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Dateline: 10 April 2000 Early Edition
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The Fight That Won't Die
Ms Presley and Telecom continue to duke it out through the media and through the courts in a master-stroke of marketing genius on the part for i4free.

By my reckoning, i4free has racked up what must be nearly a million dollars worth of free advertising by securing the position of leading item on TV news on several occasions, grabbing front-page coverage on national newspapers and getting more than 10 minutes of coverage on the Holmes Show.

Just compare the profile of i4free with that of the other "free ISP" which launched a few weeks before -- FreeNet. Yes, FreeNet have been offering what appears to be a perfectly good free ISP service for nearly two months -- but if you ask most people who's offering free Net access, "i4free" is the almost universal answer.

I suspect that we'll see a lot more of i4free in the media over the coming weeks as Telecom bring out their box of tricks and i4free play their savvy "leverage the media" game.

And who the hell is surf4nix?

Clearly looking to cash in on the i4free publicity, they faxed Holmes and got some prime-time promotion by claiming that Telecom had been most helpful in assisting them to get their "free" ISP service off the ground.

The funny thing is -- that despite the wonderful cooperation they've allegedly been getting from Telecom, they've missed their March 28 launch date so they're not really "off the ground" at all! Note also that again, despite Telecom's wonderful support, they don't seem to know the difference between the 0867 local-call service and the 0873 nationwide IPNet service.

That all sounds like the kind of help a new business can do without if you ask me!

Besides which, as you will see if you visit their website, surf4nix isn't exactly free at all! You've got to pay $39.95 to sign up and the help line costs $2/minute.

So... perhaps now I see why the disingenuous Surf4Nix and Telecom are so well suited, mutually supportive, and appear to enjoy each other's company to such an extent.

Note also that they maybe they have read my "what I'd do with a million dollars" article because their FAQ says "We are planning for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) within 12 months"... hmmmmm.

Good On Ya NZ Herald
It's good to see that the NZ Herald are responding to criticism of their ongoing problems.

They emailed me that they were working as hard as they can to upgrade their systems -- and they even put a notice to that effect on the front page of their site. That's excellent -- people aren't quite so annoyed if they know that a problem has been acknowledged and is being worked on.

I did however also receive a number of emails from developers and users of Cold Fusion under Unix (in a number of countries) who have expressed similar levels of discontent with the problems they've been facing. It's a pity they don't tell you that on the box eh? -- especially when the Unix version costs about five times as much as the NT version!

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