Sunday, November 25, 2007

If animals could talk?

Many people in the world are meat eaters and have accepted that it is the way of the world that animals are reared and then slaughtered for food.

In developed countries the number grows of people who out of personal choice, and not for any religious or economical reasons, choose to be vegetarians.

We ask those of you that still eat meat if you would still eat meat if animals were able to effectively communicate with humans?

Participate in this weeks open survey If animals could talk?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Did Al Gore deserve to be awarded the Nobel peace prize?

Former Vice President and near US President Al Gore who post election devoted himself to environmental issues has been awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of scientists.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised both “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.”

Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" that highlighted the consequences of climate change won the 2007 Academy Award for best documentary was criticised by many US conservatives as alarmist and exaggerated.

On receiving the award Mr Gore said “I will accept this award on behalf of all the people that have been working so long and so hard to try to get the message out about this planetary emergency,”

Does this award vindicate Al Gore's message and do you think he is a worthy winner?

Participate in this weeks open survey Did Al Gore deserve to be awarded the Nobel peace prize?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Should Hollywood ban smoking in films?

Anti smoking groups have been campaigning hard for a ban of images of tobacco in all but films with R or NC-17 ratings.

Unsatisfied by an earlier promise that the movie industry’s trade group made to consider tobacco use as a factor in film ratings, the six largest studio owners have been patching together individual responses to those who want cigarettes out of films rated G, PG or PG-13.

The anti-smoking lobby argue that on screen smoking implies that more people smoke than the actual percentage of the population that do smoke and that with product placement incentives smoking and tobacco products that appear on the movies is on the rise.

The issues relating to smoking may only be the beginning as Hollywood is now facing the opening salvos of other groups campaigning to rid movies of portrayals of gun use, transfat consumption or other behavior that can be proved harmful to the public.

Universal Pictures is to implement the wishes of its parent company General Electric, that, with few exceptions, “no smoking incidents should appear in any youth-rated film” produced by the studio or its sister units, Focus, Rogue and Working Title Films.

Bill Condon who writes and directs films has argued that movies are supposed to reflect reality and to ban on screen smoking is to remove a detail that is one of the more defining aspects of a lifestyle.

Do you think that the depictions of smoking actually encourages the young to smoke? Will the absence of smoking detract from a movies realism?

Would the classic movie Casablanca still have been a classic without the smoking?

Participate in this weeks open survey Should Hollywood ban smoking in films?

Monday, September 24, 2007

CCTV Crime deterrent or just another example of Big Brother?

The local authorities and Transport for London operate over 10,000 Close Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) that are estimated to have cost the tax payer an estimated £200 million.

Despite the unrelentless drive towards installing more and more cameras figures recently released suggest that CCTV does little to prevent or solve crime.

The report highlighted that when comparing areas with saturated CCTV with areas where few cameras were installed the police clear up rate was almost identical and in some cases worse, with four out of five boroughs having the most cameras reporting below average crime solving rate.

Some critics of CCTV argue that the report confirms previous studies that have thrown doubt on the effectiveness of CCTV cameras.

For many years some organisations have said that money spent on cameras would be better used on street lighting, which has been shown to cut crime by up to 20 per cent.

Are CCTV the thin edge of a police state wedge? Would CCTV cameras put you more at ease or do they only offer false comfort?

Are the criminal element no longer deterred by the presence of CCTV, often knowing it is impossible for the authorities to continually monitor the cameras and that with the minimal disguise they appear to be of limited use in identifying the majority of perpetrators.

Should the reliance on CCTV be curbed and they only be installed where there is undeniable evidence that they are effective?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DNA Testing for all?

The British police can currently store DNA samples from anyone arrested in England or Wales for a recordable offence which typically can lead to jail.
Any DNA sample taken currently remains indefinitely on the police database even if later someone is not charged and is subsequently released.

Do you think that a country's police force should be allowed to keep such information?

Should each country move towards having the whole population and every visitor's DNA added to a national DNA database?

Participate in this weeks open survey DNA Testing for all?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Survey Galaxy Enhancements Roundup

A number of enhancements to the Survey Galaxy website were released recently, this entry highlights some of them.

Create Survey From Template

We have always provided you with the ability to use templates to create your surveys but we have now added a field to the 'Create a New Survey' display to allow you to pre-populate a new survey with all the items from a selected template.

This option is in addition to Survey Galaxy's ability to allow you to select specific elements from any number of survey templates so that you can insert single or multiple items into your survey exactly where you want them.

Our Enterprise subscribers enjoy the benefits of having templates that are shared across the account making it ideal for ensuring that there is a consistency when it comes to look and feel as well as increasing productivity such as having the organisation's specific department and disciplines already setup to use.

If you are not familiar with what the real benefits of using Survey Galaxy's templates are you may find the Import from Template Library tutorial of interest.


We have added a number of styles to the system styles to help you customise the look and feel of your survey. You are still able to fully customise the survey to your own requirements such as change the colours, fonts style and size; check out the Customizing Styles tutorial for more detailed information.

CC Email Responses

Many of our members are realising the benefits of using surveys as forms throughout the organisation. They are creating surveys based on existing hard copy forms and use the Edit Details option for the survey to set the 'Email Responses' to 'Yes'. The respondents answers are then emailed to the publisher as soon as the respondent completes the survey, thus making it ideal for forms such as room booking and holiday requests and all the many ad-hoc forms that spring up throughout an organisation.

We have now added an optional 'CC' facility that will provide a courtesy copy to a number of people improving the chances that a formal requests will always be received and acted upon in a quick and timely manner.

The other major benefit of using surveys as forms is that a record of requests is always maintained and can be analyzed at any time using the standard survey reporting tools. If you can look around and see a lot of paper forms why not consider setting up one or two through Survey Galaxy and see for yourself?

Export Results

We would always recommend in the first instance that you use our own online Results Analyzer to analyze and query the survey data but have nevertheless always provided the facility to allow survey results to be exported for use in applications such as Excel and SPSS.

If your knowledge of Excel is limited, and even if you are an expert to save you time, we have for a long time included with all export orders an Excel spreadsheet containing macros to help display the information as a Pivot table and also generate charts, we have now consolidated all the Excel macros that we provide into a single spreadsheet.

Please note a few things about the macros we provide:

  • The Excel macros are provided 'as is' and do not form any part of the Survey Galaxy purchased services.
  • The macros are documented, visible and unprotected so if you are technically minded you can always view the code and have confidence that they contain no malicious code.
  • The Excel macros are only certified to run on Windows XP and Excel 2003
We are not precious about the macro code so your are able to modify and extend the functionality if required.

We have recently included a macro that will transpose the exported data that is provided in rows, into columns; a word or warning though, Excel 2003 is limited to 256 columns so not all surveys can be transposed.

New Quit Survey Button

We have introduced a new facility that will allow you to include a 'Quit' option on your survey and you may wonder why this would be of benefit to you.

The value of having the Quit button will depend entirely on the type and purpose of your survey but it does give you the opportunity to find out why people are not completing the survey.

The Quit button is introduce by specifying a URL to be called if the Quit button is used. This can point to a simple 'Thank you for your time' page, can take the respondent to your home page or it can be used to link to another survey to ask the repondent why they quit the survey thereby providing you with valuable information.

If no Quit URL is specified, then the Quit button is not displayed.

Thank you

Well that is about it for now, we would however like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who provided us with feedback and enhancement requests.

If you have a feature you would like us to consider, or find an existing facility confusing or difficult to use please let us know as it is really useful for us to know what the features are that people require and where we need to channel our development efforts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is 9/11 still killing the rescue workers and survivors?

When Arab Islamist terrorists hijacked airplanes and crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City causing the buildings to collapse almost 3,000 people died.

Since 11 September 2001 a large number of rescue and recovery workers and local residents are suffering sickness and in some cases death caused due to what many believe was a result of all the toxic substances released into the environment.

Many of those people, who at the time were described as heroes by President Bush and the then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, are now being left to suffer aliments that include cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and respiratory disease.

Some critics have suggested that it was for economics and the desire to reopen Wall Street that may have resulted in Christie Todd Whitman, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, lying to the emergency services personnel and recovery workers when she told them that the air was safe to go back to work.

Since 9/11 many, once fit firemen, paramedics and detectives have had to retire from their jobs due to ill health and have not received any help, compensation or acknowledgment for their apparent sacrifice.

Do you believe that the number people who died on 9/11 will be far eclipsed by the number of people who will die directly because of their exposure at Ground Zero?

Should the government have done more to anticipate the consequences of working at Ground Zero and provided medical support and compensation to all those who helped in the immediate recovery and rescue operation?

Participate in this weeks open survey Is 9/11 still killing the rescue workers and survivors?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The British leave Basra, handover or retreat?

The beginning of September 2007 saw the British troops that were formally based in the centre of Basra relocate to the airbase outside the city.

The official view from the Ministry of Defence was that the action was one of a number of "successful handovers" and that the troops were to remain on hand in the wings to support Iraq's most senior army officer in Basra, General Mohan al-Fireji, in his attempts to persuade Shia militias to lay down their arms.

British forces had first entered Basra on April 6 2003 and in an attempt to put the locals at ease and in stark contrast to their American colleagues patrolled the streets wearing soft berets and not hard helmets.

Their Northern Ireland experience may have better prepared the British troops over the American GI, but the 'hearts and minds' policy that was initiated from the off appears to have been far from an overwhelming success.

Many critics would argue that if Basra is considered calm today it is only because the religious parties in Basra now control the city. Only while the local militia can protect their own individual interests will the status quo be maintained, but once those interests are threatened the city is ready to burn.

Having been given a poison chalice by the politicians, the British army may have assessed that they are in a no-win situation and that a dignified withdrawal is better than perpetuating a myth that peace in Iraq will eventually prevail.

We ask if the handover is an inevitable step in a war that many would argue was ill-conceived right from the very start? Will the Americans have to sooner or later face reality and follow suit? Have the British cut and run leaving even more death, destruction and hardship for the average Iraqi?

Participate in this weeks open survey The British leave Basra, handover or retreat?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How patient are you?

Is the pace of modern life getting the better of you and do you find that you are often less tolerant of others or are you the sort of person who glides through life with remarkable ease?

Participate in this weeks open survey How patient are you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free 2 Weeks Subscription Offer

Survey Galaxy have changed the way that new Members are able to trial the websites. The previous method of providing a single free survey voucher has been replaced with a free two week trial subscription.

The free offer allows for an unlimited number of surveys to be published containing up to thirty question and comes with all the standard subscription features including the Results Analyzer and unlimited detailed results downloads.

The free subscription comes with the full personal subscription monthly allowance of 1,000 responses, with any excess responses being charged at the Subscribe 30 rate.

If within the trial period new members wish to publish larger surveys, or surveys for a longer period then they will be able to use the free trial offer as a credit against a larger order.

At the end of the trial period they are able to revert back to Pay-As-You-Go or take out another subscription.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Which Heroes super powers would you most like?

Heroes is an action-packed TV drama that follows the lives of ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary abilities.

There is a politician that can fly, a high school cheerleader who is indestructible and a Las Vegas stripper who has an alter ego who has superhuman strength. They are joined by an artist who discovers that he can paint the future and a police officer who can hear other peoples thoughts and a Japanese computer programmer who can freeze time, stop time and teleport from one place to another.

After leading mostly plain and unexciting lives they all individually have to gradually come to terms with their powers and somehow all unite as it is their destiny to save the world.

Which of the Heroes superpowers would you most like to have?

Participate in this weeks open survey Which Heroes super powers would you most like?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Are neckties on the way out?

With or without a formal suit the necktie has for years established itself as a firm fashion accessory, with some establishments even going so far as to make it a condition of entry.

We ask if the necktie has now become outdated and how influential the wearing of neckties is to you when you meet business people for the first time?

Participate in this weeks open survey Are neckties on the way out?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Which classic movies should never be remade?

The movie industry likes a remake and can take a foreign classic like the Seven Samurai and turn it into a classic western like The Magnificent Seven. Sometimes they are just content on updating films like The Thomas Crown Affair and Ocean's Eleven.

Are there any classic movies that are too sacred to touch or is everything up for grabs?

We list some classic movies that have to date not been remade and ask you if they should be left alone or are ideal remake material?

Participate in this weeks open survey Which classic movies should never be remade?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Should the US Presidency Meet with Enemy States?

In a recent debate that included the two front runners for the Democratic nomination, New York senator Hillary Clinton and the Illinois senator Barack Obam, the candidates were asked if they would meet in the first year of their presidency with the leaders of such enemy nations as Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Hillary Clinton said that she would not promise to meet with the leaders of enemy nations stating that a new president had to be careful not to be exploited by hostile leaders for propaganda purposes and not to do anything "that would make the situation worse." Before any meeting, she'd have to know "what the way forward would be."

Barack Obam on the other hand said that he thought it a disgrace that "we haven't talked to leaders of the five anti-American countries" and pointed out that despite President Reagan calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire" he still talked to Soviet leaders. "

Do you think that dialogue between hostile nations is the way forward and is an opportunity that is too easily overlooked?

In politics, is last years enemy, this years friend as in the case of Libya's Colonel Gadafy; or last years friend this years pariah as in the case of Saddam Hussein?

Can an end to conflicts like Northern Ireland only be achieved once the politicians have opened up a discussion?

Is the willingness to meet face to face with your enemy a sign of weakness?

Participate in this weeks open survey Should the US Presidency Meet with Enemy States?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Should people drink water from the tap or the bottle?

For many years there have been many studies that have concluded that for countries that have well developed water treatment, bottled water is often no healthier or safer to drink than tap water.

Organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature have for many years argued that bottled water is not only environmentally unfriendly but also a waste of money.

However, despite high quality and availability of tap water, the research findings and the high cost of bottled water the developed world continues to consume bottled water at an alarming rate.

The city of New York recently launched an advertising campaign to try and persuade people to give up bottled drinks and consume tap water instead to help protect the environment. New York's city officials have said that they hope that their campaign will save people money and reduce waste.

Environmental groups claim that four out of five plastic water bottles end up on landfill sites and the production process and distribution process, sometimes involving shipping water halfway around the world, causes global warming.

The Bottled Water Association have been reported to say that they think it unfair to single out an industry that is promoting recycling and introducing biodegradable packaging.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based environmental group, Food and Water Watch, Americans drank 37 billion bottles' worth in 2005. Nearly 40 percent of bottled water is in fact bottled treated tap water and the federal government requires far more vigorous testing of municipal water than bottled water.

Is New York city correct to try and promote tap water? Do you currently prefer to drink tap or bottled water and which do you think is better for you?

Participate in this weeks open survey Should people drink water from the tap or the bottle?

For more information on New York City's campaign please visit The Tap Project.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Was Bush right to prevent Lewis Libby from going to jail?

US President Bush created a political storm by intervening to stop the disgraced White House aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, from going to jail.

In March 2004 Libby testified to a grand jury and denied deliberately leaking that Valerie Plame's worked for the CIA.

In October 2005 Libby was indicted by the FBI on five counts: obstruction of justice and two counts each of false statement and two counts of perjury.

In September 2006 the former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage confesses to leaking Plame's name and in March 2007 Libby was found guilty on four out of five charges and given a 30-month prison sentence.

Bush said "I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence is excessive.".

President Bush did not grant Mr Libby a pardon and Libby will still face a $250,00 fine and remain on probation, Bush did however commute Libby's jail sentence.

The announcement from President Bush was prompted by a federal court decision earlier yesterday not to allow Mr Libby to remain at home pending the outcome of an appeal that would have meant that he would have been heading to jail within the next few weeks where he was expected to have served out his time in a minimum security jail.

Critics had suggested that Libby's strategy had until then appeared to be to string out the appeal until January 2009 in expectation of a pardon when Mr Bush left office.

The Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid described Mr Bush's action as "disgraceful" and Charles Schumer, a Democratic senator was to reported to have said "As independence day nears, we're reminded that one of the principles our forefathers fought for was equal justice under the law. This commutation completely tramples on that principle.".

Fred Thompson, a Republican welcomed the decision from Bush, noting Mr Libby's long service to the US.

Has President Bush acted as a democratic leader or a dictator in this matter? Should those that hold positions of high office be held more, and not less accountable, than those that they represent?

Participate in this weeks open survey Was Bush right to prevent Lewis Libby from going to jail?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What are the world's favourite buildings?

There are stunning buildings throughout the world, some built in ancient times, some modern day wonders.

Which buildings are your favourite and which of those we have short listed have you visited, or would like to visit?

Participate in this weeks open survey What are the world's favourite buildings?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Was Salman Rushdie's knighthood deserved?

In 1988 the publication of The Satanic Verses sparked worldwide protests when it was condemned by the Islamic world because of its perceived blasphemous depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

It was described by one book critic as a cosmic battle between good and evil that combined fantasy, philosophy and farce.

The book was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities and in 1989 Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's spiritual leader, issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's execution.

Although in 1998, the Iranian government said it would no longer support the fatwa some groups said that the fatwa was irrevocable.

After many years in hiding Salman returned to public life in 1999.

Fast forward to 2007 and Salman Rushdie was one of over 900 people to appear on the Queen's Birthday Honours list, which is aimed at recognising outstanding achievement.

Iran were quick to criticised the knighthood, saying praising the "apostate" showed Islamophobia among British officials.

Also a Pakistani minister was reported to have said that 'Salman Rushdie contributes to insulting Islam and may lead to terrorism' and the Religious Affairs Minister Ejaz-ul-Haq told his parliment that such 'actions are the root cause of terrorism.

Were the British right to honour Salman Rushdie, did he deserve such an honour and were Pakistan and Iran correct in their criticism?

Participate in this weeks open survey Was Salman Rushdie's knighthood deserved?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Should the EU's Galileo satellite-navigation be scrapped?

Europe's eight-company, five-nation satellite-navigation consortium, Galileo was concocted as a public-private partnership by the European Union in 2002. The aim was to construct a rival to the American built Global Positioning System (GPS) that was originally developed for the US armed forces but is now available for free use worldwide.

GPS is now in everyday use from aviation to private vehicles with sales of GPS equipment exceeding twenty billion dollars a year with about 5 of that being non-civilian use.

As an alternative to America's GPS Galileo was supposed to be accurate to within one metre rather than three. Funding for the project was to be recouped by offering a free GPS-like service, but charge for higher accuracy and other special features.

European fears that America could at a whim turn off their GPS system have diminished since Russia and China have launched their own systems, offering increasingly capable alternatives to GPS and modifications made by the US to their GPS system now allows then to offer similar accuracy to that planned by Galileo.

Original scheduled to be operational by 2010 only one of the planned 30 satellites has so far been launched, the official estimated completion date is now 2012 with most analysts saying it will not be ready until 2014. The project was originally costed at $3.4 and is already some $2 billion over budget.

Transport ministers from the EU's 27 member countries are now due to meet to consider Galileo's fate.They have three options: to set new deadlines for the consortium and pour in more money; to make it a fully public-sector initiative and foot the bill; or to shut it down.Which would you vote for?

Participate in this weeks open survey Should the EU's Galileo satellite-navigation be scrapped?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

London's 2012 Olympic Logo Revealed - Good or Bad?

London unveils Olympics logo

The design agency Wolff Olins won the competitive tender "to refine the brand positioning for the London 2012 Games and develop a Games emblem and associated corporate identity".

After 14 months of brainstorming, consulting, "brand positioning" and costing some £400,000 , they have produced a design and have announced:-

The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible. It will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.

It will become London 2012's visual icon, instantly recognisable amongst all age groups, all around the world. It will establish the character and identity of the London 2012 Games and what the Games will symbolise nationally and internationally."

Some people have greeted the new design as bold, daring and breaking the mould of previous, and what some have said were more conservative, Olympic logo designs.

Not everyone has been kind, Stephen Bayley wrote in the Telegraph "Mesmerised as if confronting a nasty incident in traffic, we gaze at the Olympic logo. It is a puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal."

As shown above there are versions of the logo using different colours and some animated examples have also been on show.

Is the logo a dynamic colouration and daring asymmetry reflecting the rich texture of the world's cosmopolis; or does it represent an outrageously expensive logo that, like the Games themselves, is a dated concept of more interest to politicians than to people?

Participate in this weeks open survey London's 2012 Olympic Logo Revealed - Good or Bad?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What are Paul Newman's best movies?

On May 25 2007 Paul Newman announced that he was retiring from acting entirely.

Born in 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio he started acting in grade school and high school plays. He spent a year at the Yale Drama School and attended the famed New York Actors Studio. His first film, The Silver Chalice (1954) was nearly his last as he considered his performance in this costume epic to be so bad that he took out a full-page ad in a trade paper apologising to anyone who might have seen it.

However he followed it up with Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) where he portrayed the boxer Rocky Graziano and received rave reviews from the critics for his brilliant performance and went on to become one of the top box office draws of the 1960s, starring in such films as The Hustler (1961), The Prize (1963), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

He also produced and directed many quality films and was nominated nine times for a best actor Oscar, winning once for his performance as an ageing pool shark in The Color of Money (1986).

He also founded the "Newman's Own" brand, a successful line of food products that has earned in excess of $100 million, every penny of which he has donated to charity.

Now in his eighties he stated that he doesn't feel he can continue acting on the level that he would want to. "You start to lose your memory, you start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention. So I think that's pretty much a closed book for me."

How do you rate Paul Newman as an actor and what from our shortlist of movies do you think were his top three?

Participate in this weeks open survey What are Paul Newman's best movies?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What will British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Legacy be?

After 10 years as prime minister and 13 as Labour leader Tony Blair has announced that he will tender his resignation to the Queen on June 27.

In a 17-minute speech in front of a handpicked group of supporters he said the judgement on his 10-year administration was "for you, the people, to make".

He apologised for "the times I have fallen short" but stated that "Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong - that's your call. But I did what I thought was right for our country.

Many critics have suggested that Mr Blair's exit was forced upon him and that his party were keen to see him go.

How do you rate Mr Blair's performance, what do you think will be his legacy and what do you think he will do in future?

Participate in this weeks open survey What will British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Legacy be?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Does Paris Hilton Deserve Jail?

A Los Angeles judge's sentenced hotel heiress Paris Hilton to 45 days behind bars in a California jail cell after she was found guilty for violating a probation order and driving with a suspended license.

She has insisted that she doesn't deserve the sentence that she has claimed is both cruel and unwanted.

She has called on her fans to help her stay out of jail by endorsing an online petition her fans can sign and she has reportedly also asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon her.

The petition to Schwarzenegger claims that "the American public who support Paris are shocked, dismayed and appalled by how Paris has been the person to be used as an example that drunk driving is wrong. She provides hope for young people all over the US and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives. If the late former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late former President Richard Nixon after his mistake(s), we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest mistake as well."

Should Paris Hilton serve time?

Participate in this weeks open survey Does Paris Hilton Deserve Jail?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hillary Clinton 2008 Democratic presidential nomination?

With less than a year to go until the US primaries the race is on for the 2008 democratic nomination. With candidates jockeying for position and the possibility of some late entries who do you think will win the nomination? Will Hillary Clinton be able to emulate her husbands success and succeed in first winning the Democratic nomination and then the US Presidency? Is the US Presidency more about policies or charisma?

Participate in this weeks open survey Hillary Clinton 2008 Democratic presidential nomination?

Should Prince Harry be sent to Iraq?

Prince Henry of Wales, more commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales and his first wife, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Prince Harry is third in the line of succession to the British Throne, behind his father, and his older brother Prince William.

Following the royal families tradition Prince Harry joined the British Army and after training is now an officer in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry.

The British Ministry of Defence recently confirmed that Prince Harry would be deployed with his regiment in Iraq where he will serve as part of the 1st Mechanised Brigade of the 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division.

It is believed that the Blues and Royals are expected to form part of the force patrolling the Iran-Iraq border with the prince leading a small force tasked with reconnaissance duties using Scimitar tanks.

The last member of the British Royal Family to serve in a war zone was the Prince's uncle, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who flew helicopters during the Falklands War in 1982 who at the time would have been second in line to the British Throne.

In interviews Prince Harry had made it clear that he would leave the army if he was left in safety while his regiment was sent to a war zone.

However, some sources have sought to prevent Prince Harry from serving, often claiming that his presence there would put at risk those that severed with him.

Should Prince Harry serve in Iraq, and if he does, should he be given more protection than would normally be expected for any other serving officer of similar rank?

Participate in this weeks open survey Should Prince Harry be sent to Iraq?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Should Service Personnel be Allowed to Sell Their Stories?

In March 2007 15 British navy personnel were detained in Iran for 13 days after being seized by the Iran Revolutionary Guard in the Shatt al-Arab waterway between Iran and Iraq for allegedly trespassing into Iranian territorial waters. The British government said they were in Iraqi waters.

While in Iranian custody some of the personnel where seen on Iranian television apologising for their action and in interviews stated that they were being treated well by their Iranian hosts. Some of those in custody wrote published statements that criticised the British involvement in Iraq.

On the navy personnel's release six members of the group attended a press conference arranged by the Navy and said they were kept in solitary confinement for much of the time and that they were at times fearful that they would be executed.

With media interest growing the navy was authorised by the Government to allow the naval personnel to sell their individual stories to the press. There was severe criticism from within and outside the armed forces for allowing the service personnel to benefit financially. Some argued that it would undermine the reputation of the British Armed Forces at home and Britain's standing abroad and that it would also set a dangerous precedent for whenever military actions are the subject of intensive media coverage in the future. Many argued that it was unfair to other service personnel who were serving in in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Defence Secretary, Des Browne, first denied involvement but eventually admitted that it was he who first authorised the service personnel to sell their stories and then later reversed his decision when he announced that Service personnel will not 'be allowed to talk to the media about their experiences in return for payment' until the review is complete.

Relationships between the government and the British armed services have been strained as the government have been slow to admit their involvement.

Should a country's military personnel be allowed to discuss their experiences with the press and if so should they be entitled to some financial reward?

Do you believe that the British personnel had wandered into Iranian territorial waters?

Monday, April 09, 2007

President Bush the Joker or a Joke?

President Bush attended the US Radio and Television Correspondents' Association 2007 dinner where not for the first time and in keeping with the events traditions he made a speech that poked fun at himself and a few others and his remarks drew laughter and applause from the Washington Hilton Hotel audience.

He made light of the poor ratings he is experiencing due to his handling of Iraq and he tongue in cheek suggested that the Vice President was on vacation in Afghanistan where people liked him. He also touched on the controversy over the Justice Department's firing of eight federal prosecutors, by saying: "I have to admit we really blew the way we let those attorneys go. You know you've botched it when people sympathise with lawyers."

The full speech can be seen at Bush Address at Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Even the most ardent of Bush supporters have now accepted that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and there was no link between Saddam Hussein and global terrorists. The Bush action that was launched based on that misinformation has cost over 3,500 American, UK and other military lives and over 20,00 wounded (January 2003 to April 2007), with an untold number of civilian deaths which even the most conservative estimate puts at over 24,000 and is more likely to be much higher.

Considering the serious consequences of his action should the US president be making light of any part of his administration?

Is his ability to make jokes at his own expense an attempt to reverse his unpopularity?

Should George Bush resign or see out the rest of his presidential term?

Participate in this weeks open survey President Bush the Joker or a Joke?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What's your View of the Modern Man?

For many societies around the world the man is still seen as the main bread winner while the female role is to raise the family and concentrate on the home.

For the developed nations that traditional role has slowly been challenged and house-husbands are not uncommon and finding females who have the more financial rewarding career in a partnership is now not that unusual.

Do you believe that in any relationship tradition should prevail and it should be the male who provides for the family and the female who makes the home?

Do you believe that the roles should be reversed or that responsibilities should be shared without any pre-conditioned view as to who should do what in a relationship?

Participate in this weeks open survey Do you Support the Modern Man?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Should Britain Apologise for the Slave Trade?

2007 sees the United Kingdom mark 200 years since the British parliament abolished the transatlantic trade in slaves.

To publicise the anniversary a number of movies, television dramas and documentaries have been made that have in themselves brought controversy as many factions argue who in history should be credited with being the driving force behind the action that led to the abolishment of the abhorrent trade.

A further debate has emerged with some people requesting that Britain apologise.

Should governments, on behalf of their citizens, apologise for things their forefathers have done wrong or does the passing of generations make such apologies meaningless?

If an apology was to be made, who should make it and to whom and should any apology be accompanied with financial compensation?

Participate in this weeks open survey Should Britain Apologise for the Slave Trade?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Controversial Glass Balcony Built Over Grand Canyon

In Phoenix at the Grand Canyon the Indian Hualapai tribe have constructed a large glass-bottomed walkway.

The $30 million Skywalk is perched at the canyon's edge and uses an elaborate system of pulleys connected to four tractor-trailers to allow the platform to extend some 70 feet over the rim and about 4,000 feet over the canyon floor.

The tribe hope that the attraction will encourage tourism to the remote western edge of the canyon where the tribe that number about 2,200 people live.

Construction of the platform started in April 2005 and was the idea of a Las Vegas developer David Jin.

David Jin approached the Hualapai in 1996 with a plan to build it using his own money and the tribe agreed but on the condition that the tribe would own the walkway and Jin would get a cut of any profits.

However some of the Hualapai elders have now started to question the wisdom of the project as to them the canyon is sacred ground and the construction cut into land scattered with Hualapai burial sites.

Environmentalists also have criticised the project for diminishing the canyon's majesty with some critics describing the structure as a tacky tourist attraction.

It is predicted that the Skywalk will become a major and popular attraction, bringing much needed income to the tribe.

Do you think the Hualapai tribe were right to agree to the construction?

Do you think the design of the Skywalk is environmentally in keeping with the Grand Canyon?

Participate in this weeks open survey Controversial Glass Balcony Built Over Grand Canyon?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Are Diamonds Rare?

In the 1870s at the Kimberley mine in South Africa a 128-carat, canary-yellow diamond called simply The Tiffany, was discovered. The diamond-encrusted mines at Kimberly became known as kimberlites and their discovery began a huge mining operation that continues to this day.

What the kimberlites offered was once-rare gems to millions upon millions of ordinary consumers and soon thousands of prospectors were thrown into fierce competition causing diamond prices to plummet from 500 dollars to ten cents a carat.

With diamonds increasingly in abundance, Cecil Rhodes founded the De Beers Mining Company as a group of diamond producers.

His first aim was to control production to prevent too many diamonds hitting the market and therefore keep prices high.

By controlling the supply and demand since that time De Beers has perhaps become the most successful cartel of the 20th century.

In the 1920s De Beers ran a successful marketing campaign that transformed the public's imagination about the diamond and has to this day, managed to associate diamonds to a symbol of human love and devotion.

In 1994, the Department of Justice charged De Beers in a price fixing scheme. Although the company denies the allegations the company failed to turn up in court and so the matter remains unresolved.

To the question that is sometimes asked "Are diamonds rare or are their prices hideously inflated?" De Beers officials are usually unresponsive on these points and instead they claim that the company has "democratised" diamonds by offering them to millions of ordinary consumers.

Critics argue that diamonds are at best semi-precious stones and were it not for De Beers, and considering the amount of diamonds in current circulation and the amount that are stock piled by De Beers, consumer quality gems commonly used for engagement rings would be cheap and in abundance.

Do you think that diamonds are rare and would you consider them as an investment?

Participate in this weeks open survey Are Diamonds Rare?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Britney Spears - A very public breakdown

Aged 25 Britney Spears recently suffered what appeared to be a very public breakdown when she was reported to have driven to a hairdressing salon and shaved her own head.

A child star who first found fame in 1993 as a member of the American TV show The Mickey Mouse Club, she went on to have phenomenal success with her first single " more time" and a debut album which became the highest selling album of a teenager of all time.

With her media stock riding high she won MTV awards and publicly announced her relationship with fellow Mickey Mouse Club child star Justin Timberlake who had himself carved out a successful solo singing career.

When she broke up with Justin Timberlake though things started to go wrong and the media were there to not only see her burst into tears during a TV interview, but were at hand to report her Las Vegas marriage to her childhood friend Jason Alexander and it's annulment two days later.

Britney did get married for real to one of her backing dancers, Kevin Federline, in April 2004. The media were quick to report that the marriage would prove to be less than happy and while her new husband tried to carve out a singing career for himself, Britney became pregnant. The new baby did nothing to save the marriage and Britney and Kevin filed for divorce in December 2006 after just two years of marriage.

Rarely out of the media spotlight, Britney then alarms friends and family as she appears to mentally self-destruct resulting in the shaving of her head and visits in and out of rehab centres.

Reports have suggested that Britney is being treated for postnatal depression and that doctors believe that any substance abuse was a reaction to post-baby blues and an intense feeling on Britney’s part that she had lost control of her life.

Do you think this is the price people like Britney pay for having achieved stardom; or is it the fault of the media that continually fuels the paparazzi; or is it the general public that buys the newspapers and magazines that take delight in reporting when celebrities have bad hair days?

Participate in this weeks open survey Britney Spears - a very public breakdown

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Flawed Customer Services (Part 3) - Single Point of Failure

In the previous two parts of this article the suppliers were shown to be wanting but their main problem was that they did not have sufficient and effective feedback in place to identify and resolve problems.
In this third and final example the supplier is relying on a procedure that has a serious and unnecessary 'single point of failure' risk.

Example 3 – Single Point of Failure

This final supplier offers customers a very clever application that converts between different media formats and offers a free trial that will allow the software to be fully tested before purchasing.

They market their product as a full suite and also in a number of 'lite' versions for customers who do not require all the bells and whistles. The product is sold in the region of $800 for the full version and $250 for the 'lite'.

For this supplier I purchased the 'lite' product on Christmas Eve as I required the software to complete a project that I needed to be finished by the New Year.

The order was confirmed online and a message displayed to inform me that an email would be sent to confirm the order and that it would contain download instructions, I was able to confirm that the email address that it would be sent to was correct.

No email was received confirming the order and containing download instructions so I logged onto the suppliers website and using the order detail menu options I was able to locate the order.

Mistake 1 – No backup

Although in this particular case the email entered was correct I noticed that within the ordering process there was no facility that would have allowed me to correct the email if it were wrong.

There was also no procedure to confirm that the email entered was typed correctly, this would normally done by requesting that the typed email be repeated.

There was no procedure to allow the customer to resend the confirmation and if the email were entered incorrectly, but by chance was a valid email address, it would be possible for an unauthorised third-party to receive the download instructions and validation key.

Even though there was a facility provided that allowed the customer to track the order through the website there was no procedure to allow the download to be initiated through logging onto the website.

Although there was the facility to download the full suite and then activate it using a software license key, this facility was not available for the 'lite' version.

Mistake 2 – Reliant on customer services

In this particular case the problem was made worse because the order was place on Christmas Eve and so contacting customer services meant waiting until their personnel returned from the Christmas holidays.

For problems such as being unable to download a product a backup procedure online would reduce the number of support queries requiring human attention.

Mistake 3 – No feedback

Ordering procedures that do not allow customers to give feedback are missing the opportunity to gain from the customer's experience and this supplier was another who did not have any official feedback channel.


The reliance of email notification without having any backup procedures fails to take into account that mail systems are becoming less reliable as a first contact often due to over zealous and multi-layered spam filters.

Not validating an address before sending sensitive information such as download instructions and access keys is very cavalier.

Having made the effort to allow an order to be tracked, it makes little sense not to include a download option along with the order details.

In Conclusion

This series of articles has showcased three companies that each had automated procurement procedures and had established a customer service methodology that on paper would appear to be effective.

In each case the manufacturers would have benefited from employing a simple 'catch all' customer satisfaction survey to allow them to check that their ordering procedures were quick and effective that in turn would have allowed them to improve their sales and/or reputations.

Experiencing problems is a fact of life, but for good customer services it is important to be able to catch problems and then learn from them in a manner that continually validates and challenges a businesses ordering and fulfilment systems.

To view a number of other articles relating to customer services and customer satisfaction surveys please visit Survey Galaxy Knowledge Base.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Flawed Customer Services (Part 2) - Alienating the Customer

In part one of this three part article it was shown that a particular supplier failed to make a sale because they had made it unnecessarily complicated for a certain category of customers to locate the required information to purchase the product. Because they also failed to gather any feedback the flaws in their procurement procedures are likely to remain undetected and unresolved.
This second example does receive feedback but as you will see it is feedback that is going to the wrong person, if the 'problem' is also the customer services channel then problems can exist that are not apparent to the company.

Example 2 – Alienating the Customer

While in travelling in South Africa I found myself wanting to watch a DVD on my notebook computer but when I tried to access the DVD through Microsoft's Windows Media Player it displayed an error which advised me that I needed to purchase an add-on before I was able to access DVDs.

Windows Media player directed me to a list of suppliers and I chose one who greeted me with the marketing line, 'You are five minutes away from watching a DVD on your computer'.

Mistake 1 – No trial

Not providing any free trial for commodity applications is unusual as it benefits the manufacturer and the customer if the software can first be tested to ensure it works and meets the customer's expectations.

With a trial offer if there is any problem with the application potential customers do not generally mind if they have had the chance to try before they buy.

Mistake 2 – Un-documented and Unnecessary Restrictions

Because of the relatively low price of the product I completed the online order form and received an email order confirmation giving me a link for the download. I clicked on the link and my download accelerator kicked in that allows me to download files quicker by splitting the download file into smaller files and using simultaneous downloads.

After a few seconds the download failed and I found that I was unable to restart the download. I looked at the email confirmation and found instructions on how to log onto the suppliers website and check the progress of an order and in doing so I found a download button. Unfortunately when I clicked on the download button I received a message informing me that I had exceeded by download limit which was set at five and therefore was left with no option but to email the suppler for assistance.

I received an automated response to my email to notify me that my email query had been received and that they would deal with my enquiry using their first come first served support policy.

After several hours I received a response to my email informing me that they had reset the download count and then, as an aside, also notified me that their download procedure did not support download applications that allowed the download to be restarted and/or accelerated.

Turning off the download accelerator I was able to download the file without too many problems.

Download accelerators are common and allowing restarts only sensible as it reduces the download traffic where some unreliable connections are concerned. However, if there are restrictions that do apply, then not displaying what they are prior to the customer clicking on the download link is inviting support problems.

Mistake 3– Falling between Sales and Support

Once the download was complete I installed the software and when loading the DVD that I wanted to watch a DVD I was asked to register the product online which I did.

Once I had completed the online registration and created an account to allow me to receive technical support the application started and the application read the title and gave me the options to 'play', 'reset' or 'eject'.

I selected 'play', the screen went blank and then it returned to the same menu, no error message. No matter how many times I tried, even after restarting the computer I could not get past the 'play' option.

I visited the supplier's website and navigated to the support page and entered my account details but the password I entered was reported as being incorrect. After a few attempts I took the option to have my password sent to me again. A message came up to say that an email had been sent to verify the password and I was able to see from the displayed message that the verification email was being sent to the correct email address.

After several hours and multiple attempts at having the password re-sent no password confirmation email was received therefore preventing me from being able to register my problem using the proper technical support procedures.

Mistake 4 – Not understanding the Customers query

I sent an email explaining the initial problem with the download that I confirmed resolved and reported that I now had a problem with the software and was also unable to access the technical support page to report the technical problem.

After several hours I received an email reply that simply gave me instructions on how to download the software.

I replied pointing out that the problem was no longer with the download but with the software and also not being able to access the online technical support.

I then received an email confirming that I needed to register the product to get technical support.

I replied to say that I had registered the product, that the registration was confirmed because when I tried to log on to the support I was receiving a message to say that although it recognized my login ID the password was incorrect. I was able to request a password confirmation, that appeared to be being sending it to the correct address but I was not receiving the email. I confirmed to them that I was therefore unable to log on to technical support and register the problem.

Mistake 5 – Annoying the customer

I was naturally annoyed to receive a reply to say that they were unable to deal with technical support calls and that I needed to contact the technical support by telephone. A basic rule for good customer services is that you do not get the customer to do a company's internal communication.

In my reply to them I pointed out that the cost of the software was not worth the cost of the international phone call in trying to call a technical support line in the USA. I requested that they notify their own technical support team on my behalf or perhaps they might find it easier to offer me a refund.

Mistake 6 – Making the customer really annoyed

I received confirmation that they were unable to deal with technical queries and again listed the procedures for me to register the product to obtain technical support.

I took my time to reply and spell out clearly that they really needed to read what I had previously written and that we were now beyond the technical support stage and that we were now in the commercial decision stage where I would like then to agree, or advice otherwise, to a refund.

Mistake 7 – Loosing the customer

I finally received an email offering me a full refund and a partial apology for the problems. The refund was received once I had agreed to delete the downloaded software which I was more than happy to do.


By offering a full refund the supplier resolved the problem to my full satisfaction but made no attempt to fix any of the reported problems, either as to why I was unable to access the support area, why I was not receiving the password confirmation and why the software did not function properly.

Whatever personal criticism I might have with the people who were responding to my emails, there was no alternative channels open to me to contact the company's management so that I could alert them to my growing frustration.

When one customer experiences a problem it is often important and useful to understand the cause of the problem even if the final solution is to offer that customer a full refund. In this particular case there seemed an unnecessary demarcation, and no internal communication, between sales and support preventing customer's problems, that fall between both camps, to be addressed.

Requesting customer feedback that is then channelled through to management is not a new idea. Hotel and restaurants chains have for years often had feedback cards that are not handed in to the staff but posted directly to head office, ensuring that negative comments are not lost and positive comments genuine.

To view a number of other articles relating to customer services and customer satisfaction surveys please visit Survey Galaxy Knowledge Base.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Flawed Customer Services (Part 1) - Not closing the sale

Ask most businesses to rate how important it is to them to have satisfied customers and few would say anything other than 'essential'.
From a company's own perspective their customer services procedures might appear to tick all the right boxes but what appears to be a good procedure can sometimes fall short when viewed from a customer, or perhaps more importantly a potential customer's perspective.

Some would argue that customer service has been in decline as the growth of automation and the need to minimise overheads has eroded the human side of customer service. There is no doubt that the type of personal one-on-one customer service that was so common throughout the USA and Europe in the 1950's is a relic of the past with technology steadily replacing people.

Some automated technologies have proved more successful than others, call centres, especially when they are situated in far flung countries, can come in for criticism that may or may not be fair. Although the economics make sense it is easy to see how customers can get frustrated when the technology and savings drivers are put above customer experience.

What can often be missing from many a customer service procedure is the canvassing of regular and effective customer feedback, not for the sake of ticking another box, but because a customer's real-life experience is possibly the most important metric available to any business, large or small.

This three part article was inspired after I recently experienced first-hand problems with three separate suppliers that resulted in them either loosing a sale and/or frustrating me, a potential customer.

What struck me was that all three had what appeared at first to be well established customer services procedures that would be able to handle my query and resolve any difficulties in an efficient and professional manner, yet all three failed and for different reasons.

Automation is not the enemy, but automation must be carefully thought through as being frustrated by a machine is universally despised.

Example One – Not closing the sale

This first supplier offers one of the most popular FTP applications and a thirty day fully functional risk free trial. Emails are sent to 'remind' the customer at about the halfway stage and then towards the end of the trial period to that has the effect of encouraging those that have not yet purchased the product to both fully test the application and hopefully make a decision to purchase the product.

However, for this US supplier I was working outside the USA and when after a successful trial I went to click on the link to purchase the product the price I was quoted was in US dollars.

The US dollar is a global currency, no, it IS the global currency and I, like many others, are not often put off, certainly when it comes to low value commodity items, if the currency is not our local currency but on this occasion there was a notice that stated, 'for international customers please click here'.

Mistake 1 – Planting doubt and causing hesitation

For anyone seeing the message from outside the USA it would naturally cause them to hesitate, which I did, thinking perhaps that I should just check that there might be benefits in purchasing the application locally.

On clicking on the option I was requested to select my country, which I did, and then I was provided with a list of perhaps a dozen or so local, but unfamiliar, suppliers.

Since none of the names were familiar and other than their address to go on I chose one, a choice based on nothing more than arbitrary reasoning.

Mistake 2 – Going backwards

When clicking on my chosen link I was taken not to the product page but the local supplier's website's home page and greeted not with information about the application I was interested in, but general information about the supplier who it turned out provided a number of software applications and IT services.

Because of the extensive range of services and products they provided it took me some time to first locate a general list of available applications, then to navigate to the correct section where I found a number of the FTP supplier's applications. From the list of five products I was finally able to select the FTP application that I was interested in.

Mistake 3 – No 'buy now' option

Having spent time locating the product I was to be disappointed further because there was no price, nor 'buy now' button, just another offer to download a 30 day free trial.

Because I had already trialled the software I was ready to purchase and I wanted to know the price.

Mistake 4 – Not making it simple

I decided to go back to the list of local suppliers and choose another name from the list but my experience was the same, I was faced with the problem of locating the application and this time I was not advised of the price but instead given an offer to request a quotation for what I knew to be a $40 commodity item.

Mistake 5 – Loosing the sale

It was at this point that I thought I would just go back to the original screen and purchase the product direct from US manufacturer as had been my first intention, but because I was feeling that I had been sent on a wild goose chase I then decided that I could actually do without the product and so cancelled my order.

Mistake 6 – Not learning

The final mistake that the manufacture makes is that where at the end of the trial period when I do not take up the option to purchase the product they make no effort to find out why.


This supplier has a good and popular product. They offer a 30 day free trial of the software that can be purchased online direct from the manufacture. By offering local suppliers they would be able to provide local support that some customers might prefer, or find essential.

In failing to get feedback, they are missing an opportunity to not only validate their procedures but maintain contact with potential customers who are perhaps undecided as to purchasing the product.

Simple and clear pricing is important, especially for a commodity item and although a free trial is commendable it still requires a commitment from the customer who will often want to know the cost of a product before they invest the time needed to test the product.

Their biggest mistake is that they do not integrate their own products tightly enough with their distributor's websites. If the manufacturer has potential customers that are being referred to a local supplier they are in a position to link directly to their products on the local supplier's website and should insist that the local supplier ensures that the pricing is clear and the order process is simple.

To view a number of other articles relating to customer services and customer satisfaction surveys please visit Survey Galaxy Knowledge Base.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Net Neutrality Debate

In August 2005 a decision was made by the US Federal Communications Commision to put the high-speed Internet Services Providers(ISPs) under the same regulation umbrella as phone companies. The ISPs interpreted the decision as permission to charge websites a premium for faster networks and also suggested that the more successful companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Google should contribute financially in improving the internet infrastucture.

However, opponents argue that a multi-tiered Internet would be against the fundamental principles of the Internet and stress the importance of maintaining a level playing field and are wary that with the wrong legislation the telecom companies could hold companies hostage, or have an unfair advantage over rival companies.

Some argue that there is already a tiered systems in place where people have access to the Internet via dial-up modem (slow) and high speed broadband connections that range in speed from 2MB to 16MB and beyond.

Although the telecom companies point at the more successful websites not paying their fair share, net neutrality supporters say it is the masses that are making use of the successful websites so penalising the larger successful companies would effectively penalise the masses.

For a short promotional video that explains in simple terms the essence of the pro Net Neutrality argument visit Save The Internet.

To see the views of those people that argue that Net Neutrality is a myth and that the proposed legislation rather than degrade will only improve the Internet please visit Debunking Net Neutrality Myths.

Who will get your vote?

Participate in this weeks open survey The Net Neutrality Debate

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Gerald Ford, 38th US President - How will he be remembered?

Gerald Rudolph Ford the 38th President who served between 1974 and 1977 died on December 26, 2006.

Gerald Ford has been the only person to have been appointed to the US Vice Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment when Nixon's Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned.

When Richard Nixon resigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal on August 9, 1974 Ford became the only person to hold the Presidency without having been elected either President or Vice President.

Gerald Ford was to occupy the White House for just 896 days where although he sought re-election where he narrowly lost out to Jimmy Carter.

One of Ford's first act as President was to controversially pardon Richard Nixon, an act that some say lost him the next election.

With the resignation of their President, Ford assumed the role of President at a time when the US economy was in disarray, a worsening energy shortage and where there was great division throughout the country.

How do you view Ford's Presidency? Was he right to pardon Richard Nixon and do you think he pardoned Nixon after striking a deal with him prior to Nixon's resignation?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Survey Galaxy's - Tutorial Video Centre Updated

We are pleased to announce that all the Survey Galaxy tutorial videos have now been updated to reflect the websites latest look and feel.

All the training videos require Flash player which is often included as standard in most browsers but if necessary can also be downloaded free from Adobe.

A number of new tutorials have also been added that cover the online Results Analyzer facility.

For more information or to view the videos please visit the Video Centre.