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 25 January 2002 Edition
Previous Edition

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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Time for Aardvark's weekly walk on the web's wild side with links to some of the wierdest, wackiest and worst sites on the Net.

For Sale By Mental Patient
"Crazy" is not a strong enough word to describe this site. It just goes to show that you can (try to) sell anything on the Net.

Create Your Own Net Hoax
Lost for ideas -- try this page and create your very own myth that might just become an urban legend.

Harvey The Mouse Must Die
Not for the squeamish -- one man's battle with small rodents who invaded his home. I can understand the need to eradicate -- but the need to put up a webpage about it??

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

Internet Silliness Lives On
There was a time, not so long ago, when people would invest money and time into just about anything that was Net-related. Then came the dot-com crash of 2000 and we were told that such frivolity was over.

Well guess what -- if the site I came across today is any example then silliness is alive and well on the local Net scene.

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This morning, as I was rounding up the day's headlines and links, I happened to spy an advertisement on TV1 for Bisnet.co.nz.

Now, you'd expect that if someone was spending good hard cash on promoting a website then that site ought to be something special -- or at least based on a good sound business model that would ultimately produce a return on that advertising investment.

Oh dear... what a disappointment :-(

At a technical and implementation level the site is sadly lacking.

Its one of those "look how clever our web designers are" sites that I'd hoped had died years ago.

Running it through websitegarage.com we see that, thanks to a gratuitous abuse of mouse-overs and layered images, there are a colossal 400KBytes of graphics that need to be loaded before the page will display "correctly".

I use the word "correctly" in quotes because none of my browsers would actually render the site's front page properly -- even if you waited the two minutes or more that this takes on a dial-up connection.

WebsiteGarage also rated browser compatibility and HTML design as "poor".

Netscape 4.x couldn't render the page properly at all (screenshot), stringing all the various page elements out into a very long vertical list that made no sense and looked absolutely awful.

Even Internet Explorer couldn't cope with the mess -- incorrectly overlaying graphics and placing text links over the top of a mapped graphic so that some of the mapped areas were unreachable (screenshot).

The simpler pages, the type that your average 12-year-old could code accurately in their sleep, were little better (screenshot).

However, despite the myriad of bad choices and design errors that encumber this site, the real long-term problem might be the business model on which it is based.

Do the people behind this site even have the most basic understanding of what marketing and the Internet is all about?

Take this page for example. (screenshot).

As the main sales-pitch component of the website, I would have expected something far more impressive than a logo that isn't centered and masses of text that is (thus producing bullet points that don't line up and resulting in a very, very amateurish presentation.

When a marketing company sets out to solicit somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000 worth of business from each customer, it makes a lot of sense to do so using something that is just a little more impressive than the brochure page on this site.

In fact, this site is a crazy paradox. On the front page we have a site that tries to be far to slick and smart for its own good -- and on the all-important self-marketing page it looks like something a rank beginner with no design, layout or coding skills would knock up using Microsoft Word and an HTML converter.

This site is, if nothing else, an example of how bad habbits die hard, and an indicator that the days when people threw money at crazy internet-related schemes without even considering the basics are not yet dead.

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.

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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)

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