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April 30, 2004

Senate OKs four-year ban on Net access tax

The New York Times - Technology - Senate OKs four-year ban on Net access tax

So did you catch this yesterday? SENATE OKs FOUR-YEAR BAN ON NET ACCESS TAX. Whew! You need to register to read NYT Online, but here is the story and the link to more:

By a 93-3 vote, the Senate adopted a compromise proposal favored
by state governments, which argued that a perpetual ban would deprive
municipalities of vital tax revenue and amount to an unfair subsidy for telecommunications companies. Thursday's vote promises to lead to tense negotiations in a conference committee with the House, which
overwhelmingly approved a permanent ban in September. The ban on access taxes, initially enacted in 1998, expired late last year. It does not affect sales taxes on items purchased over the Internet. President Bush entered the debate Monday by implicitly endorsing a more extensive tax ban.

Full Story...

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2004

MSNBC - Advertisers face up to Tivo

MSNBC - Advertisers face up to TiVo reality

I guess it was only a matter of time. It seemed to me more likely that
Tivo (and other PVR (personal video recorder) devices would get stomped out by an industry fearful of the devaluation of their advertising.

Much like the RIAA versus online music downloaders and the movie
industry versus the same. Instead it seems many advertisers may just yield to the growing Tivo masses and advertise less.

Advertisers face up to TiVo reality - Most companies will cut
spending on TV commercials, survey finds A majority of national advertisers plan to cut spending on TV commercials by 20 percent in the next five years, when they believe ad-skipping devices like TiVo will take hold in households, according to a new survey.

Read the full story here

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:01 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2004

Googleized Images

CBS MarketWatch

Ever wonder about the holiday special Google logos? From Frank Barnako's CBS Marketwatch update I receive from Schwab daily:

The artist behind some Google whimsy
Dennis Hwang could be the most-viewed artist in the world. In history,
even. He's the guy who draws the colorful themed logos that highlight
Google's pages on holidays. The 26-year-old art major "marvels" at the
number of people who see his occasional work, according to The Mercury
News. He started by "dabbling" with doodles created by an outside
contractor. When his talent became obvious, a small committee was
organized to decide which holidays would get the art. Google decided
some untraditional observances would also get the treatment, including
the anniversary of flight and the birthday of Albert Einstein. An
archive of Hwang's logos is available.

Check them out here at the ARCHIVE.

Posted by gcrgcr at 3:07 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2004

American Life by 2007

American Life by 2007

I work in privacy related areas, mostly regarding online information,
email, etc. I'm somewhere in the middle of the liberal/conservative
privacy guy spectrum. This came to me via email from Matt Blumberg and I got a kick out of it:

Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your..."
Customer: "Hi, I'd like to order....."
Operator: "May I have your HSIDN first, sir?"
Customer: "My Homeland Security, ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's
Operator: "Thank you, Mr. Sheehan. I see you live at 1742 Meadowland
Drive, and the phone number's 494-2366. Your office number at Lincoln
Insurance is 745-2302 and your cell number's 266-2566 and you are
calling from your home number."
Customer: "Whoa! Where d'ya get all this information?"
Operator: "We're connected to THE SYSTEM, sir."
Customer: (Sighs) "Oh, well, I'd like to order a couple of your
All-Meat Special pizzas..."
Operator: "I don't think that's a good idea, sir."
Customer: "Whaddya mean?"
Operator: "Sir, your medical records indicate that you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol. Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy choice."
Customer: "Darn! So what do you recommend, then?"
Operator: "You might try our low-fat Soybean Yogurt Pizza. I'm sure
you'll like it."
Customer: "What makes you think I'd like something like that?"
Operator: "Well, you checked out 'Gourmet Soybean Recipes' from your
local library last week, sir. That's why I made the suggestion."
Customer: "All right, all right. Give me two family-sized ones, then.
What's the damage?"
Operator: "That should be plenty for you, your wife and your four kids, sir. The 'damage,' as you put it, heh, heh, comes to $49.99."
Customer: "Lemme give you my credit card number."
Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid you'll have to pay in cash.
Your credit card balance is over its limit."
Customer: "I'll run over to the ATM and get some cash before your
driver gets here."
Operator: "That won't work either, sir. Your checking account's
Customer: "Never mind. Just send the pizzas. I'll have the cash ready.
How long will it take?"
Operator: "We're running a little behind, sir. It'll be about 45
minutes, sir. If you're in a hurry you might want to pick 'em up while
you're out getting the cash, but carrying pizzas on a motorcycle can be a little awkward."
Customer: "How the hell do you know I'm riding a bike?"
Operator: "It says here you're in arrears on your car payments, so your car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid up, so I just assumed that you'd be using it."
Customer: "@#%/$@&?#!"
Operator: "I'd advise watching your language, sir. You've already got a July 2006 conviction for cussing out a cop."
Customer: (Speechless)
Operator: "Will there be anything else, sir?"
Customer: "No, nothing. Oh, yeah, don't forget the two free liters of
Coke your ad says I get with the pizzas."
Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but our ad's exclusionary clause prevents us
from offering free soda to diabetics."

Posted by gcrgcr at 7:13 PM | Comments (0)