Saturday, June 05, 2004

Sites that Use Spyware Are Some of It's Biggest Targets

Some inconsistencies are difficult to wrap your head around.

I remember sitting down a few years ago after cooking breakfast for the staff of the restaurant I worked at, and listening to the bartending groaning. The place opened at 11:00 am, and the staff all joined together for a pre-work meal. It didn't sound like our drink-mixer had his head on straight that morning.

It was a normally a nice time, where morale was boosted, and comraderie was fostered. But not every morning.

I was working my way through college, and this was a pretty good job, especially considering their "all you can eat" policy for kitchen crew. On good days, when everyone was happy, the work went really quickly.

But, it was easy to see that our man behind the mixed drinks wasn't happy. Considering that he was one of the first persons that people would see as they walked through the door, that wasn't a great way to start the day.

I asked what was wrong. He looked at me, and confessed that he had been up most of the night talking to one of the people he sponsored from AA. The person had relapsed, and needed someone to talk with. He was the one.

While I was filled with sympathy, the oddity of the statement filled me with some surprise. I tried, but couldn't stop myself. I asked, "doesn't it strike you as unusual that you're a member of AA, you're complaining about someone who is having trouble because they couldn't resist alcohol, and you're a bartender?"

To further fuel the fire, these words followed from my mouth, "Doesn't that seem a little ironic to you?"

Funny, but he quit the restaurant a few weeks later. I'm not sure why, but I hope that he found something other to do than feed drinks to people.

A post by Ben Edelman uncovers what appears to be a bit of a business enigma along the same lines - Dell's Spyware Puzzle not only looks at Dell's unusual relationship with a spyware company, but also Yahoo's.


Ben Edelman said...

Thanks for the link. It'll be interesting to see what comes of these and other companies that both suffer from spyware and use it.

For more on Yahoo, see "Spyware Hypocrites" and "Yahoo Gives Adware a Pass."

Ben Edelman

William Slawski said...

Great links, Ben. Thanks. I wonder how much publicity it would take for a public backlash to change some behavoir by these companies. I suspect quite a lot.

I'm not sure that just an appeal to reason or to decency would do.

Though there are really only so many times a Claria can change its name like a snake shedding its skin. At some point, everyone recognizes the snake regardless of its attempts to erase its corporate identity.