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There are safety protocols in place that cannot be deactivated without the approval of two commanding officers or the captain to protect users of the Holodeck from potential harm. However, every time the Holodeck is ever used in a nontrivial manner, no matter what the safety protocols say, the Holodeck turns into a deathtrap.

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Ed
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Permalink 02/10/08 at 07:58:15 pm, by Ed, 907 words   English (US)
Categories: General

Notice: The following post is long and may ramble.

As I'm sure you all know, COM is a three letter acronym. Of course, as an acronym, it can not stand for something like "Commercial" or "Common" or "Communication" because those are single words. The definition of an acronym is stated such that three letters cannot represent one word.

An acronym must be created by taking the first letter of different words and putting them together. It could stand for "Continuous Opacity Monitor" for example, or "Commissioned Officers Mess".

In any case, COM also means (though is not an acronym for) "Commercial" in the Top Level Domain sense. google.com for example, contains the "google" domain under the "com" top level domain.

So the question is this: What would you synonymize with "com"? What I mean is, when searching for documentation on "com" what would you expect to come up at the top of your search? The World Wide Web Consortium's standards defining the world wide web? Or perhaps the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers site, or it's parent, ICANN, both of which categorize all Top Level Domains and contain information about who controls all of them? Another idea: The Authoritative Provider of all .COM domain names, VeriSign. Maybe even a popular domain name registrar like GoDaddy.

But no. No, that's not what you get. When you do a little Google search for "com" you know what comes up? Notably, all the websites that do come up are popular websites that reside in the .com domain. This is obvious, of course. But if I wanted information about the .com domain, and I searched for that, I would find out that Google apparently has no way to defend against popularity verging on colossality. Google is usually pretty good about distinguishing between pages that relate to your request and pages that do not. But here's the thing: At a certain point, the links into a page are so high, and so many people visit the site, that nothing else can compare, not even the manager of the .com domain itself. No.

myspace.com: The leader of the Internet, apparently. If the site suddenly went down, there would be worldwide chaos, disorder and destruction, riots, people suing their own dogs for biting themselves, dogs filing countersuits for letting that dog's master bite them, buildings burning down to spite the architect who left them with a terrible pain all down their left side due to a missing core column. It's the first thing you find when you search for "com" on Google. If you just type in "com" and hit "I'm feeling Lucky" or are so diligent as to just type "com" in your Firefox address bar and hit go, you'll be taken right to myspace.com.

Seriously? I mean, I know it's popular, but if your site hosts pages that cause normal, regular people who've never even had a twitch to become epileptic, you should not be so popular! In fact, you should have a restraining order placed on you and physically removed from the premises of the web and perhaps be locked up somewhere in a .mil directory underground to be researched by top men.

Also, why myspace.com? It's not even the most-visited website on the Internet yet! Yeah, it's up there, but why does it show up first when ostensibly searching for generic .com addresses? According to the Web Information Company, yahoo.com is number 1. I understand why Google might not want to put yahoo.com in it's top results (though they don't actually control it). Following is google.com. Understandable again why Google might not link to itself. You're already there. This is followed by youtube.com at number 3. Here's the first reasonable sounding website. Why not youtube.com over myspace? Well, we could argue that since google.com did purchase YouTube, and automatically includes videos from youtube.com in its search results, it's not necessary. The next two I have a hard time arguing for, though: live.com and msn.com. Live.com is Microsoft's new Internet portal for "things" like e-mail, videos, profiles, pictures, maps, et cetera. Then there's the Microsoft Network, the... well I guess you could say it's the "other" Microsoft Internet portal. Mostly for people who use Internet Explorer and haven't changed their default home page.

All five of these pages above myspace.com, and myspace.com still comes up first? One begins to wonder about Google's accuracy. Then you have to realize that myspace is just setting up to take over the internet. Tom literally has, as of right now, 223,493,267 friends, and that's a good count for how many profiles there are, if a little low. Like I said earlier, if myspace were to go down today, riots would be worldwide. But that's not what they want. What if it were more subtle? What if they just exploited a zero-day cross-platform browser vulnerability to install software on everybody's computer to turn them into zombies? I refer in this instance to a DDOS zombie so that myspace could take down any website it wanted to within a moment's notice. They could literally take over the Internet.

The next thing to worry about is when they find an image that flashes fast enough to turn you into a real zombie. You wouldn't even notice, because that's what all myspace pages look like, and the next thing you know, you're eating your roommate's brains.

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