FryUp: Viruses, Websites, Rebates and the TUANZ Awards

Top Stories: - Viruses, Websites, Rebates and more! - You like them, you really like them

Top Stories:

- Viruses, Websites, Rebates and more!

- You like them, you really like them

- Viruses, Websites, Rebates and more!

There's been lots going on in the ISP market so pay attention. I shall say this only once.

First off, both Xtra and Ihug are getting complaints about their server-based anti-virus software packages.

Both companies use Trend Micro AV at the server to block viruses. With Ihug you pay per month for the service but with Xtra it's free and you can't say no, which is causing trouble in some quarters, but that's another story.

The problem is the largest virus we've got on the go at the moment, and indeed the worst infection in history, is the Klez virus. Klez.H, the latest variant, has a cute party trick in that it sends itself on to a third party but spoofs the sender's name and email address by picking someone at random from your address book.

With me so far? Good. This is fine, because the AV software is blocking all the Klez it can get - 75% of the viruses blocked on Xtra's servers are Klez - but the Trend Micro solution both ISPs use sends an automated email to the alleged sender of the virus saying something along the lines of "You dirty stop out! Look at what you've dragged in on the carpet?!" which is making some people upset because, naturally, they didn't have a virus, didn't send it on and are less than thrilled at being labelled as Typhoid Mary.

Meanwhile, if you want to submit a website to Xtra's XtraMSN page for inclusion in its directory you'll have to shell out $400 because the company that has the contract with MSN in various countries, including Australia and New Zealand, has started to charge for the inclusion.

I can understand the need to make money out of such things - we're not in this for the fun of it, you know - and certainly for a commercial website such costs are to be expected, but that seems a bit steep to me.

Xtra's spokesman Matt Bostwick says the directory company employs people to actually go through these sites and allocate them to the right parts of the directory, which is why it costs money, and that's fair enough. You do get a better result that way than letting some robot simply assign it based on some algorithm, but $400 is a lot when you can build a website so cheaply.

Beyond the virus world, Telecom has said if anyone was adversely affected by its recent DSL outage in the southern half of the country it will deal with requests for compensation on a case-by-case basis.

Telstra, in Australia, has recently announced it will be paying rebates of about 10% on users' monthly bills to any and all who were cut off by a major outage in New South Wales and the ACT. Telstra, you see, has come under fire in Australia for being pretty slack about its DSL implementation and for not doing enough over outages and failures. It's retaliated with a service level agreement that says outages will be met with rebates.

So if you were cut off and did miss out on something, let Telecom know. Who knows, you might get some money back.

Lastly, Telecom has announced a business security package that takes its email anti-virus scanning stuff one step further.

Business users can sign up for the Secure Business Internet package, which delivers a 512kbit/s DSL connection coupled with a firewall, AV solution, five email addresses and a fixed IP address, along with some other bells and whistles.

This is a good thing - it's about time the telcos took the business of being "always on" seriously enough to help smaller businesses protect themselves. And if this encourages SME business to get online, then good.

It's also interesting that Telecom is tinkering around with the speed on DSL. I'd pay to have less speed and more GB to download in a month, but I don't want to drop all the way to JetStream Starter's appallingly slow 128kbit/s. 512 kbit/s or even 1 Mbit/s would be fine. 10GB of traffic allowed a month would be nice too.

Klez spoofing causes headaches for ISPs - IDGNet

New charge for website placement "excessive" - IDGNet

Telecom could learn from Telstra's DSL outage _ analyst - IDGNet

New secure broadband package for small business - IDGNet

- You like them, you really like them

That's right, FryUp dipped out at last night's Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) Innovation Awards, but a good time was had by all. A hint though for next time: it took three fit Sherpas the best part of the evening to get us up to our seats at the back, which kind of gave away that it would be a sitting down ceremony. Takes the suspense out it, I feel.

And isn't it nice that we have a telecommunications minister who can provide light relief and keep us all entertained? I think so, although I do think the lampshade on the head was going a tad too far.

Telecommunications journalist of the year went to the Herald's IT editor, Chris Barton, and well done, too. Barton wasn't at the ceremony but sidekick Peter Griffin stood up and told us all what a splendid chap Barton is and how much he likes working for him and what a splendid chap Ernie Newman, CEO of TUANZ, is and how much he likes interviewing him and what splendid fellows we all were.

Best sponsor of another award went to INL's InfoTech for the third year in a row. Actually, it may have been the technology media award but I may have misheard. Richard Pamatatau stood up and gave an impassioned speech begging the collected industry representatives to please, please give him some story ideas, which was all too much for this reporter. I cried. I really did.

So we met some nice people and made some new friends and if we didn't get a chance to talk to you all it's because there were just so darned many of you there. Well done to all the 14 category winners and finalists and TUANZ, it was a hell of a party.

And the TUANZ Awards winners are (they should eventually be found here):

TUANZ website

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