May 022011
 

This post is a follow up to the first, second and third rules of the Virgin Media forum moderators.

The title of this post are the words spoken to me today towards the end of a twenty three minute call I received from a chap called Pete, from Virgin Media‘s complaints department: You can blog about it all you like, we’ll allow you to do that.

The call was the result of a convergence of my complaints, sent in multiple directions, concerning the two main issues I’ve been having with the company recently: The first being the new P2P/NNTP traffic management policy (about which I have yet to post), which I believe is both unfair and unreasonable due to the way in which it has been implemented, and the second being the situation I’ve found myself in on their forums, being banned not once, not twice but three times.

The outcome of that call is that the complaints I’ve sent to the company via a number of channels have pretty much amounted to nothing.

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May 012011
 
…is don’t piss off the Virgin Media forum moderators.

This post follows up the first and second rules of the Virgin Media forum moderators, was updated on 1st May, 2011 and followed up in You can blog about it all you like – we’ll allow you to do that.

The story so far:

I questioned a moderator’s behaviour on the Virgin Media forum, and that thread got deleted. Amused, I wrote about it, and referred to it in my signature file on the forum. This wasn’t received very well: I was banned from the forum and presented with an unhelpful error message, referring as it did to something I couldn’t read as a banned user. I then bypassed that ban (simply by registering again) and deliberately brought the fact to the attention of the moderators by posting an ‘open letter’ to them on the forum. That message was deleted and I was banned again, as expected, and presented with a slightly longer error, clearly written by someone who was responding in a somewhat childish manner. Finally, after sending complaints off in a couple of directions, I bypassed the ban again, and sent a private message to the forum administrator regarding this, and copied it to the moderator I believed responsible.

The story continues:

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Apr 302011
 
Virgin Media 2nd Ban Notificiation
…is DON’T talk about the Virgin Media forum moderators.

This post follows up the first rule of the Virgin Media forum moderators, and is followed up in the third rule of the Virgin Media forum moderators and you can blog about it all you like – we’ll allow you to do that. It also received a minor update on 30th April 2011.

Last night, I was banned from the Virgin Media forums for doing exactly that. The history that led up to this can be found in the item I wrote on the 28th and updated late last night in direct response to the ban, so I won’t go over it here, except where I feel it necessary to provide context in this item. Instead, I’ll go straight to what happened next.

After updating the item (and linking back to it  in the sig for my second account on the forum and posting an open message to the moderators), I turned in and gave the matter some thought as I drifted off in the direction of the land of nod. I decided that, perhaps, the update would be better placed as an item in its own right, in the end deciding that’s what I’d do this morning.

I’m not going to do that after all, though. Instead I’m going to talk about what I anticipated and mentioned in last night’s update – I’m going to discuss my second ban.

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Apr 282011
 
…is don’t talk about the Virgin Media forum moderators.

Updated 30th April 2011 and followed up in the second and third rules of the Virgin Media forum moderators…, and you can blog about it all you like – we’ll allow you to do that.

At this moment, I have an unfinished post regarding my ISP, Virgin Media, and a newly introduced traffic management policy – which only applies to upstream traffic for two protocols, NNTP (usenet, newsgroups) and P2P (peer to peer, file sharing). I’m holding back on finishing that off, for the moment, to give them time to answer some questions I’ve raised in public, on their forums – questions that, in truth, I don’t think are going to be answered.

There does seem to be a policy on the forums pertaining to their broadband and internet services whereby the forum team refrain from responding to a thread until several days after the last person has posted – the logic apparently being that other members of the community might provide an answer to anything raised, so the forum team only needs to bother if an issue is apparently unresolved. To some extent this makes sense but, to a disgruntled customer who is experiencing problems with some aspect of their service, it can be extremely frustrating, and the temptation must be there to follow-up a query, expressing annoyance that the issue isn’t being dealt with – which, unless the forum team take notice of what’s being posted, potentially delays their response.

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Nov 172009
 

Note: This post is actually an article I’ve had on a couple of websites for a number of years, originally written shortly after softrock.co.uk became the victim of a very deliberate use of email addresses at that domain in the headers of UCE (aka a “Joe Job”). Now that this blog is up and running, it’s the ideal place for such material – so one quick re-read, check and update later, here it is.

Introduction

Right at the start I should state that I am very strongly opposed to the use of munged email addresses, due to softrock.co.uk having been inundated with non-delivery reports and other annoyances since spammers used softrock.co.uk addresses in the From: line of their junk several years ago. I make no denial of that and do not try to defend the fact that my position is biased against munged addresses as a result of this.

However, please do not let that put you off reading this if you are a user of a munged address, or if you are considering using one. If anything, you should read on because there are some alternative suggestions towards the end of this article, just for you. Please consider using them, instead of your current or intended approach.

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  •  November 17, 2009
  •  Posted by at 9:18 pm
  •   Comments Off on Some thoughts on munged email addresses
  •   Netiquette
  •  Tagged with: ,
Nov 122009
 

Firstly, what actually is a spoiler? It’s where a plot detail in a film, book, TV show or whatever, is revealed to people before they are able to see the film/show, read the book, etc for themselves. Sometimes a spoiler can be fairly mild, revealing nothing more than the name of a new character, but they can also be very severe, revealing a significant plot point, and spoiling the viewer’s enjoyment if they know what’s coming (hence “spoiler”).

So, then, what’s spoiler space? Well, a long standing convention on Usenet is to employ “spoiler space” when revealing plot details. This is a mutually acceptable approach between those who wish to discuss what they’ve seen (for whom such a discussion isn’t spoiling anything), and those who don’t wish to discuss what they haven’t seen (for whom such a discussion is spoiling things). Spoiler space is simply a couple of dozen blank lines inserted before any comments that include spoilers (with a note above those lines to say what film, TV show, etc is being spoiled). The idea is that people see that bit above the blank lines telling them what is potentially being spoiled below, and decide for themselves whether they want to scroll down and read/participate in that discussion. (The point of the blank lines is to force the actual spoilers down the screen, hopefully off the bottom, so that they aren’t read by accident – good peripheral vision can be a dangerous thing!)

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