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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 July Actrix Online Informer

Welcome to the July 2010 Actrix Online Informer, and the second half of 2010. Is it just me or has this been one of the most miserable winters in recent memory (or maybe it's just Wellington)? Anyway, I hope there's something of interest for you in this issue. Everybody loves quizzes, so we've gathered up a pile of them so you have something to do on cold, wet weekends.

We hope the year is going well for you so far and thank you for your interest and customer loyalty.

Rob Zorn


Be an online quiz whiz

by Rob Zorn

Taking a good quiz is a fantastic way to get those brain cells moving, kick-starting your brain before another day at the office, or practicing for the next quiz night down at your local pub. The internet is full of quality quizzes, ranging from general knowledge through to music, movies, and New Zealand trivia. Here is a round-up of some of the best, most worthwhile quizzes out there; and they’re all free!

Stuff daily

The daily quiz at Stuff is arguably one of the best general knowledge quizzes out there. Every day you are given an eclectic set of 15 questions that cover subjects ranging from current events to ancient history. This vast array of topics means some days you’ll know all 15 answers, but other days you might just know one or two.

About once a week, Stuff will also include a more specific quiz on a topic such as politics, business, or sport. You can also access the complete back-catalogue of these daily quizzes, dating back to September 2009.


Quiz wise

This quiz is quite similar to the daily Stuff quiz with a new set of questions every day, but only seven questions instead of 15. You still have the same assorted subjects, as well as an interesting statistics box which lets you know how you're going, making it a very worthwhile general knowledge quiz. One of the cool things about this quiz site is that you not only have the back-catalogue of quizzes, but you can generate your own customised quiz on any subject and level of difficulty you desire.


Trivia plaza

Trivia plaza hosts an assortment of quiz topics, from geography and science to music and movies. Each topic has a number of differently styled quizzes that will test you on all aspects of any given subject. Two topics of note are popular music and computers, both of which have great ranges of quizzes. One of the best quizzes was the General Facts quiz under the Computer topic, which is a fantastic indicator of your personal geekness!


Fun trivia: New Zealand

So you think you know about your country? Here are a number of quizzes specifically on New Zealand that will make you realise just how much (or how little) you actually know about Aotearoa. There are 34 quizzes on New Zealand ranging from geography and Kiwiana to wineries and language.

For some pretty specific questions, try taking the “Suburbs of Christchurch” quiz or “The First Quiz on South Waikato”. Each quiz is also listed with information on the number of questions and their difficulty, so you always know what you’re getting yourself into!


Monkey quiz

Do you think you’re smarter than a monkey, even if your friends are convinced you have a lower IQ than the average primate? This quiz is a fool-proof way to determine who is the most intelligent. The monkey has already finished, so all you need to do is complete four different sections (Geography, History, Science, Technology) of 15 questions each to prove to your friends you know more than our knuckle-walking cousins!


The New Zealand Emigration Guide

This is another set of quizzes on New Zealand trivia that will make you wonder just how much more there is out there that you don’t already know about The Land of the Long White Cloud. There are three quizzes, though they are each of only five questions. However, each question will be sure to test and challenge you whether you're thinking of moving to new Zealand, are just visiting or have lived here your whole life!


AA road code quiz

Had your full driver's licenses for a number of years now? Think you’ve perfected the parallel park and dominated the double-clutch. In fact, you probably can’t even remember the last time you stalled you car! However, can you remember the maximum speed your vehicle can travel if towing a trailer? Do you know the minimum tread depth allowed on your tires? Chances are you’ve forgotten all these rules, so why not take this quiz to refresh your memory?

Each quiz takes 10 questions from the New Zealand road code, and if you get a question wrong, it tells you the answer and lets you know where you can go to find more information.


Who wants to be a millionaire

Have you ever been watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and known the answer to the million dollar question? Now you have a chance to prove you've got that composure and the knowledge to go all the way in the hot seat! This quiz is based pretty accurately on the popular game show, where contestants must answer 15 questions, each worth a little more money than the last, to get to one million dollars. The quiz does require flash-player to work on your computer, and you’re sure to find the music and sound effects unbearable well before you get to the million dollar question. So make sure you turn down the speakers before getting into the hot seat!


The never-ending movie quiz

This quiz is perfect for movie-buffs. It has questions on all sorts of movies with a vast range of genres and time-periods. The quiz itself claims to be made of over 400 million (yes, you read that correctly) questions, with more questions being uploaded by users every day. What’s good about this quiz is that it isn't formatted like other quizzes, which have a specific beginning and end. When you start “The Never-Ending Movie Quiz”, you are given a random question and you just keep answering questions until you get bored or until you’ve answered all 400 million questions. Whichever comes first.


New Zealand Music

Most of us would probably know our Dave Dobbyn from Bic Runga, and our Split Enz from Crowded House. But how much do we really know about the music coming out of our country? Taking this quiz will give you a fair indication of whether or not you're a true fan! There are 30 questions, and you have the option of completing it via HTML or Flash, depending on what your computer can handle. When you've finished, the quiz will let you know which questions you got wrong and right, how many other people gave the same answers as you. It will also offer a little snippet of trivia related to each question.


The impossible quiz

The Impossible Quiz is not like any other conventional quiz you've done before. It's hard to say how many questions there are because getting to the end is nearly impossible. The questions are about nothing, and sometimes the answers don't make any sense, so only attempt this bad-boy if you’ve already finished the previous movie quiz with the 400 million questions. It's a great time-waster, but will by no means benefit you intellectually. Before you get to the tenth question you may just be ready to kick a hole in your monitor. You have been warned.


So whether or not you need something to kick-start your brain or whether or not you feel compelled to prove yourself smarter than the average monkey, these quizzes can be a lot of fun. In just a few minutes, you'll become the most valuable asset to your local pub quiz team. It won’t take long for your friends and family to marvel at your seemingly infinite knowledge. You will know the ins-and-outs of Aotearoa, your Beethoven’s from your Blues Brothers, and your even the smaller suburbs of Christchurch! It doesn't get much better than that.

View this article on its own... 

Password change reminder

As we mentioned in the last Actrix Online Informer,  due to increasingly sophisticated attempts by Spammers it's now more important than ever that your Actrix account has a strong password that is kept secure. We have also updated our minimum requirements for all passwords created or changed.

The new minimum requirements will be a password with at least:

  • eight characters
  • one capital letter
  • one lower case letter
  • one number.

If your password doesn't meet these criteria we would advise you to change it as soon as possible.

Where do I change my password?

To change your password just log in to My Actrix then select My Info - Change Passwords from the menu at the top. If you want to change a password for a different account or a sub-mailbox just log out and log back in again with the username you wish to change.

Do I then have to change my settings?

If you change your password you will have to update the settings for E-mail, and if you change the main password for your account you will also have to update your Dial-up or Broadband connection settings. To make this easy we have plenty of help pages with instructions for all of the common operating systems, email programs, and broadband modems.

How do I make my password more secure?

For some tips on creating secure passwords take a look at the article in the last Actrix Online Informer.

Don't forget, if you have any questions or need a hand updating your settings you can always give the helpdesk a call on 0800 ACTRIX (228-749) between 8am - 11pm seven days.


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, feel free to contribute. Please also note that questions and answers may turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).


Pam writes: I want my email to stay on the website instead of them disappearing after I download them in Outlook. I am now using an external hard drive and a wireless broadband stick so I want to be able to always see what emails I have. I used to have the emails stay on the website but they don't now. How long can I keep them there Please. Can you arrange it for me? I would be grateful if you can. Many thanks and regards, Pam

Hi Pam, Sounds like there are two possibilities for what you used to have. One could be that your email program was set to IMAP rather than POP. Using the POP protocol, your email program downloads your email and then deletes it from our server once it has been saved to your email program. IMAP leaves it there (but knows only to download new emails each time you connect) and also stores things like your sent items. IMAP is typically used by people who log in from different computers and want to have the same inbox and outbox no matter where they are. It's a great system, but has some drawbacks. You only get a certain amount of free space for your email and IMAP will often mean the amount of space you need will increase, and you'll need to pay for more.

The other option (and this is more likely) is that your email program was set to leave messages on the server. If you have this setting turned on, your email program will not delete emails after downloading them to your computer. It will just mark them as read and not download them again next time. This is a bit different from IMAP in that it doesn't worry about storing the emails you send or anything like that. The advantage of this is that you can log into your webmail on our website at any time to see all your messages (not just the ones appearing in the inbox of your email program).

To turn this setting on in Outlook click Tools/Account Settings and the double-click on your account appearing in the Email Accounts box. When the next dialogue box opens click the More Settings button on the right and you should see a box with a set of tabs come up. Select the 'Advanced' tab and put a tick in the box that says 'Leave a copy of messages on the server.'

To turn this setting on in Outlook Express click Tools/Accounts and the double-click on your account appearing in the Internet Accounts box. When the next dialogue box opens you should see a set of tabs. Select the 'Advanced' tab and put a tick in the box that says 'Leave a copy of messages on the server.'

A word of caution, though. Emails will build up on our server quickly, so you would be advised to log into web mail regularly to delete whatever you don't need.


Tessa writes, In my main Inbox I have lost the column on the left hand side that shows the little opened email picture and reply picture and flags. The column is there in my personal folders, but not on my main inbox page. How do I get it back?

Hi Tessa, You can turn various viewing panes on in Outlook under the View menu. The column with your folders in it is called the Navigation pane. Click View/Navigation pane for options and tick or untick to select them. You can also experiment with how Outlook displays itself by exploring the various options under View/Reading pane.

For those using Outlook Express, these options are available under View/Layout.


Someone with the initial M writes: We were warned about a new very serious virus, to be introduced via a message titled: "postcard from hallmark" Is Actrix ready for it? Thanks.

Hi M, The postcard from hallmark virus warning has been around for a long time. It's sort of a mixture of a real virus warning and a hoax. Lots of viruses have been gotten through clicking on links to a greeting card that someone has allegedly sent you. When you follow the link, you go to a website that contains 'malware' or a program that will try and infect your computer. It's always a good idea not to click links to greeting cards for this very reason.

However, there have also been a number of virus-related hoaxes that have been circulating for several years. The urban legends website says, "A variety of messages forwarded by well-intended people to warn others about the coming Postcard virus... Although the Postcard virus is real, it isn't a "BIG VIRUS COMING" (it's already been around in multiple forms for a long time now), it will not "burn the whole hard disc" of your computer, CNN didn't classify it as the "worst virus" ever, and it doesn't arrive in messages bearing a subject line of 'Invitation.'"

View this article on its own...

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!

Reported scams
www.dia.govt.nz/Reported_Scams – The Department of Internal Affairs' Anti-Spam Compliance Unit has developed a Reported Scams web page to help keep the public keep up-to-date with the latest scams, and to identify the different kinds of scam threats that are out there.
Elvis Presley: The FBI files
http://fbi.elvispresley.com.au/ – "Although Elvis Presley was not personally the subject of an FBI investigation, the FBI maintains records filed under his name comprising over 600 pages. These records consist of copies of letters from members of the public commenting on his performances, newspaper clippings, and documents reporting that Mr. Presley was the target of extortion attempts. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files."
Teaching kids to cook
http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/ – There are at least ten good reasons to teach your kids to cook, according to this website. It will give them skills for life and help teach good eating habits, for a start. There are also links to other resources and information to help make spending time with your kids in the kitchen a worthwhile and rewarding experience.

Crossword clue solver
http://www.crosswordsolver.org/ – I'm not sure which is worse; that slightly empty feeling you get from knowing you've had to resort to a tool like this to complete a crossword, or that frustrating feeling of not quite being able to finish a crossword completely. I think probably the latter. Enter what letters you have and the number of letters in the word and this site will return all the words that might fit (along with their definitions).
Weight mirror
http://www4.weightmirror.com/weightmirror/index.php – Sort of in the "Whatever web tool will they think of next?" category is Weight mirror, "an instant weight-loss (or gain) visualisation tool that will show you what you would look like if you lost (or gained) weight within seconds!" Upload a full-body frontal photo of yourself (not a cut off one as it need to estimate your height), and then drag the slider to the desired weight loss or gain level to see what you would look like.
The 1000 most-visited sites on the web
www.google.com/adplanner/static/top1000/ – This is Google's list of the 1000 most visited sites worldwide, based on unique visitors as measured by Google Ad Planner. The list is updated monthly as new Ad Planner datasets are released. However, it excludes adult sites, ad networks and domains that don't have publicly visible content or don't load properly.
Nine common myths and misconceptions about viruses debunked
http://lifehacker.com/5560567/nine-common-myths-and-misconceptions-about-viruses-examined-and-debunked – "There are so many myths, misconceptions, and just plain old lies about viruses that it's often hard for anybody to know what to think. Let's examine a few of the biggest myths about viruses, and debunk each of them."
Fifty bizarre US laws
www.divinecaroline.com/22323/99603-i-m-arrest-what-fifty-bizarre – We've probably all seen lists of crazy US laws that probably had some historical justification at some time, but I hadn't seen many of these before. This list seeks to provide one bizarre law for each American state listed in alphabetical order. Some laws are quite weird, but others just make good sense. For example, in Delaware you may not bite off another person’s leg.
The Institution of Silly and Meaningless Sayings
http://www.isms.org.uk/ – In a busy workplace, during an important phone call, when you're not quite sure of your ground or when you're simply trying to sound knowledgeable, sometimes the words that come out of your mouth can make you sound like a complete idiot – generally to the amusement of your colleagues who are listening in. Members of the ISMS always listen in, that's how we get most of our isms." Click the link to the database to get started.
How time travel will work
http://science.howstuffworks.com/time-travel1.htm – "There may be no other concept that captures the imagination more than the idea of time travel – the ability to travel to any point in the past or future. What could be cooler?" This is an interesting and surprisingly uncomplicated explanation of some of the complexities and possibilities around our relentless progress through the fourth dimension.


Cyberspace news snippets

What's been happening in the online world?

New Zealand

All right to complain on Facebook, union says: One of New Zealand's largest unions says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) is "scare-mongering" when it claims employees should face legal action for complaining about their jobs on Facebook. Click here for more.

Google may be investigated over privacy: Google could face a criminal investigation for collecting personal wireless internet data from New Zealanders while filming for its Street View project Click here for more.

What you can't sell on Trade Me: Just in case you're unsure, it's forbidden to sell human body parts on Trade Me. Click here for more.

Trade Me prices rise with recovery: The average sale price of items on Trade Me is rising again after dropping during the economic downturn. Click here for more.

Doodle 4 Google winner announced: The New Zealand public has chosen the winner of the Doodle 4 Google 'I love football' competition. Click here for more.

IRD plans to deal with taxpayers over internet: Taxpayers' business with the Inland Revenue Department will be mainly done online within two years. Click here for more.

Twittering public servants waste work of four: Public servants spend at least 8482 hours a year on Twitter, a Dominion Post investigation suggests – the equivalent of a year's work for four full-time staff. Click here for more.

Undersea cable may link to Wellington: Plans by the Pacific Fibre consortium to run high-speed undersea cable to the United States and Australia could be expanded to include Wellington and some Pacific Islands. Click here for more.

Illegal file sharing not bringing down industry: InternetNZ: Illegal file sharing online is not as damaging as predicted, InternetNZ says in its submission on a bill to tighten up copyright. Click here for more.

Celebrating the best of open-source: A new biennial prize offered through Auckland University's computer science department could raise the profile of open-source development in a country still wedded to Microsoft technologies. Click here for more.

Facebook sleuthing proves fruitful for NZ police: Police have jumped on the social networking bandwagon to gather intelligence from local communities and help catch criminals. Click here for more.


Twitter plans own URL shortener: Twitter plans to start using its own web link shortener on addresses that users include in tweets. Click here for more.

Major jolt for Google's search results: Google has launched one of the biggest revamps of its search engine in history, which it says will provide search results that are 70 percent fresher than the current algorithm. Click here for more.

When old folks and new technology collide: Hey, here's a question, how are your folks with technology? Because mine, God love them, are atrocious. Click here for more.

: Click here for more.

BP buys up oil spill search terms to skirt bad publicity: BP, facing a tidal wave of bad publicity over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is buying search terms on internet search engines to point users to the company's official public relations crisis page. Click here for more.

Book lifts the lid on the 'Facebook Effect': Many of us use Facebook nearly every day – some of us multiple times a day - without giving much thought to how the world's most popular social network came to be. As it turns out, the story is fascinating, and somewhat complicated. Click here for more.

CollegeHumor's founder on how to be funny online: Trying to create the next "David After Dentist" or become the next "Numa Numa" guy? Ricky Van Veen, one of the minds behind CollegeHumor.com, says that before you try to make a viral video there's a seemingly obvious question you should answer. Click here for more.

Will the doctor answer your e-mail?: "I read all about my condition on the Internet," a recent patient proudly told me. Like other doctors, I'm seeing more patients research their symptoms thoroughly before setting foot in the exam room. Click here for more.

Obama internet 'kill switch' bill approved: The US senators pushing a controversial new bill that some fear would give President Barack Obama the powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet have rejected claims it would give Obama a net "kill switch". Click here for more.

How to make money from blogging: The internet is awash with people promising to reveal how to earn a six-figure salary from blogging. It's a tempting proposition – flexible, lucrative work that can be done in your pyjamas. But how easy is it really and what kind of money are we talking about? Click here for more.

Teen killed after Facebook 'pussy' slur: A British judge has jailed a 16-year-old boy for at least 14 years for stabbing to death a former friend after they traded insults on Facebook. Click here for more.

Pakistan set to ban more web blasphemy: Pakistan announced Friday that it will monitor Yahoo, Google, MSN, Hotmail, YouTube, Amazon, and Bing, and will block links and content that it deems anti-Islamic. Click here for more.

Google's Chrome unseats Safari in browser battle: Google Chrome last week unseated Apple Safari for the first time as the third most used internet browser in the United States, according to figures released yesterday by StatCounter. Click here for more.

ICANN decision brings '.xxx' porn domain closer: It may soon be easier to block internet porn: The agency that controls domain names said on Friday it would consider adding .xxx to the list of suffixes people and companies can pick when establishing their identities online. Click here for more.

Icann approves Chinese character web domains: Chinese people should soon find it easier to browse the web as domain names written in Chinese win approval. Click here for more.

Pirate Bay founding group disbands: The group that gave rise to the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay has disbanded, following the death of one of its founders. Click here for more.

The end of e-mail?: Hardly anyone would disagree that e-mail is the killer app. But for Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of the world's biggest social network, it's a dying means of communication. Click here for more.

Facebook's paternalistic attitudes aren't empowering: Facebook's privacy problems have been in the news... again. Although complaints may have started deep in the blogosphere, even Time Magazine has made them its cover story. Click here for more.

Security and Safety

Breaking the butterfly botnet: The last 12 months have seen significant success in combating one of the main forms of cybercrime – botnets. Click here for more.

McDonald's not loving email scam: McDonald's is warning people not to be sucked in by an email scam offering people Honda CR-Vs or $100 petrol cards as part of a "customer satisfaction survey". Click here for more.

Net's dark side upsetting kids: More than half of New Zealand children have had a bad experience using the internet, encountering nasties such as violence and nudity, according to a survey. Click here for more.

Self-Googling a must to protect job reputation: Most of us have Googled ourselves - even if we don't admit it. Now employment experts say so-called ego-surfing could be a smart career move. Click here for more.

Mainly Microsoft

Microsoft sticks up for Windows after Google shun: "When it comes to security, even hackers admit we're doing a better job making our products more secure..." Click here for more.

Microsoft aims to stop drive-by downloads: Microsoft and third-party security experts warned that users could be subjected to drive-by downloads because of flaws in Windows and Internet Explorer that received fixes on Patch Tuesday recently. Click here for more.

Rancid IE6 'more secure' than Chrome and Opera US bank says: Microsoft's creaking Internet Explorer 6 is more secure and popular than either Google's Chrome or Opera US banking giant Chase has determined. Click here for more.

The Weird, Wide Web

Nerds get their own dating site: Apple's ads used to challenge consumers to "think different". Now a website wants fans of the company's products to date differently, too. Click here for more.

'Mini skirt meteorology' used to predict weather: The rises and falls in the length of skirts are said to be a good way of forecasting what the weather will be like three days in advance, based on research at eBay. 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.

Criminals target TradeMe: Fraudsters have targeted online auction site TradeMe in a surge of internet crime. Click here for more.

And the winner of the Webby is - New Zealand: New Zealand has won the online world's equivalent of an Oscar with its tourism website. Click here for more.

Brain downloads 'possible by 2050': By the middle of the 21st century it will be possible to download your brain to a supercomputer, according to a leading thinker on the future. Click here for more.

Oh, bless me, blog, for I have sinned: Online confessors are like flashers. They exhibit themselves anonymously and publicly, with little consideration for you, the audience. Click here for more.

Firefox fans too frumpy for Beautifulpeople.net: Elitist online dating website Beautifulpeople.net is excluding Firefox users. Alternative browser users report being given the cold shoulder by the site, which prides itself on only allowing pretty people (as voted by its existing members) to join. Click here for more.

Germans come up with longest domain name: The Germans have come up with the world's longest domain name: www.WiemenschlichMenschensindzeigtihrUmgangmitderMuttersprachefrsch.de. 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 July and keep warm!

Rob Zorn


Copyright © 2010 Actrix Networks Limited | Contact: editor@actrix.co.nz