Hearst Corporation, a large print, television, and internet publisher, has notified one of its bloggers that he needs to stop removing the vowels from certain comments on his blog. Apparently Hearst’s lawyers have some concerns about the practice.
On August 14, the Cleveland Plain Dealer printed a column by a business writer who described her 6-month-long ordeal with Verizon concerning a mysterious $1.99 charge for “data usage.” The paper says that over 400 Plain Dealer readers responded with complaints similar to the one in the column. Now the paper says they have a promise from Verizon to refund these mysterious and erroneous charges.
Is there anything more entertaining than having a website assign a letter grade to your financial status? Yes, but whatever it is, it would likely involve spending money you don’t need to spend, at least not if you want to get a good grade. Unlike in-depth financial evaluation tools, Money’s “Your Financial Health” widget just asks for big picture numbers that you can probably enter without needing to open up your budget or spreadsheet app—so it only takes a couple of minutes for you to find out how worried or proud you should be.
Southwest says a test of Wi-Fi on its planes was successful, so they’re going to expand the service to all of their planes next year.
According to PCWorld, Comcast is testing a program called “Domain Helper” that will redirect you to an advertising page if you type the wrong URL.
The person who blogs at MichiganTelephone just tried to help his friend sign up for DSL from AT&T last week. Their experience was so full of fail that now his friend doesn’t even want to bother trying anymore. Yes, a customer came to AT&T ready to sign up, and AT&T drove him away. Michigan telephone wonders, “Does AT&T have a death wish, or are they really just that incompetent?”
Verizon is sad that so many of you are jumping ship, so they’re hauling out the bargain naked DSL offer again. (“Naked” means no home phone line is required to take advantage of it.) The deal is $20/mo with a 1 year commitment, and they’re throwing in a free router—although DSLReports says a Verizon rep told them the router freebie will go away at some point. Also, it’s available online only.
Engine Industries used Google Trends to map the frequency of search terms like “used car,” “new car,” and “buy car” through Google. They found that “people search car-related keyterms most in the summer and least in the winter, with a small spike right before Christmas.”
The new ebook offering from Barnes & Noble may not be that compelling–it’s all the DRM badness of Amazon, but not always the lower prices–and yet something awesome has come out of it. Starting immediately, all customers can access free Wi-Fi in any B&N store.
AT&T released a statement about their temporary blocking this weekend of troll haven 4chan for its customers. The company said the temporary block was to stop DDos attacks on one customer emanating from IP addresses associated with the site. After the threat was over, the block was lifted. Here’s the official release:
A woman named Ullja Kuntze was booted from Etsy after word got around that she was buying handmade beads and reselling them as her own. Her original Etsy pages read, “All my beads are made by me in my private glass studio in Milan Italy.” Kuntze was actually doing business from Waco, Texas, and now that legitimate beadmakers have gotten her kicked off of Etsy and Artfire, she’s trying to get their own websites shut down under false spam accusations, and/or get them investigated by the IRS for tax fraud.
UPDATE: AT&T has a statement. They said the temporary block was to stop DDos attacks from IP addresses associated with img.4chan.org. After the threat was over, they lifted the block.
We all know the crushing defeat of logging onto an open WiFi hotspot at an airport only to discover that you need to pay to reach the internet. No more! If the portal has a space for promotion codes, go ask the gift shop if they have a coupon for free access. If they don’t, you’re not out of options…
If you’re a big jerk on the internet, eventually the internet will be a big jerk to you. That’s the tale of Adam Goldstein, a guy who didn’t ship a monitor promptly, sent aggressive emails to the buyer, got mocked in online forums, started posturing in those forums, and then had a series of harassing actions conducted against his person by numerous strangers. Things like all-black faxes…
Do you know that Comcast commercial where this homeowner gets FiOs installed against his will and then all these bulldozers tear up his lawn and bumbling contractors cause an electrical short? Lelah’s letter describes a process that’s very similar, except worse and much longer. And then this salesman just picks up her guitar and starts playing it and singing without even asking first. No wonder, by story’s end, she’s been driven to the brink of insanity, demanding compensation for 5 missed days of work. So far, they’re offering her $25.