Friday, April 11, 2008

Warm Sushi? Phil Twitters

Phil Twittered:
Worst service and food ever from Irashiai today. Warm sushi? Yech! After manager's response, they're dead to me. Very disappointing.

Watch Phil Twitter.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LOL Chtulhu? No, LOLTHULHU!

It was just a matter of time before I stumbled across this.



I can't imagine the elder ones are amused.

qv: Lolthulhu.com

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Charter Communications Adds Insult to Injury

There are so many ways that my cable provider sucks, that I really couldn't mention them all in a single blog post. I regard my relationship with them as "death by a thousand cuts." They are constantly, slowly, killing me and then sucking the life out of me. They fail to meet expectations in many ways, but one of the ways that they most consistently fail is in providing adequate DNS services to my laptop web client. I frequently try to bring up web pages and have their system say that it can't find the remote web page. 100% of the time I am able to make this same query work on an alternate client which is not using Charter's DNS. Just recently, however, Charter has added insult to injury, by first failing to find the path to a known good server and then offering me Yahoo sponsored advertisements for similarly spelled websites which it assumes I might be looking for.

I type in the well known (to me) http://baby.yanov.com , what I get is:



No, I wasn't looking for any of those other things. No, I didn't mean "YANOU." I wish at least that it would assume I spelled my own name correctly.

I'd use almost any other Internet Service Provider if I thought it would work any better. As someone else pointed out to me, Charter's customer service motto may very well be "They might bitch, but they won't switch."

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Video: WYFF - Buyer Beware - Toolbar can grab personal information

WYFF posted the video of the interview I did last week about spoke.com. Take a look and see what you think.


[Watch the video]

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Your Data for Sale -- On WYFF-TV Tonight

Tim Waller called and asked if we could talk a bit about my blog post and the privacy issues created by Spoke.com. The answer was, of course, yes. Look for it tonight on the 6 PM News on WYFF-TV.

Photo by JL Watkins.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Spoke.com is Evil

Spoke.com has built a scheme to capture and then sell the personal contact information of practically everyone connected via e-mail. The plan is genius -- evil genius. Read on...

Spoke.com says it is growing rapidly. Their press release claims:
Since introducing its free service in August 2006, Spoke Software has added more than three million new contacts to its database and has enabled more than 6,000 sales and marketing professionals to improve sales productivity with higher quality, more targeted leads. With no requirement to track points, make trades or give away the direct contact information of colleagues, users are flocking to Spoke's online business contact information database which now provides access to more than 35 million people and 900,000 companies -- more than any other online business database.
This means that over 6000 sales people now have access to 35 million other people using spoke.com. If you are in the business of selling stuff that sounds like a good thing. The problem is that as one of those 6000 people you have entered into a real Faustian bargain.

How the devil will get your soul...

Spoke says that it launched it's free service in August and that they have added 3 million new names since August. How did they do that? It was easy! To get access to Spoke's "free" service, you must install the Spoke toolbar. The Spoke toolbar then copies all of the information from your address book into the Spoke database. It's at this point you should be able to smell the burning sulfur.

If, for example, I pressed the button for Spoke's free service, the Spoke toolbar would install and then copy the roughly 2100 names, phone numbers, and email addresses out of my Outlook Contact database and then add them to Spoke's database. Spoke would then be able to sell those names, titles, companies, addresses, and email addresses to direct marketing organizations. Participating in this scheme is a sure path to hell.

Consider the horrors:
  • You will be submitting the unlisted phone numbers of family, friends, and confidants that may appear in your address book.
  • You may be submitting passwords, PIN numbers, and other private, privileged information stored in your address book because you think no one has access to it.
  • If you are in sales, you've just given away the contact information (and trust) you have worked to develop with your best clients. Now every S&M (sales and marketing) person in the Spoke universe will be bombarding your best clients with calls and potentially competitive offerings.
Instead of joining Spoke, you should be asking congress to outlaw it.

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