Google recently announced it was unifying its privacy policies and would be sharing the data it collects about users between all of its products, starting March 1st. That means your web searches and sites you visit will be combined with other Google products like Google Plus and YouTube. If you’d rather avoid that, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reminds us you can remove your Google search history and stop it from being recorded.
Turning off search history is one of the top Google settings you may already know about anyway if you didn’t want Google recording any sensitive searches (health, location, interests, religion, etc.), but with Google becoming more like AOL these days, now’s as good a time as any to check if you’ve got your web history paused or not.
If you’re not logged into Google already, log in. Then, go to https://google.com/history. Click “remove all Web History” and “OK”. Doing so will pause the recording of your searches going forward until you enable it again.
There’s a lot to mull over in Facebook’s just-filed S-1. But one thing jumped out at us right away: the way it presented its corporate history in a timeline view—the same way it now presents users’ histories.
It’s both an excellent way to present a long view of dense data, and a reminder of what the company is all about. Click the image to embiggen.
Cyber Monday reached $1.25 billion in online spending this year, rising 22% from 2010 and representing the heaviest online spending day in history, and just the second day on record to surpass the billion-dollar threshold, according to November 2011 research from comScore. Data from comScore’s analysis indicates that for the holiday season-to-date (November 1-28), $15 [...]
Mini-Microsoft has been a prime staging ground for these kinds of comments, with accusations aplenty being flung back and forth by current and former Microsoft employees. A sampling from today’s batch shows that Andy Lees is again a popular target:
All I can say as a former Windows Mobile employee who is now working for a competitor in the phone space is that this is good news for the rest of us. [...] Personally I quit because of the frustrating management and autocratic decision style of Terry Myerson and Andrew Lees. The only exec in the team myself and other folks respcted was Tom Gibbons who is now sidelined. Lees and Myerson don’t know consumer products or phones. Gibbons at least knows consumer product development. We often talk about how Andrew Lees still has a job but Microsoft’s loss is a gain for the rest of us.
And that the folks at Danger, acquired by Microsoft to help bring Kin to life, were confounded by the sudden perceived incompetence around them:
You are correct, the remaining Danger team was not professional nor did we show off the amazing stuff we had that made Danger such a great place. But the reason for that was our collective disbelief that we were working in such a screwed up place. Yes, we took long lunches and we sat in conference rooms and went on coffee breaks and the conversations always went something like this…”Can you believe that want us to do this?” Or “Did you hear that IM was cut, YouTube was cut? The App store was cut?” “Can you believe how mismanaged this place is?” “Why is this place to dysfunctional??”
Please understand that we went from being a high functioning, extremely passionate and driven organization to a dysfunctional organization where decisions were made by politics rather than logic.
So: we get it. All is not right with Microsoft’s corporate culture, which may spell trouble for Windows Phone 7. But in the meantime, can’t we just let sleeping Kins lie? [Mini Microsoft]
The best discounts are for things you actually buy. Free web service Offermatic uses your credit card, through the same back-end as Mint.com, to offer 40-90 percent discounts on products similar to what you’ve already purchased.
If you’re not squeamish about providing financial information to financial scanning sites like Mint.com, Offermatic is a pretty sweet deal. You register your credit cards with Offermatic through their secure system, which then scans your purchases and spits back out high-discount offers from their advertisers, made to match your interests. You won’t necessarily get coupons for the exact stores you shop at, but the examples seem to be highly related.
Depending on how much you spend, you can also make up to $15 a year back per card (though, to be honest, we’re not about to spend $1,000 a month just to get $15 back at the end of the year, and we wouldn’t recommend you do either). But getting 40-90 percent off some pretty popular stores isn’t bad for a free service. For the folks on the fence about how Offermatic makes their cut, here’s what their FAQ has to say:
- If your service is free, how do you make money?
We make money by saving you money. We get a commission from the advertiser when our users purchase their offer through us.
- Do you sell my personal or individual data?
Never. When we send you an offer from one of our advertisers, it’s based on your anonymous purchase history. Advertisers do not know your name, email address, or location. Only if you choose to purchase an offer will that information be provided to the offer merchant so you can redeem the offer with them. We do not – and will not – provide or sell any personally identifiable information in order to present you an offer.
So, if you’re less than frightened about card-watching sites like Mint or Blippy, Offermatic is a deal you’ll want to take a closer look at.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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