I just received the following email from Rose Hobden of LTNZ in relation to the Carpool NZ website. I don’t really see how it will affect carpooling but perhaps I am missing something from just looking at the summary. Comments are welcome.

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Is Google.com down??

December 6, 2007

This is very strange but when I go to www.google.com, I get the following message:This is a DoubleClick advertising server. Click here for the DoubleClick home page.Click here for privacy information.Click here to report suspicious phishing activity.  This is very odd. I noticed something was up when I tried to do a search at www.macworld.com(which is powered by Google) and it showed no results. I then also tried to do a search in the Apple Safari search field and just got a 1 x 1px file called search.gif. Something very strange seems to be up.www.google.co.nz is still up and running fine.Any ideas what’s going on here? 

After their considerable teething problems with their new “Xtra Bubble” service, it is astounding that Xtra (or maybe it’s Yahoo) have implemented new spamming techniques that seem to prevent emails from being delivered if redirected through a shared web server. This is a very common technique for email delivery for small to medium-sized companies who wish to get emails @theirdomain.co.nz without having to setup a whole new email account.In a way it almost feels like the golden age of email has passed and it is no longer a reliable method of communication. We have all become so reliant on email and we assume our messages get delivered if we don’t get a bounced message but many many people are reporting that they simply are not getting their emails.After a call to Xtra’s help desk (where it is acknowledged that there is a problem due to Xtra now using Yahoo’s mail services), I was required to fill out a form followed by a very comprehensive email survey about my emailing techniques basically to clarify that I am not a spammer…. It does seem, however, that they have actually taken it on board and possibly moved our servers and IP address off their “black list” but I’m not convinced and have no choice but to basically advise clients to move away from Xtra for their emails as it’s just not reliable enough.I’m even wondering if they’re scanning emails for viruses and spam when sending through Xtra as I have cases of people’s emails not being sent (with no error!)….Very bad form from such a big company that so many people rely upon.If someone would like to clarify any of this or share their experiences with this problem, we would be very grateful to hear from you. 

It’s amazing that Gmail have quietly introduced IMAP support after several years of huge demand for the service.This has been the thing that has stopped us from using Gmail properly as we need to be able to synchronise emails in Apple Mail at home, in the office and on the web.It’s amazing but there’s no press-release and it’s not even featured on their what’s new page but the IMAP option is available in the settings and full help documentation is available through Gmail help (IMAP Access).With “Google Apps” (http://www.google.co.nz/a/), now that it has IMAP support and increased storage (up to 50GB per account), Gmail could be a serious contender for corporate email storage. 

URL: www.lucidarts.org.nz/melaniemaddock

Melanie Maddock is a NZ artist who designs & constructs solid timber & NZ paua framed mirrors by hand in her Lower Hutt home. The designs have been inspired by the colours of NZ paua shell, and Melanie’s love of NZ bush. Melanie tries to incorporate the feel of NZ’s natural beauty in her work, and endeavors to use mostly recycled timber, preferably native. To purchase or commission a piece of your own, contact Melanie with your requirements.