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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Lighten Up 22 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
Yes, it's fun-day Friday and time to lighten up your mood a little with a journey into the funnier, crazier and stranger sides of the web.

Barbie Blood Bath!!!
Can it be? Has Mattel turned Barbie into a bloodthirsty killer of poor defenseless animals? This animal rights group seems to think so.

How to Cook an Alien
Here are a few recipes you won't find in Jamie Oliver's latest book. If it's a Roswell roast you're hankering after then this is the site for you!

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

Interview With The Search Engine
Sometimes search engines (or at least this search engine) are just too dumb for words.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Micro payments... - Christopher
  • The alternative pay per... - Joe
  • Paying for web content... - Paul
  • Micro payments for news... - Les
  • Pay Per View... - Brian
  • extra payment for... - Meredith

    From Yesterday...

  • Responding to spam... - Nik
  • Shell Shocked... - Steve
  • Spamming... - Paul
  • Talking of Spam... - Sam
  • Spamming... - Peter
  • Reading of Spam... - Simon
  • Please tell me the name... - Tom
  • Have Your Say

    A Money-Making Idea For Bigger ISPs?
    When you buy a CD, piece of software or other item over the Net it's quite normal to pay using your credit card.

    Unfortunately for the vendor, the costs associated with accepting credit card payments can be quite high -- particularly if the transaction value is quite small.

    Because of the impracticality of processing large numbers of very small-value transactions, it remains very difficult to sell access to websites on a page-by-page or story-by-story basis.

    Let's face it -- there are an awful lot of online publications that *sometimes* have good articles on them -- but they're simply not worth an annual subscription that can range from $20 to $200 or more.

    The answer, of course, would be the elusive micropayment. Unfortunately no suitable technology for cost-effectively handling micropayments has yet been produced.

    But maybe this would work...

    What if larger ISPs such as XTRA, Telstra/Clear, IHUG, etc were to offer the internet equivalent of an 0900 service?

    As a content provider, you sign up with the ISP who agrees to bill its customers when they choose to access pay-per-story sections of your website. Once they have collected the money from the customer (and deducted their processing fee and profit margin) they would then pass it on to you as the publisher.

    By charging a fixed monthly fee on top of its commission, the ISP could ensure that the service only appealed to those sites which were really capable of generating actual revenue. Without this simple preventative I could imagine every man and his dog trying to eke money out of their low-value "10 visitors a month" websites.

    This is a win/win/win situation.

    The ISP gets to make extra money simply by performing some basic accounting operations . It also gets to ease its own cashflow and even make some interest on the money by paying out up to a month after they collect it from the customer.

    The publisher gets the chance to sell some if its higher-value content, thus reducing its reliance on advertising revenues or full subscriptions.

    The Net surfer gets the chance to access material that a publisher might otherwise reserve for print or broadcast due to the fact that publishing on the Web seldom recovers costs.

    Imagine how much money a site such as the NZ Herald could make if it charged just $0.05 per story. Now I don't know how many page-views the Herald gets a day but I'd be very surprised if it was less than 100,000. Do the math and you'll see that even if they lost half that traffic due to the five-cent fee, they'd still be generating a gross monthly revenue of $75,0000.

    Now, I suspect that few people would bitch about paying a measly five cents to read an interesting news story or feature article and even Wilson and Horton can't afford to overlook the importance that an additional $900,000 could make to its annual bottom line.

    And, once people got used to paying for online content through such a system, chances are that the subscription model would finally become viable. Regular visitors to a pay-per-story site would soon work out that they'd save money by subscribing directly on an annual basis.

    What do Aardvark readers think? Would YOU pay $0.05 per story to access sites such as the NZ Herald, Stuff, NZoom or (gasp) this site?

    Or should I stop putting ideas into the heads of the beancounters?

    Have Your Say

    There's A New Advertiser In Marketplace!

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    Note: If you can't afford a donation, please check out The Aardvark Marketplace and visit the advertisers instead.

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    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.

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    Security Alerts
    MS server bugs open the door to hackers (ZDNet - 12/02/2002)

    IE bug allows full MSN Messenger hijack (TheRegister - 9/02/2002)

    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)

    Virus Alerts
    German worm makes PCs kaput (The Reg - 20/02/2002)

    New MSN Messenger Worm (NewsBytes - 14/02/2002)

    Klez worm reborn as nastier version (ZDNet - 13/02/2002)

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