Prentiss Riddle: Toys

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Yahoo 360 timeouts and IM newbiehood

Yahoo 360 is the new social network system from Yahoo and at first glance it's as tired as the rest of them. The parody Sixfoo 660° seems to be right on as far as I can tell: "Finally a way for social networks to stay connected to other social networks and meet interesting social networks like yourself."

Sixfoo 660

Yahoo 360° is using the viral marketing trick learned from Gmail and Orkut that you have to be invited to join while it's still in beta. The artificial scarcity of invitations is a way to drive the buzz. Anyway, if anybody's burning to try it out let me know and I'll invite you.

But that's not why I'm posting this. The thing about Yahoo 360° that's driving me crazy is that I'm getting frequent timeouts or "document contains no data" messages when I try to do anything in it. Uploads almost never work and plenty of other operations fail, too. The problem is not browser-dependent: the same thing happens in Firefox 1.0, Safari, or MSIE 5.0 for Mac. This is on my Powerbook G4 running Mac OS X 10.3.8.

I've had the same problem with a small handful of other services: Orkut, the American Airlines frequent flyer site (but not their regular site) and a couple of library web apps. My ISP is Time-Warner Roadrunner and I do have a wireless router. Having exhausted other ideas, I'm starting to wonder what kind of firewall issues might unite this odd collection of problematic sites. Any suggestions? Or where I could go to debug such an obscure problem? For starters I've tried a couple of Roadrunner boards without success.

In related news, I'm also now experimenting with IM for the first time. Yes, hard to believe that I'd reach such a ripe old age without synchronous messaging, but there you have it. I'm registered as "pztejas" on AIM and "pzriddle" on Yahoo. If you see me online and want to say hi, feel free. One thing I'm wondering about off the bat is: are there technological or cultural or fashion differences between the two that I should be aware of? I can't see myself running them both on a regular basis; will I prove myself cool or lame by picking one over the other?

toys 2005.04.02 link