[Vision2020] Hmmm

Paul Rumelhart godshatter at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 19 09:17:15 PST 2009

Personally, I prefer the longer link.  Shortened links have the 
potential to Do Bad Things; either to send you to joke sites or to send 
you to sites that have malware on them.  One of the forums I read is 
famous for having had a link on it in somebody's comment that sent 
people to a special FBI web page with the proper data in the url to 
indicate that the person clicking the link was confessing to having 
child porn on their computer.

One other problem with url shortening sites like tiny.url is the problem 
of what happens to all of your links you are using when they go out of 

Line-wrapped urls are annoying, but you can cut & paste the appropriate 
parts to get where you need to go.  Email applications could also handle 
this better if some more effort was put into it.

I also have the same criticisms of sites that have pages that are 
obfuscated, such as the U of I's site.  A lot of the pages are of the 
form ".../default.aspx&pid=nnnnn".  This is almost as dangerous, if you 
have any reason to believe that the site might have malware on it 

Now, if websites used shorter, simpler, readable urls instead of 
obfuscated ones, then we'd have a nice solution to the problem.


Kenneth Marcy wrote:
> On Friday 18 December 2009 17:51:08 Paul Rumelhart wrote:
>> Agreed.  I'd also like to point out that if you're not texting or
>> tweeting, the use of url shortening should be considered unwise. 
>> This is a good example of why that is.  I like to know where I'm
>> going when I click a link.
> Which do you consider preferable -- a non-shortened URL in excess of 
> one message line length, perhaps 100 or 150 or 200 or more characters 
> long, which you can read, or a shortened URL which may, or may not, 
> give you a clue as to the link's destination?
> Is any consideration to be given for the e-mail readers' ease in using 
> a URL, given that longer, line-wrapped URLs are more cumbersome?
> Ken
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