FryUp: A BCoP-out

Juha has three friends on Facebook, the new Banking Code of Practice is a bit, err, loose and NZ has nearly four-times the number of customers per cell site than Australia

Top Stories

- Three friends on Facebook!

- A BCoP-out

- New Zealand’s tricky geography at play?

Three friends on Facebook!

That’s nice! I’m going to poke them real hard now.

- Just say no to Facebook: Rod Drury

A BCoP-out

As you may have noticed in online media and non-attributing print publications, Computerworld dug up the dirty bits in the new Banking Code of Practice. Too bad the rest of the world linked to the US Computerworld story, instead of the original NZ one, but ... never mind.

To recap, the key issue is that banks will have the right to inspect your computer in case there is a "disputed transaction", to see if it's wearing thick enough internet and general security rubber.

If it's not, the BCoP basically says you can kiss any money lost goodbye. The money quote is:

“... used a computer or device that does not have appropriate protective software and operating system installed and up-to-date, [or] failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the protective systems, such as virus scanning, firewall, antispyware, operating system and anti-spam software on [the] computer, are up-to-date.”

Doesn't the above seems a bit loose? Who deems what's appropriate here? The banks? When did they become personal computer security experts capable of assessing whether or not your system is up to snuff?

For banks, pushing customers to use the Internet is tremendous money-saver. They can cut down on staff, on branch premises, paper work and equipment. I haven't seen an estimate yet, but imagine the savings internet banking brings would be massive.

With that in mind and also remembering how profitable the banks are, skimming fees from customers at every turn, I expected something better than just placing the onus on customers in a poorly defined manner.

We have the banks' response in the next issue, so make sure you read it

- Banks demand a look inside customer PCs in fraud cases

- Slashdot: New Zealand banks

- Podcast: Banking code, BlackBerry security and some guests

- Aussie banks deny lobbying over internet liability

- Lance Wiggs: NZ Banks blame you

- Digital payment service questioned

New Zealand’s tricky geography at play?

My good friend Tex Edwards of NZ Communications held his usual highly amusing talks at the recent Telecon 8 Summit. One slide in his presentation stood out, and I’m sure Tex won’t mind if I reproduce it in the FryUp, as it deserves greater airing:

Tex is only talking about capital, and of course, you’d have to check that the above is an apples-for-apples comparison with the cell sites similarly configured but... that’s quite some difference. I’m wondering how much this affects performance actually. Could it be that New Zealanders get 3.75 times lower performance than Australians, yet pay much more for their mobile service?

Wikipedian protestor

Cartoon by www.xkcd.com

Robert X Cringely

Bill's billions

It's a momentous day here on the planet that Microsoft lets us call earth. For the first time since 1994, Chairman William H Gates III is no longer the richest biped on the planet. In the race to see who can die with the most money, Gates has fallen behind Mexican mobile maven Carlos Slim, whose holdings in wireless company America Movil top out at US$67 billion — a solid US$8 billion ahead of Sir Bill. For someone as competitive as Gates, losing at anything hurts. But to fall behind someone who sounds like a character out of a Carl Hiaasen novel must be especially galling. (At least it wasn't Larry Ellison.) But there is hope in Gatesville. When the Chinese version of Self magazine asked women in 15 Chinese cities whose baby they'd most like to have, Gates was (once again) number two. (FYI, Hong Kong film star Andy Lau, China's Brad Pitt — was the number one pick. Brad Pitt — America's Andy Lau — landed at number ten.) So it's simple. Say 200 million Chinese women pony up US$60 a pop for a sample of Bill's essence. That's US$12 billion right there — enough to slip past Slim and still keep a US$4 billion cushion. As an added bonus, we'll get an entire generation of nerdy Chinese-American entrepreneurs out of the deal.

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