heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

Orange Evolution (part 2)

Later on yesterday evening, the girl called back to say she could not get the card to work. Mom can't remember the exact conversation, but it was something akin to:
  • There seems to be a problem with the card information.
    You'll need to speak to my son.
  • Do you have the card to hand to check the information?
    No, my son has it.
  • Can I please speak to him?
    No, he is at work.
  • Can I phone him at work?
    No you bloody well cannot!
Actually, she was a lot more tactful than that last line, that's what we should have said. So she arranged to call around 11am on Saturday morning. Talk about incessant!

Actually, this puts me in a rather interesting position, for nestled at the bottom of the communication, under all the legal gumph, is this:

Contract acceptance - the dubious smallprint

And, NO, I do NOT give consent for the monitoring of my traffic. You can use my address, age, and options if you want to send me sales emails, though they might notice if they look at my Orange mailbox that everything from their sales no-reply-to-me address is redirected to the trash folder...
But to actively monitor my traffic? My exact thoughts on this matter would break any government mandated obscenity filter.

Give you an example: Do you recognise this address: http://mail.yahoo.com/ - of course you do. But what do you notice? How about a lack of padlock, i.e. the protocol is not https. Which means, depending on the level of traffic analysis, Orange could, validly, harvest not only the fact that you use Yahoo! mail, but also your login credentials, and also those emails you read.
If harvesting only URLs, they'll see what I Google for, what I look up on Google Maps, things I look up in Wikipedia, and they'll be able to take a pretty accurate guess at how many bank accounts I have in which banks and which one is my primary account.

It is a matter of basic privacy. I have an option to block Google's attempts to track me, but I don't expect this to be nullified by my own ISP keeping tabs on me. For God's sake, I don't want my ISP to sell me stuff. I barely use the Orange mailbox at all (47 items in the inbox, all from Orange, and who knows how many auto-deleted). I'm not even sure if I want TV from Orange. Call me old hat, but I consider my ISP to be like a gigantic pipe. Caca gets pushed in one end of the pipe, and it spews out the other. By a weird anomoly of modern physics, cack can be shoved in both ends at the same time and it won't explode. This pipe is connected to a box in the living room which turns it into airbourne cack, which is splattered at the wall. Some of it seeps through, flies through my room and lands in a heap on my bed. Azumi collects this, and shows it to me. Emails, downloads, TheRegister, Windows updates, animé, Wiki, and all the other trappings of the wired world.

Orange, you're an ISP. Just hand me a wire and get me on-line. Of your Internet activities, that is all I expect. You want to make me happy? Don't try to sell me stuff. I'm not interested, not on my wage. Just make the line faster. It takes the p!$$ that your new tarifs all state "up to 20 mega" and here I am with one, it's hardly mega, is it? Sort that, that's what I want.
And whatever the hell is causing the snail-like latency, sort that too.

 

This is an interesting position for me as the card payment was rejected. The getting-annoying-now girl thinks the three digit security code is at fault, but I am starting to suspect that the bank will decline the card for everything where I don't physically enter a PIN. The bank gumph goes on and on about (not) using the card for internet purchases, but it says zip about "customer not present" transactions. Again, had I had time to think during the last call, I might have thought of this. So, perhaps I'll need to gen up an e-card number after all!?

But why is this interesting? Well, I hold a minute bit of power. The phone rang at 11.13am on Saturday, but went dead moments later. She never spoke and never called back. Great confidence building for a telecoms company, if they can't even get this sorted!
Anyway, I will tell her first order of business, I do not consent to having my traffic analysed and/or stored. I want an email sent to me acknowledging my opposition before I continue (and if she can't do that, put me on to somebody who can). Call me paranoid (I know you do ☺) but there appears to be something just a little bit rank about sticking this in at the end of the message, the bit people won't read, along with a salesperson trying to hurry you though the process so you don't get time to read everything.

I also call bull on her insistence that the decoder is a necessary part of the evolution of my contract, for their own site says (reformatted slightly for display here):

Orange 'Net Plus internet TV telephone' offer
Note the "également disponible: sans TV", which would imply there's a no-TV option.

It would appear, if you notice the above, that the decoder will need to have a satellite connection in order to function. What a pain. If I can get some of the cash back that Orange suggests is possible, I can get some cable to hook my 19.2E LNB to this decoder. At least until I sort out a proper mount for the offset LNB and get the dual-output one fitted. After all, I do have my 19.2E LNB slaved to my own receiver...

...now, this might all seem like an ever-increasing headache, but I have looked up info on the decoder. It's quite an impressive bit of kit. It would appear to get the EPG and video-on-demand from the 'net (the internal storage memory being about enough to cache a full length film), while the television comes from satellite in part conjuction with Canal+ (at least, Canal+ is an option). Oh, and it apparently has HD capabilities.
I don't really see the thing being used much, but hey - if you think I'm not going to poke around it... ☺

Well, I guess she'll maybe try calling on Monday? I dunno. The phone is waiting.

 

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