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Selling Their Soul To The Spammers? 8 November 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

No regular Internet user I know of likes spam -- that evil unsolicited bulk email that clogs your mailbox and sometimes attempts to lure the young and innocent to visit pornographic websites or invest in shonky pyramid schemes.

Virtually all ISPs and network providers claim to have an anti-spam policy. If you use their network to send bulk email you will be disconnected -- or so they say.

However, local experience has shown many of the local providers, (and Xtra springs to mind here) as having rather weak anti-spam policies but it seems that things are a whole lot worse in the USA.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
To all of us out there in net land - Julian

Hear hear.... - Dennis

Have Your Say
Over the past week or so, a couple of "pink" contracts have come to light which indicate that some Internet providers have been doing secret deals behind closed doors in favour of spammers.

In effect they have been violating their own anti-spam policies for the sake of a bit of extra cash.

If you thought the suits had taken over the Net, you were right!

The Sorry State Of Local e-Commerce
I got a lot of feedback on the eretail.net.nz ecommerce site I mentioned yesterday -- and every single email was negative. This is a really bad site that does crash some Netscape browsers and looks but-ugly to boot.

But there are greater idiots out there in the local ecommerce marketplace.

How about a would-be ecommerce site that sends a virus-laden email out to a whole heap of people?

It appears that someone over at virtual-warehouse.net doesn't use a virus checker and had their address book attacked by the virus which sent copies of itself to all the addresses it could find.

This is extremely bad management and something which is totally unacceptable if this country is to fulfill the government's vision of making us a viable player in the new online marketplace.

Successful e-commerce requires that the customer trust the vendor -- something that's pretty hard to do when they send you a virus right?

If an online vendor is slack enough to allow such viruses into their systems, how can a customer feel confident that their credit-card details aren't equally exposed to attack once they buy a product or service?

If the preliminary website is anything to go by I don't expect things will improve at this site either. The registration form does no field checking (making it open to abuse) and the "comments" text box doesn't wrap text at the end of the line -- Duh! And, since you have a contact for m, why not link it to the contact icon on the front page?

The spammers will also have a field-day sucking the embedded email address from that registration page.

Once again I reiterate my call for vastly improved standards in the ecommerce industry if we're not to become a laughing stock. Remember -- it only takes a few bad-news stories to raise consumer resistance and at this stage we can't afford to mess-up.

As the Flying Pig seem to have discovered -- simply throwing a large amount of money at a project and copying someone else's lame-brained idea doesn't necessarily produce a successful ecommerce site.

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?

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There are 2 new press releases today

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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Sun advises of a potential compromise of 2 specific security certificates (CERT)

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