Alan Brown shut down the ORBS (open relay behaviour modification system) database last month when his ISP Manawatu Internet Services shut up shop. Now, a new ORBS, born from data dumps that are in the public domain, has started in the UK promising a cleaner, brighter future for anti-spammers. ORBS has had something of a chequered career - this will be the third iteration of the database which tests and lists open relays - relays that can be used by spammers to send millions of email without being traced by the recipient. ORBS users say that by blocking email from open relays they block the vast majority of spam that comes their way.
Brown has run ORBS from New Zealand since 1998 when Canadian founder Alan Hodgson was forced to stop hosting the database. His ISP wanted him to warn administrators before testing their relays and he refused. Brown was served with an injunction by ISPs Xtra and Actrix following his inclusion of them in the database on a so-called spite list - the court demanded he remove their servers and apologise to the ORBS user base.
New manager Paul Cummins says he won't run a spite list and will only list relays that are proven to be open. He insists Brown has had no involvement in the establishment of this new ORBS list and that he and Brown are actually fighting over the rights to the name.
ORBS reborn. Again - IDGNet
ORBS to be reborn? Not bloody likely, says Alan Brown - The Register
Read this for the best line about ORBS ever written - I stole it for the headline
XS-Media - Down and out around the world
XS-Media admits it had a hard row to hoe - trying to convince the advertising marketplace that the internet was not bad but could in fact be good for their markets. It would help streamline buying and selling of advertising space and could in fact save them money. XS-Media closed its doors this week - all of them, including its New Zealand office despite the Kiwi contingent being one of the mainstays of the company. The problem was exacerbated by venture capital money drying up, says the New Zealand country manager. He believes the idea is a sound one and someone will take over that niche in the next year or so but it won't be XS-Media.
XS-Media joins tech wreck - Stuff
Backer pulls plug on media-buying website - NZ Herald
Telecom signs Euro Deal - signals new direction for incumbent
Telecom has signed on with EMS Global, a New Zealand company that does security for the likes of finance houses and health providers. EMS is expanding into Europe and wanted to outsource all its support needs to a local company but says it couldn't find one with the expertise in all of Europe. So it turned to Telecom which, thanks to the Southern Cross Cable, has the capacity to offer contact centre capabilities from New Zealand. The deal is worth $3 million in the first year and will employ 30 people but has the potential to bloom to $150 million in five years. This is an export without having to ship anybody or anything off to a foreign country - it's the kind of "knowledge economy" thing we've been talking about for ages now. Sure, others have done it before and will continue to do it but this has a lot of potential, not least for Telecom itself which is looking to earn 40% of its income from such managed network services in the next five years as the earnings from local services become "commoditised".
Telecom signs $150m local deal - NZHerald
Telecom enters European deal - Stuff