- RIP Carich
- Email words
- Idiot Australians
- RIP Carich
It's quite a messy wee story this one. Entrepreneur of the year Caron Taurima's training establishment Carich was supposed to be the biggest and best of our new breed of educators. With up to 6000 students, six campuses around New Zealand and a rags to riches story, Taurima's company was heralded as a success story.
Carich is now in receivership and if today's NBR is to be believed, overestimated the number of students it had enrolled to receive more than $1 million of tax payers' money.
On the other side of the coin we have Taurima laying complaints with the Ministers of Education and Maori Affairs over public statements made by the head of the Tertiary Education Commission, Ann Clark. Generally speaking, the whole thing's turned to custard.
And what of the students? Caught in the middle, trying to pass exams so they can enter our industry with some form of qualification. Surely they're the ones we should be really working with at the moment?
Fortunately it seems the training industry is. I spoke to a handful of training company folk this week who are all supportive of the students, hopeful they can continue in their studies and willing to help out where they can. The various government bodies involved are moving to assure the students they will be able to move their credits over to another institution with no problem, and according to New Zealand Qualification Authority spokesman Bill Lennox, in today's Dominion Post, even their student fees appear to be protected by Carich. Carich has insured the foreign students' fees against company collapse and had placed the domestic students' fees in a trust of some kind.
That doesn't sound to me like the work of a company that is trying to rip people off. That sounds more like a company that puts the students first and knows what a rough and tumble business environment it was operating in.
At the same time stories are emerging about staff not getting paid and having to chip in to do the cleaning because there was no money to pay the cleaners. One student told the Herald she was asked to chip in $20 to buy printer ink, which is alarming.
The receiver seems hopeful that there is a small chance the schools can reopen but then receivers often are an optimistic bunch, I've found. Odd really, given their line of work, but there you go.
- email words
FryUp reader Clare wonders if the adjective won't be the first casualty of the anti-spam crusade we're all on and I have to say I agree.
I was going to write about the kinds of words that get emails blocked but then it occurred to me that this is an email newsletter and you're not likely to receive it if I write about such things! Spam, how I hate thee.
I may have to resort to l33t sp33k (elite speak) to dodge the philtering systems we all seem to have these days. Some unlucky s0ds even have them on their outgoing mail as well as incoming which is a bit r00d if you ask me.
Once upon a time I wrote a story titled "The Army can't be Ars3d", which was about such things - the Ministry of Defence was a tad overzealous with its new MailMarshal software and was filtering the above-blurred word, so as to protect its soldiers' delicate ears, I would imagine (ears? Perhaps their eyes). Now spam filtering is picking up everything, it seems except for spam.
We're filtering for:
HTML: Sorry about that - the new Lotus Notes client I have loaded finally lets me see the FryUp as advertising managers would have you see it, in full colour with that awful picture of me looking like a puppy that's not been housetrained properly.
Exclamation marks: actually I don't mind that one so much.
Email addresses that have numbers in them or aren't real names (which should catch anything from email@example.com quite nicely)
Whole lines of UpPeR CaSe shouting.
The word Nigeria.
Adjectives. This one really gets my goat. Where's the fun in communication without being able to describe things? Are we all writing white papers here? If I can't over-describe things, what's the point? I may as well pack up and go and work for mainstream news. Oh the humanity.
Fight back, I say. Accept all your spam. Embrace spam. It's the only way to get my stupendous excitable outrageous missives and for me to earn big $$$.
- Idiot Australians
No, it's not an oxymoron, although it is a wee bit like saying the English can't count (snigger).
This is Chesley Rafferty, domain name scam artiste extraordinaire who just doesn't know when to quit.
He got into trouble a couple of years ago for sending letters and faxes to domain name holders "warning" them that they hadn't secured the .net.nz equivalent of their .co.nz name. He got told off because that's not allowed under either Australian or New Zealand domain name rules. Worse than that, he dressed up the letters and faxes to look like invoices and ended up in front of a judge in Australia to explain himself. That's a breach of the Australian equivalent of the Fair Trading Act and Rafferty said "I don't know what came over me, your honour, I shan't be doing such a thing ever again, no no" or words to that effect.
Short attention span he's got because in August under a different company name he sent out another bunch of emails, thus winding up the domain name commissioner (DNC) here, her equivalent in Australia, AuDA, the New Zealand Commerce Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the federal court. Not to mention all the registrants who received his letters.
And now he's done it again, and this time ACCC is going to throw the book at him. There's not much the Commerce Commission here can do as Rafferty's business interests in New Zealand consist of a leased unmanned office space in Auckland and an answering service that doesn't return my calls. The Aussies, however, can.
What's really sad about it is that just about every registrant in the land knows about these scams by now and they just don't work. The DNC reported no unusual activity around the .net.nz space after the August attempt, meaning no more names were registered than normal. Give it up, Rafferty. Go get a real job, like working in the prison library.
The DNC would like to hear from anyone who has registered a name since August and received one of these letters. That would mean Rafferty's got hold of a new list from somewhere and she's eager to find out where. If you got a letter for a domain registered before August he's probably still working from the old list but any new names would mean a new leak to be plugged. Let her know on firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell her I said to say hello.