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Submission + - Bands want a piece of all tic (bbc.co.uk) 1

BetaRelease writes: What do you do when your band can't produce more hits and needs more money? In a BBC story, 400 bands have united to form the "Resale Rights Society". They want to get a share of the revenue from tickets resold on websites like ebay. According to them, "it was unacceptable [that] money made from resales did not go to the live music industry." They smoothly follow on by saying that the secondary ticketing market offers benefits to music fans and the live music industry alike and that consumers can be protected from unofficial vendors by levying a fee on all transactions." Enforcement will be done via a "kite-mark" scheme.

Submission + - Computer Upgrade on Limited Budget

natnit writes: "I build my gaming machine back in July 2005. Since I spent a bit of money on it, it's not entirely decrepit, but I do have around $250, and I'd like to make some upgrades. I was wondering: on my limited upgrade budget, which pieces of hardware should I upgrade now, and which can wait? Follow the link for my current machine's hardware (pre-upgrade)."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How dating sites REALLY make money... BLACKMAIL

Kashdin writes: "You read about 'hidden' items in EULAs and privacy policies all the time, but here's my current winner. Match.com's new site Chemistry site http://www.chemistry.com/ apparently has decided that they can make more money by blackmailing their users. I mean no one that is using a dating site bothers to read these, so why not just lay it all out there?

They start off all nice and pretty:
We at Match.com, L.P. ("we" or "Chemistry") have created this privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to protecting your personal information and informing you about how we handle it.

So good, so far. Then they really cover their ass:

"This privacy policy only applies to transactions and activities in which you engage, and data gathered, on the Chemistry Website, Chemistry Messenger and double blind email communications between Chemistry members (collectively, the "Site") but does not apply to any other Website or offline point of contact between Chemistry, or any other company, and consumers."

Good to know that their privacy policy doesn't apply to the rest of the time one spends on the internet. Makes those lawyer fees almost worth it for catching this one!

Oh yeah, and if they decide to change the policy — "Each time you visit the Site or provide us with information, by doing so you are accepting the practices described in this privacy policy at that time."

Now we get to the fun stuff:

Information We Collect From You

In order to operate the Site and to provide you with information about products or services that may be of interest to you [READ AS "WE'RE GONNA SELL YOU PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE WE CAN THAT WILL PAY US MONEY TO SPAM YOU WITH PENIS PILLS AND HOT STOCK TIPS"], we may [THEY 'MAY' — YEAHHHH...JUST MAYBE..] collect "personal information" (i.e. information that could be used to contact you directly (without using the Site) such as full name, postal address, phone number or email address)[SO WE CAN EITHER CONTACT YOU TO LET YOU KNOW WE NEED MONEY OR WE'RE GONNA RELEASE THIS INFORMATION AT THE NEXT PATA MEETING — OR AT LEAST SELL THESE LISTS TO THE COMPANIES THAT ACTUALLY MAIL YOU CRAP]

You've probably seen similar terms before and just kind of 'chalked it up to the cost of registering with a site'. But these klowns go one better:

[We may collect]"financial information" (i.e. credit card numbers or passwords) [I SWEAR TO GOD THATS IN THERE]or "demographic information" (i.e. information that you submit, or that we collect, that is neither personal information nor financial information; [NOT JUST INFORMATION THAT YOU SUBMIT, BUT ALSO INFORMATION THAT THEY COLLECT?!]

"Please also be aware that when we disclose your financial information or personal information to a Co-Branded Company, as described above, we may also disclose to that Co-Branded Company your demographic information, on a non-anonymous basis" [OK THAT'S FAIR...AS LONG AS YOU TELL ME THAT I WILL HAVE OPTHER COMPANIES BLACKMAILING ME] ..."this may include, but is not limited to, zip code, postal code, hometown, gender, username, age/birth date, purchase history information, browsing history information, searching history information, registration history information, and the content of communications between you and other members over the Site) [PURCHASE HISTORY, BROWSING HISTORY, SEARCH HISTORY, THE CONTENT OF COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ME AND OTHER MEMBERS!?!?!?]

OK.. So here's the Web 2.0 revenue model: blackmail. If they capture all this information, including my personal and financial information, they got me by the short hairs. Pay us or we release all this information to the public.

This is the way it could work:
If I 'communicate' this — "yeah that's about as funny as a child molester", then I will be posted to child molestation web sites, and my images and personal information will follow...UNLESS I PAY THEM!

If I 'communicate' the following: "That guy was so GAY it was funny" — then I need to pay them, or they will release my statements to the anti-gay discrimination watch list, and I will start go get gay sadomasochistic magazines in my mailbox for the neighbors to see.

Maybe this will happen, maybe it won't but the abuse potential is VERY HIGH.

Why can't I just make up a name and get a free email service, sign up to a dating service and have them hook me up with a bisexual billionaire nymphomaniac? Isn't THAT the dream of online dating sites?"

Submission + - Best Buy redefines "best"

Uknowwhoibe writes: "http://www.kantor.com/2007/03/03/best-buy-creates- scam-site-to-trick-customers/ So Best Buy was apparently caught red-handed screwing over its customers. George Gombossy of the Hartford Courant gets the major-league kudos for exposing this. (And Gnomic gets a hat tip from me for pointing it out!) See, Best Buy had a secret intranet it used to trick customers. Note that the word is intranet — that is, an internal Web site. According to Gombossy, if a customer went to a sales person and commented that he thought such-and-such an item was cheaper online, the sales guy would pull up a Web site that looked like the real Best Buy Web site, but was in fact an internal site where the prices were higher. ...even when one informs a salesperson of the Internet price, customers have been shown the intranet site, which looks identical to the Internet site, but does not always show the lowest price. Thus the sales guy could say something like, "Actually, sir, it's more expensive on the Web." You had to be the kind of person who would either A) print out the Web page and bring it in to the store, or B) check the price online when you got home. Based on what his office has learned, [Connecticut State Attorney General Richard] Blumenthal said, it appears the consumer has the burden of informing Best Buy sales people of the cheaper price listed on its Internet site, which he said "is troubling." Further, Best Buy had denied that such a site existed. What I want to know is, has Best Buy also created spoofs of its competitors' sites? That way, a sales guy could say, "Let's see what Circuit City has it for" and pull up a higher — but fake — price. That would make the customer think Best Buy had better prices, and the store could avoid matching a competitor's price. Hmm."

Submission + - Stopping WGA Installation sends data to Microsoft

rev writes: "The new WGA Notification installation that can be installed using Windows Update sends data to Microsoft if the user decides to cancel the installation. A cookie is set that could be used to identify the host and information such as version of Windows and WGA as well as language of the operating system are transmitted. Part of the data is encrypted. (read more)"

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