Tag: <span>ID</span>

I need some advice. I want either cheaper TV, Broadband and Telephone calls, how do I get them? Actually that’s a lie, I only really want cheaper telephone calls.

Currently we have contracts with both Sky and Virgin Media.

We have Sky for our TV viewing and we take all the movies and sports channels, although I am considering cropping the ‘standard’ channel package down a little. My parents have Virgin Media for their TV service and, ignoring the fact I’d have to invest in a PVR system of some sort to get back the functionality I’d be losing, I happen to think the Sky service is better. It certainly seems easier to use and Virgin don’t give you the choice of what to record (hence the separate PVR).

We have Virgin Media for our telephone line and broadband and, from what I’ve read, the Sky broadband service isn’t the greatest and I’m loathed to move from Virgin Media (was Telewest) as the broadband service has been solid and reliable for the past 6 years, and we DO spend a lot of time online (Louise increasingly so). The telephone line is… well it’s a telephone line. We have caller ID and cheap(ish) calls to Europe.

We both have contract mobile phones, and once my contract (with Orange) is up I’m considering moving to PAYG… but in saying that I do miss not having a good phone with internet access and reliable Sync with my contacts… so I might hold out and aim for one of the HTC devices (running Windows Mobile). I am currently reducing my contract at every opportunity.

Basically, given my reluctance to switch broadband and TV suppliers, then the phone service is the one I’m focussing on. Largely our phone calls are within the UK, bar two or three calls a week to Spain.

I’ve done some digging in various forums and websites and think I know the answer but thought I’d see if my wonderfully intelligent readers could offer me another insight.

Given the restraints, what is the best phone service for us to switch to? Should we just ditch the landline altogether? What is the impact on people calling us (actually that’s a moot point, both mobile phones have very poor reception in the house so that wouldn’t be practical)? Do I need to do some more research into VOIP?

And yes, I am one of those bloggers who has just received a months trial with a Skype mobile. So that may be an option I can explore.

Any further comments, thoughts and suggestions are welcomed. Or should I just shut up, because, frankly, this isn’t that big a deal really.



What we really owe Big Brother.

The scarce commodity in our society is not privacy but meaningful recognition. That is why people put weblogs on the internet, exposing themselves for peer review by a trusted community of co-bloggers.

So, finally, an explanation as to why we all do it (this thing called blog).

Except it’s not, is it.

I was going to write about this in some length, taking the article and offering my thoughts on each salient point, but I’m not going to do that. Instead I’ll just offer this.

Some of us are as intelligent as journalists, in fact several of us are more intelligent and when I say several, I mean several hundred thousand (natch). Some of us have the same concerns over privacy, some of us protect ourselves using silly names, some of us make up the story altogether (and get book deals!), and some of us had nowhere else to turn when we need someone to talk to… at.

That’s the thing with an outlet, sometimes it’s just that, a tap, a waterfall, always moving away from the source, never looking for, or wanting, the flow to change direction.

And for others it’s just a bit of fun, and sure, we use our own name and talk about friends and work and stuff but life’s too short and please don’t EVER use me in an argument concerning Herr Blunkett and ID cards.

Or am I wrong?

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Privacy International Media Release about the Snoopers Charter.

The what? you ask. Well whilst the government was keeping us all occupied with the ID Card proposal, it was pushing a new law through the House of Lords. This law will allow “The data — relating to who you phoned, who phoned you, mobile phone location, emails sent and received and websites visited — [to] be handed over on request to dozens of government agencies.”

There are two clauses that temper this slightly, although I doubt by much:

  1. “the oversight body must let people know when their privacy has been improperly invaded”
  2. “the government to report to Parliament the extent of overseas access to personal information stored by communications providers”

It has also been suggested that this law is illegal under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (now where are the people who say we won’t be governed by Europe? Will they allow it now?)

Just because they are out to get you, doesn’t mean you are paranoid.

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There has been much said about the current proposals for the introduction of identity cards in the UK. Personally I can see the pluses and the minuses and, in a simple ‘for and against’ argument, the ‘fors’ win. However life, as you are all well aware, is not black and white (and I refuse to give it a shade or colour at all).

Deborah Orr of the Independent poses the real question, with which I agree wholeheartedly:

“…the real question the identity card issue poses is whether being accountable to family, friends and community is actually at all similar to being held accountable to a vast data-entry-and-retrieval system, and … are willing to put up with it.”

The world (for we are a global ‘nation’ of sorts now, like it or not) has moved on. I have friends across the globe, the majority of which I have never and will never meet. I know more about someone in New York that I’ve never seen in the flesh than I do about the couple across the street from me who I say hi to every other day.

There are plenty of other concerns surrounding the introduction of ID cards, and you have to wonder if the terrorist attack on September 11th possibly upset government plans to introduce this scheme last year. While it is easy to get caught up in all manner of conspiracy ‘big brother’ theories, it does seem a trifle odd that this issue has come up again so soon (10 months) after being rejected out of hand.

ID cards will become a reality. When is the question.


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