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What If? 22 November 2000 Edition
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As we roll into the 21st century, the Internet has become a party of many people's every-day lives.

Email has all but replaced the fax or letters and stamps for many casual communications and we're just as likely to turn to the web as we are TV when looking for some evening entertainment.

The influence of the online world looks set to become even more profound now that we've got a honking great fibre-optic cable linking our tiny islands to the rest of the world -- but what if?

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What happens if, once we become addicted to all that lovely international connectivity, we lose it?

Much noise has been made about the way that the new Southern Cross undersea cable is "self repairing" and has built in redundancy, and it might be pretty unlikely that it would be disturbed while quietly nestled thousands of feet below the waves on the ocean bottom -- but that's what happened to another cable yesterday.

Connectivity from Australia, Indonesia and parts of Western Asia were abruptly interrupted yesterday when one of these undersea cables had an accident.

Nobody is yet quite sure what has happened to cause the cable fault, but its repair requires tracking down the location of the problem and then performing some rather delicate repairs.

Most analysts agree that we're going to continue to see strong growth in the demand for international bandwidth in/out of NZ in the coming decade. So imagine how sad life would be if the Southern Cross cable were to suffer a catastrophic failure in (say) two year's time. It doesn't bear thinking about does it?

The Growing Threat Of Buffoonism?
It's very refreshing to see that the new CEO of Domainz has the guts to fess up that the new registry system is still a can of worms. Well done!

Despite repeated assurances from the former CEO, Patrick O'Brien, every man and his dog knew that there were still major problems with that atrocious system. I believe that O'Brien's "ignore the truth" attitude to dealing with the problem did nobody any favours and ultimately reflected badly on his own credibility. The fact that the problems have now been acknowledged bodes very well for the future.

And on the subject of Buffoonery - an Aardvark reader spotted a piece in the Evening Post last night which seems to parallel the plight of Alan Brown in his battle with the former Domainz CEO.

It seems that England cricket batsman Michael Atherton has been hit with a $500,000 defamation suit after he called a local (Pakistani) journalist a "buffoon" during a 1996 press conference.

Might I suggest that anyone who sues another for calling them a buffoon, truly is one.

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

4  E-snooping bill criticised on both sides of House
Members of Parliament from both Green and National have spoken out against the supplementary order paper on the Crimes Amendment Bill....
NetGuide

4  Domainz system still not stable, says new CEO
The interim CEO of Domainz says the Domainz Registry System is still not stable nearly six months after her predecessor declared it to be "working well"...
IDG NZ

4  Powering Up the CBD
Electricity and gas company UnitedNetworks sees itself as a new breed of convergence network provider as it prepares to lay fibre optic cable throughout central Auckland and Wellington business districts...
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Other

4  Cut cable halts global internet traffic
Telephone companies from Singapore and Indonesia scrambled yesterday to repair a break in an undersea telecommunications cable that led to major internet traffic jams for millions of users worldwide...
NZ Herald

4  EMusic software to block Napster members
The music e-tailer unveils software that identifies and blocks songs that are being shared by people using the controversial music-swapping service...
CNet

4  Who will be king of the game consoles?
As Sony scrambles to ramp up production of the PlayStation 2, two new combatants in the game console wars are wooing software developers to lay the groundwork for an assault on the market next year...
CNet

4  Europe Starts Debate on Patents
Open-source fans and European patent officials are busy debating whether software developers should be allowed to patent their applications at Munich's Diplomatic Conference to Revise the European Patent Convention...
Wired

4  A Star Wars Defense to Hackers
An Internet security company begins beta-testing a tactic to prevent Denial-of-Service attacks. Asta Networks plans to set up barriers to DoS attacks at the ISP level or on the Internet backbone...
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Australia

4  Repair ship readied for sea cable break
Internet users can expect at least a few more days of delays as an emergency repair ship prepared to leave Singapore on Tuesday to begin work on restoring a major undersea telecommunications cable linking Australia with the rest of the world...
AFR

4  Sausage shareholders stage protest
Shareholders in the embattled software company have staged a protest over a decision to grant lucrative executive option packages to two former directors...
NewsWire

4  Telstra cable internet users complain
INTERNET users have complained that Telstra's "unlimited" Big Pond cable service is also subject to restrictions, after yesterday's report of regulatory action against Optus@Home...
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4  Bye bye, buy.com shuts down
Mr Rupert Murdoch's involvement in internet ventures took another blow on Tuesday when electronics e-tailer buy.com Australia closed down and 40 staff were sacked...
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Other

4  eBay, Amazon avoid French knot
Yahoo! Inc.'s French adventure has gone so badly that most of its souvenirs are court documents. eBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. have made the same trek but have somehow managed to escape the same mistakes...
ZDNet

4  Nokia touts colorized mobile device
Nokia upped the pressure on rivals on Tuesday when it unveiled a mobile device with a color display that acts like a personal organizer and lets the user make phone calls, access the Web and e-mails...
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4  Yahoo! falls to new low
Shares of Yahoo! Inc. tumbled Tuesday to their lowest level in two years, after an influential Morgan Stanley analyst said that the Internet portal has a 30 percent chance of missing revenue targets in the next few quarters...
CNNfn

4  Taiwan Web Site Threatens to Sue Yahoo! China
A Taiwan Web site is threatening to sue Yahoo! China, alleging that the portal used the Taiwan firm's copyrighted material on its Chinese Web site, lawyers representing the Taipei firm said on Tuesday...
Yahoo


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