This is one of the best setups for URLs that I've seen before. Take the following URL as an example:
http://news.com.com/Passport+to+get+RFID+chip+implants/2100-7348_3-5913644.html
It's easy to tell what the story is "Passport to get RFID chip implants". This makes them very friendly to the people that use computers since you don't have to go to the page to remember what the specific story is about. The thing about URLs that have text strings like those titles in them is that they are a bitch to keep up with from a content management point of view.
For example, if you publish a story and send out some links to it, but then realize you need to change the title the URL would change as well. This could mean that the original links would be broken or that both URLs would have to be actively maintained to point to the same content. Both of those are a pain in the ass.
C-Net's solution seems to have found an elegant solution for this. The text in the middle doesn't appear to matter. In fact, it doesn't have to be there at all. All three of these go to the same content. The "2100-7348_3-5913644.html" tells the server what it needs to know while allowing people to be able to use the rest of the URL for identification.
http://news.com.com/Passport+to+get+RFID+chip+implants/2100-7348_3-5913644.html
http://news.com.com/Updated+text/2100-7348_3-5913644.html
http://news.com.com/2100-7348_3-5913644.html
Nice job C-Net.
– Tags: tagHacks