The week in your words: VoIP, Wiki-coups and Microsoft

This week we learned that over three quarters of people whose VoIP service doesn’t allow 999 calls think they can call the number in an emergency, or aren’t sure if they can.

The research was conducted by Ofcom, who isn’t keen on that kind of confusion, and promptly decreed that all VoIP service providers must allow 999 calls by September 2008.

“Seems to me to have a phone service that doesn’t allow calls for help when they are really needed is just plain silly,” says greemble, mirroring Ofcom’s opinion.

The fact that companies haven’t offered it already shows that “if there’s no money in it, it’s not worth the effort,” says BornOnTheCusp, recalling the early days of mobile phones, when emergency calls weren’t allowed there either.

The move may encourage people to get rid of their landline entirely, according to some, but qpw3141 doesn’t think this is a wise move. “Anyone who gets rid of their landline on the basis that they have VoIP is a prime candidate for a Darwin award if anything goes wrong during a power cut.”


Earlier this week we reported on leaked information that claimed certain Wikipedia administrators were in league; banning users and editing articles to promote their own agendas.

Some thought it was a serious problem that smacked of censorship, while others seemed comfortable with the fact that any society needs a hierarchy.

“It isn’t that bad. At least some discussion takes place before one gets kicked out,” says stasi47.

“Do you think they have a secret handshake?” adds Jamesyld.

“This is very 1984,” says the Orwellian Dinkleberry. “The ultimate tool for the puppeteers – introduce the ultimate information resource as a democratic, ‘free’ medium and get as many citizens hooked into it as possible.”

“Control of such an entity is remarkably easy and it’d be interesting in the future to see whether groups of internet revolutionaries ever attempt a wiki-coup.”

Others are worried that the facts are the first victim of the editors’ egos. “This is where Wikipedia has it’s major problem: if enough people hold the opinion, then the facts can become submerged – was not it believed in the middle ages that the earth was flat?” asks greemble.


Microsoft’s low-cost laptops

Microsoft announced this week that it was aiming for the low-cost PC market, trying to squeeze Windows onto devices such as the Eee PC and XO laptop.

“More market share for MS, edge out the competition,” says Mikepgood, seemingly reading from the Microsoft mission statement.

“It’s time for someone to weigh in and remind us that Microsoft is not a charity but a company with responsibility to its shareholders,” says red3dwarf. “We shouldn’t be surprised at this kind of behaviour and that we’re living in a capitalist society.”

Others (prepare the flak jackets) liken Microsoft to Apple. “Kudos to MS for trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot. Now Apple have shown they can squeeze OSX into their phone thingy, surely they can work out a way to provide it for the XO? Let’s get some real competition going,” suggests HeatherKay.

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