If you see me logged onto AOL Instant Messenger, it is not because my main computer is fixed. Instead, it is because I just remembered that one can import one's AIM contacts into Gmail and use the IM environment there in order to communicate with them. Google: is there nothing (internetwise) that it can't do?
We've all had those moments when, for seemingly no reason, our internet connection seems to slow down. It seems that Google is going to try and explain these network lapses:
Google and a group of partners have released a set of tools designed to help broadband customers and researchers measure performance of Internet connections.
The set of tools, at MeasurementLab.net, includes a network diagnostic tool, a network path diagnostic tool and a tool to measure whether the user's broadband provider is slowing BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P-to-P) traffic. Coming soon to the M-Lab applications is a tool to determine whether a broadband provider is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic, and a tool to determine whether a provider is degrading certain users or applications.
"Transparency is our goal," said Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist at Google and a co-developer of TCP/IP. "Our intent is to make more [information] visible for all who are interested in the way the network is functioning at all layers."
The tools will not only allow broadband customers to test their Internet connections, but also allow security and other researchers to work on ways to improve the Internet, Cerf said. Current Internet performance tools "are geeky to the extreme," he said during a Washington, D.C., forum on the M-Lab tools.
The busybody basement-dwellers are crawling out of the woodwork on pittsburgh, it seems. You know the type: too much time on their hands, too interested in the lives of others to bother concerning themselves with their own business.
Exhibit A: whiny vegan thinks that a "No fishing for carp" sign means no fishing altogether and is shocked, shocked to discover that the authorities don't give a shit if people fish for other species in the pond to which the sign refers. Finally, she reveals her true reasons for the post in a comment: "Personally, I'm vegan. I'd like to see people not be allowed to kill fish anywhere." Translation: "I'm a douchebag who wishes to impose my beliefs and way of living upon everyone else and I'm just using the community and this sign as a flimsy veggie-headed pulpit."
Exhibit B: Mr. Shit-Don't-Stink is offended by the odors coming off the bodies of some of the patrons of - it is later revealed - a Goth club. He helpfully suggests that people bathe and put on deodorant before showing up, even going so far as to quote De La Soul for impact. Of course, this douchebag completely overlooks the inherit problems of clubs: small spaces + physical activity + smoke = sweating and stink. Add to the equation that there are a whole lot of velvet or vinyl-clad asses on that dancefloor and there's bound to be some body odour, for those truly getting their groove on. Even those who aren't dancing up a storm will stink of cigarettes just by virtue of being in the club, so fucking deal with it, Mr. Perfume Farts.
Frankly, people make me sick and if I had one wish it would be the ability to take a two by four to the skulls of those I deemed too useless to live with impunity. The world is full of meddlers, busy-bodies and tut-tutting moralists who need to get the fuck over themselves and leave the rest of us alone!
You know, I'm not the only "dead-ender" who refuses to support the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, Barack Obama. Here is, in my opinion, the crème de la crème of webloggers who aren't feeling the unity:
Anglachel's Journal - non-daily, but usually lengthy, well-thought out posts regarding current political events.
Cannonfire - Joseph Cannon voted for Obama in the California primary, but has since become disenchanted.
Corrente - "Boldly shrill from the side-by-side wing chairs of the mighty Corrente Building."
No Quarter - "Tired of Spin? Larry Johnson offers no quarter on issues of your security." A national security weblog, that has become vehemently anti-Obama.
Reclusive Leftist - "Feminism, politics, and random pedantry with your host, Dr. Violet Socks."
Riverdaughter's The Confluence - Originally for Kossacks in exile, this is now a place for Democrats in exile and one of the seeds from which the PUMA Movement began to grow.
PARTY UNITY MY ASS!
One of the great things about the Internet is that it is a place where a myriad of new "toys" are always popping up. More recent in this long line is the Democratic Candidate Mashup and Debate. Pick two to all eight candidates, click an issue and watch a video of each candidate responding to said issue.
It's a nifty idea, if not slightly limited in scope; there are only four issues to choose from, "The Big Three" of Iraq, Health Care and Education along with lighter questioning from Bill Maher. It also does nothing to alleviate the ADD nature of current information dissemination. I decided to match up my two favourite candidates - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - with each other and ended up watching the same talking points that I've seen many times before in regards to each candidate. While this is a bit disappointing, it is to be expected. I'd say that this tool at this stage of the game is better for the uninitiated, rather than the hardcore political junkie.
Currently, there is only a mashup for Democratic candidates as the Republicans (as expected) are a step behind. An offer has been extended to Republicans to do their own debate mashup, but thus far, they have been unresponsive. Republicans fear progressive things like the Internet, Socialised Health Care and indoor plumbing (one of those I made up).
Should this idea prove popular enough, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some cross-party mashups by the time the main presidential campaign is in full swing. Personally, I'd like to see them dig deeper and include more than just the two mainstream parties, but something tells me that I'll have to wait a little while before I can click and automatically see Democratic, Socialist, Libertarian and Green party members each stating their piece about Health Care or Iraq.