Categories
Media Musings Reviews Tech

3 / Skype Marketing Technique

I was recently contacted by Matt of 3mobilebuzz.com and offered the chance to trial a pair of 3 (the network) Skype
(the VoIP company) mobile phones (3skypephone.com) for a month. (No obligation to do anything, other than the mention of returning them after a month.)

I thought it was an interesting marketing ploy – it seems very generous, but is probably not actually particularly expensive to such large companies.
I also thought it seemed a little risky – how many people will return the phones? How many people will actually generate any hype, and will it be positive?

The first link above will show that the scheme has been going for some time already and world-wide – highlighting one of the benefits of calls made using VoIP (i.e. via the internet).
You can also see that they’re being fair with the selection of linked blog articles – some have negative points about the phone.

I’m not going to review the phone itself since many others have done that already, unless enough people leave comments here.

Categories
Musings Opinion Personal Religion Society

Rename Terrorism

If only [tag]terrorism[/tag] were renamed to ‘mild trepidation-ism‘ it wouldn’t be so effective.

Fortunately, I live in the [tag]UK[/tag], [tag]England[/tag] specifically, where our stiff-upper-lip-ed-ness prevents us from being too affected by [tag]terrorist[/tag] attacks.
It’s only when services are damaged that the country is really slowed.

Clearly there are some who unfortunately bear the brunt, often physically, in these attacks. Life for them, and their family and friends, may well be permanently changed.
But we have to put things in perspective: many many more people are killed by smoking than by terrorists in the UK; many more people are injured in simple DIY accidents than by terrorists. So why be so scared of it?

Being terrified by such a slim statistic is no way to live a life.

Calling it ‘Terrorism’ only serves to make it more powerful.

Categories
Rant

Why I might leave my bank: The NatWest Card Reader

Update, over 10 years later… I didn’t switch.

nwcardreader.jpgI have received in the post a Card Reader from NatWest.

They have designed this device to beef up the security around the (excellent btw) online banking.

The flaw? The fact that we will eventually have to take the damn thing everywhere you go. And the card of course.

The whole point of online banking is, afaiac, the fact that you can use it anywhere. Now we will only be able to use it IF we have the card reader with us, IF we have the card with us, and IF it actually works. And IF the battery isn’t dead.

I regularly use NWOLB at home and at work, so what do they suggest? “You could use someone else’s.” Well that’s just stupid.

Further issues:

  • I have two accounts with NatWest, both of which are accessible with the same login credentials. However, only one of those accounts has a card new enough to use this card reader. When will I therefore be forced to start using the card reader? I don’t know, but I expect that they will send me a new card (meaning my saved card details at various sites will have to be updated) and probably another card reader.
  • nwcardreaderpackaging.jpgThe amount of plastic, cardboard and paper used to send the card reader is shameful. From the outside in: Plastic postage bag, cardboard box, plastic tray, cardboard box (again), bubble-wrap, plastic bag.
  • It is my joint account which is ready for the card reader, but the other holder (the gf) wasn’t informed, and certainly wasn’t provided with a reader. She has also used NWOLB from work, so that’s four places we already use the service, i.e. three places we now won’t be able unless we carry this thing with us. Which we obviously can’t both do.

I am happy to pay the few extra pennies it would take to cover the fraud that this device might prevent.
I am happy to take the risk that it is my account that is compromised if they just abandon this daft device.

I am genuinely considering moving to another bank if this reader turns out to be compulsory.

Categories
Rant

Ticketmaster Rip Off!

I just bought tickets for me and the gf to see Jimmy Carr in June.
£18.50 each, seems okay.

Total cost once Ticketmaster have added excessive fees and exorbitant postal charges: £46.75!
That’s an extra 25%. Absurd, but we have no choice.

UPDATE: Jimmy Carr was great! I even got a laugh myself when I called something out. (Audience participation was encouraged btw!)

Categories
Rant

Communist Britain

It is being reported that private schools may be blackmailed into lending teachers to state schools.
Private schools provide a service to those who can afford it, just like any business, but face the prospect of having to share their resources with those who can’t (or choose not to), with no input from the parents who pay, nor the staff who work for a living.

I see this as a reflection of my own status.

Here in [tag]Liverpool[/tag] I pay the highest council [tag]tax[/tag] in the country.
This is partly because of the huge number of (rightly) exempt students, but also due to high unemployment.
This unemployment appears to be by choice for many – the unemployed can easily live on the benefits they receive.
If benefits only provided the barest minimum, and not in money form*, then more people would be forced to earn a living off their own back instead of relying on the forced generosity of others.

If there’s no need to work before receiving, what’s the point?
Personally, it’s a matter of pride, and being brought up knowing that that is what’s expected of me. I see far too many people being brought up with no sense of obligation (to do anything, not even not dropping litter), no sense of work before reward.

*– giving food vouchers instead for example might force them to actually get a job to pay for that big TV, that Sky subscription.

[tags]Communist,Britain,communism,rant[/tags]