My latest rant

Sometimes I just need to rant. Be afraid, you are my captive audience.

Xtra’s help assistant not so helpful

Xtra broadband customers can now download Jody, the interactive help assistant. According to the e-mail I received from Xtra, Jody can help keep my broadband connection running smoothly and save me from having to call the helpdesk. Have you tried to phone Telecom lately? Trying to talk to an actual live person is damn near impossible and now I understand why: Telecom is being taken over by interactive Jody and her ilk. I downloaded...

Read more »

Xtra: service advice

Xtra: service advice

Thank you for spending $20 million in an extreme makeover for your e-mail service.  I’m sure the revamp was done with the best of intentions but, as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  The new and supposedly improved service is only a month old but I’m pretty sure it’s aged me 20 years. That’s $1 million for each extra batch of wrinkles. Impressive — even my husband hasn’t managed...

Read more »

Is this the end of spam?

The news that Yahoo and AOL plan to charge a fee for guaranteed delivery of e-mails could be the answer to my prayers. I am pretty sure I’m not alone when I say that my inbox is at present being swamped by an increasingly bizarre array of spam. I’ve been getting offers for herbal Viagra, lotions and potions to increase the size of my package, psychic readings, pre-approved loans, horny co-eds and more. My...

Read more »

Hotting up for the big NZ political Idol show

September 17 is the political version of the NZ Idol final. Without the singing, of course (thank goodness for small mercies). As we all know, too much of anything is bad for us — as the South Korean man who up and died after playing Starcraft online for nearly 50 shows. The same goes for politicians. Everything in moderation. And let’s face it, they’re all so damn boring we’re unlikely to want to have...

Read more »

Remembering fashion fads and mistakes

The wrong choice of apparel is the quickest way to make yourself look like a total knob or a dinosaur, or in the case of Motley Crue, both.  There I was, innocently minding my own business, watching the Live 8 spectacular on Sunday when all of a sudden the band that time forgot appeared.  Admittedly, back in the 1980s, I thought Motley Crue was okay. I even looked at the band members product-laden hair...

Read more »

Graceful aging and spandex

Graceful aging and spandex

It started off like any other Monday — opened one eye, crawled out of bed, staggered towards the kitchen to get up close and personal with a cup of tea, got attacked by the cat, prised open the other eye, found the morning newspaper and settled down to read it. That was when it hit me. I spied the date. I was mere days away from being the mother of a 16-year-old (insert Jaws...

Read more »

We all have hate lists — don’t we?

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times) If you have anti-virus software on your computer you’ve probably noticed a flurry of activity during the past couple of days with new virus definition updates coming thick and fast. If you’re not already familiar with Symantec’s Security Response site, now is probably a good time to pay a visit. You’ll find information on the latest and greatest in the world of viruses and...

Read more »

Message for a pervert…

A special note for my very own pervy reader I appear to have cultivated: If you’re going to send e-mails of that nature, it’s much more effective if the smutty bits are spelt correctly. You might find http://www.dictionary.com/ helpful. Please, step away from the keyboard and wash your hands. And don’t do that, you’ll go blind.

Read more »

Moving, schmoving…never again

Eight years ago I said I was never moving house again. This time I mean it. You didn’t get a column from me last week because I was too busy unpacking. In fact, by my normal deadline time I still hadn’t hunted out all my computer cables. Not that it mattered because I couldn’t have connected to the net anyway. In an attempt at being semi-organised, I’d made calls to Telecom, Contact Energy and...

Read more »