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Month: March 2009

Call costs to 056 VoIP numbers

I’m just relooking at the various Voice Over IP (VoIP) services on offer and I’ve found quite a number offering 056 numbers. Telephone numbers starting 056 are officially classed by Ofcom as “Location Independent Electronic Communications Service” (in the Ofcom National Telephone Numbering Plan) and have been allocated by Ofcom since September 2004 (so they aren’t exactly new!) and are mainly used for VoIP. However, trying to find out how much it costs to actually call these numbers is quite difficult – here’s a list of the call charges I’ve found for UK 056 VoIP numbers: and they vary quite a bit (and sometimes, it’s very difficult to find out how much they actually cost to call from the different telephone networks): Where the tariff/plan may alter the call costs, I’ve included details: BT: Call band “g21” (the same band as 03 numbers). 4.784p per minute daytime/1.955p per minute evening/1.150p per minute weekend o2 iPhone 35 Pay Month: 20p per minute at all times (found via telephone customer services: they had to call back!) Orange: Pricing unavailable (live chat) Virgin Media Land Lines: Call band PG21. 7.82p connection fee and 4.79p per minute daytime/1.96p evening Price guide T-Mobile (Combi plan):…

News Commentary: Proposed Minimum Alcohol Prices

The UK’s “top medical adviser”, Sir Liam Donaldson, has drawn up plans for a minimum price for alcohol of 50pence per unit of alcohol they contain for the purpose of “tackling alcohol misuse” – although it isn’t clear from the BBC’s article how this figure was arrived at (it could be a figure Donaldson just “plucked out the air”). So how does this affect Richy’s house hold? Well, there’s just the two of us and we like the occasional drink (maybe 2 or 3 a week): sometimes, we have a glass or two of wine at night with our evening meals, occasionally I’d have a “nightcap” of Whisky and very very very occasionally (like once every 6 months), I might have a very small amount of Absinthe. Katy quite likes Port and Sherry. So which items would go up in price – here’s the current contents of our drinks cupboard: Glenfiddich 12 year Old Single Malt Whisky: 40% ABV/70cl = 28 units. Sainsbury’s Price: £21.99. Proposed minimum price: £14.00 Thatcher’s Vintage Fine Somerset Cider: 7.4% ABV/75cl = 5.6 units. Tesco’s Price:£2.08. Proposed minimum price: £2.80: 72p increase Sainsbury’s Sweet Rich Cream Sherry: 20%/75cl = 15 units. Sainsbury’s Price: £4.59. Proposed…

News Commentary: Performing Rights Society and YouTube’s disagreement

As you may aware, the UK’s Performing Right Society (PRS) has had a “little falling out” with YouTube. Basically, as far as I can tell from the BBC reports, YouTube is not willing to pay what the PRS is requesting (some say the PRS is asking for considerably more money the currently, some say that YouTube is offering considerable less). Anyway, without an agreement with PRS in place to pay royalties to artists and songwriters, YouTube has no right to play their music in the UK. YouTube is, therefore, following the law and PRS’s own policies by blocking those music videos on their site: as they don’t have permission from PRS to play the music. However, Feargal Sharkey of the UK Music industry body is saying that by following the rules YouTube is using a “blatant, cynical, manipulative” negotiating tactic. So now YouTube is in the wrong because they are following the rules? If they didn’t block the videos, they’ll be breaking the law – but by blocking the videos PRS’s artists are missing out on exposure… I think the PRS needs to think which is more worth while: having lowish quality music videos available on YouTube for potential purchasers…

Website Uptime Monitoring Systems

After a post on Twitter from Dannychoo regarding web site uptime monitoring systems, I thought I’d make a list of all the ones I know of, the services they offer and their pricing for future reference. Service Found via Highest check frequency Monitor nodes Features Monthly 1 minute keyword HTTP checks Monthly 10 minute keyword HTTP checks Alerts Keyword checking Unwanted text checking Basic Auth POP3 SMTP IMAP On server monitors 1 sites 5 sites 10 sites 1 sites 5 sites 10 sites SMS Phone Email HTTP RPC ICQ/MSN/AOL/Yahoo RSS Wormly @pukupi 1 minute 6 Yes Yes Yes Yes Optional, Free $19 $19 $39 $19 $19 $39 40 Free ($0.18 subsequent) $0.40 per call Free Free ICQ + MSN No Mon.Itor.Us 5 minutes Unknown No No No Yes Optional Free n/a n/a n/a Free (ad supported) Free (ad supported) Free (ad supported) No No Yes No No No Pingdom 1 minute Unknown Yes Yes Yes No $9.95 $9.95 $12.45 $9.95 $9.95 $12.45 20 Free ($0.45 for next 20) No Yes No No No Pingdom Gigrib 1 minute Unknown No No No No No Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community…