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Lighten Up 1 March 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
Time to end the week on a high note with some more of the worst and wierdest web content on the Net.

Bengbu Jinyang Household Machine ToolCO.LTD
This has to be one of the very best examples of "Chinglish" I think I've ever seen on the web, including that catchy phrase "economy and consultation will be more facility and more quickly."

An eBay Auction
Here's a gift for the person who has everything and is just too damned smug about it. Why not bid for a friend?

The Tugboat
Is it a boat? Is it a battering ram? Is it a submarine? Correct! -- it's all of the above.

Need Cutting-Edge Copy?
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for extr7a 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

The Enron Voice Mail System 2002
Computerised telephone answering services are pretty commonplace these days and many companies use them to streamline(?) the processing of incoming calls. Of course when your company goes belly-up, you have to remember to change the greeting message to reflect the fact.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
From Yesterday...
  • Net Stars... - Rus
  • NZ's very own... - Matt
  • What about "dotcom guy"... - Kane
  • Internet Media Stars... - Camryn
  • Internet Stars... - Steven
  • Internet Stars... - Ewen
  • Internet Stars... - Jonathan
  • Have Your Say

    A Flat-Rate Broadband Alternative?
    Xtra look ready to hammer the final nail into the coffin of its Jetstart "flat-rate" DSL service as reports surface that it's considering the imposition of a download cap and possibly extra fees on excess traffic volumes.

    I've had numerous emails from readers who are really annoyed at Xtra's tactics in respect to Jetstart and I suspect that this latest move won't help any.

    It seems that Xtra learnt nothing from watching the problems iHug experienced with the small percentage of "heavy" users of its broadband satellite service. Surely they must have known that any flat-rate service will get absolutely hammered by those people who have a strong interest in bandwidth-intensive media such as music or video?

    Was the company really so stupid as to believe that Jetstart users would all be "average" consumers of bandwidth -- or was this "flat rate" DSL service nothing but a bait and switch designed to get people signed up then change the ground-rules? Either way, this anticipated about-face in respect to the service makes them look at best unprofessional, and at worst -- well you decide.

    So what options are left for those who feel a need for speed and unfettered data volumes?

    What about dial-up access using regular V90 modems?

    Yes, there is a technology out there that allows you to effectively increase the bandwidth of your dial-up connection by using two (or more) modems and phone lines to establish multiple concurrent connections to your ISP.

    Given that Jetstart provides a measly 128Kbps (if you're lucky), two V90 modems would be pretty close at 112Kbps -- and all for the cost of two dial-up accounts (2 x $30/mth) and an extra phoneline ($38/mth).

    To the best of my knowledge, none of the flat-rate dial-up accounts have any cap on bandwidth so you'd be home free with this system.

    Assuming a transfer rate of 100Kbps you'd be able to download a total of some 800MB a day or 24GB a month -- not bad for a total of $136 a month eh?

    I haven't had time to check whether any NZ ISPs are offering multilink PPP connections over dial-up links. Perhaps readers could offer some heads-up if there are any.

    But just why are we paying such huge prices for broadband data here in NZ?

    At the current pricing, that siny new Southern Cross cable will have enough capacity to last us for centuries -- because nobody can afford to use it.

    Have your say.

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    Security Alerts
    Webmasters Urged To Plug PHP Security Hole NewsBytes - 27/02/2002)

    MP3 Files Not Always Safe With Top Media Players (NewsBytes - 25/02/2002)

    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)

    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
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window Xtra considers download cap on JetStart
    The country's largest ISP, Xtra, is reviewing its JetStart DSL package and may well consider including a data cap on the service...

    Open in New Window NZ offers testbed potential
    New Zealand has great potential as an information technology testbed, communications minister Paul Swain told the International Telecommunications Union meeting in Queenstown...


    Open in New Window Streaming Ads Less 'Annoying' Than Banner Ads - Survey
    An American public accustomed to traditional radio and TV advertising finds promotional pitches within audio and video streamed on the Internet less annoying than those ubiquitous Web-site banner ads...

    Open in New Window Dell Proves a Bit Gun-Shy
    A guy orders a computer from Dell and it never comes. He calls and asks why. Turns out he makes hand-crafted revolvers, and that spooked them...

    Open in New Window Morpheus looks to Gnutella for help
    A glitch this week that locked millions of people out of the most popular file-trading network since Napster's fall is raising new questions about the future of the Net's free-music bonanza...

    Open in New Window Does Business Really Care About Faster Computer Chips?
    Despite the overall tech slowdown, chip speeds -- and prices -- are still rising. This leads to an inevitable question...

    Open in New Window Have iPod, Will Secretly Bootleg
    Apple's iPod can be used to copy software from display computers at stores like CompUSA. Will it herald a new era of virtual shoplifting?...


    Open in New Window Australian Government unveils extended portal strategy
    After patting himself on the back for having transferred the bulk of Commonwealth Government services online, Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced the strategic aggregation of such services under a...

    Open in New Window Telstra's broadband peace plan
    TELSTRA is to spend $50 million to push the Australian broadband market to "the next phase"...
    Australian IT


    Open in New Window Cheap PCs will doom Microsoft
    Microsoft's software monopoly is running out of time, says open-source guru Eric Raymond, and he's got a precise figure for when the company's position will no longer be sustainable: $350...

    Open in New Window Whatever Happened To E-Commerce Robots?
    E-commerce robots, also known as "bots," made waves a couple of years ago by promising to find bargain-basement prices for online shoppers...
    Ecommerce Times

    Open in New Window Woz blesses Captain Crunch's new box
    John Draper, the man better known as legendary phone phreak Captain Crunch, is soon to debut the fruits of recent labors: a box designed to thwart hackers...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Linux kernel patching in crisis - Raymond
    Open source guru Eric Raymond says Linux kernel patching is in crisis, and he has renewed calls for someone to assist Linus Torvalds as a 'penguin patch lieutenant'...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Wrestlers Battle On After Losing Appeal To Keep WWF.com
    World Wrestling Federation Entertainment has lost a rematch in an international dispute with the World Wildlife Fund over the use of the initials "WWF" on its marketing material and in its Internet domain name...

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