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Google URL Shortener Opened To the Public 244

Anonymusing writes "Just what the world needs, another URL shortener, right? Google seems to think so, and it's making its own widely available to anyone — complete with tracking and statistics — for free. As noted on its blog: 'There are many shorteners out there with great features, so some people may wonder whether the world really needs yet another. As we said late last year, we built with a focus on quality. With, every time you shorten a URL, you know it will work, it will work fast, and it will keep working. You also know that when you click a shortened URL, you're protected against malware, phishing and spam using the same industry-leading technology we use in search and other products.' Is shaking in its boots?"
The Internet

URL Shorteners Get Some Backup 224

URL shorteners are problematical, as everybody knows, but with the rise of Twitter and its ilk they seem to be a necessary part of the landscape. Some of the biggest questions around services such as, TinyURL, and is what happens when they go out of business (as did last August). Now a group of such companies, organized under the auspices of the Internet Archive, has formed a non-profit entity to hold URL-shortening databases in escrow, with the intent of continuing to resolve a member company's links should it get out of the business. At announcement, the 301Works organization has 21 URL-shortener members, including the largest, Many others are not (yet) on board. The members have agreed to cede control of their domain names to should they exit the field, and to back up their URL mappings regularly to the organization.

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."