January 20th, 2004


It's not like we listen to them anyway...

It's interesting what the U.S. news isn't reporting about Iraq. In this case, hardly a murmur was made about the absolutely enormous protest in Baghdad yesterday. Approximately 100,000 people protested in favor of democratic elections for Iraq's government. That's roughly the equivalent of 1.2 million people protesting for something in the U.S. Meanwhile, British authorities believe that elections *ARE* feasible, essentially disagreeing with the Bush administration's position. Ouch.

Hopefully, someone in the Bush administration will listen. U.S. forces in Iraq don't need that many new enemies.

In other news...

Howard Dean channeled "Macho Man" Randy Savage last night in Iowa. Embarassed self. Reportedly snapped into a Slim Jim. Oh yeah!

I haven't seen a more embarassing performance since that video of of Steve Ballmer...

While I like Kucinich's platform, he isn't going to win this race. I'm favoring John Edwards at this point, as I think he has the best shot of going all the way. He looks great, says the right things, has the right tone, and would look great up against the Shrub. It would be like Kennedy vs. Nixon all over again.

Good news about Evite.

I used Evite to organize the RSVPs for my most recent party, and found it to be remarkably useful, in that it led to a larger than expected turnout, with more people bringing food and/or beverages to share than would ordinarily have happened. It was arguably more useful for the guests themselves too, in that it let people know some of the others who would be attending, and gave them more information for planning carpools, etc. It also makes planning the next event we have a *LOT* easier.

But the issue that concerned me most with Evite is that I heard in the process of planning the event that Evite spams its users and sells their email addressses to 3rd parties. Not good at all!

I emailed the people over at Evite with some specific questions on how they handle such issues, however, and what they had to say was very positive.

"Our privacy policy states: "Evite does not sell, share or otherwise provide any "Personally Identifiable Information" you give to us with any third party without your consent, which may be obtained through an opt-in or opt-out request, unless required by law, court order or as required to technically operate the service, or to complete a transaction or order."

In other words, each registered user will have the opportunity to tell us they do not want to receive information from a third party, prior to ever receiving any communications from that third party.

In addition, a registered user can manage their Evite account through the
"My Evite" tab on the Evite web site."

And sure enough, if you go to Evite and click the "My Evite" tab and the "My Account" link, you will see a box that says "Yes, I'd like to receive Evite news and special offers." Unclick that and you will not receive any information from 3rd parties, or even from Evite itself. (This option is visible when you register with Evite, so it is quite likely you already have this option unchecked.)

I'm glad they have a pretty good policy on such matters, though I wish it were somewhat clearer how it is implemented in their privacy policy. It's refreshing to know they actually *HAVE* a privacy policy, however, and it shows how far things have come that you can go to most sites for web services and not only find a privacy policy, but find that it errs on the side of the consumer. It's to the point that you can *almost* take it for granted with major services. It's that dicey "almost" which gets you, however.

Besides, with about 2/3rds of all email last month being spam, it doesn't sound like those people really need any additional help to irritate us.