From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 14:27:23 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Internet Babylon: Secrets, Scandals, and Shocks on the Information Superhighway

   by Greg Holden

    12 March, 2004


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Editorial description(s):

About the Author
Since 1996, Greg Holden has been a full-time writer of books, articles, and columns on computer and Internet-related topics. He is the author of over 20 books on e-commerce, web design, and computing.

Book Description

— Nolan Canova, Editor and Publisher,

This book looks at the Internet from a sordid and entertaining perspective. The line between truth and fiction is blurred on the Net, just as it is in Hollywood, and so are the scandals involving well-known movie and TV personalities, politicians, and the Internet's own brand of celebrities. The battle between illusion and reality is every bit as intense on the Internet as on the celluloid screen. Going beyond sites that glorify the seamier side to life, Internet Babylon is a guide to the unique sites that appeal to selective sensibilities.

Internet Babylon gives you the ability to live vicariously through and be a participant in extraordinary, even strange, goings-on that you might never otherwise encounter in your day-to-day life. You';ll not only find entertaining and titillating stories that define the rough and wild side of a major force in society that';s still developing, but you';ll also discover the tools you need to be on top of breaking stories and find the news that';s not fit to print.

Reader review(s):

I hate to admit it, but I really liked this book..., August 12, 2004
I just got done reading Internet Babylon by Greg Holden (Apress). This is one of those books that reminds you of a car wreck on the side of the road. You know the proper thing to do is avert your gaze and drive on by. But you know you can't... You know you have to sneak a look... And then you just can't turn away.

Chapter breakdown: Family Values in Babylon; Washed Up in Babylon; The Babylon Enquirer; Unsolved Mysteries in Babylon; Death in Babylon; God in Babylon; Hackers and Other Internet Heros; Spam and Other E-Mail Follies in Babylon; Low-Down, Dirty Scum in Babylon, Flakes and Fanatics in Babylon; Political Intrigue in Babylon; Scandals in Babylon; Government Secrets in Babylon; Tongue Lashings in Babylon; Silliness, Fun, and Games in Babylon; Gossip in Babylon; Internet Legends, Myths, and Symbols; Dressing Up Your Home Page - and Yourself; Big (and Not So Big) Business; E-Commerce Comedies in Babylon; But Is It Art?; Index

Holden has created a book that explores the quirky, strange, and seedy side of the Internet. In each of the chapters, he examines one or more web sites and tells the story behind the concept or the person who created it. And as you can see, he covers the gamut of topics. Inside, you'll find links to sites such as The Necrocam (a web cam in a coffin),, and Bob Dole's Exploding Head. Internet geeks and long-time internet users will recognize and relive memories of some of the sites (like Hamsterdance), and everyone will find new and "interesting" sites that they've never heard of. And for those classics that no longer exist (such as the Gary Coleman Web-a-thon site), Holden provides links to archive sites that have captured the pages for posterity.

At least for me, this will end up being a two-pass book. The first pass was just to read it and be amazed/amused/whatever. The second pass will be to visit some of the sites and gaze upon the carnage. I'd like to give you some lofty reason for buying or reading this book. I can't. It's just plain voyeurism that is too much fun(?) to put down.

Yes... I hate to admit it. I really liked this book. :-)

A wild, exciting ride through the underbelly of the Internet, November 1, 2004
I spend basically every waking hour online, and I have seen all kinds of crazy things on the Web over the years, yet I was amazed by some of the incredible things author Greg Holden describes in Internet Babylon. This guy has gone where many fear to tread, digging up the goods on some of the Internet's most questionable, fascinating, oftentimes disturbing oddities. He has put all of this knowledge to a higher purpose, using it to describe the all-pervasive social change the Internet has wrought. Along with all the incredible things I somehow missed over the last few years, Holden brought to mind a number of wonderful yet somehow forgotten memories (e.g., All Your Base Are Belong To Us). Then there's all the great stuff that, like so much on the Internet, no longer exists but which provided tons of laughs at the time (e.g., Evil Bert). And I never tire of the great web creations that keep on giving, such as the phenomenal Star Wars Kid web sites.

Unlike most of us, Holden didn't just wander willy-nilly all over the Internet - well, maybe he did, but he put together a well-organized book that breaks his subject down into six parts spread across twenty chapters. First up is The Rich and (In)famous. Here you can read all about the online doings of celebrities, serial killers, has-beens and wannabes. Holden will lead you to the Partridge Family Temple, introduce you to the unique musical stylings of Star Trek actors, and point you to refreshers on Manson Family Values.

Next up is The Afterlife. On the Internet, nothing truly dies. You can explore the mysterious deaths of Elvis and other celebrities, become a knowledgeable amateur sleuth hot on the trail of Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac killer, and other inhuman monsters, help look for ghosts via webcam in haunted buildings, and even watch a body decompose inside a coffin - actually, that last idea fell through, but it's sure to happen eventually. In case you want to get religion before you take your own one step beyond, the Internet puts a wide variety of "religions" at your fingertips. Of course, with the good comes the bad, and the Internet does, unfortunately, have a dark underbelly of criminality and evil; in the section Bad Boys and Naughty Girls, Holden gives you the scoop on famous hackers and their exploits, viruses and their creators, and the cretins who curse us all with unwanted spam. He basically takes you on a guided tour of the dark side of the World Wide Web.

As we all know, the Internet has revolutionized politics, and Holden devotes three fascinating chapters to political intrigue, scandals, and government secrets online. In the past, politicians could keep their perverted behavior secret from the public, but the Internet has changed all that - just ask Bill Clinton. In this online age, rumors and scandals can be spread across the entire world in a matter of minutes, and Holden shows us how, long before Rather-gate, the Internet has at times shaped the content of traditional journalism (as well as supplying us with some of the funniest jokes and parodies known to man).

Anyone who browses the Internet soon learns that there are people out there who will do anything to get attention, and those with some sort of self-styled mission will stop at nothing to get their points across. This is the realm of flame wars, denial of service attacks, as well as really, really silly web sites you can't believe anyone would ever think of creating. The unlikeliest of Internet heroes are honored in this section: the Amazing Mahir of "I Kiss You!!!!!" fame, the Star Wars Kid (one of my personal favorites), the man who invented the Smiley symbol, and many others. It all wraps up with a look at Big (And Not So Big) Business. Remember the Sock Puppet, who enjoyed much more success than ever did? That's just one dot-com disaster story; here, you will learn about some of the worst Internet business plans ever put together.

Believe me, I have only scratched the surface of the material covered in this book. Internet Babylon is chock full of fascinating, oftentimes hilarious stories (and pictures) of the continually surprising "sites" and sounds the Internet has brought to life. You'll learn a little bit about the creation and evolution of the Internet, but mostly you'll revel in all the crazy online manifestations Holden holds under the microscope.

Let me close with a word of warning. I know you'll want to take a gander at many of the sites Holden refers to throughout this book, so I just want to advise you to proceed carefully - as this fascinating book proves, you can find absolutely anything out there online, and some of it ain't pretty.

tales of the dark side, January 31, 2005
Others have amassed guides to the Internet. Arranged in top down fashion, starting with popular topics like politics, recreation, business and sports. Then resolving down to mainstream websites like, and But in this book, Holden offers a different twist. The topics and websites here are edgier. The book is not a sanitised Disneyland or Magic Mountain, where everything is all so safe. Think instead of this book as describing New York's Time Square, pre-1980.

The book's topics include death, god and scum. The latter having websites for the cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, and the Columbine High School killers. You, too, can become one of their fans.

Other more "friendly" topics are such gems as toilet humour and the Church of the SubGenius. Websites for the former leave little to the imagination, and for the sake of your breakfast, I will refrain from elaborating.

Daresay, there is something in this book for a warp and woof in every person.

Results of Endless Web Searches for Saints and Sinners, May 7, 2004
I am often astonished at what I find on the Internet. There seems to be an unlimited interest in subjects that I have never thought about, and an equally unlimited interest in gaining attention. I was drawn to the concept behind Internet Babylon (drawing on the example of Hollywood Babylon) to find out what I was missing in my searches.

The book is organized into six parts as follows:

The Rich and the (In)Famous (family perspectives including how Rush Limbaugh met his wife on the Internet, has-beens and their sites, and those involved in scandals)

The Afterlife (unsolved mysteries including the identity of Jack the Ripper and the Watergate "Deep Throat", coffin cams, and religious sites including those for saints)

Bad Boys and Naughty Girls (hackers, spammers, Jeffrey Dahmer, and caterpillar web sites)

Big Brother Is Watching (political commentary, government secrets and attempts to control dissident sites)

Did You Hear the One About . . . ? (on-line shaming, hate groups hijacked, silly sites, the unintended effects of passing along gossip in e-mails and Internet legends)

Big (and Not So Big) Business (origins of e-commerce and new forms of art?)

Much of the material is at least mildly interesting. I would have enjoyed the book more if it had focused on just the best material and had been briefer. The reproductions of the on-line images are often difficult to decipher which made some of the stories have less impact than they might.

If the book weren't so heavy, it would be good for skimming during an airplane ride. As it is, you might save it for a night when you have insomnia and there's nothing good on cable television.

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