Tuesday, July 18

MySpace customer support still lousy

Another week, another lousy bit of customer relationship management from Tom and the MySpace team. Somebody writes an exploit that messes up your precious MySpace page using Flash, and instead of an email from the company with apologies and "urgent" all over it, you're left to glance-for-yourself at this little, low-key notification in your login landing page. Anybody who doesn't read and understand this note from Tom is still vulnerable to the exploit.

You wouldn't know News Corporation bought this company a while back. Perhaps to get it to treat customer relationships like they have some commercial value, it needs to be sued by, say, a big record label using MySpace to promote its artists when the label loses all the data in the artist's MySpace page due to an exploit...

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Thursday, July 13

My terrible secret curse revealed: I am a mutant gadget lover

Medical science has confirmed what I had long believed to be true: I suffer from a genetic predisposition towards a specific form of a cellular enzyme, known as monoamine oxidase A, which leads me to have stronger-than-normal need for new gadgets.

mutant genetics

Yes, it's true: it's genetic and it's therefore not my fault. My wife's attempts to curtail my gadget spending are unfair and unreasonable. I'm a genetic mutant, just like the X-Men, only my special power is burrowing through packing foam, removing cellophane, and jacking-in. Until a cure is found for this terrible disease I must  treat the symptoms as best I can... Where's my credit card?

lists, begone

It's come to my attention that:

  • Too many of my posts include lists;
  • I do it to save your reading time;
  • Maybe it's too much like scrolling through a PowerPoint presentation; so
  • I'll try to do it less often.

Don't throw out the DVD player just yet

This recent review of Telstra's Bigpond Movies download service in The Australian newspaper touches on some of the issues I've said would be important to solve before movie downloads can make an impact in Australia:

  • Content needs to be delivered to the media room, not the study computer;
  • Content selection and delivery needs to be a one-button seamless experience requiring no technical knowledge;
  • Content owners need to be persuaded to risk licensing their entire catalogue for download and cannibalising DVD revenues;
  • Rights control technology needs to be hardware and operating system agnostic, and transparent;
  • Licenses need to allow consumers to copy the content to more than one device in the home; and
  • Breadth and depth of content is much more important than download speeds.
None of that will be solved in the near future. So why does Telstra persist with offering downloads?
  1. The market expectation is that DVD rentals will be supplanted by downloads, and market analysts are prepared to penalise players like Telstra and Quickflix if they don't show evidence that they're moving towards downloads, even though such moves are massively premature. If Telstra doesn't offer movie downloads, it will hurt the already damaged share price;
  2. Somebody's got to do the hard yards of educating the content owners. It's a 10 year job, but the more people working on it and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll get there;
  3. It drives broadband consumption, and Telstra is rewarded on many levels by encouraging its ISP customers not just to switch to broadband, but also to consume bandwidth (it gives the misleading impression that consumers are using broadband for something useful.)

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Wednesday, July 5

Bring David Hicks home

What I wrote today when I signed www.getup.org.au's petition to the Australian government to bring David Hicks back from his unjust and now illegal detention in Guantanamo Bay:

(Alexander Downer,)"...it's becoming increasingly apparent that your continued refusal is a desperate attempt to save face - both yours and your leader's. Show some compassion and integrity! Admit you over-reacted in the heat of the moment during the worst terrorist threat the world has ever known. Admit that the freedom of a young Australian is worth more than a few points in your next opinion poll. David Hicks is sorry he did the wrong thing, can you not at least admit the same?"

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