Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

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Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
Lighten Up 16 November 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
More of the wierd, whacky and wonderful stuff that's hiding out there on the world wide web.

Nude Women In The Dominion/Stuff!
An alert and highly observant Aardvark reader spotted the nude woman in this picture published by news-provider INL. I've made it easier for you to spot.

Turbo Powered Barstool
New Zealand has the distinction of having the world's first jet-powered beer cooler and this turbo barstool has to be the ideal accompaniment don't you think?

Need Cutting-Edge Copy?
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

Of Frying Pans And Fires
In a much anticipated move, Telstra has purchased Clear Communications for the paltry sum of less than $500m.

While the spinmeisters are already telling us that this can only mean good things for NZ consumers and that it will ratchet up the levels of competition -- I'm not so sure.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
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One area where we're unlikely to see any improvement is the supply of DSL services.

If reports are to believed, Telstra's DSL pricing and performance levels are even worse than Telecom's -- so neither has any real incentive to improve do they?

However -- if you check out Monday's Aardvark, you'll find that there is a new non-ISP-dependent broadband internet service about to be announced that could give both Telstra and Telecom a bit of competition.

It's not a new service -- but the offering is new.

Arse-kicking Time
While reviewing a long list of local websites recently, I noticed a very frustrating and annoying flaw.

A huge percentage of sites that offer free email "newsletters" are providing no privacy policy. Neither do they indicate the frequency and form of their mailings.

Signing up to these lists is a bit like playing Russian roulette:

  • will your mailbox be deluged by daily MS Word files of several hundred Kbytes in size?
  • how easy is it to unsubscribe?
  • is this a double-opt-in list or can you sign up your friends/enemies too?
  • will your name become part of some larger list sold for a profit to spammers?
My advice to web-designers is that they should always include a privacy statement. Even though such things are covered by law in NZ, not all your visitors will be aware of that -- particularly if they're overseas. Also make it clear exactly what form and frequency your emailings will take and why not make the point that you're running a double-opt-in system as part of your responsible anti-spam attitude?

My advice to Net users is to avoid handing over any information (including your email address) to any site that doesn't have a clear and simple privacy policy -- or which doesn't offer any indication as to what signing up to their emailing list will expose you to.

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

Open in New Window New duopoly "creating strong competition"
TelstraSaturn's purchase of Clear Communications will increase competition in the New Zealand market, despite reducing the number of top level players from three to two...
IDG

Open in New Window Finance firms test card authentication
Two major financial sector organisations are trialling intelligent-card authentication for online customers to prevent fraud...
IDG

Other

Open in New Window E-Mail Virus Slams Muslim Group
The notorious and long-lived Snow White virus hits an e-mail list of the American Muslim Council, and the group claims it was deliberate...
Wired

Open in New Window Yahoo to Cut 400 Jobs in Re-Alignment
Yahoo! Inc. President Jeff Mallett said on Thursday the company would cut about 400 jobs, mostly in international and broadcast operations and middle management ...
Yahoo

Open in New Window Survey Finds Few Pay for Once Free Web Sites
Some of America's favorite Web sites have begun charging fees as a result of the dot-com shake-out, but few people have been willing pay so far, according to a survey released on Wednesday...
Yahoo

Open in New Window Microsoft offers patch for cookie hole
The software titan issues a patch almost a week after a vulnerability is revealed in Internet Explorer that allows hackers to gain access to someone's cookies...
CNet

Open in New Window Burger King patrons to ring up eBay credits
Want a CD with your fries? The burger chain and the auction giant have cooked up a plan to let customers bid on items with points earned at Burger King restaurants...
CNet

Australia

Open in New Window Telstra joins in staff slaughter
TELSTRA is expected to move quickly and axe hundreds of jobs at its New Zealand operations to rescue its expansion strategy there...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Telstra fumbles, mBox customers walk
Barksdale Brown, managing director of Australia’s largest unified messaging provider mBox, will be able to tell shareholders how many customers have walked away from the service when the company’s month-long battle to port its dial-in numbers from Telstra’s exchanges to its new telecommunications carrier, Primus Telecom, ends next week...
ZDNet

Other

Open in New Window WinXP: log on as admin if you want to play games, MP3s?
Home users seem to be coming badly unstuck when tangling with the new security features of Windows XP...
The Register

Open in New Window Linux fans 'hack' Windows XP advert
British Linux users have begun to tell the wider world what they think about Microsoft's Windows XP. Their weapon: the spray can...
The Register

Open in New Window Searching for the real Harry Potter
Pirated copies of the much-anticipated Harry Potter movie have been reported online ahead of its U.S. release Friday, but impatient viewers will likely find it faster to wait in line at the theater rather than find an illicit version...
ZDNet

Open in New Window Xbox squared
Microsoft's game-box revolution takes the path of mediocrity, while Sony's Playstation seizes the creative high ground...
Salon

Open in New Window Gates Touts Xbox at Worldwide Launch
Microsoft Corp. revved up its publicity machine to unveil its anticipated Xbox Thursday, whetting the public's appetite for the new device amid what may be the fiercest competition for the home video game market in years...
AP


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