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Lighten Up 2 February 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

Some more fun, frivolity and folly from the world of the wide, wide web.

Lighting The Grill
Guess what happens if you use three gallons of liquid oxygen to help light the barbie? Kids, don't try this at home! (Note: the pictures are part-way down the page).
Category: kaboom!

Alien Abductions
Have you ever been abducted by aliens? Do you want to be? This site could be just what you're looking for.
Category: Owch, get that thing out of my nose

Soul Exchange
And if you can't get abducted, why not just sell your soul -- it's probably quite a similar experience.
Category: Bedazled

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Westhaven funeral home... - Graeme

Have Your Say

It's A Week For Six-shooters
Spam and cowboys -- they seem to share an unbreakable bond don't they?

Well, it looks like another one may have just rode into town.

Several Aardvark readers have emailed me complaining that the "web design" (and I use the term loosely) company Active Digital Designs has sent them unsolicited commercial email offering to build them a one-page website for $180 plus $35/hour for any extra work.

Wow! What a deal (not!)

This guy has the cheek to put at the bottom of his message:

"NEVER SEND SPAM. IT IS BAD"

Excuse me?

The URL this spur-wearer gives for those who want more information is www.westhaven.net.nz/webdesign which, when I tried it using Netscape, produced a page of HTML code rather than a properly rendered webpage. (Here's a screen-dump).

So... maybe he should add to his little sales-pitch: "Testing? What's that?" -- or maybe he simply doesn't realise that over 25 percent of the web-surfing public don't use Microsoft's browser.

If you're using IE, or can figure out the HTML that Netscape users get handed then the next page of this "web designer's" site really puts the chaps on the cowboy. I count four "borrowed" animated GIFs and a rather uninspiring layout.

But let's back up a bit and look where that URL is located.

What does this mean? Perhaps his office is out-back of the crematorium or does he embalm bodies on the side?

Should he take his own hint and hang up those six-shooters?

I see this virtual-horseman also offers computer training -- well how good can his advice be if he doesn't follow it himself (remember that sage advice he offered in his email: "NEVER SEND SPAM. IT IS BAD")

I can't help but get the impression that this guy might be no more than 18 years of age and is trying to replace his paper-run with some web design. If that's the case then I guess we can't criticise too much.

The prices are low -- but then again, so is the level of professionalism (spamming?) and so is the quality of the work -- this all means that the value for money on offer is also very low.

Maybe it's time that WDNZ dusted off the cobwebs and started raising public awareness that the "Cowboy Quotient" is rising out there -- quite frankly I'm getting tired of playing Sheriff!

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Latest
Security Alerts
Multiple Vulnerabilities in BIND (CERT - 29/01/2001)

Windows Media Player 7 opens system for hackers (IDG - 18/01/2001t)

Net worm hobbles Linux servers ZDNet - 18/01/2001)

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)

Latest
Virus Alerts
Melissa-X disguised as Mac doc (ZDNet - 22/01/2001)

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)

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

4  Latest hackers don helpful hat
Online software seller Tucows and its local agent Compass Communications have become the latest victims of hackers who substitute a site's home page with one of their own...
IDG NZ

4  SkyHug revisited: Sky Digital and Ultra through the same dish?
Sky Television and Ihug are in discussion about a partnership on internet service that could see Sky Digital and Ultra delivered through the same Ihug dish...
IDG NZ

Other

4  Security Mavens Invaded by Trojan
A cracker enters a discussion board where the topic is computer security and lays down a script to exploit a hole. Several downloads later, security firm Network Associates is the target of a denial of service attack...
Wired

4  Microsoft plays OS card to cement anti-piracy role
Without much fanfare, Microsoft has captured a leading spot in the content-protection business, a role that is fostering closer relationships between the software giant and music labels and movie studios...
CNet

4  NSA looks to Linux for virtual security
Software emulation firm VMware announced it has teamed up with researchers at the National Security Agency to create a nearly crack-proof computer that can place sensitive data in virtual vaults inside the PC...
CNet

4  New Java Silicon Is 55 Times Faster Than Software
Intellectual-property developer InSilicon Inc. has developed a hardware coprocessor for Java that can run at up to 200 MHz, giving portable systems such as personal digital assistants and smart cards up to 55 times the performance of a Java virtual machine in software...
TechWeb

4  Sun's Java targets gadgets
Appealing to the LinuxWorld crowd, Sun Microsystems debuts a version of Java for set-top boxes, in-car computers and home servers...
ZDNet

Australia

4  Info, comms technology sector job vacancies fall
The number of job vacancies in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector has fallen more than 7 per cent in January, figures released today show...
Fairfax

4  Employers seek slick sellers of `total solutions'
Pure techies will not be "the chosen" when IT firms recruit new faces this year...
Fairfax

4  Leaks reveal Optus's digital plans
CABLE & Wireless Optus is secretly canvassing "content partners" to help it trial an interactive television service on its hugely unwanted broadband network, despite assurances by chief executive Chris Anderson that the telco had suspended all plans to digitalise the network...
Australian IT

Other

4  eBay cracks down on spam and e-mail access
The company plans to block members from looking up each other's e-mail addresses on the site, making it harder for people to spam members and to cut the online auction house out of deals...
ZDNet

4  Report: Online Auctions Top Internet Fraud Gripes
Online auctions made up 78 percent of Internet fraud complaints received by the National Consumers League in 2000, with an average loss of $326 per victim, the group said on Wednesday...
Yahoo

4  PluggedIn: Voxeo Builds Base for Web-Phone Firms
Now that it is possible to connect to the Internet from a telephone or cell phone, a multitude of companies are competing to offer voice-activated Web services to people on the go...
Yahoo

4  Trojan horse targets AOL subscribers
Members of the Internet service are being warned to keep watch for a password-stealing virus circulating in the form of an e-mail attachment...
CNet


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Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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