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Topic # 15397 20-Aug-2007 22:36
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Hello Everyone,



From what I can work out, it looks like the new pop3.xtra.co.nz and send.xtra.co.nz is hosted in Australia, which puts all your data under the Australian privacy and surveillance laws.



Not to mention if the Southern Cross Cable goes down (again) your e-mail will completely stop - and even e-mails between Towns and Cities in New Zealand will fail.



Not to mention the Xtra delays and slugglyness a cross ditch latency would be on Xtra's already slow international links.



Trace Route

Gi9-1.gw1.AKL1.asianetcom.net [203.192.166.105]

ip-202.147.55.210.asianetcom.net [202.147.55.210]

po4-0.cr2.syd1.asianetcom.net [202.147.55.254]

po12-1.gw2.syd1.asianetcom.net [202.147.40.122]

202.167.228.35

gi1-1.bas2.aue.yahoo.com [203.84.216.206]

smtp1.tnz.mail.vip.aue.yahoo.com [124.108.96.68]




How does everyone feel about this?
Regards,

Tyler Rosolowski




Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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Reply # 83069 20-Aug-2007 23:23
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From what I can work out, it looks like the new pop3.xtra.co.nz and send.xtra.co.nz is hosted in Australia, which puts all your data under the Australian privacy and surveillance laws.


Might be worth reading the privacy policies of YahooXtra

Not to mention if the Southern Cross Cable goes down (again) your e-mail will completely stop - and even e-mails between Towns and Cities in New Zealand will fail.

I have mixed feelings about overseas dependencies, however in saying that, the majority of our content is overseas - if we lost international connectivity, things would become quite unstuck rather quickly (as people grow tired of trademe). There probably would be some kind of back up plan should that occur, I'm guessing.

Not to mention the Xtra delays and slugglyness a cross ditch latency would be on Xtra's already slow international links.

I haven't been having any issues, however in saying that, all ISPs do have their moments. Perhaps you should check a recent thread where this was documented (hint: it wasn't xtra)
Just out of interest, I pinged send.xtra.co.nz, and would you consider the below ping results to be high latency:
Ping has started ...

PING send.tnz.yahoo.com (124.108.96.68): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 124.108.96.68: icmp_seq=0 ttl=56 time=48.806 ms
64 bytes from 124.108.96.68: icmp_seq=1 ttl=56 time=48.569 ms
64 bytes from 124.108.96.68: icmp_seq=2 ttl=56 time=53.012 ms
64 bytes from 124.108.96.68: icmp_seq=3 ttl=56 time=49.472 ms

--- send.tnz.yahoo.com ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 4 packets received, 20% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 48.569/49.965/53.012/1.790 ms


Remember that unlike VOIP, you can afford to have a little bit of latency and I would go out on a limb and say that ~50ms is fine. My own mail server is hosted in the USA, and its ping summary is:
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 153.176/167.030/187.817/15.424 ms
. Yet strangely enough, I was able to send a 11MB attachment to Godaddy support at around 8:30PM.

Perhaps if you are having severe latency problems, you may want to contact your ISP, Xnet. However I have not noted any on my home connections (slingshot, xtra, T3G datacard) so again, if you are having issues - perhaps you should check with your ISP first?

May I ask what happened to the latency readings from the traceroutes that you performed?
traceroute to send.tnz.yahoo.com (124.108.96.68), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 192.168.69.253 (192.168.69.253) 4.201 ms 1.545 ms 1.309 ms
2 * 219-88-74-1.jetstream.xtra.co.nz (219.88.74.1) 32.555 ms 31.052 ms
3 mdr-ip03e-3-1-0.akbr3.global-gateway.net.nz (202.50.236.114) 69.836 ms * *
4 ge-1-3-0-42.akbr3.global-gateway.net.nz (202.50.236.109) 32.556 ms 27.519 ms 27.410 ms
5 so-1-1-1.sybr5.global-gateway.net.nz (202.50.232.222) 50.109 ms 51.545 ms 53.218 ms
6 yahoo.sybr5.global-gateway.net.nz (202.50.236.34) 51.410 ms 53.344 ms 51.164 ms
7 gi1-1.bas2.aue.yahoo.com (203.84.216.206) 46.677 ms 51.530 ms gi1-2.bas1.aue.yahoo.com (203.84.216.210) 45.725 ms
8 * * *
etc

C:\Documents and Settings\BG>tracert pop3.xtra.co.nz

Tracing route to pop1.tnz.mail.vip.aue.yahoo.com [124.108.96.66]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 2 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.69.253
2 31 ms 17 ms 31 ms 219-88-74-1.jetstream.xtra.co.nz [219.88.74.1]
3 * 72 ms * MDR-IP03e-3-1-0.akbr3.global-gateway.net.nz [202
.50.236.114]
4 32 ms 30 ms 29 ms ge-2-3-0-42.akbr3.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.
236.113]
5 37 ms 53 ms 39 ms so1-1-1.sybr5.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.232.
10]
6 46 ms 192.168.1.253 reports: Destination protocol unreachable.

Trace complete.





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  Reply # 83074 21-Aug-2007 00:24
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Might be worth reading the privacy policies of YahooXtra


Privacy policies, and laws, are created and enforced by the government of the day, and I don't like the idea of my communications with fellow citizens and my business communications being subject to the quiet and blanket surveillance by some of the most war mongering and orwellian governments of today.




I have mixed feelings about overseas dependencies, however in saying that, the majority of our content is overseas - if we lost international connectivity, things would become quite unstuck rather quickly (as people grow tired of trademe).


Ah, Content, and Communications.

I don't mind 24, Desperate Housewifes, and YouTube being hosted overseas, but why should my ability to communicate with fellow citizens and my businesses communications have to rely on another countries infrastructure and 2000KM of under ocean cable with extreme cyclones on the rise and the network connectivity and power supplies of an Australian city ringed by fire during Summer? Do you think this will Increase, decrease or make my Xtra e-mail service levels remain the same?

Put another way, would you be happy with your companies PABX or Voicemail system being hosted in Australia, because hosting my e-mail there would have the same effects during a outage

Remember that unlike VOIP, you can afford to have a little bit of latency and I would go out on a limb and say that ~50ms is fine. My own mail server is hosted in the USA


I ping 60ms-80ms on xnet, but with 3 hour hold times on Xtra's support lines today, and already 21 pages of comments in the NZ Herald article by evening and forums filled with how the web registration servers are overloading and erroring out, I image the Xtra hosted e-mail servers are not being used by a lot of customers right now.

Xtra hosts 800,000 e-mail accounts. Oracle for their ISP E-Mail System sizing specs for all webmail/POP3/SMTP traffic reccommend 1.2MBits/100 Users. This equals around a 10GBits connection to whatever Australian datacentre Yahoo is hosted at.

There probably would be some kind of back up plan should that occur, I'm guessing.


The only plan would be to have hot configuration standby or replication servers in New Zealand, and if this was the case, wouldn't you use the NZ Servers to service the e-mail users, and the Australian ones to service, oh, I don't know, the Australian e-mail clients?

This is from the same ISP company had their DNS Servers on the same subnet and switch. You think they have hot backup servers in NZ they arn't using to service clients?




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  Reply # 83087 21-Aug-2007 09:06
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exportgoldman:
Ah, Content, and Communications.

I don't mind 24, Desperate Housewifes, and YouTube being hosted overseas, but why should my ability to communicate with fellow citizens and my businesses communications have to rely on another countries infrastructure and 2000KM of under ocean cable with extreme cyclones on the rise and the network connectivity and power supplies of an Australian city ringed by fire during Summer? Do you think this will Increase, decrease or make my Xtra e-mail service levels remain the same?



Put another way, would you be happy with your companies PABX or Voicemail system being hosted in Australia, because hosting my e-mail there would have the same effects during a outage

Well, some people are doing it quite happily with things like MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, IRC, Skype, VOIP services (A few people here use aussie providers), email (hotmail, yahoo mail, geekzonemail even), forums/messsage boards. A lot of call centers now operate out of other countries without any 'issues', providing that the implementation of the links has been done right.

People already are opting for VOIP services here in NZ, which if implemented the wrong way routes the traffic out of their LAN, onto the internet and back just to call another extenstion in the same building - yet I don't see you launching a crusade on 'rectifying such a travesty'. Given that the link to Aus is rather stable (check out global gateways map), one expects few if any disruptions though the potential is there. Of course, if a NZ data center got flooded, lost power for a long period, or lost connectivity - you'd still have the same results.

A good data center would have back up power in cases where mains were cut. As for the cyclones affecting deep underwater cables, can you provide any evidence of this, or is this just scare mongering (which places like the herald have been doing recently)?


I ping 60ms-80ms on xnet, but with 3 hour hold times on Xtra's support lines today, and already 21 pages of comments in the NZ Herald article by evening and forums filled with how the web registration servers are overloading and erroring out, I image the Xtra hosted e-mail servers are not being used by a lot of customers right now.

You'd think that given the two companies Xtra and Yahoo, that they'd separate them onto different servers. For instance, I was able to pop my mail fine this weekend, it was the sending part that I had to update. However, once updated, they appeared to be working fine.

May I remind you that I successfully sent a 11MB email through a SMTP server with even higher latency? And it worked fine. No errors or retries required.

How does a 60ms-80ms ping prevent you from sending emails?



Xtra hosts 800,000 e-mail accounts. Oracle for their ISP E-Mail System sizing specs for all webmail/POP3/SMTP traffic reccommend 1.2MBits/100 Users. This equals around a 10GBits connection to whatever Australian datacentre Yahoo is hosted at.

And? Your point?


The only plan would be to have hot configuration standby or replication servers in New Zealand, and if this was the case, wouldn't you use the NZ Servers to service the e-mail users, and the Australian ones to service, oh, I don't know, the Australian e-mail clients?

In this hypothetical situation, perhaps because the bulk of the servers are over there.



This is from the same ISP company had their DNS Servers on the same subnet and switch. You think they have hot backup servers in NZ they arn't using to service clients?

Are you referring to alien and terminator, which were replaced with dnsc1 and dnsc2 and these are given to your router by default now.
; <<>> DiG 9.3.4 <<>> dnsc1.xtra.co.nz
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 57580
;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;dnsc1.xtra.co.nz. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
dnsc1.xtra.co.nz. 300 IN A 202.27.158.40

; <<>> DiG 9.3.4 <<>> dnsc2.xtra.co.nz
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 2333
;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;dnsc2.xtra.co.nz. IN A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
dnsc2.xtra.co.nz. 300 IN A 202.27.156.72

;; Query time: 43 msec
;; SERVER: 202.27.184.3#53(202.27.184.3)
;; WHEN: Tue Aug 21 09:00:53 2007
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 50





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  Reply # 83089 21-Aug-2007 09:18
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exportgoldman:
Not to mention the Xtra delays and slugglyness a cross ditch latency would be on Xtra's already slow international links.

Just did a speed test to Australia - going by that statement the below speedtest must be really slow (despite almost getting my max speed on this dsl1 line).






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  Reply # 83098 21-Aug-2007 10:54
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Let me prefix this with the thought that aside from the technical issues, what we can debate all day, I would be interested to hear from others about the ethical and social ramifications of your e-mail being silently and without consent shifted under another governments laws.

As a side note, it's interesting to hear, cokemaster :) and perhaps others suggests that this change will not affect the e-mail service levels of Xtra, even though the setup of Xtra's e-mail is now further away, and



Well, some people are doing it quite happily with things like MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, IRC, Skype, VOIP services (A few people here use aussie providers), email (hotmail, yahoo mail, geekzonemail even), forums/messsage boards. A lot of call centers now operate out of other countries without any 'issues', providing that the implementation of the links has been done right.


"Another Southern Cross cable fault"
http://whirlpool.net.au/article.cfm/1653

Choice - People knew these services were hosted overseas when they signed up to them, who knew their E-Mail data was heading overseas when they signed up, to be covered under different Government's laws, and prone to faults with a more complex setup?

People already are opting for VOIP services here in NZ, which if implemented the wrong way routes the traffic out of their LAN, onto the internet and back just to call another extenstion in the same building - yet I don't see you launching a crusade on 'rectifying such a travesty'. Given that the link to Aus is rather stable (check out global gateways map), one expects few if any disruptions though the potential is there. Of course, if a NZ data center got flooded, lost power for a long period, or lost connectivity - you'd still have the same results.


We sell VOIP Services which do indeed go down when the internet does, but the customer is given a choice to choose optional setup components to enable VOIP during a power outtage and when the internet goes down for internal to internal calls.

Where was the choice, or even notification here?

I ask you again, do you think this move will make Xtra's e-mail service levels A) Increase, B) Decrease or C) Remain the same.

As a bonus Question, do you think the helpdesk in Manella's service levals will be A) Better B) Worse or C) Remain the same during a outtage?

As for the cyclones affecting deep underwater cables, can you provide any evidence of this, or is this just scare mongering (which places like the herald have been doing recently)?


I imagine the deep water cables would be okay, but would wonder what happens when they reach shallow water and come aground to some building near the water and then get routed from there. Looking at Hurrican Dean, I don't imagine dispatching engineers to any part of the Carribian's shoreline right now would be easy if at all possible, especially since most people are taking cover for their lives.

Do you think the huge bush fires surrounding Sydney during the summer will have any affect on service?

You'd think that given the two companies Xtra and Yahoo, that they'd separate them onto different servers. For instance, I was able to pop my mail fine this weekend, it was the sending part that I had to update. However, once updated, they appeared to be working fine.


OK Pop quiz, if Xtra!Yahoo Have their own dedicated servers, and arn't servicing the Australian users with them, why did they host them in Australia? I bet ya bottom dollar that that server cluster is hosting a lot of Australian users as well.


May I remind you that I successfully sent a 11MB email through a SMTP server with even higher latency? And it worked fine. No errors or retries required.

How does a 60ms-80ms ping prevent you from sending emails?


It doesn't. SMTP is fine with very high latency, I'm actually suprised by the quality of the connection to the E-Mail cluster, but wonder how the servers will hold up when the majority of NZ manages to enroll on the servers and start using them. Already the registration servers melted down because of overloading, when everyones enrolled, are the e-mails servers going to melt down as well?

In this hypothetical situation, perhaps because the bulk of the servers are over there.


(In regards to fault/standby servers)

OK if the bulk of servers are in Australia, to enable a backup solution, the servers would have to be well spec'ed enough to handle the NZ load if the connection went down. Are you trying to say that Yahoo have a smaller cluster here, which they use exclusively for backup/standby?

To be honest, I don't think Xtra have a backup plan, the plan is to get the link back up and running ASAP.

Are you referring to alien and terminator, which were replaced with dnsc1 and dnsc2 and these are given to your router by default now.


Replaced? AFAIK they are still the master DNS Servers, the DNSC1 and DNSC2 are Caching Servers (Hence the C) because the load was getting too high on them.

Notice the IP's of terminator/alien are only 2 IP's away from each other? I know they were on the same switch from last time they both went down due to a routing/cabling fault.






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  Reply # 83134 21-Aug-2007 13:29
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The entire argument has shifted away from latency (which got debunked rather quickly) and privacy issues into a 'lets blame xtra for everything' thread.

While it would be good to respond to all of these points, the term 'feeding the trolls' comes to mind.

In my opinion, the chances of a complete outage to the mail servers is extremely low and that the probability of domestic or localised outage is more likely. In terms of the DNS servers, those newer servers appear to be facing the brunt of connections with the old alien and terminator servers not appearing as perferred or alternative connections when connecting, they also appear not to suffer the same shortcomings previously discussed.

I'm not going to try and second guess what Xtra have planned, however I would strongly suspect that there would be some back up plan there. Most server providers do.





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  Reply # 83137 21-Aug-2007 13:43
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cokemaster:

In my opinion, the chances of a complete outage to the mail servers is extremely low and that the probability of domestic or localised outage is more likely. In terms of the DNS servers, those newer servers appear to be facing the brunt of connections with the old alien and terminator servers not appearing as perferred or alternative connections when connecting, they also appear not to suffer the same shortcomings previously discussed.

I'm not going to try and second guess what Xtra have planned, however I would strongly suspect that there would be some back up plan there. Most server providers do.



It's reassuring to hear that chance of failure is low because Yahoo don't have the same option to leave messages in the mailbox as well as redirecting to another mailbox as Xtra used to. I started using that in the past while travelling in India. Some days you could reach Xtra quickly, some days Yahoo. The option was a backup.

If there is a failure I'd guess that Xtra will wring their hands and blame Yahoo. They won't be able to do anything else.

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  Reply # 83142 21-Aug-2007 13:53
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alien/terminator are public facing IP addresses to multiple virtual guests

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  Reply # 83149 21-Aug-2007 14:43

exportgoldman:


Hello Everyone,





From what I can work out, it looks like the new pop3.xtra.co.nz and send.xtra.co.nz is hosted in Australia, which puts all your data under the Australian privacy and surveillance laws.



How does everyone feel about this?

Regards,


Tyler Rosolowski



I know what you mean in terms of privacy laws
see http://au.docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
i says bugger all

If you are concerned contact http://www.privacy.org.nz/home.php

further reading
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=546&objectid=10440597&ref=rss

note the last paragraph, I think you will find that xtra could be liable as your contract is with them not yahoo



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Reply # 83202 21-Aug-2007 19:20
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Kevin was quoted that Yahoo would abide by the NZ privacy laws. I guess this points the privacy issue to rest.




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  Reply # 83401 22-Aug-2007 22:06
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OK, First A roundup from around the web - Looks like others (Including John Campbell) have the same type of concerns I do.

Xtra email is now in Australia ?!?!
http://www.drury.net.nz/2007/08/21/xtra-email-is-now-in-australia/#comment-113462

Customers furious over Xtra’s migration to Yahoo
http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/Story/tabid/209/articleID/32963/Default.aspx

There was one more I wanted to include, which basically broke down the privacy statement of Yahoo!Xtra! which basically said any data you put on their servers, they owned, could publish, distribute, or get royalities for.

Now To answer the replies, but first a question - Cokemaster is coming to the defence of Telecom in a big way, are you just a fan, or do you work for them :-) No offence, just curious, because you are making statements with no information to backup your claims.

The entire argument has shifted away from latency (which got debunked rather quickly) and privacy issues into a 'lets blame xtra for everything' thread.


Latency issue was not debunked, I still think it will be a issue, but the fact is they had no load on the servers because of registration faults. I see people complaining in the forums now about timeouts on the e-mail servers now the masses can register.

While it would be good to respond to all of these points, the term 'feeding the trolls' comes to mind.


Not really, I have laid out valid concerns, which it seems the rest of the blogging and mainstream media are now starting to write about as well. John Campbell a troll? Seriously, I want to hear peoples thoughts on this, if your bored, don't reply :)

In my opinion, the chances of a complete outage to the mail servers is extremely low and that the probability of domestic or localised outage is more likely.


Extremely Low? Are your serious? I can remember at least 3 times in the last two years Xtra's e-mail servers have gone offline for at least 4 hours, and sometimes up to a few days.

Searching for Xtra email outage at geekzone alone brings up 48 articles.

In terms of the DNS servers, those newer servers appear to be facing the brunt of connections with the old alien and terminator servers not appearing as perferred or alternative connections when connecting, they also appear not to suffer the same shortcomings previously discussed.


Yes, Thats Correct. Thats what caching servers do.

I'm not going to try and second guess what Xtra have planned, however I would strongly suspect that there would be some back up plan there. Most server providers do.


So, you don't have any idea if or what Telecom's backup plan is for e-mail, you know from past history they have made major design errors in their network and had massive downtime on their existing e-mail servers, but simply assume in the face of all logic and public facts that they had a well rehearsed and amazing backup plan in place?

I don't mean to sound rude, but the facts are quite clear. All Data is now hosted in Australia, in a (assumed) shared cluster with other clients.

There is no backup system in New Zealand, as Yahoo! doesn't have any servers in New Zealand, and otherwise this is what they would be using to service the clients locally.

Yahoo is publically stated they happily hand without warrant or notification to the user, all data as requested to the US government.

We now have a less reliable communications network because of this. Anyone who argues that putting your main communications platform outside the country, outside of your (and Xtra's) control is doing this not because of a Engineering Excellence (TM) perspective, but from a marketing push.




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  Reply # 83405 22-Aug-2007 22:28
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exportgoldman:
OK, First A roundup from around the web - Looks like others (Including John Campbell) have the same type of concerns I do.

Xtra email is now in Australia ?!?!
http://www.drury.net.nz/2007/08/21/xtra-email-is-now-in-australia/#comment-113462

Customers furious over Xtra’s migration to Yahoo
http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/Story/tabid/209/articleID/32963/Default.aspx

There was one more I wanted to include, which basically broke down the privacy statement of Yahoo!Xtra! which basically said any data you put on their servers, they owned, could publish, distribute, or get royalities for.


I am also concerned about this, because privacy laws in Australia and New Zealand are a bit different, and more importantly, if the Australian government decides to take over a Yahoo! server it will automatically get data belonging to New Zealanders. Once the data is in the hands of the Australian government it would be a fight between Yahoo! and Australian authorities, and I'd say the least protected interest would be of the data in those disks, regardless of data being actually property of foreigners in relation to that country.

Now, seeing the servers are physically in Australia, they will probably be out of reach for the common New Zealander in case of government intervention.

Yes, it's a worry and people should be worried.

exportgoldman:
Cokemaster is coming to the defence of Telecom in a big way, are you just a fan, or do you work for them :-) No offence, just curious, because you are making statements with no information to backup your claims.


This is irrelevant and should not be asked.

exportgoldman:
Latency issue was not debunked, I still think it will be a issue, but the fact is they had no load on the servers because of registration faults. I see people complaining in the forums now about timeouts on the e-mail servers now the masses can register.


Latency is only an issue in the case of multiple connections or real-time data requirements, such as streaming or gaming. E-mail is one such a case where latency is really no big deal. It's a single connection to a server, unlike web browsing, gaming or VoIP.





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  Reply # 83409 22-Aug-2007 22:34

Xtra Exodus anyone?

irrespective of privacy law concerns the recent increase in volume of spam to my customer's email inboxes is beyond tipping point. I have begun advising my customers to ditch @xtra.co.nz email accounts if possible.

when even a free-software email server filters spam better than Xtra!Yahoo's there is a serious problem.. or is my pentium 200 email server that much better than Xtras??? hard to believe really.




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  Reply # 83417 22-Aug-2007 22:49
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barf: the recent increase in volume of spam to my customer's email inboxes is beyond tipping point. I have begun advising my customers to ditch @xtra.co.nz email accounts if possible.

when even a free-software email server filters spam better than Xtra!Yahoo's there is a serious problem.. or is my pentium 200 email server that much better than Xtras??? hard to believe really.


The default setting is/was to "receive all messages, including those that SpamGuard thinks are spam".
The problem with changing that to putting spam in the Bulk folder is that SpamGuard thinks that almost everything is spam (including email from Geekzone).

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Reply # 83419 22-Aug-2007 22:51
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I think thats why there is a big 'hidden' tag on that post.




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