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E-Business

Supreme Court Debates File Sharing

March 29, 2005

What a busy Supreme Court we have today! Cable broadband access in the morning, file sharing in the afternoon. The issue on the table this p.m. is regarding the long-standing lawsuits entertainment companies have been trying to bring up against file-sharing networks such as Grokster.

Happy 60th Birthday Eric Clapton

March 30, 2005

Why am I blogging this on TMCnet.com? Because I've noticed that not a single mainstream news organization, thus far, has made reference to the fact that today it's "Happy 60th Birthday" today for guitar legend Clapton.

On a similar note, fancy seeing one of the four Cream reunion shows? (Clapton is to reunite with former Cream band members Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker for four Albert Hall shows in London in May). You can find them on eBay, if you've got about 1,000 pounds sterling ($1,875) to spare and are quick on the outbidding process. (Flight to London not included.)

TES

Does It Bother You That Amazon Knows Who You Are?

April 1, 2005

If you're a regular user of Amazon or online other book/DVD retailers, it's no secret that they know who you are (see Associate Press story below). Though I'm a bit of an online privacy advocate, the practices of Amazon or Netflix (both of which I am a regular user) have never bothered me. I've actually purchased books and CDs that Amazon has recommended to me. Amazon knows I like British costume dramas, science fiction and epic fantasy novels, Jethro Tull and late medieval/early Baroque classical music.

In Other News, The Newest Dance Craze Is "The Twist"

April 1, 2005

Do you ever get the impression that the federal government does not operate anywhere near the realm of the real world? I do...regularly...every time I visit a government office and find that the workers there consider themselves "harassed and overworked" when their three-times-daily coffee breaks are cut short by 30 seconds or someone asks them to do TWO things that day.

To further this well-deserved reputation, it appears the federal government recently announced it has finished a research project, assigned by Congress, about Internet traffic. Problem is, the report was ordered in 1998 and expected to take just over a year. If the report was about methods of poulty breeding, for example, its lateness might not be so silly.

Happy Cheese Weasel Day

April 4, 2005

What is Cheese Weasel Day, you might ask? Each April 3rd (yes, it was yesterday, but yesterday was Sunday) is Cheese Weasel Day, an invented holiday (as opposed to Groundhog Day, which has some vague, shadowy historical roots). Each April 3rd, the Cheese Weasel -- and I'm not making this up -- visits every IT person on the planet and leaves a slice of cheese under his or her mouse. I suggest checking under yours...if you missed it, best to catch it now rather than three weeks from now.

Disabling A Browser's "Back" Button

April 12, 2005

There should be a special place in hell for Web developers who disable your "back" button. I'm sure it's happened to you before. You're surfing a Web site, finishing copying down the recipe for garlic-pineapple pickles in aspic, and then attempt to return to the page you were looking at before the craving for garlic-pineapple pickles in aspic assailed you. No go...you're stuck.

Usernames, Passwords, PINs and Secret Handshakes

April 14, 2005

If you're like me, you frequently suffer from password panic. It's a chronic affliction.

I went to pay my Verizon bill online today. When I followed the link from my reminder e-mail, I was asked for my user name and PIN number.

California: The Harbinger Of Identify Theft Disasters

April 15, 2005

There's a great opinion piece in the New York Times today. Editors of the Times point out that were it not for California's law requiring that customers who have their personal information stolen be notified (California is the ONLY STATE IN THE UNION with such a law), no one would have ever known about the stolen data disasters at LexisNexis and ChoicePoint.

The writer calls the California law and the consumers that benefit from it, the "canary in the data mines," a great analogy.

Despite identify theft becoming rampant and producing an estimated $50 billion per year in losses, Federal legislation has been lagging.

Grab Your Towel, The Vogons Are Coming

April 25, 2005

""'People of Earth, your attention please,' a voice said, and it was wonderful. Wonderful perfect quadraphonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep.

'This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council,' the voice continued. 'As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes.

Perseus Releases New Web Survey Tool

April 26, 2005

Far away are the olden days when companies could put content and functionality onto their Web sites, cross their fingers and hope. It really didn't matter if people had problems with your Web site...it wasn't their primary mode of communication with you, and it wasn't necessary to respond to customer e-mails. No one did, after all.

When companies finally began monitoring how their virtual customers were interacting with their Web sites, the surveys were cumbersome, limited and needed to be designed by professionals.

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