— Nokia's DSTer
— Good money after bad?
Sartorial signal strength
Is that batteries in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Do I want to close it anyway?
Last week, I wrote about Apple's unhappy Daylight Savings Time dealings and got a response back from ardent FryUp reader "hechan":
"Apple is not the only one who doesn't really care about poor little New Zealand. Perhaps Fryup should ask what Nokia has done about the new DST schedule?
When contacted, Nokia would not give a time frame as to when a patch will be available. At first their response was there was currently no patch.
After rating their email response "highly dissatisfied", they modified their response to they are working on a patch but not sure of the release date. Their "Care Centre" doesn't seem to appreciate the problems users are facing with their appointments out of sync.
Interesting the good old Sony Ericssons (at least the P800 and v600i) allow the user to manually select the time zone and DST, whereas the new Nokias don't (not N73 nor the expensive N95)."
Well, FryUp asked Nokia (the Aussie office, as there is no NZ one), and got a response from its communications manager Louise Ingrams:
"On series 60 handsets there is a file loaded which has all the daylight savings times around the world.
"Unfortunately, New Zealand brought forward the start of daylight savings after we had shipped phones with these preloaded factor files on it. For a period of two weeks the phones show the wrong time as a result of New Zealand's change in daily savings time start date.
"There is no software patch for this, however, consumers can change to phone time manually. The good news is that phones shipping to New Zealand now, will have this problem fixed."
Hmm. Manual time changes again? That's not ideal. Surely Nokia could do better here?
Good money after bad?
Telecom's new CEO Paul Reynolds is still enjoying a media honeymoon of sorts, with journos being taken in by the Scotsman's apparent reasonableness that contrasts sharply with the outgoing executives pugnacious towards the government and customer expectations alike.
However, one nettle for Reynolds to grasp soon is sea of red ink that's Telecom's business in Australia. So far, there have been no indications as to what Telecoms plans in that field may be, but money still flowing across the Tasman in large amounts if the reports are right.
Telecom has of course large amounts of cash sloshing around that executives are itching to invest in various projects outside of New Zealand, but the track record so far isn't the greatest. Did Telecom for instance pick the right horse when it went with Yahoo for outsourcing Xtra? Maybe that decision looks cool on an Excel spreadsheet, but I'm betting Xtra customers disagree vehemently. Now it seems Yahoo7 is "not a happy company" which is no mean feat in the growing online advertising market. Will this affect New Zealand customers too?
We'll see, but it looks like there's further offshoring coming up from Telecom soon, this time for corporate customers. Perhaps Telecom should seriously consider scratching "New Zealand" from its name...?
Rpbert X Cringely
Lawyers, guns and the RIAA
There was no way the recording industry was going to come out of the Jammie Thomas file-swapping case smelling like anything but cow dung. If they lost, we'd be singing "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.". Having won a jury verdict, they come off as a combination of Snidely Whiplash and Vlad the Impaler on a bad hair day. Apparently somebody at the RIAA really believes the cliche that there is no such thing as bad press. That somebody is a dumbass. Wired.com had an interview with one of the jurors, who proudly proclaimed he'd never been on them crazy internets and never planned to be. The verdict, he said, was designed to "send a message" to file swappers around the world. Yes, and that message is, "I'm a bleedin' eedjit." Asking a net-ignorant jury to reach this verdict is like asking a caveman to decide an arson case. (I'm sure he'd want to send a message to everyone who owns a cigarette lighter.) But he's exactly the kind of juror the RIAA wanted. Clinging stubbornly to the past instead of embracing the future is what the recording industry does best. It's taken Apple iTunes to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. All of this could have been averted in the pre-Napster '90s, had the record industry woken up, smelled the java, and began disentangling itself from the business of shipping pitted plastic platters around the world. Too late now. Of course, the Phat Lady isn't singing just yet. Thomas plans to appeal and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has decided to weigh in on her behalf — the EFF having had some success fighting copyright evildoers. Lord knows she needs the help, because her defence strategy was awful. What really tweaks me is the RIAA argument that file swapping steals money out of artists' pockets. The notion that someone who downloaded 1000 songs from Kazaa would have otherwise paid $990 for them on iTunes (or dropped $10,000+ to get the same songs on CD) is flat-out stupid. Do some people swap instead of shop? Sure. But I'd bet it's less than 5 percent. The real damage is probably closer to $5 per song, not the $750 to $150,000 penalty that copyright law provides. Even then, studies have shown that people who swap files buy more music than people who don't. In other words, the RIAA is going after its most loyal customers. Basic Darwinism dictates that the recording industry must adapt or die. I'm betting on the latter. And so are bands like Radiohead, which have decided to cut out the middleman and sell direct to their fans. Sounds like they're trying to send a message. But I'll bet the record companies are too tone deaf to hear it.