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Archive for December, 2008

Domain name disputes have doubled since 2003

Every year, companies find that someone has registered domain names involving their trademarks, or variations of their domain names that are confusingly similar to the original. If a solution can’t be found by talking to the registrant of the offending domain name(s), a formal dispute usually follows.

WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (an agency of the UN), has an arbitration and mediation center for domain disputes, and they continually publish the results of these disputes, as well as related facts and figures.

We have summarized some of the most interesting data in this article, and we have also tried to figure out the underlying reason for the increase in domain disputes. Well, at least we have a pretty good theory involving Google AdSense…

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Sometimes Japanese and Western web designs are VERY different

Many of the major websites have localized versions of their pages for different countries. Most of the time it’s just a plain translation of their “regular” website (for example Apple Japan, Yahoo Japan and MSN Japan, to name just a few), but sometimes localization is taken a BIG step further.

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The best Royal Pingdom posts of 2008 (Happy Holidays!)

First of all, a big thank you to all our readers. We hope we have been able to provide you with interesting, fun and thought-provoking articles over the past year, and if you have discovered this blog recently, thank you for joining our ranks!

We have published more than 200 posts in 2008. Since we won’t be updating the blog until next Monday (December 29), here is a selection of our very best and most popular posts from 2008 to keep you entertained in the meantime.

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Inventive Christmas decorations for computer geeks

Christmas is upon us, and like the geeks we are here at Pingdom, we couldn’t help but check out how our fellow geeks worldwide are handling their Christmas decorations. We found some very cool examples where people have put together über-geeky Christmas trees, wreaths and other decorations. And then of course there’s that Christmas tree network monitoring system…

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Laptops with lots and lots of geeky stickers


That empty surface on a laptop computer is just begging to be decorated, and when you’re a geek, you decorate in geek style. Here are 14 great examples!

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The major incidents on the Internet in 2008

We have gathered 10 of the most noteworthy incidents on the Internet in 2008. This was another eventful year, full of its share of accidents and incidents that disrupted the Internet and the WWW. We have included problems ranging from website outages and service issues to large-scale network interruptions. You are sure to recognize several of them.

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Google Calendar, 2000 years ago

The ancient Greeks were so ahead of their time that sometimes you are truly humbled. Just look at the amazing calendar device called the Antikythera mechanism. (Video included further down.)

The Antikythera mechanism did several things:

  • It showed the position and movement of the sun, moon and planets.
  • It worked as a calendar.
  • It kept track of when the Olympic games and other events were being held.
  • It predicted solar eclipses.

It’s the world’s oldest known complex scientific calculator, and some have even gone as far as calling it a computer.

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20 bizarre and funny ways people have broken their computers

Sometimes bad things just happen, we all know that. And sometimes they happen to our loved ones (we’re talking about our computers here).

For the last five years the data recovery company Kroll Ontrack has been publishing a yearly list of strange ways people have broken their computers and/or hard drives. We here at Pingdom have gone through those press releases and handpicked the funniest and most bizarre incidents, for your reading pleasure.

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Technorati troubled by downtime and slowdown this weekend

The blog search engine Technorati suffered from both downtime and slowdown during large periods of December 12 and 13. In those two days, the Technorati website was completely unavailable for a total of more than 9 hours.

There are indications that the problems may have been caused by database issues at Technorati.

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Wanted: Hard drive boys for our new ginormous data center

In November, Google wrote in their official blog that they had done an experiment where they had sorted 1 PB (1,000 TB) of data with MapReduce. The information about the sorting itself was impressive, but one thing that stuck in our minds was the following (emphasis added by us):

An interesting question came up while running experiments at such a scale: Where do you put 1PB of sorted data? We were writing it to 48,000 hard drives (we did not use the full capacity of these disks, though), and every time we ran our sort, at least one of our disks managed to break (this is not surprising at all given the duration of the test, the number of disks involved, and the expected lifetime of hard disks).

Each of these sorting runs that Google did lasted six hours. So that would mean that hard drives would be breaking at least 4 times a day for every 48,000 hard drives that a data center is using.

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