Digsby Encounters The Dark Side Again

A while back I blogged about how Digsby had gone to the dark side, well with their most recent update they take another step in that direction. Today they introduced a new “feature” that allows: “Trending News: We’ve partnered with the folks at OneRiot to bring the latest trending news stories to your social feeds.”, in other words we put random spam in your feed.

Yes, this can be disabled by going Preferences > General & Profile and unchecking “Show trending news articles in social network feeds”, but that’s not really the point. Digsby continues to introduce features to increase their bottom line by auto-opting in all of their users without notifying them of the changes. How did they not learn their lesson from Facebook’s Beacon fiasco or even their own policy of automatically opting in users for their own for-profit research? I ask of you again Digsby if you are going to change the way your product work you need to explain it to the user and let them opt in or out. You’ve done this when you added features like achievements but you fail to do so when it comes to your bottom line. I ask you again please come back from the dark side.

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Digsby Come Back From The Dark Side

For many months now I have used an Instant Messaging client called Digsby. It allows you to connect to multiple different IM networks like AIM, Yahoo, Facebook, MSN, ICQ, Google Talk and a few others as well as your social networks like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Recently they have changed over to the Dark Side. By this I mean they have added two revenue generating programs to their application.

  1. Installer Spyware – This allows you to optionally install different programs so those companies will pay Digsby for getting them installed. The optional software usually doesn’t play nice and typically adds nothing more than a loss of screen real estate to another annoying system hogging toolbar in your browser. There are several other ones that are offered. This model I can tolerate because if the user is smart enough they will figure out how to not install them in the first place or how to uninstall them if they were installed.
  2. Research Module – This allows digsby to user your computer and bandwidth to do pretty much whatever they want with it. Most likely be another pawn in some search engines indexing program. This one I find much more troubling because it uses your electricity and your bandwidth (remember bandwidth caps are coming kids) to make them money. I agree everyone needs money but this isn’t the right way to go about it. This needs to be added to the installer as an opt out program or better yet you could add a non evil model and have it process something cool like cancer research or mapping the human genome.

Digsby please fix these items and in a hurry. I have already opted out of your research program as I like my bandwidth and computer to myself, your probably the best IM client out there but if you continue to the dark side I will have to find an alternative.

For more information about Digsby IM Clients Dark Side:

Also checkout Digsby’s Explanation: http://blog.digsby.com/archives/693

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The Past Few Weeks

The past few weeks have been quite busy for me. I spent about a week in Washington DC seeing the sights and enjoying the freedoms that our country provides. While there I found out that I had a ticket to the Indy 500 once I got back. So I took another day off work to road trip it up to Indy, which really wasn’t that bad since we had several drivers. The race was awesome it is just amazing how fast those cars can actually go, we were in turn 4 and watched several cars pound the wall just in front of our seats. Unfortunately, I got back to town to find that my dads lung cancer had made him take a turn for the worst, i didn’t get to share my experience at Indy with him but knowing what a race fan he was i know it wouldn’t have wanted me it on his account. I did get to say my goodbyes and spend a bit more time with him, he passed away early that Wednesday morning. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes the family is doing fine.

I have spend the last week or so working on my studying for my Linux+ certification which I hope to take at the beginning of next month. I hope this will diversify my IT knowledge and allow me not to be lost or have to Google every command when trying to do things on a Linux system. I have already watched the CBT Nuggets videos and now have moved into TestOut in depth study material which I should be able to finish by the end of the week.

Also, I joined Livestrong.com’s The Daily Plate program which is a food and exercise journal that will help keep track of what you do and how much you eat so you can hopefully lose weight. My sister has been doing it for a bit and Jen and I decided that we should give it a shot, if nothing else it gives you some statistics of how good you eat compared to what activities you do. So far I have noticed that the food database is quite extensive because I was able to add my Freebirds burrito by size and each component. The activity database is just as extensive which includes sleeping, mowing the lawn, washing the car, working one computer, watching tv and any other activity you can think of. It also uses your height and weight to estimate how much you should eat and includes activities in to it, it is pretty neat you should at least sign up and check it out.

As for the site, I have been trying post pictures from all these great places i have been recently. I have only had moderate success as you can tell from the front page. I will also be putting up a few articles about virutalization and more of the general IT stuff that I have been working on. If you have any ideas for posts i should do just put it in a comment and I will see if I can make it happen.

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The Hidden Cost of Dropbox

dropboxTo start off, I love Dropbox, it is a great service that allows you to sync 2GB to the cloud for free. It also allows you to share files with your friends and post files to a webserver so you can send it in an IM or email and they can see your file. It works great for small files and large a like, I have found it to be fast and reliable. Unfortunately it isn’t really free. I’m not talking about the premium you can pay to get more space, I’m talking about the cache files that it saves. I understand that all this data is saved across many other workstations on the internet which forms the cloud. This is great and I’m sure it saves them tons of money not having to pay for bandwidth and cloud storage at like S3, however… 12 GB of cache files on my computer is a bit unacceptable.

I noticed this when I was looking at my C drive wondering man why so low and I have not installed anything new or downloaded anything of significant size, and that’s when I found it 12GB of files in my C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Dropbox\cache folder. This is the equivalent of sharing 12GB file so you can have like 2GB this just doesn’t make since. I have been using Dropbox for several months and just now noticed the cache but I would hope it would clean it up every once and a while. I understand they need multiple copies in the cloud for speed and reliability but this is a bit extreme. Also this large amount of data as it becomes.. is in the wrong directory, at least from a business perspective because trying to sync 12GB of Dropbox files takes a while when this data really doesn’t need to be part of a roaming profile. I understand that this isn’t it’s primary use, but it probably should be part of Local Settings\Application Data instead so it doesn’t follow you around in a roaming profiles environment.

I would like to make this point clear though, none of this would stop me from using Dropbox, it is a great free file sharing application, I will just watch those cache files and delete them once and a while.

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On The Way to Indy

Only four days have passed, yet I am getting ready for another adventure out in our great country. The Indianapolis 500 is one of the crown jewels in auto racing and my coworker just happen to have an extra ticket. Honestly, what is any guy gonna do? We are driving and leaving tonight for Dallas to stay with some of his relatives and relax before the huge drive on Friday up to Indy. Saturday we hang around and do some backyard beers and brats and resting from this crazy trip. Sunday is live at track race… I should be in turn 4 in somewhere in the grand stands, I will try to give a more exactly location once I’m there via Twitter. Then we watch the race again on TV that night because they delay the airing of it so that people can come home from the race and catch what they missed on TV. Kinda strange but I enjoy racing. Monday, which is Memorial Day we will be driving home like bandits to travel the 1100 miles back to College Station. I will be sure to take a bunch of pictures so I can share it with the rest of ya. I know I said I would post more about my DC trip but I just have not had the time because of the Indy trip so close together. Those should come next week once I am back and don’t have any trips planned, however then it gets close to moving time so beware more delays may be ahead.

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