Sunday 26 February 2012

IBM Should Support IBM Connections, IBM Sametime and Lotus Notes Traveler on IBM i

This is by way of Steve Pitcher who is bribing us with free beer. Having said that as an iBoxer of old all the way from the S34/S36/S38 precursors I have a feeling I will be buying Steve the beers and not the other way around!

Why Should these IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS) products run on IBM i?
  • IBM i on Power Systems and it's predecessors have literally hundreds of thousands of installations worldwide.
  • IBM i customers want to leverage existing investments in hardware, software, personnel and training.
  • Running ICS servers on other platforms complicates IBM i customer environments. Many customers have a single IBM i server running their entire business.
  • Better performance - All server to server communications is via the Power Systems high speed bus.
  • Better security - IBM i is impervious to viruses. Period.
  • Better uptime - IBM i has a higher uptime % than any other operating system
  • IBM i is IBM's most widely deployed operating system, over AIX, Power Linux and zOS.
  • Fewer points of failure - One system to manage, administer, maintain, backup and recover.
  • 200 IBM i customers and IBM Business Partners representing 520,000 potential licenses have already expressed interest in these products only if they were supported on IBM i

Go to this website and tell IBM that you want support for IBM Connections, IBM Sametime and Lotus Notes Traveler on IBM i.
I have ... so should you!

Wednesday 22 February 2012

A classic example of Sharp Practice on the Internet

Now readers you will know that I am
(a) getting on in years
(b) prone to grumpiness
(c) do not like folk that treat the Internet as their exclusive Honey Pot to pillage as they see fit.

On to the meat of this post I came across via two fellow yellow geeks this site

**UPDATE** One of the geeks is  Jake Howlett  who has also been tweeting and taking action as well after one of his family fell foul of this site's adverts on Google

Now a word or two of explanation. NHS Direct is a UK government run web site and hot line that you can ring cheaply from anywhere in the UK if you have a medical problem that you want to research or get advince on. As an ex-nurse I thing this is an excellent idea as a designer I have issues with the implimentation, however that aside this is a valuable resource for anyone in the UK that needs immeadiate advice on medical issues, if you ring their 0845 4647 you will pay £0.03 per minute.

The site tells the user to ring an 0906 which is a UK premium number costing £1.02 per minute - 34 times more than the call would cost if you ring the 0845 4647 number. If you ring the 0906 number all that happens is after some burps squeaks and whistles you get "connected" to the 0845 number but you are still paying 34 times more for the call.. if the call takes say 10 minutes you would spend £10.20 using this so called "service" were it would have cost £0.30 to ring the 0845 4647 number directly.

That was ALL this site does.. nothing else .. it provides 1 premium rate telephone number that will redirect you to a much much cheaper 0845 number.

At 16:00 although the costs are mentioned on the site and that fact that this is a "connection service"  the actual NHS Direct phone service is not mentioned anywhere on the front page netiher does it link to the freely available NHS Direct Website.
** UPDATE @22:00 ** They now do mention the real web site but do not link to it .. however the 0906 number is in 66px large font and the real website is mentioned (and not linked to) in 11px font in the "small print" so they are still pushing their premium number 6 times bigger than the mention of the real unlinked to web site.

The site has only 3 pages - the longest of which is their TERMS page which carries a lot of legalese for the provision of 1 phone number. What is clear is that the terms make no mention what so ever of the nature of the service being proovided or the costs you may incur.

If you go to google and search for NHS DIRECT you will find that the company running this service has paid Google for a "Top of Page" advert. This will appear at the top of the returned results ABOVE the link to the actual web site.
** UPDATE @22:00 ** this may now have changed as the advert appears sometimes and at other times not.
I am told that this sort of thing may well be legal however I think that this fits the legal description of "Sharp Practise" To illustrate this I will give a "for example"  I discover a lump in my testes one night at 3:00am I am concerned it might be serious. I need advice and I really cannot wait until the morning. I go searching for the NHS Direct number and find this page and because I am distracted by the fear I may have cancer and might soon be dead I ring the first number I find and stay on the line for 30 minutes talking to a nurse, the call has cost me £30.60 where it should have cost me £0.90. 

The person providing that severice may be acting with in the law but are they acting ethically making money out of a person who is very probably ill and consumed with worry for themselves or a loved one?  

I would posit that this is both unethical and a monumentally foul dispicable thing to try and do.

If you would like to know who this person is I have looked in publicly available data sources and retrieved the following information about the company 

TN9 1EP  

Companies House Registration Number:  07664745
Phone Number
:  0844 284 1844  
Company Director: Mr Ben David Carter
The web site was registered  13/Feb/2012

As soon as I was directed to the site , I did some research and then reported it to the UK ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) as this was a paid for advert on Google. I then tweeted it and several followers have also reported it to the ASA. If you feel like I do this is beyond acceptable you can report this site here at the ASA web site remember to stress that the web site is/was advertised on Google as an "advert"

I also contacted the BBC News team by phone and walked them through the Google Search and pointed out the ease with which a call that could cost a few pence becomes many pounds.

I have also reported the site to Google (which may be why it is not appearing at the top of the search results anymore)

I have also reported the site to Fasthosts as I feel the site is in breach of section 3.3.6 of their AUP which states the registrant must not publish anything "Likely to decieve any person" which I feel the format of and design of this site does exactly that.
The contact email for Fasthosts is

** UPDATE @22:00 the web site went to a "404 Page Not Found" between 6pm and 9pm but is available again now

Since this business of making money out of the sick, the worried and the ill is probably legal and this site will probably remain in business so I can only advise you the reader in the following way:

The NHS Direct Phone line is
0845 4647
It costs around 3p a minute
which cost £1.02p per minute 

And I invite the site owner Mr Carter to explain why this is not a low sneaky money grubbing scheme designed to fleece the unwary, ill and distressed.

*** UPDATE 25th Feb ***

Google - have done nothing not even acknowledge my message regarding my complaint of a potential T&C violation within AD-Sense

Fasthosts - acknowledged the receipt of my complaint and their Twitter person did too - but todate nothing has happened.

BBC News  - Not interested

It seems that lethargy and a bad dose of "So What!" are the order of the day

I have created an e-petition here sign it if you can

I have also updated the Wikipedia page here with details of the above phone line

Friday 3 February 2012

At last!!! the Standard IP.AC QOS Standard *PHEW*

Network Working Group                                    D. Waitzman
Request for Comments: 2549                       IronBridge Networks
Updates: 1149                                           1 April 1999
Category: Experimental

             IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
   Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.


   This memo amends RFC 1149, "A Standard for the Transmission of IP
   Datagrams on Avian Carriers", with Quality of Service information.
   This is an experimental, not recommended standard.

Overview and Rational

   The following quality of service levels are available: Concorde,
   First, Business, and Coach.  Concorde class offers expedited data
   delivery.  One major benefit to using Avian Carriers is that this is
   the only networking technology that earns frequent flyer miles, plus
   the Concorde and First classes of service earn 50% bonus miles per
   packet.  Ostriches are an alternate carrier that have much greater
   bulk transfer capability but provide slower delivery, and require the
   use of bridges between domains.

   The service level is indicated on a per-carrier basis by bar-code
   markings on the wing.  One implementation strategy is for a bar-code
   reader to scan each carrier as it enters the router and then enqueue
   it in the proper queue, gated to prevent exit until the proper time.
   The carriers may sleep while enqueued.

   For secure networks, carriers may have classes Prime or Choice.
   Prime carriers are self-keying when using public key encryption.
   Some distributors have been known to falsely classify Choice carriers
   as Prime.

   Packets MAY be marked for deletion using RED paint while enqueued.

Waitzman                      Experimental                      [Page 1]
RFC 2549            IP over Avian Carriers with QoS         1 April 1999

   Weighted fair queueing (WFQ) MAY be implemented using scales, as

                                  _____/-----\   / o\
                                 <____   _____\_/    >--
                 +-----+              \ /    /______/
                 | 10g |               /|:||/
                 +-----+              /____/|
                 | 10g |                    |
                 +-----+          ..        X

   Carriers in the queue too long may leave log entries, as shown on the

   The following is a plot of traffic shaping, from coop-erative host

        Alt |       Plot of Traffic Shaping showing carriers in flight
         2k |           ....................
            |          .                    .
            |         .                      .
         1k |        .                        .
            |   +---+                          +---+
            |   | A |                          | B |
            |   +---+                          +---+

   Avian carriers normally bypass bridges and tunnels but will seek out
   worm hole tunnels.  When carrying web traffic, the carriers may
   digest the spiders, leaving behind a more compact representation.
   The carriers may be confused by mirrors.

   Round-robin queueing is not recommended.  Robins make for well-tuned
   networks but do not support the necessary auto-homing feature.

   A BOF was held at the last IETF but only Avian Carriers were allowed
   entry, so we don't know the results other than we're sure they think
   MPLS is great.  Our attempts at attaching labels to the carriers have
   been met with resistance.

Waitzman                      Experimental                      [Page 2]
RFC 2549            IP over Avian Carriers with QoS         1 April 1999

   NATs are not recommended either -- as with many protocols, modifying
   the brain-embedded IP addresses is difficult, plus Avian Carriers MAY
   eat the NATs.

   Encapsulation may be done with saran wrappers.  Unintentional
   encapsulation in hawks has been known to occur, with decapsulation
   being messy and the packets mangled.

   Loose source routes are a viable evolutionary alternative enhanced
   standards-based MSWindows-compliant technology, but strict source
   routes MUST NOT be used, as they are a choke-point.

   The ITU has offered the IETF formal alignment with its corresponding
   technology, Penguins, but that won't fly.

   Multicasting is supported, but requires the implementation of a clone
   device.  Carriers may be lost if they are based on a tree as it is
   being pruned.  The carriers propagate via an inheritance tree.  The
   carriers have an average TTL of 15 years, so their use in expanding
   ring searches is limited.

   Additional quality of service discussion can be found in a Michelin's

MIB and Management issues

   AvCarrier2 OBJECT-TYPE
     MAX-ACCESS can't-read
     STATUS     living
     DESCRIPTION "Definition of an avian carrier"
     ::= { life eukaryotes mitochondrial_eukaryotes crown_eukaryotes
           metazoa chordata craniata vertebrata gnathostomata
           sarcopterygii terrestrial_vertebrates amniota diapsida
           archosauromorpha archosauria dinosauria aves neornithes
           columbiformes columbidae columba livia }

   AvCarrier OBJECT-TYPE
     SYNTAX     SET OF Cells
     MAX-ACCESS not-accessible
     STATUS     obsolete
     DESCRIPTION "Definition of an avian carrier"
     ::= { life animalia chordata vertebrata aves
           columbiformes columbidae columba livia }

   PulseRate OBJECT-TYPE
     SYNTAX     Gauge(0..300)
     MAX-ACCESS read-only

Waitzman                      Experimental                      [Page 3]
RFC 2549            IP over Avian Carriers with QoS         1 April 1999

     STATUS     current
     DESCRIPTION "Pulse rate of carrier, as measured in neck.
                  Frequent sampling is disruptive to operations."
     ::= { AvCarrier 1}

   The carriers will not line up in lexigraphic order but will
   naturally order in a large V shape.  Bulk retrieval is possible
   using the Powerful Get-Net operator.

Specification of Requirements

   In this document, several words are used to signify the requirements
   of the specification.  These words are often capitalized.

   MUST      Usually.

   MUST NOT  Usually not.

   SHOULD    Only when Marketing insists.

   MAY       Only if it doesn't cost extra.

Security Considerations

   There are privacy issues with stool pigeons.

   Agoraphobic carriers are very insecure in operation.

Patent Considerations

   There is ongoing litigation about which is the prior art: carrier or


   Waitzman, D., "A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on
   Avian Carriers", RFC 1149, 1 April 1990.

ACKnowledgments > Jon.Saperia . ack 32 win 123 (DF)
   Ross Callon, Scott Bradner, Charlie Lynn ...

Waitzman                      Experimental                      [Page 4]
RFC 2549            IP over Avian Carriers with QoS         1 April 1999

Author's Address

   David Waitzman
   IronBridge Networks
   55 Hayden Ave
   Lexington, MA 02421
   Phone: (781) 372-8161


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