Googlettes, Mobile Zombies, Nationalised network

So now Google's Gmail freemail service will get POP3 and possibly IMAPv4 support as well as antivirus scanning. The emergence of these little "googlettes" as they're known seem to worry Microsoft. If some of Google's search engine success rubs off on its features destined for the desktop well ... perhaps Microsoft should be worried.

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- Go-Go Googlettes

- Mobile Zombies

- Nationalised network needed

- Get Firefox

Version 1.0 is out and you need it. Thunderbird the email client ain’t bad either.

- Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox home page

- Firefox launches with a Kiwi boost

- Go-Go Googlettes

So now Google’s Gmail freemail service will get POP3 and possibly IMAPv4 support as well as antivirus scanning. The emergence of these little “googlettes” as they’re known seem to worry Microsoft. If some of Google’s search engine success rubs off on its features destined for the desktop well … perhaps Microsoft should be worried.

Maybe I sound like a BSD Bigot or a Linux Weenie, but Microsoft seems unable to break out of the desktop and LAN confines and conquer internetworking as well. Correspondingly until now, companies that have been good at internetworking have been clueless about the needs of desktop users. But the desktop and the internet are merging …

- Google gives Gmail POP3 support, plans antivirus

Microsoft says “Finding and fixing those problems will help us build a higher quality product."

- MSN Search “temporarily unavailable”

- Mobile Zombies

With all the 3G hullabaloo recently, I’m counting the days until the virus writers in spammers’ employ decide it’s time to attack the new range of mobiles with internet access.

If you think about it, mobiles represent a hugely desirable target for spammers. Whereas most people have PCs, and email, every man/woman and his/her dog have a mobile phone. Already, Russian mobile customers are being SMS-spammed in a roundabout way through hijacked PCs. Next up, funny little ring-tone Trojans or similar that’ll turn your 3G handset into a remote-controlled zombie.

Ah yes, imagine that … lots of 3G users roaming around with infected handsets, on fast network connections. Not that I’m Nordic and doomy-gloomy or anything but we’re all going to die, OK?

- Trojan spams Russian mobile phones

- Nationalised network needed

I had a quick snoop around Alcatel’s Innovations Central in Sydney this Monday and it was kind of depressing when I contrasted what I saw there with network developments in New Zealand.

Alcatel thinks broadband should be cheap, plentiful and readily available without undue complexity for customers. In fact, customers shouldn’t have to think in terms of bandwidth, but the services they wish to have over the network. Internet video, data, voice, etc — the network should have the capacity and ability to provide that.

In the US the likes of Cox, Comcast and Bellsouth are building very high-speed networks to supply the 6-9Mbit/s of dedicated bandwidth required for each real-time and HDTV channel. SBC for instance is spending US$6 billion on a fibre to the premises network that will deliver 20Mbit/s dedicated bandwidth to 45 million customers. They’re doing it because it is what the market wants and they don’t, well, they’ll be dead and replaced by another company providing services over IP networks.

The story is the same across Asia, but not in New Zealand where we’re getting excited over 256/128kbit/s wholesale DSL. Neither this nor Telecom’s “UBS spoiler” DSL with 2Mbit/192kbit/s speed can supply the real broadband other countries have. New Zealand is falling so far behind it’s not funny.

Fibre everywhere is the only alternative that provides enough bandwidth to make broadband ubiquitous. Telecom knows this, of course, but it can’t go to its shareholders and say it needs to invest in a fibre network. That’s understandable, but bad for the national infrastructure and thus, our economy.

There is only one player in New Zealand with the money and clout to push through such a project, and that’s the government. A publicly owned fibre network that service providers can purchase access to and earn money from — I can think of worse things to spend some of the fat income tax surpluses on.

From September, but good summary of what’s happening in the US:

- Has Your Broadband Had Its Fibre?

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