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Copyright form April 21, 2010

Posted by CK in Research.
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I received a copyright submission request for a workshop paper that will be published in a book by Springer, and noticed the following at the end:

Please note that we also need you to compile the permission document (Permission.doc) for any material in your chapter (long quotes, figures, tables, etc) that has been published previously. Also if all the material in your chapter is original we need an email from you stating that.

Very interesting excerpt, that makes you think twice if you’re (self-) plagiarizing. Be it a publisher’s policy, or a workshop policy, I strongly hope others will follow.

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My vodafone.de bitter saga April 14, 2010

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Personal.
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On August 19, 2008, I wrote an article under the title “Vodafone service in Germany“. In there I was complaining about not having a phone for months after my contract started. I also wrote very explicitly, that I chose Vodafone on the grounds that they offer real landline service (not VoIP), and that I could cancel anytime without penalties. This was information I received from two different Vodafone representatives, in two different stores. As I was surprised back then by this information, I asked them both repeatedly about these two points, and they both insisted that this is the case. As a matter of fact, I went to the second store only because I got this surprising information at the first one.

As it turned out, the phone was VoIP. Although I wasn’t too excited to find out, I could live with that. At one next visit to one of the Vodafone stores, I told the salesman about it, and he insisted that no, it’s not VoIP, because you don’t need a computer to use the phone. Sigh.

Today, I found out the bitter way that if I cancel before the two years end, THERE ARE PENALTIES. So the second reason I chose Vodafone over a cheaper provider, was also a blunt LIE. I can accept that a salesman is clueless and technically incompetent (see VoIP), but I can’t accept that they are unaware of the contract’s terms. I can only assume they lied on purpose, to sign me up. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this on writing back then, and I could not read any German at all (not that I can now, but anyways) so I didn’t know what exactly I was signing. I guess my blog post is not proof enough.

It’s fortunate that, as I am enrolled here for the PhD, I can declare a student and avoid penalties due to leaving the country. Yet, if I did not have this special status I’d have to pay 3 months for nothing, only because some representatives lied to me. I am frustrated, disappointed, and angry. And I hope many prospective customers of Vodafone Germany read this.

Pixels April 8, 2010

Posted by CK in Funny.
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Great video, worth watching!

Availability SLAs for infrastructure clouds (Repost) April 4, 2010

Posted by CK in IT.
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(Click on text for the full article)

[…]

What I’m wondering about, is the effect of one-fits-all SLAs on implementation costs. That is, I am presuming some significant cost with resource duplication, server co-location as a constraint, and the like. What would costs be like, if someone would offer low standard QoS at extremely low cost, and then increase costs as requested QoS increases?

[…]