Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Christmas Stockings

31 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • Mark Harris,

    The problem with Mancer's statement is he's comparing apples with oranges. The Aussies are (apparently) sourcing the Cleanfeed list from the Internet Watch Foundation in the UK. That's all it is - a list. You still have to apply it to filtering software and, while I'm not sure what software method the Ausies are using for the test, each ISP will probably be running a different version of software which could well have operational impact, as the Tasmanian tests have shown.

    Mancer's Watchdog operates the same BGP based system that DIA is trialling at the moment. It originates in Sweden and is recommended by the Swedish Police. While Watchdog, as a reseller, is free to trumpet its merchandise, my understanding of the trial is to determine whether the system works well enough to be worth the investment and also whether it has a negative impact on the service delivery.

    More importantly, the discussion should really be about the nature of the list. When I reviewed it for InternetNZ and DIA in 2005, it didn't have any false positives that I could find, but was also in no way comprehensive either. One of the things I was looking for was whether pages or images were blocked for political reasons. I didn't find any but the IWF recently put a Wikipedia page into the list because it contained an image of an album that was deemed objectionable. They removed it after an outcry, but that's a thing that needs continual scrutiny to ensure doesn't happen with any filtering technology. Who watches the watchers?

    The main question for the Aussies is (as it was for us in 2005) "under which law?" The IWF list is formulated under UK law and includes hate-based imagery but not bestiality. Bestiality is illegal under NZ law and so the filter would not have been effective in that area. I didn't find that the list contained anything that would not be classed as objectionable in NZ, but it most surely did not go far enough for compliance with our legislation, which forbids even images of age-qualified persons who are posed to look as if they are underage.

    (Incidentally, my report to the InternetNZ Council seems to have been removed from their website. I don't know why they would do this.)

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    The Systems Administrators Guild of Australia

    Discworld methinks. But on the subject of WoW good luck for when you enter the Kitchen of Doom...

    Despite the temporal distortion field that makes it The Day That Never Ends, eventually... it does.

    Xmas cheers and beers!

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    From your link:

    Kitteh sez STFU

    Take the internet away from this person.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Sayana,

    Y'know, I wasn't actually planning to spend my afternoon reading "Not always right" - I had things to do... Thanks for that.

    Since Sep 2008 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    From your link:

    Kitteh sez STFU

    Take the internet away from this person.

    Wow.

    I do sincerely think that everyone would benefit from a spell of customer-facing retail work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • snakeoil,

    I work in retail, in a really busy health food store. Answering the phone is 'lucky dip of horrors' Such as: "What is the name of the butcher over the road, do you have their number?" "When is the next bus?" "Are raspberries higher glycaemic index than boysenberries?" Crustomers, bless em.. are generally in some or other type of daze. All time cringing memory, is the quivering man waiting for help in our crowded dispensary area, asking me in front of half a dozen strangers if he could get some help because when he was young his sister held him down and raped him.. Instant crowd dispersal! And the very big, scary, space invading type with open necked shirt and medallion, cornering me and asking for assistance as he gets extremely hot and sweaty when making love. Eeeew.

    Blue Lynn • Since Dec 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    So for those of you who'll still be net-enabled this Christmas, what are your favourite sites for roaming around when the shopping and the eating get too much?

    The Gunslinger never disappoints.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Y'know, I wasn't actually planning to spend my afternoon reading "Not always right" - I had things to do... Thanks for that.

    Ditto
    Thanks so much Emma

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Stuff n Things,

    Not Always Right

    THANK YOU for this gift! :-)

    Wellywood • Since Apr 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Before I run off and take the cat to the vet (all kinds of seasonal WTF there), The 213 Things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the US Army. Old but hysterical.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    I'm so glad I don't work in customer service at the bank anymore, especially not over the crazy December season. It's not much fun having people come in and yell at you because they've spent all the money in their cheque account and can't get any more out of the money machine. "But now I can't buy presents for my kids!! Why did the machine let me take out the last $50? Now you've ruined our Christmas!!"

    People aren't very rational at this time of the year, but don't seem to understand that yelling abuse at customer service people isn't going to help.

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I do sincerely think that everyone would benefit from a spell of customer-facing retail work.

    Now that I have a minute... from a 'making people not behave like total smeg-heads' POV, I heartily agree. It's just the idea of then trying to get customer service from people who've no idea what they're doing gives me the heebies.

    Not Always Right has done something I wasn't expecting - it's given me a new respect for our customer base at Bardic Web. Because okay, yes, sometimes I have to deal with people being either hugely aggressive or unbelievably stupid. But not THAT stupid.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's not much fun having people come in and yell at you because they've spent all the money in their cheque account and can't get any more out of the money machine. "But now I can't buy presents for my kids!! Why did the machine let me take out the last $50? Now you've ruined our Christmas!!"

    Tangentially related, I have to ask why my bank lets money leave my account over my overdraft. From a money machine, or automated payment. I'd much rather the bank said 'no, that would take you over your overdraft, and we know you don't want that, so we will reject this withdrawl'.

    Instead I suspect their actual response is "ooh yes, another chance to charge Kyle with an un-organised overdraft extension of $20 *cackles of glee*".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Tangentially related, I have to ask why my bank lets money leave my account overmy overdraft

    Yeah, my bank will bounce my automatic rent payment, but let me rack up extra over-overdrafts on coffee when it should just say no. Sigh. Don't we have a nanny state to stop us from this kind of thing?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    OK I'm gonna take that semi seriously and answer so please ignore the following if irrelevant :)

    Umm, well one problem is that it costs you about $20 bucks to have an automatic payment bounce anyway (the money tries to go out automatically and fails) or it used to - similar amount as having a cheque bounce.

    Now as I understand it (Although I could be wrong) the old clunky systems for ATMs can only tell what money you currently have in the account as of the final balance of the day before and subtract money from that (or at least that was how they worked a few years ago). They can generally tell if you have taken out other ATM withdrawals. If you have been making eftpos payments on the same day, they always don't go through immediately (sometimes dependent on the retailer). These systems check the same overnight balance the ATM does but because the two systems aren't run by the same people, they don't always talk to one another very well. So if you are taking money out on the same day using both systems it can sometimes have trouble keeping track until the all the transactions are submitted to the bank. As a side comment, this is also one of the reasons why there are limits to the amounts you can take out on eftpos or ATM, apart from security (if someone has nicked your card and somehow got your money).

    Another point is that they do actually kind of expect people to know what they are spending and take some responsibility for keeping track. No offense intended.

    Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, this info could be quite out of date as it's been some time since I worked in a bank.

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Another point is that they do actually kind of expect people to know what they are spending and take some responsibility for keeping track. No offense intended.

    Actually, my bank has never stopped me taking out more than my overdraft. I previously never saw the point of the overdraft limit, as I could go over it, no penalties or anything, nothing said. For some reason in the past year or so, they've started to penalise, and I've been more careful.

    But this penalty arose from an automatic payment timing changing, not through my doing. I was within my limit, and then the rates went out early for reasons that I don't understand, and I'm $20 dollars over, plus another $20 for the fine.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    But this penalty arose from an automatic payment timing changing, not through my doing. I was within my limit, and then the rates went out early for reasons that I don't understand, and I'm $20 dollars over, plus another $20 for the fine.

    OK that's one you really need to bring up with the bank - if they changed the timing and didn't notify you. However if it was a direct debit (where the council or whoever takes the money out as they want it (dd) rather than you setting up a regular payment to go out and you have the control (ap)) the people who you've signed the direct debit with may need to deal with it. The problem with direct debits (insurance companies want you to do them all the time) is that you effectively give up control and have to deal with whatever they want to take out of your account. You may be well out of luck depending on what the fine print on the direct debit form said.

    Just to mention though - if you think you are getting strange answers from someone in a bank (and the rules vary between banks as well) don't be afraid to go somewhere else and ask again. Much as customer service are supposed to provide what they are named for, some of the people involved will say "we can't do that" when they can't be bothered.

    I have run up against that myself when going in to change accounts etc. Easier to see the humour though, when you can say "well, actually I work for this bank too and I know you _can_ do that"

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Much as customer service are supposed to provide what they are named for, some of the people involved will say "we can't do that" when they can't be bothered.

    My partner still does tech help for... less than techy people and he runs into this problem with telecommunications companies all the time. It saves so much aggravation to just hang up on the obstructive person and ring back. It's never taken more than two goes to get someone perfectly happy to do what 'couldn't' be done.

    And it may be because we've both worked in customer service, but when someone goes out of their way to help us, we take whatever opportunity we've got to provide their boss with positive feedback.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    On topic, can these filters be worked around with a proxy?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Has somebody been playing a bit much WoW?

    Um but we have to play that much to complete all the achievements!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    For interesting diversions over the Christmas period (to get away from the chit-chat and endless recitation of family anecdotes), you could try stumbleupon.org. Add your areas of interest and it will produce all sorts of surprises, reminding you of how much like a mixed bag of sweets the web is.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    For interesting diversions over the Christmas period (to get away from the chit-chat and endless recitation of family anecdotes), you could try stumbleupon.org. Add your areas of interest and it will produce all sorts of surprises, reminding you of how much like a mixed bag of sweets the web is.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    On topic, can these filters be worked around with a proxy?

    No one knows or no one cares? That was an interesting post Mark Harris of Waikanai. Frankly I'm staggered watching the various clampdowns on offer in the name of safety measures to preserve freedom.

    As possums transfixed in the headlights. People seem to be getting better at turning a blind eye as yesterday's femdoms(sic) become today's taboos. Don't get me wrong; 'Not always right' is a very funny site, but the avoidance of the topic at hand is somewhat glaring.

    I sense a populace largely disinterested in the ramifications of the implementation of such measures, disinclined to care much whether the definitions of what constitutes 'hate-based' or objectionable, increases markedly between now and our grandchildrens' era.

    A populace largely trusting the machinations of democracy, far more than is generally recommended for any type of government anywhere.

    I was looking for was whether pages or images were blocked for political reasons.

    It's a very loose term, 'political reasons'; the parameters freely subject to change on whims, especially when dealing with concepts as ambiguous as 'hate-based'.

    In relation to 'Rear Vision' and the general overuse of the term pornography, (as minced by Joseph Slade) defined as;

    obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit.

    in contrast to the term you went on to use; 'erotica' , defined thus;

    literature or art dealing with sexual love.

    Quite distinct almost opposite interpretations of the same thing, yet here (and with some bias I feel), used almost interchangeably in the excerpt.

    as Mark mentioned;

    which forbids even images of age-qualified persons who are posed to look as if they are underage.

    Angus Young from ACDC is the first thing that comes to mind, not to mention early Britney. But in essence, my main feeling is 'who are we kidding?'

    As my experiences working around this kind of thing in this neck of the woods have taught me, there's always more out there...

    Most amusing in the 'Rear Vision', was how these intellectuals discuss the religious function, the educational purposes, illuminated manuscripts, marginalia, political pornography, but not one of them dares touch the prime purpose of contemporary 'pornography' being to serve as stimulus for a tube sock assisted wank.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks Mark, but what's really important right now is that I have discovered a song called 'R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas' with lead vocals by Jon Bon Jovi.

    That's some next-level shit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.