THE WELL

Salon turns 10

Ten years ago today was the public launch of Salon (as salon1999.com, not salon.com, but that’s another story). I can’t say that I’m surprised they have lasted, because their work has consistently been excellent. Through Salon’s connection to the Well I have gotten glimpses of how hard they have worked over the years, and I’m glad that it has continued to pay off in terms of editorial quality and reader respect, if not guaranteed solvency.
Anatomy of a BoingBoinging

Anatomy of a BoingBoinging

Some domain names become active verbs: I googled it. Others become passive verbs: I got slashdotted. BoingBoing, linked to by over 16,000 blogs, is a passive verb too, and two weeks ago my server got BoingBoinged. Joe started it when he made a posting on the Well with a link to a series of (bloodless) photos from a huge motorcycle ride turned motorcycle pileup. Somebody suggested a slideshow; I took the opportunity to exercise my mass-image-resize script and to check out ImageReady’s ability to export animations as Flash.

thttpd

Though LightTPD (or “Lighty”) is the darling lightweight webserver of 2005, Jef Poskanzer’s thttpd has been serving static content securely and wickedly fast since 1995 or so. O’Reilly’s ONLamp.com recently posted a tutorial, “Lightweight Web Serving with thttpd”, which is worth a look if you run a high-traffic site or have underpowered server hardware. The article walks you through installing and configuring thttpd, setting up CGI and virtual host support, and using thttpd as a static content server behind a more full-featured server like Apache.

DRM Explained

Via the blog of old Well pal Bruce Umbaugh I learned of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s new publication “The Customer Is Always Wrong: A User’s Guide to DRM in Online Music.” It does a great job of picking apart the breezy claims of several leading music services. People want to be freed from the hassle of DRM, and these services know it – that’s why they make the overblown statements that the EFF has so nicely debunked.

Well for sale

The Well, venerable “virtual community” (that’s what we had before blogs, you whippersnappers), is for sale. I’ve had an account on the Well for eleven years this month, so this is of some interest to me. Salon has been a great corporate parent (many Salon staffers are longtime Well members), but the ups and downs of their pennystock life make everyone uncomfortable. Who knows what will happen – perhaps members will chip in and form a co-op.