The hidden side-effect of voting

February 2, 2005 11:51 AM | 1 Comment

Did you vote during the last presidential election? I did, and I realized that registering to vote gives you more than a power to voice your choice. It adds you to a list that can be used by a variety of government agencies for a number of purposes. One of those is for jury duty selection, and I was called for it for the first time ever.

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TrackBack – Blogs influencing the Web

January 26, 2005 3:30 PM

There was a time when blogs (known as Weblogs in those ancient times) were considered a personal diary, relegated to chatty teenagers. Then as more people found out about them, they began typing away. I myself keep a blog on the my personal site and find it therapeutic and liberating to freely express my views on a variety of topics.

As blogging gathered critical mass, companies started to show interest.

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eBay Exits Passport

January 19, 2005 10:36 AM

Remember .NET? The cutting edge, unifying, all encompassing platform Microsoft launched a few years ago?
It was perhaps one of the most confusing and blurry marketing ideas ever to come out of Redmond. And no matter how hard Microsoft tried to clarify this grand vision, the befuddlement just got worse. Finally Microsoft threw in the towel and backtracked on calling everything under the sun, "everything under the sun".NET.

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Yahoo! Desktop Search impresses

January 11, 2005 4:40 PM

Desktop Search has become all the rage these days, and for a good reason. After people discovered that they can seemingly search the Web faster and more efficiently than the contents of their own PC's, the search companies decided to use some of their search technologies to help users find stuff in their own backyard, i.e. files stored on their own hard drives.

For years the only choice for Windows users to search their local files has been the standard Microsoft Search program which comes bundled with Windows.

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It was only a matter of time, but Microsoft's concerted mobilization against hackers has started to pay dividends. Today, that dividend manifested itself in the form of an anti-spyware program, aptly named Microsoft AntiSpyware. The program (currently in its first Beta) is available for free from Microsoft's Web site.

Windows Users have a number of choices to battle spyware today.

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Handling Telemarketers, Kiddy Style

December 28, 2004 11:28 AM | 2 Comments

As parents, we always strive to teach decorum and proper behavior to our kids. One of these areas has to do with how one handles telephone calls.

As a matter of personal choice I rarely pick up the phone. Having three females in the house for a number of years, the Pavlovian in me has learned that chances of me receiving calls is rather insignificant.

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Geico Bows to Google (At Least for Now)

December 15, 2004 2:29 PM

Google's wildly successful Adsense program, while a blessing for some, has become a bane for others. In a lawsuit brought on by Geico, the insurance company claimed damages because some of Google's advertisers buy the "Geico" keyword for the specific reason to display insurance-related messages to the viewers.

While Geico claims that this practice infringes on its trademarked company name, I can't see how this holds any water. I suppose if the ads are defamatory or baselessly attack Geico, the company's lawsuit may have some merit, but even then, Geico should pursue such litigations against the original advertisers, not the publisher itself.

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Phishing the hosts

November 8, 2004 2:16 PM | 3 Comments

A new and more stealth phishing scam has entered the Internet scam market. According to this link, scammers are now able to manipulate the hosts files in users' computers, thus redirecting them to their nefarious Web sites without the user ever realizing it. This is mainly done with script-laden emails, some of which may not even require users clicking on any links – just opening the email is enough.

Frankly I am surprised that it took this long for scammers to employ this trick.

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Google Nears Yahoo

October 22, 2004 12:00 PM

With help from its earning's announcement last night, Google seems poised to overtake Yahoo's market cap in short order. The gap is hairline thin as I write this.

It's hard to imagine that a company of such humble beginnings could surpass Yahoo! in such a short time. But then again that statement alone is astonishing in its own right.

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Goodyear Making Good

October 1, 2004 10:36 AM

Recently Tracey Schelmetic wrote about her satisfying experience with Geico. So when I had a great customer service from another company (this one involves cars too), I thought I'd share the story.

Late August on a trip from Connecticut to Virginia my car broke down in the center lane of the Jersey turnpike. The alternator had died and the battery had little juice left to keep the car going.

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Hotmail Keeps the Promise

September 24, 2004 4:13 PM

Just logged in to my Hotmail account and noticed the storage meter reads 250 MB. It's good to see them keeping the promise they made a few months ago after Google introduced their 1 gigger email service and Yahoo! followed suit with their 200 meg upgrade.

I was beginning to think that Hotmail might renege on their promise. Glad my suspicion was disproved. Bring on the spam.

Hotmail Keeping the Promise

September 24, 2004 2:56 PM

Just logged in to my Hotmail account and noticed the storage meter reads 250 MB. It's good to see them keeping the promise they made a few months ago after Google introduced their 1 gigger email service and Yahoo! followed suit with their 200 meg upgrade.

I was beginning to think that Hotmail might renege on their promise. Glad my suspicion was disproved. Bring on the spam.

In the beginning there was Internic, the quasi-government outfit tasked with assigning domain names, numbers, etc. Anyone who wanted a domain name could get one for free just by applying.

Soon the Web turned popular and Internic began charging annual fees for the domain names. It eventually morphed into Network Solutions Inc. or NSI (a for-profit registrar later purchased by Verisign).

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The City of WiFi Love

September 2, 2004 10:50 AM | 1 Comment

Becoming the largest WiFi hotspot in the world is no small task but that is exactly what Philadelphia is aiming for.

The plan currently under development by the city of Philadelphia would uniformly cover the entire city (135 square miles), and best of all would be available to the residents for free or a small fee. The projected budget for this ambitious project is a mere $10 million, and it would involve installing a large number of WiFi transmitters in and around the city.

It remains to be seen whether this project comes to a successful conclusion, and how it is received by the residents.

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E-commerce, Political Style

August 12, 2004 2:41 PM | 1 Comment

Imagine my surprise when I went surfing on msnbc.com today at lunch time and I saw this banner:

I have seen political banners before but this was probably the most blunt one I have seen to date. The banner itself was enticing enough to persuade me to click. And I was immediately ushered to the Democratic party's donation page. No preambles and no information, just a simple donation form waiting for me to enter my credit card information.

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