back to article Company That Can't Be Named slams critics

STL Partners' twice-yearly Telco 2.0 conference is held under Chatham House rules, which means the press can't attribute quotes to speakers without their permission. It's all about telcos finding new revenue opportunities, and it returned this week. One session starred a Well Known Web Advertising Intermediary very well known to …


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  1. John Imrie

    How do content providers get paid for this?

    When I was a young 'un the internet hat this concept of sharing. content providers did not expect to get payed, they hoped to get read.

    Oh well I guess that commie pinko liberal thinking went the way of free market capitalism.

  2. NickR


    My experience of companies that prefer to remain anonymous have something to hide...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Great article


  4. adam

    nice article

    very interesting and inphormative...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I'm not quite sure...

    ...what opinion to phorm about this.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    New kitchens

    aren't made of Phormica

  7. Steve Sutton

    What a...

    ....PH^?^?FORMidable article Mr Orlowski.

  8. caffeine addict

    nit picking...

    It should be "Chatham House Rule" not "Chatham House rules"...

  9. Sam

    Open and transparent

    So open and transparent you can't name the kreepy little spyware peddling pesavenk.

  10. Alex

    It'll cost you almost nothing


    your reputation,

    the privacy of your subscribers

    and quite possibly your customer base

    but hey, you might make some money, if any one joins our marketing club.

    where do I sign?

    I remember the days when you paid an ISP for access to the internet and this funded the business model, if they want more revenue then they should build content that people are interested in rather than trying to profile and pimp their customer base.

    there's so pretty perverse logic behind that thinking and the catalyst appears to be greed, it'll be good to see the EU string them up by the balls!

    ..oh hang on.

  11. Dan
    Thumb Down

    Great article...

    Can we phormally tell them to phuck off?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this blatant censorship!

    After all what use is a company if you are not allowed to mention its name this makes phorming an opinion very hard plus if the ISP is being so transparent they are totally buried in the sand instead of ostrichised it is hard to be a customer. The main issues here are the lack of inphormation on the system, lack of communication when things go titsup then the last straw is to be stalked all the time by an unknown body.

    Only opinion I can phorm is one of taking care of my own privacy looking after my own investment without the hidden security which has the possibility of being worse than anything that has been last by the UK government bodies over the last two years.

    Supose it fits well into a large blue chip companies customer forum same censorship of the inphormed by the leaders of the un-inphormed.

  13. Graham Marsden

    But we all know...

    ... that inphormation which can identify people needs to be kept confidential...

  14. Chronos

    I just hope...

    ...that the rest of the behavioral targeting mob is paying them well for being the whipping boy/guinea pig/worst of a number of poor choices whilst they get their shit together. One wonders why Mountain View has been so quiet, given that this stomps on their core business rather heavily. I would also like to take this opportunity to send my commiserations to those investors who have lost an imperial arseload [1] of cash and hope that someone, somewhere has given you and WKWAI enough to retire on, since you'll never work in a position requiring anything more complex or responsible than inserting a bolt into a Tonka toy with a fourteen page work instruction and three supervisors watching your every move ever again.

    I must admit, it was a cleverly planned (except hosting initially on FarceHosts, a dead giveaway that this was not a serious company), well executed move by all concerned and the choice of a man with the most arrogant demeanour, evil background and awful accent as chief nasty was inspired. It's almost too convoluted for my own Machiavellian mind to follow, but talent recognises genius...

    Joke alert. <SpookyReverb>Or is it?</SpookyReverb> ;o)

    [1] Slightly larger than a metric fuckton. Sorry for deviating from ElReg standard units, but I'm old school where we learnt pounds, shillings, pence and HOW BLOODY MUCH?

  15. Man Outraged

    "Only" 19,000 people and counting...

    When I was young, and my heart, was an open book (they used to say....) I was treated to a workshop by some of the country's leading PR experts. I was working for a major telecoms equipment manufacturer after a spell at Tesco, who also taught me a lot about customer relations.

    I was introduced to the 1 in 10 concept: that for every strongly dissatisfied customer who bothered to send you feedback, there were another 9 equally dissatisfied but hadn't got around to telling you. And these weren't just the grumblers, but the people who were likely to take action and stop using your product or service. Not only that, but they were likely to tell at least 10 other people how dissatisfied they were with your service, and these 10 other people would be at least aware of your product's deficiencies.

    Currently very close to 19,000 people have spoken out on the Number 10 website against ISP profiling for the sakes of advertising.

    If the PR types were close to true, and I firmly believe they are, after all, how many people are even aware of the No 10 website(?) then there are a further 171,000 dissatisfied people out there who do not like being tracked by their ISP for whatever purpose.

    And it also means that around 1.9 million people have heard something bad about BT/Phorm from the 190,000 dissatisfied customers.

    Next time I hear Drayton et. al telling me that the people protesting against Phorm are extremists and few in numbers, and that "only a very small percentage" of our customer base have signed the petition I swear I'll tell him where to go, and get fired in the process.

    The fact is that a good proportion of tech literate customers are aware of what ISPs are up to and are voting with their feet. Big companies like BT are losing focus on core business. They are focusing on deals to attract customers rather than reasons why customers want to stay.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I phink....

    The opinion that is Phormed through reading this story, is that the author here is non-too impressed with our friendly little WKWAI company!

    In fact, you could Phorm the opinion that this somewhat Phormulaic piece is designed to drop a small hint...

    I hope they disappear into a gigantic hole of their own Phormation! Clear enuff yet?

    ..... Paris wouldnt understand... but she'd still get it!

  17. Ian

    Better than mine...

    I spent Friday at a regional development board conference, where I was one of the 20% that wasn't working for the public sector. And in a city where more than 50% of the population are from ethnic minorities, less than 5% of the attendees were.

    The most inane comment came from a media bloke who assured us that his son, ten, didn't wear a watch because he'd far rather carry a more capable device, ie a phone, and therefore only old people would wear watches. Presumably that's so he can get twitter, too.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All Quiet on the Western Front Project?

    Meanwhile in the real world....

    Alcatel-Lucent has stealthy Kindsight, formerly stealthy Project Rialto. Stealthy projects usually have front projects to test their wares. Any whispers?

  19. jake Silver badge

    t'phorm o' t'day's yooph

    >When I was a young 'un the internet hat this concept of sharing.

    >content providers did not expect to get payed, they hoped to get read.

    When I were your age, we helped each other set up nodes.

    In the snow (Utah), up hill (Denver), both ways (Reno <-> San Francisco).

    Nobody got payed, for ANYTHING ... and we liked it!

    ... trust me, kids. Some of the old guard are still paying attention. Hopefully we'll work out a RealLife[tm] solution that is sustainable for everyone.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "How do you communicate the opportunity to end-users?"

    It really is a funny little fish bowl these cologne-breathing testosterone factories live in.

    @Man Outraged

    Nice back-of-the-envelope job. Sadly, judging by the behaviour of our telco 0.9 crowd, the wisdom you learned has gone the way of the Dodo.

    Paris; she certainly knows the right way to communicate opportunities to her end-users.

  21. Jeff Rowse

    Thank the Fungi from Yuggoth for that!

    When you said "(Company) That Could Not Be Named", I thought that old Gnarly Thotep (aka 'The Royal Pant') had moved into the Telecomms arena, possibly using kit supplied by H(ewlett) P(ackard) Lovecraft...

    Mine's the one with the Elder Sign on the back and the jug of Space Mead in the pocket.

  22. John
    Thumb Up

    Good article

    More good journalism from Orlowski. What's going on?

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