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Lighten Up 13 July 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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Here's more stuff that's worth at least a casual browse if you're in need of a chortle or two:

Unpalatable truths
A great article from The Observer which documents some of people's absolute worst restaurant experiences. Perhaps not for the squeemish reader. There more detail available here.

Barbra Streisand's Energy Tips
My goodness, some Broadway and Hollywood stars are just bottomless pits of altruism eh? Take Barbra Streisand for instance -- she has gone to great lengths to help out the poor Californians who are suffering from a dwindling power supply. Her energy-saving tips are so thoughtful and I'm sure they will have saved the state from total blackout. I can just imagine Ms Streisand hanging out her clothes on a washing line to save power, or replacing her own air conditioning filters.

Napster -- I Have The Answer!
Napster's hopes of restarting its file-swapping service received another blow yesterday when a federal judge said they must keep the service offline until they can prove that there's absolutely no way that people can use it to exchange copyrighted music.

Napster says that its new filtering system is 99% foolproof -- but that's not good enough for the law, so it looks as if they're stuffed.

Perhaps not!

In one of my "million dollar idea" fits of inspiration I came up with a deceptively simple solution that could dispense with all that cutting-edge electronic fingerprinting stuff they're currently having trouble with.

Naturally I emailed Napster and invited them to contact me if they were interested in the idea -- but so far I've received no response (why aren't I surprised?).

Suffice to say that while no system can provide a 100% guarantee of protection against piracy, what I've devised is a whole lot better than the 99% Napster currently claims. I'm sure my method would convince a judge that it was close enough to perfect for the service to be restarted.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Yahoo - Is there anyone there?... - James
  • Dont you just love the law?... - Jared
  • Have Your Say

    Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
    So what is it with these people -- and so many other companies which make the Net their chosen business environment but then make it hard for people to contact them or don't respond to their email in a timely manner?

    Now I admit that I'm not without fault -- there are times when I miss the odd email due to my "sophisticated filtering system" (not!) that occasionally thinks some genuine message is spam -- but my hit rate isn't too bad, and each page on my sites has a contact link.

    I'm still surprised by the number of mainstream websites that seem to go out of their way not to want to hear from you.

    See how long it takes for you to find a simple contact address or form on these sites:

    Okay, so these are high-traffic sites and perhaps they don't want to encourage large numbers of people to email them regularly -- but why make it so difficult for those who have a genuine need to talk directly with someone?

    Is it any wonder that so many dot-coms are floundering when they fail to embrace the single most powerful advantage that the Net has over print or broadcast: interactivity and the ability to receive direct feedback from your audience.

    If you're not listening, how can you tell what people need or want?


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