This is the TBTF Log, the place where I report important breaking news
in the most timely way possible.
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using this permanent URL.
weeks' logs table of contents.
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.
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
Net. Their top page features
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
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
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
The original Mailexpire.com
inspires more confidence, and I plan to stick with it.
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
explanation by Steve Dolge, managing editor of WTOP News in Washington,
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
Many thanks to TBTF Irregular Bill Innanen for this story.
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:
Day the Streaming Died.
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