Fun: TinyURL Fishing
For those of you not familiar with TinyURL, it's a web-based service that takes a long URL and produces a short, redirecting URL that goes to that location.
For instance, the URL for this blog entry is:
But after a quick pass throught TinyURL, you can get to it with:
This is typically used by someone who has a long URL that won't work well in email or posting, and wants to send a shorter, more portable version. I myself use it for Yahoo maps, a lot. (Take this map to my new office, for instance. The original URL was 354 characters long.)
Anyway, I haven't figured out the exact scheme by which TinyURL assigns numbers, but it turns out that you can guess at them, and effectively produce a random hit on something that someone, somewhere, thought was worth e-mailing to someone else. (Obviously, trying such random links is not a work-safe activity.)
Most interesting (to me) finds so far:
a Chinese dance music video.
The Universal Music Machine. I need to play with this more.
a take on the recent election with an amusing sci-fi twist.
Spy photos from the street shoots of Fantastic Four. I remain concerned. (I'm not sure the lovely Jessica Alba makes sense as a Blonde, and the Thing costume looks a little silly. Maybe they're going to CGI it up.)
If anyone else decides to mess around with this, let me know what you find. This is obviously not a productive use of one's time, especially with all the e-store links people mail back and forth, but I do find it interesting to survey what kinds of things are being emailed around out there.