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Comcast Screws Up But Then Makes It Up To Me

It looks like Comcast is in the news again but not for the best of reasons. So today seems like a good day for me to share my latest Comcast experience. I recently moved and subsequently signed up for Comcast’s all-in-one package (TV, Internet, and phone). I didn’t really need the phone service, but the way the marketing department has things, the same services I wanted without phone service are the same price as having the phone service included. Bundling and all that, go figure.

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My First MySpace Friend: SPAM

MySpaceSo I joined MySpace about a week ago and was already annoyed at the way they sent me my password over email. But then, just a few days later, I got an email with my first MySpace message / friend request from someone named Riley whose profile picture is a girl in a swimsuit. Originally, her (or his?) profile showed the same city and state that I live in, though now it’s been changed to Greenville, Ohio. Here’s the text of the message:

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MySpace: Emails My Password But Says “Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.”

MySpaceLast month I picked on search engine Mahalo as an example of a company emailing its customers passwords. I mentioned how having your password floating around openly on mail servers can defeat the purpose of having a password in the first place. Mahalo’s founder and CEO, Jason Calacanis, joined the discussion and some good thoughts were shared from both sides of the issue.

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Bad Form: Companies Still Send Passwords via Email

MahaloLet’s face it; we all reuse the same password for login accounts all over the Internet. At best, some of us create a few passwords through which we rotate.

So why is it that some companies still insist on sending me my password via email right after I create my online account? The reason I have a password in the first place is so that it doesn’t flow back and forth openly in cyberspace only to reside peacefully on multiple mail servers.

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Organized Crime Targeting Apple Computers for the First Time

Apple LogoWhile it’s nothing new for organized crime to focus on phishing and identity theft, Windows-based computers have traditionally taken the brunt of most attacks. So much so, in fact, that plenty of my Apple friends claimed it as yet another reason to switch to the below-the-radar Mac. Too bad, then, that a report out last week shows that the end of 2007 was the beginning of “financially-motivated” organized crime targeting Apple computers.

Is this good news or bad? After all, it could be taken as a sign of Apple’s success. Macs finally appear to be popular enough that cybercriminals care. However you frame it, check out this call to arms of sorts from Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos (the firm responsible for this report):

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How Much Is All Your Email Worth? Answer: $50

EmailThis past week a national cable and high-speed Internet provider by the name of Charter Communications accidentally deleted all the contents of 14,000 active email accounts. A spokeswoman for the company explained that there is no way for them to retrieve anything that was erased. The spokeswoman offered this explanation and apology:

“We really are sincerely sorry for having had this happen and do apologize to all those folks who were affected by the error… During this maintenance we erroneously deleted active accounts along with the others. It’s never happened before. They are taking steps to make sure it never happens again.”

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Data Privacy & Portability: Who owns what? Who can see what?

Facebook LogoThe privacy and portability of your online data may become more of an issue in 2008. News is out today of a Federal case which will investigate whether the use of a false identity could be considered Internet fraud under federal statutes. This was originally triggered by the October 2006 case in which a 13-year-old named Megan Meier committed suicide after receiving “cruel” messages on MySpace (messages allegedly received from the mother of a school rival who was posing as a 16-year-old boy).

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Google GDrive Coming Soon But Facing Serious Issues

Google LogoThe Wall Street Journal has the scoop on the latest Google news. Google is hoping to offer consumers a new way to store and access files online. The search giant is working on a service that would let you store essentially all of your files online (documents, music, photos, videos, etc.).

I already do this with Mozy for free. But Mozy works more as a backup that I generally access only when I need to restore files. Google wants to simplify the process of transferring and opening files such that you would actually be using your online files actively.

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