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July 7, 2006

Friday Recap 07/07/2006

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eBay is settling a great example to all the kids out there. Why fight fair when you can cut your competition off at the knees with a pre-emptive strike? That seems to be eBay’s philosophy after they changed their Safe Payments Policy to ban its members from using PayPal competitor Google Checkout. Google Checkout now finds itself in a list among a series of fraud-filled payment methods. That’s completely fair.

AOL is considering offering its services for free to users with high-speed Internet and only charging dial-up users the $25.90 monthly fee. The plan may turn out to be good for customer retention, but I doubt it will have much affect on recruiting new users. The AOL name just doesn’t carry the same weight it used to. These days when I think AOL, I think Vincent Ferrari.

However, this will make my parents very happy. My mother can access her beloved AOL chat rooms (and Slingo) and my father no longer has to pay the double high-speed Internet and AOL charge. On a personal note, I’m concerned about what this will do to my collection of free minute-filled AOL discs. They make for such excellent coasters.

Seth Godin asks: What happens after someone clicks. Are they more likely to click again? What if they’ve gone far down the road, clicking three or six or ten times?

Now I’ll be honest, I don’t always get Seth’s analogies. But I got this one. And if I’m representative of a normal clicker (which is debatable on far too many levels), the answer is yes and YES. I wonder what it says about me that I clicked until the entire thing repeated itself. And then kept clicking.

Nathan linked us to a mighty interesting post by Emad Fanous who writes the Internet standards consortium W3C appears to be selling PageRank 9 and PR7 links for a mere $1,000 per year “donation”. It’s unclear whether W3C is using the links in to genuinely thank supporters for their donations, or if this is some kind of link selling ring. The list of supporters includes an array of sites you’ve never heard of, with the exception of one familiar name – SEO Book.

Also from Nathan: the news of a possible Google Health Scrapbook. The Deal’s Senior Writer Joshua Jaffe writes that Google is in the development stages for a product that would allow users to “manage their entire medical lives, from adding medical providers, checking medical record and paying bills” online. Google is reportedly looking to partner up with WebMD and Intuit for the project. Could this be that “M Scrapbook” reference we heard about a few weeks back? Maybe the ‘M’ stands for medical and it had nothing to do with Google Notebook. Or maybe I’m just a geek…

Phil Lenssen showed us how to kill someone’s access to Yahoo! China. Please don’t tell the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries.

You know those people in your life who are afraid to tell you what they think of you to your face, in fear that you might hit them, so they drop little clues instead? Enter Google’s mid-SERP “See Also” results for “therapy products”. Heh, Google thinks Yahoo!’s crazy.

We blogged Wednesday that Amanda Congdon was leaving Rocketboom under seemingly non-amicable circumstances. Since then matters between Amanda and Andrew have taken a seedy turn for the worst, especially after Amanda posted an email she received from Andrew (in its entirety) on her blog, complete with her own notes.

Now, this is where it goes a step too far. If my years at LiveJournal have taught me anything, it’s never to post an email you’ve received from anyone else, especially with commentary. Once you do, it can’t be taken back and it moves everything over to the dark side. The whole Amanda/ Andrew situation makes me sad.

A forum member sought advice for dealing with a competitor who stole a flash graphic he created that still linked back to his site. The responses were wonderful. Forum members have evil minds.

We’ll end this one with Ted Stevens’ explanation of why the net neutrality amendment is a bad, bad thing:

“I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially. They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck. It’s a series of tubes.”

Well, why didn’t you just say so? Stevens’ is right! We don’t need to pass a silly neutrality amendment to give everyone equal access to the Internet. All we need to do is clean out the internet tubes. Or perhaps invest in some extra wide ones, you know, so more information can pass through them without getting stuck. Or, as a third option, maybe people should stop trying to email Stevens the entire Internet. It’s kinda big.

P.S.

I’m being told, instructed, encouraged to include Dr. Stephen Hawking’s recent question posed to the Yahoo! Answers community. He asked:

“In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”

At the time of this posting, 16,6669 crazy people have already “answered” him. Answers range from simple a “it can’t” or “it won’t”, to blatant sucking up, to complicated answers that insist people have given this far too much thought. Personally, I don’t know why we’re being asked a question Hawking has already answered. I am totally up for living on Mars. What say you?

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