Anyone remember Deja News? You wouldn’t, if you were never active on Usenet, which was a big part of the Internet before the web was developed (announced on Usenet, mind you) and became, to most mind, “the Internet.” It was a web site that could be used to access and to search Usenet. Search being the big deal, though it was handy to have something that didn’t require a news reader program.
Google bought Deja News eons ago, which drew mixed expectations that leaned, if I recall correctly, negative. Still, they made some improvements for a while, and used it to promote non-Usenet “groups.” There had been various companies offering those. Ultimately it came down mainly to Yahoo, and groups were and are essentially mailing lists that also have a web archive/interface. Which isn’t so hard to do. I run a little-used mailing list of former colleagues, using a common mailing list program, and it keeps a web archive/interface members can access, if they know and remember they can. But I digress.
Google has increasingly downplayed Groups, their own and especially Usenet, perhaps even to the point of helping Usenet be forgotten. First you take over an important access point and tool, then you make it obscure…
As it turns out, there is still an alternate Deja search interface out there that can get you the results that may no longer be easy to search for otherwise. Worth knowing about, if you want to take a look back.
And Arunachalam Muruganantham is a genius. He has taken something that might have seemed simple (but wasn’t) and completely revolutionized it, taking it from impossible to a process that is making a huge difference not only in the health of women in India, but in their economic prospects as well. Who would have guessed that a sanitary pad could change the world?
It’s important to remember we are in charge and, as V would say, our government should be afraid of us. Snowden has clarified that things are backward.
If you read the post linked above without also clicking through and reading the link it contains, you are missing out. I only have the vaguest memory that there was ever a scandal regarding something called INSLAW, so I looked it up and found it fascinating. Especially given that it involved case management software that was so early, and made me think of software with which I’ve been involved, but used for nefarious purposes, and used/adapted heavily for making connections every which way between people, not just documents or legal cases.
It seems like we’re on a precipice, windmilling our arms, trying to maintain balance, but we’re failing… and perhaps we’ve been closer to the edge for longer than we could preceive.
Frankly, I had no idea that Frappucino was a trademark. I just thought it was a type of coffee-based drink. Be that as it may, even if Starbucks served drinkable coffee, I would have laughed my tail off and appreciated this brilliant response to an absurd cease and desist letter. I’m sure everyone was totally confused that a beer on tap could be a coffee-based drink designed to emulate or detract from that vended by Starbucks to people whose taste or options lead them not to go somewhere better.