Free Internet: What's it Really Cost?

Written by Merle

If you're sick and tired of paying 10 or 20.00 a month to your ISP for Internet Access, listen closely to what I'm about to say. "You don't have to." Yep, that's right; you can surfrepparttar Web totally free if you don't mind giving up some of your precious screen real estate to banner ads.

Most ofrepparttar 119075 Free providers want your personal information as well and will ask you to fill out lengthy registration forms when signing up to use their services. They'll want to know if you're married, own or rent, if you have children, and so on and so forth. Some of them will even track your surfing patterns and sell that information to third parties.

According to Jupiter Communications, last year 2.5 million people signed up for free Net access. That number is expected to grow to over 10 million byrepparttar 119076 year 2003. That's a lot of people who are interested in getting something for nothing.

Let's take a look at some ofrepparttar 119077 more popular services and what they have to offer. This free ISP tracks your surfing patterns for ad targeting purposes. Downloading and setup are fairly simple. The banner they place on your screen is 486x86 pixels, which is not a bad size for this type of service. They also offer free email accounts, free webpages, and URL forwarding. The banner size for this service when undocked is 509x76. You'll be asked for a lot of personal information when registering and your surfing habits will be tracked and shared with third parties for targeting banner ads. Their website offers free email accounts, weather, shopping, and its own instant messaging system.

AltaVista Free Internet: Another free dial up fromrepparttar 119078 search engine Alta Vista. service. The banner placed on your monitor is 502x84 pixels undocked. The sign-up process is pretty simple and they don't ask for as much personal information as some ofrepparttar 119079 others. During setup you're givenrepparttar 119080 opportunity to select backup dial-in numbers in caserepparttar 119081 first one is busy. This download works on Windows or Macs and is small at 600K.

Big Brother Bill: It's 1984 all over Again!

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Most ofrepparttar commentary overrepparttar 119074 George Orwell's novel, "1984" that occured in that year, was derision, saying that now it was quite clear thatrepparttar 119075 eerie picture painted of "Big Brother" was unlikely, and certainly not possible.

Now Microsoft has proposed a sweeping web initiative which it has dubbed "dot Net" or .Net in which they would berepparttar 119076 "host" forrepparttar 119077 personal information of every single online consumer. The idea has some appeal as a possible way to access information from a central bank of servers using XML code to withdraw selected info fromrepparttar 119078 vast database of personal information about anyone from a central "host".

To have web access to that information might saverepparttar 119079 life of an accident victim allergic to medications or allow you to withdraw cash from any bank via your cell phone.

The privacy implications though, are downright spooky. Now, you combine that information with newly available science-fiction- like "face-mapping" software tested this year atrepparttar 119080 "Snooper- Bowl" where certain law-enforcement agencies would have access to private personal information and high resolution video scans ofrepparttar 119081 crowd and you have -- Big Brother. Combine that with "Telematics" being used by car rental agencies to trackrepparttar 119082 location and evenrepparttar 119083 speed of their fleet of cars and now it gets real ugly.

This isrepparttar 119084 George Orwell novel, "1984" come to life, a little late, but it's definitely here. Carry a cell phone? It will be federally mandated that your phone must use global positioning technology so that when used to dial emergency services via 911, you can be located to within twenty feet or less. It doesn't take a genius to realize that could be used by Big Brother just as easily without your knowledge.

Any idea if your boss is peering over your shoulder? More than three- quarters of corporate employers monitor employees in multiple ways. The following is from web article on workplace monitoring.

"Althoughrepparttar 119085 average percentage of workers with office e-mail and Internet connections remained relatively constant, overall active monitoring grew to 78 percent from 74 percent in 2000. The overall figure includes such measures as storing and reviewing computer files (36 percent), video recording of employees onrepparttar 119086 job (15 percent), recording and reviewing telephone messages (12 percent), and storing and reviewing voice mail (8 percent)

Other forms of surveillance, including telephone numbers called and time spent onrepparttar 119087 phone, logged computer time and video surveillance for security purposes broughtrepparttar 119088 total for all forms of monitoring to 82 percent, up from last year's 78 percent and from 67 percent in 1999."

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