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Durex has brought us the future!

My favorite condom company, Durex, is bringing us the future! There’s not a geek that since the time of 300 baud dial up and ascii port who has not imagined the possibly of combining a serial port and sex toys for long distance love. Durex has created Fundawear, a combination of vibrating underwear and iPhones for what Durex deems the ultimate in foreplay.

Frankly, Durex’s vision of touch over the Internet looks pretty fun. Looks targeted toward couples but the potential seems enormous for masturbation or enhancing the experience with those paid Internet porn cam sites. Imagine a single person on Chaturbate wearing these! I can see a new iPhone app now. "RandomVibe" with choices such as "Use BlueTooth to touch a stranger within 30 feet" making subway rides exciting or "Wifi a stranger on your network" making office romance safer or "Randomly touch someone on the Internet" for Worldgasms. Ah! What about one app that allowed you to touch multiple people for "the virtual orgy!" If the generation of free love thought the sex partiers of the 80s and 90s were strange and those generations found themselves envious of the past decade and a half or so of shrinking clothing, lycra, rainbow parties, and oral and anal are okay because I still have my virginity and can keep wearing my ring, their minds will melt with the potential for the next two generations of virtual, supersafe, sex.

Of course, it feels like I’ve seen this before:

See also: Gizmodo and h/t to Angel Stewart.

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The Internet’s Lowest Common Denominator

I have reduced the Internet!

To consume all knowledge on the Internet, you only need four sites:

That’s all you need! Granted, there are some sites that make the Internet a little more fun. Hundreds. For instance, Facebook has some value in that, "don’t make me think" kind of prime time comedy hour thing. Seesmic is a great aggregator for viewing your social networks in a single place. For getting links and news, the only aggregator ever needed (and this is huge geek crack so if you have no self-control stay away from it!) is Popurls. That’s about it. Sure, you should look in on Flickr once in a while but nothing else is really needed. Of course, there’s some utilitarian stuff like banking and travel sites but really…the Internet has come down to 4 sites. You’re welcome.

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How long have I been on the Internet?

I’ve been on the Internet so long that I just went to a website that I had never heard of and tried to create an account only to discover I already had an account. So either my memory is worse than I thought or I’ve consumed so much of The Internet that I can now see the whole thing again and enjoy as if I was seeing it for the first time!

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We used to call it The Internet…now it’s just Google

We’ve been living in the Wild West of The Internet. The Internet used to mean Gopher, Veronica, Archie, Usenet, MUDs, IRC (Fall ’88), and telnet, none of which used a graphical interface. Everything was done from the command line, UNIX’s equivalent of the DOS prompt. Today my children, as most people, live on a tamer Internet and feel that The Internet is something you look at with Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari. Chrome users know better. In the past, using a search engine did not mean using Google. Google. How about that Google? Google is doing so well that we have started to aggregate all our services into Google. I know I have. I use GMail, Google Voice, Google Wave, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Reader, and so on. All my data is slowly finding its way to a single company, one which I don’t control. That should scare the pants off of us!

In today’s world of collaboration and information sharing, url shorteners are all the rage. A URL shortener takes a long web address and shortens it to as few characters as possible for sending in SMS messages or making the address easier for someone to type. is the forerunner having secured the default url shortener position with Twitter and Seesmic. is my favorite. Despite being essential tools, Dave Winer makes a good argument for why these URL shorteners are bad for the Internet and offers a fix to their inherent problem. The concept of a URL shortener is simple. You could make your own URL shortening service and WordPress users could make a URL shortener plugin. If you made your own, you’d be in control of your data; a principle I highly encourage despite housing so much of myself in The Cloud.

Today, Google enters the URL shortening scene with Expect this to take off. Expect some struggling shortening services to close doors causing waves of link rot across the Internet. As Google consumes another popular activity, url shortening, do we take one more step to losing The Internet to The Google in the way that online activity prior to The Internet used to be known as CompuServe, Prodigy and AOL? In 5 years, will there still be An Internet or will we simply connect to The Google?

Google URL Shortener at is a service that takes long URLs and squeezes them into fewer characters to make a link that is easier to share, tweet, or email to friends. The core goals of this service are:

  • Stability – ensuring that the service has very good uptime
  • Security – protecting users from malware and phishing pages
  • Speed – fast resolution of short URLs

Google URL Shortener is currently available for Google products and not for broader consumer use.

The Google privacy policy applies to the Google URL Shortener. Please note that Google may choose to publicly display aggregate and non-personally identifiable statistics about particular shortened links, such as the number of end user clicks.

Update: Interestingly enough, yesterday, announced Pro, a service to use’s software but with your own domain name. Take note, this is still giving your data to a 3rd party (The Cloud) but it is a proven service, with a system with very interesting feedback (statistics), and probably far more scalable than something you could build from scratch. Dave Winer revisits his concerns with in Build to Flip?.

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Straight to /dev/null

I’m banging out code today and making good headway. In the meantime, everything I have sent to the cloud seems to be going to /dev/null. Guy Kawaski has answered everyone’s Tweets but mine. Twitter posts usually see lots of traffic but not this one. My technical questions on IRC have gone unanswered. I feel a bit in a vacuum today. Are my tubes clogged?!

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Why do people web?

Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang posted The Three Web Activities: Task, Project, and Business Programs which I agree from the web management perspective. I think when building websites it is important to consider the 3 reasons users come to a website. My response to Jeremiah Owyang:

I agree with your breakdown from a web management perspective. The IT guy, the techie, the web programmer should be very focused on The Task, The Project, and The Business Program. With[out] those, the website fails to function.

I have a list of 3 which is about that function. My list is derived from the end user experience rather than the web management side. I address this list with my clients when they are trying to make decisions about their webite:
1. Information
2. Utility
3. Entertainment

That order is important.

People go to the web first for information (e.g. I want to call company X and need their phone number). I am astounded at the number of business[es] that make it difficult to contact them.

People go to the web secondly for utility (e.g. “I want to make travel arrangements” or “I need to do some online banking/bill paying”)

People go to the web thirdly for entertainment (e.g. “going to watch the television show I missed last night,” “watch some youtube,” or “play some games”).

I find businesses mistakenly want to build backwards thinking that if they first build something entertaining that will draw their audience in. Then they can provide utility (often associated with profit). And lastly, if they ever get around to it, information.

People will argue that entertainment should be first in the list but that is a delusion. We may spend more time on entertainment but most people go to the web for information first.

“Social media” is changing the equation slightly. Services like Twitter provide information, utility and entertainment in one fell swoop.

Links referenced:
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Put @RedCross in your Twitter