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Alta's free isp service a hoax?

     
4:07 pm on Aug 8, 2000 (gmt 0)

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In a growing number of bizarre stories I've read about Altavista's Free Internet [theregister.co.uk] service in England, the Register is claiming that it can find NO ONE in Britain that is actually getting the free service. They are suggesting that the service is either impossible for Alta to deliver, or that it is a hoax.

--
"The Register is sceptical that the service -endorsed by Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair - even exists."
--

6:18 pm on Aug 8, 2000 (gmt 0)

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It's funny to think that a major company like AV would pull a hoax this big.

We need some crowd participation to test this one. Everyone from the UK should go and sign up for this service and then report back to this thread with their replies from AV.

9:25 pm on Aug 8, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Quote

"We are offering this service to those people who have already expressed an interest. If you have been sent by AltaVista an AltaVista Internet Access username and password, please hit proceed"

Otherwise the options are
1 local call charges or
2 20 hours offpeak per month for 60 pa

If you have not already expressed an interest in using AltaVista Internet Access - please pre-register with us now

My 'interest has been registered' ;)

11:28 pm on Aug 8, 2000 (gmt 0)

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The Register has turned up the Alta heat with a story titled AltaVista in missing persons manhunt [theregister.co.uk].
6:44 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Thanks oldtimer, keep us updated! :)
6:50 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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AV User Sighted! [theregister.co.uk]
7:27 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Actually, my grandfather uses the AltaVista free isp service and thinks its great (no I don't work for them, heheh).
7:48 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Contact them Greg. There may be fame, fortune, or white elephant door prizes involved.
7:50 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Greg - Is your grandfather from the UK? (they're not questioning the US service). If so you should have him scrape up an email from AV proving this, so that he can collect his 15 minutes of fame :)
7:52 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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oops, he's from the US, and you were talking about the UK, sorry about that.
8:22 pm on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

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No problem, I saw that you're from Philly, so I figured I'd better double check.
8:39 am on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

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More info here [bbc.co.uk]
3:45 pm on Aug 10, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Thanks to The Register's Tim Richardson for the mention of WebmasterWorld.com in todays edition of In Search Of an Altavista User [theregister.co.uk].

Mastah Blastah

10:37 pm on Aug 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the US - but I'm actually using it. It goes through some other company
4:32 am on Aug 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

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The saga continues with: The Silence Is Deafening [theregister.co.uk].
4:22 pm on Aug 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

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And now Vnunet [vnunet.com] gets into the act.
2:50 am on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

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they just keep digging themselves a deeper and deeper hole.........
7:27 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Check out todays picture and story at [theregister.co.uk]
And here comes [url=[thestandard.net] standard[/url]

These guys are just unloading on alta.

5:55 pm on Aug 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Tim Richardson was right! Altavista has confirmed that it NEVER LAUNCHED the service! What a nice piece of reporting Tim!

I hate to quote another paper after Tim's tenacity in calling out Altavista. Afterall, I think everyone agress, your work is what broke the story - but here is todays Altavista crow eating show in a BBC Story [news.bbc.co.uk].

9:18 am on Aug 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Here is Tim Richarson's [theregister.co.uk] story on the Alta hoax.
4:44 pm on Aug 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Tim finally got his personal interview with Alta [theregister.co.uk]!
8:56 am on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Register launches SpinolaVista - unmetered 25/7 Internet access

The Reg [theregister.co.uk]

9:11 am on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

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The T-Shirt has clinched it for me!

I'm having trouble getting the sign up link to work, anyone else having the same problems? ;)

10:32 pm on Aug 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

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A little off the pace but;

"Anyone preparing to begin studies at business school this autumn should give thanks to Andy Mitchell. For Mitchell has provided one of the great marketing disasters of the internet age."

The Sunday Times [sunday-times.co.uk]

2:23 pm on Aug 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

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UK Executive at AltaVista Admits Misleading US [siliconvalley.internet.com]
11:32 am on Aug 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Andy Mitchell is now the former MD of AltaVista UK [theregister.co.uk]

A tribute has flooded in for Andy Mitchell [theregister.co.uk] (very subtle Tim ;))

4:44 pm on Nov 2, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Tim Richardson still on the Andy Mitchell case with a story of Andy finally finding a new job [theregister.co.uk].