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The Actrix Online Informer is published each month to help keep Actrix customers up-to-date with what's happening on the Internet, and to help ensure they have every opportunity to benefit from it.

Questions and comments about the Actrix Online Informer can be e-mailed to editor@actrix.co.nz
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to support@actrix.co.nz.

Actrix – New Zealand's first Internet Service Provider

Welcome to the September 2009 Actrix Online Informer!

Welcome to the September Actrix Online Informer, and welcome spring! Some economical experts are predicting the world recession is showing signs of coming right, while others suggest we have a bit further to sink. Whichever is true, we have a way to go before times get less tough. This month I thought we'd look at what sort of financial and budgeting help is available for free online. We're dealing with the Internet, so there's the usual mix of the helpful and the odd, the serious and the fun.

Rich or poor, I hope you'll find the article of interest. And, of course there's our usual round up of Interesting sites, the latest Internet news and the Reader's forum.

Rob Zorn

Online help for tough financial times

Even when there wasn't a global recession, many of us found there was a whole lot of month left at the end of the money. That so many of us are bad at managing our finances is a bit of a shame, but it is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. In his recent book, Mind of the Market, Michael Shermer argues that the human race has evolved over the last 90,000 years as hunter-gatherers living in small bands. The economic psychology we developed over that time doesn't necessarily fit well with the consumer-trader economy we now find ourselves in, and that is a comparatively extremely recent development.

I better stop there as it's not the job of the Actrix Online Informer to get all philosophical. The fact is, however, our consumer-trader economy has led to enormous shared wealth which has made things like the Internet possible. This means, with just a few mouse-clicks, we can access all sorts of free advice online to help us hunter-gatherers manage our money (and it won't be through the various get rich schemes that come through to us in spam). This month we thought we'd present a bit of a round-up on what's out there online.

Banking websites

One of the first places you can turn to for budgeting advice is your banking website. The Westpac website, for example, has a nice little 'Managing Your Money' tutorial in plain English that covers off some of the most basic money management principles quite succinctly. It deals with some really basic principles we tend to overlook such as not spending more than you earn (who'd have thought it?), paying off priority expenses first, and that paying off debt is a form of saving. It even has a section on controlling your hunter-gather-based emotions when dealing with your money.

The Westpac tutorial is available at http://www.westpac.co.nz/mym/about.html, and you don't have to be a customer to use it. Have a look at it, or try your own bank's website to see what sort of financial advice they offer.

Sorted

www.sorted.org.nz

Sorted is a free independent money guide for New Zealanders, run by the Retirement Commission. It’s full of calculators and information to help you manage your personal finances throughout life. It has a pretty high profile and we've probably all seen the advertisements on television featuring the cute little mouse.

The Retirement Commission would like you to think of Sorted as your own personal financial trainer. You can systematically work through all the site's sections if you need a thorough and ongoing workout, or just use the calculators if and when you need them. Sorted also features a quick check-up tool (Sort Me) where you can answer a few easy questions to get an idea of your current financial health. Find the link to Sort Me under the 'How sorted am I?' heading on the home page or click here.

The good thing about Sorted's tools and calculators is that they do the maths and take a lot of the hard of the hard work out of managing your money. You can do your budget, work out loan repayments or determine how much interest you'll make from your savings. Everything you do on Sorted you can save in your very own confidential My Plan which you can come back and update at any time.

Sorted's great if you're serious about changing the way you think about and handle your money long term.

Family Budgeting Advice

Family Budgeting Advice was set up by the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services Inc. It's not as comprehensive as Sorted, and is more designed to offer some basic help and then put you in personal contact with an advisor should your family find itself in financial strife. However, it does offer a nice array of tools in the 'Need Budget Advice?' section, including worksheets for setting up a budget, a cashflow chart, and a plan showing how to spend your food money on the right foods to make a balanced diet. There's even a down-to-earth 'Great Little Cookbook that suggests simple ways to choose, prepare and serve healthy and inexpensive food.

I quite like the online games, too. You can play these with your children to help them learn about money. The 'Budgeting Myths' section might also be good for overcoming some of those hunter-gatherer notions that hold us back.

Family Budgeting Advice is probably a good place to start if you're concerned about your family, and think you may eventually need more specialised help (i.e. one-to-one) to sort things out.

Fundit

Moving on from budgeting advice, Fundit is a website that could save you a lot of money when it comes to taking out a mortgage.

You simply complete an online application form stating things like the amount you want to borrow, how you want to pay it back, what your assets are, etc. The site will even organise credit reports and capital valuations for you. Lenders who are interested in your terms then compete with each other to supply you with a mortgage, putting their bids forward on your auction page. Your application details can only be seen by lenders once you've started an auction and only on an anonymous basis. Your full details are not released to the lender until you accept a bid.

During the auction process lenders can ask questions to clarify aspects of your application and you can choose which lenders are able to view and bid on your auction. To help you out the site identifies the bid that best matches the key loan components you set out in your application. Lenders are required to comply with the Uniform Consumer Credit Code, including making full written disclosure to you of all terms of the loan.

Completing an application form and running an auction does not in any way commit you to accepting a bid.

And then there are the blogs...

There are lots of blogs out there dedicated to helping you save money, most of them are from overseas. Being blogs, they are sometimes helpful and sometimes a little quirky. It's up to you to decide how much credence you want to give to their advice.

Wise Bread is a community of bloggers who want to help you "live large on a small budget". Despite what you may have heard, they say, you don't have to sacrifice your financial independence to enjoy life. They have pages and pages of articles such as Household Cleaning Hacks that Save You Money, 10 Ways to Get More Wear Out of Your Clothing, and even Leftovers: 6 Money Saving Ideas for Those Bits at the Bottom of the Jar.

www.wisebread.com

Frugal Dad was "created for the average family to find financial resources with a conservative slant". By 'conservative slant' they don't mean politics, rather the 'conservative' approach to personal finances. Again we have an Archives section filled with pages and pages of articles, mostly about finances. There's a helpful topic index down the right hand side, and also a section of the most popular (Top 10) articles. I like the look of: Is Sneaking Candy Into a Movie Theatre Frugal or Cheap?, Become A Debt Killing Machine In Five Steps, and When Stranded In A Forest Of Debt, Just Keep Chopping.

www.frugaldad.com

Fabulously Broke in the City was set up by a young woman who cleared a US$60,000 debt in 18 months by being frugal. She says most people can afford the things they want if they make room for them in their budgets. They just need the discipline to cut back on other areas. I'm not sure how true that is, but it might be an interesting read for those wanting a feminine perspective in a field often dominated by men. Topics of interest include: Blaming anyone but yourself is the easy way out, Having a Big Brain does NOT = Financial Smarts, and Perceptions of Women and their money.

www.fabulouslybroke.com

Almost Frugal shares Kelly Rigotti's personal journey on the road to frugality (as well as any tips she's found along the way). In This is What Frugal Looks Like: Funny About Money she provides a series highlighting different ways people can be frugal in their lives. After all, she says, frugality doesn’t have to be drastic or just about clipping coupons. Frugality can be fun and easy. Each respondent answers the same four questions.

www.almostfrugal.com

And let's finish up with a few articles....

Here are a few articles from around the web on a variety of financial matters. Read and act on them at your own risk!

I hope these online resources were helpful for some people, or at least provided an interesting read. If you know of a good website out there that can help with money management, let me know!

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Free unlimited dial-up with Actrix Homeline and Tolls

We've tried, but we can't think of one good reason not to transfer your home phone line and tolls account to Actrix!

You'll pay just $45 (inc GST) per month for your home line (if you also transfer your toll service to Actrix). That's a $10/month discount, and we'll also throw in unlimited dial-up Internet access for free.

Yes, that's right, unlimited dial up with no data or time limits and all the usual features. What's more we won't require any minimum monthly tolls spend.

There's no pain, and lots of gain. Transfer your home line and tolls and you'll keep the same phone number but get:

And yes, you will still be able to get Sky.

You'll also keep all the standard features you expect from a home phone line such as:

  • unlimited local calling
  • free White Pages listing
  • 111 Emergency operator assistance
  • national and international directory assistance.

What are the terms?

  • Transfer of your existing line is free with a 12 month contract (you will be charged a $50 disconnection if you cancel before 12 months). Note: We are not currently able to transfer TelstraClear InHome (cable) lines.
  • There is a one month minimum billing cycle on all SmartPhone services and 30 days notice is required for cancellation.

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Readers' forum 

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

--

Jim writes: Hi, Really enjoyed "Perpetuum Jazzile". I suggest you add Jerome Murat as a site on YouTube which I found outstanding. There are also many clips of Billy T James on YouTube which bring back many fond memories.

Hi Jim. I'd never heard of Jerome Murat, so I searched for him on YouTube and came up with this clip which was very entertaining, if a little spooky. The others that came up in the search also looked intriguing. That's the great thing about YouTube; you can find pretty much anything (including old Billy T James clips), and the links YouTube automatically provides to related videos can lead to all manner of fun. Thanks for sending this in.

--

Steve writes: Hi Rob, My Microsoft Outlook is very slow to start up, (only happened recently) sometimes up to five minutes delay, on other occasions it will come up straight away. The version I am using is 2003 with all the Microsoft upgrades. Any thoughts on what would cause this, or better sill a solution to the problem? Cheers, Steve

Hi Steve, This is a toughie, and the solution offered would depend on what the problem is. At this stage I can give you lots of thoughts. It could be a number of things including: a shortage of RAM (memory),  an overly busy processor, your personal folders have become too large, or (and this is the most likely) Outlook has trouble sometimes connecting to your mailbox because your Internet connection is a bit slow (or jammed with spyware). Last possibility is that one of its start up files has become corrupt, but this is unlikely if it works fine at other times. Have you made any changes on your PC lately?

Some things you could do to try and fix the problem:

  1. Clear out and delete as much of the email in your mail folders as possible.
  2. Give your hard drive a good scan for spyware using either Adaware or Spybot.
  3. When you first go online, open up your browser and try surfing before you open Outlook. This will confirm whether you’ve got a good connection. See if any pattern emerges with this.
  4. Try re-installing Outlook from your Office CD if you have one.

Googling the problem could also help. For example, I found this exercise that helps get rid of a corrupt file in Outlook that can slow down a start-up.

If none of that helps, you could give our help desk a call for more advice, but the more you’ve done beforehand to spot patterns etc, the easier and quicker it will be for them to help.

I hope you get it sorted.

--

Margaret writes: Hi Rob! I always enjoy the Actrix Online Informer, thanks. After my return from a trip of three weeks, I cranked up my laptop and my emails started rolling. All was well to begin with and then the old emails switched around out of chronological order and the incoming ones became interspersed amongst the old ones. This has continued for four days now and while not a problem, it is irritating. Could I have accidentally hit something during download? Cheers, Margaret

Hi Margaret, Thanks for your kind words. I think I know what's happened. Yes, you probably have accidentally clicked something. Along the top of the inbox window where your emails appear as a list you’ll see labels such as From, Subject, To and Received. You can click those labels to sort the mail in your inbox in different ways. Click the Received one to re-order them by the date they arrived. Click it a second time to sort them in reverse time order, for example. I hope that helps!

--

John writes: Hi Rob, In last month's Online Informer there was an interesting and useful article in your "Interesting Sites" that I would have liked to print out. It was the one on many uses of vinegar. How could I print out the main parts of that site without the other "add-ons? Thanks, John.

Hi John, Yes, it can be difficult when web pages don't produce print friendly versions. One thing you could do is drag your mouse to select the text you want to print on the web page, and then click File/Print. That should allow you to put a dot in the Selection option, and your printer will then print only the text and images you have highlighted. That's probably about the best we can do.

Printer friendly version of this article...

Interesting sites 

Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents.

Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers? Click here to e-mail and let me know!

1-day
www.1-day.co.nz/home.do – 1-day is now the most visited shopping website in New Zealand after Trade Me. It works quite simply. Everyday at Noon they post three items you can buy online, often at what are ridiculous prices, while stocks last. Sometimes the items are bulk packs of things that have passed their best before dates, but they're still probably fine for consumption. But there are heaps of other types of things to buy as well. They have a newsletter to keep you informed about what's on offer or you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Users say delivery of the goods is always quick and reasonably cheap.
The lying down game
http://wiresmash.com/people/new-facebook-craziness/ – In yet another instalment from our files on how the Internet enhances your lives, we bring you the latest fad to sweep the Cyber-world. The point of the lying down game is that people post a picture of themselves lying down somewhere creative. So that means in the middle of the road, bars, trees and so on. It's amazing what catches on...
Ten mysteries of you
www.newscientist.com/special/ten-mysteries-of-you – We belong to a remarkably quirky species. Despite our best efforts, some of our strangest foibles still defy explanation. This site looks at some of the mysteries of behaviours humans have that seem to make little evolutionary sense. Examples include blushing, kissing, or why we still have pubic hair. Click the individual headings to get to the in-depth discussion.

Big huge thesaurus
http://words.bighugelabs.com – The Big huge thesaurus is based on source data from the Princeton University WordNet database, the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary, and suggestions from thousands of people on the internet. Type in just about any word you can think of to receive its synonyms, antonyms, a 'sounds kina like' section and more. This could be a great resource for struggling writers and poets alike
Best of Wikipedia
http://bestofwikipedia.tumblr.com – I have to admit I love Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit and add to. Any time I look something up I find links to even more articles and topics of interest. The Best of Wkipedia website provides a twice-daily updated collection of some of the best reading on Wikipedia. You can even sign up to follow the site on your Twitter account! Seems something stimulating is added to Wikipedia everyday!
Apollo UFO photos
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/5832435/Moon-landing-anniversary-UFOs-photographed-by-Apollo.html – Here's a series of nine photographs containing photos of unidentified flying objects taken during Apollo missions courtesy of The Guardian (UK). If you enjoy these you'll probably really like this: Ten reasons the Apollo landings were 'faked'.
Poisson Rouge
www.poissonrouge.com – Owen sent this site suggestion in. He says it's one of the best kids' site he has ever come across and that his three-year-old grandson loves it. I can see why, and think I could spend a fair bit of time there myself. It would make a great introduction to the web for toddlers. There are all sort of noises and colourful things to click, along with simple games and animations. Just load the page up and start clicking. Great stuff, thanks, Owen.
Ripley's Believe it or Not
www.ripleys.com – If you enjoy reading about stuff that is really weird, but also probably true, then you can't beat Ripley's. In the archive you can read about the zombie boy, the pink dolphin, snow on Mars and the turtle that swallowed a spoon. Each story is just a paragraph or two with a neat photo. If you like to can download Ripley Oddcasts, and yes, once again you can sign up for updates on your Twitter account.
Literal answers to rhetorical questions
www.wsu.edu:8080/~brians/gradgrind.html – "People commonly ask empty rhetorical questions that rarely receive any sort of sensible answer.... Example: Where have you been all my life? It so happens that this question has never been addressed to me; but if it were I should be at a loss to detail the many addresses at which I have resided and worked during the span of existence of some other person, even if I knew that person's precise date of birth. Such idle musings are best ignored. However, one can learn much by discovering facts that provide satisfactory answers to questions one might suppose at first glance to be pointless. This page is devoted to the pursuit of such answers." Got that?
936 little blobs
http://abstrusegoose.com/51 – A month goes by pretty quickly, doesn't it? One month is not a very long time, but the truth is that life expectancy for most western people is only about 936 months. Here's what life looks like displayed as 936 little blobs, each representing a month. See the month at which Mozart wrote his first symphony or when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. It's a sobering but interesting way to look at life.

 

Cyberspace news snippets

What's been happening in the online world?

New Zealand

Countdown to cyber census: Statistics New Zealand hopes more than a quarter of households will complete the 2011 census online, despite a disappointing take-up for the online option last time round. Click here for more.

Hotline targets child pornography site: An "internet hotline" allowing computer users to anonymously report websites with child pornography is to be launched by a child advocacy group tomorrow. Click here for more.

Illegal downloads rife, says survey: Kiwi internet users have a love affair with illegal downloading and any changes to copyright law will fail to deter many, a survey has revealed. Click here for more.

Closing accounts won't solve illegal downloads: A survey of 1048 internet users aged between 18 and 70 found the time lapse between the release of content, such as music and movies, in the United States then in New Zealand was a key reason illegal downloading and copying took place. Click here for more.

Guide to TV tuners: TV tuners let you record, pause, fast-forward and rewind your TV programmes, all on your PC. They pick up TV signals and convert them so they can be "read" by your computer. TV tuner cards come in analogue, digital, hybrid and combo versions. Click here for more.

Kiwi town's free internet plan: Stratford has launched a daring plan to become the first New Zealand town with free broadband internet for everyone. Click here for more.

US website alerts police to suicidal NZ man: A suicidal man in Canterbury may have been saved by an American internet forum moderator. The man posted on the forum, saying he was feeling down and asking what might happen if he took a quantity of pills, police magazine Ten One reported. Click here for more.

New Zealanders choose internet over doctor : More New Zealanders are diagnosing their illnesses online instead of going to their GP, according to a new survey. Click here for more.

Teen 'sexting' fad on rise in NZ: Parents are being warned that explicit photos of their teens could end up online as a disturbing new trend hits our shores. Click here for more.

Fairfax to discuss charging for online news: Fairfax Media is open to forming an agreement with rival News Ltd in an effort to get readers to pay for online content, Fairfax chief Brian McCarthy said. Click here for more.

General

US soldiers banned from Facebook: The US Marine Corps is banning its troops from going onto Facebook, MySpace and other social network sites, citing a possible security risk. Click here for more.

Web tool helps avoid seizures: US researchers have released a free software tool that could help web surfers susceptible to certain seizures. Click here for more.

Student song-swapper fined over $1 million: A federal jury on Friday ordered a Boston University graduate student who admitted illegally downloading and sharing music online to pay $675,000 (NZ$1.02m) to four record labels. Click here for more.

Facebook criticised by Archbishop: Social networking websites, texting and e-mails are undermining community life, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has warned. Click here for more.

Learning to live without the net: I have just endured a week of limited connectivity and it has given me a salutary lesson in what life is like for the digitally dispossessed here in the UK and around the world. Click here for more.

One in three Europeans never been online: Research from the European Commission has found that one in three Europeans have never used the internet. This is considered an improvement from 2007 when 40 percent had never been online. Click here for more.

Image spam: the threat returns: We were unaware that using pictures to evade spam detectors had peaked in 2007 and then fell away as security software vendors upped their game. In 2009, Image spam is back with a vengeance, as the bad guys have deployed new methods to sidestep detection. Click here for more.

Wikipedia's on the wane, study says: Wikipedia has jumped the shark, according to a new Californian study, which found the number of new articles added a month was on a steep decline and new contributors were being pushed out by the rusted-on Wikipedia elite. Click here for more.

Twitter blackout left users feeling 'naked': Near-panic erupted in some corners of the Internet Thursday as attacks on Twitter and Facebook left users without cherished links to their online friends, family members and news feeds. One expert says the blackout shows how online social networking is "deeply woven" into people's lives. Click here for more.

Social Media Sites: Career Wreckers?: People concerned about their careers should be extra careful about what they post on the Internet during a recession, career counselors say. Click here for more.

Twitter Filled With 'Pointless Babble,' Study Finds: With the recent glut of media attention lavished on Twitter as the great, transformative communications platform of our time, it perhaps shouldn't be surprising to see a research firm take a stab at quantifying what, exactly, people are saying on the microblogging service. Click here for more.

Facebook Plans Stripped-Down 'Lite' Version: Social networking giant Facebook has begun testing a trimmed-down version of its site that loads faster and is targeted at countries where broadband is limited. Click here for more.

How Facebook can kill your relationship: Alice Connors-Kellgren was surprised by her boyfriend's new Facebook profile picture a few weeks ago: He was kissing another girl on the cheek. Click here for more.

What your kids get up to online: Children are using the internet to watch YouTube videos, connect with friends on social network sites and look up "sex" and "porn," according to a study of the top web searches by youngsters. Click here for more.

Burma building revealed on Google Earth: Amateur spies and armchair sleuths using Google Earth have discovered a suspicious development in the Burmese jungle thought to be linked to the pariah state's clandestine nuclear programme. Click here for more.

Geek justice for alleged porn-surfing thief : An 18-year-old Australian teen accused of stealing a laptop and surfing porn on it thought he was home free after evading police for two months, but that all came undone when he logged in to Facebook. Click here for more.

Rulebook for web surfing at work: Help is at hand for small businesses trying to curb staff surfing Facebook and Trade Me during working hours. Click here for more.

Downloading is not enough: Young people's attitudes to music may be too complicated and fast-changing to measure, says Bill Thompson. Click here for more.

Rehab staff 'killed web addict': A Chinese teenager sent to an internet addiction rehabilitation camp has allegedly been beaten to death by its counsellors, according to reports. Click here for more.

More violence at China's web addict camps: A 14-year-old boy was beaten up and seriously injured at an internet boot camp within days of a boy dying after a similar attack, state media said. Click here for more.

Twitter's direct line to God: Want to tweet God? An Israeli university student has opened a Twitter site, twitter.com/thekotel, where prayers can be sent for placement in the crevices of Jerusalem's Western Wall, a Jewish holy site that faithful believe provides a direct line to the Almighty. Click here for more.

Kids are web savvy, parents not so much: They are the so-called "digital natives" who don't remember a time before the internet and move effortlessly between the online and offline worlds. Click here for more.

Gambling website preys on addicts : Australian problem gamblers who search the web for help from Gamblers Anonymous have instead been redirected to big betting agencies, exhorting them to "place a bet now". Click here for more.

Strangers gather on Web to make collective art: One of the Web's basic tenets is that small contributions from lots of people can amount to something powerful in the aggregate. Now, a growing group of writers, musicians, visual artists and videographers is turning this Wikipedia-era philosophy into online collaborative art. Click here for more.

Delete that late-night emailing habit: Workers of the world unite – against irritating late-night emails. It is NOT acceptable to be sending business emails at 11.52pm. Ever. Click here for more.

Tourists go online before going on holiday: Travellers will increasingly explore their next holiday in virtual worlds, allowing them to check out new cities, attractions and even the view from their hotel room before booking, a tourism conference has heard. Click here for more.

Is the Pirate Bay takeover sinking?: Controversy and the Pirate Bay have always gone together like peanut butter and jam, but now, quicker than you can utter "arrgh me hearties", the controversy seems to have spread to Global Gaming, the company aiming to become the Pirate Bay's new owner. Click here for more.

UK file-sharers to be 'cut off': The UK government has published new measures that could see people who illegally download films and music cut off from the net. Click here for more.

Security and Safety

Hackers expose weakness in trusted websites: A powerful new type of internet attack works like a telephone tap, except operates between computers and websites they trust. Click here for more.

Low-tech internet scams pull in huge profits: Domino's Pizza lost about US$77,000 in free pizza due to a weak password on an online promotion that wasn't supposed to go live – a type of security problem that is all too common, according to a presentation at the Black Hat USA conference. Click here for more.

Researchers: Conficker Still an Active Threat: The dreaded Conficker botnet may have been an April Fools Day bust, but months later it is still an active threat according to security researchers. Click here for more.

Cyber attackers empty business accounts in minutes: The criminals knew what they were doing when they hit the Western Beaver County School District. Click here for more.

Ten ways your voice and data can be spied on: Here are 10 cloak-and-dagger ways, legal and illegal, to secretly tap into networks and computers to capture data and online conversations. Click here for more.

Antivirus Products Fail Vista Test: Almost a third of major antivirus products failed to perform up to expectations while running on Windows Vista, according to a new study by Virus Bulletin magazine. Click here for more.

Keep your passwords safe: Do you use your kids' names? Your pet's? Your favourite colour? We all use some dumb passwords that are too easy to guess. Click here for more.

Aussie hacker charged with infecting 3000 computers: A 20-year-old Australian man has been charged with infecting more than 3000 computers around the world with a virus designed to capture banking and credit card data, police said. Click here for more.

The internet – Safe as houses?: Doctors and computer technicians have many things in common. Excusing the impertinence of lumping my profession in with something as esteemed as the medical profession, the fact is that troubleshooting computer problems is eerily similar to troubleshooting people problems. Click here for more.

On the trail of internet's mysterious worm gang: The criminal motives of an unknown group of cyber bandits who are behind a mysterious network linking millions of computers has become clearer in the past two months. The group is responsible for what has become known as the Conficker worm, a rogue piece of software code that has wiggled its way onto an estimated five million PCs around the world. Click here for more.

Top 100 virus-infected websites exposed: The 100 websites most affected by viruses each have about 18,000 nasties to attack net users' computers, an internet security company says. Click here for more.

Mainly Microsoft

Microsoft to take 400 workers in Yahoo deal: Microsoft will hire at least 400 workers from Yahoo if government regulators approve the companies' proposed internet search partnership and Yahoo will receive US$150 million ($223 million) to cover any unexpected costs during the switch to new technology. Click here for more.

The Weird, Wide Web

Man blames cat for child porn downloads: A Florida man accused of downloading more than 1,000 images of child pornography is blaming the offense on his cat, according to published reports. Click here for more.

Hackers target Christians: A malicious hacking attack on a Christian dating site has been used to break into Facebook accounts and post obscene and racist comments. Click here for more.

Buy this dog or it dies: Nigerians strike again: A Nigerian scam selling fake puppies and kittens is targeting Australian animal lovers. Joanne Sillince, of the Pet Industry Association of Australia, said the scam, based in Nigeria and Cameroon, "cons consumers into buying non-existent puppies or dogs over the internet". Click here for more.

It was five years ago today

Each month we dredge through our archives to pull out stories from the Actrix Newsletter of exactly five years ago. Sometimes these stories will show just how much the net has changed in such a short time, and sometimes they'll be included just because they're interesting.

Dating website weeds out beauty from the beast: A new online dating service is attempting to weed out the wonderful from the weirdos by allowing only beautiful people to join up. Click here for more.

Girls prefer girly websites: official: A study by Glamorgan University Business School's Department of the Fairly Bleedin' Obvious has concluded that it's not just a website's subject matter that determines whether it appeals more to guys or gals... Click here for more.

Silver surfers ready to storm shops: Silver surfers are about to burst through the doors of the virtual shopping mall, so retailers must be ready to cater for them, a new report says. Click here for more.

eBayer auctions ad space on corpse: You are bidding for the sole right to advertise on my corpse....as soon as my corpse is discovered and otherwise legally available to you. Click here for more.

Bringing it all back home

Thanks again for reading the Actrix Online Informer. Feedback can be sent to me via the e-mail address listed below. Please limit this to comments/suggestions regarding the newsletter. Non-forum requests for support should go to the Actrix Help Desk (support@actrix.co.nz) or to the Accounts Department (accounts@actrix.co.nz).

Take care through September, and see you next month.

Rob Zorn
editor@actrix.co.nz
http://editor.actrix.co.nz 

 

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