Sunday, March 31, 2013

Microsoft switched you to OUTLOOK?

Here's an exercise in frustration. 
Recently, Microsoft decided to end Hotmail as it's default email program. The reasons are becoming evident once you begin to stop trusting and explore your own email settings.

For those who like to be connected to everyone you know, and have them involved in seeing everything you do or think, and have a record of everyone you ever contacted on whatever social network you ever visited, you'll love Microsoft's new look. It is well on the way to being another facebook. Is Bill Gates extremely jealous of Mark Zuckerberg?

For me it started out by just searching for the forward button, which used to have its own position, but now it is hidden somewhere else adding a new search and click to your day.
And have you got advertising right in between your incoming emails? And a separate sidebar with more advertising? Of course if you use Bing as a search engine ...

But wait, I found an opt out option! Okay, good. Or not?
So you go to that TINY little AdChoices button WAY down at the bottom right of your email page and click.  Aha, an opt out page, exactly what I want. Or not?
This page is called Privacy in Advertising.  And you can click here to stop Microsoft Platform from sending you personalized advertising. Oh good. 
But wait, have you ever thought of HOW advertising sent to you could be personalized unless someone is reading your email and what you're interested in? Hmm.
So I clicked that one anyway.

Now right below, there's another choice = Industry Opt-out. So here you can stop participating companies that provide personalized advertising! One assumes that those participating companies pay Microsoft to insert items into your email. I understand. But I still don't want their advertising for the simple reason that they must read my communications to know what they should personalize! 

[Here's a little test you can do. Men - write some things about quilting and embroidery. Women - something about tanks and aircraft. Wait a while and watch the ads that appear on your media.]

So anyway, I clicked the button called Industry Opt-out to stop ads from appearing in my email account.  Wait, it opened a huge legal page called The Self-Regulatory Program For Online Behavioral Advertising. There are lots of things to do here, on the side bar there are the logo initials of many companies, one even has the word trust in its name!  Apparently we can opt out somewhere. Sort of like that controversial negative advertising some companies try to stick you with. Like if you don't want it you have to click or we bill you anyway!? 
So I found a link to opt out. I see there are 116 companies providing me with interest based ads. (of NO interest to me by the way) So I click Select All. And presto, I now have eliminated 75 of them! 116 - 75 = 41. I can only assume that 41 companies are paying way too much to Microsoft to be eliminated from sending you personalized advertising. Well it did say Self Regulatory, not client regulatory. 

But wait! I found another select all and clicked that too! Now it eliminated 40 more. Ah progress, then said it had one company left. Check the list again. Hmm, nothing there. One can only assume this time, that that single One is reserved for the CIA, or FBI, Homeland Security, or CSIS or maybe even the KGB! Who even knows who Big Brother is these days?

You can also assume these pages are designed for you to give up in frustration and just give them a blood sample and a DNA string. Here, genome me, take it all. But wait. I see another underlined word down there on another page, called Exercise Your Choice, which supposedly allows you into a beta version of a Consumer Opt Out page. [beta, in computerese basically means that probably nothing works there]  So this link goes right back to that last page you were on, where the secret One still resides/exists. (the old loop trick) And it refers to your browser. Which in Microsoft's case, is Internet Explorer.

And of course, you know that if you're using Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome. All bets are off. Fun huh?
And none of this solves my problem of viewing ALL my contracts when wanting to forward an email. Outlook only shows five.

Well there you have it, all those clicks later and where are you? Still facing the new, to you, Outlook instead of Hotmail. Simplicity in life is over. Trust drained away when it started to rain inside your house! Trust? Silly me. But wait! There's always a solution ... if I just post my financial situation these companies wouldn't bother trying to sell me anything at all!

I'm going to gmail. They have everyone I ever knew on my contact list. 

But wait, even that girl? Sheeez, I only knew her for forty-two minutes! 

Damn, you can't even send a thank you note anymore.

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