Care to comment?

A week of IT

Care to comment?

An inquiry to the Reserve Bank about a supposed hurry-up letter sent to Westpac about retaining its mainframe in New Zealand produced a “no comment” answer three days later. When asked why the refusal to comment, the Reserve Bank spokesman had a ready reply: “We can’t comment on the no comment.”


From the fascinating realm of email footnotes: an E-tales staffer was sent one of those standard "unbiased analyst says something good about our product" messages. As part of the email, there was, naturally, a hyperlink inviting the recipient to: "read the [analyst's] white paper". We followed the link with customary eagerness, to be confronted with a pdf carrying the front-page warning:

"All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher."

Well, all right, we promise to read it as quickly as possible then ensure all traces are removed from our system. But it's possible we may have offended already.

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Pity the poor InternetNZ councillor, travelling to exotic, far-flung destinations, attending meetings, and meeting attendees, who has his wallet stolen while sojourning in the Forbidden City.

Fortunately, we here at E-tales HQ know how resourceful and relentless InternetNZ vice president David Farrar can be, so it came as no surprise to learn that he managed to make his way back to his hotel from the Great Wall with nary a ruble, yuan, peso, penny or dollar to his name.

How did NZ's hardest working blogger achieve this? He begged on the street corner until an American couple took pity on him and gave him the bus fare home.

We were unimpressed to discover though that Farrar's 24-hour emergency insurance cover was not, in fact, 24-hour — nor did it cover emergencies and, in fact, failed to cover him at all, but we're glad to report Farrar made full use of globalisation to get MasterCard to wire money to a Western Union outlet in Beijing.

UR Fired

While it's true that the world of soccer can be a little rough and the sacking of football managers is a commonplace event, E-tales felt rather sorry for Lucian Popa, manager of third division Romanian football team ASA Targu Mures. Ananova reports that, despite his team being on the verge of promotion, he found himself sacked — by text message.

Popa said he had been expecting congratulations when he opened the message on his phone and that firing him by SMS was sheer cowardice.

We at E-tales agree. We're not sure if its worse than sacking by mobile phone — E-tales once heard this done, loudly, while travelling on a Sydney train — or if the old-fashioned 'Dear John' letter (or fax) method of ending a romantic relationship is worse. Whatever, we disagree with Popa when he said the least he deserved was a phone call. We think bad news should always be delivered face-to-face, and not to do is always sheer cowardice.

Squeaky-clean teens

E-tales is not quite sure what to make of a recent UK government survey which found that just 12% of British teenagers avail themselves of e-smut. According to The Registeronline news site, UK teens aged between 13 and 18 mostly prefer to use the internet to help with homework and keep up with the news. We reckon its sheer boredom with the likes of Paris Hilton and her overexposed mobile nudity and similar. Or else, like the lad in the UK movie Calendar Girls (about the nude Women's Institute calendar), British boys still prefer the traditional stash of girly mags under the bed.

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