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Q'n'A: Your correspondence to date

Over the last week or two, I've been inundated with an email. On a serious note, there have been a few questions asked; not that they need clarification as I've already covered these things, I'll answer these anyway.

Over the last week or two, I've been inundated with an email. On a serious note, there have been a few questions asked; not that they need clarification as I've already covered these things, I'll answer these anyway.

Q. [Email] Open Source ERP5 is now used to handle 90% of operations of a Central Bank including currency issuing in 8 countries. Thought you may be interested? A. Actually no, not really. Not only that, you sent that to a whole load of my colleagues without care or regard about their various specialities or subject topics. That to me, shows little courtesy or skill, something you as a PR firm should really get to grips with.

Q. [Email] You mentioned Task Market last week, it works fine for me. What's going on? A. I wrote about Task Market not working properly in certain web browsers, and it seems there is a solution after all. I've been using Firefox 3 and IE8 Beta for quite some time, and there's a compression error bug which Mozilla have reported on. A couple of people from the Microsoft Task Market team got in touch to explain this, and I'm more than confident that it's a browser problem, rather than a Task Market problem. Go forth and enjoy!

Q. [Email] Lame iPhone? How far are you behind modern technology, man? A. Again, this is the stupidity of PR people and/or companies. Some PR people are great, the guys and gals at Google have been absolutely fantastic. But when someone asks me to plug a product which does nothing more than emulate the iPhone theme on a Windows Mobile device (and badly, I saw the screenshots), that has no relevance to a student-aimed audience.

If I'm honest, when Vivaty first got in touch, I questioned whether it would interest students. I'm glad now I got clarification on that, as it would have been a big mistake turning them away. On that note...

Q. [Email] Come on, spill it? A. It seems I misunderstood an embargo request. A simple mistake for a newbie journalist, but you can see the lifted post here, or a bit further behind if you're clever with Google Reader.

Q. [Email] What be these "certain career activities" that make ya so darned intimidatin'? A. Contract killer - £5k a head plus disposal, and Monday's are two-for-one deals. No women, no children. Get a job, get a life.

Q. [Email] I want to break up with my boyfriend but I don't want to hurt his feelings. Help! A. I've been thinking very carefully about this one; either option I thought of either ends up with him being hurt or spurring him on. After much thought, although my own morals and opinions strongly disagree with the following, is to adopt some extreme right-wing views for the remaining duration of your relationship. This will make you seem different personality wise and put him off you. Make him break up with you rather than you break up with him.

Q. You smoke? A. Believe it or not, on doctor's request. The breathing rhythm helps my tics.

Q. Well they say "desperate times call for desperate measures." Think you're ready to try something like this? A. Whilst I don't condone acts of violence, it's surely a funny story. It just goes to show that people don't get as frustrated with technology as they do with the people who make or provide the technologies. The 75 year old smashing up a Comcast office is obviously an extreme form of "snapping under pressure" but I can't blame her. Mona Shaw, you are a legend in my eyes though.

Q. How about mobile broadband? A. This will be covered in a post-final post explaining the final conclusion to my dial-up nightmare. Mobile broadband is using a high-speed cell network operator like T-Mobile, Verizon or O2, using CDMA, EDGE or 3G technologies. Whilst you essentially use your mobile phone network as your ISP, it's great to be able to have broadband anywhere; although I'd recommend this only for the very rich or business users, because it does get very expensive, very quickly. Another ZDNet blogger in a very similar situation to me has been using his/her cell phone for Internet access, but he/she can most certainly afford it, whereas a poor student like me cannot.

Q. [Me] How does the Xerox Mobile Express Driver find printers close to your physical location? A. [Email] You are not the only one that is wondering how the application works. The technology even baffles Microsoft and that is why we have yet to get WHQL certification yet. The search is simply an IP address sweep of the subnet that the user is located on. The tool uses common printer MIB implementations to populate the printer list and identify "fully supported" Xerox devices, along with other devices.

Q. You use something because it's the "most used"? A. Not necessarily but this is an interesting one. Netscape died because IE was being provided for free with Windows, but the more and more people who used IE then downloaded it for Mac (at the time). A lot of people use something because it's the most used; they think so many people use it for a reason, maybe I should do to. It's non-intrusive peer pressure in a way, being persuaded into doing/using something because so many others are. I finally gave in to Firefox a couple of years ago, and glad I did.

If you want to get in touch; talk about a story, provide me with a heads-up on something, share something studenty/technological, or anything I've written about whether past or present, feel free. Click here or email me at


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