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July 2004 Archives

July 7, 2004

Welcome to the wonderful world of DRM

I finally had to get myself a tri-band mobile phone -- goodbye to my trusty and robust ME45 which will enter history as the perfect mobile phone with just one frequency band too few. While browsing the manual of the successor, I noticed a full page of legal caveats related to using WAP. Most importantly, I'm told, any repair or exchange of the new device is likely to erase everything I've downloaded, so I should better keep backup copies on a PC. Siemens takes no liability for this.

However, I'm told, the new mobile comes with DRM technology included, so I may just be unable to make any copies at all of DRM protected content that I've downloaded through WAP, not even for backup purposes. And they don't make any representations (and don't take any liability) that I'll be able to get the same for-pay content again.

So I'm supposed to pay for stupid ringtones and wallpapers that I'm going to lose when I switch to the next mobile phone, and that I'm going to lose if I have to turn in this one for repair? I'm supposed to pay for crippled content when there's a wealth of MIDI files available online freely, and when creating a wallpaper is as easy as firing up Gimp and creating a small JPG that's then transferred to the phone with obexftp?

Building a business model on customers' stupidity looks like a bad idea to me.

You want to send an MMS across borders?

Then you must be joking -- or so, T-Mobile seems to believe. lady-logo.jpg

Playing around with my new mobile phone a little more, I attempted to send an MMS (a multimedia message sent from a mobile phone) to a mobile phone in Luxembourg. First surprise, the phone launches GPRS in order to send the message -- it seems this is actually an Internet-based service. Second surprise, the recipient didn't get the image she was supposed to get, but instead an SMS telling her at what URL she could view the MMS that had been sent to her.

I'm amazed ever again by the unflexibility often found in so-called "intelligent" network designs, and amused by the fact that smart services deployed there have to resort to the well-functioning "stupid" Internet under the hood. (But at least they have DRM (specifications here), so the controlled, intelligent mobile phone networks must be a much better environment for commerce than that stupid, uncontrolled Internet thing is, don't you think?)

Related reading elsewhere: Decentralization and Commodification, Cell phone user rights considered harmful.

July 8, 2004

When your comments don't make it to ICANN...

... then make sure that you don't have a confirmation request from ICANN sitting in your spam folder. That's what happened to ALAC's comments to WHOIS Task Force 3 which now have finally made it to the public comment archives.

(To be a little more precise: The confirmation request was caught by a rule intended to catch delivery notifications generated in response to fake e-mails. My main address normally doesn't get e-mail from mailer daemons, so these are discarded automatically.)

July 12, 2004

ccTLD agendas for KL

This comment at ICANNwatch points out that there are two ccTLD agendas for the ICANN meetings in KL: ccTLD ICANN meetings in Kuala Lumpur (wwtld.org), ccNSO meeting agenda (icann.org).

ICANN to court: Dismiss.

From ICANN's web page: Motion to dismiss; Renewed Motion to Strike.

July 14, 2004

(No) Blogging from KL

Susan Crawford is on the way to KL, and promises to send a report when she's there. I'm looking forward to reading it, and hope for more news and observations from the meetings.

I won't attend the ICANN meetings this time, due to a clash with unrelated travel plans. So, no blogging from KL in this place.

July 16, 2004

From my spam box: nameauditors.com

I have registered several does-not-exist.* domain names. The people at nameauditors.com now let me know -- by unsolicited e-mail to my WHOIS contact mail address -- that does-not-exist.com has recently been dropped by its holder. While that's true, I still count this one as another illegitimate use of my personal data as stored in the WHOIS database.

Later: noncore.com is joining the club.

July 20, 2004

GNSO Council in KL

The GNSO Council met in KL today; I've been watching part of the webcast. Vittorio Bertola was sitting on the podium for ALAC. During the part of the discussion I followed, Council agreed to merge WHOIS Task Forces one and two; Task Force three will continue to operate independently.

On the .net redelegation process, Council suprisingly asked for comments from the floor, unfortunately without providing a meaningful opportunity for submitting remote comments. Bruce Tonkin plans to arrange for an opportunity for comment at the public forum, though.

Jeff Neuman (Neulevel) and Chuck Gomes (Verisign) commented today. Among the things that were said, I found Chuck Gomes' statement that retail prices for domain names are not correlated to registry-level pricing particularly fascinating; he sold this as a mathematical truth. I'd just love to see the proof for that.

July 26, 2004

Don't fly KLM/NWA.

I'm sitting at Boston's Logan airport's Terminal E, and have been sitting here for too many hours now: My flight back across the Atlantic, NW 38, is delayed by no less than five hours. At check-in (where they could not accept checked luggage for the moment, because the transport tape was broken), I was told that the flight would be delayed by one hour, and would be operated by a KLM 747 instead the scheduled NW DC-10. Boarding passess were issued for the 747, of course. At the scheduled time of departure, we were told that, unfortunately, they had no crew for that KLM 747 waiting at the gate. Now, nine out of ten crew members are allegedly here, and (breaking news) a DC-10 has landed.

By courtesy of NW's unfriendly and arrogant personnel (what's a five-hour delay for a six-hour flight, after all?), passengers were offered $10 in food vouchers as consolation for making an already-unpleasant red-eye even worse. Non-McDonalds dinner around here costs $20.

Later, from Schiphol: NW 38 arrived in Amsterdam 6 hours late. KLM distributed 10 food vouchers and a 50 voucher to be used for future KLM flights (as if). They weren't even willing to exchange that voucher for lounge access, which is worth 45. "Lounges are not intended for service recovery." The story behind the delay appears to be that the originally-planned DC-10 (the last of these machines were built in 1989) had maintenance problems in Amsterdam, and was replaced by the KLM 747 we saw. Unfortunately, nobody paid attention to the need for a crew that was able to operate the machine on the way back from Boston. So they brought another DC-10 from Memphis, and that's the machine in which I spent last night.

July 28, 2004

The way ahead on WHOIS?

On the GNSO Council list, Bruce Tonkin gives his summary of the WHOIS-related meetings from KL.

According to Tonkin, there was agreement that priority be given to recommendations that can be implemented on a time scale of months, not years, and that the task forces start designing "reference implementations" for these policies, taking care of concerns about implementability, and enabling a cost assessment.

The merged Task Forces 1 + 2 will have their next conference call Tuesday next week.

About July 2004

This page contains all entries posted to No Such Weblog in July 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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