* Posts by Tim Jackson

3 posts • joined 25 Jul 2007

PlusNet blasts email into blackhole (again)

Tim Jackson

In their defence...

There's not really any excuse for this, and I don't use their mail service so I'm not affected by it, but in all other respects PlusNet get more flak than they deserve. Go read their website (especially if you have a customer account) and tell me what other company in any business is so honest and frank about things, especially technical stuff...graphs of call waiting times, internal management reports openly posted (including ones with red flags on), a lot of technical detail about how their packet shaping works etc. I've had an account for 2 years (just using it for the connection) and it's been rock solid, fast at all times including peak, and all the customer communication I've ever had has always been open and straightforward. At least when they do mess up they admit to it and often post a lot of details about what went wrong and what they are going to do about it. I'd rather have that than megacorp PR bluster about unspecified "technical problems".

In PR terms they are an unmitigated disaster, and losing people's e-mail really isn't on, but I do get the impression that there are some serious, hardworking and knowledgeable techies at the heart. If BT stop running Plusnet as a separate unit and migrate everyone onto standard BT products I'm leaving straight away; I can't be bothered fighting my way through 10 layers of "support" asking me if I've turned my PC on or if I know what a phone socket looks like when I'm trying to report a technical problem.

UK gov rejects Cliff Richard's copyright extension

Tim Jackson

Utterly pathetic

I can barely believe Cliff et al are publically shaming themselves in this way. Is 50 years not enough time to keep earning money from something you did once? More to the point, they knew full well what the deal was when they did it. Copyright is a bargain between society and creators, not a natural property right. Society gives them exclusivity for a (generous) period in order to encourage creation. In return, once that period is up, it enters the public domain. This is nothing more than greedy people (regardless of the merit or difficulty of their work) trying to break their side of a deal.

All this emotional language about "investment" and "pensions" and "entitlement to the profits from their hard work" is nothing but smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that these people have no integrity whatsoever and want to renege on a fair deal they consciously made, whilst keeping the spoils.

Absolutely shameful.

More people should go and read "Copyrights and Copywrongs" by Siva Vaidhyanathan. It's a bit US-focused but is a really good (and fair) explanation of the link between copyright and creativity, and the bargain that we strike by having copyright laws.

Skype violates open source licence

Tim Jackson

Completely unnecessary tone

There really is no need to paint one lone guy out to be some kind of freak for simply trying to make sure that large global commercial enterprises making $$$ from software they got for free keep their (very minimal) side of the bargain.

This really isn't a big deal. Stick a tarball on the driver CD (there was one, right? Every flipping trivial piece of hardware comes with a totally unnecessary "driver" CD these days) and everyone's happy. URLs are not ideal because we all know about URL rot - the URL would be lucky to last a month on many sites, which does materially affect the potential for source code availability (especially since most people probably won't be rushing out to download the kernel source code to their phone so there may be only a few copies floating around). And after all, the manufacturers only had to include a postal address and offer to send a CD to meet the requirement. Really not that much to ask!

I see however that the article did bring out the rabid "Those Crazy GPL Commies Don't Want Us To Use Their Stuff For Profit So It Must Be Rubbish And They Are Obviously Not Living In The Real World" MS apologiser brigade, which was amusing given that the article was talking about "fundamentalism".


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