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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Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't 11 February 2002 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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Who can survive in today's modern world without the aid of the latest technology?

Computers, Internet cellphones -- they're all an absolute essential ingredient of doing business, and a major convenience for most people.

The big problem is that the risks associated with these technologies appears to be growing at a much faster rate than the benefits they offer.

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

If a hacker doesn't break into your PC or send you a nasty worm/virus/trojan via email, chances are that your cellphone will fry your brain with unhealthy levels of radiation.

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Even Microsoft's new "Trustworthy Computing" initiative and their moratorium on new feature development this month in favour of bug-hunting seems to have had absolutely no effect on the level of risk.

I see in today's headlines that an IE bug leaves MSN messenger users wide open to potential security breaches -- and what's worse, the "fix" released on Thursday seems to have failed the company's own "Trustworthy" label and had to be pulled. Not a good look and hardly something that inspires confidence in the company's ability to carry out its promises (I did suggest that they were perhaps way out of their depth on this one).

Of course cellphone users are not immune. Some models of Nokia mobiles can be scuttled by a carefully crafted SMS message -- and now there's a rather clever scam going down in the UK which has allegedly cost a few users a nice chunk of change.

According to a warning I received this weekend, someone in the UK is sending out bulk SMS messages that request the recipient to call a number (09011500065) urgently.

Apparently calls to this number incurs a much higher charge than normal (apparently something like an 0900 number) and (here's the cunning bit) such calls are automatically answered by a machine that plays a recording of the busy tone. This usually results in the caller thinking the number was engaged and trying again later. Of course they're charged for each call so the scam is capable of raking in quite a bit of cash.

Enjoy your shiny new hi-tech toys -- but please stay on your toes.

Aardvark Adds Paid Advertising
What's this? Can it be true? Is Aardvark to be defaced by ugly advertising?

Fear not readers, you won't see any ads on this page -- but I have added a new Marketplace section where, in response to what appears to be a definite demand, I'm accepting paid advertising.

Whether this works or not is really up to you -- the reader. If you visit this page regularly (don't worry, I'll remind you ;-) and support those who advertise there, then this could go a long way towards covering the costs of running this site. If not then I'll forget the idea.

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

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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)

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