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Monday, January 21, 2013

Current timestamp: I love it when a plan comes together

Okay, this is pretty cool. Back in August, I wrote about the problem of finding a way to say "this is my web site now!" in such a way that invalidates older instances of such a statement. Timestamps and serial numbers have ways of being corrupted by innocent typos, and so on -- there's more in the old post.

One of the things I mentioned in there was the possibility of having a list of phrases which never existed before a certain date. Then you could say that a given proclamation was no older than that date... or the person who wrote it had a time machine, take your pick.

The list of phrases was actually recycled from my "video bidding" idea from June of last year. The idea there was the same: the picture couldn't have been taken before the point where that phrase existed.

Here's where it gets awesome: someone went out and did this! This morning, I got a note from Andrew that he had built a site which did exactly this. Thanks, Andrew!

Here it is, the "current timestamp".

Note that the nature of randomness means you might get some weird phrases, like the quasi-suggestive one up there now. I'll consider that a feature, not a bug.

So, world, there it is. Go forth and do awesome things with it.