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Think Green, Recycle Your News 22 August 2001 Edition
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Maybe I'm just getting jaded but it strikes me that we're seeing a lot of recycled stories on the Net-industry news wires these days.

As mentioned yesterday, the NZ Herald made a lot of noise about the existence of "sinister" files on Windows PCs -- but this has been widely known for a long time and there are some people who are doubtless making a small fortune by selling software to erase those files -- just check any usenet newsgroup for the spam promoting such.

Then TV One news alerted us all to the shocking revelation that our computers might contain "spyware" -- something widely known to have been a trend for over two years now. Regular readers of this column will know that I've reported a number of the major spyware cases such as those involving the RealPlayer and Netscape's software download system in the dim distant past.

So what's the problem? Why all this recycling?

Perhaps it's because the industry is suffering a bit of a hangover after the dot-com boom and bust.

When new, well-funded, and exciting (if not just plain crazy) ventures were appearing on an almost hourly basis, there was plenty of interesting news to report.

Then came the bursting of the dot-com bubble...

Even this was newsworthy however, and the media spent its time counting dead-heads and failed dot-com companies ad nauseam.

But now most of the smoke has cleared and the Net industry is really no different to forestry, farming, consumer electronics, or any other industry.

In short -- there's not a lot of news out there any more. Writers, like myself, (and even the good ones) are finding increasingly hard to regularly come up with stories that are interesting, informative and worthy of air, print or web-space.

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    In fact, you have to wonder whether some of the recent crop of worms and viruses haven't been engineered by the media just so that there's something to write about.

    Even that perennial favourite headline: "Major Security Flaw In Microsoft Product/Service" is becoming so oft-repeated that it holds little allure for writer or reader alike.

    From time to time we can poke a stick at the recording industry for trying to protect their intellectual property but we all know the procedure: people infringe copyright, RIAA sues; people infringe copyright, RIAA sues.... etc,etc.

    And, of course, we're now becoming desensitized to stories that keep reminding us that governments all over the world (including NZ) want to pry into our private online lives and activities -- even to the extent of giving themselves powerful privileges, by way of special legislation, to ensure that they can.

    So -- instead of me telling you what's (not) going on -- why don't you tell me the type of subject material you'd like to see covered in this column?

    What would you like to read about on the increasing number of slow-news days?

    Drop me a line and if you want to share your comments with Aardvark's readers, don't forget to select "For Publication" or your comments will be regarded as private.

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    Security Alerts
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