Yahoo!XTRA launches tomorrow, nothing new for customers

Yahoo!XTRATelecom NZ’s XTRA and content and service partner Yahoo! is launching their new portal tomorrow under the somewhat awkward name Yahoo!XTRA.

According to the teaser site, “good things happen when Xtra meets Yahoo!” and customers will get the best of Yahoo! in the form of:

  • Mail
  • Messenger
  • Search

As is true with the current XtraMSN portal, the new Yahoo!XTRA portal will also provide local content in the form of:

  • News
  • Sport
  • Entertainment

In other words, nothing new for customers. All of the Yahoo! services, bar Music, can be used by New Zealanders today, and local news, sport and entertainment is of course already offered by XtraMSN (and many other content providers).

It is obvious that the partnership is not about new direct revenue streams from Xtra customers. At least not initially, as almost all of Yahoo!’s services are free and already available in NZ. This is all about online advertising. Yahoo! gets direct access to kiwi eyeballs, and eyeballs equals revenue. Xtra in return, will undoubtedly get a share of this advertising revenue stream.


February 28th, 2007 | 8 comments
Sections: Services, New Zealand
Tags: Apple, iPod, iTunes, Telecom NZ, XTRA, Yahoo!

More NZ web sites hacked

Ihug-LogoIt is now a week since IHUG’s web hosting service was hacked by a Turkish hacker using the name iSKORPiTX, resulting in over 600 New Zealand business web sites being defaced. Most of these web sites are still down showing a “Quik Internet; temporarily unavailable” message. It appears that IHUG is distancing itself from the issue by using the legacy Quik brand name. broke this story on Monday afternoon. Interestingly enough, the NZ Herald and, did not report on the story until Wednesday and Thursday. Even though it is likely that their story lead was, they did not mention or link to us. Disappointing.

Well, it now appears that further New Zealand web sites have been hacked in the last 48 hours:

Approximately 30 business web sites hosted by Snap Internet in Christchurch have been defaced by another Turkish hacker calling himself BlackWoLF.

BlackWoLF hacker


February 18th, 2007 | 13 comments
Sections: Services, New Zealand
Tags: ICONZ, IHUG, New Zealand, Security breach, Snap Internet

New features: Tech Highlights and NZ Tech Highlights


You may have noticed that we have added two new sections in the sidebar of our home page: Tech Highlights and NZ Highlights. (These sections replace the Tech and NZ Tech link sections.) These new sections are simply the latest items from the “shared items” in Google Reader. (Google Reader is Google’s web-based RSS reader/aggregator client.) In other words, they are the latest news items that we here at think are newsworthy or interesting. You could think of it as tech news filtered by

We are going to improve this functionality further in the next week or so. In particular, we are going to add the capability to subscribe to these “feeds”. (If you want to do this now, click on “Read more” and then subscribe to the RSS feed from the Google Reader shared page. A bit clunky, but it works.)

We think having these tech news feeds is a better way of highlighting our “blogroll” than simply a static list of links to blogs.

Please let us know if you think this is useful or a waste of space.

February 15th, 2007 | 3 comments
Sections: Services
Tags:, Google

IHUG hacked

iSKORPiTX hacker More than 600 business web sites hosted by Vodafone’s ISP IHUG were compromised and defaced yesterday by what appears to be a Turkish hacker named “iskorpitx”. Affected businesses include:


For a full list of defaced sites, see The sites are still displaying defaced home pages.


February 12th, 2007 | 6 comments
Sections: Services, New Zealand
Tags: IHUG, security, Vodafone

Steve Jobs to DRM critics: back off, or abolish DRMs!

Steve Jobs: Thoughts on MusicApple has increasingly come under fire in regard to how the company uses its FairPlay DRM (digital rights management = media copy protection) to lock its iTunes customers in to using iPod devices, and vice versa. Music companies see Apple’s music download dominance as a threat and want to see more competition in this market, and European countries, like Norway, Germany and France, are pushing to make the perceived DRM lock-in illegal.

Well, today Steve Jobs fired back with Thoughts on Music: Steve Jobs, published on the Apple web site.

According to Steve Jobs, there are three alternatives in regard to the DRM issue:

  • First alternative: Continue the current course
  • Second alternative: Apple to license its FairPlay DRM to third parties
  • Third alternative: Abolish DRMs entirely

He then details why only the first and third alternatives are actually viable:


February 7th, 2007 | Add a comment
Sections: Services, Devices
Tags: drm, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, music upgraded

We apologise for having an hours outage this afternoon. We have just upgraded from WordPress 2.0 to Wordpress 2.1.

We think that everything is working fine, but if you spot any bugs, please let us know!

February 5th, 2007 | Add a comment
Sections: Services

2010: Apple larger than Microsoft?

We are not talking about an Arthur C. Clark space odyssey, but could it be that Apple has a shot at outgrowing Microsoft within the next 5 years?

Both Microsoft and Apple have seen healthy revenue growth in the last 5 years. Microsoft’s revenues have grown approximately 60% from just under $30B in 2002 to over $44B in 2006. However, while Microsoft has grown linearly for this period, Apple has accelerated with revenues of just under $6B in 2002 growing to just under $21B in 2006. An impressive 250% revenue growth! In other words, Apple has been growing much faster than Microsoft.

The graph below shows the quarterly earnings for the companies between 2002 and 2006:



January 28th, 2007 | 53 comments
Sections: Services, Devices
Tags: Apple, Microsoft