Monday, May 25, 2009

Golwg 360 public money spent in India?

[This entry is a translation of this post on Cachu 360, a blog set up following Golwg's calamitous launch. BTW, a week following it's launch, Golwg 360 has now gone into beta!]


Has £200,000 of public money from the Assembly been spent on an inferior web service from a company in India? That’s the question raised by an unforensic study of websites that is now available for all to see on-line. There is an obvious link between the Golwg 360 website and a company called IndInfoTech from Hyderabad, India, which “specialises” in developing websites. Was public money spent outside Wales – or out side Britain even? Was any money at all spent on the Golwg 360 (beta) website?

The beginning of the journey

(Very) late one evening, Cachu360 (beta) was looking if there was any news available from anyone Golwg 360 (beta).

On google, I searched for Golwg360, and off we go.

[Screenshot] First page result Google search for ‘Golwg360’

It’s quite funy that the first words Google use while presenting the information about Google 360 is “Yn anffodus” (Unfortunately). Isn’t technology great?

Cachu360 (beta) ploughed on… Went past a few interesting pages, but nothing new.

[Screenshot] Ordovicius’ comments about Golwg360

On and on through the search results until I reached pages 5:

[ Screeenshot] Page 5 o f the Google search for ‘Google 360’

There, half way down the page was a link with the words “Telerau ac Amadau” [sic]. Now then – this reminded Cachu360 of something…

Termsandconditions.aspx

One of the first things we saw on the launch day of Golwg 360 was that Golwg 360’s ‘terms and conditions’ page was empty – and also that it was named in: Termsandconditions.aspx.

With this link, “GolwgN” (Golwg Newydd/New?) was in the list of directories – the content in Welsh was obviousr – although full of errors. Cachu360 wanted to find out who and what would want to mention Golwg’s terms and conditions!

Click!

[Screenshot] Golwg 360 "Amadau" [sic] (Terms) on IndInfoTech.net’s site.

Well, well! This is rather detailed content considering it’s not even Golwg’s website. Having said that, the design reminds us of something as well. The content certainly refers to Golwg360. The web address is also very similar to what we see on Golwg360:

  • http://indinfotech.net/GolwgN/Termsanconditions.aspx

  • http://www.golwg360.com/Termsandconditions.aspx

From reading the terms, it’s fairly obvious that these were the terms that were supposed to be on Golwg360’s on the first day.

I wonder if the whole Golwg site is there?

Cachu360 shortened the web address to “http://indinfotech.net/GolwgN/” – to see if there was anything to see there:

[Screenshot] The web address that was guessed to get to the main Golwg 360 test site

[Screenshot] Golwg360 test site

Well I never! The whole Golwg 360 test site is there! Who would have thought!

Golwg 360 test site

It’s incredible for any project’s test site to be open to the public. It’s even more incredible that a test site is open to search engines. Any half pan web developer would have been able to hide such sensitive content as Golwg 360 from visitors.

But there we go, here’s Golwg 360 site on a second on-line server.

It’s possible to see the Golwg 360 more or less exactly as it was on the day of the launch. It’s possible to click on the stories, laugh at the design, mock the stretched images – all the things that’s possible to do on the real Golwg 36o site.

It’s interesting that no new articles are live after May 7th. There’s plenty of live articles before then, but it’s obvious there is no connection with Golwg data-base after that date.

[Screenshot] Article on Golwg360, showing the date - 7/5/09

[Screenshot] Article on Golwg360, showing the date – no later than 7/5/09

This reminded me of a comment I read on maes-e:

“There’s only one ‘small’ problem that’s causing all the technical problems (and this should have been sorted by now, temporarily, at least..) – we tested the system rigorously on the development system and the live system was different.”

It’s therefore obvious that this was the test system used to develop the Golwg 360 site.

A week before the launch they moved content feeding links to a new server, leaving this as a reminder of how Golwg 360 was (at it’s zenith?).

Who hosts the test server? Indinfotech

We were told that Tinopolis, Golwg, Telesgop and TV Everywhere had all assisted in Golwg 360’s efforts – although it was asserted that non of the public money was spent on the site.

It’s obvious that the test site was driven from indinfotech.net’ domain, but there’s no website to be found by following that path.

My next step was to discover who had registered the domain name. This is possible by using he “whois” service on- which lists various links regarding those who’ve registered domain names. Personal registrations can remain private – but companies generally have o register publicly..

[Screenshot] Whois search for indinfotech.net

[Screenshot] Search result for indinfotech.net - "Administrative Contact: Indinfotech srikrishna Nakka (rani(yn)indinfotech(dotyn)com)Fax: +1.4253730689 13605 NE 8th St ,#202 Bellevue, WA 98005 US"

There’s a link between according to the search result between indinfotech.net and indinfotech.com, which isn’t rally a shock.

He interesting this is that there is a website at indinfotech.com:

[Screenshot] indinfotech.com’s website

From reading the site, it’s obvious that indinfotech is a general computing services company.

[Screenshot] A page on indinfotech.com

There’s also an option to chat ol-line! Shall we click?

[Screeenshot] indinfotech.com can’t hold a discussion on-line despite their website encouraging people to contact them this way.

O dear – the site’s broken. What a surprise.

Headquaters in Seattle, workers in India

But wait! What’s this? On the “Team” page – there’s details about the company’s structure.

[Screenshot] The "Team" page on indinfotech.net’s website – mentioning that the technical team is all based in India.

Here we’re given a description of the workers location. There’s a headquarters in Seattle, but all the technical staff are in India India. This company is therefore one of the new norms of the general business world:

Companies with a source of cheap labour in one country sets up it’s headquarters another country to win contracts in that country, and then outsource then ‘export’ work to be completed at home.

An example of an organization in Wales that has used such a business service (successfully and to a good standard) is the National Library – which had a similar company transfer it’s old inaccessible books into accessible electronic text files It’s headquarters was here and the work was done abroad (if Cachu360 remembers correctly, apologies if the exact facts re incorrect)

Golwg360 – Arloesi* (Pioneering) in India?

[*building up to it’s launch, Golwg were forever using the word ‘Arloesi’!]

On indinfotech.com’s site, documents show the range of their services – and shows examples of what they’ve done in the past:

[Screenshot] PDF page on indinfotech.net’s site showing the services

[Screenshot] PDF page on indinfotech.net’s site showing websites they’ve created

O dear… India 360?

As a further malicious step, I used a service that checks that different websites are complying to on-line standards… Yes, well, can I just say IndInfoTech has just the qualifications to assist in the development of …

[Screenshot] Validation report for indinfotech.com - showing 44 serious errors

As Cachu360 writes this, there are 122 serious errors on Golwg360.com’s home page…

Questions

  1. To close, it must be asked – after seeing the “evidence” above – was the public money spent on Golwg 360 go to Seattle and India?

  2. Why was the majority of the development done outside Wales, when the development work would have been incredibly valuable to the Welsh on-line community in Wales - Golwg 360 (beta) precise audience?

  3. Has Golwg made a mistake by moving from publishing in print to on-line publishing?

  4. Does the public deserve better, considering all the public money given to a private company?

  5. Does Dylan Iorwerth know what the “internets” [sic] is?

  6. Are Wales’ web tubes too full for us to appreciate Golwg 360?

Answers to just the first two questions would be more tan enough for Cachu360

(beta).

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home