Finding What You Want

Sensis (the mob who own Yellow Pages, White Pages and Trading Post) are about to lunch a new ‘know it all’ service, with the phone number 1234. A pretty brave move, seeing as Vodaphone has had the 123 service for a long time. And if a Vodaphone person dials 1234, they’ll get the opposition – 123. Here’s a cute article about some of the people behind the scenes answering the zillion and one inane questions we come up with each day.

iTunes in Europe – but not Australia, yet

iTunes has continued its globe conquering march – it’s up and running in Europe:

“Music hungry consumers will have more than 700,000 pop, rock, jazz, classical and other tracks to choose from when they log on to iTunes, with each song priced at 99 euro cents ($1.20). “

Now could they please get their skates on and launch in Australia.

Spammer becomes rocker

Well, I’ll put aside all my drummer jokes for a moment, a Canadian spammer has just agreed to give up his life of crime, and he’s become a drummer in a band.

“Canadian Eric Head, his father and brother had been sued by Yahoo in March as part of a worldwide industry crackdown on hundreds of people sending unsolicited email, or spam.

Yahoo alleged that in one month alone, the three men sent more than 94 million emails to users of Yahoo’s email service. “

Do Not Email List Does Not Work

Plans in the US to establish a national do-not-email list have stalled, with the government saying it would not work. The idea is based around the do-not-call telephone marketing list, which was launched in the US a few years ago. It has proven overwhelmingly popular, I think half of the US population is now subscribed, and thus preventing having their dinners interupted by phone salespeople.

The government’s opposition to the do-not-email list is fair – spammers operate either illegally, or in a legal grey zone, so are probably not going to take much notice of a list of email addresses they are not supposed to mail. And more importantly:

“The agency said such a registry cannot work because there is no effective system for “authentication,” or verification of the origin of an e-mail message. “

They also point out the obvious security concerns – the do-not-email list would be like gold for any spammer who could hack or steal it.

Protecting the Chinese

The Chinese government seems to have a love-hate relationship with the net. On the one hand they’ve embraced the internet, making it widely available in universities etc, and implementing a country-wide program of high speed data links. And on the other hand, they constantly worry what their citizens get up to.

So now they’ve just had a big crackdown on net cafes, and closed 16,000. And launched a web site where people can report ‘unlawful content’. The public reason is protecting the young from naughty pictures and violence:

“However, many observers believe that the regime is just as worried about the disruptive effects of exposure to alternative sources of news and views about sensitive political subjects. “

We’re a broadband backwater

“Australia is lagging behind the rest of the developed world as far as the spread of broadband goes, with only 13 percent penetration expected by the end of 2008, the technology research firm IDC says in a study. “

Well Telstra is trying to do something about that, with it’s new pricing plans starting at $29.95 for broadband. Except, as with everything to do with Telstra, there’s always a catch. $29.95 only gets you 256k/64k speeds – which barely qualifies as broadband, and a cap of 200 meg of data a month – which is nothing. I’d go through that in a few days. Telstra almost owns up, they describe it as ‘Light use, or exploring ADSL’.

Mobile Nightclubs

First we had ‘flash-mobbing’, now the British have invented ‘mobile nightclub’. So if you are in London, waiting at an underground station, and see a bunch of people simultaneaously start to bop and jive, you’ll know what’s happened.

“The latest craze, devised by a pair of London artists, sees people directed to busy rail stations so they can simultaneously don personal stereo headphones and begin dancing to their own soundtrack. “

Spam over the top

It’s official, a survey has found 3 out of 4 emails are spam.

“MessageLabs said of some 909 million e-mails scanned at its customers, 691.5 million were intercepted as spam, or 76 percent. “

“That report found the average employee receives nearly 7,500 spam messages per year, up from 3,500 in 2003. “

Gee, all the anti-spam legislation is working a treat!