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VC: Venture Capital or Very Careless? 24 May 2001 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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One of the advantages of regularly communicating with many people in the local Net industry is that I get to know pretty quickly when a new email worm or virus gets through the defenses of a company.

Every now and then I find my mailbox flooded with emails from the various staff at a company -- each containing an attachment with a copy of the .VBS, .EXE or other executable payload in which the malicious code is stored.

That's the way many of these viruses or worms work -- when some complete cretin receives one of these emails and opens the attachment, copies of the email and virus are usually sent to all the people in their address book.

7amNews Sci/Tech


Fortunately, what used to be a flood of these emails from naive or stupid email users who keep my address in their address book has slowed to a bare trickle these days.

To date, I've simply emailed anyone who has obviously been the victim of such an attack and told them that they had a problem -- but now, having publicised the folly of bad email practice and lack of anti-virus software so many times I'm taking a different tack. It's now time to start "outing" those repeat offenders who have clearly proven themselves to be so stupid and such a danger to others that they don't deserve Internet access.

First on the list are the lovely people at Strathmore. Not only is their website but-ugly (if you think it looks bad in IE, just try it in Nestcape!) but yesterday I received copies of the Mawanella worm from one of the directors and the office staff.

My goodness -- if this is the best we can expect from a public company which proclaims itself to be "one of New Zealand's leading technology venture capitalists" then lord help the industry!

What's even more surprising is that this is certainly not the first time the company has been hit by one of these email-borne viruses. I have a nice collection of virus/worm-laden emails from them that I've accumulated over the past few years.

Readers (and Strathmore shareholders) are invited to draw their own conclusions.

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    The Budget
    After the government's repeated assurances (and some indication that promises are being honoured) let's hope that there's some good news for entrepreneurs and would-be technology start-ups in today's budget.

    As someone who has already benefitted from one of the Technology grants provided by the Ministry of Economic Development, I'm not about to grizzle at the work that's been done to date.

    I hope that the announcement I'm about to make within the next few days will also prove that there is significant value for the government and the country in providing this kind of hand-up for budding hi-tech entrepreneurs. This is the kind of investment that can, and often does, pay very handsome returns.

    Now comes the task of finding funding for the commercialisation phase, I think I'll give Strathmore a miss eh? :-)

    Wanna Buy My Shares In 7am.com?
    I currently hold around 30% of the shares in 7am.com -- but I'm looking to sell them to raise some cash for a new venture.

    It's probably very difficult to assign a value to these shares (they're not listed of course) but I'm realistic and open to offers.

    Other 7am.com shareholders will have pre-emptive rights so acceptance of any offer will be contingent on this.

    Contact me if you're interested.

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    The headlines and stories you see in the reddish box on this page are now available for others to place on their own website -- free of charge. What's more, for a limited introductory period, you can include the entire story within your own pages so that people don't leave your site when they click on a headline.

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    Security Alerts
    Microsoft Patches Yet Another IIS Security Hole (NewsBytes - 15/05/2001)

    Unchecked Buffer in ISAPI Extension Could Enable Compromise of IIS 5.0 Server (Microsoft - 01/05/2001)

    Severe Security Flaw Threatens Netscape Users Betanews - 24/04/2001)

    Multiple Vulnerabilities in Alcatel ADSL Modems (CERT - 12/04/2001t)

    Virus Alerts
    Worm: New 'Homepage' virus rated X (ZDNet - 10/05/2001)

    New virus hits both Windows and Linux (Fairfax - 28/03/2001)

    SANS Detects Lion Worm (TechWeb - 23/03/2001)

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