Thoughts on technology, movies, and everything else
Category: Web work
These days, most of my work is very related to the online world. Building web sites, reviewing web applications, integrating with web services, coordinating people who are far away from each other, etc. Whenever I find a new tool or service or an innovative, interesting idea about working online, I share it in this category.
IMDb is widely known for two things: the overwhelming size of its movie database, and the fact that it never changes the way it looks.
Well, guess what, IMDb update its look and feel, and it’s not a minor change. It’s fast, it’s functional, and it no longer looks like it was built 20 years ago.
The funny thing is that while I was looking for a blog post announcing the changes, I came across this one from 2009. I haven’t realized that it was from 2009 until I saw the screenshots.
Some time ago the incredible happened: our beloved movie database site IMDb finally realized that it was not 1996 anymore and dared to hire some designers in order to – you won’t believe it – change the design of the page! When I visited the site the other day, I couldn’t believe my eyes
And just so that we keep the history, here are a couple of screenshots of how it used to look:
Great job IMDb! Even if it’ll take all of us a bit to get used to the new design. At least we know it’ll last another decade.
This is not the first time something like this has been done, Erik Ekman made PingFS, a file system that stores data in the internet itself .
This works because inside every ping packet is a section of data that must be sent back to the system that sent the ping, called the data payload.
Because you can put up to 1400-ish bytes in this payload, and pings take time to come back, you can use the speed of light in fiber as actual storage.
Now obviously this is not a great idea for long term data storage, since you have to keep transmitting and receiving the same packets over and over again, plus the internet gives no promise that the packet won’t be dropped at any time, and if that happens then the data is lost.
However. DNS has caches. It has caches everywhere.
Obviously, neither DNSFS, nor PingFS should be used for anything serious, but both are excellent experiments, demonstrating the flexibility of the TCP/IP and thinking outside the box.