The Graphical Web’s Interface Birthday

Today is the tenth anniversary of NCSA’s Mosaic, the world’s first graphical Web browser. Mosaic code still swims around in the guts of Netscape Navigator and IE.

Mosaic has a special place in my heart ’cause I wrote the book on it! I wrote The Mosaic Quick Tour: Accessing and Navigating the World Wide Web for Ventana Press. It was published in early 1994. I (with the invaluable help of Sean Carton) wrote the book in 30 days. It darn-near killed me. I literally lost a hip over it. It was the first book dedicated to the Web and to Mosaic. History: remember me, damn it!

Akamai Ends Relationship With Al-Jazeera

“The Web site of Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera was refused assistance this week when it sought help from Akamai Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., in dealing with hacking attacks and massive interest from Web users.” –

Yet another example of blatant racism and the curtailing of freedom of the press in this country. Sure it’s not government oppression of the freedom of press — it’s private corporations making business decisions…isn’t it? Well a client search of Akamai turns up Voice of America as one of their clients, and I can’t help but think that some political pressure was brought to bear.

For those interested in helping Akamia make better business decisions, The New York Times and MTV are also media companies that make use of Akamai’s services. They might decide to remove Akamai as a business partner if they realized that freedom of the press didn’t matter to them. You can let your views be known by sending an email to Editor of NYT Digital Martin Nisenholtz at, or Viacom’s COO Mel Karmazin (parent company of MTV) at

Opinion post; views not necessarily reflected by management or others.

Total Information Awareness is Too Much Information!

Turns out us geeks aren’t the only one who caught on to the now-removed CafePress Total Information Awareness store (previously blogged here on ST). According to the Washington Post, Nadine Strossen, President of the ACLU was given a TIA thong as a gag gift…

“Yesterday at the National Press Club, Strossen held up her thong — emblazoned with the logo of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Total Information Awareness program — to lampoon what she considers the government’s sinister intrusion into personal privacy…” – full article

Gotta love that. The Post actually has a picture, but it’s not available online.

Opera Strikes Back, Muppet Style

The maker of the Internet Explorer alternative Opera Browser has released the latest version with an interesting “feature” — pages from the Microsoft Network are displayed in “Swedish Chef Speak” similar to that from the Muppet Show. The reason? Not that they really need one, but it turns out they did it because Microsoft has intentionally created a system that gives users of Opera different and improperly coded pages from MSN, making it impossible to be an MSN user or even think about it if you’re using Opera.

I don’t know if StreetTech has an award for best zinger of the year, but if we do I’d nominate Opera.

Pyra hits the big time.

Google bought Pyra labs, makers of Blogger. From Dan Gillmor:

Silicon Valley – Dan Gillmor’s eJournal – Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time

Weblogs are going Googling.

Google, which runs the Web’s premier search site, has purchased Pyra Labs, a San Francisco company that created some of the earliest technology for writing weblogs, the increasingly popular personal and opinion journals.

For Williams and his five co-workers, now Google employees, the immediate impact will be to put their blog-hosting service, called Blog*Spot, on the vast network of server computers Google operates. This will make the service more reliable and robust.

How Google manages the Blogger software and Pyra’s hosting service may present some tricky issues. The search side of Google indexes weblogs from all of the major blogging platforms, including Movable Type and Userland Radio. Any hint of proprietary favoritism would meet harsh criticism.

This is so, so, cool.

Prototype Solo Trek for Auction

In what has become an increasingly popular method of stirring up hype, press, and possibly “angel funding,” the first Solo Trek personal flying machine (or Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle, if you want the cool sounding acronym ” XFV”) is up for sale on eBay. Get it while you can, unless you already blew your wad buying an overpriced “Ginger.”