Geocities Archive Data Turned Into a Stunning Digital City

You youngsters out there might not remember the old days the the Internet, but once upon a time there was the special land of

The Deleted City: Geocities

The Deleted City from deletedcity on Vimeo.

From Mashable:

Once upon a time, before Facebook and Twitter, there was a web service called Geocities.

Long a synonym for ugly websites with obnoxious ads, the web hosting service was shut down (except in Japan, where it’s still active) in 2009. But its closure did bring a tear to the eye of many Internet veterans who remember that Geocities did host some very interesting sites.

Enter Archive Team, a collective bent on saving our digital heritage. It made a backup of Geocities just before it shut down. Now, information designer Richard Vijgen turned the 650 GB data file into an amazing visualization called The Deleted City, in which the users of Geocities are displayed as tenants in an enormous virtual city.

Unfortunately, you cannot interact with the resulting visualization, but you can see it in action in the video below.

The Facebook Chart That Freaks Google Out

I can see why its competitors are freaking out!  Is Facebook taking over your life??

From AllThingsD:

The overhaul Facebook rolled out last week is meant, first and foremost, to keep users sticking around. But, hyperbole aside, Facebook is already crushing the rest of the Web when it comes to stickiness.

Check out this engagement chart, courtesy of Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney. It’s a neat illustration of the Web 2.0 era, and does a nice job of explaining why Google is so freaked out about Facebook, and why AOL and Yahoo seem to be in eternal turnaround mode. (Note that just a couple of years ago, someone might have thought to include Myspace in here. Remember?)

And from Gizmodo:

Facebook started out as a fun distraction, then it became something integral. And while it’s currently trending towards being an essential part of our lives, will it someday become inescapable? If these graphs are any indicator, then it’s very well possible.

Citi Research conducted a study of the amount of time Americans spent on Facebook. In 2007, Facebook only occupied two percent of people’s days. Fast forward to the present, and it takes up around 16 percent, good for an eightfold increase. Though unlikely, if Facebook’s increase in engagement were to continue at this rate, it would literally consume our entire lives by 2015.

And equally important, as All Things D points out, is how substantially Facebook is outpacing the other major internet players in this category. Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL sites have all been flat or dipping in the amount of time they hold visitors attention. Google’s properties show overall engagement growth, but not nearly as impressive as Facebook’s. The question is, will we come to love and accept Facebook as our central hub for everything internet? Or will they commit some Netflix-esque blunder and cause us all to flee in droves?

OpenDNS and Google team to speed up the web

This started today and I made the switch to Google’s Public DNS.  Will see if I get my emails a millisecond or two faster! 🙂
This stuff might seem a bit techy, but it really is easy to set-up (less than a minute). And it makes sense: instead of your requested result coming from a far off location, it finds the closest server to you. Bottom line, it just seems to work!
Instructions how to set it up from Google (<— click there)
And for reference, my results from DSLResults:

From GigaOM:

A few million Americans may find their YouTube requests get delivered faster on Tuesday as Google,  OpenDNSVeriSign  and several content delivery networks announce the Global Internet Speed Up effort.

As the web scales and bandwidth demands rise, finding ways to deliver faster content is pushed out to the edge of networks, because the aggregated demand at the core would be too much to support and would add delays in delivering content. The Speed Up effort tries to take this another step further by making sure a user’s request for a content goes to a server near her, making delivery faster and more efficient from a bandwidth perspective.

At the center of the partnership between DNS providers and participating CDNs is the creation of a standard that attached location data to a DNS request so a user’s request for content goes to server nearby. Typically, a CDN or content provider routes a user based on the address of the DNS server, as opposed to the user’s location, but they aren’t always in the same region.

So now a user in Austin, Texas who types in the URL for a YouTube video will share part of his IP address as part of the DNS request. That way, the domain name system server can route the request to a Google data center in Dallas, as opposed to one in Ireland. It’s a simple idea, but it could result in faster access to content for ISPs and CDNs that elect to implement the open source code that makes this possible. David Ulevitch, CEO of Open DNS says the standard has been submitted to the IETF, but has not been ratified. The IETF is a standards body that governs protocols for the Internet.

For now, only users of Google’s Public DNS service, OpenDNS and Verisign will send out DNS information with a snippet of information gleaned from the user’s IP address. That will help the domain name servers that direct traffic around the web to send that traffic the closest provider. As for privacy concerns about attaching IP addresses to a DNS request, Ulevitch says the information only goes to companies that would see the IP address in a typical HTTP web request, so it’s not sharing any more information than is typical.

On Tuesday, when the new code is implemented, the 30 million Open DNS users and Google’s Public DNS service users visiting content hosted on the participating CDNs will immediately benefit. Ulevitch didn’t have a sense of how much improvement users might expect, although he did say it wouldn’t get worse for anyone. He hopes ISPs will also adopt the standard as well as more content delivery networks. Right now, Edgecast, Contendo, BitGravity and a few others are on board, but leaders such as Limelight or Akamai are not.

So perhaps this could be the beginning of an open effort to improve the web, or perhaps it becomes another niche effort that makes web sites a bit faster for a few people when they visit selected sites. With Google on board, however, that’s still a lot of sites.

Computer Vision Syndrome: Do Your Eyes Have It? Here’s Help

Protect your eyes! Check here for a quick vision test too.
(click on the infographic below to make it larger since it is probably too small for even people with perfect vision! You may have to click on it a second time if you see a little magnifying glass):

From Mashable:

Feeling bleary-eyed after a long day in front of your various screens? Here’s an infographic full of tips and techniques to ease your eyes into the digital world, showing you ways to cope with staring into screens all day.

If that’s not enough, the infographic gives you a peek at present and future tech that will make your eyes positively bionic, as well as new devices doctors are now using to diagnose eye problems much more efficiently than ever.

This must be getting bad — Those Acronym-Making People (TAMP — okay, I made that one up) have created one for the eye health problems that ensue after staring at screens for an average of six hours per day: CVS, or Computer Vision Syndrome.

ZOMG: “Lifehack” Added to Oxford Dictionaries Online

It really was only a matter of time before Oxford dictionary would come to their senses and add one of my favorite words!

From Lifehacker (of course!):

From the navel-gazing department of legitimacy: The Oxford Dictionaries Online has added the term “lifehack” to “the world’s most trusted dictionary” (along with other internet-y words like ZOMG, NSFW, and newb). Their definition:

lifehack: a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way

If we’re getting picky, we’d prefer it as “life hack”, but it’s hard to quibble when we’re so pleased. For more advanced reading on the term coined in this talk by the father of life hacks Danny O’Brien, check out our interview with O’Brien and take a gander at the life hack Wikipedia page.Thanks Wilson!


infographic – a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data: a good infographic is worth a thousand words

I love infographics!

The New Workstyle: Leaving the Old Behind

This is a very interesting infographic and may give you some insight into the “New Workstyle”….
The folks that put this together have a great application. It basically brings details of all of your contacts into a single place. I use it daily.
To find out exactly what Gist does, click here and to try Gist out go here. Let me know if you would like an invite!

From Gist:

We’ve been talking about the new workstyle and how work is evolving now for several months including laying out the ten characteristics that define it and four reasons why it’s mobile.  We’ve gotten so much great feedback and interest on the topic that we decided to create an infographic that provides a snapshot of what the new workstyle is all about along with a few interesting data points that support it.