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 | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
The Long Arm Of Defamation Law 5 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
There's a very interesting discussion running in the nz.general usenet newsgroup at present.

This situation reinforces the fact that you really have to think carefully before running off at the mouth when posting stuff to the Net -- even if the target of your comments lives half a world away.

It appears that the (in)famous Dr Laurence Godfrey, who some might say is a little hypersensitive and trigger-happy when it comes to firing off defamation suits, has effectively convinced a local student to confess to committing an act of defamation.

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

By fessing up and paying a chunk of cash (part of a student loan I wonder?) to charity, Vitali Deev has avoided having his pants sued off by Dr Godfrey for "a stream of unjustified insults and false allegations of incompetence, ignorance [and] lack of comprehension."

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
From Yesterday
  • 99.999%???... - John
  • Online advertsing... - Dominic
  • The WWW Free Ride... - Hamish
  • Have Your Say

    Postings to the discussion have suggested that Dr Godfrey is himself not averse to firing off an insult and derogatory comment or two -- however it would appear that he's far too smart to defame any individual, seemingly more inclined to target his critiques at entire races or countries.

    Is, as some believe, Dr Godfrey making a career out of goading people into defaming him then cutting them down in a hail of legal threats and lawsuits? Or is he just a regular guy that is perhaps just a little over-sensitive on the matter of personal or professional criticism?

    Are Kiwi Net Users Too Easy-Going?
    Kiwis are a pretty laid-back bunch, often preferring to grumble quietly to themselves rather than make a fuss when things go wrong or the quality of a product or service disappoints.

    It strikes me however that "laid-back" becomes almost "comatose" when it comes to issues related to the Internet or other high technology.

    Take recent events for example...

    Telecom seems to be making a complete dog's breakfast of running their DSL network with a mix of long-standing problems and new ones combining to make life hell for some customers. But do we see major outrage? No, just a few articles (like this one) in the industry media.

    If Telecom's ADSL service was a car or a toaster there would have been major recalls and compensation paid out left right and center. Customers would have been making enormous amounts of noise and the fallout would be quite significant.

    However, since ADSL is a "high-tech" product from a monopoly provider, we just grumble quietly and remain comatose consumers.

    Of course it would be unfair to single out Telecom -- after all, they're not alone in the dog's breakfast stakes.

    That perennial favourite Microsoft also consistently ships products that expose users to all manner of security problems. Do we grab them by the throat and threaten their kin-folk in disgust? Hell no, we hardly even twitch, remaining quiet and immobile, eyes fixed as if in a trance of resignation. Once again -- a high-tech product from a virtual monopoly provider (who else sells Windows(tm) and Office(tm)?)

    I'm particularly miffed at Microsoft right now because of the hassles experienced when I recently spent quite some time downloading IE6 from the Microsoft website.

    We all know that IE6 shipped with quite a number of serious security holes and that a patch was released last month to plug *some* of them. So why haven't they integrated that patch into the browser download instead of demanding that I download the browser *and* the patch?

    But wait -- it gets worse!

    I downloaded IE6 and installed it, things going quite smoothly.

    However, when I attempted to download the patch (using the newly installed IE6 of course) I was told that my security settings prohibited the download of the patch file.

    "No problem" I thought to myself, I'll just flag microsoft.com as a "trusted" zone.

    Nope, still wouldn't download.

    Okay, maybe time for a reboot.

    Nope, still wouldn't download.

    Checked the browser's Internet settings -- still no joy.

    In the end, Netscape came to the rescue by allowing me to download the critical file.

    Now, even though I have the latest and greatest(?) from Microsoft, I'm still using Netscape as my primary browser because sometimes IE won't follow links and, from a security perspective, it's still a disaster waiting to happen with another new hole being announced today.

    Have your say.

    It's Still Free -- So Pay Up!
    Note: If you can't afford a donation, please check out The Aardvark Marketplace and visit the advertisers instead.

    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!

    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)

    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 Outages continue despite Telecom's claims
    Telecom may have announced that it has solved its DSL micro-outages problem (see Micro-outages fixed: Telecom), but someone seems to have forgotten to pass that information on to the end users...

    Open in New Window Telecom outages leave West Coasters praying
    Residents on the South Island's West Coast fear a tragedy could be waiting to happen with regular phone outages that leave them virtually cut off from the outside world...
    NZ Herald


    Open in New Window StreamCast Suggests Competitors Torpedoed Morpheus
    What looked last week like a software glitch that disconnected more than 1 million online file traders is now described by the distributors of the Morpheus software as a deliberate attack on their system and their users...

    Open in New Window Seeking signs of Microsoft security push
    Five weeks after Bill Gates rang an alarm over security lapses in his company's software, people are still waiting for real evidence that Microsoft has substantially refocused its priorities...

    Open in New Window Online Privacy Is Dead - Now What?
    Your name, address, phone number and Social Security number all are items found on your driver's license -- and on the Web...

    Open in New Window News Corp. Exec Blasts P2P Piracy
    The COO of News Corp. says file-trading services must be policed more heavily because "we're in the process of raising a generation to think that stealing is OK."...

    Open in New Window House Cool to Copy Protection
    Key legislators in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives aren't keen on embedding copy protection controls in consumer electronic devices...


    Open in New Window New kid on Australia's residential ADSL block
    Melbourne-based Internet Service Provider Pacific Internet is launching a residential ASDL service, HomeDSL, and claims the focus is on ‘flexibility’...

    Open in New Window Nokia Australia set to admit to phone defects
    Nokia Australia appears to be closer to admitting that its popular 8210 handset carries a design fault...


    Open in New Window IE, Outlook run malicious commands without scripting
    An attacker can run arbitrary commands on Windows machines with a simple bit of HTML, an Israeli security researcher has demonstrated...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Malware by numbers: online virus creation tool spotted
    The world's first online virus generator has surfaced - but there's no need to get too alarmed, antivirus experts say...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Microsoft pushes Windows for cars
    Microsoft Corp. may dominate the market for desktop computer software, but the company’s first salvo at automobile dash-top computing is just reaching North America after more than five years of work...

    Open in New Window Microsoft not game for Xbox recall
    Microsoft, whose Xbox game machine debuted in Japan 10 days ago, said Monday that several Xbox users had reported that the console was scratching game discs, but there was no need to recall the hardware or software...

    Open in New Window What Sells Best Online
    Many lessons can be learned from the merchants that hawk the best-selling products in e-commerce. "The things that sell best online are products that have...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

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

    jet engine page