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TBTF Log



This is the TBTF Log, the place where I report important breaking news in the most timely way possible.

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2001-04-16

5:06:31 PM
  • updated Numerologists take note. TBTF Irregular Anton Sherwood forwards these factoids, of possible interest to numerologists and to those in the throes of terminal ennui. The original author seems to be Tim Ruddick.

    While working on some code today, I noticed that a mildly interesting moment on the Unix calendar will shortly be upon us:

    Thu Apr 19 00:25:21 EDT 2001 == 987654321

    And only a little further down the road:

    Sat Sep 8 21:46:39 EDT 2001 == 999999999

    Appropriate adjustments for other time zones may be made by those with a few extra seconds on their hands.

    here Updated 2001-04-20, 8:12 pm: Gary Stock, a.k.a. UnBlinking, found someone else on the Net who has noticed the imminence of Unix's billionth second: the good folks at Electromagnetic Net. Their top page features a JavaScript clock counting down seconds until S1G.

12:38:53 PM
  • Mailexpire returns. I first wrote about this invaluable spam-taming service in TBTF for 2000-03-31. Mailexpire lets you create a temporary mail address; you set its expiration time, from hours to months. The process takes about 10 seconds. (I just now created auka5kysvk@mailexpire.com, at which address you can reach me for the next 12 hours.) A year ago I used Mailexpire routinely when signing up for any new online service. If the service behaved itself and didn't spam me within the lifetime of the temporary address, I could give them a more permanent address if I wished.

    You can imagine how popular Mailexpire must be in the spammer community. (See this LA Times article for an account of the rough-and-tumble tactics that independent spamfighters live with. Spammers are not nice people.) Shortly after the TBTF article, the Mailexpire site came under a heavy denial-of-service attack. The hosting ISP, not exactly a model of courage under fire, pulled the plug on Mailexpire. It's taken a year for the site's owners to retrieve their data, rework the code, and line up a new (and we hope more sympathetic) host.

    In the meantime an unrelated party has reserved both mailexpire.net and mailexpire.org and pointed them at the preexisting spamhole.com, which offers a similar service. The owner appears to be trying to make his fortune from site advertising and a link to the egregious Commission Junction. The site's terms-of-use page clearly was not written by a lawyer.

    The original Mailexpire.com inspires more confidence, and I plan to stick with it.


2001-04-15

10:52:05 PM
  • Trellix to integrate Blogger. Trellix has licensed Pyra Labs' Blogger technology and will incorporate it into Trellix's Web site publishing platform. Blogger co-creator Evan Williams will consult with Trellix to help with product integration and will serve on Trellix's advisory board. Here's a press release and an account by Dan Bricklin of the timing of the deal.

    Thanks to TBTF Irregular Gary Stock for word on tomorrow's news.

4:26:30 PM KPIG
  • updated Radio stations shutting off Net streaming. The law of unintended consequences has struck Internet broadcasting. Because ad agencies refuse to pay court-mandated fees if ads are run on the Web, they have demanded that radio stations not run the affected ads online. It turns out to be hard to pick and choose which commercials you play. Most radio stations have simply stopped streaming their content, according to this lucid explanation by Steve Dolge, managing editor of WTOP News in Washington, DC.

    It all started two years ago when members of two unions, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild went on strike. These are the folks whose voices you hear on radio commercials and faces you see on TV commercials. As part of the eventual settlement of that strike, major national advertising agencies agreed to pay an extra fee of 300% to those actors and voice-over artists if those commercials were then transmitted over the worldwide web.

    Now with the popularity of streaming radio on the internet, the unions have come calling on the agencies to collect. But rather than pay the increased fee, agencies have demanded that radio stations no longer play those commercials on the internet.

    This all came about last week. Thank goodness the best radio station in America, KPIG, continues to stream its content. Now that I'm a certified resident of DSL Hell (I'll tell this story another time), listening to radio over the Net is a far iffier proposition than it has been. But KPIG still comes through fine at 46K over Windows Media Player.

    Please visit this QuickTopic forum and let us know if your favorite station is still streaming.

    Many thanks to TBTF Irregular Bill Innanen for this story.

    here Updated 2001-04-20, 8:19 pm: See my piece on this subject for the Industry Standard's Media Grok newsletter for 2001-04-17: The Day the Streaming Died.


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