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
Google Offers Shiny Beads And Blankets 8 February 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
Of all the Internet search engines, Google.com is one of the few that is actually making a dollar or two.

A combination of good ranking strategies, good web-design, non-intrusive advertising, and licensing its technology to other players has endeared it to millions of Net users while generating good strong revenues.

After several years spent spidering the Web for material to index, Google now claims to have a list of some 2,073,418,204 web pages in its database -- something that must surely be an asset of immense value.

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, Google has a problem. How can it leverage that massive asset to generate more revenue?

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
Nothing Yet
Have Your Say

I dare say this question has exercised the minds of Google's management and staff for quite some time -- and it appears that some bright spark has finally recognised that maybe they need help.

As a result, they're now offering what they call a Programming Contest with a US$10,000 first prize.

The challenge is to come up with program "that does something interesting with the data".

This is quite a smart move on the part of Google.

Not only do they now have many thousands of bright-sparks thinking hard in an attempt to come up with clever ideas to better leverage the company's massive database (for profit) -- but they also get to use any or all of the ideas submitted without payment of further fees or royalties.

With a really good programmer costing around US$50-$80K a year (plus benefits) then that US$10,000 first prize starts to look like a really cheap way of effectively hiring thousands of staff for a pittance.

However, it's not quite as easy or as lucrative as that. Of course someone (or some small army) with good technical skills is going to have to sort through the many thousands of submissions that will inevitably result from this competition.

The cost of weeding out the huge percentage of entries that are likely to be utterly useless won't be insignificant. Never the less -- it will only take one or two really good ideas to offset that overhead.

Now we keep hearing that NZ's programmers and techies are world-leaders (and I think this is quite true in many cases) -- so I wonder how many locals will be submitting an entry. Or could it be that Kiwis are just a bit too smart to give away an idea that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars in return for five minutes of fame and some shiny beads?

If you come up with a good idea to commercially exploit that massive database, don't enter the Google contest -- just keep it to yourself then approach them later with a revenue-sharing deal. Forget the shiny beads and blankets -- go for the real money!

No Lighten Up?
Come on folks -- I need more material for the Friday "Lighten Up" section.

As you'll have noticed -- there is no "Lighten Up" today -- because I've been too busy to find anything and submissions have dried up somewhat.

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
Mac Office vulnerable, Microsoft warns (AAP - 07/02/2002)

BlackIce Firewalls Vulnerable To DOS Attack NewsBytes - 6/02/2002)

MIRC Chat Users Vulnerable To New Attack (NewsBytes - 4/02/2002)

'Dangerous' hole discovered in Morpheus (ZDNet - 4/02/2002)

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 Govt won't see profits out of See
Other governments have shown interest in the State Services Commission's See (secure electronic environment) standards for secure email...

Open in New Window Telecom counters contract concerns
Telecom has brushed aside speculation that its contract with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is in trouble, saying all is well across the Tasman...
NZ Herald


Open in New Window Beware the new 'security' features in IE6
Although Microsoft claims to finally be paying attention to security as an important issue for the masses, there are some doubts about whether IE6, which is built into XP, has really improved security in any meaningful way...

Open in New Window Linking Patent Goes to Court
By clicking on the headline above, you should be paying a fee to a British company that says it owns the patent to hyperlinking. That's their argument in a patent case that goes to court soon...

Open in New Window $1 films spook Hollywood
A Taiwanese Web site is offering hundreds of videos on demand for just $1 each, trumping Hollywood's plans to deliver similar services and raising the specter of a new round of international copyright battles...

Open in New Window Mac Office vulnerable, Microsoft warns
Users of Microsoft Office on the Macintosh may find that their product serial number is a tool for hackers...

Open in New Window Google Down on Pop-Up Sneaks
Search for "moving" on Google, and you may be surprised to find your results covered by a pop-up ad for MonsterMoving.com...


Open in New Window Telstra dumps email users
TELSTRA is to scrap a popular cut-price email service, leaving about 250,000 customers, including rural users and small businesses, without an email address and access that was charged at the cost of a local phone call...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Rain damage floods NSW telecoms services
Telstra technicians are fighting the freak weather conditions of the last week that have left almost 100 underground cables waterlogged and up to 10,000 fixed phone line services obliterated across the state as a result of the torrential rain...


Open in New Window New Twist On Web-Forms Hack Scarfs Browser Cookies
An independent network security researcher has uncovered a new way to steal the secret browser "cookies" of Web surfers with the help of Internet servers that were never intended to communicate with browser software...

Open in New Window NY Challenges McAfee Covenants
New York state has sued the maker of McAfee antivirus software alleging it is restricting free speech by barring customers from publishing product reviews without its consent...

Open in New Window MS taunted with 'trustworthy computing' Web page
Someone with a sense of humor has either registered or hijacked the domain TrustworthyComputing.com, and is using it to refer Web surfers to a vast archive of news stories covering Microsoft's dismal record in, well, trustworthy computing...
The Register

Open in New Window Teen Anarchist's Supporters Accuse FBI Of AIM Hack
The FBI declined to comment Wednesday on allegations that federal agents have commandeered online chat accounts belonging to the teen-aged operator of anti-government site Raisethefist.com...

Open in New Window Teleporting larger objects becomes real possibility
The dream of teleporting atoms and molecules - and maybe even larger objects - has become a real possibility for the first time...
New Scientist

Looking For More News or Information?

Search WWW Search Aardvark

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

jet engine page