To emphasize my demurs against URL shortening services which I have mentioned before, here comes the prove that my thesis is correct: the URL shortening service tr.im is going to be shut down by end of this year. As Robert Scoble put it, this is a “shortcoming” of the Twitter platform, where the shutdown most likely will be felt most.
This is the first time I am aware of actual knowledge/data-loss which will occur due to the shutdown of such a service.
Update: tr.im announced that they will stay in business, due to an overwhelming response. But still, the final shutdown of such a service sooner or latter can and will happen. And even worse would be the continuation of such a service where all the URLs would be redirected somewhere else…
I have already written about my opinion about the problems of URL shortening back in 2005. Yesterday, Jeff Atwood pointed out other issues like commercialization. Today, another threat has come true: hackers have manipulated the URLs of shortening service cli.gs.
Given the huge amount of information hidden behind such shortened URLs, and given the popularity and number of these links, especially nowadays on Twitter, these services could see themselves being under permanent siege of hackers/crackers. Being able to manipulate hundred of thousands if not even more vastly distributed and popular URLs to point to a given site could be used for both, generating (lots of?) ad-revenue, or as a new form of DDoS-attack.
At the moment there seems to be no way around using these services (especially with services like Twitter), but in the medium/long run a solution has to be found if we don’t want to lose lots of valuable information.
Just played around with Google Chrome. First impression: Wow! This is definitely going to encourage development of other browsers as well!
Each tab runs within its own process and Chrome offers a “Task Manager” (Shift-Esc), which will display memory usage, CPU usage and bandwidth consumption for each tab, which I consider very handy.
Chrome is available for Windows only at the moment, but is expected to be released for MacOS X and Linux as well. I am really curious how this is going to develop and if this is going to really affect “the Internet as a whole” (I really believe Google has gained enough market power to push their products).
I have been using del.icio.us since I first heard about it (by reading an announcement of its acquirement by Yahoo!) and I have to confess I was taken by the approach. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that I didn’t have my bookmarks and the service under control.
Thanks to a note by Erik I found out about Scuttle, an open source clone of del.icio.us which everyone can host on his/her own server. (Please note: scuttle.org only offers their public bookmarking service, the software can only be located at their SourceForge page.) Scuttle is written in PHP and requires MySQL as database backend.
Scuttle offers most of the features of del.icio.us and can even import your bookmarks from there. Some minor usability-issues still arise, but I can live with them. Their API is compatible to del.icio.us so most external del.icio.us applications will work with Scuttle, as long as the tools allow you to specify the URL of the service. Additionally, Scuttle provides three levels of visibility for your bookmarks: public bookmarks, shared with your watchlist (= your friends/colleagues), and private bookmarks.
I installed Scuttle at my company and everyone is busy using it and is happy to now having a central place to store their bookmarks. Del.icio.us was no option for us because all bookmarks are public there.
I can strongly recommend using this software to everyone who wants to have a centralized way for storing their bookmarks without giving away all controls over their bookmarks.
NewsForge has published a nice review of the software.
Opera is now available for free, ads and registration have been removed.
Just gave it a quick try, and I have to say, I like it 😉 I think, Firefox is going to have to co-exist with Opera on my HDD.
Update: According to Heise.de (German), Opera has been downloaded over 1 million times within only two days, more than any previous (ad-enabled) version.