“Certified e-mail” mandatory by law?

Rumors say that mr. Bersani (DS) currenty Minister of economic growth, is pushing to make “certified e-mail” use mandatory for companies and professionals. Confirmation came when the Parliament rejected – de facto – the proposal, by making certified e-mail usage an option thanks to an amendment proposed by a leftist MP, Maurizio Acerbo (Rifondazione Comunista).

“Certified e-mail” (a borbonic and bureaucratic tech-crap) is a method to give “legal value” and “certain timestamp” to an e-mail message. There are plenty of ways to achieve this result with a minimum economic and technical effort, but Italy choose the opposite.

Should Mr. Bersani atteimpt be succesful, it would have been an EU forbidden State’s support to private companies since only a couple or so of big entities (namely Postecom and Infocamere) would have had substantial benefit from an artificially created market-niche.

Here is (Italian only) the Parliament session trascription addressing the issue.

Kidnapped by your own (XEROX) printer

Marketing geniuses strike back. Buy a printer (expensive, BTW) bundled with a supplies agreement bundled, and, only after paid the device, discover that you need a password to have your own printer working. How do you get the password? Easy: subscribe the supplies agreement at a non-negotiable price, and “own” the printer as soon as you pay for the supplies agreement. The bottom line: you think you do own a printer, while actually don’t. That’s what happens – in short – if you purchase a Xerox printer with the PAGEPACK option.

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Telecom Italia’s new Barons: an Italian Zaibatsu?

Once AT&T retired its offer, the future of Telecom Italia seems to rely upon Intesa Sanpaolo’s bid (probably the biggest italian bank). Should this scenario become true, the result would be a sort of Zaibatsu.

The interesting thing is that to avoid the monopoly, the Italian governement and the Ministry of communication, On. Gentiloni (Margherita) are creating an enormous conglomerate.

Will that helps promoting free market?

Telecom Italia: is gov’t “unbundling” the network a right choice?

Sometimes they strike back. Italian Prime Minister on. Romano Prodi and the Ministry of communication, on. Paolo Gentiloni are talking again about the idea of “unbundle” the telephone network propriety from the service provided through the lines. It seems that the chosen model would be the UK way: a public company “owns” the wires, while the operators (including Telecom Italia) will compete on the market services.

It might have been the former mr. Prodi’s governement mistake to sell Telecom Italia the telephone network, but nevertheless it doesn’t seem that fair – now – to take the network back, thus reducing ex lege the value of a company. This “pendulum-based” approach (swinging back and forth from private to public ownership) it is not a good signal for both the market and the foreign investor who will continue staring at Italy as an unreliable country to do business with (or in.)

Truth is that Italy is paying the almost total lack – in the last 15 years – of a telecommunications political strategy. Television market has been, is and will be politicians main concern, while lasting everything else back.

Pretending that a problem doesn’t exist is not an option, because – it is just matter of time – the bill always come at the end of the dinner.

Intesa Sanpaolo Internet Banking’s Catch 22

It might happens for some odd and unpredictable reason (at least from the user perspective) that the Internet Banking stops granting you access to your account (incorrect userid or password, they say.) Then you have to call customer assistance by phone, and the automated system, before allowing to talk to a human being, asks for your userid, password and one-time-password.

But that information are incorrect (in fact you have no longer access to your account), and you can’t talk to anybody to fix the problem unless you have a working userid and password (that you have not). You just need to wait, and at the end of the day some human being will answer your call.

It would be better to answer first, isnt’it?