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Misspellings March 1, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Information.
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yahho   It used to be that typing in a web page address that did not exist would earn you a “page not found? error. Now, if the site sounds even vaguely like something someone might want to visit, a company or a speculator has likely already purchased the domain. I used to own a site called jetaa.org that now links to a GoDaddy site telling you the domain was available, oh, and by the way, here are some sponsors’ links.

A year ago, I was checking out an alumni chapter from one of my previous enterprises and found a German erotic tattoo parlor had taken it over. The domain’s ownership had lapsed and in the insanely brief period it was free, this group of naughty body engravers had taken it. They were hoping to capitalize on the poor typing skills of netizens around the world.

During yesterday’s class presentations on search engines, one student was going to investigate Yahoo.com and extol its virtues, but a funny thing happened along the way. She accidentally typed in yahho.com and found herself in a strange alternate universe, of sorts.

The photo on the opening page was a reassuring and calming image of a palm tree next to another one of a beach. The Dynamic HTML links were few and simple:  Business, Cars, Education, Entertainment, Finances, Health, Homes, Insurance, Internet, Legal, and Shopping. Each of these opened to sponsored sites. The owners had written each page with calming blue letters. The problem was that almost every link we visited called up sites that required the visitor to sign in or create accounts before moving on.

This led to discussions about how some sites deliberately prey on people who misspell their ways into their sites. Some of these were pornographic sites based on misspellings of the name “Disney.? I cannot see any ethical grey area there. Mistyping your way onto one porn site while searching for another porn site is probably fair game, but trying to trick children to such a site is not. Sometimes a thing is just wrong.

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Comments»

1. Zs - March 2, 2006

You are right on topic again.
I was talking the other day with my students about technology and the use of it in class and outside. Since they had the option of midterm format (paper vs blog). One of my students said that she asked her teenage daughter to help her since the little one has already a blog on myspace.com

My students were amazed of the undecent sites in their search for topics related to our class. Mentioning that children are at such a great risk out there on the web. One more time… parental control!

Did you see the comics page a couple of weeks ago?
Two little girls in the front, with a computer and parents of a girl in the background. One little girl to the other one: “What upsets me the most is that I had to teach them how to use the parental control”


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