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Exploring Web 2.0

June 29, 2006

This evening I've had fun exploring on the website, which is an interactive news/information site that allows for real-time ranking and commenting on stories in the news (and other items of interest.) It began as a tech news site, but it recently revamped to expand to include mainstream news and other topics of general interest. Between that and, I've been trying to get up to speed on some of the "Web 2.0" type sites that are out there.

Speaking of new, fun sites on the web, there's a free trial program called MyHeritage Face Recognition that allows you to compare faces in pictures to those in a computer database of celebrities. After registration (you can give it any info you want; you don't have to cough up a real e-mail addy) it's simple and quick to upload a picture and let it do some comparing. I've included a match of my brother Matt and Val Kilmer (below) for demonstration purposes. For some reason it keeps matching me with Mark Ruffalo with many of the pictures of myself that I've put in there. I suppose Kevin Mench isn't in the system...

Val Kilmer and Matt Pickney

The whole Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 stuff makes sense, though it only stands to reason that it will eventually become cluttered. Someone will launch a new "Killer App" and declare the birth of Web 3.0, but there will be a dispute over it, and that will be that. Or some clever marketer will dub a product launch next year as the birth of Web 2007 or something stupid like that. Like when there was Generation X, that was kind of cool. But then people tried to piggyback the next half-generation on that with Generation Y. That was ridiculous, like a bad movie sequel. But, for now, the labels work. And so do the programs.

Meanwhile, there is no effort to support Net Neutrality in Congress. In a related note, there is no lobbying money to push for it, so there's no motivation for anything like that in an election year. Complicated problems like Net Neutrality pale in comparison to emotion-based issues that get people to the polls. That, in part, is why the government "nanny state" mentality (to use the British term for it) is running so rampant.

I found myself looking through some old columns on here, and I stumbled across this column from August 2005, right before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In hindsight it's rather creepy to read about how it would be worse for the storm to hit just to the right of New Orleans... as that's exactly what happened. The column even references the overflow of Lake Pontchartrain. It both frighteningly prophetic and depressing.

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