Plaxo’s Trojan Horse

Was Plaxo just a Trojan Horse into Outlook? Plaxo, the controversial contact management service, never really came clean on how it was going to make money, a fact which has contributed to user suspicion about its motives and its commitment to keeping secure and private all the contact data it handles and stores on behalf …

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Plaxo and Privacy — A Storm In A Teacup?

Plaxo, the besieged contact updating service, is pointing readers of its blog to an article that takes issue with the company’s critics. The article, written by Jim Harper of PolicyCounsel.com, takes issue with privacy concerns, especially those aired by Australian academic Roger Clarke which I’ve tried to summarise in an earlier post. Jim’s language is quite …

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Spam And The Future

First email, then biotech? Are our technologies hostage to the few? Good piece from the MIT Technology Review on spam. Apart from the stuff we know — that hackers have created computer worms and viruses that break into computers and then turn those compromised machines into launching pads for spam — there are some other …

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How To Avoid MessageTag

I’ve noticed some readers of this blog are looking for ways to avoid MessageTag (or MSGTAG) a service which adds a glob of code to emails to alert the sender as to when the recipient opens it. I asked the folks at MessageTag to talk us through this, so here’s what they sent (all this …

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Goodbye To The Browser?

Here’s some more interesting end-of-year stuff from Nielsen//NetRatings: a report issued today (PDF file) says that three out of every four home and work Internet users access the Internet using a non-browser based Internet application, particularly media players, instant messengers and file sharing applications. “With 76 percent of Web surfers using Internet applications, functionality has …

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Do You Know Anyone Who Buys From Spammers?

There’s another campaign on the road: This time it’s telling you not to buy anything advertised on spam. I don’t know anyone who would do this kind of thing, but there you are. According to Mike Adams (“President & CEO, Arial Software, LLC, Permission Email Pioneer and founder of the “Spam. Don’t Buy It.” public …

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News: FTC Gets Tough On PopUps. Well, Some Of Them

 The Federal Trade Commission has accused a California pop-up advertising company of digital-age extortion. MSNBC reports that D Squared Solutions allegedly hijacked Internet users’ computers by bombarding them with Windows Messenger pop-up ads — as frequently as every 10 minutes. The ads hawked $30 software that promised only to stop future pop-ups from the company. …

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News: Copyright? What Is That Again?

 Are we all outlaws, or what? A study by Pew Internet & American Life Project from surveys fielded during March – May of 2003 (i.e. before the RIAA started sending out subpoenas) shows that 67% of Internet users who download music say they do not care about whether the music they have downloaded is copyrighted, an …

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Mail: MSGTAG Replies

Good software always seems to be controversial. That’s not to say there’s not two sides to the debate: Those who think Plaxo is a scam to get you to give up your private data aren’t exactly right, but they may not be exactly wrong, either: time will tell whether it becomes a great service or …

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News: Big Brother’s Net

 For those of you interested in how the Internet is not an unrestricted place for everyone, Reporters Sans Frontieres/Reporters Without Borders last month published their second annual report on censorship in cyberspace, “The Internet under Surveillance – Obstacles to the free flow of information online” which details “attitudes to the Internet by the powerful in 60 …

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