Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
AccessNZ Kaput?
AccessNZ.co.nz, one of NZ's highest-profile web directories is offline this morning and a check of the NZ registry indicates that the domain name is "on hold". Attempts to contact the Name Holder Representative by phone get a disconnected number tone. Hmmmm...
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Broadband Roulette 22 May 2002 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
Broadband access is critical to the continued growth of the Net and the services provided through it.

When it comes to using DSL however, whether you actually get a broadband connection or not appears to be something of a gamble.

In recent days there have been some rather interesting ups and downs for DSL users.

A few days ago many users of the Telecom JetStart service were delighted to find that the normal bandwidth limit of 128Kbps was removed and they were able to get transfer rates normally only seen by their JetStream cousins.

Other Recent Columns
If you've just discovered Aardvark, check out some of the earlier editions by viewing the archives or by clicking on one of this small selection:

Unfortunately for some, not all JetStart users were able to enjoy the sudden increase in speed. In fact some DSL users were downright angry that their service was slower than a wet week in July.

A couple of readers contacted me to complain that they were getting slower speeds from their DSL connection than they'd expect from a dial-up -- a lot slower.

Some of these problems are allegedly the result of small ISPs being caught out by the sudden increase in subscribers that occurred following the closure of ZFree, others are doubtless due to Telecom's (mis)management of the DSL network.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
Nothing Yet
Have Your Say

With the imminent demise of JetStart, there appears to be no uncapped DSL services available in NZ so it is timely to restate the risks associated with DSL usage.

At present, using DSL is not only a bit of a gamble in respect to the speeds and availability of consistent service, but also represents an "open chequebook" situation.

While Telecom does offer a "warning call" service to advise DSL users when they're about to reach their cap -- several people have complained that the call came too late for them to avoid a big bill for excess traffic.

In this respect the warning-call service may be worse than useless -- lulling people in to a false sense of security at the very time they (or some hacker) is racking up a huge bill on their behalf.

And how long before another worm is let loose on the Net and starts bombarding poor unfortunate DSL users with gigabytes of data -- also running up a huge bill that isn't the user's fault.

Your fancy firewall won't help you -- unless things have changed recently Telecom regards all traffic delivered to your DSL modem to count against your monthly cap or to be billable if that cap is exceeded.

Perhaps the Aussies have a better idea when it comes to capping broadband traffic and costs...

Optus have decided to deal with the problem by simply throttling its broadband users back to a miserly 28.8Kbps once their monthly cap is reached.

Of course this would be a bit of a pain but I suspect that for most people it's a much better option than finding out they have an unexpected four-figure bill for excess data.

Now some questions...

How is your ISP holding up? Are you still getting an adequate level of performance from your dial-up or DSL connection?

What type of protection would you like to see against unexpected DSL bills due to over-cap use or DOS attacks?

Have Your Say
As always, your comments are welcomed. Please remember to select "For Publication" if you want them included on this site.

Have your say.

Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

Linking Policy
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

Security Alerts
Security flaw in Microsoft Office for Mac (CNet - 18/04/2002)

A trio of MS-Office security vulns (TheReg - 10/04/2002)

Two new "critical" bugs patched in IE (ZDNet - 01/04/2002)

Second Java hole poses Windows risk (CNet - 20/03/2002)

Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

Virus Alerts
Teddy hoax virus looking to play Down Under (ZDNet - 19/05/2002)

New Klez worm squirms across Internet (CNet - 18/04/2002)

Aphex E-mail Worm Has A Way With IRC, Instant Messenger (NewsBytes - 11/04/2002)

Bookmark This Page Now!


NZL Sites
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
NZOOM Technology WordWorx

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine

USA Sites
CNNfn Tech
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech


The Day's Top News
Open in New Window = open in new window
New Zealand

Open in New Window ANZ stung by reaction to virus liability clause
After a chorus of criticism from rivals and banking specialists, ANZ bank is reviewing its policy of holding customers liable for any damage caused by viruses spread from their computers to the bank's systems...

Open in New Window Another Xtra user racks up overlapping use charges
An Xtra user has been stung with additional use charges on her dial-up account and has had the matter referred to the police...


Open in New Window 'SQLsnake' Worm Blamed For Spike In Port 1433 Scans
A mounting trail of evidence has security experts warning that a new Internet worm targeting Microsoft SQL servers could be on the loose...

Open in New Window Beware The 'Internet Death Penalty' - Study
Many businesses are losing customers because of inadequate Web sites - and most don't even realize potential customers are gone before it is too late. Once these customers are gone, says a new study, they don't come back...

Open in New Window IT Scorecard: Hackers Still Ahead of Security Gurus
The hack occurred sometime between April 2001 and February 2002, Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Dawn Clenney told NewsFactor...

Open in New Window Webcasters Spared Extra Royalties
Proposed royalty rates by the music industry to be paid by Internet broadcasters are rejected by the Librarian of Congress, whose final decision is due in a month...

Open in New Window Plan for Kids Domain Goes Forward
A domain that falls under the fledgling dot-us country code would be a safe haven for kids content on the Web, under a plan approved by the House of Representatives...


Open in New Window SMS bill alerts push Aussies to pay up
Two Australian companies have teamed up to send SMS bill payment reminders to mobile phone users and are touting it to utilities providers as a cost effective way to get customers to cough up...

Open in New Window Australian senators mull Telstra sale
A looming battle in the Australian Senate for the full privatisation of Telstra heated up today after one key independent, Tasmanian Senator Shayne Murphy, said he was considering supporting the sale...


Open in New Window Teacher's blunder puts porn on school screen
A maths teacher accidentally screened 13 minutes of internet pornography on to a giant monitor during an exam...
UK Guardian

Open in New Window Google asks users to try new technologies
It's a well-known mark of Google's success that its name has become a verb. On Tuesday the company is launching the future tense of that verb in the form of two sites for experimental search and browsing technologies...

Open in New Window Six arrested over 'Nigerian e-mail' fraud
Six people were arrested in South Africa over the weekend on suspicion of being involved in the infamous "Nigerian" e-mail and letter fraud...

Open in New Window Tosh preps curved LCD screen
Toshiba is claiming a world first - a large, flexible liquid crystal display which "opens the way to the display on curved screens". The display can be flexed in all directions and bent to form a curve with a radius of curvature of up to 20cm, Tosh says...
The Register

Open in New Window Hole Finder Wins 'Bug Bounty'
Renowned Internet maven Bennett Haselton discovers flaws in an anonymous Web-surfing system and is rewarded with free service by the company...

Looking For More News or Information?

Search WWW Search Aardvark

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2002, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

jet engine page