A rantbox by Michiel Scholten

Netiquette and other digital stuff

Just got a chain mail from 2 [!] of my coworkers. They are from the Graphics department, less computer savvy than I may be, but is it so freaking difficult to tell a normal story from a hoax? There are lots of pages that debunk them. Even antivirus software writers have their own pages about hoaxes.

Not only is it sad that those people don't check the story [about AOL and Microsoft [sic!] being the two largest internet companies in the world and Bill Gates offering you 245 dollar when sending this "digital trail" along so they can assure Internet Exploder stays the nr 1 browser. I mean, WTF, that even ain't a logical story!], but I get send whole addressbooks worth of e-mail addresses. Both mails where about 300KiB large [yeah, Outlook markup too], with _loads_ of e-mail addresses in it, the relevant message all the way down to the bottom. People don't even grasp the simple netiquette about how to format e-mails! It ain't rocket science you know...

OK, enough ranting about the stupid-mindedness of fellow internet users. Wired is a great source of interesting articles. I've collected some I found interesting here. First a piece about hydrogen being generated from a new kind of solar cells. It would be very cool if this is applied on a large scale, and hydrogen propulsion for cars is being pushed. No more oil struggles and a lot healtier environment. Another piece is about the ignorance of our fellow computer users: Spyware on My Machine? So What?. The title alone makes me shiver. People are just getting used to their machine acting weird and don't care anymore, even if it's participating in a global net poluting network.

I have to be careful saying thing about co-workers, because Blogs May Be a Wealth Hazard. That is, if you are saying things your company doesn't quite agree with. Think back to this fellow working with Microsoft posting pictures of G5 Macs being delivered to this software company. On other digitally haunting news: Pentagon Kills LifeLog Project. This project wanted to record all things a certain human being would do in his life. Quite scary to would have been that person. Regina Lynn wonders how long your digital trail can be. In this digitized world, past can haunt you, especially when you do everything in digital, like the Mary Hodder from the latter story, of me, for example.

Of course, you can always go more digital. This article is about virtual gaming worlds, which reminded me strongly of the Metaverse from Snowcrash, a book by Neal Stephenson. These huge worlds can be quite interesting, social wise, because you can extend your screenname to an avatar, something people are a bit more comfortable with, as it's just like the normal world, but all with it's own rules. I can highly recommend Snowcrash, btw, it's really a great and funny book about virtual worlds, playing in a future America divided in small enclaves [kinda like how I see it happen in some years if their government goes along their taken path], and a linguistic virus. Pretty thoughtprovoking!

OK, now I'm going to try to study some more.