Cerf’s up: wet but not so wild

A WEEK OF IT

Cerf’s up: wet but not so wild

Oh dear, oh dear. Here at E-tales we don’t often find ourselves wishing someone had better PR advice, but we’ll make an exception in Communications Minister David Cunliffe’s case.

Please, please, whoever told our David it was okay to have his photo taken: a) in a wetsuit; b) in a wetsuit that’s on backwards; c) sitting on a surfboard, and d) trying to use a laptop without falling into the harbour, please find another job.

We’d make fun but, really, what more can we say?

By the way, the minister, along with Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast (the one who’s sensibly covered up), were promoting the forthcoming ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) conference, to held in Wellington in March, and featuring Vint “father of the internet” Cerf.

Home alone calls costly

E-tales has been following the debate about home line rental fees with interest – especially when we discovered that although the standard monthly rental fee is set to rise from $39.85 to $42.80, in Wellington and Christchurch — where rival TelstraClear operates — it will rise from $32.85 to $34.80. It’s amazing what a bit of competition can do.

This discovery inspired E-tales to do a bit of trawling on the internet and we discovered that across the Big Ditch they pay a maximum of A$30 and the regulator is threatening to cut that as fees have risen from A$11.65 since 2000. But even then there is a budget plan that allows home users to pay just $18.50 a month, even if it that plan does bump the 22¢ local call charge up to 30¢.

However, all this pales in comparison when you consider that home users in New York pay a mere US$10 (NZ$14.70) a month and local calls are free.

Of mice and muck

From time to time the cleanie in E-tales has been known to bang on about computer equipment and filth – after all, it has actually been identified as major source of the deathly MRSA superbug infesting British hospitals. Well, now we have even more proof that tech equipment really does need a bit more TLC when it comes to cleaning.

The NZ Herald reports that a recent survey conducted by the Korean Consumer Protection Board found an internet café mouse to be second only to shopping carts when it came to levels of bacteria, with 690 colony-forming bacteria per —10sq cm cart handles had 1100.

You may well argue gentle reader that the average office is a lot cleaner than this. But is it? Hot-desking doesn’t help here, either.

Bedding down your iPod

For those music aficionados who want to how to get more out of their iPod, Kiwi ingenuity has come to the rescue with, wait for it, the iPod bed.

The Rimu and aluminium-detailed delight that is Design Mobel’s Pause bed is actually a lot nicer than some of the number-eight fencing wire inventions Kiwis are famed for. But the basic idea is the same — innovate around a perceived need. Accordingly, the Pause bed incorporates not only an iPod dock but Bose speakers and, as an optional extra, a built-in LCD TV.

Just the thing for the iPod owner who has everything but would like to avoid the tangled-in-the-bed earphone misery that is night-time iPod listening, opines British news site The Register.

Make it so

A British chap has paid what is perhaps the ultimate tribute to that well-loved geek show Star Trek. Tony Alleyne had turned his modest home in Leicestershire, in northern England, into a tribute to the Starship Voyager. With moulded walls, blue lighting and a life-size transporter model, it’s a trekkie’s dream. Sadly, the £100,000 (NZ$256,268) bill he ran up has bankrupted the man of modest means, reports British news site Ananova. Oh, and his wife left him after he replaced their fridge with a “warp coil”.

Can't say we blame her.

Fiorina ‘beyond humble’

No, we don’t quite believe it either. But apparently that’s what Rich Tehrani, who hired the busted ex-boss of Hewlett-Packard to speak at a recent US conference, thinks.

“She seemed beyond humble. She’s put on this pedestal by so many people, and yet is more humble than the person sitting next to you,” opined Tehrani in the US Mercury News.

All this would be of academic interest was Fiorina not visiting New Zealand and Australia shortly to speak about leadership at the forthcoming Global Business Forum conferences.

But humility doesn’t seem to have extended to Fiorina’s back pocket or handbag, however. She charges like a wounded bull for her services, at around US$50,000 (NZ$73,782) for an appearance that typically lasts about an hour.

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