News, views and what I choose to dos



Tag : Guardian

Stand up to Trafigura abuse of outdated libel laws

In October, there was outrage when UK libel lawyers Carter-Ruck prevented a newspaper from repeating questions asked in Parliament. The…

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Technobile – amusing myself

Purely by accident I just came across a “technobile” column piece that I wrote for the Guardian a few years…

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Guardian article on IDNs. Wait for the complaints…

I forgot to mention yesterday that I had an article on IDNs in The Guardian: “How engineers tamed the internet’s Tower of Babel“, which was basically an attempt to explain one of the other sides of the Internationalised Domain Names by referring to Patrik Fältström’s comment at the IGF that the technical side of things had now been agreed.

The article actually started out as coverage of the domain “£.com” but rapidly led to covering the issue of symbols on the Net, hence IDNs. I might post up my original article here as I had to cut out a lot of stuff in the rewrite focussing on IDNs. I might as well get that info up. I tried to use £.com to get across to English readers the concept of approving some “symbols” and not approving others. I think I managed it but not as clearly as I had hoped.

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Guardian article on the IGF

I’ve a piece in The Guardian today which is a broad summary of the IGF last week. It basically says…

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Domain name madness all around

So earlier this week I received not one but two emails offering to sell me back a recently expired domain of mine – back2black.com – for a very reasonable $199.95.

I had decided to let the domain go, and I had never actually put up a site at the domain, so its shows how sophisticated domainers have become in exploiting the millions of dollars that expire every year – some in the full knowledge of their owners, many not.

Of course the email told me it was a “Limited Time Offer…!!!” – and we all know why that is – because if Webnamesolution.com doesn’t hand it back within five days, it isn’t going to get its $6 back. All of this of course neatly fits into the hot news of the moment: domains and their rightful owners.

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A prime example of utterly pointless journalism

One of the very worst facets of modern journalism is the use of “surveys” as a news item.

Such surveys are nearly always produced by a company with a vested interest and they usually have a hopelessly small survey group, making the “results” doubly pointless. What they are, however, is free and neatly packaged in news language by professional PR staff to make it as easy as possible just to slip into the newslist.

Looking through the Guardian today, I found the best example for some time: “Gay men earn £10k more than national average.” It was given a half-page on page seven, and its own specifically produced graphic.

The usual rules apply. The “survey” was carried out by two gay magazines, Diva and Gay Times. What is their vested interest? The entire “conclusion” drawn by their survey is that gay people have lots of money. The Guardian swallows this hook, line and sinker and points out in the very first sentence: “The true power of the pink pound was revealed today…”

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