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
What's New On The NZ Web? 19 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 no doubting that the pace at which interesting new sites are hitting the local Net.

Okay, so there's still the endless stream of boring company brochureware sites being ground out -- but the number of new sites that make you stop and say "hmmm... that's interesting" or "hey, great idea!" has slowed to a mere trickle.

Maybe it's because the Net is no longer "cool" in the way it was just a couple of years ago, or perhaps it's just because so many of the good ideas have already been used.

A quick squint at this SearchNZ page and Aardvark's own New Sites section shows just how bad things have become.

Aardvark's Web-site Survey Service
If you're launching a new website, upgrading an existing one, or just frustrated that your web-presence isn't performing as it should then maybe you need an Aardvark Site Survey. Read more...

So, I'm once again on the lookout for good sites which I can bring to the attention of Aardvark readers.

One such site that escapes the brochureware tag is NewsBox, an attempt to mix news and discussion using the same formula that has made SlashDot so very popular.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • SKy tv... - bede
  • Set-top box options... - Robert
  • E-mails to MPs... - Simon
  • PC in your rack... - Chris
  • tivo... - bede
  • SKY PVR box... - Craig
  • Have Your Say

    Unfortunately, NewsBox is currently suffering from a lack of patronage but hopefully, once people realise it's there, they'll jump in and use it to voice their opinions on the news of the day.

    Sky and TiVo?
    According to this IDG story, Sky TV are considering selling set-top boxes containing hard drives that will effectively allow direct digital recording of programs.

    Would I like to have TiVo-like functionality added to my home entertainment system?

    Hell yes!

    Would I trust Sky to provide adequate levels of customer support and satisfaction?

    Hell no!

    Let's face it, they have already crippled the 300,000 existing set-top boxes by replacing the original fast and effective software with their own sloth-like "upgrade" and continue to ignore the complaints of customers.

    I also have no doubt that, given Sky's tendency to screw huge sums out of early adopters, the price of such a box would be horrific.

    With entry-level computers now selling for just over $1,000, it makes a lot more sense to buy a suitably equipped PC for your living room.

    Such a PC, equipped with a DVD drive and card, CDR/RW drive, video card with TV-In/Out, a TV tuner card, TiVo-like software, MP3 player software, a modem and Net connection would make a great addition to the home entertainment centre.

    You could play commercial DVDs, record TV programs to disk (and then burn to CDR any you wanted to keep), have instant access to your entire CD collection (after ripping them to MP3 format on the hard drive), listen to overseas radio stations through the Net, and even play computer games. Some might be tempted to add "download new music over the Net using a P2P network" -- but I couldn't possibly recommend such a thing.

    Do this and you've virtually replaced your DVD player, CD player, tuner, VCR and Playstation -- with a single box.

    Many TV/Tuner cards also come with infra-red remote controllers these days so you can even play with all these neat features without leaving your seat.

    And, best of all, you can upgrade or add new features as and when you choose, without being reliant on the likes of Sky TV to drain your bank account or keep you waiting between button-presses on the remote.

    How long before some enterprising PC vendor gets all this gear together into a box and starts selling the result as the ultimate digital component for home entertainment systems? I might be tempted to buy one of those.

    Have your say.

    Aardvark's Garage Sale
    It's time to clear out the closet here at Aardvark's country residence so I'm having a bit of a garage sale. I need to spend a whole lot more time and money on my jet engine R&D activities (now that the defense industry has shown a very real interest) -- so I'm trying to scrape up some more cash.

    First up -- I'm selling my pulsejet manufacturing business. This would be perfect for either a semi-retired engineer/machinist who wants to earn some pretty good money building these things and exporting them to the world -- or an established engineering shop who want to break into a new (very export oriented) market. I can provide an ongoing stream of orders through my website and since I've run out of time to meet the demand, the sale will include a growing "waiting list" of new customers ready to place their orders.

    Second up -- I've still got 300,000 7am.com shares (representing about 30% of the company) that I'm looking to unload. I'm afraid I can't offer much information on the state of the company -- they haven't spoken with me for ages so it's a bit of a pig in a poke. However, they survived the most critical part of the dot-com crash and are now claiming to have nearly 250,000 websites in their ticker network so that's got to be worth something. Any sale would be subject to other shareholders exercising their preferential rights -- but all offers will be considered.

    Thirdly -- I have an RC model helicopter here that I have built but never flown. It's a Robbe Mosquito Basic with a JR X-3810 radio, JR piezo gyro, OS46FSH engine and a Dave Brown flight simulator. Everything was purchased brand-new a couple of years ago and is in pristine condition (having spent all that time in a box in the storeroom). Since I haven't had any time to fly it in the past two years I figure there's little chance I'll find time to fly it in the next two years, so out it goes.

    Anyone interested in any of these things should drop me a line.

    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
    Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

    CERT Warns of Flaws In RADIUS Implementations (InternetNews - 6/03/2002)

    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)

    Virus Alerts
    Gibe worm poses as a Microsoft update (ZDNet - 6/03/2002)

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

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

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

    AUS Sites
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    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 Passwords access for police
    All New Zealander computer users may soon be legally required to help police execute search warrants on computers if recommendations fast-tracked for the forthcoming Terrorism Bill are adopted...
    NZ Herald

    Open in New Window No customer impact after sackings: Telecom
    The workplace misdeeds of six "senior" Telecom staff which led to their being dismissed early this month have not affected customers or their accounts, the telco says...


    Open in New Window Ruling In Microsoft Lawsuit Cracks Windows Trademarks
    A federal judge has questioned the validity of Microsoft Corp.'s "Windows" trademarks, ruling that the ubiquity of the word in the computer world means...

    Open in New Window IE, Apache Clash on Web Standard
    eWEEK Labs has discovered that Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer Version 5.0 and higher—as well as the company's IIS Web server—has a significant security incompatibility with other major Web browsers and with the Apache Software Foundation's Apache HTTP Web server...

    Open in New Window PlayStation 2 gets kicked out of CeBit
    Less than a week after Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told visitors to the massive CeBIT exhibition in Germany that he wanted to see a warmer, friendlier Microsoft, his company has become embroiled in a row with Sony over gaming consoles...

    Open in New Window Do Corporate Firewalls Still Work?
    According to analysts, the biggest challenges surrounding corporate firewalls involve proper configuration. In addition, they say, layered security should be avoided; if applied properly, it can protect against attack and abuse, but it also can...

    Open in New Window ICANN Surveys Its Crossroads
    The Internet's governing body is feeling a strong pull away from U.S. dominance. The next few months will paint a much clearer picture of ICANN's future...


    Open in New Window Visiting security expert warns of MP3 danger
    New technology such as MP3s may soon be used as vectors for viruses, a security specialist visiting Australia has warned...

    Open in New Window Telstra still trying to solve log-on problems
    Telstra has admitted that it is unable to determine a restoration date for a software problem that has left 1,300 customers unable to log on to their broadband service...


    Open in New Window Super DIRT Trojan to infect indiscriminately
    Our friend Frank Jones of Codex Data Systems has been busy with a number of projects associated with his loathsome DIRT Trojan, most notably one which seeks to distribute the infection indiscriminately...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Discord over digital music
    With millions of people downloading free copies of everything from the latest chart hit to whole albums over the internet, the music industry is facing a formidable challenge...

    Open in New Window Tech VCs toughen up on funding terms
    With venture capital mired in the doldrums and scant demand for initial public offerings, technology entrepreneurs are jumping through increasingly onerous hoops to get funding...

    Open in New Window Yahoo tests paid-programming waters
    Borrowing a page from RealNetworks' book, Web portal Yahoo is trying to get a read on how willing the market is to support a subscription-based streaming-media service...

    Open in New Window CIA Web Site Tracks Visitors With Cookies
    A Web site operated by the Central Intelligence Agency is marking visitors with a unique identification tag or "cookie" that violates federal privacy guidelines and the agency's own privacy policy...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

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

    jet engine page