Stretching the Truth: I don’t understand why AOL doesn’t flush their profile database when screen names are no longer in use. I’ve been desiring the “camworld” AOL screen name for some time now and have done what I can to make sure it’s really a dead account, yet AOL does not allow me to register it as a new screen name because someone a long time ago had an AOL account with the name “camworld”. I believe that Earthlink also does this with their userIDs. The only reason I can think of is that both Earthlink and AOL are continuing to include dead accounts in their user tally so as to make it sound like they have a larger number of users than they actually do. How many of AOL’s 30+ million users are actual active users and active screen names? When AOL does their figures, are they counting the number of screen names in use or the number of paying accounts? Are they falsely claiming more users than they actually have? Lots of people use multiple screen names for different purposes. For instance, I have three AOL screen names and five Yahoo accounts, but I am a single user. Has anyone done any research on this? Can anyone at AOL tell me if there is a way to acquire a screen name that is no longer being used?
An analogy to the above. Let’s say that between 1994 and 2000, 900 million copies of some version of Netscape were downloaded. But it’s well-known that a high percentage of the same users downloaded new versions of the same browser on a regular basis. If you follow the logic of this thinking, it’s possible that Microsoft is doing the same thing with their numbers when reporting how many MSN and Hotmail users they have. And if that’s the case, be suspicious of how many Passport users Microsoft claims to have as it’s likely the’re aggregating their Hotmail users, their MSN users, their .NET site partners, etc. into one big number to make it sound more impressive. Microsoft’s claim of the number of Hotmail accounts is likely false because we all know that spammers are using account setup scripts to set up one-time-use email accounts for catching replies to spam.
Man, Japan always gets the cool stuff first. Check out this UFO-shaped remote control. Funky.
Linux Journal: XSLT Powers a New Wave of Web Applications
On Dave Farber’s Interesting-People mailing list is an email to Dan Gillmor from a guy at Microsoft that talks about why Microsoft Entourage does not have Excahnge Server capabilities. This has been a huge problem for me. Microsoft’s incompetence in producing a quality email client that works with their own damn mail/calendar server is clearly showing though here. Entourage is clearly the best email client ever made for the Mac, but Microsoft insists on shipping a separate email client thats work with their Exchange server.
Here’s an interesting article at Time about the rise (and fall?) of DoCoMo, the giant Japanese cell phone carrier that gave the world i-mode, the very popular Web-on-a-phone technology. There are currently more than 30 million Japanese subscribers to this service and i-mode is now being launched in Europe.
Linux Journal: Linux in the US Government
Posted by Cameron Barrett at February 19, 2002 12:24 PM