- Nzoom doesn't have mail
- Ihug goes off
- Round Up
- Nzoom doesn't have mail
If you use Hotmail you're probably well fed up with the amount of spam you get. I know I was, so I switched to using a free web-email account with Nzoom. All well and good but this last week or so the service has been a bit spotty and it's given up the ghost altogether.
The reason is most unpleasant - Nigerian spammers have discovered Nzoom sitting here with tens of thousands of users (more on that later) and hit it with a kind of dictionary attack.
Put simply they've adopted the lowest form of email harvesting - they're working through the alphabet and all the usual names, so they've started at firstname.lastname@example.org and are working their way along.
Normally, this wouldn't be too much of a problem. However, Nzoom has also been tinkering with the backroom gear in an effort to improve the service. It turns out that Nzoomail is second only to XtraMSN Hotmail in terms of free email accounts and that there are heaps of users on the system. So many that it's groaning under the weight.
The whole problem was to have been resolved by the start of business yesterday (Thursday) but it seems to be still going on so I'd give them through the weekend if you're trying to access your account.
- Ihug goes off
Ihug is one of New Zealand's most well known ISPs. It's been around almost since the beginning and was the catalyst for the move from traffic billing to flat rate billing for dial-up users. So many Kiwi net users started out with Ihug that it's become something of an institution.
Ihug is hoping to set the DSL world alight in a similar manner, by offering three flat-rate DSL packages (with download speeds of 256 Kbit/s, 512 Kbit/s and 1500 Kbit/s) for $80, $100 and $220 a month. That's right, flat rate. No traffic limits.
There's one small catch, however. It's only being offered in Australia.
Australia, which is hardly home of the fast, cheap internet connection, is the place where Ihug is able to offer such a service, not New Zealand.
Why is that, you ask? In Australia the local loop has been unbundled and Telstra offers services ranging from simple reselling of its service (very similar to Telecom's JetStream offering to ISPs here in New Zealand) right through to allow other telcos access to the exchanges to put in their own DSLAMs.
Ihug is buying capacity off wholesaler Comindico, which is putting its own gear in Telstra's exchange. Consequently, Comindico can offer any service it likes to its customers, typically ISPs like Ihug. In New Zealand Ihug can only sell the same service that Telecom offers - namely JetStream or JetStream Starter.
While the telco commissioner is reviewing the need for unbundling here in New Zealand it's interesting to see it at work in a market so close to our own. Sure there are other factors at work - in Australia they pay for local calls so the dial-up market has a much smaller leap to make when moving from dial-up to DSL. All that aside, the main issue is price, and that's something Telecom will have to address.
Telecom has said it will be reviewing the DSL offerings and coming out with something revolutionary in the middle of the year. I can't wait to see what's on offer, but it says something about the strategy that the non-Telecom ISPs still don't know what it is, even under threat of non-disclosure agreement. How are they supposed to get their marketing in order or assemble the right team to deliver the product? Short answer: they're not supposed to.
- Round Up
No, not fertiliser. Well, some but not much.
I'm away for a few weeks so Andrea Malcolm is going to fill in for me. Andrea's stepped in to do the FryUp before so she's an old hand. She's been the chief reporter for Computerworld for over five years and has been with Computerworld for nine years and 10 months. I know this because she's resigned to go off to the fake bright lights of television - well, Nzoom - just a couple of months short of her 10th anniversary. When you've gotta go ...
It's a shame to see Andrea go - not only did she hire me in the first place but she's single-handedly raised an entire generation of tech reporters while maintaining her composure and churning out lead stories week after week.
She's off to look after the tech section for Nzoom so you should let her settle in a bit then go take a look. Don't forget to come back now, y'hear?
I suddenly realised, however, that there are a bunch of things I forgot to mention. Like, did anyone else notice how the chocolate buttons have shrunk this Easter? I'm sure they used to be the size of a two-cent piece but these puppies weren't anywhere near that flat!
Also, a few FryUps ago I mentioned an Iraqi blog by the name of Where Is Raed. He went offline when the bombing started and nobody was sure if he was dead or alive or just missing.
Turns out that all is well - the blogger, who calls himself Salam Pax - is alive and well but temporarily cut off from the cyber world. There's a huge new posting about what life was like in Baghdad during and after the invasion that's worth reading. Follow the link below.
There were other things to tell you but they've gone from my mind again. Too much to think about so I'll leave you all with a cheery fair thee well and we'll talk again next month.