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It Gets Worse! 9 November 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

Over the past couple of days I've highlighted just how bad some of our ecommerce-enabled websites are and a couple of people have suggested to me that it's mainly because they're pre-launch or small players so it's unreasonable to expect too much.

Well I'd like to believe that but...

If you were an avid punter, keen to check out the TAB's website on Melbourne cup day you might not have been too impressed.

The TAB can hardly be considered "a small player" in the online commerce area, having a turnover with more digits in it than a toll-call to Botswana.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
ztalk certificate... - Graham
From Yesterday

To all of us out there in net land - Julian

Hear hear.... - Dennis

Have Your Say
Of course Melbourne Cup day meant the TAB site got lots of traffic -- so they modified the front page a little to indicate this. Unfortunately what they didn't do was check those modifications properly so if you were using Netscape's browser, this is what you got. Not very impressive eh?

At least Internet Explorer users got this. Why discriminate against Netscape users?

Not exactly what I'd expect from a top-line e-commerce site that admits to generating significant overseas revenues.

Then there's Clear's new Ztalk site which is trying to use a secure certificate that confuses some browsers -- hence this warning.

Now, if I wasn't clued-up enough to work out what was going on here I'd likely be more than a little concerned that my browser was warning me about something to do with security. "Is this a virus? Am I being hacked?" are the kind of questions that the average Net user might ask themselves -- and promptly backtrack out of there.

So, the ecommerce cock-ups are not just the domain of the little guys who can't afford to hire top-gun consultants and web developers.

It strikes me that ecommerce is presently at the same point general web design was some three or four years ago. Lots of people are rushing in to "be there" but far too many are simply ignoring the basics -- like having your site properly checked before it's launched and implementing good, solid operations procedures.

What do you think? Are our standards too low?

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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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
Love Bug bites again  (ZDNet)

UBS warns of new virus (CNN)

Killer Virus Streaming Near You (InternetNews)

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

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