Internet & Related Stuff

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/drupal/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
For Internet and Related Stuff.

Even Fair Go last night had an article about spam but a current frustration is a phonecall I had from the Department of Internal Affairs Antispam Unit which explained that the unsolicited email I've received from 'Celia for Mayor' (a Mayoral Candidate in Wellington) is not actually illegal.

Here's the email I received subsequent to our conversation:

The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for enforcing the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 ('the Act'). Please note that any information provided in this communication is not legal advice and is given without prejudice.

After reviewing the received message from the address [redacted from the web] sent on the 10th August 2010, the Department has found that the message is not considered a commercial message under Section 6 of the Act in that it does not promote goods or services:
6 - Meaning of commercial electronic message
• For the purposes of this Act, commercial electronic message—
o (a) means an electronic message that—
? (i) markets or promotes—
? (A) goods; or
? (B) services; or
? (C) land; or
? (D) an interest in land; or
? (E) a business or investment opportunity; or
? (ii) assists or enables a person to obtain dishonestly a financial advantage or gain from another person; or
? (iii) provides a link, or directs a recipient, to a message that does 1 or more of the things listed in subparagraphs (i) and (ii).
Please also note that Section 6 states exceptions to messages that — provides the recipient with information about goods or services offered or supplied by—
• (A) a government body
As per our discussion, this is somewhat of a grey area in that Celia is sending the message as a candidate for a local government body. Previously the Department stance has been to contact the likes of MP's and advise that their campaign messages would be in the best interest to include an unsubscribe facility and contact details so recipients can remove themselves from such messages. The Department understands that there can be frustration in receiving such messages, however you may wish to remove yourself from the mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe facility. Or you may wish to contact the administration team by using the email address [redacted from the web].

The Department will also contact Celia's administration team and request how they are obtaining recipient email addresses for their campaign and advise accordingly. In regards to using an address from a unpublished source, you may wish to make a complaint with the Domain Name Commission.

The latter is a response to the suggestion I made that my email address had been harvested out of 'whois' data. I had another look, and the email address being used is unlikely to have come from this source.

However am dissapointed that the law in NZ (which I initially thought to be fairly well written) seems to have such a grey area around political advertising. I wonder if a mayoral candidate's advertising could be construed an advertisement of services that is not (yet) a government body...

I do appreciate the DIA attempting to educate Celia's administration team, and I wish them well. In any case, I would never vote for a spammer, so the advertising that I received from this candidate did the exact opposite of what was intended. And I remain dissapointed that the laws about spam have a gaping hole in them...

As the sign says....

Credit to one of the guys at work who pointed out how appropriate the sign is when we wear our IT security hats. :-)

Oh, come ON...

As previously blogged our company (the one Liz and I operate privately) has received unsolicited advertising from 'Pieroth Wines NZ' at least once before. They gain our details via the Companies Office Register.

This has been further validated; Last week Liz updated our details with the Companies Office now we've relocated to Auckland.
It didn't take long to receive more junk from Pieroth, addressed to 'Dear Lover of Fine Wines' at our registered address.

DO NOT EVER TRADE WITH PIEROTH WINES! This sort of harrassment-style direct marketing is rude and obnoxious. I'm not a wine lover, no matter how many times you try to suck me in with your faux-manners!

Most of my previous rant on this subject remains entirely valid. It's postal direct marketing, so it doesn't fall under the UEM Act... It could potentially be argued that using the Companies Register for purposes other than for which it is provided, is in breach of its terms of use. Yeah, that'll stand up to scruitiny... ??

Are people stupid enough to actually respond to these mailouts with enough frequency to make the cost of doing them worth the grief?

Why do I have to live with the fact there's absolutely no way to protect myself from this sorta crap?

Yeah, this is annoying. Heard a rumour via Geekzone that Telecom were announcing their CDMA 3G network (EVDO) closure before end of 2010. Shortly thereafter Telecom NZ confirmed via Twitter: http://telecom.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2095 has the details.

(They've further gone on to say that CDMA itself will go away "Mid 2012" which I suppose I can understand given the move to XT (WCDMA) and that's a reasonable amount of notice; it's a typical cellphone's lifespan of 2-3 years.)

What grates me is that we've got an EVDO T-Stick which we bought as part of our home business; it's got 1GB/month of data at a flat monthly rate and we had to take it over a 24 month term. That was the only option available to us at the time (that was reasonable; it was a free purchase in return for the 2 year contract) - had we known that scant months after the expiry of our 2 year contract that the device would become a brick, perhaps we wouldn'tve bothered?

As things have worked out we're now re-evaluating our desire for 3G broadband; it's been handy but we've never come close to using 1GB in a month and it's a cost we can't therefore justify. I was hoping we'd wangle a deal for a conversion to prepay, but of course, they don't offer the T-Stick on a prepaid deal on EVDO, so we're back to having to spend more money on hardware to get something supported.

Time to look at Vodafone. Or perhaps 2degrees, if they'd get some prepay data hardware supported. Maybe Vodafone hardware then move over...

Sorry Telecom but moves like this don't endear you to your customers.

So it's a done deal; I have a new job in Auckland and the family are moving - this week - so i've flown back down (having started work in Auckland a month ago) to help pack up the house and 'finish up' with our Wellington business.

That business includes Laura's last day at Kindergarten (now completed... one of those happy-sad events!!) - Lauras (pre-emptive) 5th birthday party (tomorrow) and then a bout of frantic packing, before the moving company shows up on Monday to pick up our stuff.

Tuesday, road-trip ahoy.. to Auckland via Wellington Airport (our kitties are being flown up).

So yes. Been at work a month and i'm already taking a week off - but with good reason! :-) And i'll be very glad to have the family with me (i've missed them heaps!)

Anyway, about the photo. I follow @flyairnz on Twitter and was fortunate enough to score a limited-edition T-Shirt comemorating Air New Zealand's first flight ("ZK-AMA"). It arrived a few days ago. I figured that my AirNZ flight home to Wellington (likely to be my last flight for a while!) was an ideal opportunity to 'christen' the shirt.

Even more interestingly, I had seat 1D (front row, isle seat) and the Purser had one of those faces that I was sure i'd seen somewhere before. Turns out, I had... on the now famous Body-Painted in-flight safety video. So noting that the AirNZ Twitter folks wanted pics of folks wearing their shirt, it seemed like an obvious many-birds-with-one-stone opportunity.

Geoff was great to talk to and very helpful during the flight, and as usual, AirNZ's service was excellent. Must admit i'm going to miss having semi frequent occaisions to fly with them.

... at least per a Tweet I saw.

http://tinyurl.com/2c22e53 wow how interesting! :-)

Power Pylons, Pipelines, Airfields, Roads... hoards of stuff (havn't had time to touch the surface yet).

Neat!

GoPetition

By all accounts the PublicACTA event held in Wellington on Saturday was a roaring success. Sadly, I was unable to attend, and it sounds like I missed a great event. That said, we now have a bunch of smart folks who've had opportunity to discuss at length the issues that the so-called Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is generating, and to produce the 'Wellington Declaration'. This is to be presented to the Government in less than 2 days - and hopefully made available to the ACTA negotiators.

Everyone who cares about the ongoing rights and freedoms of citizens of NZ - in particular regarding the Internet but also regarding the ways Government creates law - should be paying careful attention to ACTA. If the contents of the declaration ring true with you, show your support and Sign the Petition.

I Plugged it on NZLUG, and AuckLUG as well. It goes a little way toward explaining the background of this, largely ripped directly from the PublicACTA website.

Big Kudos to InternetNZ (hat-tip Jordan Carter), Nat Torkington, Don Christie, Peter Harrison and all of those who've been involved in both PublicACTA and from my personal perspective, the NZOSS's arguments against ACTA - NZOSS have been very proactive in responding to ACTA's potential risk to the FLOSS community and i'm proud to be involved with such upstanding folks.

So yeah, anyway, get signing! And stay tuned, I have no doubt we've in no way heard the end of this.

So I grab the latest Opera browser download from their website and install it.
First website that loads is somewhat entertaining:

What's wrong with this picture?

Oh, and no, i'm not converting from Firefox (yet). I do however need a second browser that isn't IE6, and that means Opera at this point. I pondered Chrome, but... not right now.

Syndicate content