Category Archives: Esoterica

'Forced Migration' of Online Users

In one of the largest ‘forced migration’ in Internet history, Comcast will forcibly migrate the e-mail addresses of the 1.9 million AT&T Broadband cable modem users from the to comcast net domain. All because the Comcast company purchased AT&T’s broadband operations last year. Comcast will automatically forward users e-mail to the new addresses, but only for 60 days. Besides their e-mail addresses changing, all the domains for any AT&T Broadband users’ personal web sites will change.

I’m sure that many of those millions of subscribers will forget to send changes of e-mail messages to their friends. Few will remember to visit all the sites where they might have e-mailed news or e-mailed entertainment subscriptions and change their e-mail addresses for those subscriptions. Few of those millions are techno-geeks or true ‘always-on’ users; most are just average consumers. Also, the domain change will also break any absolute HTML links to their personal Web.

In other words, Comcast’s forced migration of those addresses will create havoc for most those users. Why couldn’t Comcast just keep them on the old domains and addresses? There is no technical reason why not. Comcast could have purchased the domain name from AT&T. Did Comcast? I don’t know. Perhaps Comcast just wants to ‘brand’ those 1.9 million users. Scar is more accurate.

W3C Endorses SVG

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today recommended Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 and Mobile SVG profiles be anointed standards.

Vector Graphics (VG) are how Adobe PostScript and Macromedia Flash work, although those two companies each uses a proprietary version of that technology. By contrast, SVG is an XML-based ‘Open Standard’ file format that does basically the same things but also scales images to fit the size and resolution of the user’s display screen.

SVG’s real benefit will be as a universal standard to provide rich graphics to looming Third Wave of Online Journalism: publications published to wireless devices and mobile pocket PCs. The graphics will also be readily usable on wired PCs.

Laugh Lab

If the Internet now is universal, jokes are the universal form of content. The British Association for the Advancement of Science created Laugh Lab, a Web site where jokes are posted and rated. The funniest to more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries who rated 10,000 was submitted by Geoff Anandappa:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. In the middle of the night Holmes awakes Watson. “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce.” Watson says, “I see millions of stars, and if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life.” Replies Holmes, “Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our tent!”

According to LaughLab, Germans more than any other nationals rated a higher percentage of jokes as funny or very funny, and men and women favour different types of jokes. Men’s favorites involve aggression, misogyny, or sexual innuendo. Women prefer jokes involving word play.