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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HSBC Online Is Going Modern Catty

After setting up my account with HSBC Online, I mailed in a check. Just over a week later, I received the password in the mail. They're obsessed with security, see-- what with the advent of keylogging malware and whatnot, it makes the most sense to stay secure.

So, in my email, my login ID. In my snail mail, my password. Both huge strings of numbers. Makes sense. Perhaps in response to old news about security threats, they also have a unique "security key" that you type in on a Flash keyboard with your mouse, which is used at every login. So I'm satisfied. Now I have a VERY secure account I can link to brick-&-mortar accounts, a (relatively) high interest rate, and a place to funnel Adsense/Affiliate/Other money. Perfect!

And my own online security ritual? I have two browsers installed. One I use for browsing, personal emailing, etc etc. The other I use only for business and personal finance. It is set up to remember NONE of my passwords, and to completely wipe its history, cookies, and pretty much everything every time I quit. That way Zooey can't realign my 401(k), and Mr. MacMuffin can't spam his relatives with ads for Cutco knives.

I also run virus scans regularly, using Leopard Cache Cleaner. I work on a Mac, which has no real viruses, but I don't want to infect friends. Besides, nobody likes the smug, especially that guy in those Mac commercials. Probably he never fixes his permissions or runs his maintenance scripts, and then his kernel pops and he has to spend three unpleasant hours getting poked at by a Mac Genius before meeting his boorish but lovable PC pal for an evening of girl drinks and sniping.

(P.S. My passwords are NOT cat-related. Suprised?)

Find of the day: Modern Cat. I'm a little too rustic & bumpkiny for this stuff, and Zooey's a little too outdoorsy, but perhaps those of us with the chic flair thing going on will find cat-products of value and interest.

This Long Tail is NOT hideous!


interpretation Zooey.

So. I am now looking for a business design that will work for Zooey's freakishly long tail. Hopefully there are enough people out there who need to get all their business/economics/pet food information from the same source. Otherwise we may need a trip to the plastic veterinarisurgeon.

I'm not reading the book-- because the idea has transcended the book-- but Chris Anderson basically writes that, since the Internet offers unlimited "shelf" space, you can make a profit on ultra-niche products which would get crowded out by the "gigantic, bloated head" products, like non-cat-related business & finance books.

Apparently it works quite well for ultra-niche businesses, like role-playing game books and classical music. (Keep in mind that CATpitalism is no ultra-niche! It just hasn't taken off yet.)

The idea has been kind of epoch-making in e-business, and Zooey and I are going to see if we can get in on the action. It's been kind of slow here in the rolling hills of Tennessee. But, based on this Tail thing and the Cash Machine book reviewed yesterday, I think it's actually possible we could make some scratch from this kind of stuff. And, as always, we will do it out here in public, and let you know how it goes...