Love Letters, Hate Mail

Hi Kelly,

Applying the same logic that according to Toysmart’s privacy policy, they are not
able to sell their customer lists or customer information, what if a
company with similar language in their privacy policies were to be
acquired? What would the implications be then? This whole thing seems
kind of silly because it has absolutely no parallel in the real (aka
off-line) world. Companies regularly go out of business or get acquired by
other companies and as a result, either sell or give up their customer lists.

I completely understand and agree with the need to include language in
privacy policies that assures customers that their information will not be
shared with third parties. However, I think that the spirit of such
provisions is so that if I sign up with some Web site and provide
demographic information and other information such as my e-mail address,
that Web site cannot turn around and give my information to some third
party to spam me with junk e-mail, etc. I wonder, are credit card
companies, who regularly share such information (and in fact much more
detailed information) with direct mail companies, catalogue companies etc.,
held to the same standard as Web site information collectors? (In response
to: “Stop, Drop, and Roll“)

David B.

Toronto, ON

Dear David,

You hit the nail on the head. There’s an implied double standard here
when it comes to a government agency focused more on getting its name in
the paper than meting out a fair solution.

Privacy seal-of-approval firm TRUSTe deserves just as much blame. The
company was obviously looking for a little publicity of its own at the
expense of Toysmart, by blowing the whistle on the ongoing customer list
sale. What I’d like to know is, who’s going to shed a little light on
TRUSTe’s oft incestuous relationship with its 1000 paying customers? I’d
bet if Toysmart’s seal-of-approval check to TRUSTe hadn’t bounced, the
so-called privacy advocate wouldn’t have had the Federal Trade Commish on
speed dial.



After reading your article on Netpliance , I
totally agree with you, as with the changes in the equity markets,
companies now have to focus on delivering profits instead of just grabbing

Thanks for such a review. (In response to: “Netpliance Unveils a Real i-opener“)

Michael Q.

Somewhere in cyberspace

Dear Michael,

By the looks of it, things have gone from bad to worse for Netpliance.
The Web start-up announced earlier this week that it won’t be shipping new
orders for its i-opener Internet appliances until October. The news comes
hot on the heels of its newly announced price bump from $99 per i-opener
unit to $400 apiece.

As if that weren’t enough, Larry Ellison just won’t let his network
appliance dream fade from view. Despite indications of another commercial
flop, the Oracle skipper’s latest venture, New Internet Computer Co. (NICC) has
started selling its own version of the stripped down PC through its Web
site for $200 sans monitor.

While the tea leaves don’t envisage success for the spin-off, it’ll
still serve as a most formidable competitor to an already stumbling
Netpliance. If Netpliance is genuinely co

unting on consumers to be willing
to line up and order an i-opener that won’t ship before the technology is
already outdated, it’s going to be a cold winter this year.

Best of luck with your investments, and have a great weekend!

Warm regards,

Hi Kelly,

Wow…a point blank article on an IPO. No hype…I can’t believe it!
Thank you. (In response to: “Greedy to the Bone“)

Kat & Craig

Monroe, LA

Dear Kat & Craig,

I’m guessing this must be your first time reading my analysis. There’s
more where that came from, so stay tuned. There’s no telling what I might
say next. 😉

Divine interVentures closed its first day a
broken IPO. We’ve seen bottom fishers bid shares up 10% since, but it’s
worth pointing out that shares of toilet deodorizer huckster, nearly doubled following its
odoriferous debut. Since then, the B2B wannabe has fallen 90% off its
52-week perch; and yesterday, the firm’s CEO resigned. If it walks like a


Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel
free to forward them to [email protected].

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