July 19th, 2007


A dyspeptic weasel writes...

As an oldthinker, I find it hard to get excited about these 'web 2.0 mash up' thingys. Writing software that doesn't do much and doesn't scale particularly well isn't exactly hard. And back in the 90s when we wanted to join data together we used an inner join. Perhaps we should rename the JOIN keyword in SQL to 'MASH UP', then we can feel cool again.

Premium rate phone numbers

Let's face it, premium rate phone numbers, as a first (second, third and fourth) approximation, exist only to transfer money from the gullible, parents of teenagers, companies with inadequate controls on their phone system to assorted random parasites. The 'well there is all sorts of useful information you might want to pay for at the entirely reasonable rate of the price of a newspaper for about one minute of recording of someone speaking verrrrrrrrry slooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwly' does not really wash. It was pretty flimsy when the damn things first appeared, but now we have (I hear) this thing called 'the interred net' (something like that anyway).

It is clear when you go to a bookies, buy a lottery ticket or a wank mag what you are paying for, and more importantly you are paying with money not putting it on a utility bill. It is as though you could put your fiver on Laughing Boy at the 7.20 at Catford on your gas bill, or the cost of your copy of Busty Goth Babes on your electricity bill (or your parents').

But mostly it is the ease with which it allows the scum of the earth to set up businesses exploiting the gullible etc.

Yes, I know this is contrary to my normal fairly libertarian views, but it is hard to think of anything with less redeeming merit given a veneer of responsibility by its association with utility companies, a tame regulator, the great and good of the meejah etc.