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Dateline: 29 February 2000 Early Edition
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Life On The Net
The radio broadcasting industry is a very competitive one, and nowhere is it more so than here in New Zealand.

As a result of this fierce battle for ears, our radio stations have shown themselves to be incredibly innovative in doing crazy stunts involving extroverts who want to win a few dollars.

One of the most popular competitions used to be the one where a group of people stood around with their hands on a car -- last one to let go was the winner -- but that's so passè now that anyone trying it today would be laughed out of town.

I suppose they could invite a small number of people to live on a billboard -- oh, that's been done to death also.

But wait ... the Internet comes to the rescue!

Yes, those crazy people at The Edge have decided that they're going to humiliate six people by inviting them to live together under the scrutiny of the Internet public -- their every move (except the nudie bits) being visible through a bunch of webcams installed in their apartment.

Well, let's face it -- this isn't really new either. College students, housewives and others have been selling their privacy on the Web for years.

However, you've got to admire the guys at The Edge for the way that they have milked this for every cent they can.

They have lined up sponsors and advertisers for the website, you're encouraged to dial an 0900 number and chat to the contestants (rather than use IRC or Net-conferencing) and the "good bits" on the site are hidden behind a maze of pop-up windows and other pages that will certainly provide great site stats.

If this promotion is successful and attracts the level of interest that they clearly hope it will -- what does that tell us about the sad puppies who inhabit the Net with no lives of their own?

From Yesterday
It looks as if opinion is running hot and cold on FreeNet. Some people have reported good access, fast speeds and no problems -- others complain of busy numbers and sloth-like response. Sounds like any other NZ ISP doesn't it?

One thing that has irritated a few people is that the service is only accessible from the main centers -- unless you're willing to pay for a toll call.

Yes, don't be fooled by that 0867 number.

If you've been using the service, please send me your comments.

As always, your comments are gladly received.


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