Welcome InfoWorld readers. The EgypyAir …

Welcome InfoWorld readers.

The EgypyAir tragedy hits closer to home than I expected. One of my co-worker’s grandparents were onboard. [I’m sorry, but I will not disclose any names.]

The Mackinac Bridge which connects the upper and lower peninsualas of Michigan opened 42 years ago today.

Great NYT editorial on Microsoft’s lobbying abuses. This reminds me of a book I read after leaving college. Transnational Media Corporations: Global Messages & Free Market Competition is a great look at how large corporate conglomerates are changing the way business is done and laws are passed. [BTW, this was written by a college professor of mine.]

Fast Company: Great interview with Paco Underhill. Underhill is the author of a new book called Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, that looks at consumer shopping patterns, both online and off. [More: Borders.com interviews Paco Underhill.]

For my Michigan readers, Don Norman will be speaking November 10 at MOCHI in Ann Arbor on the campus of University of Michigan (Hale Auditorium, Business Administration Building – School of Business, 7:00 PM). MOCHI is the Southeastern Michigan and Northern Ohio chapter of ACM SIGCHI. See you there.

Your phone records are being sold. I’m glad to see FCC chairman William Kennard get angry about this. He’s not as good an FCC chairman as Reed Hundt was, but he’s doing a pretty good job in protecting our consumer rights and privacy. [via Factovision]

Sweet! This is exactly the kind of thing I like to hear about — phone companies getting caught with their pants down.

On a related note: Some of you may remember me complaining [loudly] about the new Minimum Usage Fee the long distance (LD) carriers are now instituting. I didn’t like the fact that I had to pay them $3 a month regardless of whether I made any long distance calls, so I called my friendly (ha!) AT&T customer service representative and bitched up a storm. After working my way up to the top tier of thier customer service hierarchy, trying to get my account credited with $3, I was finally told in a firm manner that there was no way they were going to credit me the charge. The evil AT&T representative claimed that it cost them a minimum $10/month just to keep a customer’s record in their database, regardless of how many calls are made. I then proceeded to call Ameritech to cancel my long distance service. Last week, AT&T called asking me why I switched LD carriers. I made it clear to them that I dropped my LD service (didn’t switch) because I was unhappy about the new Minumum Usage Fee and hung up. So, now I use my cell phone for long distance calls. [Ugh: If I didn’t need a land-line for Internet access, I wouldn’t even have a phone.]

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday Mom! Card’s in the mail.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at November 1, 1999 01:22 PM

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