Issue #26
16 September 1996
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WHAT'S HOT

WHAT'S NOT
  • Junk email
  • Security problems
  • NZ First's Woes

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A weekly E-zine about the NZ internet industry
Aardvark

Edition #26

BEWARE THE POWER OF THE WEB!
NZ First are not having a lot of luck with the internet. For a start they made the embarassing mistake of hosting their web-page in Australia and now the bulletin-board system operating on that site is filled with some potentially quite damaging allegations and questions.

Even a quick look at their site, found at www.nzfirst.org.nz, makes it obvious that they're targetting the old and visually impaired. The huge font-sizes used must provide a pleasing relief for the blue-rinse set that NZ First seems so keen to attract, however it only serves to emphasize the damaging comments that their BBS section is currently carrying.

NATIONAL HITS THE WEB
Hopefully National won't be making the same mistakes as NZ First and if a quick look at the National Party web-site is anything to go by, they've done quite a decent job of getting their message across.

It even seems that the site designers have a good sense of humour, check out the URL www.national.xtra.co.nz/baddies/index.html. Check the names of the URLs given to Labour, NZ First and Alliance.

And yes... you DID see correctly - it looks as if this site is hosted on Xtra! There must be a story in there me thinks!

SECURITY HOLES ABOUND!
Looks as if Xtra are in good company of late. National Business Review reports that four different ISPs have had their security violated recently. It appears that one poor unfortunate victim in Christchurch had $1,300 worth of internet usage fraudulently charged to their account. It is believed that none of these events involved Xtra's ISP service.

WHAT IS AN EXPERT?
In the wake of recent secuity alerts and the actions of a very few self-proclaimed "security experts", who made claims that flew in the face of the facts, it would seem that the old-fashioned definition of an expert is making a resurgence - ("x" being the unknown and a "spurt" being drip under pressure).

VOYAGER RAISES THE IRE OF XTRA USERS
It's not news that Voyager and Xtra are engaged in a fierce battle for market share in the ISP marketplace. Both are now offering hourly rates well under $3/hr and Voyager has enven offerd $5 weekends in a bid to attract new subscribers and improve the attractiveness of its service to existing customers.

Unfortunately it seems that Voyager overstepped the mark last week when it sent out unsolicited email to some Xtra subscribers, inviting them to sign up.

As anyone even modestly familiar with the rules of netiquette is aware, the use of unsolicited email as a marketing tool is a big no-no! and often produces a very negative response from those it targets.

I've received quite a bit of email from readers (some who were the recipient of this email) stating that until this point they'd admired Voyager for their tennacity and willingness to compete with Xtra. These emails have gone on to say that they're bitterly disappointed with this latest tactic and that it has severely weakened Voyager's image.

Most scary of all about this event was the footnote on the email: "PS. If you don't want to receive future emails like this from time to time, just hit your reply button, type 'no thanks' in the subject line and we'll remove you from our list"

I'm afraid Voyager have really shot themselves in the foot with this move!

CASHING UP TO PAY THE LEGAL BILL?
The Domain Name Company Ltd has started trying to flog a few of the many generic and trademarked names it bought up a few weeks back. In an advertisement in the nz.biz.misc newsgroup they're putting up the name casino.co.nz for tender. I wonder if they're trying to boost liquidity to cover that huge legal bill that must surely be looming as Cadbury and Sanyo prepare to drag them through the courts.

The practice of coveting potentially valuable domain names has also been an issue in the USA with www.news.com carrying the story of a very similar situation there.

LOTS MORE DOMAINS FOR NZ?
ISOCNZ are contemplating a major revision to the way the NZ domain system works. At present, businesses end up with a .co.nz domain but if the proposed changes are accepted we could end up with .com.nz, .biz.nz or just about any other new combination. While this might free-up some otherwise allocated names (such as allowing Sanyo to use sanyo.com.nz instead of litigating with The Domain Name Company over sanyo.co.nz) it may well raise even more problems - who's going to be first to steal xtra.com.nz for instance.

NO VACANCIES!
Take a look at the business directory found on www.homepage.co.nz. Do you notice a certain dominance within the ranks of those companies listed? Given the levels of contra-deals that are found within the advertising and marketing industries I suspect that this outfit will have no difficulty in recruiting salespeople :-)

This is also the site which highlights a bug in Xtra's version of Netscape.

In light of this revelation with respect to Xtra's browser... I wonder what's flashing through the minds of some of ISPANZ's more militant members? :-)

HERE'S A USEFUL BIT OF FREEWARE
If you want a simpler way to automate your internet dial-up, login and online operations under Win'95, check out Dunce by Vector Development - it's freeware! and worth a look.

RIGHT OF REPLY
Anyone mentioned by Aardvark who feels that they have been misrepresented or who wish a "right of reply" are invited to send email to me at ror@aardvark.co.nz and the contents of that email will be printed verbatim for all to read.

RIGHT OF REPLY
No right of reply received this week.

FROM THE "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S TRUE" DEPARTMENT:

Good web sites are always working to attract and retain the interest of web-surfers by providing high levels of interactivity. Here's a site that asks you to vote for "The Top 10 sites of the week". Someone should tell them though that it's very rude to ask a question and then ignore the answer. Use your browser's menu options VIEW | DOCUMENT INFO to see when this "weekly" rating was last updated

How long is a week?

While you're there, put in a vote for Aardvark, maybe it'll wake them up.

So You Don't Forget!
Click here if you want an email each time a new issue of Aardvark is published.

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CONFIDENTIALITY: Note that your email address will be kept totally confidential and not released to any third parties for any reason. Aardvark values the patronage of its readers and won't be compromising that patronage for the sake of a quick buck! (besides which it's probably illegal under the privacy act :-)


Feel free to drop me a line if you have any comments on this publication or interesting news you think might appeal to Aardvark readers.. I'm always keen to receive criticism (constructive or otherwise).


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The entire contents of this publication are copyright 1996 to Bruce Simpson, all rights reserved. Don't copy it without my permission - just ask, I'm unlikely to refuse any reasonable request.


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