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What's Going On Here? 4 December 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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If I were a suspicious type I might be wondering if Telecom and Telstra weren't perhaps getting into bed in the area of broadband offerings.


Well, what are the chances that the DSL usage meter of both telcos would fail simultaneously this weekend?

According to this story from IDG, Telecom's DSL usage meter was out about the same time as Telstra's was spitting the dummy according to this story from ZDNet Australia.

Coincidence? Of course -- but it does leave you wondering whether Telstra's entry into the NZ marketplace might be seen as giving a green light to reduced levels of service.

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Perhaps Telecom's spokeswoman ought to have the final word on the company's commitment to customer service when she told IDG (probably with a sigh of relief) that the glitch wouldn't affect the ability to bill customers.

I bet that makes those who were flying-blind over the weekend (and paying by the megabyte for the privilege) feel a whole lot better eh?

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • dork scooter vs. my vespa... - digitaldunk
  • Daleks... - Camryn
  • Segway/Ginger/IT... - BillQuerty
  • Have Your Say

    What Happens When It Rains?
    So Ginger has been revealed -- and it is, as so many speculated, just a fancy scooter for the rich and famous.

    If it were on the market for a couple of hundred dollars it would sell like hotcakes and totally eclipse all previous fads such as superballs, chatter-rings, Rubiks cubes, hoola hoops, yo-yos, and even pet rocks.

    Unfortunately, it's going to cost almost NZ$8,000. Quite frankly, I don't see many of us laying down the price of a second-hand car for something that has little advantage over a Honda 50.

    The media has gone crazy extolling the virtues of this new invention -- citing its efficiency, it's "intelligence," its safety, etc. They claim it will be a great alternative to cars for urban commuting, etc.

    But what happens when it rains?

    What happens when you need to bring home three bags of groceries?

    What happens to levels of public fitness when even walking down to the corner shop for a paper becomes a fully automated experience?

    Then there's the security issue...

    The "consumer" version weighs in at just 29Kg so it's pretty easy to pick up and carry off. Its light-weight, combined with that hefty price-tag, means that you're not going to want to leave it sitting outside a shop when you go in to make a purchase. And, given that few stores allow people to enter wearing roller-blades, I can't see people being encouraged to ride their scooters indoors either.

    Of course I won't even speculate what could happen if the microcomputers onboard "IT" get a virus -- but it would make some spectacular news footage wouldn't it?

    Then there's that issue of "range." They're claiming it will travel 15 miles (24 Km) on a single charge. Quite frankly I find it difficult to believe that they will get this kind of distance from existing battery technology unless travelling on an absolutely flat surface (which rules out our local hilly and bumpy footpaths).

    Of course Gates and Jobs were delighted with the thing and sung its praises. They just forgot that not everyone is worth billions of dollars and can afford to plonk down NZ$8,000 on such a device.

    What do you think -- would you spend that much money on a fancy scooter?

    Have your say.

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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)

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