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

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
Why Microsoft Doesn't Build Planes 16 January 2002 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
Software is funny stuff. Those who write it, particularly those who make a huge amount of money from it, want us to believe that it should be treated differently to other commodities.

When I buy a car, I don't expect that I'll have to keep returning it to the garage for constant repairs.

When I buy a book, I don't expect that I'll have to return it to the book shop every month or two to have spelling mistakes and grammatical errors corrected.

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

However, when I buy software, companies such as Microsoft are quite happy to ship goods which are clearly defective in some way. So defective that they've now built in mechanisms that are supposed to automatically apply the numerous fixes as they become available.

Unfortunately, it seems that even Microsoft's "fixup" service is now badly broken.

Is there any hope that we'll ever see reliable, safe software from Billy's boys?

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
From Yesterday...
  • News & Sky TV coverage... - Kyle
  • Sky TV reporting... - Grant
  • TV News coverage... - Allister
  • Have Your Say

    Now we all know that software is complex stuff -- but so are modern cars.

    If our cars were as insecure and prone to breaking down as the software we use every day we'd be outraged. I'm surprised therefore, that so many people seem to accept security holes and bugs as just a part of life when using computer software.

    It is tempting to say that writing a perfect non-trivial program is impossible, and I guess I'd agree. However, I find it rather disingenuous, or perhaps incredibly naive, for companies such as Microsoft to launch a product with such bold claims as those which were associated with Windows XP.

    Just weeks after its launch, this supposedly "most secure" operating system was found to have a hole so large that the FBI got involved due to the potential effects on national security.

    Perhaps flaky software with little protection against hackers was okay when personal computers were a hobby thing -- but today they're the backbone of virtually every business and government on the planet. The fate of people, companies and entire nations rest on the quality of software they're using so the standards must be suitably high.

    Aardvark's question of the day:

    Would you fly on an airliner built by Microsoft?

    Have your say (remember to select For Publication if you want to see your comments on this page).

    There are 2 new Vacancies In The Job Centre

    It's Still Free -- So Pay Up!
    Every month, Aardvark scores over half a million hits, at least 150K page views and delivers more than 6GB of data to visitors.

    All this traffic has meant that I've had to shift the site to a new server to ensure that your daily dose is always fresh and delivered to your browser with minimal delays.

    I also invest over 300 hours per year writing the daily column and compiling the day's news index -- all for your illumination and entertainment.

    If you haven't sent any money to help offset the costs of running this ad-free, 100% Kiwi, always fresh, often controversial site then you can give yourself the warm-fuzzies this Christmas by doing so now.

    Just drop by, click on the Aardvark, and hand over your loot.

    Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
    Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

    Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

    Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

    Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

    Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

    There are 2 new Vacancies (14 January 2002) In The Job Centre

    There are 14 Domain Names for sale

    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
    Gigger worm can format Windows PCs (The Reg - 11/01/2002)

    Happy New Year' worm hits Windows (ZDNet - 19/12/2001)

    E-mail worm Gokar spreading (CNet - 13/12/2001)

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

    AUS Sites
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    AFR Tech
    AUS Netguide
    NineMSN Tech
    APC Magazine

    USA Sites
    CNNfn Tech
    Yahoo Tech
    ZDNet Tech
    USA Today Tech
    7am.com SciTech

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech


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

    Open in New Window Waikato students get exam results via text message
    Up to 5000 students at Waikato Institute of Technology (WIT) will receive their summer school exam results as part of the first trial of ExamTXT next week...

    Open in New Window Swain supports Fonterra Net push
    Commerce minister Paul Swain has expressed his support for dairy giant Fonterra's plan to set up an alternative rural Internet...


    Open in New Window Some IE Users Still Vulnerable
    Gaping security holes remain in later versions of Microsoft's Web browser, in large part because the company's server isn't supplying automatic downloads...

    Open in New Window Is your computer inviting voyeurs?
    There it was, just sitting out there on the Internet, for all to see. “The keys to the condo are located in a lock box mounted on the wall outside the entry door...

    Open in New Window Net makes a .name for itself
    The Internet equivalent of the personalized license plate is now available with the launch of the new .name top-level domain...

    Open in New Window Net's servers under scrutiny
    A row is brewing over the reliability and security of the servers that direct much of the net's traffic...

    Open in New Window Lindows seeks to dismiss Microsoft suit
    Lindows, a start-up developing software that would let many Windows programs run on Linux computers, filed a motion to dismiss a trademark-infringement suit Microsoft filed in December...


    Open in New Window Optus hits market with ADSL denial
    Optus has denied rampant rumours within the broadband community that it’s firing up an ADSL service that will rival Telstra’s oft-criticised broadband solution...

    Open in New Window Telstra in a fix over ADSL bug
    An ADSL bug that has baffled Telstra for seven months is continuing to outwit the telco giant, with the fix date for some disabled peer-to-peer files sharing services now pushed back for the third time this year...


    Open in New Window Windows Update glitches wider, deeper?
    Microsoft's problems with the Windows Update site, reported here yesterday, are more complex and widespread than first appeared, according to sources within the company...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Online Ad Group Sets New Standards for Publishers
    The Internet Advertising Bureau is set to release new standards for online advertising on Tuesday, as publishers work to make their medium more consistent and attractive to advertisers...

    Open in New Window AOL warns of ICQ attack risk
    People chatting with outdated ICQ software are at risk for a potentially damaging buffer overflow exploit, AOL Time Warner cautioned in an alert posted Monday...

    Open in New Window Online Shareware: Does Anyone Pay?
    Despite its reliance primarily on the honor system to stay afloat, the plethora of programs for PCs and Macs known as shareware -- software that is free for download but requires users to pay a registration fee if they decide to keep it -- continues to grow...

    Open in New Window Help! I can't cancel my sex site subs (Part 2)
    Troubled billing processor iBill has again been forced to take its customer database offline, risking excess credit card charges for subscribers to thousands of adult web sites...
    The Register

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

    jet engine page