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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Lighten Up 30 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
Time for another installment of funny, funky, freakish and fun garbage from the Net.

Microsoft's New Security Strategy
Here it is -- Microsoft's solution to the problem of online security. Of course it's not without its problems -- how would you remember such a password?

Fishname Translator
You're going to wonder how you ever got by without this site on your bookmark list.

Alex Chiu's Immortality Device
Why risk dying when good old Alex is prepared to sell you a device that guarantees eternal life. Nice guy that Alex!

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

The Stile Project's Immortality helmet
Not to be outdone by our mate Alex (above), the guys behind the Stile Project have come up with another device guaranteed to provide you with eternal life. Unlike the previous link, this is the real thing -- and they make no bones about debunking poor old Alex's outrageous claims.

Something Completely Different
Now if you're really looking for something a little more sensible to add to your bookmark list, check out what Keith Newman's doing over at his WordWorx website.

He's writing some interesting stuff there and it's probably worth dropping in on a regular basis -- nice local content.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • "Virtual Child Porn" : illegal... - Kerry
  • free will vs utilitarianism... - Michael
  • virutal kiddy porn reply... - Anon
  • Virtual" reality - really?... - Peter
  • Have Your Say

    What About Virtual Child Porn?
    Yesterday a reader sent in an email that got me thinking.

    While making it totally clear that he wasn't in any way a supporter of child pornography, he asked how it was that just viewing such images caused any harm to anyone.

    Of course it's pretty simple to see that in many cases, the creation of images depicting children as sexual objects or engaged in sexual activities is not a victimless crime. Kids are obviously being exploited and abused to create this stuff -- so they are the victims.

    However, what happens if/when the images are completely computer generated?

    We've all marveled at the incredible photo-realistic results of modern 3d-rendering software. A rapidly growing percentage of box-office movies these days are using computer generated images (CGI) to create scenes that would otherwise be too expensive or simply impossible to recreate -- just look at Titanic for an example of this.

    So if someone uses a powerful computer to render child-pornography images, would those images still be illegal and if so, how could that be justified?

    Of course we could assert that the rendered images depict an illegal act and might incite others to perform actual abuse on real kids. This therefore should be grounds for banning them -- right? However, that argument falls kind of flat if we consider that every night on TV and at the movies we are exposed to any number of other images depicting illegal acts such as murder, rape, robbery, etc. To suggest that virtual kiddy-porn should be illegal would also suggest that such movies also be banned should it not?

    What if someone creates a computer game that involves the virtual abuse of children? Should that be deemed illegal -- even though we can already buy any number of games that allow the player to kill and maim virtual characters using stunningly realistic graphics?

    The reason for this discussion is to raise what will likely become a very real issue in the near future as virtual reality and CGI become increasingly powerful.

    Do I advocate that virtual kiddy-porn be legal? Hell no -- but I'd sure hate to see a law that suggested murder and rape were acts that were of lesser significance.

    Perhaps it might be a better idea to avoid desensitizing the population to crimes of violence through constant exposure in the media?

    As always, your feedback is solicited and welcomed.

    If we think ahead, hopefully we'll be ready to face the problem before it becomes an issue. Please feel free to pass the archived URL of this article (http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2001/1130.shtml) on to your friends and those who you feel may have an interest or a perspective on this issue (but no spamming!).

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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)

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