Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
There's no doubting that the pace at which interesting new sites are hitting
the local Net.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
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.
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
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?
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?
Would I trust Sky to provide adequate levels of customer support and
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
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
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.
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