Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
As I suggested a few weeks ago, some web design companies are finding
times to be very tough out there, and this was clearly demonstrated when
WebMedia announced on Friday that it was shutting up shop.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Long-time Aardvark readers will know that I have never been a fan of
overly-Flashed websites and I've given WebMedia and its work a fair
ribbing from time to time -- but it's still sad to see them go.
Take it from me that they won't be the last in the ongoing clean-out
within this market sector.
I'd wager that web designers will ultimately be judged, not on the
"flashiness" of their work but on the return on investment it offers the
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I'd also wager that those who manage to survive for another couple of years will
be the designers who produce good, solid, ergonomically designed
websites that are not dependent or highly reliant on a single technology
and which don't discriminate against those without the latest and greatest
How Clever Is That
How smart are INL, the publishers of Stuff.co.nz?
Well if this story
is anything to go by -- not very!
Not only is this story pretty much an admission that perhaps their existing
online security is inadequate, but then they go and give any would-be
hacker/cracker just the sort of information they need to help them break in.
While security through obscurity alone is not a good idea -- neither is it
smart to go telling all the world exactly what security products you plan
If you want to crack INL's defenses it would seem that a good place to start
right now is checking out the underworld of the Net for information on
Borderware. However, once they've done the upgrade, do the same for Safecom
and a break-in becomes far simpler. After all, even the best security products
are not infallible
and if the hackers know what you're using and are quick enough to exploit the
holes before they're patched -- wham!
INL -- don't go blabbing any details of your security setups (now or future)
to the public. This type of story shows you clearly need more than fancy
security software if you're going to keep the hackers out.
Making Life Hard For Honest Folks
It looks as if the recording industry is rolling out all sorts of justification
as to why they need to make life hard for us by introducing copy-protection
and anti-ripping systems into the ubiquitous audio CD.
To date we've been told that thanks to the proliferation of CD burners
and the Internet, piracy is costing the industry billions of dollars and that
copy-protecting CDs is just a way of protecting the industry's intellectual
Well this interview
goes a long way towards showing just how dumb the industry really is.
This quote from the bottom of the interview says it all really:
"From our standpoint, we are designing the software for the 99 percent of
the people who don't want to steal the music but instead (want to) use it for
whatever means--for whatever personal use that's allowed by the artist and
the record label. The software was designed for those people, not for the
1 percent who are going to take the lock cutters and cut the lock off and
steal music in an unauthorized way."
So there you have it.
Am I the only one who finds this to be completely ridiculous?
- Only 1 percent of the public actually steal music.
- Copy protection is designed for the 99 percent of people who don't steal music -- huh?
- This copy protection won't stop the 1 percent who are the real problem anyway.
My advice: Don't buy copy-protected CDs, and, if you find you have a copy-protected
CD in your collection, return it under the Fair Trading Act with the claim that
it doesn't play correctly and is therefore not fit for the purpose it was sold.
Maybe the recording industry will eventually get the message that they're
actually starting to drive people to the Net to download pirated music because
we'll soon be unable to make legitimate backups for their car or listen to
our favourite tracks on their PC's drive while at work.
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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