Happy Jack Mulraney, the Joker of the 19th century.

From the indispensable blog of Jess Nevins:

Still another Gopher of distinction was Happy Jack Mulraney, so called because he always appeared to be laughing. However, his smile was caused by a partial paralysis of the muscles of his face. In reality Happy Jack was a verjuiced person and very sensitive about his deformity; when his chieftains wished to enrage him against an enemy they told him that slighting remarks had been made about his permanent grin. Happy Jack was finally sent to prison for the murder of Paddy the Priest, who owned a saloon in Tenth avenue and was a staunch friend of Happy Jack’s until he asked the gangster why he did not laugh on the other side of his face. Happy Jack then shot him and for good measure robbed the till.

Archive Team Needs Your Help Saving Yahoo! Video

Jason Scott:

Yahoo! are about to delete all user-generated content on Yahoo! Video and that is really busting my crank, as well as the crank of a lot of people that have joined Archive Team to rescue it. We’re now to the point that the whole process is pretty smooth, and we’re getting in the end-time amount of stuff left to do, but we need your help, UNIX-knowing person with a server having more than 500gb free. Oh, you know who you are.

The Archive Team do important work that is worthy of your money and time.

You’re Stealing it Wrong: 30 Years of Inter-Pirate Battles

Historian Jason Scott walks through the many-years story of software piracy and touches on the tired debates before going into a completely different direction – the interesting, informative, hilarious and occasionally obscene world of inter-pirate-group battles. A multi-media extravaganza of threats, CSI-level accusations and evidence trails, decades of insider lingo, and demonstrations of how the more things change, the more they still have to keep their ratios up.

Jason Scott’s talks are all required listening if you’re into the real history of the internet and the social aspects of computing. Link via Andy Baio.

DreamHost’s Josh Jones on the History of WebRing, and the Fall of GeoCities

WebRing was started by a co-founder of DreamHost. Then sold to GeoCities, which was then sold to Yahoo, and, well, read the article. Josh thinks it’s a sort of micrososm of the web:

It went from a tiny ad-free community service, to hyper-growth, to showing ads, to being acquired for an INSANE price, to being forsaken, to doing anything to survive, to “social networking”, to “web 2.0″, to today!

They’re also offering free hosting for 1000 GeoCities users, should any be found.