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Lighten Up 12 January 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

Time for another edition of the stupid, twisted and sometimes funny stuff that's out there on the Web.

101 Uses For The SkyTower
A collection of suggestions on alternative uses for Auckland's towering landmark.
Category: Humour

Legal Marijuana Growing
Don't get too excited all you dope-heads -- it's a piece of software you can download from the Web which simulates the growth of the cannabis plant
Category: Dopey

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Ginger... - Brent

What "IT" is... - Richard

"Ginger"... - Hank

From Yesterday

Internet Passports... - Peter

Cyber Passport... - Stan

online law? absolutely not!... - Daniel

Internet Passport... - Joe

Internet Prisons for Passport violations?... - Rob

Have Your Say

Massive Interbase Security Hole Discovered
CERT has published an advisory (see the "Security Alerts" in the right-hand column of this site) in which it warns that a compiled-in back door account has been found in the Interbase Server.

If you're running this software then you must check to see whether your systems are vulnerable and apply the patches listed.

Bigger Than The Net?
This story isn't exactly about the Internet, although the Net appears to be playing a huge role in the discussions and dissemination of (mis?)-information about a wonderful new machine.

I refer to "Ginger" -- a still secret invention that has Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos telling its inventor that it's a "product so revolutionary, you'll have no problem selling it."

Apple's Steve Jobs, another of the privileged few who have been lucky enough to see the invention commented "If enough people see the machine you won't have to convince them to architect cities around it. It'll just happen."

So what is it -- this device codenamed "Ginger" which has already attracted the interest and money of venture leading capitalist John Doerr?

This story, published by Inside.com the other day, gives away very little about the machine but indicates that it has the power to "profoundly affect our environment and the way people live worldwide. It will be an alternative to products that are dirty, expensive, sometimes dangerous and often frustrating, especially for people in the cities."

Comments like this have many people speculating that it's some kind of advanced transportation device which may replace the car as we know it.

Whatever it is, the prediction is that it will make its inventor richer than Bill Gates within five years.

So -- what is this breakthrough device which, it is claimed, will be bigger than the Internet?

Is it real -- or just an inside joke perpetrated by a few big-names as part of a Harvard Press experiment into alternative marketing techniques for its books?

Would Jobs and Bezos be so easily fooled -- or is this really something so very valuable?

Go read the Inside.com story then come back and share your thoughts with other Aardvark readers.

The Weekly Trickles Out
This week's edition of the Weekly has started trickling out. It will probably take a day or so before they're all sent but they're on their way.

As always, your feedback is welcomed and...

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

Latest
Security Alerts
Interbase Server Contains Compiled-in Back Door Account (CERT - 10/01/2001)

AIM Flaw Could Open Users' Computers to Attack (InternetNews)

Denial-of-Service Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Stacks: (CERT)

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

Latest
Virus Alerts
Kriz virus makes return appearance (ZDNet)

Tool to beat killer Xmas virus promised (IDG)

Virus: Snow White not so innocent ZDNet

Wild Worm With Pro-Linux Message (Wired)

Antivirus firm says Shockwave virus spreading quickly (CNet)

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

4  Offensive intruder poisons chat lines
Local internet service providers may consider blocking an American from taking part in online discussions following one of the worst cases of "flaming" seen in this country...
NZ Herald

4  Ihug says job cuts last part of restructuring
Ihug managing director Nick Wood describes 10 redundancies the internet service provider made yesterday as the last phase of restructuring that was planned last year...
NZ Herald

Other

4  Los Alamos Employee Arrested
A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee was charged with hacking into six company Web sites after the FBI turned up the alleged violations during a routine background check...
Yahoo/AP

4  Dot-Com Employees Return to Old Media Amid Shakeout
The exodus of employees from traditional media outlets to dot-coms in 1999 and 2000 has been rapidly reversing itself as Internet media companies lay off employees in droves...
Yahoo

4  Wall Street pans Yahoo's outlook
Wall Street analysts came down hard on Yahoo after the company lowered its 2001 outlook. Although analysts called Yahoo a strong bellwether, many said the portal should rework its business model...
CNet

4  HomeRF Looks To Gain Ground On Bluetooth
The HomeRF wireless networking consortium introduced products and tallied design wins for version 1.0 of its Shared Wireless Access Protocol specification at the recent 2001 International Consumer Electronics Show...
TechWeb

4  Do You Even Know Who's Watching?
Germany's state-run Independent Center for Privacy Protection is spearheading a drive to educate Net users worldwide about how to recognize and avoid violations of their privacy...
Wired

Australia

4  Microsoft wins $1.2m from Melbourne 'pirates'
The Federal Court has awarded $1.2 million to Microsoft in the largest ever damages judgment against an Australian software pirate, after directors of a Melbourne computer store consistently failed to show up in court to defend the charges...
Fairfax

4  Watchdog puts dots on spot
THE Australian Securities & Investments Commission has warned 53 companies mostly dotcoms and technology start-ups that they have until February 2 to clarify inaccuracies in their financial reports before the corporate watchdog takes action...
Australian IT

Other

4  Deep cuts expected at CNN interactive
The news organization's interactive effort is expected to be hit hard as the company cuts up to 1,000 positions in TV and Web operations...
ZDNet

4  OECD continues clarifying e-commerce taxation
THE OECD, a grouping of the world's advanced economies, is continuing work to untangle the thorny questions surrounding taxation of cross-border e-commerce transactions...
Infoworld

4  Study Shows Hong Kong Hostility Toward E-Commerce
While Hong Kong residents are heavy Internet users, with 34 percent of people regularly going online, the territory is hostile toward conducting electronic commerce, according to a survey...
Excite/Reuters

4  FBI Targets 7 Hackers In Planned New Year's Eve Virus Attack
The FBI is conducting an investigation into a ring of seven juvenile hackers - three in the US and four based overseas - suspected of plotting a series of virus and widespread denial-of-service attacks planned to take place on Christmas and New Year's Eve 2000...
Newsbytes

4  Rumors of Web's Demise Greatly Exaggerated
Just because old media is pulling back from the Internet doesn't mean it thinks the Internet is dead...
SFGate


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

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