Archive for November, 2009

Kubuntu 9.10 install is substantially faster and easier than Win7 even on an older box. Also installs Open Office and Firefox automagically!

Finally doing an install of Kubuntu 9.10. The new install system is really nice, great for people who have never installed an OS before.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Glee just keeps getting better and better. The sign language number gave me goose bumps. On a related note: Im such a nerd

New @ #talatorre: These Companies Gave Away Your Credit Card Number! (http://cli.gs/H2VzD)

These Companies Gave Away Your Credit Card Number!

Question:

What do the following companies have in common?

1-800-flowers Expedia Intelius Shutterfly
Buy.com fandango MovieTickets.com Travelocity
Classmates.com FTD Orbitz USAirways
ColumbiaHouse Hotwire
Priceline VistaPrint
Confi-Check InQ RedcastsUSA Hotels.com

Answer:

They’ve all made $10 to $30 million by handing over your credit card information!!

In emails released by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation the companies have been receiving customer complaints for years that they were tricked into signing up for a service they didn’t want.  What really boggles my mind is that these major, trusted, companies ever, EVER, thought it was a good idea to hand over credit card and financial information to a third party advertiser! What in the world were these CEO’s thinking?

Unfortunetly, the list above is only of the companies that made over $10 million from this scheme.  Over 450 web companies have participated in these schemes.  Many for 5 years or more.  Avon, Hertz, Pizza Hut, Tier Direct, Victoria’s Secret, and Yahoo all made between $1 and $10 million by handing over your credit card information to a third party advertiser.

Trust on the internet is a difficult thing to gain and now that I know how little regard these companies have for my personal information, how can I trust them?  I have no choice but to boycott their sites.

It pains me because I have used Orbitz to plan many vacations and have purchased many movie tickets on Fandango, as recently as last weekend.  I’ve seen the pop-up ads but have never signed up for the offers, although, I have been tempted once or twice by getting a free movie ticket or discounts on my next hotel stay.  I have already closed any accounts I had with these services and I encourage you to do the same.

To learn more about how this scheme works I have linked to PDFs provided by the U.S. Senate Committee’s investigative committee.

pdf 11.16.09 Exhibits of Staff Report

pdf 11.16.09 STAFF REPORT

pdf Representative Documents Part I

pdf Representative Documents Part II

pdf Representative Documents Part III

Information Week has a good article on the deceptive advertising.  I also would encourage you to check out the official website of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.

TimAlatorre: I lost over 10lbs in the last month doing nothing. Maybe I have worms.