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New Zealand -- Web Farm To The World? 12 September 2000 Edition
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What do the Kiwi dollar and the Southern Cross Cable have in common?

Yes, they've both been sunk to the depths of the ocean -- but that might be a very good thing.

As someone who operates a number of US-hosted websites (including this one), I've become acutely aware that the cost of that hosting is now becoming an increasingly irritating pain in the wallet.

The declining NZ$ has meant that each month I'm forking out an increasing amount of my hard-earned cash to keep this site running and the viability of hosting a small non-commercial operation off-shore is becoming borderline.

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But hey -- every cloud has a silver lining!

If the Kiwi dollar stays down NZ hosting companies could be sitting on a veritable goldmine when the Southern Cross Cable comes online later this year. Local operators such as 4  2Day.com who provide a very cost-effective hosting solution for small to medium-sized sites -- and many of NZ's ISPs who provide similar services might find the USA to become a lucrative market.

2Day.com offers hosting packages from NZ$10 per month -- which is currently just US$4.20. That's cheap -- even undercutting those budget US web farms that seem to charge about US$7-10/month.

Let's see what happens come November.

Why The Dollar Is Done-For
Our politicians keep trying to shirk responsibility for the plummeting dollar by blaming it on a strong US currency -- and I dare say that some of the more naive and gullible out there might believe this claim.

However, after you've read 4 this article you might see that claim for the untruth it is.

Yes, the US dollar is strong -- but why?

Because, as verified by that country's ascent to become the world's most productive, the USA has harnessed the power of those technologies driving the new economy in a way that has significantly boosted the wealth of the entire nation.

We are now left with two scenarios to describe this country's appalling situation:

  1. Our politicians are so naive and ill-informed that they remain totally unaware of the correlation between the fostering of a new economy and the strength of the economy.

  2. They are aware of the obvious -- but choose, for reasons which at this point remain unknown, to deliberately keep NZ near the bottom of the rankings of productivity, growth and economic performance by maintaining policies that drive our key people off-shore and penalise those investing in critical R&D.

What do you think? Stupidity or arrogance? Have your say!

More NZ IT Industry News Online
Well known and highly regarded industry writer Keith Newman has been busy beavering away on the NZ-centric part of the Internet.com website of late and if you don't already know about it then I suggest you drop in and check out his work.

Keith's excellent reporting on the local scene can be found at 4 www.nz.internet.com, a site which is claims to be "New Zealand's Internet Industry Portal."

I think maybe the site needs more links to 3rd-party sites (like this one Keith?) before it can lay claim to being a "portal" in the traditional sense of the word -- however it appears that it's the Internet.com people, not Keith, who have decided to use that rather inappropriate label.

I've added the site to the list of links along the right-hand side of this page just in case you forget to bookmark it.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

Security Alerts
Word documents susceptible to "Web bug" infestation (CNet)

Trojan horse rears its head on Palms (CNet)

PGP Email Security Flaw Fixed (AP)

Glitch leaves IM contact lists vulnerable (CNet)

Input Validation Problem In rpc.statd (CERT)

Experts corroborate Windows, IE security hole (CNet)

Virus Alerts
Killer Virus Streaming Near You (InternetNews)

'Pokey' virus hits U.S. (CNN)

New strain of "Love" virus steals passwords (CNet)

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The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  New land information system angers Smith
The Government's new system for storing land information documents has all the hallmarks of being another Incis disaster, says Nelson MP Nick Smith...

4  Data Demand Drains Southern Cross
The seemingly unshakeable bandwidth bottleneck between New Zealand and the US is expected to pop its cork from November when the Southern Cross undersea cable activates but already there’s talk of the need for a second cable...

4  Kiwis enjoy Web window-shopping
New Zealanders are flocking online to check out products before they buy, according to the latest Internet research...


4  How Much for .brooklynbridge?
Cyber-wildcatters are buying up domain names in registries that have yet to be created and may never be. Confusion reigns, as evidenced by the fact three people believe they own www.sex.web...

4  Linux Getting Its Game Face On
It wasn't that long ago that Linux lovers were forced to use Windows to get their gaming fix. Not anymore. Popular Windows games are getting retrofitted for the open-source platform...

4  Sour apples for Napster-like start-up
AppleSoup, the second file-swapping start-up from Napster co-founder Bill Bales, will change its name to "Flycode" following a complaint from Apple Computer...

4  Napster use jumps 345 percent
The song-swap application quadruples to nearly 5 million unique visitors from February to July and is the fastest-growing application Media Metrix has ever tracked on the Web...

4  Amazon estimate lowered
Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget, a longtime bull on Amazon.com, lowered his quarterly and fiscal-year earnings estimates for the Web retailer and said that the company is going through an "awkward transition" period...


4  Sausage set for grilling as it re-enters red
Sausage Software is expected to come under heavy selling pressure this morning after announcing it had fallen back in to the red with a full-year loss of $3.3m...

4  IBM on track of hackers
IBM has hired US security consultants to lurk in internet chat rooms and underground websites in the hope of catching hackers planning to attack the Olympics.com site...
Australian IT

4  Region fails to embrace ecommerce
Nearly 80% of major companies in the Asia-Pacific region consider the Internet to have little or no impact on business...

4  Bill finds Australia short on broadband
Bill Gates, having bet his $US300bm company on a software package that is heavily reliant on broadband is, not surprisingly, well informed about Australia's dismal broadband penetration...


4  Blair Promises Cash To Get Britain Wired
British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday promised more than a billion pounds ($1.42 billion) to help build the U.K.'s online presence...

4  Time Warner To Sell Music Online
Time Warner Inc.'s music division announced plans Monday to sell digital music over the Web, becoming the last of the major music labels to jump on the Internet bandwagon...

4  Bids For F..kedCompany.com Reach $9.3 Million
Ironically, F..ckedCompany.com is one of the few websites up for sale that isn't actually, er, in trouble...

4  FTC frags violent-video-game marketers
Hollywood and the game industry are lambasted by the FTC for 'pervasive and aggressive' marketing to children...

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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request