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Not Enough Says Bush
7amNews.com's concise coverage of the Terrorist attacks and the USA's inevitable response continues. Ruling Islamic clerics have invited Osama Bin Laden to leave Afghanistan -- but President Bush says they're dreaming if they think this is enough to avoid becoming the target of military action. Get the latest reports.

For all the latest headlines and links on the terrorist attacks and US retaliation, check out the new World At War page.

Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
Lighten Up 21 September 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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Embarrassing Problems
Here's the site for the person that has everything (including bad breath and itching in unmentionable places).

The Journal of Mundane Behavior
Alas, I was hoping there'd be no mention of all the exceptional events surrounding the terrorist attacks on the USA -- but even this site succumbed to the temptation. Ah well - maybe it'll stick to the mundane in future?

Don't Believe What You Read
I've mentioned in previous columns that you ought not believe everything you read on the Web and the revelation that Yahoo's news site was quietly hacked, and stories altered, makes my point.

According to reports, a rather clever hAkr d00de managed to trick his way past Yahoo's seemingly inadequate security and "tweak" the facts a little.

This obviously raises an important issue -- how can online news be trusted?

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As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or Net-based publications. If you're interested, drop me a line

Now I could be a cynic and say - how can any news report be trusted in these days of electronic media and 24-hr news channels?

The emphasis is not on being right so much as it is on being first.

Far too many news providers are focusing on sizzle and forgetting the steak.

And why not? After all, it's what the public are demanding!

I read with interest how, in the wake of the hacking fiasco, Yahoo admitted that it's the quirky or sensational stories that get the most views -- the boring old factual accounts rate pretty poorly.

Only since the terrorist attacks of last week has "real news" rated ahead of sleazy sex stories or humorous human interest stuff.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
From Yesterday...
  • www.djuice.co.nz... - Brett
  • It's Human Nature... - Shane
  • office life and viruses... - Dominc
  • Latest virus... - Peter
  • djuice... - Peter
  • Have Your Say

    Perhaps now people can see why I called my latest news site ShockHorrorProbe and tend to steer away from mainstream subjects in favour of "interesting" stories?

    One solution to the problem of news-sites being hacked and their content altered was suggested on Slashdot where one poster mooted the use of digital signatures for each article. The idea being that even if a hacker could alter the story, he couldn't produce a valid signature for it without the authorised key.

    Personally I think it's probably a good idea -- but all too often, the stories we read are rushed out the door so quickly that even a signed copy is no guarantee that it's facts are correct.

    For example -- the other night, One News claimed that this evil new computer worm Nimda had already infected 150 servers world-wide. Yes, folks -- the Net was being crippled by a mere 150 servers?

    Okay... it was probably a simple reader or transcription error (the figure I read on the wires was 150,000 -- but how would your average couch-potato know that this fact was out by three orders of magnitude??

    Then of course there was the bogus Nostradamus prophesy that did the rounds.

    People all over the world were telling their friends that this attack was accurately predicted by Nostradamus in his writings. Only problem was that it turned out to be a totally fictitious piece of prose made up by goodness knows who.

    Finally, a couple of readers emailed me yesterday to point out a chilling "fact" in relation to Microsoft and the attacks.

    Apparently, one of the flights that smashed into the WTC towers was given the designation Q33NY and, if you type those 5 characters into MS Word, change the font-size to 26 point and switch to WingDings font -- well just try it and see!

    Of course there was no flight Q33NY -- but I heard it on the Net :-)

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

    Open in New Window Half of NZ businesses insecure claims specialist
    More than half of New Zealand's companies are likely to have been affected by hackers or suffered breaches of information security, says a security specialist at Auckland computer systems installer Axon...
    IDG

    Open in New Window Post looks to 'e'
    New Zealand Post chief executive Elmar Toime says the company will continue to develop new electronic capabilities "to meet the demand from customers for electronic services related to physical delivery and messaging"...
    Stuff

    Other

    Open in New Window Terrorists Leave Paperless Trail
    The Internet's fingerprints are all over last week's attack -- from plane ticket purchases to the hijackers' coordination of plans...
    Wired

    Open in New Window Microsoft opens Passport
    Software maker Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it plans to expand its Passport authentication service, which lets users have a single user name and password for Web sites on the Internet, to other enterprises and network operators...
    CNN

    Open in New Window Frenchman Probed for Web Site Applauding Attacks
    A Frenchman who allegedly set up an internet site applauding the deadly attacks on U.S. landmarks and urging Muslims to fight a holy war is being investigated for encouraging suicide acts...
    Yahoo

    Open in New Window News, Nostradamus Knock Out Sex in Cybersearches
    Osama bin Laden has displaced Pamela Anderson in cyberspace and people looking for information about the American flag outnumbered those curious about Britney Spears...
    Yahoo

    Open in New Window Microsoft spars on dates
    Meeting a twice delayed deadline because of last week's terrorist attacks, Microsoft and federal prosecutors Thursday filed a joint status report to the new judge in the case, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly...
    CNN

    Australia

    Open in New Window International access grinds to a halt
    INTERNET traffic slowed to a crawl today after a ship's anchor cut two links between Australia and the United States...
    Australian IT

    Open in New Window Net defamation ruling appealed
    DOW Jones has appealed a court ruling that allows mining magnate Josef Gutnick to sue the company in Australia over material published online...
    Australian IT

    Other

    Open in New Window Yahoo News hacked, story changed
    Online news takes a hit with the Web portal's acknowledgment that a hacker substantially altered a news story that appeared on its site...
    CNet

    Open in New Window Microsoft's new licensing driving users crazy
    For some Microsoft customers, it's paying as much as 107 percent more for the software they buy in volume...
    ZDNet

    Open in New Window Feds complain Bin Laden not using hi-tech equipment
    Osama Bin Laden is evading detection by not using modern telecoms equipment, the US intelligence services have told the press. "He switched off a lot of communications technologies," a US intelligence spokesman said...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Audit: Customs Dept. Lost Computers
    The U.S. Customs Service, which is responsible for tracking down and stopping dangerous materials from entering the country, lost 1,134 of its computers over the past three years, a government audit shows...
    AP

    Open in New Window Panel Mulls Judicial Web Monitoring
    A panel headed by the Supreme Court chief justice is deciding whether federal courts should join private companies that monitor employee e-mail and Internet use...
    AP


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