So can we get on with it then?

Telecom's separation counter-proposal is losing steam fast # Google-Dell do no evil with desktop 'spyware' # Symantec slays Chinese PCs

- Started balding at the age of thirteen

- An ad-packed crappy experience

- Bad case of China Syndrome

- So can we get on with it then?

Started balding at the age of thirteen

I think it helped. There’s a great TV version of The Aristocrats on the site as well.

- Michael Hightower: Baby Got Back, Gilbert & Sullivan Style

An ad-packed crappy experience

Courtesy of Dell-Google as well; what happened to “do no evil”? These kind of malarkeys have been tried before with enormous fall-out.

- Google-Dell browser tool 'spyware,' charges OpenDNS founder

- The OpenDNS blog: Google turns the page... in a bad way.

Bad case of China Syndrome

Symantec does its thing to combat piracy... for Microsoft. The various Norton anti-viruses got befuddled, and assumed some legit files in the Chinese edition of Windows XP Service Pack 2 were Trojan Horses, and quarantined them.

That, unfortunately, meant Windows no longer starts up, not even in Safe Mode. Given the size of the Chinese market, there’s no knowing how large a problem this is but “huge” probably covers it. The delicious irony which will have at least Microsoft smiling sweetly is that many of the killed Windows installations were pirated and without restore discs.

- Symantec false positive cripples Chinese PCs

So can we get on with it then?

David Cunliffe, Minister of Communications, says it’s illegal;

ISPANZ says no let’s carry on with what was decided;

TUANZ says hmm, maybe if it’s made legal;

InternetNZ says it’s unworkable;

Douglas Webb says absolutely not, not ever;

BT says no, the claims are false and the MED is right;

Word is in on Telecom’s counter-proposal to the operational separation regulation coming up soon and... it’s not looking good for the incumbent. Not at all. Unsurprisingly, submitters are rubbishing Telecom’s claims that its proposal is better, with Telco Commissioner Douglas Webb using some surprisingly strong language in his submission.

BT, which is the oft-quoted example of successful regulation — with the cooperation of the incumbent, mind you — basically says the same. The UK telco has been there, done that, and is able to share its experience as to what happened. In Britain, the experience was positive overall for everyone, so naturally enough, BT isn’t supporting Telecom.

All of this makes me wonder what has happened at Telecom. The company used to be incredibly adept at maintaining status quo, either via threats of legal action or by elaborate stalling tactics. Telecom’s latest manoeuvre is not, to be honest, particularly impressive.

Surely its many well-paid legal teams would’ve told Telecom it was on a no-hoper with the counter-proposal? Also, any further delays will only serve to smart Telecom more than getting on with it would.

I don’t get it. What is the point of this? Is there something else that we’re not told? Could it be that Telecom really isn’t able to do what the law says it must?

- Telecommunications Commissioner Douglas Webb submission

- MED - Submission No. 22: BT Global Services

- Clarification on TUANZ position re Telecom separation

- BT Global Services’ Submission

Cartoon from


Robert X Cringely
Apple's bad vibes

Apple's legal beagles have their BVDs in a bind over the iGasm, a personal pleasure accessory that plugs into an iPod and vibrates in response to the music. (Sotto voce disclaimer: This device should not be used while driving or listening to Metallica. Side effects may include dizzyness, mild euphoria, and a tendency to scream Lars Ulrich is a god” at inappropriate moments.) Apple's objection isn't to the device so much as the ads for it, which employ a silhouetted form wearing white earbuds only with an extra cord leading due south. Apparently Apple believes it owns the trademark for the white-gizmos-on-black form, regardless of what the gizmo is plugged into.

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