[linux-elitists] IP: NYT: (Microsoft's) High-profile anti-Unix siteruns UNIX (FreeBSD) (fwd)

john spurling synec@nakedlunch.org
Mon Apr 8 14:41:18 PDT 2002

On Mon, Apr 08, 2002 at 02:10:59PM -0700, Aaron T Porter wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 08, 2002 at 12:00:35PM -0400, Shawn McMahon wrote:
> > 
> > The problem isn't necessarily what they're doing now, but what they do
> > next week.  They could pull a Yahoo and decide to start selling your
> > information to spammers.
> 	Do you actaully think this way? Using the nyt.com site with a
> communal/fake login is just petty theft. Admittedly it's probably no
> worse than reading the headlines at a news stand without buying a copy,
> but be honest about what's going on here; they're offering to exchange a
> service of generally high quality for some personal information about you
> that they believe they can leverage in order to fund the venture. Working
> ways around that is no better than shoplifting. If you don't like their
> registration policies, or what they might do with the information they
> collect, don't use the damned site and suck it up.

do *you* honestly think this way? come on, we're not talking about
traveling to another country with a fake passport here. just as the
nyt is entitled to ask for personal information to access their site,
we're entitled to lie about it. it's only fair. the "you must comply
with registration policies" argument doesn't hold water, either. what
if they add a clause to their user agreement that says, "you may not
purchase or use any products that compete with those of our
advertisers?" this is an extreme example, but it demonstrates that
companies do things for their own best interests, not those of their
customers, and if left unchecked, the lengths companies will go to are

the key idea here is that nyt can do whatever it wants, and so can
we. some people surf through proxies that are meant to remove banner
ads, so are those people thieves too for undermining websites'
business models? some people turn off javascript so they don't get
popunders. hell, lynx users don't see graphical ads at all; surely
those people are criminals too. 

marketeers will continue to try to shove ads in our faces and resell
our private information, and we'll continue to try to keep ads from
being shoved in our faces and having our private information sold. 

-john spurling

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