Saturday, February 05, 2000
2/5/00 5:27:59 PM
Trouble right here in Cach, Illinois.
tells some hard truths about shipping by UPS Ground. I wonder if anyone has
clipped this paragraph yet and emailed it to the CEO of United Parcel Service?
It sounds like a solvable problem,
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT UPS GROUND -- UPS Ground is a very slow and
clumsy service (it is not unlike a crippled, drunken turtle
with astigmatism). It can take over 2 weeks for your
shipment to reach you if you select this shipping method. If the
UPS truck is full, there is a chance that your package will be
towed behind the truck (at least it will look like it was). Your
shipment may also be kicked (probably more than once) by a UPS
driver who's annoyed that the package was heavy. We want you to
know this up front. To put it bluntly, UPS Ground stinks, but we
offer it because many of our customers insist on the lowest
priced shipping option available, and UPS Ground is it. The
problem is primarily the fault of the UPS sorting facility in
Cach, Illinois. Just about every
"Ground" shipment we send out West goes through this hub. The
Cach facility will sit on the shipment for 3 or 4 days, and then
send a package that is bound for Seattle, instead to Florida.
We're hoping that UPS reads this because they've got a real
problem there that needs to be fixed. If you are going to need
your order delivered to you in less than 2 weeks, please select
another shipping method (like UPS 3 Day Select). If you do
select UPS Ground, please don't write us scathing emails
screaming at us about where your shipment is. We tried to warn
you. (as you have probably guessed, UPS Ground has become a real
problem for us and our customers). Thank you.
Thanks to Brian Bechtel for the pointer.
Updated 2001-01-16, 10:09 am:
The Recordable.com link cited above no longer features this colorful
descriptive text. Perhaps someone told UPS and they fixed the problems
at CACH. I'd be more inclined to believe that UPS's lawyers sent a
nastygram threatening legal action.
Alert reader Richard Benak pointed out an error in my
-- the one you see now has been corrected. Benak wrote that the
original is misleading about the actual location of "Cach":
CACH, IL is actually the UPS Chicago Area Consolidated Hub
(CACH) in Willow Springs, IL. Your map points to
Cache, IL, a totally different place.
A strange error. All the online mapping services I tried point to Cache, IL
when asked to search for "cach, IL". The one I used as a starting-point for
the original map -- MapsOnUs -- even in
does not show the name of the actual town. Its location is marked
by a label containing the text I searched for, "cach, IL".
Yahoo Maps and
find Cache, IL when asked for the misspelled version. But at least they both
show the true name of the town on the map, and don't use a marker that
reproduces the input error.
Adding or dropping an e from the names of other towns and cities
causes MapsOnUs to return a "not found" error, as one would expect.
Thursday, February 03, 2000
2/3/00 12:46:11 PM
VA Linux to buy Andover.net.
The deal is worth $913 million, though
says $813M. If you've got a Wall Street Journal account you can
read about it here.
VA Linux (Nasdaq: LNUX) will trade 0.425 share of its
stock for each outstanding share of Andover.net's (Nasdaq: ANDN),
and kick in $60M in cash. In effect, at Wednesday's LNUX closing
price of $136.875, each share of ANDN would be exchanged for $3.81
in cash and 0.397 LNUX share. This values ANDN shares at $58.17, a
considerable premium to its Wednesday close of $36. VA Linux thus
adds Web sites Slashdot.org, Freshmeat.net, Mediabuilder.com, and
Slaughterhouse.com to its stable, which already includes Linux.com,
Sourceforge.net, and Themes.org. LNUX stock dropped about by about
7% on the news, while ANDN rose by about 28%.
Wednesday, February 02, 2000
2/2/00 2:14:24 PM
For the curious, this page
links all of the articles I've written for the
over the 6 months I've been contributing to that email newsletter.
Media Grok's subtitle is "A review of press coverage of the
Internet economy." Grok is not Net news, it's criticism of how
the media are covering the Net news. People tell us they drop
everything and read the Grok when it arrives each weekday. (Kind
of like TBTF, I hope.) You can subscribe to Media Grok, and the
many other email newsletters The Standard offers,
2/2/00 1:14:58 PM
DoJ, EC drop NSI investigations.
[Note added 2000-02-05, 10:38 am:]
NSI got relief on both sides of the Atlantic last week, as this
from internetNews UK discusses. The European Commission called off
the investigation it had begun in 1998.
In 1997, just before Network Solutions went public, the Justice
that it was opening an investigation of the company, then the
monopoly supplier of domain names. Now that at least limited
has come to domain-name space in the era of ICANN, the DoJ is
its investigation. This CNNfn report speculates on the announcement's
effect on NSI stock, but concludes the company's big jump in
valuation yesterday may have been due to other factors.
2/2/00 12:55:51 PM
Unclear on the concept (Internet time)
The European Commission this week will move to request that ICANN create a
top-level domain. Europe is falling behind the US in Net-fueled economic
growth, and it makes sense to imagine that a domin name particular to Europe
might give its Net economy a boost. Such an EC decision would be followed by
six weeks of consultations with various and sundry before an official request
is made to ICANN. I guess that's reasonable; but six weeks can be an awfully
long time on the Internet. This note in the
story tears it, though. They just don't get it. Big time.
[The spokesman] said the Commission will have to examine whether the
formal registration of the .eu domain name requires approval by
both the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, a process
which could take up to two years.
Monday, January 31, 2000
1/31/00 11:00:54 PM
Robot labor gangs.
Canadian researchers have developed a
of robots that, like ants, can work together to complete
complex tasks without intercommunicating. Ron Kube and Hong
Zhang at the University of Alberta built 11 mini-robots with
wheels, sets of eyes, sensors, and on-board computers to provide
instructions. Each robot operates under simple instructions such
as "find a block and push it towards the light." When presented
with a block heavier than any one robot can move, groups of
robots cooperate smoothly to get the job done.
The research was published this week in the UK journal New Scientist,
according to the U of A, but it's not up on their Web site.
Thanks to Randy Pavelich <randy dot pavelich at ualberta dot ca>
For the pointer.
1/31/00 10:04:06 AM
Poet Laureate of Internet commerce.
FNwire (motto: Fast. Free. False.) has done it again. You know
The Onion"? Well, these guys
are The Garlic. Read their straight-faced
of the poet who has captured the Webgeist: e.e.commerce.
The best-known of the so-called "Internet Poets" -- whose
swelling ranks include DSLiot, William Keywords Worth, and
Elizabeth Barrett Browsing -- commerce is considered a master of
the genre. As Davis Galt, culture editor of Computer World,
wrote of commerce: "He guts the Internet as a fisherman does a
perch, yet the perch is better for the gutting, for his knife is