E-tales - modesty stripper

A WEEK OF IT

Geek election

After taking a cursory look at what’s on offer geek-wise in the coming election, E-tales came across some young female talent in the shape of National’s Nikki Kaye, who has developed a website called Networkme.com.

It aims to connect people with paid and voluntary opportunities in the political, charitable and corporate arenas. Sadly, although the political section is up-and-running, the charity bit isn’t; and E-tales suspects the corporate sector has reason to keep its head down in these troubled post-subprime debacle days.

We did find young Nikki (28) on the NZ Herald’s gossip blog though, topping the “hottie” list, although when the competition includes ACT’s Roger Douglas — described as “a bit of crumpet for the fiscal-thinking 70-year-old woman” — and well known lad-about-the Beehive Winston Peters we’re not sure Nikki should be all that flattered.

We’ve got your prints

Back in the day, when Western nations actually made things, people thought they’d arrived career-wise if they didn’t have to “clock-in” at the factory-gate for work.

Well, Vodafone independent dealer DigitalMobile has news for its employees — they now have to clock-in digitally, using fingerprint scanning. Apparently, most of the dealer’s 190 staff — at 22 nationwide stores — now get swiped. On the upside, those slackers who would skip out, not register sickies etcetera can no longer do so. Mind you, it could be worse… see the story below.

Modesty stripper

Now, E-tales was way sceptical when we first heard about airport scanners, and our scepticism about what they do and do reveal has been proved seriously correct. The lovely lads at Melbourne Airport have been busy digitally stripping everyone with their latest toy — the “X-ray backscatter body scanner” — and, yes, it can see through clothing; although we are assured the images aren’t photographic quality, and nor are they saved. Yeah, right.

The only good thing, from Kiwi lasses’ point of view, is that at the moment it is just a six-week trial and only domestic passengers are subject to it, on a voluntary basis. (Have you tried going through a security-paranoid Aussie airport lately and refused to comply with any requests made of you?)

E-tales is just waiting for the YouTube images to appear.

If offence-number > N goto…

One of the most contentious parts of the new copyright law amendments is the reference to ISPs using measures to terminate the account of a “repeat” illicit downloader of protected content.

This took one e-taler back to his early university programming classes, where a lecturer illustrated the need for precision in code by citing the well-known instruction on a shampoo bottle: “Lather, rinse, repeat”. For information to be precise, he said, it should specify exactly what needs to be repeated and how many times.

Well, quite. Perhaps before clobbering ISPs with vague language, our legislators should attend a programming 101 class.

Cat-skinning

It’s an old adage, but, in this case, a very apt one. Apparently, US investment fund Elliott International is miffed that Telecom management didn’t reveal, at its October 2 AGM, that it was planning to spend $574 million on a new nationwide 3G network. This was announced some two weeks later. Some of you may recall that Elliott, which boasts a 3% stake in Telecom, nominated two directors for Telecom’s board recently, but they were voted down.

Apparently, according to Telecom, it hadn’t made the network-build decision at the time of the AGM. Maybe it was distracted by the thought of what might happen had Elliot’s suggestion that Telecom be split into two, with the profitable bit being sold off, come to pass.

Beer that isn’t there costs big-time

We’ve had some sex and money e-tales fun, now all we need is the alcohol. We have that too in the shape of iPhone app developer Hottrix, which is suing brewers Carling over beer suds that aren’t really there.

The virtual suds in question are “iBeer” ones that Hottrix developed for the iPhone’s accelerometer, which simulates a frothy glass of beer being poured when the phone is tilted. News site The Registerreports that Hottrix’s Steve Sheraton is suing the beer-maker, to the tune of US$12.5 million, for allegedly stealing its app and offering it for free on iTunes. This was after contacting Sheraton and then knocking him back. Ouch!

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