After 19 Years, DMOZ Will Close, Announces AOL 60

Its volunteer-edited web directory formed the basis for early search offerings from Netscape, AOL, and Google. But 19 years later, there's some bad news. koavf writes: As posted on the DMOZ homepage, the Open Directory Project's web listing will go offline on March 14, 2017. Founded in 1998 as "Gnuhoo", the human-curated directory once powered Google and served as a model for Wikipedia.
A 1998 Slashdot editorial prompted Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation to complain about how "Gnu" was used in the site's name. "We renamed GnuHoo to NewHoo," a blog post later explained, "but then Yahoo objected to the 'Hoo' (and our red letters, exclamation point, and 'comical font')." After being acquired for Netscape's "Open Directory Project," their URL became, which was shortened to DMOZ. Search Engine Land predicts the memory of the Open Directory Project will still be kept alive by the NOODP meta tag.

The site was so old that its hierarchical categories were originally based on the hierarchy of Usenet newsgroups. As it nears its expiration date, do any Slashdot readers have thoughts or memories to share about DMOZ?

Millions of Pages Google Hijacked using ODP Feed 427

The Real Nick W writes "Threadwatch reports that millions of pages are being Google Hijacked using the 302 redirect exploit and the ODP's RDF dump. The problem has been around for a couple of years and is just recently starting to make major headlines. By using the Open Directory's data dump of around 4 million sites, and 302'ing each of those sites, the havoc being wreaked on the Google database could have catastrophic effects for both Google and the websites involved."
The Internet

Unix Shell Accounts? 115

mcovey asks: "Unix shell accounts used to be easy to find, with quality applications installed and free web space. Nowadays the only free ones left are either not accepting new accounts, have limited applications or send you on a wild goose chase to register. Does anyone know any free or low-cost shell accounts that include compilers, IRC, background processes, FTP, a decent editor and an email app (preferably pine, since I have a config file already on my IMAP server)?"
The Internet

Network Solutions Overhauls Whois Results 243

Robert Accettura writes "Network Solutions has updated its whois interface, giving it an interesting new twist. On top of regular info provided, it shows data that appears to be from Alexa, including a screenshot of the homepage (though not terribly recent), as well as looks up your IP, and displays lots of information on it. It even shows the server type, if it supports SSL, DMOZ, Yahoo listing, traffic ranking, and lock status. This comes right after they announced rapid DNS updates. Perhaps they are trying to win over the geeks before they turn on sitefinder?"
The Internet

Speculating About Gmail 612

rjelks writes "The Register is running an article about Google's new email service that was mentioned earlier, here. The story details the new privacy concerns about Gmail's privacy policy and Google's tracking habits. The policy states that Google will not guarantee the deletion of emails that are archived even if you cancel your account. 'The contents of your Gmail account also are stored and maintained on Google servers in order to provide the service. Indeed, residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account.'" Reader cpfeifer writes "Rich Skrenta (founder of ODP, and Topix) speculates in his blog that the real product Google is creating isn't web search or email, but a massively scalable, distributed computing platform. 'It's a distributed computing platform that can manage web-scale datasets on 100,000 node server clusters. It includes a petabyte, distributed, fault tolerant filesystem, distributed RPC code, probably network shared memory and process migration. And a datacenter management system which lets a handful of ops engineers effectively run 100,000 servers.' If he's right, the question isn't what product will Google announce next, but what product will they not be able to announce?"

Pharmacists Convince Search Engines To Self-Censor 63

RogueShopper writes "The National Association of Boards of Pharmacists (NABP) has teamed up with in a seemingly successful campaign to 'rid search engines of ads from rogue pharmacies.' Overture removed ranked ads at the request of MSN and Yahoo!, and AOL and Google complied, also. In an apparently selfless act Yahoo! also wiped out its entire directory tree for pharmacies. Meanwhile, anyone can cross the border, walk into a Mexican pharmacy and buy whatever they want. Big busines controlling content ... hmmm ... looks like it's getting closer to broadcast television. Thank god for!" (Here's Google's cache of Yahoo!'s Pharmacies list).

Slashback: Cheats, Entries, Loki 328

Slashback tonight brings you updates to previous stories on computer-class cheating, Smoothwall, AIBO hacking, the Open Source Directory, and the fate of Loki's CVS. Read on below for the details!

C# From a Java Developer's Perspective 507

Microsoft's C# has raised eyebrows, interest and debate since its official announcement last year. The prolific Carnage4Life (Dare Obasanjo) has completed a detailed comparison of C# and Java, outlining the things that are identical, similar, nearly the same, or completely different between the two languages. If you're considering learning or applying either one, you might benefit by reading this paper first. There are some other excellent comparisons to be found linked from the Open Directory Project as well. Update: 11/20 03:35 GMT by T : Note: here's a mirror; interested readers who mirror the mirror get good seats in heaven.

OSD Database Downloadable As XML 46

After taking some heat a few months ago for not having many products listed, the Open Source Directory has been plugging away. Steve Mallett writes: "We made the product database of Open-Source Directory downloadable in XML today. Announcement here at newsforge. We're hoping that people begin to use the data like google uses dmoz. More people see the data, which increases awareness of open-source which increases the database which gets more people to display the data etc, etc ... You get the point."

Open Directory Project Adopts Debian Social Contract 45

An anonymous reader says "The Open Directory Project is owned by AOL/Netscape and the status of the copyright and amount of corporate interest has always been a question. In light of a coming copyright revision, the staff was urged to give something back to assure that the volunteers contributing to the directory would not be taken advantage of, as they were with CDDB/Gracenote. The Debian social contract was brought up and was met with surprising support from Netscape. Here is the ODP's social contract. It's seen as a great triumph for the volunteer community that has worked so hard on the largest human edited directory on the web." I was always skeptical of dmoz, but I'm pleased to see this step taken. Now if only Gracenote would be good enough to do the same. Oh wait, that would imply that they had souls.
The Internet

Is The Web Becoming Unsearchable? 249

wayne writes: "CNN is running a story on web search engines and their inablity to keep up with the growth of the web. Web directories such as Yahoo! and the Open Directory Project can take months to add a site and the queue of unreviewed sites is growing. Most search engines are even further behind and are filled with off-topic and dead pages. The trend is toward pay for listing. Will the free, searchable web fade away?" The article gets beyond the "Wowie, so much content, engines can't keep up" typical blather and addesses some of the reason search engines have a hard time keeping up.

Is The Semantic Web A Pipe Dream? 16

wdebruij asks: "I'm currently writing a small program for sharing information over the internet. For categorizing and indexing this information I want to use RDF and the semantic web as described by the WWW consortium, but since the documentation says nothing about a standard dictionary I seriously doubt we will ever have such a general information index. The Open Directory Project has written it's directory in RDF, but does anyone know of another 'standard' dictionary?" The whole point behind the "semantic web" concept is that data is organized online in such a manner, that a variety of different, independently designed machines can use it without compatibility issues.

CMGI, Altavista Patent Indexing, Searching 180

Aggrazel passes along a story that would send chills down my spine if I weren't already jaded and bored by such patent nonsense. You mean suits at a megacorp are taking advantage of absurd U.S. intellectual property laws to stifle innovation, quash competition, and steal candy from hard-working programmers? I'm shocked, shocked! Here's the InternetWorld interview: "...virtually everyone out there who indexes the Web is in violation of at least several of those key patents. Q. Does that mean you'll pursue that? A. Yes, we will. Coming up in the first quarter of 2001." Could someone please find out what patents CMGI owns? And in related news, DeadSea notes that the search engine that powers the ODP ( has been released, under the MPL. It's rough around the edges; go thou and smooth it out. While you still can.
The Internet

3D Computer Network Maps 52

beebware writes: "According to this article on C|Net, Tim Bray (co-inventor of XML) has launched which renders computer networks in 2 and 3D maps. It's currently running a demo off the ODP data. But will it take off? Will users really like 'country-maps' opposed to listings? (Incidentally Tim used to be vice-president of production at Yahoo! so I think we can tell what his money's on.)"
The Internet

Dmoz (aka AOL) Changing Guidelines In Sketchy Way 157

The Cunctator writes: "The Open Directory Project Guidelines (also known as, purchased by Netscape and then AOL) have recently (10/18/2000) been changed, in a few dangerous ways. The two things of interest are: The newly censorious Illegal Sites description ('Sites with unlawful content should not be listed in the directory. Examples of unlawful content include child pornography; material that infringes any intellectual property right; material that specifically advocates, solicits or abets illegal activity (such as fraud or violence); and material that is libelous.') which would eliminate such categories as Culture Jamming (a category I edit) and Suicide and Hacking; And the new copyright notice, which now gives Netscape (aka AOL) full copyright, which before remained in the editors' hands." DMoz has pissed off a lot of editors in the past for screwing with their content, but so far not enough to actually hurt themselves.

Cyberselfish: Technolibertarianism 495

Adam Brate, Slashdot reader, sent us a review of Cyberselfish: Technolibertarianism, a book which takes a look at the "cyber" culture, and what it means. It sounds interesting, although perhaps a bit off-base - comment below if you've read it.
The Internet

Who Owns Dmoz? 68

C. Adam Kuether asks: "I like the concept of the open directory project and am considering joining the effort and contributing my bit to organizing the Web. I am concerned about the ownership rights to this compilation. The useage agreements seem reasonable enough now, but what assurance is there that this work will not become just another asset of the Time/Warner/AOL (read Netscape) media empire? Could this project convert to a legally enforceable open and free use license? Are the existing open content licenses practical? "

Writing Drivers For Multiple Operating Systems? 173

Matt write: "I ran across this place while searching dmoz. KRF Tech has a piece of software called WinDriver that claims you can write hardware drivers once and compile for Linux, Windows 9x/NT/2000/CE, OS/2, Solaris AND VxWorks. My question: why isn't everyone and their mother using this software? It seems this software would make driver portability a thing of the past. They even have a free 30-day trial." The theory is cool, but how well does this work in practice?

No EToy for Christmas 376

It's been a long week for On Monday, a judge issued a preliminary injuction fining them $10,000 each day that their website was hosted at their domain. They shut it down right away, of course. They're just internet artists. They don't have six billion dollars like the company that filed the suit: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Click More. Update: For more information about etoy, see the freshly-updated dmoz category.

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