Dot-com death diary

You've probably never heard of mykidsbenefit.com. And since it's now bankrupt (in practice, if not in actual fact, since it doesn't even have the money to file for bankruptcy), you never will.

In a nutshell, it's one of those dot-coms that tried riding the bubble. But with no focus or real purpose (it changed its name and audience several times, finally settling on being a parenting magazine), it collapsed no long after its launch. Just like a lot of other dot-coms, no?

Raizel Robin, hired as a writer for the site, chronicles its implosion:

Productivity plummets. We come into work late, gossip and try to confirm rumors, then leave early. At the weekly meeting an employee lobs the question: "Are we going to get paid this week?" Smythe answers, "I'm absolutely hopeful."

Robin actually goes back 10 weeks later and finds the CEO still there, now trying to reinvent what's left into an ASP "or maybe an advertising cooperative for 'world-class' companies."

First spotted on CamWorld.

Mac attack

Some people just can't get over the "classic" Macs, you know, those old tiny monitor and CPU in one jobbies. They love them so much, they even rip out the innards to put G3 chips in them, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Says one fan:

"It has a neat, characteristic look to it. I call it the Wurlitzer Mac. It kind of gives you the look of a Wurlitzer jukebox."

The article ends with a bunch of links to sites that tell you how to do your own Color Classic upgrade, including the Club for Creating the Strongest Color Classic.

10/19/00 Adobe.com hijacked?

CamWorld reports that Adobe may have had its domain hijacked by somebody in China. See this letter to Adobe for more info. Adobe's Web and FTP sites both seemed fine when I tried this morning, but the WHOIS record was odd -- filled with such things as:

Administrative Contact:

Wong, Aaron

Adobe Systems, Incorporated

345 Park Avenue, E7

CA ÇëÑ¡Ôñ 000000

China

tel: 01 408 5363551

fax: 01 408 5374000

awong@ADOBE.COM

Click here for a copy of the complete WHOIS record from this morning. Cybersquatting at Network Solutions?

Cybersquatters are all shifty-eyed guys up in Canada or some place hoarding domain names they shouldn't own, right? digitalMass, however, reports that Network Solutions itself might be holding onto names. An Alabama man, in fact, is suing the company because it won't let him register names listed in WHOIS database as "expired." NSI declined to comment on the suit, but said WHOIS records don't reflect legal disputes over a name or if it's the parent to other, still valid domains.

10/18/00 A really mobile PDA

Some researchers at Carnegie-Mellon have figured out how to make a Palm mobile. Really mobile. As in so mobile it can move about a room by its own volition.

The Palm Pilot Robit Kit site has coomplete directions for building your own mobile Palm.

The Palm makes a handy robot controller: it packs a lot of computational power in a small size, runs on batteries, and best of all, can display graphics and an interactive user interface. Our robot empowers a Palm to move about and sense the nearby environment. The base uses three "omni-wheels" that allow driving in any direction with independent control of rotation, meaning it moves holonomically in the plane. The base also has three optical range sensors to "see" the nearby environment up to about a meter away.

Don't want to go to the bother of assembling all the pieces yourself. Don't worry -- the researchers are in negotiations with a company to sell an EZ-build kit (first spotted on informationUltra.)

Save Priceline!

How would you turn things around at the name-your-price Web site? The Motley Fool is running a Save Priceline contest. Whoever comes up with the best answer wins $250 -- which is about what Priceline stock is cumulatively worth these days.

10/17/00 Not enough hours in the day?

Why not just add another four hours?

That's the thesis behind this Web site, which wants to split the current 168-hour week into six days.

Among the benefits: "there is no Monday," weekends are 56-hours long ... and sun-drenched.

Now that our society has been transformed by mass production, division of labor, and artificial lighting, there is no longer any great advantage to being diurnal. There are, in fact, considerable advantages to breaking free of the 24-hour cycle.

First spotted on Wannabe Weblog.

Will James Cramer just shut up?

The co-founder of TheStreet.com gets more and more bitter as his stock price shrinks more and more. In September, he complained that the Web had gotten boring. Now, however, he dismisses the entire Internet as a monumental waste of effort:

Nobody really cares for the Internet -- except for the newspapers and magazines that live off the advertising on it, and people who can't sleep and need something to do. It has created an undisciplined culture of slothfulness and foolishness that's now a culture of despair.

10/16/00 An ISP with attitude

You tend to think of Hawaii as a laid-back place: Sipping drinks under a palm tree with a lei around your neck and all that.

FlexNet, an ISP there, shows it's just not true. "Hawaii's #1 High Performance, Low-Cost ISP Leader!" basically warns you: Go away! Its home page basically consists of a warning that it has no support staff:

If we find out you are a newbie, signed up with FlexNet just to save money (and got some naive high school student to setup your computer) and still expect us to give you full-on technical support without you yourself bothering to spend one second searching for answers to your own questions (check Hints Pages), we will kick your butt (and modem) out of FlexNet.

As you might expect, they especially hate AOL users:

If you are currently with America Online, please don't bother to sign up! You have been warned ...

This advice will save both you and us needless frustration. We are incompatible with your computer system as screwed-up by AOL configuration software and You. In fact, a lawsuit is in the works agaainst AOL. So be warned, NO REFUNDS or CREDITS will be given.

As a general rule, American Online users are not computer savvy or it seems, capable of the level of technical sophistication necessary to operate a computer outside of an AOL environment.

Alrighty, then (first noticed by MetaFilter).

Confessions of a smut lord

Adam Grayson is just like any other student at Northwestern University. Well, except he's built a porno search engine that's become the Yahoo of the field.

In this article, he explains how it all came about. Who says there's no hope for the New Economy?

This story, "Dot-com death diary" was originally published by NetworkWorld.

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