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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Do You Blog? 11 April 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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In the early 1990s, personal web-pages were the exclusive domain of the geeks.

By the late 1990s however, they were all the rage and highly fashionable. Whether it was just a rough hack with some scanned snapshots of your baby and the cat -- or a slick multi-media extravaganza, building a personal web-page was "in."

These days, a regular personal web-page is so passé and if you want to rejoin the in-crowd, you've got to become a "blogger"

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

Yes, in an area which has prided itself on creating new technospeak terms, the Internet community has really outdone itself this time with the word "blog" (an abreviation of the term "weblog").

So what is a blog and why are they so very popular?

Although they do tend to vary a little, most blogs are a cross between an online diary and a list of "hey, look at this" bookmarks to and critiques of "interesting" stuff the blogger has found on the Net.

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When it comes to voyeurism the dorm-cam is dead. It's been replaced by the blog.

Keen bloggers often update their pages many times a day -- which means that they're usually packed full of fresh content.

Of course the big problem is that a huge percentage of the blogs out there are filled with garbage. Quantity and quality are often mutually exclusive so finding the gems amongst the mud can be difficult -- and traditional search engines won't help much due to the almost realtime nature of the blog.

However, weblogs have become so popular now that there are search-engines and portals dedicated to indexing their content. A good example of this is DayPop which lets you search the current contents of almost 8,000 weblogs and news sites for tasty morsels.

With the amount of information on the Net still growing at a break-neck pace, finding a couple of good weblogs can be a great way to ease the burden of sorting the wheat from the chaffe. Instead of wading through the flotsam and jetsam of the web to find items of interest, simply find a weblog operated by a blogger with similar interests and perspectives to your own -- chances are that they'll have done all the hard work for you and compiled a list of links to all the good stuff of the day.

So, is blogging just another form of vanity publishing or is it the next big thing?

Well blogging is not that new actually. Look closely and you'll see that it's really just an informal and less structured version of the aggregation activities that have been around for a long time.

One could describe the very popular Arts & Letters Daily site as a type of weblog. I guess the same could be said for Aardvark -- where I publish links to stories that I find interesting alongside my own comments.

It would appear that the weblog is just an old horse with a new blanket perhaps?

My suggestion is that the next time you've got a few hours to spare, check out as many weblogs as you can -- and bookmark those that take your fancy. In an era when much of the Net's content is being commercialised it's rather nice to find that some of these little "personalised" pieces of content are real goldmines of information.

If you're a blogger, let me know. If there's enough interest I'll put up a directory page so that others can check out your weblog.

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.

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.

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

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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
A trio of MS-Office security vulns TheReg - 10/04/2002)

Two new "critical" bugs patched in IE (ZDNet - 01/04/2002)

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)

Virus Alerts
Aphex E-mail Worm Has A Way With IRC, Instant Messenger (NewsBytes - 11/04/2002)

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

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

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