Ok, the big news on the radio here today has been about Dell. Dell ask their customers about whether the products they buy from Dell online, are to be used "...in activities related to weapons of mass destruction, including without limitation, activities related to the design, development, production or use of nuclear weapons, materials, or facilities, missiles or the support of missile projects, and chemical or biological weapons." (Dell's Online Policies) The Danish radio news has made this into a huge story, that it's outrageous that people have to answer this kind of questions. I too think that it is outrageous, and, as a spokesperson from the Danish Consumer Agency pointed out, people can just lie. And of course they can. But apparently the radio news are not giving the whole story, which is that this has been Dell's policy for several years, so it's not prompted by say, the war in Iraq.. Further, the question is not only to comply with U.S. law, that says that they can't export to restricted countries (like N. Korea, Libya or Iraq), it is also to cover Dell's own arses:

"You agree not to provide any written regulatory certifications or notifications on behalf of Dell. Dell has not tested Products for use in high-risk activities including but not limited to any life sustaining, chemical, or mission critical use. DELL WILL NOT HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES ARISING FROM THE USE OF THE PRODUCTS IN ANY HIGH RISK ACTIVITY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL, MEDICAL SYSTEMS, LIFE SUPPORT, OR WEAPONS SYSTEMS."

Anyway, apparently all this has caused so much stirr that the Danish department of Dell has made a webpage about it. Only in Danish, but it can be found here.

I watched Trainspotting today. It's a great film. If you remember the opening with Renton running down a street while his voice over "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family..." plays. Well, I've been there, it's Princes' Street in Edinburgh. Great, yes? I want to go back to Edinburgh. *sigh* So beautiful there.

Well, that's an awful lot of words.. Not idle chat all of it... ;-)

An absolutely terrific Happy Birthday to Mike, you little pumpkin! ;-)

Thursday, January 15, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 7:43 PM