Technical reasons to dump AOL
1. AOL prevents its users from using a proper, full-featured, e-mail client like Outlook Express.
2. Its e-mail system won't display graphic attachments in-line.
3. E-mail cannot be sorted by name, date, subject etc. like on other systems.
4. It doesn't use industry-standard e-mail standards MIME & SMTP, resulting in garbled messages sometimes.
5. Most surveys of online connection quality show AOL near the bottom.
6. It kicks you offline if you leave your computer unattended for a few minutes.
7. It is noticeably slower than a plain-vanilla ISP for surfing the web, as everything has to be routed through their network after traversing the Internet.
8. When sending or receiving from non-AOL addresses, its mail delivery is often much slower than a plain-vanilla ISP.
9. It forces you to view annoying pop-up ads.
10.It has terrible customer service that puts you on hold forever.
11.Its software can interfere with other software on your machine.
12.Its main program takes up a huge amount of memory and takes forever to load.
13.It often won't sign you off immediately when you need to make a phone call, forcing you to wait while it downloads this or that "update" to its system.
And that's not even taking into consideration AOL's anti-Bill-of-Rights position, or its efforts to undermine the rule of law in America.
AOL is involved in even more sinister legal efforts that could in the long run seriously undermine the rule of law in this country. It has promoted a mischievous and self-indulgent doctrine called the "choice of law" movement. This asserts that consumers should be permitted to choose which nation's laws apply to their Internet transactions. So you could have Monaco's tax laws, Albanian medical-safety regulation, Mexican food purity laws, and Dutch child-porn standards. This comes dressed up in the hip garb of "cyber-libertarianism," but is in fact a serious assault on national sovereignty. (To their credit, some intellectually rigorous cyber-libertarians won't touch this irresponsible idea.)...
And if you're interested in privacy and honest business practises, forget about AOL:
Excerpt: AOL's other offenses are legion. It has been widely and plausibly accused of fraudulent marketing practices, in which people are signed up for service without being told this is what they are doing. It was recently caught selling the names and phone numbers of its subscribers and then apparently tried to lie about having done this. It doesn't respect its users' privacy; there is a group called the Electronic Privacy Information Center that documents this in detail. AOL collects detailed information about what its users click on, revealing personal habits and interests, and although it claims it doesn't use it for anything more than aggregate studies, one must wonder why they bother if this is so. AOL lobbied against California legislation that would have imposed standards for protecting consumers against having intimate financial and other data shared by corporations they do business with without their permission. Indeed, it is hard to avoid the impression that AOL holds its users in contempt as sheep to be herded and sheared...Its poorly-managed computer systems have experienced several security break-ins, which have allowed hackers to gain access to sensitive account information including customer names, phone numbers and credit card numbers."
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