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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?

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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There are 2 new press releases today

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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

IE 5.5 hole lets hackers read files (CNet)

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)

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  Rough landing for Watson's flying e-tailer
The future of internet shopping took another twist yesterday as two of the country's highest-profile e-tailers confirmed changes in ownership...
NZ Herald

4  Telecom Pay TV Saga Avoids Court
Telecomís has avoided revelations about its aborted 1995 integrated pay TV and high-speed data network being dragged through the High Court...

4  BankDirect opens Virtual Trading Room
BankDirect is bolstering its customer services with the introduction of online share trading that can be accessed by secure password from anywhere in the world...


4  Little News From Big China
China issues new Internet regulations that prevent news sites from writing or editing their own news. Also, writers and editors need to have "relevant" experience...

4  PSINet assailed as spam contract surfaces
Troubled Internet service provider PSINet acknowledged providing access to a sender of bulk unsolicited commercial email, bolstering critics' claims that some of the world's largest ISPs knowingly do business with spammers in violation of stated anti-spam policies...

4  Sony confident about personal robots' future
The creator of Sony robot-pet Aibo said Tuesday his toy will be the companion of the future but that its days as a guide dog for the blind are still far off....

4  Microsoft Beefs Up E-Commerce Plan with New Services
Microsoft Corp. on Monday launched a set of products and services to let businesses large and small put their operations online, another piece in the software giant's .NET shift to the Internet...

4  RNC Site Shut Down by Hackers
The Republican National Committee's website was hacked and replaced with an anti-Bush tirade. An RNC spokesman says "it's obviously a dirty trick" by the Democrats...


4  BMG Australia puts music on Web
The record company has agreed to offer 14 "promotional" songs from Australian artists for free download over the Internet...

4  Teachers denied Net access
Most teachers are forced to resort to the school library or administration office to access the Internet, according to a survey by ACNielsen...

4  One.Tel pulls out of race
ONE.TEL has pulled out of the federal Government's auction of mobile phone licences next year putting in serious jeopardy the Howard Government's 2001 Budget forecasts...
Australian IT

4  Trend-setter out of step with net fashion
Remo Giuffri is a man unused to being on the wrong side of a fashion trend. The founder of the ultra-hip REMO General Store Giuffri helped define Australian retail fashion in the 1990s. Now he wants to recreate his REMO store on the net, but so far funding has eluded him...


4  New flare-up in battle over e-books
It's writers vs. publishers, even in the brave new electronic book world. And it's publishers vs. publishers when it comes to e-book business models...

4  Yahoo!'s groundbreaking election site
The site is offering complete coverage with real-time returns and streaming video from voting precincts...

4  European Coffee Machine Will Send Its Own E-Mail
Coffee has always been an integral part of the Internet revolution -- and never more so than Tuesday this week when European coffee company Lavazza and technology supplier eDevice launched a coffee machine that sends e-mail...

4  Hacker Pleads Guilty to Invading JPL, Stanford Computers
A 20-year-old hacker who seized control of sensitive computer programs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and at Stanford University pleaded guilty to federal charges Monday...
LA Times

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

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