Is the cable really broken?

Here I am, sitting in Hong Kong airport. The mainland Chinese news sites seem to say that the cables won’t be completely fixed until the middle of February. Apparently the problem now is a virus. Viruses do not take out any properly designed networking equipment. It was getting pretty painful using the Internet in mainland China.
 
But now, on a free wireless connection, things are loading up without any problems at all. In Hong Kong. By the time I go back to mainland China, the cables will supposedly be fixed. Though they have missed three consecutive predictions about fixing the cable already.
 
In any case, my rating of the major non-Chinese mail services during the Internet outage:
1. Best: Yahoo mail. It loads slowly, but if the network is congested, it waits and keeps retrying to send messages until it is successful. Can have multiple compose tabs open at the same time. The new interface finally seems to handle Chinese correctly sent from non-Yahoo email addresses.
2. OK: Gmail is fine once the Ajax interface is loaded. If I opt for the basic html interface, it will still try to load the Ajax interface, and until it does, there is no scroll bar.
Sending messages. If using IE, any sign of network trouble, it stops working. Firefox continues to work fine once the network is less congested. However, if a message does not go through, I have to manually reload pages or press the send button again and again.
3. Worst: Windows Live Mail Never ever logs in the first time, even with the correct password. Hasn’t marked messages as read, even if I have finished reading them. Does not handle Chinese sending and receiving to other mail services correctly (surprising, given MSN Messenger is the only IM program that does handle Chinese correctly and can do other languages like Korean and Japanese at the same time).
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2 Responses to “Is the cable really broken?”

  1. I used to log into Yahoo! for Yahoo! Games, mainly for Othello. But not anymore.Gmail has the perk of the contact list (minimizing the need for a PDA), calendar, etc. But if it cannot be accessed via the AJAX interface, then it is not useful.

  2. You can use Gmail on mobile phones now, but I have no idea how secure that is or what features it has… Gmail definitely is a nice interface for what it does, but the new Yahoo mail does have tabs. Nice when it takes a long time to send/get messages due to network problems.

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