No WWW? Not!
Some misguided folks feel that the "www" that goes in front of most web sites is redundant, and should be done away with.
These "No WWW" folks are wrong. Many, many people, are convinced that the "www" is required, so that if you tell them to go mywebsite.com, they assume you mean "www.mywebsite.com". Companies that don't make the "www" version work are missing the boat.
But they don't insist you make the "www.domain.com" fail. What they do advocate is changing the URL from "www.domain.com" to "domain.com" when you use the "www" version. Why not just leave it the way it was? It's a subtler version of a "Your browser sucks" message. It's just plain rude.
Posted by Chad Lundgren on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 (Link)
Dispatches from the war on spam
Those little images with words on them that you read and type in when you sign up for a hotmail account or buy tickets at TicketMaster™ are going to get trickier. According to a Scientific American article, the spam bots are learning to read the current images, so the image makers are fighting back. (via Sci-Tech Daily).
These image-reading tests are called CAPTCHAs, which stands for the mouthful of "Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart". According to captcha.net, researchers have achieved anywhere from 78% to 93% success rates in breaking the old images.
I dug around, and found some of the new CAPTCHAs over at PARC (no longer Xerox PARC). This online quiz will test your acumen. When I took it, some images with 2 or even 3 letters with a big fake ink blotch or blotches on top baffled me. This might not be a problem if they were real words, but they have switched to made-up but pronounceable words like "orderapy".
Posted by Chad Lundgren on Saturday, November 22, 2003 (Link)
I've switched over to a new, better host. It's faster than the old one, and more reliable. It will also let me add my own subdomains like "pictures.zenhaiku.com".
If you're seeing this, you're hooking up to the new site.