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Online Informer – February 2017

The Online Informer is published each month to help keep 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 Online Informer can be e-mailed to editor@actrix.co.nz
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to support@actrix.co.nz.

Actrix – best little ISP in New Zealand

Welcome to the February Online Informer

Welcome to the Online Informer for February 2017 – we hope you've all had a wonderful start to the New Year!

Following the merger of Actrix and Voyager in November 2016, we are now looking to expand the Informer's audience to include our Voyager customers.

You will notice some small changes this month, notably the adoption of both Actrix and Voyager livery in the masthead. This is an exciting and important change as we open to a wider audience while recognising both organisations.

This month we've themed the Informer for Valentine's Day, and feature a couple of interesting articles about how the Day is celebrated here in New Zealand, and around the world. Half of the Interesting sites section is dedicated to help making your Valentine's Day a goodie!

YouTube feature – Surprise Valentine's Singing

A fun 'nice prank' played on unsuspecting randoms for Valentine's Day. A group of singing lads in swish suits surprise passersby and strangers by serenading them with love songs. Apparently the singers had a bunch of fun (and flowers) making this YouTube video, and each reaction is genuine, live and 'in the moment'.

Watch the video.

My Kiwi Valentine: what does he or she want from me?

Whether you're eagerly counting down the days or rolling your eyes at every heart-shaped confectionary you pass at Countdown or The Warehouse... Valentine's Day is coming to New Zealand. We've taken the time to do a little internet digit digging around February 14th facts and figures.

In looking at the stats from previous Valentine's Days in our country, we are now able to help highlight 'what really counts' for Kiwi couples on the international day of romance.

Men vs Women: Who was the most keen?

Forget what you think you know about men lacking enthusiasm for the sugar-sweet holiday: statistics show that men fall just two percent short (97 percent) of matching the 99 percent of women who plan to celebrate the day in one way or another.

Men vs Women: Perfect way to spend the day/night?

Restaurant going was the most popular activity on the Valentine's Day menu, shortly followed by the humble 'Netflix and chill'. However, while men were in favour of a comfortable night in with movies, wine and candles – that's right, candles – it seems the ladies prefer a night out.

Perhaps couples could take turns picking the Valentine's Day main event: one year in, another year out and about. Then there's the ultimate – yet sometimes challenging to achieve – winner: compromise. Start with a nice dinner out and finish with a cozy movie marathon.

Men vs Women: Who wants what?

Ah, gift giving. We can thank America for this commercial aspect of the holiday. While almost a full quarter of people admit they'd be happy to give and receive nothing, flowers and chocolates reigned as the supremely popular gift option.

Oh, and you can relax about the 'compulsory jewellery' option that you probably always feel pressured to go with: only 18 percent of the ladies say they are expecting something shiny from their loved one.

Men vs Women: Show me the numbers!

Here were the most popular present picks for last year's Valentine's Day:


Numero uno on the list for men's most-wanted Valentine's Day gifts was 'something homemade', voted by 36 percent of those interviewed.

'Nothing at all' was the second most popular pick voted by a staggering 22 percent. Were you expecting fancy watches?

The third most popular present men hoped to receive was chocolate (only 16 percent of men interviewed)... but why should one have to wait until Valentine's Day to exchange a chocolatey treat? At least the 'something homemade' option shows that a bit of time, care and consideration has gone into the gift.


The ladies, on the other hand, would hold flowers as their fave Valentine's Day gift option. Over a third of the women interviewed (40 percent) picked flowers for their ideal present.

'Something homemade' came in at second place for the best gift awards among women. 22 percent picked the idea of a built or baked gift as something they'd like to receive on Feb 14th.

Jewellery was the desire of only 18 percent of the ladies interviewed... so, does the fact that chocolate didn't even place on the 'Lady's top 3' preferred presents list change your mind as to which gifts you were planning to woo her with?

Now that you know a little more about the numbers behind Valentine's Day, you can make a few educated calls this February 14th when planning your gifts and activities. The best advice we can offer at the end of the day is, of course, just asking the other person what they would like.

Statistics provided by kiwi dating website Elite Singles.

Valentine's Day across Asia

Japan: one for the girls... another for the boys

The girls

So scratch Valentine's Day as we currently celebrate it. Exchange the usual shared events with a chocolate-fest wherein women are the gift-givers and men do all the receiving. Women work hard to perfect handmade chocolates and package them sweetly to offer friends, teachers, family and – above all – their boyfriend or husband.

Some fun facts about Japan's chocolatey version of Valentine's Day:

  • There are two 'types' of chocolates one can give: not flavours, mind you... more like reasons for giving. These are "Giri-choco" (obligatory chocolate) and "Honmei-choco" (sentimental or loving chocolate).
  • Teachers, colleagues, bosses, dads, brothers and close male friends receive "Giri-choco" (the 'obligatory' aspect of this gesture removes any trace of 'romance' from the gift), while husbands, boyfriends, and crushes receive "Honmei-choco" as a gesture of love, appreciation and attraction.
  • Apparently, store-bought chocolate lacks a lot of feeling, so always it's best to make your own. Stores will sell homemade chocolate-prepping kits sooner than they will sell chocolate boxes. Kiwis have it easy!

The boys

Ever heard of 'White Day'? Well, it isn't Valentine's Day... but it's a romantic day that follows exactly one month later (March 14th).

White Day means it's the boy's turn to do the gift giving. This time the theme is 'white', so white chocolates, flowers and candies are usually the popular choice. Cakes are an extremely popular gift, too: ladies don't have to wait for their birthday to roll around before receiving a tasty sponge!

Stores are sure to put several not-so-subtle 'hints' out there for the lads as Japan approaches White Day. Flowers and romantic treats are planted at the entrance of shops as a 'gentle' reminder... no 'I forgot' excuses!

Singles get the spotlight in China

China marks Valentine's Day as 'Singles Awareness Day' in addition to its usual romantic traditions. Valentine's Day is celebrated as normal for couples, but later in the year singles will get their own special day to celebrate! China celebrates Single's Day on November the 11th (otherwise known as 'Bachelor's Day').

Rather than sitting around celebrating singlehood, 'Bachelor's Day' is like the Chinese version of 'Black Friday/Cyber Monday' – crazy sales abound, so you'll be too busy bagging a bargain to care about how single you might be feeling otherwise. China managed to spend a staggering 3 billion dollars in a single Single's Day/Bachelor's Day back in 2012, and it gets worse from there (or better depending on how you look at it.

Yes... China managed to spend 9 billion dollars in the space of 24 hours in 2014. Who needs chocolates and flowers when you can have a flatscreen at a quarter of its usual price?

South Korea: Valentine's Day times twelve (kind of)

South Koreans don't just stop at Valentine's Day. Sure the 14th of February is marked as the typical romantic holiday... but every month of the year sees a similar holiday for multiple pleasant purposes.

To name a few of the monthly Korean holidays celebrated (other than Valentine's):

  • Candle Day
  • White Day
  • Black Day
  • Rose Day
  • Kiss Day
  • Silver Day
  • Green Day (not a celebration of the band)
  • Music Day
  • Wine Day
  • Movie Day
  • Hug Day

South Korean citizens must have incredibly busy diaries!

Like China, singles also get their own special day in South Korea – Black Day. Think of it as a national support day where everyone adorns black (nail polish, accessories etc) and eats delicious black bean paste with noodles in the most non-gloomy way possible to celebrate singlehood with positivity and friendship.

In confectionary conclusion

Would you say kiwis have it easy – well, easier than the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese? Do you prefer one big day of sweet treats and activities over several gender-separate or alternate monthly celebrations?

One thing is for sure... New Zealand definitely needs a single's day, and it should definitely entail 24 hours of decent sales.

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!

Date and Gift Ideas

WWF E-cards
wwf.worldwildlife.org – If you're looking to give your valentine something a little different his year, why not send them a WWF Valentine's Day E-card? These cards have some very cute (and very cheesy) images that are sure to make your Valentine smile.

Send your enemies glitter
www.sendyourenemiesglitter.com/ – Receiving glitter in the mail is incredibly frustrating. It spills everywhere, is impossible to clean up, and you'll be finding glitter on the carpet and on yourself for the next few weeks. On that note, this site will send glitter to a person of your choosing. Maybe it's not ideal for Valentine's Day – unless your Valentine loves glitter or you've had a tiff and you need to make a point!

Valentines Night at the Zoo
http://www.wellingtonnz.com/discover/things-to-do/events/valentines-night/ – As with most zoos around the country, Wellington's will be putting on an adults-only Valentine's Night. Learn of the romantic antics that animals share and pack a picnic to enjoy at the zoo with your loved one.

https://www.quickflix.co.nz/ – Meet Netflix the lesser – a kiwi version. Quickflix has its pros and cons: pros being that you have plenty of new releases at your fingertips and the option to buy them for keeps. Cons being the fact that you need to pay a monthly subscription fee to enable the renting and downloading of the more recent films available. Perhaps paying for a year's subscription could double as a Valentine's day gift?

http://www.flicks.co.nz/ – If you're thinking to do the classic 'dinner and a movie' date, start with Flicks. Flicks is a fantastic unification of all the latest movie trailers, info and session times in your area. Rather than visiting each cinema website separately, you can see all their session times featured on Flicks – save valuable time!

Flower Shop Florist
https://www.flowershopflorist.nz/ – If you're shopping for flowers then this is the most reliable spot to get 'em. Flower Shop Florist has fantastic reviews for days on its Facabook page. They have a great selection at reasonably good prices and (most importantly) their delivery game is strong.

Something Different

You're Getting Old
http://you.regettingold.com/ – Simply enter your date of birth into this website and be sent on a wild – and somewhat morbid – ride as it spits out statistics about your lifetime.
Domics (YouTube channel)
https://www.youtube.com/user/D0MICS – Domics is the hobby channel of a 25-year old Youtube Animator from Toronto. Perfect for a quick and painless dose of light entertainment, you can chill out and watch these humorous animations about his extremely relatable antics.
Bailey Nelson
https://www.baileynelson.co.nz/ – Buying prescription glasses shouldn't have to be a chore (or cost a huge pile of money, while we're at it). Bailey Nelson is a relatively new brand of eyewear offering beautiful, stylish and practically designed glasses at extremely decent prices. The best part: you can shop for your glasses online (they accept emailed prescriptions).
https://searchyapp.io/google – A bunch of great Google search hacks for anyone who would like to get the most out of their fave browser.

Cyberspace news snippets

What's been happening in the online world?


Plane passenger's soulful plea: help me find my mystery man : She had met a man on a flight to Wellington, but didn't get his name or number. All she knew was that he was from Upper Hutt. So she posted a description of him on an Upper Hutt Community Facebook page. Click here for more.

Upper Hutt woman meets her mystery man: An Upper Hutt woman's social media search for a mystery man she connected with on a flight has paid off, with the pair meeting in person and exchanging phone numbers. Click here for more.

Tweet romance leads to altar: A tweet from more than four years ago which blossomed into romance had its sequel at the weekend, when Dan Faulknor and Becky Lieshout were married in Dunedin. Click here for more.

British actor Idris Elba auctions Valentine's date for charity: "I'd like you to be my Valentine. That's right love, just you and me. No-one else around, just us," Elba said while sipping champagne in a video posted on website Omaze, which raises money for charities through celebrity experiences. Click here for more.

Beauty and the Beast-themed marriage proposal will melt your heart: Though he didn't come dressed as a scary cursed animal man, the groom-to-be in an adorable Beauty and the Beast-inspired proposal was at least sporting a beard. Joel Lynch, an Iowa State University senior, knew the love of his life, Caroline Szymanski, was a big Beauty and the Beast fan and Belle admirer. So when he decided to pop the question, the hopeless romantic recreated the big Tale as Old as Time dance scene from the Disney film. Click here for more.

New Zealand

Another 151 towns, 43 suburban areas to get access to ultra-fast broadband by 2024: A further 151 New Zealand towns will get ultra-fast broadband before 2024, the Government announced today. Another 43 suburban areas on the fringes of major centres will also be included in the second phase of the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) rollout. Click here for more.

Helen Clark resigns from UNDP, according to reports: Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has resigned from her post at the UN, according to reports. Clark heads the UN Development Programme, a position she would stand down from in April, AFP reported. Citing an email, AFP said Clark notified UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that she would leave on April 19 at the end of her second four-year term. Click here for more.

KFC-scented candle auctioned on Trade Me for Surf Life Saving New Zealand: When KFC created a limited-edition candle that smelt just like the fast food chain's chicken, the internet went in to a frenzy. Hand made by KFC NZ Digital Marketing Manager, Enna Ye, last December, only a small batch was produced. But now, the candle is back. This time it's being auctioned on Trade Me to raise money for Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ).

Review: We put the KFC candle to the sniff test : A competition run by KFC has shown there's certainly an appetite for a KFC scented candle, and they're giving away another. Earlier this month, KFC New Zealand ran a competition on each of its three social media sites offering one fan the chance to have their very own, limited edition KFC candle. Click here for more.

'Tauranga Rocks' craze gone viral: Tauranga Rocks is an apt name for a new craze which has gone viral with up to 1400 locals becoming rockers in the past couple of weeks. The craze of painting rocks and hiding them in secret places around the city for others to find has taken off, helped by a Facebook group of the same name. Click here for more.

United Future leader Peter Dunne launches petition on whether New Zealand should change summer dates: New Zealand's fight for a better summer holiday is going all the way to the Beehive. Frustrated by less-than-summery conditions, United Future leader Peter Dunne has launched a campaign calling for the start of the holiday period to be moved to February. Click here for more.

Social Media

Redditors reveal the life lessons they learned too late: What do you wish you had known when you were young so that you could have lived your life differently? A Reddit user has asked people to reveal the best life lesson they learned too late - and hundreds of people have come forward and contributed to the thread. Click here for more.

Tinder and dating apps blamed for rampant rates of sexual promiscuity: Dating apps are fuelling rampant rates of sexual promiscuity, according to a leading Brisbane sexual health doctor who "quite frequently" treats patients who have sex with up to 10 people a day. Click here for more.

Debbie Mayo-Smith: Facebook's new subtitle feature: How do you feel when you're scrolling through Facebook and you unexpectedly start hearing sound from a video playing. If you hate it, you're part of the 80 per cent of users that react badly to these unexpected videos with sound. So about a year ago Facebook brought out a tool that automatically created captions for video ads. Click here for more.

Gadgets and Tech

10 iPhone secrets, shortcuts and hidden features you should know about: Here are 10 iPhone secrets, shortcuts and hidden features to make your life easier. Click here for more.

'Netflix' tax pushes Spotify price up: Music streaming service Spotify has increased its prices by $2 a month due to a New Zealand tax introduced last year. Spotify said in a statement that the price for new "premium" subscribers would increase from $12.99 a month to $14.99 from February 1. Click here for more.

Bus without a steering wheel to hit the road at Christchurch Airport: Christchurch Airport has launched a fully autonomous shuttle in a New Zealand first on-road research trial. The ''Smart Shuttle'' will eventually carry 15 people, has no steering wheel and is electric powered. Click here for more.

Security and Privacy

Juha Saarinen: Big data lacks big security: Who hasn't come across the "big data" buzz term yet? Everyone's doing it: Collecting lots of information via sensors, public data sets going back years, all manners of sources. It can be anything, literally, that computer scientists use massive IT systems to devour and pick through for interesting patterns. Click here for more.

Google's cameras peer into Grand Canyon: The move is the latest evolution in mapping technology for the firm, which has photographed 3,000 cities in 43 countries since 2007 for its Street View feature. Although privacy campaigners have raised concerns about the technology, Google said all hikers on the trail will have their faces blurred. Click here for more.

The Weird, Wide Web

Slenderman HBO documentary film reveals murderous plot inspired by internet meme: It started as an informal online competition to create spooky paranormal pictures in Photoshop but ultimately spawned one of the most shocking stories in recent memory. 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.

Crims caught out online: A brassy burglar seemed to have got away with a Christmas daylight robbery – till 11,000 Facebook users joined forces to catch her. Click here for more.

Fewer complaints about daily websites: A "growing tide of complaints'' about daily deal websites has abated but both the industry and the Commerce Commission are claiming credit for the improvement. Click here for more.

'Skynet' notices lack mandatory details: Efforts by the music industry to crack down on internet piracy have suffered a setback after it emerged that some copyright infringement notices issued to internet users under the controversial "Skynet" law may not be worth the paper they are written on. Click here for more.

Hackers put NZ information at risk: A data breach at a private American intelligence company has put the credit card information and personal details of several New Zealand companies and government agencies at risk. Click here for more.

The social web's news picks of 2011: Here are some of the stories from the New Zealand Herald site that were among the most shared, liked, tweeted and clicked on by social media users in 2011. Click here for more.


Bringing it all back home

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

Take care through February and Happy Valentines Day!

Rob Zorn


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