Key Points:

It's offering an attractive package of services with its XtraYahoo Bubble service for Xtra email users, but Telecom did its best over the weekend to alienate its new Bubble sign-ups.
I tried switching over to Bubble on Saturday, which struck me as a logical time to do it. Not in Telecom's book. It considers the weekend a low email usage period and a good time to perform upgrades that might result in loss of service. Like many Webmail users I couldn't log in for a period and when I could access was very slow.
I left it to Sunday to ring the helpdesk, an 18 minute wait. Since then, I've just been using the webmail version of the new Xtra Pro email platform so once the 24 hour outage was over, I wasn't hit by the problems other Xtra customers were. Some of the problems seem to affect people using Xtra for POP email in clients like Outlook Express.
The Xtra Pro user interface for webmail looks good, though wouldn't pull me away from Gmail, which I just paid US$20 to expand to 9GB in capacity.
I like the search function in Xtra Pro, the built-in RSS feed aggregator and the overall design is reasonable. The digital briefcase which is meant to give you 1GB of free online storage is showing a storage maximum of 30MB at present for some reason.
I also expected tighter integration of the Flickr account - basically it just links to Flickr where you're invited to log in. Has anyone else had a poke around Bubble? What do you think?
A couple of interesting stories in Computerworld today. Former staff of Lenovo reckon they and customers got a raw deal from the company. Also, Stephen Tindall, who has a broad stable of tech investments, appears to have invested in a website called Thedeal.co.nz.
A blurb about 'thedeal' on the website reads:
"Manufacturers of household appliances bring out new ranges every three months or so but often have not sold all of the old range - so you can get a brand new fridge or dishwasher or vacuum cleaner at a heavily discounted price - OK, so it might not have the very latest bells and whistles but it was the latest and greatest just moments ago and at the price you get at thedeal.co.nz you'll love the savings."
It also has a Warehouse red colour scheme for some reason...
The local tech blogosphere:
Rob O'Neill has been looking at what editing New Zealand companies have been doing to Wikipedia entries.
Public Address chips in on Air New Zealand's edits.
Aardvark on using the internet as a weapon.
Richard MacManus on the top 5 online music streaming services.