Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
It's time again for the regular list of Friday funnies and weirdness
from the Web.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Word on the street is that the burden of tax-funded health-care has reached
crisis proportions so the government is about to announce that they're
a new cost-cutting initiative.
If you thought that all the hippies disappeared in the 1970s then be warned that
there are still some left -- but don't worry, their days are numbered thanks
to Anti-Hippie Action League.
One of the most impressive pieces of science undertaken in recent years was
"The Visible Human" project in which a cadaver
was frozen and cut into tiny slices to provide a detailed view of the insides.
Now we have the next logical step --
the incredible Visible Barbie Project
(warning, some images may be disturbing to girls under the age of 12).
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
Hailstorm In A Teacup
It seems like only yesterday that Microsoft announced that it was going
to change the face of the Internet through its revolutionary "Hailstorm"
Instead of relying on your own computer's insecure and untrustworthy
storage, Hailstorm offered the promise of providing Net users with
the type of bullet-proof, hacker-proof, ultra-secure protection that
only Microsoft can provide.
Oh dear, after re-reading that sentence I've just spat coffee all over my
screen and collapsed onto the floor in a fit of laughter.
Am I just an old cynic?
Well if I am, it would seem that I've got plenty of good company.
Microsoft themselves seem to have finally acknowledged that they've got
a lot of work to do before they can win the public's confidence when
it comes to promises of security.
From a business perspective, the risks of entrusting Microsoft (or any
third party) with sensitive corporate data are simply too great.
But hang on a minute -- aren't 90% of the world already trusting Microsoft
to protect their secrets?
Let's face it -- for the vast majority of people, the only thing separating
their passwords, financial records, confidential correspondence, etc., from
the hackers of the world -- are Microsoft's shaky OSes and applications.
From the moment you log onto the Internet, your machine (and the data on it)
becomes a target for any hacker that wants to try and sneak in.
While most of the "clever" people have installed personal firewall software,
there are still an incredibly large number of users who haven't. What's worse,
there's still a whole bunch of people using systems that have never seen
a security patch and may have been incorrectly configured from day one.
Quite frankly, I suspect that most people might actually be safer if they
did trust their secrets to a service such as Hailstorm rather than rely
on the security of their own system.
Hang on, let me rephrase that. Most people would actually be "more far less
Here Come The Sekurity Konsultants
Oh dear -- a worrying thought just passed through my mind...
Given the public concern over online security -- how long will it be before
we see a wave of "sekurity konsultants" appear. These people, most of who
were previously "web dezinas", will probably offer to come in and perform
a security audit on your computer so as to protect you from the evil hackers.
They'll probably drive (or claim to drive) Porsches, carry a digital camera
and profess to be "leaders" in their field. (wow... deja vu!)
Apart from installing a copy of the free
Zone Alarm firewall (which
is a good thing), wiggling the wires
on your modem, frowning convincingly, and charging like a wounded bull, they'll
likely overlook a mountain of potential threats and leave customers falsely
thinking they're now "hackerproof."
Perhaps some type certification should be introduced to avoid
this wave of "sekurity konsultants" descending on frightened but witless small-businesses
PC users. Having a cowboy design your website is one thing -- the worst it
can do is provoke fits of laughter from anyone who stumbles across the resulting
pages -- but having "Danny the Kid trying" to patch up your security holes is
a lot more serious.
Here's today's question:
Should computer security consultants require the same level of official
vetting as workers in other areas of the security industry -- ie: security
Have your say.
The Jet-Kart is For 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.
The world-famous Jet-powered Gokart is up for sale by
way of an informal auction. Send me your bid and I'll post the current
highest offer on a webpage that will appear here soon.
As far as I'm aware, this is the only pulsejet-powered gokart in the
Southern Hemisphere -- I wonder why that is?
It may not be the quietest, smoothest, most comfortable or safest vehicle
in the world -- but it's sure different!
To place a bid, just drop me a line.
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