Fire Police Constable on-duty at the scene of a collapsed frontage to a commercial property in Westmere, early this afternoon.

I just want to say that 'dmidecode' is one of the most singularly useful commands i've come across in a while.
Not something you necessarily want every day, but, well, pipe it to less from a terminal and enjoy :-)

One of the many tweets flying around in the last hour or so has been a story about Google Screwing over one of their clients to the tune of Thousands of $$$ because of some obscure contract violations.

From a cold email:

"After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded to the affected advertisers."

... through to no real explanation as to what 'invalid activity' is ...

... through to a crazy analysis of the legal situation:

"The Adsense contract is a beautiful piece of work. One of my subscribers is a lawyer. She looked at the contract and said “wow – this is a beautiful and incredibly expensive piece of work. These guys employ the best.” Her advice? Don’t bother fighting Google.

The contract is designed so that it is almost impossible not to break the Google rules. If you disclose site data then you are in breach. YouTube discloses just the sort of site data that would have me thrown out – but YouTube is Google which is Adsense."

Seriously. Click through and read it. And think about the impact that this has had on the guy, who had absolutely no idea he was doing anything wrong. Is in fact possible not to do wrong? Does this mean that everyone using AdSense is ultimately operating thanks to the good will of Google? And that Google can screw them over, without warning, and quite happily claim it's within their rights?

The entire situation makes a mockery of Google's 'Do no Evil' stance, and I for one am even more put off. The risk of the "cloud" is the amount of dependency you wind up having on it. There's a very good reason I keep the majority of my stuff, under my own direct control, this includes my income.... but notwithstanding this position, Google needs a rocket for screwing over an innocent, loyal customer.

Example of stupidity: An AdSense customer (someone using AdSense for advertising and thus revenue) is in breach of their contract if folks click on the links provided via AdSense and then don't purchase anything from the advertiser? REALLY? I see a run of DoS against AdSense users coming...

BlakJak.net is back and all is right with the world. Sorry for the inconvenience of a longer-than-planned power outage this morning - power was restored at around 1030.

Howdy folks - have just had a headsup that there's a need to do some maintenance on the power feed my machine is plugged into. I'll be downing the server at about 8am tomorrow morning and expect everything to be back up and running within an hour or so.

Sorry for any inconvenience.... (again!)

The family and I attended the Birkenhead Santa Parade this year as our 'local'. They put on a good show!

I have Photos and also a brief video - it only shows the Birkenhead VFB Appliances... one camera couldn't do everything at once! :)

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Sorry for the inconvenience, things should be stable for a while now. :-)

[EDIT: Scheduled Outage to move the server will now occur tomorrow (Friday) between 0815 and 1000hrs]

Hi Folks - sorry for a couple of unscheduled outages this morning and the further outage yet to occur later this afternoon.
The people I host with are moving between premesis in Wellington and in the prep for this managed to drop the power to my server a couple of times this morning (!) - a bit later today there will be a 30-to-40 minute outage while the server is deliberately downed, physically moved between addresses and the network is stood up at the new site. Hopefully that'll be the end of it for a while. ;-)

Moving premesis and keeping things operational is a problematic evolution at the best of times, so whilst I have assurances impact will be kept to a minimum, we also know that patience is going to be needed until things are stable at the new site.

Sorry for any inconvenience - please note i knew nothing of this until an hour ago! :)

I came across http://vilain.net/blog/2010/12/93-vilain-v-vodafone.html via Twitter yesterday. I've met Sam Vilain, though I don't know him well - but I know him by reputation as a clever guy. That, and this being an issue I have strong interest in, had me keeping my ear to ground for the outcome of events.

In short, Sam was taking Vodafone to the Disputes Tribunal over the cost of international roaming on his Vodafone cellphone.
For anyone who travels frequently, you'll be aware of the facts involved - that roaming is horrendously expensive and that there's no way that the end-user costs associated with roaming data are in any way proportional to the actual operating costs of the service. Indeed there's plenty of media coverage about the insane costs of roaming (despite Vodafone making such a big deal about it's worldwide service).

A simple Google Search reveals headlines like:

So I share in Sam's dissapointment at the ruling but will also be interested in the followup. From my perspective:

- Vodafone have been far too inspecific about the costs of data use in their billing system; if a customer wants by-session information they should be able to have it!! Landline broadband can already do this.
- The rates are expensive; the fact it's cheaper to buy a local sim card than use your own number is actually a bit of a joke when it's usually pretty obvious that at a network level, costs are barely above local data costs. The host networks own local charging rates should sent the benchmark for a roaming guest. This case is serving to give yet more exposure to what many consider is a rort.

I've been dreaming about setting up a dash-cam for ages, as I get to see this sorta crap daily. Motorists, seriously, wtf?

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