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This is the TBTF Log, the place where I report important breaking news in the most timely way possible.

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11:36:23 AM

  • Amazon to sell cars online? In early June the retailer registered a number of domain names suggestive of a coming foray into automotive sales, laying claim to the .com, .net, and .org forms of


    (Why Amazon doesn't emulate Yahoo's sensible use of the domain-name heirarchy is beyond me. "Cars.amazon.com" is not only more intuitive and more memorable than "sellcarsamazon.com," it also allows the company to develop its marketing plans out ot sight of prying eyes such as mine.)

    Watching how Amazon.com uses the domain name system can be a rewarding exercise. This CNNfn story notes that last March Amazon.com registered the names kozmo-amazon.{com,net,org}, and then three days later announced a $60 million investment in Kozmo.com.

    Analysts continue to question how far Amazon can stretch beyond its original businesses of selling books, CDs, and videos. Several analyst firms that follow Amazon recently downgraded the company's rating. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Faye Landes rated Amazon "underperform" and found that consumers view the online retailer as an outlet for media products -- books, CDs, and videos -- rather than as a store carrying an array of items such as kitchenware, garden furniture, and tools.


5:21:58 PM

  • Illiterate? Write for free help. The following small tale of design boneheadedness was sent in by Techno Dave of Melbourne.

    The Australian Federal Government recently brought in a whole new tax system called the GST. You can only hope that they put in more planning for this system that they did for the interactive voice response units. When you call the GST hotline number, the IVR voice says: "Press 1 if you understand English. Press 2 if you do not understand English."


3:12:12 PM

  • Making your day a little weirder. Feeling down? Need a quick pick-me-up? Visit the surrealist compliment generator for a quick infusion of purest strangeness. Reload as needed. Just now the SCG told me

    Engineer your aunt! Do it! You will be grateful for having done so. Yolutsky promises to cease his diddling with your ears.

    Your hair sends forth a sheen remniscent of a wounded man streaming bandage gauze from the highest church steeple.

    How could I but attend?

    I found the SCG on Michael Froomkin's home page, and afterwards noticed that Memepool had linked it a few days back. Naturally. They scoop everybody on weird sites.

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