E-tales: iPhones in the wild

Thousands of iPhones on Vodafone's network in New Zealand, says source

Our Helen’s a Colossus fan

Our Prime Minister must be a secret techie. Helen Clark apparently spent part of her hols taking a look at the rebuilt British Colossus computer at Bletchley Park. Computerworld has been corresponding with the venerable establishment which, with the aid of the Colossus, helped win World War II by decoding German signals. Parts of the Colossus have been on display at MOTAT in Auckland since August, in the museum’s “Machines that Count” exhibition.

IPhones in the wild

One of our e-talers hangs out with a super-geeky crowd, eight out of 10 of whom own an iPhone. Just before Christmas, said e-taler was pleasurably wiling the time away in a Newton, Auckland, bar with five of said friends — of which four are proud iPhone owners — when they spotted the first “iPhone in the wild”, as they put it. Mucho excitement ensued, with the four iPhone owners closing in on their new best friend, flashing their phones.

An hour or so later, the geeky team was amazed to see yet another iPhone in the wild, in a restaurant in the same area. Seems like Newton is where it all happens. But don’t be surprised if you spot an iPhone on the street one of these days. A source told our e-taler that there are currently 3,000 iPhones on Vodafone’s network in New Zealand.

Not so sweet-smelling

“Revenue is the only deodorant” — The New Zealand country manager of a multinational company defines how he is measured.

Post-Christmas war stories

We know, we’re well into January, but E-tales couldn’t resist a holiday offering which perhaps our most convivial e-taler heard over a few January beers:

A Wellington IT exec’s partner emerged from the shower naked and then, momentarily nonplussing her man, suddenly fled to the bedroom. Looking up, the exec saw a man in a uniform in the window. Yes, the Salvation Army was collecting for Christmas. After handing over some small change, he was entertained by the Sally band breaking into an impromptu version of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

The anti-waffle clause

Inviting tenders for a system to manage ICT during national disasters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade specifies that responses should “contain short, content-rich, specific answers to the questions posed”.

Content-rich? Why wouldn’t a document be content-rich? Indeed, there’s little else in most documents but content. But, having read a good few windy tenders, our e-taler reckons he knows what the ministry is saying: be brief and to the point.

PAL on the job

The Great Unwashed — that’s us, the public — can at long last access PAL (Public Access to Legislation), through a revamped website.

Attorney-General Michael Cullen formally announced the opening of the site last Wednesday. Knowing Computerworld’s deadlines, the Parliamentary Counsel Office sent us an early draft copy of Cullen’s media release, accompanied by a warning that it was intended just as a “heads-up”.

“Please note this is just a draft and not suitable for use,” the covering note said.

How right they were. The release included a supposed hypertext link to the site, at www.legislation.govt.nz. In fact, the link takes one to the “government jobs online” website, at www.jobs.govt.nz

Maybe now the much-delayed project is finishing-up, those involved are looking for new jobs and got their URLs mixed-up.

Hubris loses Top Gear host £500

That’s a whopping great $1,239 in South Pacific pesos.

Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC’s Top Gear programme, who is not known for his moderate views, surpassed himself recently when he posted his banking details in a British newspaper, in a foolish attempt to prove that identity fraud was not such a big issue. He got pinged, to the tune of £500, which the anonymous hacker — who remains unknown — transferred Clarkson’s dosh to the charity Diabetes UK.

This despite Clarkson banking with Barclays Bank whose security is top-notch. Clarkson had poohed-poohed concerns over the massive UK data loss last October, which saw 25 million Brits’ personal details exposed when two discs containing child benefit claims went missing.

“All you’ll be able to do with them is put money into my account. Not take it out,” opined Clarkson, who called it all “a palaver over nothing”.

Nice one, Jeremy.

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