Looks like the Irish police (gardai) website has collapsed under the server load: Why is this happening? Well it's all down to the new speed trap system that is going live this week (today I think). The Gardai are listing all the locations of the traps on their site, but they obviously didn't think that just about everyone in the country would want to go and look at the list ..
I'm currently in the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague. Up until an hour ago I was staying in the Hotel Praha, also in Prague.
Both hotels are 5 star.
But while the Hotel Praha offers free internet access throughout the building via wifi and good speeds via ethernet in your bedroom, the Intercontinental is charging me an arm and a leg for a service that they advertise as being 3 Mb/s.
I travel quite a bit for business. Once I leave Prague I'll be heading back to Brussels for another event and again I'll be hit with a disproportionately high bill for using internet access in my hotel room.
Internet access in a hotel bedroom is not a "premium" service. For any hotel that expects to attract business travellers internet access is a very basic requirement. In 2010 I'd almost see internet access for a business traveller as being on a par with clean sheets and running water.
So why on earth are so many hotels charging such high rates for it?
It's not as if they're charging incredibly low rates for the rooms and have to compensate with the "extras".
And of course I know that ranting about it probably won't change anything, but it feels good to get it "off my chest".
If you want to tell me why I'm getting an email (newsletter) that's fine. It's actually quite helpful, as I could easily forget how I ended up subscribing myself to a list or if I ordered from somewhere...
However putting this kind of text in your email footer is one sure fire way of getting me to list you as a spammer:
DISCLAIMER: This message is not "SPAM" because it contains our identification and unsubscribe instructions. This message was offered to you for one of the following reasons: your email address has been selected from a database that you have subscribed, your email address was made public by you; you have requested to receive the offer; you are a partner of our company; your email address is in our database as a result of previous correspondence.
There are so many things wrong with that disclaimer that it's almost impossible to know where to begin.
The ones I "love" are:
"it contains our identification and unsubscribe instructions"
Um .. ok... so? That doesn't mean anything at all...
The one though that really gets me is the "your email address was made public by you"
That is both hilarious and scary
(And just in case you're wondering - I got two copies of the same spam to two addresses that aren't published anywhere .. )
We're working on a bunch of different things over in Blacknight at the moment, so I'm looking forward to being able to talk about some of the final products.
On the negative side .. I seem to be spending a dis-ordinate amount of time dealing with legal threats. Between us being easy to find and lawyers not really understanding the internet, we seem to be an "easy" target.
Someone mentioned how using a "rotary phone" was a sign of their age earlier this evening.
That got me thinking.
When I was growing up my mother didn't even have a phone in her house. If she needed to make a phone call she'd go to a phone box.
My grandparents on the other hand did have a phone, but it didn't have a dial. You had to crank the phone's dynamo before you made a call and then speak to the operator.
When they upgraded the local exchange and the number got longer (it had been town name followed by 3 digits!) the old phone was consigned to a cupboard full of junk. It stayed there for a few years until I was messing around with electronics and anything else that had any form of cabling. So naturally I had to dismember the phone to see how it all worked (which I probably failed to achieve, though it did keep me busy for a couple of hours).
Flash forward nearly 30 years.
The phone in my pocket is more powerful than a lot of desktop computers were a few short years ago. I do have a landline, but I rarely use it.
Our office uses VOIP to handle all our calls, both inbound and outbound.
The very concept of having to crank up a device to actually make a phonecall is probably so foreign to some people now that they might think I'm either mad or really really really old if I mentioned it.
And can you even remember the last time you saw a public phone box?
I'll probably be posting about this at greater length elsewhere...
The ICANN meeting in Nairobi seems to be attracting more publicity and debate than any other meeting in the last couple of years.
Because so many people are making noises about either attending OR not attending it.
I'm not attending. I'd love to be able to attend all the ICANN meetings, but I simply can't.
There are several reasons why I'm not attending and they're all inter-related.
To start with attending ICANN meetings is not cheap. Sure some people get funding from ICANN and 3rd parties to attend. I don't. In common with ANY business trip I have to weigh up the costs of attending with the benefits. The trip to the Seoul meeting, for example, was far from cheap. You have to factor in several things not least of them being the cost of flights and the hotels - and unfortunately ICANN meetings generally seem to end up being in hotels that cost about $200 / night (or more).
Security is another issue. Nairobi was meant to be the venue of the ICANN meeting a couple of years ago, but they ended up relocating it to LA. The security threats in Nairobi have been a matter of concern for quite a few people, but they weren't really at the forefront until quite recently. Having said that when I mentioned Nairobi to my mother she was not happy. Not happy at all and since she doesn't normally worry about those kind of things, I'd take her concerns very seriously. My business partner wasn't too happy about the idea either, so that's pretty much a clincher.
Fewer attendees might be seen as positive in some quarters, but if you treat an ICANN meeting as a business event then fewer attendees will have a direct and tangible impact on the chances of recouping the costs via sales etc., Since the ICANN public meetings are where a lot of the various groups interact then fewer attendees will mean that a lot less actual progress will be made on existing issues.
But let's go back to the two key points:
When you put them side by side it's pretty clear that it's not really a viable option for me to attend.
Of course there is always the option of ICANN moving its location or for various groups within ICANN to convene in a number of "hubs"
Ultimately everyone has to decide for themselves whether they should attend or not. I've decided not to, for my reasons, others have decided to go regardless. What irks me is when people try to make the entire "go - don't go" thing into a political and PR football.
If someone decides not to attend that is their call. Respect their decision.
If someone chose not to go because their wife was expecting, for example, there'd be no commentary. But choosing not to go because you or your dependants / relatives / co-workers etc., are concerned about your personal wellbeing shouldn't be an excuse for some people to get up on a soapbox and try to make out that they are somehow more superior and "better" by choosing to go.
I guess in some ways it's a reflection of the general attitude of people within the ICANN community. Mutual respect is sorely lacking in some quarters. People will pay "lip service" to it, but they just love the "politicking"