The Silly Edition

Is Bridget Lamont, loyalty programme manager at Progressive Enterprises, the most clueless person in New Zealand?

Top Stories

- The Silly Edition

Silly stuff!

Delightfully so, though.

-YTMND

Silly invention!

This wouldn’t work in Auckland, not at all. Think of all the flies and ants, and anyway, the porky stuff would go rancid in the hot weather.

Just imagine too if a small child gets in there during a game of hide-and-seek just before the alarm goes off! Not a pretty sight…

- WAKE n' BACON

Silly idea!

Is Bridget Lamont, loyalty programme manager at Progressive Enterprises, the most clueless person in New Zealand?

That question pops up in your head as you read the Herald story about how Progressive Enterprises now sells Onecard holders’ email address to “external operators”. Lamont’s outfit has email addresses for some 225,000 Onecard members, and intends to collect more.

That’s a lot of people to spam with unsolicited offers. Did people really give permission for Progressive Enterprises to on-sell their email addresses like this?

What’s more, Progressive Enterprises tracks if Onecard members read the emails — apparently 40% of card holders open the messages. Have Onecard members been told of this tracking?

Lamont is quoted in the Herald piece as saying that email costs Progressive Enterprises only a fraction of traditional direct marketing campaigns, which is very likely true.

However, has Lamont considered how much a wave of Onecard holder anger at being spammed will cost Progressive Enterprises? I’m surprised this question never occurred to the Herald reporter actually.

I’ve got a Onecard and if I receive any spam I will not only file complaints with the ISPs where the messages came from but also boycott any Progressive Enterprises store. Feel free to do the same.

- On line to Onecard holders' computers

- Brace yourself: more e-mail campaigns on its way to New Zealanders!

- Spam and bombs

Silly patent lawsuits!

So, Apple caved and gave Creative Technology of Singapore a good chunk’o’cash as well as welcoming it into the Made for iPod family. That’s a lifeline and a half for Sound Blaster supremo Sim Wong Hoo’s company, which never got into the media player market in a serious fashion, despite having what looks like nice devices.

What really put Apple’s corporate cojones in a vice was very Creative legal threat to stop the sale of iPods. Not only that, but it seems Creative had a good chance of blocking the importing of iPods into the States as well.

All this because Creative patented a user interface with trees and menu options that expand from it. Now Apple will have to license that for its iPods.

It’s a reasonably safe bet that Creative will take a close look at how the user interfaces of other media players work as well, as its five-year legal campaign against Apple paid off so handsomely.

- Apple to pay US$100 million, settling iPod dispute

- Big win for Creative in Apple iPod lawsuit

Silly Telecom!

Telecom has made its submission to the Parliamentary finance and expenditure select committee, which is deliberating on the government’s Telecommunications Amendment Bill currently. And, despite CEO Theresa Gattung promising Telecom would go along with the new regime, it’s obvious that the incumbent is working hard to water down the regulatory proposals.

First, Telecom doesn’t want to be broken up like BT in the UK. Accounting separation a la BT is commendable, Telecom says, but if it was undertaken in New Zealand, it would take five years before the benefits came home to roost. Funny how much slower we are than the Brits, who are already seeing the benefits of BT’s voluntary separation in 2005.

Even though Telecom is many times smaller than BT, separation would cost as much for Telecom as it did for the UK giant. Proportionally speaking, it would cost Telecom twelve times more to split up. Why would that be?

Instead, Telecom’s trying the usual “let us do it our way, and we’ll do it faster, cheaper and invest more” lure. I don’t think the government will buy into that, as it has firm evidence now that Telecom will only invest with the regulatory boot firmly applied to its head. We shouldn’t forget that in December, Telecom threw a hissy fit over the Commerce Commission’s decision to award TelstraClear regulated unbundled bitstream service, and pulled broadband investment in provincial and rural areas.

Furthermore, Telecom has also moved forward the ADSL2+ rollout to some time next year, and where’s its much vaunted Next Generation Network, with the promised multitude of affordable, IP-based services?

Speaking of the Commerce Commission, Telecom says the regulator is useless. The Commission lacks skills and resources, so better if Telecom regulates itself, according to the submission. There’s probably some truth in that, looking at Telecommunications Commissioner Douglas Webb and his staff track records, and the peanut gallery will no doubt chime in that Telecom has effectively regulated itself since it was privatised. Again, I don’t think the government will go along with this.

I’m also curious about the sale of Yellow Pages. When it was first mooted this week by Mark Bogoievsky, Telecom’s finance man, the stock market got all dyspeptic and sent the share price into a tailspin. The directory business makes money and isn’t going to be regulated, so why sell it, analysts understandably asked. However, it seems Telecom is seriously looking into flogging off the Yellow Pages now, as it obviously needs the $1.2 billion plus a sale would bring.

What’s that money really going to be used for?

- Telecom submissions on the Telecommunications Amendment Bill 150806

- Telecom calls for more say in price-setting

- Telecom outlines reasons for no break-up

-CK Live The Google effect: Telecom puts Yellow Pages on the block

- Yellow Pages sales proposal point to Telecom shifting direction towards wholesale?

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