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Lighten Up 3 November 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

It's been a hectic week for me so I only have one item for this week's Lighten Up segment -- but it's a beauty!

TheKumara - Dyson
I just love political parody -- and here we have it done to perfection.

This site (TheKumara) is a little gem that I'd not seen before this article was brought to my attention. Come on guys, you've got too much really good stuff here to overlook some decent online promotion.

Well, I guess you're getting some today -- I hope it helps.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
perhaps I'm losing my sense of humour... - Brian
From Yesterday:

e-Commerce Success... - Peter

Cisco, Microsoft - not the best role models... - Aaron

Have Your Say
Free ISPs Starting To Tumble?
Surf4Nix, one of NZ's free internet ISPs has just tossed in the towel and handed its operations over to former competitor i4Free according to reports published today.

Unlike most of the others, Surf4Nix didn't rely on a piece of the interconnect revenues to sustain its business operation and, according to IDG, has run up some $130,000 in communications charges during the short time since its launch.

Clearly the advertising and direct-sales based free ISP model is not living up to expectations, at least in this case.

Surely this can't come as a huge surprise to anyone -- it hasn't worked in any other country so why should tiny little New Zealand be any different?

Anyone care to place bets on which free ISP will bite the dust next and when it will happen?

That E-Commerce Summit
The Government's e-commerce summit is now over and, based on the reports published in almost every news paper and news-site today, it was a success.

However, if there isn't someone running around this morning and preparing to offer a similar event for the hundreds of thousands of SMEs that are looking for some advice and direction in the practical side of getting their products and services online then I'd be very surprised (and somewhat disappointed).

It would appear that there is huge consensus that the Seminar didn't really reach the huge numbers of small traders who most stand to benefit from its message (didn't I say that yesterday?)

Come on -- let's see a road-show of low-cost regional seminars that introduce those who don't wear suits 8 hours a day to the theory and practice of ecommerce.

But please, please, please -- check the credentials of those who would be presenting such seminars. The last thing we need are a bunch of self-proclaimed "e-commerce ekspurts" and cowboys regurgitating stuff they read in a book. We want presentations and insight from those who have actually been successful in building PROFITABLE online commerce ventures.

That kind of rules out the few high-fliers who have succeeded at nothing more than rounding up large chunks of other people's money and running large ventures that continue to bleed red ink. Hell -- almost anyone can make an unprofitable e-commerce site, we don't need to be told how to do that do we?

The Weekly
Yes, I know the first edition of the weekly has yet to appear -- but I'm still working on it.

Hopefully (if current leads pan out) it will include a very interesting expose' into the astoundingly bad behaviour of a group of local "new economy" company directors (some of who are also on the board of a public company). Just how competent and ethical are the managers of some of our hi-tech public companies?

If you want to receive the "all new" Aardvark Weekly in PDF format by email then please use the contact form to leave your email address.

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As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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

4  Plenty of answers, but not enough ideas
Attendees at the government's e-commerce summit went looking for ideas and answers. Most appear to have come away with plenty of the latter, but perhaps not enough of the former...
IDG

4  E-verdict: slow, timid, but a promising start
The Government needs more aggression in setting and achieving measurable e-commerce goals...
NZ Herald

4  Ericsson's move lifts confidence
Ericsson's decision to base a high-tech mobile internet applications research centre in New Zealand is a welcome salve after Motorola's choice of Australia to site a similar facility...
NZ Herald

Other

4  Can Napster Secure SDMI?
Napster's deal with Bertelsmann could energize the struggling Secure Digital Music Initiative. The company that made its name by helping users get their music for free is just the thing the recording industry's secure format needs...
Wired

4  Dot-com troubles spin revolving door for tech workers
Reports about the death of the digital economy have been vastly exaggerated...
CNet

4  Tax woes hit PlayStation2
Sony Corp. complained Thursday that Britain is unfairly charging duty on its key new product, the PlayStation2, and the Japanese firm said it would seek to have the ruling overturned...
CNNfn

4  IBM Sells Largest Commercial Linux System
IBM Corp. said Thursday that a leading Japanese convenience store chain will install more than 15,000 IBM computers running Linux to allow for Web access in stores...
TechWeb

4  Review: Drudge, as in Sludge
Matt Drudge's impact on Internet journalism is significant, and may reshape the way news is gathered and presented. It's a hell of a story that, unfortunately, gets garbled in the self-aggrandizing Drudge Manifesto...
Wired

Australia

4  LookSmart to slow its net traffic
In what could be a first for internet start-up, LookSmart said on Thrusday it planned to put the brakes on its traffic growth in an effort to cash in on declining customer acquisition costs in the coming months...
AFR

4  Developer spikes 30 staff
AUSTRALIAN internet company Spike will axe more than 30 jobs in a bid to rein in expenses and reduce its spectacular cash burn rate...
Australian IT

4  Web hosting set to soar
According to IDC the Australian Web hosting market will experience phenomenal growth, reaching $106 million by the end of this year...
NewsWire

4  How to bur $12m cash in 10 months: internet
Venture capitalists don't usually discuss their financial disasters, and Thrusday's TinShed conference for start-ups in Melbourne was no exception...
AFR

Other

4  McAfee virus update freezes PCs
Anti-virus company McAfee has sent out a dodgy .dat automatic update file that has been causing some PCs to freeze. Details are a little sketchy at the moment, but...
The Register

4  Visa To Boost Security
The program is a component of the new "Visa Secure Commerce" program, a series of online security measures that protect cardholders and merchants from the start of an online transaction through securing of cardholder data after an order is fulfilled...
InternetNews

4  Review: Microsoft's 'Whistler' looks solid
eWEEK Labs likes what it sees so far in Microsoft's attempt to to unify the consumer and corporate Windows code ...
ZDNet

4  BT to Tackle Delays in Broadband Web Launch
British Telecommunications Plc (BT.L) on Thursday said it had promised Internet service providers (ISPs) it would resolve problems that have delayed the installation of high-speed Web connections in Britain...
Yahoo


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