Daniel’s Commentary and Events

Let’s start out with this one from AOL… you know this is going to be good.
This appeared on the Terms of Service of the AOL Instant Messenger on March 11th:
“Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.”
Waive my right to privacy…? Can we say scary?! Well, someone called AOL on that change, and recently the TOS were changed to re-add a privacy statement that AOL does not read your conversations. Here’s my question: What was AOL trying to slip passed us with this change? I do not trust AOL one bit, and I laugh at anyone naive enough that does. Such attempts to slip these waivers are unethical and just bad business. It really says a lot about how AOL feels about their customers. Then again, this only reiterates what I’ve been saying about AOL for a long time now. Such invasions of privacy (which I believe do exist and have existed for some time) have pushed some to move to encryption. Products such as Trillian and Gaim include (or add on) encryption on the AIM/ICQ messenger; however, I am not convinced that this is enough. Switching to other protocols such as Jabber would be preferable, but it may take some other drastic step by AOL to create an exodus from AIM/ICQ.
I received a letter in the mail yesterday. I have been selected to receive the Scholastic Achievement Award. I have an upcoming awards ceremony, which will be April 26 at 7:00 in the Student Center on the main campus.