Important privacy considerations when shopping for Listen On The Net
The Internet is fast becoming the dominant medium for business and communication, but it still resembles something of a frontier, because there is little regulation. If you are looking for Listen On The Net then you are doing so in an unregulated marketplace. Most efforts have relied on the Internet industry to police itself. Although there has been some notable success with self-policing, continued abuses have increased calls for government intervention. That's where our role in pre-checking Listen On The Net sites comes in. Our Listen On The Net provider is solid and reliable.
Some aspects of the Internet could undoubtedly use some regulation, but this task is not as simple as it may seem. The very nature of the Internet makes it difficult, if not impossible to regulate. However in the midst of this many Listen On The Net retailers survive and prosper. At the same time, the absence of regulations means that everyone who uses this essentially public network can be a target for anyone who has the technical know-how and the will to invade their privacy. Privacy was foremost in our minds when sourcing the right Listen On The Net retailer for you. Their link appears below.
While the threat from hackers is low for individuals, a more serious threat to personal privacy comes from unscrupulous Listen On The Net companies that operate websites for quick quids. Many Listen On The Net sites require you to register before you can use its services. Often you must provide personal information, such as your name, street address, and e-mail address. Then as you browse the site, data is collected as to which pages you visited, how long you remained on each page, the links you clicked, what terms you searched, and so on. After a number of visits to the site, a personal profile emerges. The question is, what do Listen On The Net site operators do with this information?
Most claim that they use it to personalize your experience on the site. For instance, if a Listen On The Net site learns that you are interested in Listen On The Net, the next time you visit the site, you might be presented with an article or advertisements for that and related products. But some Listen On The Net websites sell this information to marketers, which means that you may find yourself receiving unwanted catalogs from garden suppliers. Our preferred retailer does not do this.
We feel so confident that your Listen On The Net shopping experience will be a good one that we have built this site so that you can go straight to the prime Listen On The Net retailer without wasting a lot of time checking out vast numbers of very ordinary providers.
Search Wars! - MSN's Opening Salvo
by: Robert Palmer
With all the recent publicity given to Google as the Internet's number one search service, it's hardly surprising that Microsoft has already started work on re-vamping their MSN search service. Okay, it's still powered by the Yahoo engine, but according to Microsoft it has been "cleaned up" and the new service mirrors much more the kind of "non-commercial" results which are currently displayed by Google.
Costing some $100 in development costs and lost advertising revenues, MSN's makeover offer the end-user a much more uncluttered screen and again this aesthetic change mirrors the simple interface of Google. Results too are served quicker than the old system, or so Microsoft claim, although they supply no data on how this compares to Google.
The web search market is currently dominated by Google and Yahoo although Microsoft are now openly stating that they will be edging their own search engine into this market by the end of 2004.
This mega-upgrade, which is currently undergoing full testing at Microsoft, breaks away from the Yahoo engine and be powered by their own software engine and algorithms which will, they claim, enable people to search for what they want rather than be presented with a number of paid/sponsored results. Should this happen, the move away from paid-for results will be a big step for Microsoft, who, in the past, have come under universal criticism, as end-users have not had confidence that the results served to them were unbiased.
With the search needs of over 350 million people up for grabs, Microsoft are keen to dissuade people from using the other engines. But with over 80% of the current daily global Net searches being performed on Google, Microsoft have much work to do. But for those who fear for the future of Google with Microsoft breathing heavily down their neck, you might take comfort from a time, not so long ago, when Microsoft considered itself bigger than the Internet. Does anyone remember Microsoft Network? Thought not!
As for Google, while they do not have the same aggressive marketing culture as Microsoft, they are very inventive, creative and above all, they are already internationally successful; holding one of the most recognized brands in the world. Far from standing still, Google has quietly expanded its range of services and now even offers an affiliate scheme to webmasters to host Google Adsense Ad's on their websites. But perhaps it's a mark of the trust and confidence that people have in Google as a corporation, that their have the only affiliate scheme on the Net which does not specify up front what commision it will be paying.
I suspect that when the Seach Wars are finally concluded it will be the confidence end-users have in the results they are served which will win out and not necessarily the best or fastest technology. Currently of course, Google are streets and houses ahead of both Microsoft and Yahoo in the public confidence stakes and it will be interesting to see if this confidence can be maintained following Google's much publicized floatation on the Stock Market.
Microsoft may well find that winning public confidence in this war is harder than the creation of any technology they wish to introduce and in the end, just as they did with Apple, Microsoft may well consider buying into that confidence and snap up a major chunk of Google's stock.
About The Author
Robert Palmer is CEO of deskNET Communications (www.desknet.co.uk) - suppliers of the first affordable alternative to opt-in email marketing and newletter publishing.