Whoo, I'm back online!That's a good month after it should have happened, and I only got there today because I followed Francis Sedgemore's advice and complained to the chief exec of BT Broadband, after a series of experiences documented here and here.
I'm trying to avoid a diatribe against BT broadband, my service provider, but it's hard going.
Moving less than a mile down the road clearly has them foxed. The truly frustrating thing is they keep promising the service will be there, then not delivering the goods.
So the first snail mail post that arrived in my new home was a shiny little brochure from them telling me how to plug in to the service from my new place, with an upgraded service promised.
Two weeks later, I'm still not connected, and the guy from the call centre in Bangalore tells me he's going to be able to look into it, but not till Monday. Because their service department doesn't work Saturdays and Sundays.
Along the way, I've had endless experiences of those wonderful long-wait interludes on hold listening to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik till click! I'm disconnected. And a few experiences of people from the Bangalore call centre calling me with various stories of the type of:
i. I'm a new customer, so they can't put me online till I've been processed. Er, actually I've been their customer since before the service officially started...
ii. There's a fault on the line, and they're working on it. This sounds promising till I get a follow up call telling me there's no fault on the line and either story (i) or I'll have to wait till August 11th because they need twelve working days to sort things.
iii. They'll call me back. Which they do. To tell me they can't tell me any more, and they'll call me back.
That's the story. So I'm sitting in an internet cafe 300 yards from where I live, with a nice new wireless hub all connected and waiting to go, but no connection for it to broadcast from.
I thought I had the solution. I buy a wireless laptop and go into the beautiful bookstore a mile down the road where the wireless hub and Starbucks service is so good, droves of people have given up working in their offices and hang out there every day. I sussed that out because BT broadband offers me free wireless as a sideline on the (currently non-provided) home broadband service.
Oh, yes, you can certainly do that, trills one of the very nicest BT internet minions from what sounds like a call centre in Scotland. Once you're connected at your home...
I patiently explain that actually the reason I'm so eager to pursue the wireless option is because I can't access the expensive service I've been paying for at home. It's outside her call centre script repertoire, and she tells me that once I'm connected at home, she'll be happy to arrange it.
OK, final indignity.
I'm now finding that I can't access my adloyada direct email. The BT internet site won't let me.
So far, I haven't been able to face making another round of these calls to deal with that one. No doubt it's something to do with the process of not being connected.
The upside is, I really cracked the dilemma of how to avoid becoming an unperson when I changed my address.
Maybe I'll find time for that one if I get time for another round at the local internet cafe.
Not only can you can help to free an imprisoned blogger in Egypt, but you can help to subvert Google so that it directs any searches on "Egypt" to the blog publicising the arrested blogger, Alaa, an Egyptian pro-democracy activist.
Yesterday journalist/blogger Michael Totten put a post up saying that he's learning that appealing to his blog readers for donations via Paypal is paying him better--albeit not lavishly-- than the less than generous sums he would be offered through traditional journalistic outlets.
Guido reports that Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, who called for everyone's tax returns to be published on the internet, but refused to disclose her own pay, earns £140,000 a year for her weekly column at the Guardian.
This being a festival of both the Christian community (Christmas) and the Jewish community (Chanukah), I thought I'd start off with something suitably light-hearted and laughter inducing.
Scott Burgess is on form at the Daily Ablution with this post which includes a miscellany of the ludicrous Guardian statistical errors he specializes in finding. Try his takedown of the Guardian's miscalculated stats on the greenhouse emissions created by turkey with all the trimmings. If your stomach can still stand it, you can follow up his pointer to a profound Guardian enquiry on whether it's a good idea to drink your own urine. Then Scott offers this gem on the Guardian's miscalculation of USA greenhouse emissions. Yes, a 16% stat gets transmuted by that Guardian magic into 100%. And without so much as a compositor's error.
Still on the religious holiday theme, here's Laban Tall's wonderful compilation of utterly daft statements by assorted clerics, Guardian readers, religious columnists, most of whom are UK based. This being Britblog Roundup, just ignore the few overseas loons who try in vain to compete with sound British folk like the Bishop of Norwich:
Herod kills all the young children in his attempt to destroy this newborn king. So Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt rather than returning to their home town and Jesus immediately becomes a refugee. That's one of the things about the Christmas story that makes it contemporary. In Norfolk we count refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers among our neighbours."
The roundup has a nomination for this post about Christmas which sees it as the Dark Side. A good follow up to Laban's post, if you find these matters interesting.
Pootergeek has an uncharacteristically aaahhhh post on his part in the festival here.
Blood and Tears puts up a 2005 Bah Humbug take on Christmas here. Stephen Pollard has a Jewish version here.
She's actually in Paris, but Petite Anglaise offers this story of an office Christmas Party in the Marais, with all the unpleasant features which characterize English ones. Tokyo Girl, another Brit expat, reminds you that not everywhere in the world celebrates Christmas, even if they do have inflatable Santas, but they still get a holiday in Tokyo because it's the Emperor's birthday. And here's Cruella-blog's take on the current fuss about the film of memoirs of a Tokyo Geisha, which anyway was written by a white man.
Laban also wickedly extracts a tellingly ironic juxtaposition from the current Normblog Profile. The commenters seem to get quite steamed up about the profilee. I wonder why?
She has her own take on improving education for the poor here. Let's get rid of faith schools for one faith she says. Well, maybe it's self-evident to her that Jewish schools should be educating Christians, Muslims and Buddhists too, but she may not be aware that the orthodox Jewish tradition does not allow the teaching of the faith to non-believers. The opposite of the evangelist tradition of seeking to get everyone to listen to the Christian message which views like this are ultimately rooted in.
Natalie at My London Your London has a lively round-up post on the current state of bookshops in the Charing Cross Road, which includes a follow up to the legendary Helen Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road.
Suz Blog puts the current Standards Board case against Ken Livingstone into context, with an overview of what's going on his case, plus links to a whole range of other cases. It seems clear that the Standards Board moves slowly and ponderously. Which can either mean that the guilty get plenty of time to go on enjoying office and shooting their mouths off (as long as they do it while off duty), or that someone's career can be put into limbo while they face months of expense and uncertainty.
Another Liberal Democrat blogger, Liberal England offers us a glimpse of a past hero of his, who I've never heard of, one J.W. "Paddy" Logan, who starts a general House of Commons chamber riot when he tries to cross the floor to sit with the Conservatives. Or did he?
Now that the Tory Party has elected that Terribly Nice David Cameron as its leader, it's time to start hearing why people are Tories in the first place. Here's a good account from Biodun at Peaks and Troughs. Liberty Cadre snipes away at the new order here.
Oh, yes, and a little bunch of three of us Brit bloggers were running our stuff on the BBC Today programme web site this week. The hard pressed Today prog staff haven't quite kept up with all our contributions yet. My latest is here.