Yahoo! Privacy

Yahoo! tracking all your web surfingIf you belong to any Yahoo Groups – be aware that Yahoo is now using “Web Beacons” to track every Yahoo Group user. It’s similar to cookies, but allows Yahoo to record every website and every group you visit, even when you’re not connected to Yahoo.

Look at their updated privacy statement at: http://privacy.yahoo.com/privacy

About half-way down the page, in the section on cookies, you will see a link that says WEB BEACONS.

Click on the phrase “Web Beacons.” On the page that opens, find a paragraph entitled “Outside the Yahoo Network.”

In that section find a little “Click Here to Opt Out” link that will let you “opt-out” of their snooping. Be careful! not to click on the next button shown. It is an “Opt Back In” button that, if clicked, will undo the opt-out.

Note that Yahoo’s invasion of your privacy – and your ability to opt-out of it – is not user-specific. It is machine-specific. That means you will have to opt-out on every computer (and browser) you use.” (via Interesting People listserv)

Addendum: Ray Everett-Church:

“It’s one of those stories that has a tiny kernel of truth in it, but is massively warped by someone who either doesn’t understand the technology, or refuses to let facts get in the way of a salacious story. In either case, this “urgent” story is a load of dingos kidneys.” (Privacy Clue)
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New York Moves to Limit Colleges That Seek Profit

“Commercial schools, which often advertise heavily, promising quick career training to poorly educated students, are booming around the country. Increasingly, they are drawing the attention of federal and state law enforcement officials.” (New York Times)

In many cases, you no longer even need a high school degree to attend these schools, if you can pay the tuition. My question is, why bother to attend at all? Next trend, if it doesn’t already exist, and which would undoubtedly entail even higher tuition bills, would be to deliver transcripts and diploma immediately to you in the mail after you matriculate.

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Medicare Woes Take High Toll on Mentally Ill

“On the seventh day of the new Medicare drug benefit, Stephen Starnes began hearing voices again, ominous voices, and he started to beg for the medications he had been taking for 10 years. But his pharmacy could not get approval from his Medicare drug plan, so Mr. Starnes was admitted to a hospital here for treatment of paranoid schizophrenia.

Mr. Starnes, 49, lives in Dayspring Village, a former motel that is licensed by the State of Florida as an assisted living center for people with mental illness. When he gets his medications, he is stable.

“Without them,” he said, “I get aggravated at myself, I have terrible pain in my gut, I feel as if I am freezing one moment and burning up the next moment. I go haywire, and I want to hurt myself.”

Mix-ups in the first weeks of the Medicare drug benefit have vexed many beneficiaries and pharmacists. Dr. Steven S. Sharfstein, president of the American Psychiatric Association, said the transition from Medicaid to Medicare had had a particularly severe impact on low-income patients with serious, persistent mental illnesses.” (New York Times)

Nobody bothered to tell these patients in advance that their tried-and-true method of obtaining their prescription medications, through their state’s Medicaid program, would no longer work for them… The ineptitude of this ‘reform’ boggles our minds in the healthcare field.

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Your Mouse is Ringing

Three New Mice-Phones Unveiled (Personal Tech Pipeline ) The weblogger likes them because they are so economical of space and so, well, Maxwell Smart in their stealthiness. Somehow, I think someone who thinks they will be reclaiming desktop space by combining their mouse and their phone has bigger problems to deal with. Perfect example of the absurdities of the ‘converge-everything’ movement. Replace your thoughtfully-designed, ergonomic and utterly serviceable phone and mouse with one device which works unacceptably poorly in both regards. Useless for any purpose except that you will succeed in impressing the plethora of visitors to your home office who live and breathe in the legacy of Get Smart!


Osama, Is It Him?

Robert Fisk: “We invaded Afghanistan to find Bin Laden and we fight and die in Iraq to kill his supporters – yet still he eludes us, still he threatens us, still he taunts us.

How much longer can this nonsense go on? President Jacques Chirac warns that France – of all countries – might use nuclear weapons, if attacked. On whom, I wonder? America blows Pakistani children to pieces and claims it has killed five wanted men, including a bomb-maker. But there’s absolutely no evidence. Bin Laden says that America will be attacked again unless it accepts a truce in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Weren’t we supposed to be winning the “war on terror”? Oh no, the “experts” tell us, Bin Laden and al-Qa’ida are losing, that’s why they want a truce. Some hope.

It’s a game. Bin Laden has no intention of calling an end to his own war and nor has George Bush and nor has Tony Blair. The Bin Laden offer, almost certainly, is intended to be rejected. He wants Bush and Blair to refuse it. Then, after the next attack, will come the next audio tape. See what happens when you reject our ceasefire? We warned you. And we’ll ask: is it him? So why no video tape? Never before in history have so many wanted men sent pictures and messages and video tapes out of the dark.

The irony, of course, is that Bin Laden is now partly irrelevant. He has created al-Qa’ida. His achievement – that word should be seen in context – is complete. Why bother hunting for him now? It’s a bit like arresting the world’s nuclear scientists after the invention of the atom bomb. The monster has been born. It’s al-Qa’ida we have to deal with.” (truthout)