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Orange to launch broadband TV in UK –

24th February 2007 • Dave

I have previously whinged at great length on this blog about telcos and media companies diversifying in new areas and the seemingly detrimental affect that often has on existing core services. I remember a time when if you had a problem with Orange the customer service representative would at least make some attempt to own the issue, give you their first name, call you back etc. And if they couldn’t solve the problem they’d escalate it up the chain of command so eventually one would end up speaking with someone who knew what they were talking about.

Orange currently has a promotion where if you are subscribe to a mobile phone service plan costing more than £30 per month Orange will bundle home broadband internet access without any additional charge. I have a qualifying mobile phone service plan with Orange and I recently called to enquire about the details of the broadband offer. One of the main reasons I have stayed with my existing internet service provider PlusNet is due to the ISP’s extras particularly inclusive hosting facilities. I have a couple of domains hosted with PlusNet, and several email boxes. PlusNet also provide PHP and MySQL services which I do not use as much as I would like but it is reassuring to know that they are there should I need them. My call to Orange was to establish if any hosting facilities were available with Orange broadband. I needn’t have wasted my time calling Orange, no one seemed to have a clue what I was talking about.

So when the Orange TV service comes to sets in the UK the very best of luck if you have any technical enquiries.

Categories: Technology, TV
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Petition demands Vista price cuts in U.K – CNET

24th February 2007 • Dave

It seems highly unlikely that the UK government would weigh in on this issue. However it is outlandish that the cost for a boxed copy of Vista is around double in the UK. If you really want Vista and are not willing to pay over the odds you could always pick up an OEM copy. or use the Vista upgrade trick which has been widely publicised online including in the Windows Secrets newsletter of which I am a regular reader.

Categories: Technology
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Strange week

24th February 2007 • Dave

It has been an odd week really with one thing and another.

I awoke today to learn about the latest incident to beset the British public transport system. A email from a concerned friend was the first I new of the Virgin train derailment in the Northwest. I usually get an SMS alert sent to my mobile phone from the BBC when there is major breaking news. Not sure why it didn’t work this time.

This morning I watched open-mouthed to the coverage of the aftermath on Sky news. It’s tragic that a lady lost her life as a result of the accident. My thoughts are with her family. It seems extraordinary that there weren’t more fatalities as the train was apparently travelling at speeds above 90 miles per hour! Some of the wounded including the driver were taken to the Royal Preston Hospital which is just across the road from where I lived until March last year. I was a little shaken on hearing the news as I use the west coast line regularly, as do a number of my friends. Regular readers will know the northwest of England is a region of UK which is very close to my heart. It was a service which I would have been likely to use had I been going to visit friends in Preston for the weekend, which I often do. Had I been on that train I would have been disembarked at Preston, a couple of stops before where the incident occurred.

As it was, on Friday evening I was sinking a few pints of a beer called Saint David’s ale in the New Inn at Claines. I ended up in the award winning plough (CAMRA Worcester pub of the year) at quarter to 12 and stumbled into my flat at around 1AM. I’m really chuffed for the landlord Matt on his achievement, he has worked hard to turn the Plough around. Matt is a really decent bloke who often stands round the front of the bar keeping it real rubbing shoulders with his customers.

In other news I have successfully negotiated a deal with my landlord to buy the apartment where I live. I’ve had a mortgage agreed in principle with a lender, the surveyor has given the property the thumbs up and I have engaged a solicitor to start work on searches etc. The initial costs are astonishing, as is the amount one ends up paying back over the life of the mortgage. If all goes to plan the purchase should be complete by the end of March.

It has been a good week for Liverpool FC scoring 6 goals in 4 days. 2 of them away against the champions of Europe! Keeping everything crossed. It is good to dream!

Speaking of which I have been having some very odd dreams lately. Last night I dreamt about the dishwasher at work and on Thursday night I had a long telephone conversation with Ricky Tomlinson!

I’m going. TTFN

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Five Live – It’s Radio Bloke from the BBC – Independent

18th February 2007 • Dave

Ah say what you will about the supposed decline of 5 Live. Where else would a radio station give over 3 hours to explore the issues surrounding people who suffer with mental health problems? Where else can you hear the likes of: Alan Green, Arlo White, Jane Garvey, Jonathan Agnew, Mark Kermode, Mickey Clark, Peter Allen, Rhod Sharp, Victoria Derbyshire, etc. Give me FiveLive over TalkSport any day of the week.

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