FryUp: Telecom's $500K fine raises broader industry issues

Why so many datacentre outages lately?

There is no 3G signal in this bunker Many thanks to an “industry insider” for allowing FryUp to Godwin itself, YouTube style, and for this great pointer to the final days of circuit switched telephony being nigh.

- Hitler upset as LTE does not have a CS domain. Making our work easier

Think what you may of loudmouth US executives, they do make things less dull for journos at least. Thank you Bartz, Ballmer, Ellison et al. - The quotes of 2009 Lashes unleashed on telcos

Selling telecommunications services is a curious business to outsiders. For one, it's quite easy to figure out what customers want: reliable, speedy services at prices they can afford. Provide that, and people will beat a path to your central office. Telcos and ISPs know this, and every now and then they come up with service offerings that are exactly what the market wants. The problem is that said offerings often aren't what they seem. If words such as "unlimited" and "unleashed" are used, you'd think that they mean just that, and not the opposite but in telco marketing speak, they do. Deciphering telco marketing speak is difficult for mere mortals, as it seeks to redefine language as per the above example. What's more, this redefinition is done with the aid of several layers of obfuscation, using terms such as “best effort service” that don't actually mean a whole lot, but nevertheless go into contracts, policies and agreements. The long and short of this is that telco customers think they're buying one thing, but end up receiving another, sometimes sub-standard product or service. It happens all the time, all over the world. What's more, customers are asked to estimate their usage of the service, be it minutes or data, and then pay in advance for it every month. And no, you don't get to keep unused quantities, even though you've paid for them, and you're charged penal rates if you go over the monthly estimated amount on your plan. Imagine the uproar if your electricity or water company tried the same rort. Somehow or the other telcos have got away with such business practises without challenges to them. I think our regulators should take a closer look at the fundamentals of how our communications providers earn their money. - Telecom fined a cool half million - Feds probe Verizon's early termination fees, accidental data charges - Vodafone faces fair trading charges Cloud with a surge lining

New Zealand datacentres seem particularly hard-hit by power surgical strikes, causing much customer wailing and gnashing of teeth as cloud computing businesses simply vanish for hours on end. We've mentioned before that it'd be understandable if datacentres ceased functioning because they're swallowed by earthquakes, demolished by suicide bombers or swept away in huge climate warming-induced floods, but… power outages and surges? Isn't a secure electricity supply one of those fundamental “must get it right” items when you build data centres? Could someone fill us in what the actual reason behind the spate of power-related failures is? - Confirmed: IBM announces $80 million Auckland datacentre - Power surge fallout sinks health systems - Power surge takes out HP data centre - Amazon EC2 Cloud Data Center Loses Power

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