Tag Archives: HOW DO YOU RETSUPURAE A WEBSITE

YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 7: BUFFALO, THE WORCESTER OF NEW YORK

AND NOW, WE FINALLY BRING A MERCIFUL END TO OUR “YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS” COVERAGE FOR SUNSHINE WEEK WITH A CITY NEAR AND DEAR TO US: BUFFALO, NEW YORK.

EAGLE-EYED WORCESTER BLOGOSPHERE HAUNTS SHALL RECALL BUFFALO TO BE THE HOME OF ONE OF THE GREATEST SPORTS BLOGS OF ALL TIME: BUFFALO BRUISES. BUT BETWEEN THE SNOW, POLITICS AND THE BUFFALO BILLS, THIS DOWNTRODDEN CITY (HEY, IT FEEL GOOD TO SAY THAT ABOUT A CITY BESIDES WORCESTER FOR A CHANGE!!!) DO HAVE THINGS TO BE HAPPY ABOUT, INCLUDING A FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE, THE FIRST NATURAL GAS WELL IN THE UNITED STATES, AND A HOST OF PAINSTAKINGLY RESTORED BUILDINGS.

BUT SHOULD BUFFALO’S WEBSITE BE COUNTED AS ONE OF ITS PRIZED POSSESSIONS, ARDENTLY DEFENDED BY A #BUFFALOCITYWEBSITEMAFIA????? OR WOULD THE HOTTEST TAKE BE THAT IT SUCKS??????????????????

(BIZARRO NOTE: THANK GOD WE DON’T HAVE TO PUT IN ONE OF THOSE LEAD-INS AGAIN.)

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

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YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 6: SACRAMENTO, CITY UNDER SNARK SIEGE

WITH SUNSHINE WEEK HITTING FRIDAY, WE NOW COME TO THE FIRST OF OUR TWO PERSONAL CHOICES: SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA.

HOME TO @SAC_SNARK, BETTER KNOWN AS THE BIZARRO @TURTLEBOYSPORTS ACCOUNT, THE CAPITAL OF CALIFORNIA AND HEART OF THE GOLD RUSH AM HOME TO INDEPENDENT FILM COMPANIES,(FAKETALK, WORCESTER FILM WORKS AND THESE FOLKS SHOULD WORK OUT A DEAL) HIGHLY RESPECTABLE MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS NAMED AFTER THE VILLAIN FROM BIOSHOCK INFINITE, AND GREAT MOMENTS IN GENTRIFICATION.

THE “MOST DIVERSE CITY” IN THE UNITED STATES ALSO CAN BOAST PROFESSIONAL STUNTMAN VLADE DIVAC‘S RULE OVER THE SACRAMENTO KINGS!!!!!! BUT WHAT OF THEIR WEBSITE??? IT ALSO WON A “BEST OF THE WEB 2015” AWARD, MAKING IT A FAVORITE TO WIN YCWS BOTTOM HONORS!!!!!!!!!!! DO THEY DESERVE OUR SYCOPHANCY… OR MERELY SNARK?!? AND MORE IMPORTANTLY… CAN WE GET THROUGH ONE MORE OF THESE PUNCHY IRON CHEF AMERICA-ESQUE CLOSING PARAGRAPHS WITHOUT WANTING TO SHOVE OUR KEYBOARD INTO A CHIPPER SHREDDER??????

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

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YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 5: PROVIDENCE, DO NOT PASS GO BUT COLLECT $200

WE NOW COME AROUND TO THE SECOND HALF OF OUR LOOK AT SUNSHINE WEEK AND OUR “YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS” SERIES, GUARANTEED TO BE AT LEAST 500 WORDS LONG!!!!!!!!!!

NOW WE COME TO PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, FOUNDED BY ROGER WILLIAMS AFTER BEING EXPELLED BY THE PURITANS FOR NOT WEARING A TOM BRADY JERSEY ON SUNDAYS. RECOGNIZED AS MOST HONEST CITY IN THE UNITED STATES (IN A JOKE WE DID NOT STEAL FROM GELATINOUS_POOT ON REDDIT), THEY AM BEST KNOWN FOR SUCH UPSTANDING POLITICIANS AS LATE, GREAT FORMER MAYOR VINCENT “BUDDY” CIANCI. CIANCI AM NOT UNLIKE THE LATE, GREAT FORMER MAYOR TOM MENINO OF BOSTON… EXCEPT SO CORRUPT HE ACTUALLY HAD AN AMENDMENT TO THE RHODE ISLAND CONSTITUTION — DESIGNED TO PREVENT MR. CIANCI FROM SUCCEEDING HIMSELF AFTER THE FIRST OF TWO RESIGNATIONS (SEE SECTION 2) — NICKNAMED AFTER HIM.

TO HIS CREDIT, HOWEVER, WE UNDERSTAND HIM TO BE A FORMIDABLE SIMCITY PLAYER AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE A GAFFNEY VS PETTY SIMCITY MATCH (SO LONG AS THEY DO NOT PLAY THE GODAWFUL 2013 VERSION, ALTHOUGH THAT WOULD BE THE MOST WORCESTER VERSION).

THEY HAVE ALSO BEEN DUBBED THE “COOLEST CITY YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO” BY GQ WRITERS (WE PRESUME IT WOULD BE THE 34TH COOLEST CITY YOU HAVE BEEN TO AFTERWARDS)!!!!! THEY BOAST FORMIDABLE ESTABLISHMENTS INCLUDING RISD, JOHNSON AND WALES, AND BROWN UNIVERSITY (WE NOTE THEIR HUMAN SKIN BOOK RIVALRY WITH HARVARD).

BUT AM THEIR WEBSITE COOL??? OR SHOULD IT BE MORE UNSUNG… THAN COFFEE MILK??????????

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

NOTE: WE USUALLY STOP COUNTING WHEN REFERRED TO ANOTHER WEBSITE. HOWEVER, GIVEN THE SIGNIFICANT FRAGMENTATION OF THE SITE BETWEEN GENERAL INFORMATION AND THE COUNCIL-SPECIFIC PAGES, WE SHALL MORE ARBITRARILY ENFORCE THIS RULE IN A MOVE FAMILIAR TO PROVIDENCE RESIDENTS. WE SHALL STILL STOP AT LINKS TO CLEARLY STATE-RUN WEBSITES.

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YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 4: SPRINGFIELD, LIKE WORCESTER EXCEPT MORESO

WE HAVE REACHED THE HUMP DAY PORTION OF OUR “YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS” TOUR, AND WHAT BETTER PLACE TO FIND A HUMP THAN A VALLEY???? PIONEER VALLEY, THAT AM!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY REFERRED TO SPRINGFIELD AS NOT SO MUCH A SISTER CITY, BUT A RED-HEADED STEPCHILD CITY. THIS DESPITE STRIKING SIMILARITIES: A NUMBER OF HISTORIC FIRSTS, INCLUDING GIVING BIRTH TO A SPORT ONLY CARED ABOUT IF THE RED SOX AND PATRIOTS BOTH SUCK THAT YEAR. A RESPECTABLE ALBEIT MONOLITHIC HEALTHCARE NETWORK HUB. A MAYOR WHO RECENTLY WON BY A LANDSLIDE DESPITE HAVING GONE ALL-IN WITH THE MGM CASINO (TOOK US DAYS TO COME UP WITH THAT ONE) IN ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL MASSACHUSETTS URBAN DEVELOPMENT DECISIONS THIS SIDE OF THE WORCESTER GALLERIA.

THAT NOT BEING SAID, NONE OF THAT REALLY MATTER RIGHT NOW. WE SIMPLY HAVE ONE QUESTION: DESPITE ANY OF HIS FAILINGS, HOW COULD HE HAVE POSSIBLY LOST TO THIS GUY?

OH, AND WE ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THEIR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS.

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

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YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 3: KNOXVILLE, VOLUNTEERS ALL THE WAY DOWN

ONCE AGAIN, OUR “YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS” COVERAGE IN HONOR OF SUNSHINE WEEK CONTINUE!!!! THIS TIME, WE VISIT THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE.

CELEBRATING ITS 225TH ANNIVERSARY AS A CITY (AND AGAIN WE SAY YOU DON’T LOOK A DAY OVER 179), THE BUSTLING HEART OF APPALACHIA AM BEST KNOWN TO MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL GEEKS FOR BEING NAMED AFTER THAT GUY WHO MOVED A BUNCH OF CANNONS TO BLAST THE BRITISH OUT OF BUNKER HILL. TODAY, THEY STAND AS THE PROUD HOME OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, HOME OF THE LEGENDARY VOLS. NOT UNLIKE WORCESTER, THEY ALSO FACED AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN AS MANUFACTURING AND TECHNOLOGY ADVANCED BUT HAVE HAD A RESURGENCE SINCE THE ’80S. DO THEIR WEBSITE REFLECT THEIR COMMITMENT TO CIVIC PRIDE? OR AM THEIR STRONG-MAYOR GOVERNMENT SOURED BY A WEAK-SAUCE WEBSITE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

ONLY ONE WAY NOT TO FIND OUT.

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

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YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 2: TEMPE, THE LEAST CRAZY PART OF MARICOPA COUNTY

WE NOW CONTINUE OUR SUNSHINE WEEK COVERAGE OF MUNICIPAL WEBSITES AND ONE SURPRISINGLY RELEVANT TO WORCESTER’S INTERESTS: TEMPE, ARIZONA.

WE BELIEVE TEMPE TO BE MOST NOTABLE FOR NOT HAVING NEARLY AS MUCH SNOW AS WORCESTER, AS WELL AS BEING THE CORNERSTONE OF THE ARIZONA FARMING BOOM IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. BUT WE WORRY ABOUT THEIR UPSIDE-DOWN CITY HALL. WHAT WOULD THIS MEAN IN TERMS OF THE QUALITY OF ITS WEBSITE, EXACTLY? WOULD WE, COMPLETE AND TOTAL NEWCOMERS TO THE CITY OF TEMPE, BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE THEIR WEBSITE? DO THE PEOPLE OF TEMPE BENEFIT FROM BETTER WEB DESIGN?? AND MORE IMPORTANTLY… COULD WE PLEASE JUST TELEPORT SOME SNOW OVER THERE????

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

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YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 1: WORCESTER, A BENCHMARK OF MEDIOCRITY

AFTER OUR AWARD-LOSING COVERAGE OF THE WORCESTER ELECTIONS AND THAT GUY WITH THE HAIR… TODAY, WE BEGIN AN EXCITING NEW CHAPTER IN BIZARRO WORCESTER, IN WHICH WE RETURN TO OUR M.O. OF LOOKING AT OPEN GOVERNMENT AND WORCESTER’S LACKADAISICAL COMMITMENT TO IT!!!!!!! THEREFORE, IN HONOR OF SUNSHINE WEEK AND THE UPCOMING BEST OF WORCESTER AWARDS, WE PROUDLY PRESENT A LOOK AT ONE THING WE ALWAYS FIND COMEDY IN NO MATTER HOW CRAZY THINGS GET OTHERWISE: GOVERNMENT WEBSITES.

A CITY’S WEBSITE CAN REVEAL A GREAT DEAL ABOUT ITS CIVIC HEALTH. IT CAN REVEAL HOW WE INFORM. HOW WE PROVIDE. HOW WE VALUE THOSE WITHIN CITY HALL. HOW WE VALUE VISITORS. HOW WE VALUE THE INTERNET. WHAT WE THINK OF OURSELVES. OR HOW LITTLE WE GIVE A CRAP ABOUT ANY OF THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF JOKES OVER THE YEARS ABOUT WORCESTER’S PRESENCE ONLINE. BUT ONE THING WE NEVER DID WERE TAKING AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT EXACTLY HOW IT MIGHT MEASURE UP OUTSIDE THE COMPLETELY TRUE STATEMENT THAT EVERYTHING FROM WORCESTER MUST SUCK BY DEFAULT. WE DO NOT EXPECT TO BE UP THERE WITH SUCH GIANTS OF WEB DESIGN AS INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI, OR EVEN NEW YORK, NEW YORK‘S RECENT UPDATE. BUT WE HOPE TO AT LEAST BEAT THE MULTITUDE OF OTHER GENERIC CITY WEBSITES WE LOOK EXACTLY LIKE. THEREFORE, WE SHALL PIT THE CITY OF WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, AGAINST FOUR OTHER SIMILARLY-SIZED CITIES’ WEBSITES (AND TWO PERSONAL CHOICES).

TO THAT END:

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

 

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THE DAY THE WORCESTER TELEGRAM EMOTICONS DIED

WE EXAGGERATE A BIT. SOME OF THEM AM INDEED TRYING TO PULL THEMSELVES UP BY THEIR PIXELATED BOOTSTRAPS. TAKE THIS ONE, FOR EXAMPLE…

emoticon_panhandler

BUT TRULY, TIMES HAVE CHANGED. AND BECAUSE THIS AM A LIFE-ALTERING CHANGE IN INTERNET HISTORY, WE NOW TAKE YOU THROUGH A BRIEF LOOK AT WHAT CAUSED THE END OF THE INTERNET IN WORCESTER AS WE KNOW IT!!!!!!!!

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