PATH: BS | Technology | Internet

Welcome

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Welcome to BSAlert.com - This is the place to rant and rave about stuff that bothers you. Illogical things in the news, legal issues, class action lawsuits, toxic substances, government goofs, corporate hanky panky, misleading advertising, lies in politics or whatever!

Have an interesting, goofy or crazy story? Register and contribute to the site, or leave comments about stories we have online.

Why Register?

Some people are asking why should they register on BSA? Well, for one, you can receive automatic weekly updates of new stuff on the site; you can be notified of responses to threads that you post on, and we NEVER, EVER do anything with your info other than use it to notify you of these things. We respect your privacy.

Latest News: BSALERT T-SHIRTS! Yes, we have really cool, professionally-silkscreen BSAlert t-shirts! If you are interested in one, let us know. There are a limited number of them available, and we'd especially like to give them to site contributors.

More insightful/funny bumper stickers in our store. Also, you can now add BSAlert to your search toolbar!

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User Mutiny: The Great Reddit Blackout of 2015

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There's a huge mutiny in progress over at Reddit.com. This is an Internet-first as far as I know and it'll probably be big news soon. The company fired an employee that was responsible for helping a bunch of moderators of different subs, and left them in chaos. They decided to make their part of Reddit private, and then in solidarity hundreds of other moderators joined and have been turning off parts of Reddit one-by-one since yesterday.

This is going to be very interesting... Imagine if everybody on YouTube or Facebook suddenly made all their content private? That's what's in the early stages of happening on Reddit. It will be very interesting to see how the company reacts. On one of my subs,we're having a discussion as to whether or not we'll join what they're calling the "Great Blackout of 2015"

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The Truth About Fraud And Advertising On Facebook

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These days everybody is using Facebook. But did you know if you pay to promote something, you might actually hurt your business and waste your money? A diligent Internet truth-seeker shows you in this video that all is not what it seems when it comes to advertising on Facebook, and even Facebook itself is at least indirectly involved in phony and fraudulent activity.

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Top 8 Most Bizarre/Interesting/Outrageous Subreddits

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[Your 15m]
It's no secret I like Reddit. I myself run a few popular subreddits. But like many, it's impossible to have a love-love relationship with this site. For every cool section, there's another one that makes your skin crawl. For every person you can relate to, there's eighteen dozen who appear to be Tourettes-infected-6-year-olds.

We could talk for days about the pros/cons of their shallow and binary up/down-vote system, and how it seems to ultimately pander to a mean demographic that nobody wants to own, but at the same time, the largely "hands off"-style of allowing anyone with the slightest inclination to create their own sub-community, has allows the place to prosper wildly.

And every time I come across something odd, I think it can't be topped. I continue to prove myself wrong. Here is a list of some of my "most bizarre" subreddits recently discovered...

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Behold! The BSAlert Internet Translator

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[BSAlert *exclusive*]
If you've been wondering where we've been to these last few months, not cranking out as many stories as we usually do, it's because we've been working on a super secret project that is now time to be revealed.

Deep in the recesses of the BSA Secret Fortress(tm), we have been building a "super" computer, a hybrid Compaq 386 with 256k of RAM and some super good programming to create the ultimate Internet language translator. With this, we've managed to provide the computer with certain input text and have it translate the result into a universal language of truth. We're just getting the machine going - see what we've discovered and make your own requests for translation!

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GoDaddy's Psychopathic Superbowl Commercial Sparks Outrage

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[Pubic Relations]
A huge Internet outrage has erupted in the wake of GoDaddy's latest commercial leak online of what was apparently going to be their Superbowl commercial. Which has now been pulled.

In what appears to be a clear attempt to court sadist and sociopathic customers, they tell the tale of the abandoned puppy that desperately tries to find its way back to its owner (a GoDaddy customer) who expresses excitement at the puppy returning home after its arduous journey so she can ship it off to someone who bought it off her GoDaddy web site... yes... WHAT?


Watch the video - we have it here. GoDaddy has pulled it from the Internet.

The original YouTube link was here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2AHrCtOHqc

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Facebook Faces Class Action Over Scanning Private Messages

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Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users' privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes, a U.S. judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Tuesday dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users' messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.

But Hamilton said Facebook had "not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business."

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Los Angeles Sues Time-Warner Cable Company

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For every person who had to wait forever for Time Warner Cable, Inc. to pick up the phone, for every customer who had to slog through an automated voice menu, then stew waiting to talk to a person, for every family that went days without TV or internet, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo struck a blow Friday. On behalf of the city of Los Angeles, Delgadillo sued the top cable provider for southern California, saying its service was so bad it constituted fraud and deceptive advertising.

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Charter To Sell Your Web Surfing History To Other Companies

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Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable system in the United States, has started telling its high-speed Internet customers that it is going to keep track of every site they visit on the Web.

The cable company will sell the data to a firm called NebuAd, which in turn will use it to show ads to Web-surfing Charter customers that are meant to be related to their interests. (Visit a knitting site yesterday and see yarn ads today.)

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-05-18 09:58:40 | Comment on this Article

MySpace Gets $234M Judgement Against Spam Gang

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[Spam]
A spammer that supposedly "went clean" several years ago and left the spamming industry is again caught for sending junk mail.

The popular online hangout MySpace has won a $234 million judgment over junk messages sent to its members in what is believed to be the largest anti-spam award ever.

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Your ISP May Be Messing With Your Internet Activity

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About one percent of the Web pages being delivered on the Internet are being changed in transit, sometimes in a harmful way, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

In a paper, the researchers document some troubling practices. In July and August they tested data sent to about 50,000 computers and discovered that a small number of ISPs were injecting ads into Web pages on their networks. They also found that some Web browsing and ad-blocking software was actually making Web surfing more dangerous by introducing security vulnerabilities into pages.

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Spammer Gets Nine Years In Prison

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[Spam]
Virginia's Supreme Court on Friday upheld the first US felony conviction for spamming. The spammer will serve nine years in prison for sending what authorities believe to be millions of messages over a two-month period in 2003.

Jeremy Jaynes is the man who will make history. A Raleigh, North Carolina, resident who made Spamhaus' top 10 list of spammers, Jaynes was arrested in 2003 even before the CAN SPAM act was passed by Congress. Jaynes was convicted in 2005, but his lawyers appealed the conviction. This past Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld that conviction, but the vote was a narrow 4-3.

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Army Denies Access To Its Public Library Of Documents

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The Army has shut down public access to the largest online collection of its doctrinal publications, a move criticized by open-government advocates as unnecessary secrecy by a runaway bureaucracy.

Army officials moved the Reimer Digital Library ( http://atiam.train.army.mil) behind a password-protected firewall on Feb. 6, restricting access to an electronic trove that is popular with researchers for its wealth of field and technical manuals and documents on military operations, education, training and technology. All are unclassified, and most already are approved for public release.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2008-03-07 01:01:00 | Comment on this Article

Ebay Changes Policy: Retaliatory Feedback Is No More!

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eBay has announced new changes to their feedback system. Sellers aren't too happy, but buyers may be thrilled. Among the new changes, sellers will no longer be able to leave negative/neutral feedback for buyers.

READ MORE | 6 comments since 2009-09-04 22:03:59 | Comment on this Article

And You Thought Crazy People Only Ride The Bus!

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[Music]
A couple of geniuses from Kansas City decided to combine two things that nobody else would've ever thought to combine-- cabs and karaoke. Unlike my unsuccessful startup in the 90's featuring golf and violent thunderstorms, I think this brain trust is really on to something!

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Microsoft Hotmail Taken Over By Spammers

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[Spam]
At first I thought this was an anomaly, but after weeks of this activity happening over and over, it cannot be ignored: Microsoft's Hotmail servers seem to have been taken over by spammers and are now pumping out large quantities of spam.

READ MORE | 23 comments since 2011-11-18 13:20:35 | Comment on this Article

"Storm Worm" Takes Over Millions Of Computers

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The authors behind a specific strain of malware are trying every trick in the book to get users to succumb to their ill-meaning plans. You name it, they've used it: weather news, personal greetings, reports that Saddam Hussein is still alive, reports that Fidel Castro is dead, sexy women, YouTube, and even blogs. The group seems hellbent on creating the largest botnet to date, and as long as users are stupid enough to click on things without thinking, they just might do it.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-09-03 15:44:29 | Comment on this Article

AT&T Has A Problem With Net Neutrality

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AT&T chief Ed Whitacre handed the keys over to his replacement Randall Stephenson yesterday, but not before giving a rousing pep talk to fellow executives in the company’s San Antonio board room. We just received exclusive video of the AT&T chairman’s parting speech.

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"Top Spammer" Indicted

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
[Spam]
A 27-year-old man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.

Robert Alan Soloway is accused of using networks of compromised "zombie" computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.

"He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world," said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. "He's a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day."

Despite the claim that this "top spammer" has been captured, we see no indication whatsoever that spam volume has been reduced. But it's still a good sign that the government is finally pulling their heads out of the sand and dealing with these criminals.

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U.K. ISP Tiscali "Taken Down By Spammers"

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[Spam]
Spammers have knocked out the e-mail service for many of the customers of internet service provider (ISP) Tiscali, the firm has said.

BSA's take on this is that Tiscali, long having had a reputation for bad security, has allowed their customers' zombied PCs to run rampant, and now have been wholesale blacklisted by many other ISPs around the world, who are fed up with this service provider being a constant source of junk e-mail.

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World of Warcraft Player Gets Griefed For Griefing

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[Mean People]
What happens when you play online computer games and harass someone else's character? Well, you find out quickly if you make the mistake of telling them where you live and that you dare them to do anything about it.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-05-15 16:43:25 | Comment on this Article

Webcam Too Much for Small Children, Lactose Intolerant

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[Video]
Oh, you've seen live webcams. Some of them weren't even porn...there were baby pandas to watch, Swiss Alps to check weather conditions on, even live executions in dangerous parts of the world that you really wish you hadn't seen. But you've never seen this kind of live webcam before. It's so suspenseful...so shocking...that you might just not be able to handle this much excitement.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-04-03 10:57:42 | Comment on this Article

Google Rolls Back Map Imagery - Makes Katrina Damage Disappear

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[Environment]
Google's popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling like they're in a time loop and even fueling suspicions of a conspiracy.

Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything is back to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parks are filled with healthy, full-bodied trees.

UPDATE: Accused by a Democrat in the U.S. Congress of "airbrushing history," Google said it has now replaced pre-Hurricane Katrina satellite images of the Gulf Coast region with more recent aerial photographs.

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A Tale Of Two Registrars And 75,000 Screwed Customers

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What happens when you do business with a seemingly professional domain registration company and then they blip off the Internet and you lose control of your domain? Well, you might be dealing with the New Jersey-based domain company called "RegisterFly" - whose management team tried to oust each other, which resulted in their customers getting shafted and not having access to their domains. The CEO of the company is accused of mishandling funds. The web site has been up and down, and now there are actually two separate versions of the same web site online at .net and .com that look to be run by different groups.

What does ICANN, the authority that's supposed to regulate this industry have to say? Apparently not much other than, "Hey, don't do that!"

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-04-17 20:50:30 | Comment on this Article

"Vagina Institute" Poorly Disguised Sham

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[Sex]
Finally...a group devoted to serious scientific study of female sexuality. "The Vagina Institute specializes in collecting and processing, data and information about the vulva and vagina." Or is it?

As if the serious grammatical error in the very sentence describing the institute's mission weren't already a dead giveaway that something is up here, it takes about five seconds to figure out that the site is a gigantic fraud...not-very-good porn and, what's more, propaganda for various ineffective techniques to "enhance" women's naughty bits poorly disguised as clinical study of real medical and sexual issues. (URL withheld because we don't want to help its page rank...Google it if you must see for yourself.)

I've got no problem with porn, and hey, the Internet is unregulated...if you want to put up a site suggesting that poontang is ugly and needs dubiously effective, costly fixes at the earliest possible opportunity, have at it. But come on...let's at least be honest about it. The sad thing about this site is that a few women might actually come here looking for information about their vaginas and whether they are "normal," and come away convinced that they need to spend thousands of dollars on "natural, non-surgical solutions" before any guy would ever deign to look at them down there. (After all, everyone knows that looking is the #1 priority for guys when they've got a willing naked woman on their hands.) This site is no different from spam telling you how to make your penis bigger, except that it's not as up-front about it.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2012-07-08 03:21:40 | Comment on this Article

Spammer Faces 101 Years In PMITA Prison!

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[Spam]
[Good News]
Spamming scumbag Jeffrey Brett Goodin has been convicted under the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act, the first person in the U.S. prosecuted successfully under the law. He is facing a sentence of up to 101 years in a federal prison after being found guilty of numerous illegal acts. According to prosecutors, Goodin was convicted on multiple counts in addition to the CAN-SPAM conviction, including wire fraud, unauthorized use of credit cards, misuse of the AOL trademark and attempted witness harassment.

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The Church of Google?

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Their web site states, "The Church Of Googlism believes a convincing argument can be made stating that the search engine Google is the closest mankind has ever come to experiencing an actual Deity. It is the ultimate bridge between people and information.

Deities are typically described by their unique attributes such as being all knowing, being everywhere at once, the ability to pray to them (and have your prayers answered), immortality and their sense of morality. Google exhibits all of these characteristics perfectly."

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Cable Companies Create Fake Net Neutrality Groups

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Back in March, Common Cause released "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing," which detailed the activities of nine groups masquerading as think tanks and public interest organizations when in fact they were front groups for telephone and cable companies in the net neutrality debate. Now they've added another five groups to the list: "For example, Hands off the Internet sounds like activists wanting to protect the Internet. Actually, it's a telecommunications industry-backed organization that was spending $20,000 a day on television commercials aimed at eliminating long-standing net neutrality protections so that telephone and cable companies can maximize profit and minimize competition on the Internet."

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Popular Web Site Deletes Itself And Shuts Down

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Couchsurfing.com, a popular web site used to link people from all over the world together to share accomodations, has shut down permanently.

Why would a popular, successful web site suddenly shut down? Well apparently they had a hard drive crash and no good backups... after three years of operation. They completely lost their web site and database system and are unable to get it restored. God help whoever their IT people go to work for next!

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-07-03 09:47:06 | Comment on this Article

Paine Webber Exec. Takes Down Network Because Bonus Was Too Low

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Roger Duronio was paid a salary of $125,000 by the bank and was expecting a bonus of $50,000. When he only got $32,000 he decided to take revenge on the bank, prosecutors claim.

A US court has heard how a disgruntled IT manager allegedly wiped out all UBS Paine Webber servers for a day leaving traders unable to trade because he was unhappy with his bonus.

Not only is Roger Duronio accused of using a "logic bomb" to crash the investment bank's servers he is also accused of going short on UBS shares just before the incident - so if UBS shares fell in value Duronio would make a profit. UBS yesterday asked the judge to keep the trial secret to avoid embarrassment and injury to the bank - the judge refused.

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All Is Not Fair In Love In CyberSpace

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Online dating is a huge industry now. So big that some claim it's a huge marketplace for fraud and scamming, which is prompting lawmakers to consider passing legislation to regulate more of these activities.

The incidence of would-be suitors being scammed out of money for plane tickets and other items is increasing, as is "date bait" e-mails from ficticious, flirtatious women used to entice people to renew their online memberships. Who's at fault if the cute Russian girl never shows up after you send her a few grand to fly to the states? You say you left your wife because you found your soulmate online... and you haven't met her in person yet? I'm sure you're doing the right thing, right?

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Study Reveals Even Sponsored Links May Contain Spyware

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A recent study by McAffee company, Siteadvisor.com has revealed some interesting data: that virtually all the search engine results contain links to sites that install adware and subversive programs. Ok, that's nothing new, but some search engines are "cleaner" than others.

However, what's most shocking is that the results indicated that sponsored (paid advertisement) links were two-to-four times more likely to lead to spyware than "organic" (non-sponsored) results. This is especially true for certain common keyword searches like "free screensavers" and "download music." (My mantra has always been, anything that calls itself "free" should immediately be under great suspicion)

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Myspace Picture Leads To Arrest

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Here's a suggestion to you kids out there. I know it's a tough life for you, with parents and school and all that stuff. But if you're running around toting a backpack and car containing hashish, marijuana, compact digital scales, packaging materials, bongs, 4 knives, over a dozen hypodermic syringes, gun powder and potassium nitrate, you might not want to call attention to yourself with a picture of you smoking from a Bong on Myspace. Just a thought. Getting busted trying to make homemade bombs might be a drag, not to mention the whole, "Look at me world, I smoke pot" Myspace attention grab.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-06-12 10:41:22 | Comment on this Article

Battle Rages Between Spammers and Anti-Spammers

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[Spam]
[Beating Dead Horses]
An Israeli company called Blue Security has attracted the ire of the spam community by introducing a new system whereby people subscribe to a "do not spam" registry and download client software that effectively attacks spam advertisers if they violate the do-not-spam rules.

The spamming community has not been happy with this and have launched their own counter attack against Blue Security (and anybody in between).

In the process, these two warring factions have interrupted thousands of internet sites and systems. And still, the federal authorities seem completely uninterested in actually enforcing computer tampering and anti-spamming laws.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-08-18 12:29:34 | Comment on this Article

Scammers Now Using Automated Phone Systems For Identity Theft

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[Spam]
A San Francisco-based e-mail security company, said it has seen two separate attacks this week. In both cases, the spammed message warns of a problem with a bank account and instructs the recipient to dial a phone number to resolve it.

The caller is connected to a voice response system that is made to sound exactly like the bank's own system.

"The phone system identifies itself to the target as the financial institution and prompts them to enter account number and PIN."

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-08-17 22:17:35 | Comment on this Article

Autonomy of the Internet at Stake

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Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called "Network neutrality" that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. Your local library shouldn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to have its Web site open quickly on your computer.

Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn't just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Canada's version of AT&T -- Telus -- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. And Shaw, a major Canadian cable company, charges an extra $10 a month to subscribers who dare to use a competing Internet telephone service.

Please let people know - this is serious!

update Telecommunications giants scored a victory over Net Neutrality advocates in the U.S. legislature yesterday as the proposed "Markey Amendment," a provision to prevent Internet providers from creating access chokepoints was voted down in the House of Representatives.

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Best Way To Find Cheap Gasoline?

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[Industry]
A neat site online called GasBuddy has compiled an interactive U.S. map showing gas prices by county. Unfortunately, the more desireable, more populous places seem to have the highest prices, so unless you're keen on living in Utah, you probably will have a hard time finding a fuel bargain. But the site does break down listings to individual stations by price so it's worth a look.

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Campaign Photo Replaces New Orleans with Disneyland

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New Orleans mayoral candidate Kimberly Williamson Butler is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed--or the most honest. Her campaign website featured a lovely header with a photo of Butler smiling in front of a charming French Quarter scene. The only problem was the large Disney trash can on the street, revealing that Butler was smiling in front of Disneyland's New Orleans Square, not the real New Orleans.

Once the news of the fake New Orleans photo hit the internet, did Butler run out and get a photo of the real New Orleans for her website? Nah. Instead, her staff just Photoshopped out the garbage can. Hey, who has time in a busy mayoral campaign to take pictures in the real location?

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Short Toots

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[Essential Factoids]
  • A school in Colorado has banned flag-waving. Plus, apple pies have been ruled "Too sticky" for the cafeteria's floors.

  • In a speech given in Washington, D.C., President Bush said about democracy, "One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry." Apparently, in monarchies, dead children are met with laughter and merrymaking.

  • A study in Michigan found that children behave better, and sleep more soundly, after their tonsils are removed. It helps if the parents threaten to take them back to the hospital and have other parts cut out if they don't straighten up.

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Judge Orders Users' Deleted Google E-Mails Turned Over

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We've been saying for some time, if you use the free e-mail services, they're not free. You pay for them dearly with a complete compromise of your privacy and personal security. This was nowhere more poignantly illustrated than earlier this week where a federal judge ordered Google to not only turn over a user's Google G-Mail correspondence, but also the deleted messages which are also seemingly stored forever.

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Yahoo, AOL Consider Charging for E-Mail

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In an attempt to "protect users from spam"--and, coincidentally, earn themselves millions of dollars and create a two-tier e-mail system--Yahoo and AOL are both considering implementing systems in which large companies and frequent commercial e-mailers pay from 1/4 cent to a cent per e-mail. In return for this fee, the mail goes straight to user inboxes, skipping the spam filters that sometimes catch even requested mailings.

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Yet Another Threat to Internet Freedom

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There's a new threat to the future of communications in the United States. It pits the nation's largest cable and telephone companies against those who believe the Internet should support the free and independent flow of ideas.

Broadband is the key. As more Americans switch to high-speed Internet connections, the companies that control the "pipes" are dreaming up new ways to make more money from this hunger for speed. The telco and cable giants want to split the Internet into two tiers: one for those who pay extra to be pushed to the front of the broadband stream-—and the other for everyone else.

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Bush Makes It A Crime To Annoy People Online

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It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity. As is the norm these days, this nasty law was snuck into another piece of legislation (Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act) at the last minute and approved by Congress.

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Illegal Government Cookies, Anyone?

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It seems that in addition to the warrentless spying that the NSA has been doing on American citizens, in clear violation of U.S. law, isn't the only way they've been keeping an eye on us. There was also the illegal cookies.

In a posting on his googlewatch.org website a privacy activist, Daniel Brandt, says he discovered that the NSA was using tracking devices when he logged on to the agency website on Christmas Day. He found the site was using two persistent cookies that would not expire until 2035, well beyond the life of most computers.

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Million Dollar Home Page Idea

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a million dollars in four months on the Internet. And, astonishingly enough, it's legal, and does not involve food items shaped vaguely like religious icons.

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eBay Can't Even Tell Which "eBay E-Mail" is Fake

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A sophisticated phishing attack has proven to be so successful, it has tricked eBay Inc.'s own fraud investigations team into endorsing it as legitimate, according to an independent security consultant who reported the attack to eBay.

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You've Got Mail! (and Herpes)

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A new web site has been launched in Los Angeles with the noble concept of allowing people to e-mail others anonymously and notify them that they may have been exposed to a sexually-transmitted disease.

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Is Overstock.com's CEO Completely Insane?

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Amidst a myriad of complaints over customer service, falling stock prices and other problems, revelations surface that Overstock.com, the online retailer that masquarades as a metaphor for an orgasm, has a CEO that may very well be a total nutjob.

CEO Patrick Byrne has held calls with financial analysts in which he delved into his sexuality and experiences with cocaine, in the midst of a tirade on how a cabal led by a "Sith Lord" was out to destroy his company.

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Which Search Engine Is Most Relevent? Take the Blind Test.

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Here's an interesting process. You type in a search query, preferably something you're familiar with; the site displays un-branded results from popular search engines and you vote for which one you think is most relevant. Afterward, the results are revealed and you can see how others have voted. A nice, objective method of analyzing the usefulness of the Internet's most popular search engines.

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AOL Nailed For Refusing To Cancel Customer Accounts

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AOL and New York State have reached a settlement that includes AOL paying a $1.25 million fine and agreeing to reform its customer service procedures. The agreement stems from consumers' complaints that AOL customer service representatives would either ignore requests, or make it unduly difficult to cancel their service.

In what they claim is an unrelated story, AOL has announced that it's relocating its Accounts Payable department to Nigeria.

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