Posted by: Armel | June 23, 2008





Courtesy of Conde Nast’s

#1 Wikileaks, which lets whistle-blowers stealthily publish government and corporate leaks without fear of being traced (the site uses encryption technologies and “cover” domains to hide the tracks of people who post to it), was publicly launched in early 2007 but remained under the radar until this year, when it drew the wrath of Swiss bank Julius Baer. After documents were posted that purport to show how the bank’s Cayman Islands branch helps wealthy customers hide assets and launder money, Baer cried foul with a cease-and-desist letter demanding the documents be removed. When that failed, the bank took the site’s U.S.-based domain name registrar to court and briefly got the site knocked offline (mirror sites hosted in other countries remained online, however). But public furor caused the judge to reverse his order.

Wikileaks was launched by dissidents, journalists, and technologists from several continents. More than a million documents have been posted so far—most related to the military (such as operation manuals for the Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons)—but corporations also have much to fear as the site’s popularity grows.

#2 Mini-Microsoft (the name refers to the leaner, more efficient company that the anonymous Microsoft employee who started the site wishes his employer would become) has been publishing a demoralized rank-and-file view of the company since 2004.
He (he’s at least admitted to being a “he”) skewers bad managers and offers pointed tips for “defragging the firm, while fellow Microsofties weigh in with their own anonymous barbs. Recent comments ripped the proposed Yahoo takeover as Steve Ballmer’s folly, and disclosed embarrassing details about the company’s ad service, aQuantive, which has been struggling to compete with Google AdSense. An insider hinted that problems with the service nearly led the company’s own MSN service to take its business elsewhere.

#3 Farmers Insurance Group Sucks Poor design and a plethora of exclamation points might make this gripe site easy to dismiss.

#4 Wal-Mart Watch, which has waged a relentless campaign against the giant’s employment and environmental practices since 2005, is one of the sharpest. Run by a coalition of unions, environmentalists, and others, the group organizes nationwide protests and lobbies for legislation to force the company to increase worker pay. In 2005 the group obtained an embarrassing memo written by a Wal-Mart executive saying the company could control health care and 401(k) costs by hiring part-time and younger workers, and adding physical labor to jobs to discourage unhealthy workers from applying for them. The group also published confidential postings from the company intranet showing Wal-Mart C.E.O. Lee Scott sniping at a store manager who had the audacity to ask why the company didn’t provide medical retirement benefits to employees.

#5 AppleInsider & MacRumors 

Apple has had its share of rumor sites run by rabid techies eager to release the latest info on the company, including new product releases and corporate strategy. The best-known of them was Think Secret, started by Nick Ciarelli back in 1999 when he was 13. He uncovered secrets like details on the Mac mini before it came out in 2005. Apple subsequently sued Ciarelli for revealing the information about the Mac mini and other trade secrets, and the case was finally settled at the end of 2007, with Ciarelli agreeing to shut the site down.
Today, AppleInsider and MacRumors are two of the most active Apple-info sites, publishing news and rumors about upcoming Apple products and company strategy. AppleInsider (along with Think Secret) was subpoenaed by Apple in a 2004 case to unmask the source for confidential information about an upcoming music product codenamed “Asteroid.” The site was also sued by Adobe in 2000 for releasing details about early versions of Photoshop and another product; the two parties reached a confidential settlement in 2001. MacRumors, meanwhile, has tens of thousands of members and over five million posts in its forum

Also Notable from Portfolio ranking: Homeowners for a better building, The Brenda Priddy’s site


Exclusively from



  1. Is this for real ?
    Howcome the corp can’t shut down those websites? Msoft did the same a couple of years ago didn’t they?

  2. I need help alphant

  3. Cool shit… Will be checking it out.

  4. I do not even know the way I finished up here, however I believed this publish was great. I do not recognise who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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