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Lighten Up 20 October 2000 Edition
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Time to forget some of the week's woes and, once again, look at the lighter side of the Net.

The George W. Dance
We don't see much online political satire here in New Zealand but it seems that our US cousins have a real flair for this kind of thing. If you're reading this from work you might want to turn down your speakers so the boss doesn't hear the soundtrack.

Mutton Bone - The Inflatable Sheep Company
This time I think the American's might be poking more than a little fun at the disproportionate ratio of sheep to bachelors here in New Zealand.

The Onion
One of the first and still one of the best online news-spoof sites -- filled with news that never happened.

Are Telecom Feeling The Broadband Heat?
IDG reports that Telecom are almost ready to start trialing a slower version of their JetStream DSL product -- perhaps indicating that Telecom are worried about not having any reasonable presence at the bottom of the broadband marketplace.

IHUG's Ultra satellite and microwave-based hi-speed service certainly blows Telecom's present JetStream offering out of the water when it comes to value for money from a residential or small business perspective, and the growth of other cable and wireless solutions also appears very strong.

I guess Telecom must also be concerned that it will have a large amount of uncommitted bandwidth coming online with the commissioning of the Southern Cross Cable shortly -- and unsold bandwidth generates no profits.

Unfortunately for Telecom, the number of areas in which DSL-based services can be provide still remain disappointingly small. There are some people, like myself, who will probably not see any kind of DSL service for at least 10 years (if ever).

However, if you're an urbanite in a relatively highly populated middle-class or affluent area then it would appear that you're going to be spoilt for choice soon as the various broadband providers continue to roll out their coverage with increasing pace.

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Russell Crow's Web Weirdness
This really deserves a mention in the "Lighten Up" section of today's column but it's somehow just a little too weird!

The Australaisian actor Russell Crow is about to launch a new website (yawn) -- but he has, it appears, decided to do a real Hollywood by including pictures and comments on the recent surgery he underwent after smacking up his shoulder while rehearsing for another (now canned) movie.

Why on earth anyone would want to share this experience with the now high-flying actor is beyond me. At least it appears to have achieved its objective of attracting media attention to a site that would otherwise be just another collection of "hey look at me" webpages.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

Security Alerts
Bug hunter finds another hole in Microsoft IE browser CNet

Microsoft issues new patch for Windows 2000 Telnet security hole (Computerworld)

Windows ME Bugged by Flaw (Wired)

Microsoft adjusts sign-on feature to patch Windows 2000 (CNet)

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

Trojan horse rears its head on Palms (CNet)

Virus Alerts
UBS warns of new virus (CNN)

Killer Virus Streaming Near You (InternetNews)

'Pokey' virus hits U.S. (CNN)

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

4  Telecom poised for "JetStream Lite" trial
Telecom is taking names for a trial of a budget 128Kbit/s version of its JetStream ADSL product, but won't be drawn on what commercial pricing for such a product might be...

4  Telecom's offer for AAPT now unconditional
Telecom has its takeover offer for Australian phone company AAPT at $A7.25 a share is now unconditional...

4  All GoGo at WebMedia
Auckland developer WebMedia this week saw the launch of the first major project to flow from its relationship with Hong Kong's Techpacific.com – a $NZ4 million music website called GoGo.com...


4  Adobe.com domain name relocates to China
A Chinese resident has taken the adobe.com domain name away from imaging software company Adobe Systems...

4  Cashing In on Bogus Patents
A new company encourages people to dig up pre-existing technology that helps debunk bogus patents. And guess who's funding it? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the man who claims Amazon's 1-Click Shopping patent is a crock...

4  Microsoft stock soars 18%
Shares of software giant Microsoft Corp. soared almost 18 percent in midday trading Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results, driven by stronger-than-expected revenue, cost controls, and a big jump in investment income...

4  A Webcast In The Woods
Artisan Entertainment said a Webcast to promote the sequel to last year's blockbuster “The Blair Witch Project” attracted 100,000 users in its first six hours of operation Wednesday...

4  Rolling Stone Releases Lennon Audio on Web Site
Rolling Stone magazine is marking the 60th anniversary of John Lennon's birthday by releasing never-before-heard audio excerpts from a 1970 interview with the former Beatle on its Web site...


4  CEOs still waiting for ebusiness return
Only 20% of companies anticipate making money immediately from ebusiness projects, but that's not stopping investment...

4  Guilty plea to email share scam
As a self-employed promoter of web pages and products, Hourmouzis knew the ins and outs of the net and, so the US Securities and Exchange Commission says, saw the way to make some quick money...
Australian IT

4  Will PlayStation2's DVD gambit pay off?
After a number of delays, Sony's long-awaited PlayStation2 console will finally hit Australian shelves on November 30. Promising backward compatibility with existing PlayStation games and vastly improved graphics performance, the success of PlayStation2 will be critical to Sony's future viability...

4  Government.com in three years
Government departments are about to run into some roadblocks as they move to put their business online, with experts saying this week that a shortfall in resources, could pu thefty constraints on the process...


4  Jobs pledges to fix Apple
Computer maker's CEO promises to address Mac's 'megahertz gap,' sagging school sales and overpriced cubes...

4  CNN, Maya Online Clash Over Domain
Shanghai-based content Web site Maya Online said it is not giving up the domain name of its news Web site, www.cnnews.com despite a recent claim filed against it by American network news giant CNN...

4  Germany Won't Tax Net Surfers At Work
Even taxation-heavy European countries are having second thoughts about applying too many financial restrictions to the use of online technology...

4  Deja.com seeking merger partners
Popular site has new financial backing -- but buyers are still being sought for discussion and buying services...

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