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06.17.2003

Cormac Twomey

Cormac Twomey is a nice guy. I met him at this year's Emerging Technology conference, and we geeked out on search engines several times. He and his company are big believers in RDF, they have a nice demo search engine of medical data, they don't seem to be evil. Cormac is a compact and friendly guy, you wouldn't think twice about introducing him to the parents.

Yet today I find Cormac pilloried at Mark Pilgrim's website, for the sin of ignoring a robots.txt file and repeatedly downloading image files. Having recently written my first crawler, I'm shaking in my boots a bit at the idea of this kind of vigilante justice. It's very easy to make programming mistakes, or lazy errors in judgement, when testing out a crawler. I was mortified to find that my own crawler had been re-indexing sites that gave an error, over and over again, but fortunately none of those sites was as trigger-happy as Dive Into Mark, and I was able to fix it without scandal.

Mark's response seems disproportionate. Like shooting at the kids who try and climb into his plum tree.

But Cormac - a warning. Try swiping bandwidth from Idle Words, and I'm getting Orrin Hatch to destroy your computer.

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Idle Words

brevity is for the weak




Greatest Hits

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.

Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world

Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?

No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.

Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina

Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting

Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks

Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews

A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant

Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future

100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law

Every Damn Thing

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