Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2

While digging for followup material for my previous post regarding on the matter, I came across this article today in the Washington Post:

The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that NewsZap.com, an online forum run by Independent Newspapers, does not have to disclose the identities of forum participants who engaged in an online exchange about the cleanliness of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in 2006.

But wait — it’s not quite the news you may have been hoping for, you PennLive troll you.  It seems the appellate court’s ruling was based on a lack of identifying information and/or a too-vague subpoena:

Continue reading Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2

Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous

UPDATED 2/27/09; read the bottom of the post for more details.

I just found this interesting post over on Topix Chambersburg:

http://www.topix.net/forum/source/chambersburg-public-opinion/TCB69SLLD4383GT6N

Quoting from the article:

The company that owns and operates the York Daily Record/Sunday News readers’ comment posting Web site will release the identities of people who anonymously posted comments to a story about the stabbing death of Andrew Wright, according to sworn statements Friday in county court.

Prosecutor Timothy Barker informed Judge Thomas H. Kelley on Friday that an attorney for Topix LLC said the Internet Protocol addresses and personal information of the posters “has been preserved” and will be turned over when the company is served with a subpoena by the York County District Attorney’s Office.

This isn’t really news, but it might be a wakeup call to people who post comments — especially the trolls on PennLive.  When you post a comment, photo, video — really, anything — on a website, your IP address is logged.  What this means for the non-technical crowd is that someone with valid legal tools (such as a subpoena) can find out what you posted, even if you use a fake name and throwaway email address.

Continue reading Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous

Die In A Fire, Circuit City Harrisburg

Circuit City was founded in 1949 on little more than a dream.  A dream that one man, with little more than his financial wits and a firm handshake, could launch a successful retail operation based on over-inflated prices, uneducated employees, and a general philosophy that the customer is an inconvenience.  Despite sticking to that modus operandi for the past few decades, the chain — shockingly — just couldn’t compete.

Stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart came in with their high-falutin’ “customer service” and elitist “affordable prices”.  They made sure that even if THEIR employees weren’t always the best-educated or most customer-friendly, they at least had enough fear of being fired that they did their job with a minimal level of competency.

But Circuit City held on.  During the rapid-fire changes in corporate culture throughout the ’90s, Circuit City even went so far as to replace their clearly-dated mantra of “To Mislead, Irritate, And Rip Off Consumers At Every Prudent Option” with “Suck It, Customers”.  But it was to no avail.  Around the turn of the millennium, Internet-only retailers like Newegg and Tiger Direct were slaughtering Circuit City’s prices alive.  Despite Circuit City’s best efforts to stop the hemorrhaging (including their third and final corporate mantra, “Seriously:  Suck It, Customers.  We’re Not Fucking Around Any More”), they were forced into bankruptcy at the beginning of this year.

Continue reading Die In A Fire, Circuit City Harrisburg

Privado Harrisburg: Unbelievable

It’s no secret that Privado is one of my favorite places downtown.  Somewhere between the vocal trance / house in the basement, the house / old-school / hip-hop soundtrack on the ground floor, the unique atmosphere, the fast service, and the high-but-still-reasonable prices, the place has fully recovered from its questionable “OMG BEACH CLUB” past.  They obviously have a genuine interest in providing quality over quantity.

So I can’t understand why they’re still operating in blatant violation of federal law.

Continue reading Privado Harrisburg: Unbelievable

Hollywood Casino & The Action Card Spam

It’s 8:30pm.  I’m sleeping because all the overtime I work to pay down my student loans nine years early has the unfortunate side effect of occasionally requiring me to live on four hours of sleep.  My phone rings with a phone number I don’t recognize.

717-469-2211.

That’s Grantville.  I don’t know anyone in Grantville, let alone anyone with that number, so I let it go to voicemail.  A few minutes later my voicemail alert goes off.  It can’t be a wrong number; who would call a wrong number and, after hearing the name in the greeting, leave a message?  And a two-minute message at that?

It was Hollywood Casino. 

Continue reading Hollywood Casino & The Action Card Spam