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ICANN Rejects 30 March 30, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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ICANN, the mysterious folk behind the internet thingy, have met and rejected the establishment of the .xxx top level domain. It’s an absolute shame from the point of view of easy control of websites if these TLD domain names were only to be issued to adult sites. But even more of a shame is that they are missing the sublime chance for future Rocky movies like Rocky.XXX (that is, of course, Rocky 30 in Roman numerals 😉 ) More interesting the debate that this rejection has sparked off again about ICANN needing content neutral decision-making processes for the establishment of TLD addresses. source: The Register

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Awakened March 30, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General.
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I’ve been quiet for about a week now: What have I been doing? Well as I mentioned previously I’m on a 2 week break from work so after a week of trying I finally managed to switch off this week. I’ve built my new garden fence (I’m sure you’ll all be happy to hear that – photos to follow 🙂 ), I’ve been heading to the gym quite a bit trying to improve my running distance in line with my ambitions and a few other odd jobs and general relaxation.

However, I have still been doing my daily reading but only this morning did I read a post from Damien Mulley that I just had to reference. It’s an extract from the books of ComReg for 2005 and shows a breakdown of their costs totaling almost 20 million. Now ComReg have come in for a lot of stick in recent times, and rightly so in my opinion which is not just observer-based, it’s from personal experience. Last year during my phone line/broadband debacle with the incumbent and the opponent I contacted ComReg with details of my case (quick recap if you are not familiar: I was over 4 months without a phone line and broadband having moved house within the same exchange, working phone line in new house, broadband previously present, etc, etc). Anyway, the incumbent refused to speak to me about my problem and the opponent seemingly couldn’t get a response from the incumbent. I contacted ComReg with all these details. It took them about a week to get back to me with what amounted to a P.F.O.

“ProviderX have informed us that the matter is still ongoing and that they are aware of the issue. We have added your email to the file and your case is still open with us.”

I also contacted the department of the Minister for communications and their response was template:

“I wish to acknowledge receipt of your recent correspondence, the contents of which will be brought to the Minister’s attention.”

Surprise, I never heard any more from them! So I don’t think that I stand alone in saying that the 8.7 million spent on 112 staff, 4.1 million spent on consultants, 4.4 million spent on legal costs and 2.2 million spent on administration was far from being well-spent. ComReg was recently referred to as the “Poodle of the Irish telecoms”. I would like to correct this: A Poodle is a show dog, one that likes attention. Any organisation that spends the minute amount (comparative to other expenses and in relation to the cost of advertising in Ireland) of 23,000 per year on advertising is clearly not interested in interacting with the public or creating awareness of its existence or services. I would liken ComReg to a 12-year-old Golden Labrador: Anyone living beside it knows its name, you’d never get it put down because it would hurt those close to it, it’s totally f**kin useless as a guard dog and the only thing it knows how to do when challenged is give the paw or roll over, albeit very slowly. source for figures: Damien Mulley

links for 2007-03-23 March 23, 2007

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Having a bad day? March 23, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Humour.
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Thanks to Gary G for this link. The Alaska department of revenue seemingly had a bit of a nervous time recently when somebody accidentally deleted details of an account worth approximately $38 billion. Not only that but they also managed to mess up the back-up tapes. Me thinks somebody was a little worried at this stage. Luckily 300 boxes of paperwork came to the rescue and after successful digitisation everything is back to normal. It’s like deleting an e-mail that you didn’t want to only 38 billion times worse. source: Engadget

Caption March 23, 2007

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Just came up with another caption for Frank’s competition.

Caption Competition Entry

links for 2007-03-22 March 22, 2007

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Preserving the Techno-past March 22, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Technology.
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Everyone interested in computing has at least one old computer lying around. We’ve either upgraded and not thrown out the old unit (you’ll never know it it will come in handy) or like me you just can’t resist having multiple computers in your home. Too often it is true that the old machines are never used for one reason or another but that doesn’t mean that they are useless. Here’s a top ten to help you get the best from your old kit. source: Motho ke motho ka botho

ImmovableType March 21, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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Normally I’m not one to get frustrated with MovableType (my blogging software) but today I’m a little upset that it’s not doing what I would like it to. I decided to retro-fit some new categories to my blog and stumbled upon the complete absence of a batch editor of any value at all. The current batch editor only allows changing of a single category and not assignment of multiple categories so you have to go through each entry in turn – painful! They allowed batch editing of tags but not categories, I wonder why? Suggestion to MT to write/include this feature.

Anyway finished off what I wanted to, thankfully not too many entries affected by the changes. I’ve also turned off trackbacks again after a valiant effort of trying to keep the social loop open after the last shutdown. However, in recent times I have been getting trackback spam again, and in quantities. Being rather susceptible to patterns I started to notice that every single day I would get 50 spam messages. A single batch, right? Well not exactly: If I cleared out my spam folder at say 2330 it would have exactly 50 at 0900 the next day, the same would be true no matter what time of day I emptied the spam folder. Now the spam folder is not published so I couldn’t be suffering from a spider checking for 50 entries by bad spammer man. Puzzling. Some days I would not check the folder until 1400 the next day and still only 50, no more no less. I don’t really believe in coincidences so it got me thinking that maybe there was some sort of back door that wasn’t being fully abused by the spammers. Either way I’ve decided to disable all future trackbacks if for no other reason than to preserve my sanity. 🙂

links for 2007-03-20 March 20, 2007

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Another Facelift! March 20, 2007

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It’s only a wet day (well a snowy one anyway) since I changed the look of my blog template. Doing that however, made the other residue on my site look like a heap of crap. So, I then changed the rest of the site pages to something more pleasing. I then decided that having the site and the blog maintained in different styles wasn’t a good idea for those passing on through. So here we are, the blog has been upgraded again to look like the rest of the site. In addition to re-re-sprucing the blog template I’ve added a couple of little gizmos (nod of the head to scriptaculous for the javascript but images by moi). Beside each post heading and beside most of the sidebar headings you will now see a little minus sign and a plus sign. For example, if you get annoyed looking at the beautiful people in MyBlogLog reader list then click the minus sign and they will disappear. Miss them already? Then click the plus sign and they’re back again. The same functions apply to anything with a minus and plus sign beside them. Someday I might even get around to persisting your choices in a cookie so that you can personalise my blog. We go all out here you know! 🙂 My reasons for adding these widgets were that you can not only have fun with my blog page but you can simply click the minus sign when you have read a post and not have to scroll to the next entry. Almost like a feed reader in some ways… Any problems, please let me know.

Please note: These changes only apply to my main site jbwan.com/weblog and not my WordPress mirror.