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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XTRA Helpdesk Worker Vents Steam 26 March 2002 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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An "anonymous coward" claiming to be a worker on Xtra's help desk has taken a swipe at the company's attitude to informing customers about deficiencies with its DSL service.

The posting was made on the very popular SlashDot geek news site and was moderated up to a score of 4 (out of a possible 5).

One can't help but wonder if there'll be a witch-hunt going on this morning in the wake of this exposé.

While it should be remembered that the poster has provided no proof of their claims, and it could simply be a hoax by a disgruntled customer or competitor, the allegations would seem to support recent media coverage of the situation.

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...

More e-Government Stupidit-e
Yesterday I received an email from a reader who had sent email to a government address and was a little dismayed by the resulting response.

Their email contained a digital signature, included as a MIME-compliant attachment, as is the practice. Unfortunately, the government seems unprepared for such sophistication and they received the following response:

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Recipient unknown... - NonGuru
  • DSL pricing... - Stuart
  • (none)... - Annon
  • Recipient unknown... - abu
  • Have Your Say

    From: Postmaster@govt.nz (postmaster@dsw.govt.nz)
    Your attachment unknown.multipart addressed to [suppressed] is not an allowed type of attachment and has been blocked by an automatic process.

    Oh dear... how sad.

    But wait, there's more!

    When the user replied to the postmaster@govt.nz in an attempt to ask why digital signatures were being blocked -- thus eliminating evidence that effectively verified the sender's identity, the following response was received:

    This message could not be delivered to the following recipients:

    No host named govt.nz. (#5.1.2)

    Reporting-MTA: dns; bouncemessage.net

    Final-Recipient: rfc822; Postmaster@govt.nz
    Action: Failed
    Status: 5.1.2

    It would seem that we're still a long, long way from having a government infrastructure suitable for e-anything and, if this story from IDG is anything to go by, holding your breath is not advised.

    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 30,000 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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    Security Alerts
    Second Java hole poses Windows risk (CNet - 20/03/2002)

    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)

    Virus Alerts
    'Bill Clinton' Worm Gets Around (NewsBytes - 22/03/2002)

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

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

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