Snippets: December 4, 2006
Be A Little Afraid The United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is getting worried about online privacy and security according to Reuters. It warns against the widespread practice of using the same login information for multiple sites and is concerned about the proliferation of tracking used by marketers. On the other hand, it cautions that “a breakdown in consumer trust could impede the future expansion of Internet-based commerce.” Hmm, better carry on shopping and hope for the best then…
Just An Illusion Windows expert Scot Finnie has stirred up a storm among the Mac faithful, cnet reports. Disenchanted with some aspects of Windows Vista, Scot has embarked on an experiment to switch to Apple to find out whether “the Mac is a viable alternative for real people with real jobs.” Mac users everywhere – myself included – await his validation.
The Butler Done It The New York Times and GigaOm, among others, report on the rebirth of Ask.com – formerly Ask Jeeves and now owned by Barry Diller’s IAC. The company today launched AskCity, a local search service and clever amalgamation of a number of its properties, including the Ask search engine, CitySearch and TicketMaster. Watch out for more service mashups involving other IAC sites such as LendingTree, Match.com and Evite. According to Ask chief executive Jim Lanzone, the company will succeed because “there is room for a Pepsi to Google’s Coke.” That’s true, although right now that slot is occupied by Yahoo.
Do You Yahoo!? ValleyWag advises on the etiquette of reproducing “goofy net names” when writing – for example, do you Yahoo! or do you Yahoo? The rule of thumb, it seems, is whether you are trying to cosy up to the company or not. If yes, then it’s eBay, if no, Ebay. Unless you’re a techy, of course, in which case, you write everything in lower case because “the shift key is a sign of weakness.”