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The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times 14 November 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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It seems that records are being broken -- both for the number of people online and the amount of time they're spending behind their browsers.

Unfortunately, due mainly to the slump in online advertising, the extra traffic means little but higher costs for many websites.

Just at the time you'd expect online publishers to be rubbing their hands with glee -- many of them are working hard to find new sources of revenue to fund their ballooning bandwidth costs.

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The Cookie Crumbles
Many people, including some legislators it would seem, are paranoid about cookies.

The EU has voted to tighten up on the use of cookies and this will require any website issuing them to first obtain the user's permission.

Just imagine how irritating it's going to be if, every time you go to a new website hosted or operated by someone from an EU country, a little Javascript box pops up and says "may we send you cookies?"

It's even worse news for the advertising networks such as Double Click. They make heavy use of cookies and the prospect of every EU site on which they have a banner being altered to obtain the necessary permissions would be a major nightmare.

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One report has suggested that such a move would cost British companies around NZ$600m -- and they're just part of the EU.

And what do you do if someone refuses to give permission?

As anyone who has disabled the cookies on their browser knows, some sites just refuse to give you access if you don't have cookies enabled. Without some fairly significant changes, those sites might as well roll up and hide their welcome mat.

Now, given that most browsers already have the ability to enable and disable cookies -- why is their any need at all to legislate website operators?

Have the lawmakers gone a bit overboard on this one?

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Just drop by and hand over your loot.

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Security Alerts
Admins asked to check buggy line printer daemons (AAP - 08/11/2001)

New vulnerability exposes Excel and PowerPoint macros ZDNet - 29/10/2001)

Microsoft tightens software security (CNet - 16/08/2001t)

Code Red Worm A 'Runaway Success' (7amNews - 20/07/2001)

Virus Alerts
Finaldo worm on the crawl (ZDNet - 09/11/2001)

Tripple-threat Worm Strikes (Aardvark - 19/09/2001)

New worm spreading slowly (CNet - 4/09/2001)

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