uTag: like snurl, but crappy!

A SitePoint blogger recently wrote about uTag. Like my favorite, snurl, it’s one of many make-a-shorter-link URL redirect services, but with a 90’s twist! When you click on these, instead of getting a page, you get a frameset with ads on top, broken addressbar usability, and, if you know how uTag works, the warm fuzzies that the jerk who put you through this annoyance got ad revenue while the site they deemed worth linking to doesn’t even get PageRank credit for the inbound link. The best part is that uTag encourages site owners to replace all their links with crappy uTag links, so when uTag folds your site can add to the collective link rot. Also, if more site owners do this, browsing their sites starts to look like this:

Surfing a wonderful web of uTag links

Tip: Unless you’re as established as about.com (hated for this practice), you probably can’t get away with annoying users this thoroughly.

Site owners, it may be time to dust off this snippet:

if (top !== self) top.location.replace(document.location.href);

Anti-forward ammunition

Gently inform a loved one that forwarding hoaxes and chain letters is a waste of everyone’s time.

I just got this. Get it to everyone fast as possible!

>> Important! Pass it on....
>>> THIS IS NOT A JOKE! I confirmed it on Snope!!!! Please forward this 
>>> to everyone you know! In order to reach us mroe quickly the 
>>> government chose to release this message in e-mail form and you are 
>>> lucky to get it! The major news sources will not air this story until 
>>> tomorrow.
>>> Rick

>>>> * * *
>>>> Washington, D.C. - The President has just declared a state of 
>>>> emergency due to the proliferation of a dangerous new strain of 
>>>> e-mail virus. Now believed to have been created by Iranian 
>>>> terrorists, the Scientific Advisory Panel concluded that the virus 
>>>> is now included in every hoax and chain letter circulated on the 
>>>> Internet. The content of these messages are believed to cause 
>>>> temporary hypnosis, placing the reader in a zombie-like state, in 
>>>> order to coerce the victim to redistribute the message without 
>>>> investigating its veracity or utility. Victims in quarantine were 
>>>> observed infecting dozens more colleagues and family members, in 
>>>> each case exposing the private e-mail addresses of all past victims. 
>>>> Due to the virus's logarithmic growth, estimators have estimated 
>>>> loss of time alone in the billions of American-hours.
>>>> Research found that with each new victim the message grew in length. 
>>>> The President stated the many right brackets and exclamation points 
>>>> in the messages add to their "hypnoticness" and urged Americans to 
>>>> look out for these signs and delete the dangerous messages 
>>>> immediately. Also released was the Internet address of a new 
>>>> government site informing the public of five new US laws enacted by 
>>>> Congress yesterday regarding future handling of e-mail:
>>>> http://www.netmanners.com/5-rules-for-forwarding-email.html
>>>> All Americans are urged to visit the above sight and be on the 
>>>> lookout for any suspicious messages.
>>>> White House staff
>>>> Official US governement
>>>> * * *

That URL again is http://www.netmanners.com/5-rules-for-forwarding-email.html.


This game is all about scale. Think “The Sims” from the molecular level to the galactic with everything in between. At least watch long enough to see your animal doin’ it (soft jazz with sax helps set the mood). As a programmer, this thing makes my greatest accomplishments feel like Pong.

The Convincer!

The Convincer
This contraption is genius. Designed to “convince” spectators of the importance of wearing a safety belt, the Convincer carries an unlucky participant down a sled that stops abruptly, painfully. Sandi captured this moment: the officer’s grin, the woman’s trusting smile. A moment later the woman was convinced right onto a stretcher and taken away for minor injuries.

War on spam

Today I had 531 comments awaiting moderation. I just moved my suspicion words (put in moderation if the comment contains) into my blacklist (delete, I don’t wanna see it) so now if you wanna talk drugs and casinos with me you’ll have to e-mail me I guess…