Ring Tones, Drugs and the Spamming of Google News

This week in the WSJ.com (subscription only, I’m afraid) I wrote about web spam — the growing penetration of faux websites that ride up the search engines and muddy the Internet for all of us. I based it around the recent case of subdomain spam, well documented by the likes of blogs like Monetize. Briefly …

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Spark That Line

I’m a fan of sparklines, Ed Tufte’s graphical depiction within text of numerical data (it’s more exciting than I’ve made it sound). Here’s a couple of updates: First off, The Hardball Times is using them to show a month of scores of the major U.S. baseball teams: The bars are win (up) and loss (down). …

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The World Cup Walls Come Down

The more I see and read about the “sponsorship” behind the World Cup the more appalled I am. Ever since I heard that MasterCard (briefly) exerted a monopoly over buying tickets to the finals with a credit card, and men were told to take off their lederhosen, I realised that although it claims to, sponsorship …

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Suspected Fraudsters Behind the Sony DRM Virus Arrested

Three men have been arrested in the UK and Finland following an investigation into internet fraud. The three are a motley bunch, according to The Sunday Times: a 63-year-old from England, a 28-year-old from Scotland and a 19-year-old from Finland. Together they are alleged to have formed a gang called M00P. They are accused of …

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The Unsocial Web

A piece by Donna Bogatin on why many more people read web sites liked digg.com rather than contribute to it has in itself spawned enough responses to become something of a summary of why the social web, citizen journalism, user-created content etc may not be quite the revolution it appears. Here’s how I see the …

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Write a Rant, Get Clicks

I am not a fan of these In-Text ads, as you know. I think they’re intrusive, misleading and undermine the whole concept of linking, which is what has brought the Internet this far. One of my concerns is that since these ads rely on hooking up with particular words in the text, questions have to …

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Getting a Lock on Your iPod

A sign of the times: what are billed as the first mobile security locks for iPods. According to a press release (not yet available online): Featuring a keyless, user-settable three-digit combination for added convenience and protection, the new Targus security locks are designed for use with iPods configured with a dock connector, including the 5G, …

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Watching the World Cup on a Widget

Opera 9 is officially out today, so perhaps now is as good a time as any to offer some FIFA World Cup 2006 plugins: For Firefox there’s FootieFox, which has actually been around for a year or so. Nice and small, it displays any soccer scores (not just those of the World Cup) in your …

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Guerrilla Marketing Via Lederhosen

I’m getting a bit cheesed off with all the advertising/sponsorship shenanigans at the World Cup, and I’m not even there. The idea that you can only buy tickets using the sponsor’s credit card, that food like McDonalds and drink like Coke can somehow be an official partner of a sport, all seem to indicate a …

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Here Comes the Blog Flood

The power of the history of the Internet? So much feels disposable about the Internet, and blogs haven’t helped. Postings more than a few days old feel like ancient history, and yet at the same time they sit there, a snapshot of a point of view the author can barely remember ever having. Comments added …

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