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Police "Suspect" The Net 16 May 2001 Edition
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When I saw a headline in this morning's NZ Herald which read Smoking in the boys' room: what a blast and which started out with the foreboding words "A home-made bomb built by students at a Hamilton high school..." you can guess what I was thinking.

As I read through the story I was just waiting for mention of the Internet as a source for bomb plans -- after all, the mainstream media has previously never missed an opportunity to link any story relating to bombs or pornography to the Internet. In fact I can't ever recall reading a headline that said "Boys Got Bomb Recipe From Encyclopedia At Local Library."

Well I must admit that I was impressed -- until I read the words "Detective Sergeant Ross suspected that a website had given them the know-how to build the device."

I must also admit that I didn't spot that the first time I read the article and was about to give the Herald a big pat on the back for being so objective -- but then a couple of early readers pointed out that I'd overlooked the "suspicions" of the police.

Now I have to ask: the police "suspect" that the plans came from the Net?

No proof, no facts, no substanting evidence -- just a hunch eh? Is that really newsworthy?

Why don't they "suspect" that the plans came from an encyclopedia or that the boys worked it out themselves from the information provided in a textbook? After all, that's the way I (and many others) did it when I built bombs as a kid.

Maybe the media isn't as bad as it was -- but the Police still seem keen to "suspect" the Net at every opportunity.

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NZ, Australia's Poor Cousin?
Even though Microsoft might consider New Zealand worthy of its own identity and the investment of $300m by way of a stake in NZ Telecom, it seems that they don't have a lot of company.

Over recent months I've been linking on a semi-regular basis to stories on the NZ.Internet.com website.

These stories have been written by well known wordsmith Keith Newman and have been great reading. In fact on some mornings they were the only items of local relevance that I could find!

Unfortunately the parent of nz.internet.com -- Internet.com, have decided that New Zealand isn't worth the effort. So as far as they are concerned we are now a suburb of Australia.

Although no notice seems to have been posted to the site, the publishing of Kiwi stories stopped abruptly a week or so ago -- leaving visitors (including me) wondering what was going on. Those who subscribed to the site's e-mailouts however were at least given the courtesy of a message which said in part:

"We will still maintain our commitment to the New Zealand market through our Australian network - australia.internet.com. We will also continue to profile both listed and private technology and new media companies through our Australian 'Internet Daily' newsletter.".

They say that the NZ market doesn't warrant special attention in the way that Australia's market does (gosh, I wish I'd known that it wasn't worth writing solely for the local market! ;-)

Readers Say
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  • You were right about Asia Online... - Martin

  • SIS hacking into our computers... - Grant

  • Have Your Say

    However, I think there might be more going on (or going wrong) at Internet.com than meets the eye.

    The (once) excellent NewsLinx site owned and operated by Internet.com also seems to have gone down the gurgler during the past week.

    Compare the number of stories/links published at this time last month with those published today and you'll see what I mean.

    It would seem that the NewsLinx site is now only being updated by the tea-lady when she ducks off to the toilet for a fag. The site's real value was the fact that it was such a comprehensive roundup of the industry's news -- today it's just another small link-site and I suspect it's going to lose a lot of traffic very soon unless things are fixed.

    Hey, nobody ever said publishing on the Net would be easy I guess.

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