E-tales: Hopeful aspirations

The New Zealand Archives has produced the usual 'vision' and 'policy' statements. Bracketing them in one document, it says 'Together, the vision and policy statements for electronic records provide an aspirational statement of intent.' We assume this means 'what we hope we're going to be able to do'.

Considering electronic document management, New Zealand Archives has produced the usual "vision" and "policy" statements. Bracketing them in one document, it says "Together, the vision and policy statements for electronic records provide an aspirational statement of intent."

We assume this means "what we hope we're going to be able to do".

Coalition Defending Mother America

Keeping to the war theme, we always suspected there was more to the motivation for war than simply liberation or oil, and finally proof has emerged of why the US and British forces have invaded Kuwait: fear of GSM.

According to InternetNews.com, "A coalition is underfoot in the US Congress to replace European with American cellphone technology in Iraq as soon as the conflict is over and the country rebuilds." That's right, CDMA is now as American as "mom" and Apple pie and fuel-air explosives. GSM, which is common in the Middle East, is of course also tainted by GSM World being held in France each year. See also US lawmaker pushes mobile phone interests in Iraq.

Security cheque

Shades of Maxwell Smart to this note on an ASB cheque: "Warning! This document reacts to water, chemical agents, contains microprinting and hidden text."

Personal service

So Telecom is not the Borg, as rumoured. E-tales received a lovely handwritten note from a staff member at TNZ politely requesting a replacement cheque from the subscriber and apologising after the mail reader munched the previous payment. Stylish.

Even better service

If you're thinking of going with Microsoft's brand of CRM (customer relationship management, or creating rich marketers, if you like), you'll be pleased and relieved that it's got even better, having had its third patch since being released in late January. IT news website eWeek reports that Microsoft last week released a patch that stops a generated unique ID, or GUID, being attached to email messages to better track customer's communications. Customers worried it was distracting for customers with its multi-character random sequences and made their messages vulnerable to spam filters. The first patch fixed an Outlook flaw and the second helped a faulty workflow screen.

Loosening the belt a bit more

Oh, and remember the bad old days when you installed your copy of Microsoft Office with 12 diskettes, and how we heaved a sigh of relief when CDs came along? The 2003 beta version is on a dozen CDs. The hope when it finally ships is that they compact it somewhat.

Hard boot

Ah, pity. You just missed CIO Boot Camp, held in Phoenix, Arizona by analyst firm Meta Group for information execs and their direct reports. The course, so far having spat out 700 grads, "distills the valuable experiences, best practices and insights gained from Meta Group's global client base to help you become, or remain, a successful CIO".

Like to see that on a reality TV show -- "There's only two things that come out of Noo Zealand, boy -- creeps and, ahhh, sheeps ... Which one are you?"

Red letter day

It could go down as the stretched metaphor of the week. IT and transport minister Paul Swain said as an officer with a certain control over the movement of things and Labour Party membership, he might be accounted a kind of Red Sheriff. So his presence at the web market monitor's presentation of its new service was distinctly appropriate, he suggested.

(The occasion got etales thinking of The Candidate, by socialist folk song writer Alex Glasgow: "Red is the colour of the rosette on his lapel/And it's rumoured that his blood may be the same/Though his heart is on the left, you'll find his wallet's on the right/And the red he wears is only red in name.")

Boys and women

Covering Red Sheriff's new online market analysis methodology our staffer was given a username and password to access the analysis tables usually visible only to paid-up subscribers. Without being too commercially indiscreet, two findings surprised: the readership of the uncompromisingly female-directed online magazine NZGirl is 25% male. And we don’t think we’re being unchivalrous to suggest that the leading reader age-band, 21 to 29, might be stretching the definition of "girl" just a little.

Chariots of the gods

You might have heard in the news that Gregory Dawson was fined $4500 plus costs in the Auckland District Court for breaching the Fair Trading Act in regard to the SkyBiz pyramid selling scheme (Commerce Commission warns on SkyBiz Web scheme). SkyBiz involved recruits selling website programmes called "WebPaks", larger numbers of which had to be sold to others down the line to earn commission. (The Commerce Commission also boasted in the same release about the successful prosecution of fellow pyramid-ers Infinity Concierge.)

It's worth quoting at some length from a letter we got in October of 2000 from Charles Cleveland, a US lawyer for SkyBiz 2000:

"...There are two paragraphs that may give people an erroneous understanding of the SkyBiz 2000 home-based business programme ... 'The commission says it has sent warning letters to people involved in SkyBiz 2000, a scheme in which people are invited to buy a home page on a portal (www.skybiz.com) and to then recruit other buyers. The original buyer receives a share of money paid by those people who subsequently join the scheme through their involvement.' This conveys the idea that a SkyBiz 2000 associate recruits buyers and receives compensation for doing so. That is a mixing of two separate parts of the SkyBiz 2000 business. Such erroneous mixing of the two is what causes some to believe that it is an illegal pyramid scheme.

"SkyBiz 2000 is in the business of selling its e-Commerce Web Pak through the efforts of independent contractors, called 'associates', and has adopted the multi-level marketing (MLM) method to do so. Associates can also build a sales organisation by recruiting others to help in the sales effort. Associates are paid compensation for the sales achieved through the efforts of themselves and their sales organisation. Nothing is paid for recruiting others. One can become an associate, and participate fully in the compensation plan, without payment of any kind and without buying the e-Commerce Web Pak."

A recruit's statement "You can also set up a home-based business whereby SkyBiz pays you a commission when you join up other people" suggested she needs additional training, Cleveland said.

Jupiter Research's War Impact Scoreboard

No, we don't know either.

Edited by Mark Broatch.

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