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Ginger Fizz(le) 16 January 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

It seems that the mysterious invention, codenamed "Ginger" may have been vastly over-hyped in a way that only the Internet allows.

The inventor of the device is now trying to down-play all the speculation that it might change the face of the world in which we live and has put a significantly different spin on some of the statements made in the media.

Readers Say
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French Tax... - Craig

various topics... - Bernhard

i4free... - Sam

Chatrooms rock!... - Jack

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Well Aardvark has been given a tip-off to a website which has uncovered the real secret of "Ginger" and, once I've verified a few facts, I'll be publishing the link here so everyone can see what's going on.

In the meantime, all I can say is that it is a transportation device.

Much of the speculation to date has surrounded the inventor's existing work with the Stirling engine -- a device that is classified as an "external combustion" engine.

These engines have, since their invention, held a promise of improved efficiency, lower emissions and near silent operation -- but there have been very few commercial applications of this technology.

However, one Aardvark reader emailed me the URL of an innovative Kiwi company that appears to be in the final stages of developing an energy generation system incorporating the Stirling engine.

Maybe we'll out-Ginger the Americans?

French Government Has Mad Cow Disease
Some time ago the German government decided to whack a small surcharge on computer systems and some components in order to compensate recording artists for what were perceived to be the losses they were suffering at the hands of digital piracy.

Well now it seems that the French, in their inimitable way, have gone right over the top and proposed that massive taxes be added to hard drives and other items for the same reason. While the Germans are levying about NZ$50 per hard drive, the French have gone right over the top and suggested a tax of NZ$300 per unit. Sacre bleu!

It seems that France and Germany are happy to label all computer owners thieves and pirates so are forcing them to pay for a crime that the vast majority of them have never committed.

Will our government be the next?

Big Projects Still A Problem?
Once again a large government-funded IT project has fallen apart and it seems that the taxpayer is the ultimate loser.

The Government SOE TerraLink is being placed in receivership and it looks likely that it will be sold off to cover at least some of the debt it has incurred as part of a project which was to see NZ's land title information placed online.

Its collapse comes in the wake of the botched INCIS affair which saw a massive blow-out on the costs associated with an ill-fated attempt to revamp computer systems used by the Police force.

But fear not Kiwis -- we're not alone. As you'll see in the Australian News links section (below), Australia's government have also got themselves in a bucket-load of donkey-droppings over their own IT budget blow-out.

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...

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

4  Ultra speed limit set
Ihug has warned it will use newly installed network management software to set a 50kb per second "speed limit" on its Ultra broadband services...
NZ Herald

4  Bandwidth price wars push sale of Iprolink
Internet service provider Iprolink looks likely to be in overseas ownership by the end of the month as Newcall Group sheds its New Zealand telecommunications operations...
NZ Herald

Other

4  France To Tax Computers, Disks, Phones
Levies of as much as $144 on a hard disk will compensate musicians, movie-makers whose work is digitally copied...
TechWeb

4  Web App Server Providers Look Beyond Java
New version of Java is seen as a precursor to further innovations in the business of the Internet...
TechWeb

4  Voice recognition still selective
In the movies, computers are always good listeners. In real life, they only hear what they want to hear...
CNet

4  Who's The Best Hacker of All?
Get ready for OpenHack III, a contest to determine if a new computer security product is as impenetrable as its designers say it is. But the real question is, will the best hackers even enter?...
Wired

4  'Ginger': Kamen's Stirling Idea
It was the story of the moment last week: What exactly was Dean Kamen's latest invention? Turns out it very well may be a scooter that uses that science-project fave, a Stirling engine...
Wired

Australia

4  Internet take-up surges, sector takes stock
Internet take-up in Australia hit a robust 40 percent last year, with an increase of 1.89 million users taking to the Net. It was also a year that taught the dot-com sector many lessons...
ZDNet

4  Crean calls for Fahey sacking over IT ``mess''
Finance Minister John Fahey should be sacked for making a mess of the government's IT outsourcing program, acting Opposition Leader Simon Crean said today...
Fairfax

4  Cash dries up as 3G hopes fade
FINANCIERS face tough decisions on whether to back companies pursuing 3G spectrum in Australia, despite a must-have attitude and upbeat expectations from most telcos. according to a global consultancy...
Australian IT

Other

4  Inventor: 'Ginger' speculation overblown
Dean Kamen says expectations about his high-tech mystery device have 'led to expectations that are beyond the mere whimsical.' ...
ZDNet

4  German study links cell phones and eye cancer
A German study released Monday said there was a link between cancer of the inner eye and the use of cell phones, but critics said the finding was based on flawed research techniques...
Mercury/Reuters

4  Latest RealPlayer crashing PCs
We've had several complaints that the latest version of RealPlayer is interfering with systems, causing them to crash and throwing up all sorts of errors...
The Register

4  On the Web, no one knows you’re a dog, or suspended
On his Web site, Ronald E. Lais, a family-law attorney from Anaheim Hills, Calif., trumpets 25 years of legal know-how...
MSNBC


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

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