yahoo! services will be satisfactory, so upon any sort of merger announcement, I will start looking for replacement services that I believe will better serve my interests.

As a developer, I currently trust the openness of Yahoo! developer APIs, but I would have serious concerns if I could depend on a Microsoft Yahoo for continued support of these APIs.

Some reports say that the Microsoft bid is simply to buy Yahoo!’s user-base. I refuse to be bought like that, and will remove myself from the user-base when it comes time.

Domain Names

Posted in Technicalon Feb 27, 2008

I went looking for domain names today, and I found a couple interesting ones. They are available, unless of course the person who read this five minutes ago registered it:


I think the .at domains are going for about $50, while the .be domains are just $18. If you want a domain (not like anyone is going to remember it) you can dish $150 out to Network Solutions.