"Spring Cleaning"

The internet has seen rapid growth over the past two years. We all experience slow connections now and then due to increased load. The infrastructure has not been able to keep up with demand, and unless certain measures are taken, the internet is doomed to slow down to an unacceptable speed, or perhaps even crash.

The telecommunications industry is working to expand its capacity, but until new equipment is in place, the system is vulnerable. One week ago today, the US Government enacted an emergency measure. Beginning on March 31st, 11:59:59pm, and lasting 24 hours, the internet will be "cleaned" to rid it of useless information. This cleaning will insure that valuable information will continue to travel at acceptable speed.

During the cleaning period, InterNIC will release a small army of internet crawling robots nicknamed "Hoovers" to sweep through all the servers on the web. Their job is to snarf up useless files. This is a sneak, seek, and delete operation.

Now here's the rub. Unfortunately the government has recognized that many of the most useless sites on the web today belong to pet owners. Dog and cat websites are being targeted by Operation Hoover for this first round of internet cleaning. Inactive files, from jpegs to html documents, will be scanned and snarfed.

I don't know about you but this makes me very uncomfortable. I have about 250 html pages here on my site, and about 1500 pieces of art work in the form of gif and jpegs. The government will be crawling through my server directories to evaluate these files. Who's to say the robots will delete only the inactive files? And how can a robot accurately determine which files are inactive and should be removed?! I don't like this one bit.

Do we have any recourse? You bet. If you are interested in protecting your pet site data, or if you just want to learn more about Operation Hoover, click here.

(DaDane of the week is updated with a new illustration and story every Monday.)


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