• Tour Down Under payments are not secure

    I went to register for the Challenge Tour (the 134km ride on 25 January 2008) today.

    I clicked on a link from an email from the South Australian Tourism Commission that goes to this site - http://www.bizgate.sa.gov.au/shop/tdu/site/page.cfm?CONTENT=shop%5Ffront.


    I pick the correct event to pay for, add it to my cart, enter my details, then go to checkout. I then get a popup window asking for my contact details again (didn’t they already know that?), and then the next page asks for my credit card info.


    Hang on!

    We’re still on a HTTP page - no lock icon, no coloured address/location bar, nothing, just plain text sailing off into the Internet for anyone to snoop!

    So I rang up the SA Tourism people, and the lady tried to reassure me - “yes, our online payment system is secure”.

    I was not reassured.

    “Funny, we had someone else contact us with a similar query 10 minutes ago” - what a surprise.

    I finally got her to find someone else who looks after the Tour down under website - a guy by the name of Darrenn. I spoke to him and explained the problem. I don’t think he quite understood my concerns (not being an IT person apparently). Anyway, he gave me his email address and promised to look into it. I fired off an email to him.

    Not content with that, I then thought I’d try and find someone who actually runs the BizGate site. Their top-level web page says they’re run by the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. Fine. I rang DTEI and was given another phone number. I rang that and left a message.

    Why do I feel a bit pessimistic that anything will get done :-(

    The solution by the way, is to use this link instead:


    Marvelous what a difference an ‘s’ makes.

    Update late Friday afternoon: The link has been fixed now

  • Microsoft Office Mobile 6.1

    Here’s an upgrade for the Office Mobile applications to support Microsoft Office 2007 file formats. I wonder if this will appear on the Windows Update for Windows Mobile?

  • Cell broadcast name

    In Australia, channel 50 is used for the “cell broadcast” information for mobile phone networks. Most often this contains the suburb or locality of the current base station the phone is talking to.

    I enabled this on my new phone, and it works ok for GSM.

    I’ve just been speaking to Optus technical support who told me that their 3G network doesnt’ support this feature. A bit odd, as you’d think 3G would have more features, not less. The guy didn’t know if there was some other way to retrieve the same kind of information.

    One problem that I did discover is that every time the phone receives notification that it has changed base stations, it wakes up from standby mode.

    That’s probably why I was woken up at 2am this morning wondering who had left the light on - turns out it was my phone. Amazing how bright a backlit display can be in the middle of the night :-(

    I’ve contacted HTC in Australia and asked them to find out if this is a bug or a feature. I’m certain my old phone didn’t do this, so I consider it the latter.

    I’ve also emailed our local Australian mobile device MVP Nick Randolph to see if he has any suggestions.