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Who Do You Trust Least? 216

Posted by timothy
from the living-down-to-expectations dept.
Mister Furious points to a story on Yahoo! "about how a recent study found AOL to be the least trusted site on the net. It even got lower trust ratings then Microsoft." It would be good to see the actual survey questions and results, since they're referred to only in vague terms. Partly because of that, the story could proabably appear in the Onion without raising many eyebrows -- it seems to tacitly acknowledge that to these companies, perception is more important than reality. If you don't use AOL or MSN, one's current ISP is always a good recipient of distrust.
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Who Do You Trust Least?

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  • I trust the news they report, but more then once, while visiting their site, some advertiser of theirs installs some sort of browsing enhancement thing on my computer. (Similar to gator.)

    Grr.
    • That has never happened to me and I visit the CNN site on a daily basis. I distrust CNN for another reason: they are a little to friendly with the US government and often act as a PR machine for the US military.
      • It's happened to me twice in the last two weeks. I know, I wouldn't have believed it either.
        • You ever gone to a porn site and later noticed that you hompage has been chaned? Anyone know how they manage to do that to IE without a prompt? I just want to know so I can filter it. Really. ;)
        • Um, how do they install software on your machine just from you viewing the web page? I understand the IEjavascript homepage changing trick, but actually downloading and installing new software isn't really that imperceptible, you know, unless you've already got BO running :)

      • That has never happened to me and I visit the CNN site on a daily basis. I distrust CNN for another reason: they are a little to friendly with the US government and often act as a PR machine for the US military.
        You're kidding, right? Have you forgotten the bit with Peter Arnett asking questions back during the Gulf War that would have best remained unasked? On a more general note, CNN is definitely one of the more left-leaning "news" organizations in this country (and when speaking of TV, I use "news" loosely as most of 'em aren't worth the electrons that get agitated in transmission). Given who (Ted Turner) used to run it, this should be no surprise.

        My distrust of CNN goes back much further than AOHell's buyout of Time Warner, though that certainly doesn't help things any. (I tend to avoid anything tied to AOHell...it was a minor annoyance when they bought Mapquest and Nullsoft, but I couldn't have cared less about Netscape or Mirabilis.)

    • NEVER trust CNN (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Menteb (161089)
      Do NOT EVER trust what you see on CNN! They manipulate everything. If you want news, go BBC World!

      Greetz

      Menteb
      • Personally, I wouldn't trust anything I saw on the BBC either. They are *very* pro-Blair indeed, and are also strongly in favour of Britain scrapping its currency in favour of the Euro. Despite the fact that they are funded by the taxpayer, and should therefore be impartial.

        They're ok on foreign issues, though.
      • I only trust PBS. I mean how can you not trust a network with "Sewing with Nancy" and that guy who paints "Happy little trees".
      • I would even say more: trusting CNN is like trusting a Micro$oft server. Sometimes they find a backdoor... many more to discover! They are able to manipulate whenever they want! A dangerous game if you ask me!!
      • That would be the "Condit News Network", right? Bleah.

  • Eventhough least trusted site on the net sounds fine, the survey is about "Internet Companies" not about internet sites...

    Do you trust slashdot ?

  • If whats being reported here [theregister.co.uk] at the register is true then hell has frozen over. According to that article VA Linux is going to add closed source subscription software to SourceForge. I'm still shell shocked from reading it. Can you imagine the backlash if this ends up being true?
    • I wouldn't trust them either. According to this report [yahoo.com](real audio), VA is essentially a penny stock, with no hope of survival after 5 quarters, as they will run out of cash. Their stock is currently $1.73, down from a high of $320.


      Imagine how it must feel to be in Maldas or ESRs shoes having lost a paper wealth worth millions. I know I wouldn't have enjoyed the ride down.

    • What's next, they'll run an open source jobs site on IIS?

      Ohh wait [osdn.com]. They do [netcraft.com].
    • the end of the world as we know it

      Actually the story says that VA linux is going to sell some investigate ways to make some money from their software development and thus build some applications that move in new ways - this is perfectly reasonable as their employees have mouths to feed.

      I quote: (lifted without permission but maybe this wil stop the register being slashdotted)

      SourceForge is the new ERP - VA Linux
      By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
      Posted: 24/08/2001 at 07:49 GMT

      Barely six weeks ago VA Linux Systems was an open source hardware vendor. Now, the company is undertaking a Napoleonic retreat from the hardware business and it's doing the unthinkable: adding proprietary subscription software to its open source software flagship SourceForge.

      VA swallowed charges of around $230m in the last quarter - $160 million coming under the category of "impairment of goodwill and intangible assets", and almost $70 million as a one-time charge - contributing to a net loss for the quarter of $290 million as it liquidated its PC manufacturing and sales businesses.

      Costs will continue to affect the bottom line for two further quarters, said VA. Its Japanese subsidiary will continue to sell hardware, the company said, but that amounts to chump change.

      The new software-only VA expects to make an operating lost of $10 to $13 million on revenue of $3 to $4 million in the forthcoming quarter. With a cash pile of $83 million, that gives the company as little as six months to ramp revenue, or else seek new investment. VA said its burn rate will continue to decline, suggesting that more layoffs are to be expected.

      But CEO Larry Augustin is bullish. He says there was no competition for the distributed code management system SourceForge. Current development processes and tools haven't kept pace with geographically dispersed or ad hoc teams, according Augustin, who predicts that the impact of SourceForge could be as great as ERP or CRM.

      Typically VA deals with in-house developers using a range of tools (it cites Borland, Rational and Microsoft as well as GNU tools). The company emphasises that seeks to complement rather than supplant existing tools.

      VA is gunning for $600 revenue per seat per year - it claims that buyers typically see a return on investment within six months.

      Augustin talks of adding "proprietary software features and functionality" to the subscription version SourceForge. That VA is looks at the software-hoarding model to save the business is an irony a few will savour, but we guess that by now badly singed VA investors will simply be hoping it flies. ®

      IN OTHER WORDS

      They are not 'going closed source' they have had a subscription service for some time - the code is well developed and they are looking at new areas like ERP - they have a right to do it and if they dont they may very well be down the tubes.

      From someone who works in MIS and who's company has just spent AU$20 Million on SAP let me tell you that this is a field where some competitors would be good - there arent many new products that ar worth buying and three companies have it tied up - SAP, Peoplesoft and JD Edwards.

      And no - no company in their right mind would ever buy a free GPL erp system - these systems are the heart and sould of a business when you implement them - they do all payroll and accounting functions etc and no one would trust a product without a company with cash and controlled development backing it up.

      I have been accused in the past of defending MS - so it might seem strange for the people who can't see past the MS sucks argument to defend an open source company but im not that narrow minded.

      VA Linux have not sold out the GPL - they are simply running their free software projects and at the same time trying to make enough money to survive and build a new product in the meantime.

      And you can only attack them ?

      Christ have you stopped to think what this means if these guys get this right - ERP's are run on Windows or Unix Platforms - what this might give the world is a stable lower cost ERP alternative that is built on linux.

      The problem with free sourcing applications like this is that VA would be expected by their clients to do all the development work but by the brethern to give everyone that work for free and thus give competitors the chance to profit off their hard work when they adapt the code and havent got to pay for the development.

      Open source does not have to mean free IMHO - devlopment of corporate systems costs money - but maybe VA can start the ball rolling and we might win a few of those corporate file and app servers and some corporate desktops.

      So please no more meaningless VA have sold out posts - its boring and innacurate and they are only being posted here because they own Slashdot and your trying to be smart (and failing)
  • Email address (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dingo (91227)
    The way I gauge how to trust is as follows

    Ask for email address without apparent reason=back away slowly avoiding eye contact

    Others=trust
    :)
  • ...when you see on the "Always trust content from Microsoft Corporation" checkmark?
  • Define trust... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nevrar (65761) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:27AM (#2212459)
    "...consumers said they were highly distrustful..." I appreciate the news article is summarising, but really, I reckon they sorta need to define trust. I mean is it in terms of privacy, is it reliability of service? I.M.H.O. it could be taken to mean any number of different things by those being surveyed. I'm not sure you can seriously look at figures like that to mean anything (of course, it could just be a jounalistic summary of a more in-depth survey).
    • without revealing anything about how this survey was built up, i find that that news report is totally useless, since i actually cannot imagine what should be so distrutful about AOL compared to M$. I mean of course we do not know how all AIM stuff is used for marketing purposes etc, but compared to what microsoft does to track your PC and usage while you surf the web with lots of Windoozr-applications trying to connect to redmont every minute this seems to be worse.

      As Nevrar says the word "trust" has to be defined better, the information we get currently from taht article says nothing.

  • Significance? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by expunged (30314) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:30AM (#2212462) Homepage Journal
    The story mentions first 37 and 29 percent and then 15 and 17 percent, drawing HUGE differences -- Microsoft is referred to as nearly as trusted as online brokerages, while AOL is paraded as completely untrustable.

    Is 2% (or even 8%) really that significant? It may seem huge, but it really depends on the survey size and how the questions are asked. Does anyone know more about how these surveys are done, their margins of error on average, etc?

    I think they are jumping to conclusions on this one, unless they know more than they are telling. It almost seems like they are jumping on a "let's hate AOL" bandwagon. (Not that that's necessarily completely unfounded)

    -nicole
    • I think they are jumping to conclusions on this one, unless they know more than they are telling. It almost seems like they are jumping on a "let's hate AOL" bandwagon.

      Yahoo on the '"let's hate AOL" bandwagon'? Now why could that be...?

      • It's a wire story. Yahoo! has published stories critical of Yahoo! Inc., as well. (That whole "we won't sell porn anymore" fiasco comes to mind.) The content comes from the AP, Reuters, and other sources; Yahoo just spruces it up with Smart Tag-like "(news - photos)" links.
    • Is 2% (or even 8%) really that significant? It may seem huge, but it really depends on the survey size and how the questions are asked. Does anyone know more about how these surveys are done, their margins of error on average, etc?

      I agree with you on this. The margins of error could totally muck with the results. Let's say there was a 15% margin of error, then all conclusions drawn that AOL is less trusted than Microsoft is totally a moot point. Also if they surveyed 10 people, or some small sample, that also isn't indiciative of the general populace.

      Also jumping on the "let's hate AOL" bandwagon isn't necessarily a bad thing. Personally I feel they are too big and involved in too much for my personal level of trust. But I'd have to rank it this way:
      on-line brokerages
      ....
      AOL (second to bottom)
      Microsoft (bottom)

      "If you insist on using Windoze you're on your own."
    • > Is 2% (or even 8%) really that significant?


      You know how people distort statistics. Actually, what's more significant than the raw numbers they're throwing around is the set of questions. What exactly do they mean by "Trust"? How do you measure it? Do you trust the people who run the site, or the members who contribute to the site?


      For example, if I have a MS application, and I need a patch, I have a fairly high level of trust that I can go there, download updates and patches, and they will fix the problems they say they will fix. On the other hand, I have absolutely ZERO trust in their marketing and PR machines and the opinions they express.


      So, depending on the underlying agenda of the people funding the "survey", you could interpret (i.e., "twist") my response any way you want.

    • What's more important than the margin of error is the confidence interval. Using Tukey's Family test (if you had the raw data), you could say quite easily (depending on sample size, varience, etc.) that there are not even two distinct populations.


      In truth, without the raw data/complete computations (the kind you find in a doctoral disortation), you cannot really draw any conclusions from this information.

  • If the study conducted was about the most/least trusted internet companies, why was Microsoft included in the survey?
  • Pr0n? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dr_Cheeks (110261) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:35AM (#2212472) Homepage Journal
    Frankly, I think that our friends the pr0nographers are way more untrustworthy than AOL. At least AOL doesn't pop-up and pop-under new windows at every given opportunity, including when you close the current browser window (man, I hate that). And they don't attempt to plant suspicious (and occasionally incriminating) cookies on your HD, or do any of those other wonderful tricks that help your boss/parents/significant other argue that you're not doing anything productive on the net. And I'd sure feel better about giving my CC# to AOL than to pr0n sites (we're just using it to check your age, no really....)

    AOL are no saints, but they do seem to have developed some scruples as a sort of reponse to potentially bad publicity.

    • Well, if you have a problem with popup windows on the sites you mentioned or even on other types of sites, a smart idea may be to turn your javascript settings off prior to engaging in the activity.

      Moz.
      • Yeah, but Javascript does have it's uses - I prefer people to use it to spice up their pages a bit rather than sticking a Flash animation on there for example (OK, not the greatest example, but it can be quite cool).

        I object to having to cripple my browser just to ensure that people don't abuse it. And, I'll admit, I'm kinda lazy too.


    • "Frankly, I think that our friends the pr0nographers are way more untrustworthy than AOL"

      Personally, I find it's the people who make sweeping generalizations that are the least trustworthy 8^}

      "And I'd sure feel better about giving my CC# to AOL than to pr0n sites (we're just using it to check your age, no really....) "

      This makes no sense, as you are indemnified for all but $50.00 with the typical credit card, and your easily a $50.00 a pop pervert. Besides, there is a hell of a lot more money to be made selling pr0nography legitimately than in committing the fraud, I'm sure.
      • You're getting a bit trollish there, but since you didn't AC I'll address your points:
        1. Sweeping generalisations - OK, I shouldn't do it. There's probably some pornographers out there who're fine upstanding members of society. But it's undeniable that a lot of porn sites that simply don't seem to have any qualms when it comes to using sneaky tricks to get more traffic.
        2. You undermine your first point by then pre-judging me. I've never really understood why wanting to see attractive adult women with no clothes on is considered perversion - I'm not into hardcore, teens, bondage or any of that other stuff - I'm just following my natural urges in a private manner that doesn't harm anyone. I'd say my tastes were pretty tame really, so calling me a pervert is both childish and unfounded. And suggesting that I'm perfectly willing to let someone rip me off to the tune of $50 is ridiculous. Anyone who'd stand for any company doing that has more money than sense. And I don't doubt that selling porn can make you lots of cash, but if your dot-com is tanking then CC fraud is bound to start looking a lot more attractive. If you're a small company, who're already lacking more scruples than most, then it'd be much easier to commit the fraud then leg it than it would be for AOL.
        So, in conclusion, I'll try to avoid sweeping statements in future, and I hope you try to show less prejudice towards people you know nothing about. And I'd still trust AOL more than a porn site, but as it is, neither of them have my CC#.
    • Someone mentioned this in another discussion a few weeks ago, but I think it bears repeating for those who run Windoze and might have missed or dismissed it.
      Popup Killer [xfx.net] works quite well. Though it does occasionally miss a popup or close a window I actually wanted open (depending on the settings,) its benefits outweigh its drawbacks IMHO.

      It's not even just pr0n sites that are bad (though they're probably the worst.) wwf.com [wwf.com] is pretty bad for popups.

      Yes, I know it's fake.
      • Except that Popup Killer is non free [xfx.net]. Does anyone know of a freeware solution?
        • by PD (9577)
          Get Mozilla and put in the special configuration line that disables the javascript open window function. Everything else works, but you don't get any popups at all.

      • At least AOL doesn't pop-up and pop-under new windows at every given opportunity, including when you close the current browser window (man, I hate that).


      They don't? Huh, funny, last time I checked (albeit it was over 5 years ago) AOL popped up about 20 advertisements when you FINALLY managed to log on. When you were done sifting through them you got logged off for being "inactive".

      Nope, no pop-ups there.
      • I assume you're talking about AOL's internet service (rather than just their web site). Last time I checked, they do open various windows within the client they provide. One or two of these may be ads, the rest are stuff like "Buddy List", AOL's internal news/home page, and details about any emails you've received. Most of these are not ads; they're services that AOL provides to their users that don't promote any products (other than maybe AOL itself).

        Course, this was in the UK - I can't say for sure what the deal is elsewhere, but I've been led to believe that the situation is similar in North America at least.

        And the inactivity time-out is something like 5-10 minutes. It only shows up if no traffic (including stuff outside their client, like an FTP prog or Netscape) has been going between your machine and their server for a while, and it does leave a prompt on your screen (within their client) for a couple of minutes before logging you off.

    • Actually, I find the pr0n sites to be the most trustworthy of all:

      You always get a warning on the front page, followed by a number of links to other sites, followed by a tiny "click here to enter" link.

      You always get a ton of annoying pop-ups.

      You always get a few teasers, followed by an AVS form.

      You always get charged for the good stuff.

      The pr0n sites can always be relied upon to deliver their product in a consistent manner. And they generally can handle high traffic &c., so they can always be trusted to have good uptime.

  • went down a notch. I dont think I could trust any news service who did a report on a report without providing SOME sort of link or reference information(other than NASDAQ I mean) to back it up.
    It reads like something out of a checkout-stand rag.

    "Sources say they dont trust the other rags."
    -- END STORY
  • by andi75 (84413) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:37AM (#2212476) Homepage
    I sure don't trust slashdot for the correct spelling (english is not my mother tongue).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i dont trust any place whose domain ends in .mil or .gov
  • by Anonymous Coward
    because people are generally known to implicitly trust huge corporations in general?
  • ...Chello [chello.at], an Austrian ISP is the worst of all.... Instead of providing me bandwith he is charging enormous amounts for a malfunctioning connection , spam and (although swearing not to do so) filtering my mail
  • by rjh (40933) <rjh@sixdemonbag.org> on Friday August 24, 2001 @04:00AM (#2212506)
    ... anything ending in .gov.
  • That would have to be my mother-in-law.

    Oh - on the net. Still my mother-in-law.
  • by phalse phace (454635) on Friday August 24, 2001 @04:15AM (#2212530)
    Hmmm... must have been them dead people [slashdot.org] answering them surveys. How else can you explain it?
  • Of course the average user is going to distrust AOL. One has to think, out of all of the users on the Internet, how many are probably AOL users? AOL is in their eyes 'the authority figure over all the internet' because it is what they use to get on the internet.
    So is this distrust misplaced? No. I think that one could safely say that AOL TIME-Warner, just like we have noted with Microsoft, is one of the 'big companies' that we should have to keep our eyes on. Think about it, AOL/Time-Warner controls so much of the media and multi-media world and so many people's access to the internet with Road Runner and AOL it's almost scary when you think about it. If AOL/Time-Warner wanted to push an agenda or put a company out of business, they could do it easily.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is, that there is always going to be distrust, and by scruptiously looking at companies as they 'come into power' as controllers of the information and providers of it to the population, being at least a little distrusting is definitely in order. But does that mean that we should start necessarily start believing everything that is in a less-legitimate or large scale newspaper, perhaps the National Enquirer?
    No....
  • by Ryu2 (89645) on Friday August 24, 2001 @04:16AM (#2212533) Homepage Journal
    Fluffy articles with little to no technical content, error-prone reporting (especially of anything not MS or Intel), superficial quotes from "analysts", for example: "shutting down Napster will cause problems for their users" or "The slowdown will cause a decline in tech spending among companies" -- they get paid for this???


    Also, most of their articles touting new products, etc are really thinly-veiled adverts for MS, Intel, etc. and never seem to badmouth anything too badly. Their "videos" are also little more than mouthpieces for company spokespeople to get their point across.

  • Does anyone else find it interesting that the two companies who are prime examples of consumer lock-in (AIM/Windows & Office) are the most distrusted companies on the 'net? Both have the "walled garden" approach, and while all the suits seem to be talking up how great the idea is, this speaks differently.

    Perhaps this study just goes to show that, while they may be complacent, people aren't completely blind to what these companies are potentially denying them.

    Freedom and empowerment is more important than a friendly "You've got mail". The problem is that in order to be empowered in the sense of having access to the net, many people are willing to go the easy route (i.e. AOL) and it puts them at someone else's mercy. Same idea applies to many of Microsoft's customers.

    People sacrifice complete freedom and empowerment for the ease and extra free time gained by using AOL and Microsoft's products. And while many are quite satisfied with the choice (as the AOL rep stated in the article) it doesn't take away distrust of what may potentially happen or be happening to them. That's still fertile ground I think.
    • Does anyone else find it interesting that the two companies who are prime examples of consumer lock-in (AIM/Windows & Office) are the most distrusted companies on the 'net?

      It's not the consumer lock-in that makes them distrusted, it's their abuse of the power that lock-in gives them.

      Many other companies have something akin to consumer lock-in, and don't get the negative feedback. To give an obvious example, Java is a proprietary technology, and Sun does retain a high degree of control. However, Sun have never seriously screwed the Java community in several years, and have only really used the authority they have to defend the language, e.g., against Microsoft's Visual J++. As a result, people are much more prepared to give Sun credit for being trustworthy.

      Much the same is true of Borland and C++ Builder, which has sufficiently many extensions to C++ that porting to another platform would be tricky. However, again, Borland have consistently maintained the product and thus kept their customers happy.

      Now compare and contrast these with MS, whose new OS and office suite offer precious little new functionality and the same old bugs, as reported in numerous reviews by the IT press. And yet, in exchange, they're looking for a blank cheque from your company HQ, because they're Microsoft and so they're obviously worth it. Is it surprising that people distrust such a company?

  • I mean, what do you expect from AOL? A serious internet provider? Don't make me laugh. It reminds me of my newly invented SPAM filter. It's quite short. Basically it comes down to this: If from:==*@aol.com,*@msn.com,*@hotmail.com then | SPAM. Personally I do not have "friends" who in their right state of mind have an AOL account. And anybody which has is not serious enough to spend my time on. Their problem.
    But it's quite interesting that a gigantic provider like AOL can be labeled as "not serious". That brings up another question: Are there any "serious" or "trustworthy" providers? Some elite ISPs which do profile checks on their customers if they are good enough to have services from them?

    Forgive my ramblings, I'm but a worm. I just wanted to make some noise like the rest of you dweeps. ;)
  • Microsoft is totally trustworthy. I mean, I trust that they're going to spread fud about competitors' products; I trust that they're going to try to usurp protocols and make them proprietary; I trust that they're going to create crappy software; I trust that they're going to continue their constant quest to render technologies obsolete and replace them with their own...

    Hey, they're relentless and consistent. Evil, maybe, but hardly untrustworthy.

  • Oh, get serious! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by jcr (53032)
    AOL may suck, but they're hardly the least trustworthy site on the net.

    What about www.scientology.org, or www.worldnetdaily.net, to name two?

    -jcr
    • I dunno, there's a difference between "untrustworthy" and "actively maliciously perverting reality". Scientology isn't even on the same scale as AOL/Microsoft :)

  • It might suprise some people but microsoft are very low on my list on this one - i can trust them totally as they keep doing business the same way - they are predicatble.

    The site i trust least is c/net - might sound strange but think about it this way - think of all the beat up stories you have seen - Optus@home looking at peoples downloads, code red, etc and look at the stories they run - and dont even talk about product reviews or releases - they are almost entirely re written PR blurbs - you cannot rely on them at all for 'news' without bias.

    Companies i trust least - Compaq - Another one some wont agree with but i have reasons - they still persist in proprietary systems, their support (speaking from a corporate point of view) is mosty abysmal, their website is confusing, slow and badly thought out (try finding the drivers you want - i dare you) their products are prone to failure (Armada notebooks, prolinea desktops to name 2 i have had major problems with)

    Now you may not agree - thats cool - but they are the ones i dont trust
    • Companies i trust least - Compaq - Another one some wont agree with but i have reasons - they still persist in proprietary systems

      cough...linux on ipaq..cough

      By that logic, I guess your mistrust Sun, HP, Cisco, Nvidia, Sony, IBM, as well...just to name a few. Whose routers are those 394 laptops running on? You have your own opinion, that's fine, but in my case dealing in proprietary systems doesn't make one less trustworthy, just short sighted.

  • Nutty post office plan to put serial killers on stamps! [weeklyworldnews.com]

    The page 5 girl I trust, no one else. Okay, and batboy's girlfriend. She's been through so much.
  • one's current ISP is always a good recipient of distrust

    I really do not understand this. The ISP:s are not Angels, but are they Archdaemons?

    All the political/religious/environmental wacko pages, you ever visited them?

    Many oppressive 3rd world governments also have their sites, you ever heard of them?

    Sites mentioned in spam, (get-rich-now etc.). Or have you never received spam?

    EOF (end-of-flame)

  • is http://slashdot.org
    Especially stories by Timothy.
    Didn't he get a new job or something? ;-p

  • My biggest fear would be someone who is *not* under public scrutiny like larger companies. Look how many small companies constantly try to fly under the radar and install spyware onto your computer in their latest release. The whole Gator thing is a perfect example of this, they start off initially as a company who helps people autocomplete forms on websites, then they start sending rival adds to pages that you goto, then they intentionally build an app to go over the existing banner add on the page.

    A company like Microsoft would *never* be able to get away with a gator like stunt, someone would be suing the heck out of them (the government would have their antitrust lawyers out like a pack of ravenous wolfs). Only people who seem to get away with doing stuff like this is the small little company that nobody seems to really care about; but that company is the first in line to screw you over in dirty little tricks.
    • Having worked for a company that does statistical anaysis on prescription drug use, I would not trust the pharmaceutical companies. By extension, the HMOs also have access to this information. The really scary part is that because health insurance companies and financial companies can and will merge legally (in the US), it will be possible for the manager approving your mortgage loan to see if you have any serious illnesses that might cause you to become unemployed, thus making you a high risk candidate.
    • Microsoft would never be able to get away with this?

      Consider Windows.

      It starts off initially as a program that runs on top of DOS to let you run programs with a consisten GUI. Then they turn it into an operating system, so you can't have the DOS without the Windows. Then they install all this other software like a web browser with it and make it impossible to rid yourself of that browser. Then they release a new version of Windows that stores your authentication information with Microsoft, and they start linking that information to every piece of data that they or their partners collect about you.

      No, you don't have to worry about Gator. You have a choice there. Gator doesn't install itself, you install it.

      You do have to worry about Microsoft, because it's darn near impossible to make a comfortable living these days without having to interact with them in one way or another.

      You have been owned.
  • in all those pay sites with the 100% genuine Britney Spears lesbian action movies. I'll try maybe a couple more but I'm starting to have nagging doubts about their authenticity.
  • Beware... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by indecision (21439)
    Sites which let any random joe with a hotmail account post stories for the front page, which are rarely if ever checked.

    Especially those on which the so-called-editors add a little "Here's my in-the-know take on it" blurb at the bottom to lull you into a false sense of security.

    Even worse are sites where they let anybody and everybody with an axe to grind post huge informative comments which actually just serve their hidden agendas.

    Worse still are those which let anybody and their dog moderate, I mean just because somebody's posted a few +5 Funny's doesnt mean they know the first thing about Satellite Phones. They, too, are going to be following their agendas.

    Whoops, I work for a company selling chips that go in satellite phones, oh no I've accidentally marked all negative comments as trolls. Doh.

    Just my 2p (of humour).

  • Icon wars (Score:2, Informative)

    by cigarky (89075)
    "Nevertheless, Gartner's Litan said that "the added trust that consumers have in Microsoft gives the company an important leg up in its battle with AOL for online services." Litan added: "Consumers will be more likely to try new Microsoft features embedded in Windows XP (news - web sites), such as Microsoft Messaging."

    Gartner has acted as Microsoft's hatchetman before, this fits well as another MS move to counter AOL getting an icon on the desktop on Windows XP via the OEMs.

  • some genius just told me:
    "we should not trust everything we read."
  • Is there one tiny bit of meaning to this post? What the hell does this mean? Trust for what? Trust to sleep with our 13 year old son/daughter? Trust that the cats will be fed and the litter box cleaned? Trusted to make good on its World Bank debt? This has got ot be the silliest posting I've ever seen here!
  • Don't install things on my PC

    I hate real player, porn sites, and comet cursor
  • Where's the grammar Nazi when you need him?
    • Thank you. Editors: Goddammit, it's WHOM. For some reason, people have a REALLY HARD TIME with this simple word in this particular sentence. It happens all the time, despite the fact that it's clearly dead wrong!

      Best example I can think of: the elder George Bush routinely asked "Who do you trust?" when running against Bill Clinton. Of course we know the outcome.

  • The submitter's comment, "It even got lower trust ratings then Microsoft" sort of caught my eye. It never occurred to me until just now, but if you think about it, AOL really is a hell of a lot worse than MS. I mean, AOL only has one product to "get right" while Microsoft has many, yet I would have to say that America Online's software is more crash-prone, buggy, and overall confusing than anything Microsoft has put out.

    Of course, a lot of the problems I've run into with AOL are conflicts between Windows and the AOL software, so it could just be something along the lines of two cancers fighting each other or something. Dunno.

    Anyway, food for thought.

    • brink wrote:
      >yet I would have to say that America Online's
      >software is more crash-prone, buggy, and overall
      >confusing than anything Microsoft has put out
      although this is true for some cases, this has absolutely nothing to do with "trust". I define trust in a way like: What do these guys to with my adress, with my usage preferences, which sites do i view, what do they all log?

      these are the important questions and i do not see any reason why crashing software is untrustworthy.

    • Well... I trust Microsoft less than just about any company I could name, because they lie, break the law, and PLAN EXTENSIVELY. That doesn't mean they'll always win, mind you, but it does mean that any little thing they do probably has an ulterior motive. They are manipulative and incredibly fond of spin and deception, where an AOL is much stodgier and stupider.
      • AOL deletes your account by mistake and ignores you when you scream at them.
      • Microsoft develops a new feature for Media Player that rips CDs to WMA and hosts them on MSN for you, then sets off the trigger in the WMA files causing you to pay per listen to them since they're of copyrighted material and you haven't filed requests for them to be considered as original works, and also collects $2000 from the RIAA for turning you over to the police. In jail, you get a glossy brochure for the next Media Player feature. This time, you can rip DVDs :D

      Seriously, how can you get lower trust ratings than Microsoft? They are proven liars, criminals and have been doing what they do for decades. The only people who support them are paid employees and dead people ;)

      Distrust of Microsoft is a litmus test for having a smidgeon of common sense and a rudimentary connection to reality ;)

  • "We don't know anything about the methodology or how the questions were asked, but [the survey] directly contradicts what we hear from our members," Weinstein told the E-Commerce Times.

    Imagine that. People who don't trust AOL aren't inclined to fill out AOL customer satisfaction surveys.

    I don't trust AOL either. They took money from my bank account without my authorization.
  • they are just waiting to go chapter 11 now a days it seems =(
  • The article on Yahoo! appears to be a report based on--turn off JavaScript before you go--this press release from Gartner [gartner.com].

    The press release isn't much more detailed, as it is a teaser for a Gartner symposium in October.

    It does mention Amazon, but for the most part is framed as a battle between AOL and Microsoft over instant messaging clients.

  • It even got lower trust ratings then Microsoft?? Did there just have to be some form of MS bashing in this?

    Sure, to US MS may not be the most trusted, but this person sounded surprised to see that MS didn't get the worst rating... I mean, come on, there is a world out there and most of the general public adore MS or are simply unknowing. I wouldn't have been surprised to see MS being the most trusted (well, that's stretching it). But I think that comment was hitting below the belt, unnecessarily.

    Boo to Mister Furious.
  • I noticed that quote in the orginal story I read last week or whenever. AOL says customer "satisfaction has never been higher." But that doesn't mean it's high!

    It could be at 3%, when it never previously topped 2.5%.

    It's like when a commercial says "Nothing lasts longer" or "Nothing is stronger." It's not saying that it is any BETTER than the others. It's not even saying that the others a don't last as long, or are weaker.

    Double-speak - it will sway the weak minded every time.
  • "If you don't use AOL or MSN, one's current ISP is always a good recipient of distrust."

    What the hell does this mean? Are we supposed to have a certain amount of distrust that MUST be assigned to someone or something?

    If I didn't trust my ISP I wouldn't be using them.
  • I trust my ISP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TWR (16835) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:53AM (#2213585)
    one's current ISP is always a good recipient of distrust.

    Maybe not trusting your ISP is a side-effect of using one of the large, faceless companies as an ISP. I use sonic.net (www.sonic.net), which is relatively small, has great tech support, provides equipment status (and failure) notices on its home page, and is currently fighting SBC to overturn its new, restrictive DSL contract.

    I pay about $5/month more for my DSL with Sonic than I would with SBC, but I get a static IP address, no limitations on running a server, a shell account, 50MB of web space on their server, and I get a nice warm feeling from supporting a mom-and-pop company.

    If you don't trust your ISP, you've got to wonder why you're giving them money in the first place.

    -jon

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"

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