Archive for Internet Services

Website Causes Another Tragic Teen Death

Posted in America, Britain, Child Discipline, Children, England, Mobile Phone, Parenting, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 06/08/2013 by floroy1942
Bullied To Death At 14

Bullied To Death At 14

I was appalled today to read of yet another teenager who committed suicide because of abusive messages received over a teen chat website. What is it about today’s teenagers that makes them send cruel, heartless hate messages to others over the internet? It seems that bullying has reached new depths of depravity and hate that it is now driving young people to such depths of despair that it forces them to  take their own lives.

I refer to the case of 14 year-old Hannah Smith who was hounded to death through the website Ask.fm until in sheer desperation she hung herself in her parents home. According to reports, she was hounded for weeks prior to her death with messages urging her to kill herself. As you would expect, all the messages were anonymous and consisted of things like:  “u ugly **** go die evry1 wuld (sic) be happy.” –  “do us all a favour n kill ur self”. – “drink bleach” – “go get cancer” and “go die”.

Bullied To Death

Bullied To Death

There is no doubt that the internet can be a minefield for young children and teenagers who have not been properly schooled in  its use, and that goes for mobile phones too. Hannah is not the only one to have taken such drastic action to escape the anonymous hate of others on this particular website. A year ago  Irish teenagers Ciara Pugsley, 15, from Leitrim and Erin Gallagher, 13, from Donegal both took their own lives after being subjected to on-line bullying, and in April this year 15-year-old Josh Unsworth from Lancashire was found hanged in his parents’ garden. He had endured months of cyber-bullying on the website.

The website carrying these messages, Ask.fm which is Latvian-based, said in their Press release, “We are committed to ensuring that Ask.fm remains a safe, fun environment, and we have policies in place that empower our users to protect themselves and to invite our intervention when required. For example, all users can switch off anonymous questions in their privacy settings; and if they do receive a question that they don’t like or find offensive, they can block the user and decide to report the incident. All reports are read by our team of moderators to ensure that genuine concerns are heard and acted upon immediately. Ask.fm is fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.” I must admit that if I were running the company, I would make it impossible to send anonymous messages.

Cyber-Bullying Statistics

Cyber-Bullying Statistics

It does seem that the website has the standard safeguards in place but it is clearly not enough, for the question remains, why didn’t Hannah turn off anonymous comments or block offensive users? I guess it could  be morbid curiosity as to what the writer would say next, but it is more likely to be that teenagers today are just not mentally equipped to handle situations like this. In this I feel that parents bear a lot of responsibility for not preparing their child on how to handle such things. Mind you, to be fair, in many cases the children do not tell their parents of such things. I must say though, that if my two children were teens today I would warn them of such things before they even started with the internet.

A Typical Example OF Cyber-Bullying

A Typical Example OF Cyber-Bullying

It is estimated that more than 50% of children today are subjected to bullying of one form or another, and with the proliferation of teen chat websites like Ask.fm there is much more opportunity to those who feel the need the bully others.

Experts say that parents should look for certain signs in their children’s behaviour like suddenly becoming withdrawn, not wanting to go to school, or when a child or teenager who normally gets good grades in exams suddenly starts failing them. Even simple things like a lack of appetite or having trouble sleeping can be warning signs for parents that their child is having mental problems. The thing to do then is sit them down and talk about it. Sometimes it is necessary to press them a little to get the answers you want, for it is natural for many teens not to want to talk about such things as bullying, be it at school or via the computer or phone.

In this short film it is amazing how many people move away because they do not want to be involved. A terrible symptom of our modern society.

Physical Bullying In School

Physical Bullying In School

With the number of suicides constantly on the rise, I feel that it is time for legislative action by governments who must pass laws applicable to all social internet sites that make the ability to send anonymous messages against the law, and that every message is traceable back to its source. But it does not end there, for parents must also carry their share of the load by properly supervising a child’s internet usage and ensure they know what the password is so they can check intermittently what is being passed back and forth. By doing so they may discover early enough if their child is being bullied, or in fact if the child is him/herself a bully.

To be bullied, either at school or over the internet can be a traumatic experience for those in our society who are least equipped to deal with it, and that is why parents should remain aware at all times.

Roy.

A Catastrophe Called Vodafone Spain

Posted in Britain, Europe, Modern World, Spain, Theft, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 02/10/2011 by floroy1942

In my long life, I have never come across such a disorganized and inefficient company as Vodafone in Spain. We have had their mobile service for about two years, and I must admit, it has been good with no problems arising. However, we decided to take Vodafone internet as it ‘appeared’ to be the fastest for our area. Since that time it has been one crisis after another.

How Do They Stay In Business?

When dealing with this company outside Spain we get, usually, fairly fast efficient service, but in Spain it’s a disaster! When we signed up, they told us we would definitely get a minimum speed of 3Mb even though they were advertising 10Mb. It was still much faster than the Wi-Fi connection we had previously, but in practice, the highest speed we ever recorded was 2.85Mb, once!

Then things started going downhill! All of a sudden our speed dropped to 0.7 – 1.2Mb and we had no explanation. My wife, who speaks Spanish, called the Vodafone Technical Service only to be told, after one and a half hours on the phone (much of it on hold), that the cause was the cabling in our home. He had no explanation why it was good, and then suddenly went bad!

The Box

Anyway, a technician came to the house and checked the cables, and surprise, surprise, everything was in order. As we have a Wi-Fi type phone he connected only those lines that were actually in use. It did raise the internet speed slightly for about a day, but it was obvious to me the problem was not fixed.

Now a week later we are in the same position as before with internet pages that will not open, and a dismal download speed of around 0.3Kbps. To download a 3Mb photo from Hotmail took over an hour-and-a-half!

We have kept track of our internet speed using Speedtest.net and the funny thing is, the normal route for the test is Madrid which is hosted by Vodafone. If we test anywhere else we get a much lower figure! When we check with the Madrid sender, the curve speed is around 0.8 to 1.5Mb but then it suddenly peaks in a couple milliseconds to 2.4 – 2.6Mb before falling back to the original level. Naturally, this ‘blip’ is the recorded speed. I would definitely not accuse Vodafone of ‘cooking the books’, but it does seem suspicious.

Really?

This morning my wife called again and this time spent over two hours on the phone with the ‘technician’ whose first offering as to the cause was a virus in our cables. ???????? After she told him off (he obviously had no idea and thought he was dealing with the village idiot) he said it must be our Anti-Virus programme! ??????? He messed about at his end making adjustments, and we eventually got to the stage where we could at least open a page and the speed was almost back to where it was when we started at 2.38Mb.

We have often been confronted with a total idiot on the end of the phone who has no idea how to solve the problems, but feeds us a line of pure bullshit in the hope we will hang up.

South American Call Centre - Clueless!

We decided it was also time to deal with another problem, the bill! Although we are supposed to receive a bill once a month, after four months with the company we have still not had one. As is often the case with Vodafone Spain, she got passed on to some operator in South America! To cut a long story short, she was on the phone for a further half-hour and ended up no nearer a solution than when she started.

In my opinion, Vodafone desperately need to give their Spanish employees a serious training course on (a) customer etiquette, (b) efficiency, and (c) technical knowledge. In this I include their travelling technical staff who make house calls.

CEO Vodafone Spain - Get A Grip!!!

Part of the problem is that internet provision, like radio broadcasting, is so fractured in Spain. With regard to the internet, there are literally hundreds of small internet companies providing Wi-Fi service for the tourists where you don’t have a contract and can use it by day or by week.

Vittorio Callao - CEO Vodafone - Get A Bigger Grip!!!

You get tired of having to deal with companies who can never provide a proper service, and this seems endemic in Spain. The country is in debt up to its eyeballs, and when you see the levels of inefficiency in companies, government and local administration, it’s no wonder! In our area, the only company that seems to have any level of efficiency is Aquasol, the local water company. Endesa, who supply our electricity, never seem to get their bills right, for they are often months late instead of every month. 

Timeshare Scam - A Good Description

In most countries you hear daily what the politicians are doing, passing new laws, solving problems etc. but in Spain its a dark void, for although they sit in their ivory towers discussing every day, you practically never hear anything from them. As an example, Spain was the hub of Time Share fraud for decades, and in recent years the housing fraud, but have the government done anything to stamp it out: NADA!  

It is way past time when the Spanish get a grip and sort out the gross inefficiency in their country, for although this lax attitude may have seen them throughout their history, we live in a modern dynamic world in which efficiency is king if you want to progress.

Vodafone is a good company to deal with in most countries, but in Spain it is a disaster, and I am sure it is only the international nature of the company that keeps it going, for if all outlets were as bad as here in Spain it would go to the wall within a short time. So the message is: The bosses of Vodafone need to get a grip of their Spanish employees from the top down!

Roy.

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