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 | Archives | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
The Case For Canning Email 1 May 2002 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
Electronic mail, or email as it's become known, is the single most popular and useful service operating over the Internet today.

Since the Net moved out of the halls of academia and into the "real world," email has all but replaced the fax machine and significantly reduced the amount of telephone tag we play each day. Even postal services all around the world are noticing its effect on the amount of regular snail mail being sent.

It's cheap, quick, and in most cases, fairly reliable. It really does sound like the ideal communications mechanism doesn't it?

So why would I dare suggest that it should be done away with?

Sponsorship Opportunity
As another method of offsetting the cost of running this site, I'm considering the use of sponsorship -- but would like some feedback.

Based on recent stats, a sponsor could expect to have their branding delivered around a million times a year to an extremely well targeted audience of (mainly Kiwi) internet/IT professionals and hard-core Net users.

If you're brave enough to be Aardvark's exclusive sponsor for a year, or if you're a reader who'd like to voice your opinion on the matter then please contact me

Well let's take a look at the downsides of email.

In its standard form, it is one of the most insecure communications mediums we have -- second only to writing your message on the back of a postcard.

It isn't 100% reliable -- there's no guarantee, and often no way of knowing, that your message has been delivered.

It's becoming increasingly dangerous -- thanks to flaws in Microsoft's ubiquitous Outlook program, virus writers are having a field-day at our expense.

And speaking of expense, the cost of using email is skyrocketing.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
Nothing Yet
Have Your Say

I'm not talking about ISP fees, I'm talking about the cost of dealing with spam and that of suring up your defenses against those pesky email-borne threats to your system's security and integrity.

In short, email is great -- but it could (and should) be a whole lot better.

Here's my wishlist for a service to replace email. It should have:

  • Built-in strong encryption that is consistent across all implementations so that messages are compatible with all email programs.

  • A consistent and reliable method of reporting the delivery and opening of emails.

  • A design that makes it easy to eliminate or ignore the results of unwanted commercial solicitations without affecting the flow of genuine correspondence.

  • A design that eliminates email as a possible vector for viruses and trojans.
Okay, so this is a very big ask and I don't think it's all possible -- but if someone can pull it off then they'd make a very large fortune.

It looked for a while as if ICQ and other instant messaging (IM) services might just solve many of those problems -- but, unfortunately, the developers of these problems have kept adding new features and functions to the extent that they now suffer from many of the same flaws that affect email itself.

It strikes me that the history of email has closely followed that of sex in recent times.

A few decades ago people seldom talked about it in public but it was safe, fun and simple.

These days, everyone's talking about it, everyone's trying to sell you something using it, and you risk your wellbeing and safety every time you do it with an unknown third-party.

If technology now gives us the power to replace sex with cloning, surely we can do something about email?

Have Your Say
As always, your comments are welcomed. Please remember to select "For Publication" if you want them included on this site.

Have your say.

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.

Linking Policy
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

Security Alerts
Security flaw in Microsoft Office for Mac (CNet - 18/04/2002)

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)

Virus Alerts
New Klez worm squirms across Internet (CNet - 18/04/2002)

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

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

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 Powerful antennae a-OK: ministry
High-gain antennae are legal for use in wireless point-to-point connections, as long as the power output doesn't exceed four watts...

Open in New Window Tracey, like e-commerce courses, takes off
Tracey Adams is one of the first five to emerge from Waikato University's management school clutching its new bachelor of e-commerce degree...


Open in New Window WinAmp's 'malicious MP3' vuln
Users of NullSoft's popular WinAmp player should upgrade to version 2.80 to avoid a vulnerability reported on the BugTraq mailing list by Swedish security researcher Andreas Sandblad and confirmed by the company...
The Register

Open in New Window IT Salaries Drop First Time In 10 Years - Survey
What a difference a slump makes. It seems like only yesterday that information technology workers could write their own tickets, get big bonuses and field job offers left and right...

Open in New Window Preinstalled Windows: AARGH! I can't get it off!
If a PC shipped with Windows preinstalled, can you remove the OS and install Linux instead? Well, no, according to Microsoft....
The Register

Open in New Window When ‘high speed’ isn’t high enough
The video-on-demand and Net access industries are engaged in a tug-of-war over broadband connections, sparking debates about when an Internet connection should be considered “high speed.”...

Open in New Window Klez: Don't Believe 'From' Line
Why are Catholic priests sending porn spam? Why is a Grammy Award-winning band's e-mail list automatically subscribing unwitting users? These are just some of the victims of the raging Klez virus...


Open in New Window Music piracy crackdown
THE Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is working with ISPs to organise a system of take-down notices for pirated material...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Court urged to act on reseller
A Federal Court case against Internet name reseller Internet Name Protection was adjourned on Friday until May 6...


Open in New Window Net radio to fall silent for a day
In a move to drum up opposition for a proposed royalty regime for Internet radio, hundreds of small online radio stations plan to turn off their music streams Wednesday...

Open in New Window Cracking the nest egg
After years of reluctance, consumers are finally starting to bank online in substantial numbers--and hackers are wasting no time in preying on the trend...

Open in New Window Tomorrow's Bigger and Better Hard Drives
With the proliferation of media and wireless accessories, DVD burners and sleek screens, it is easy to overlook the lowly PC hard drive...

Open in New Window Nearly Half Of Canada's Net Households Go Broadband
According to a new report that says some 48 percent of all online Canadian adults who connect from home now use digital subscriber line (DSL) services or cable modems...

Open in New Window The Story of '.us' Has Its Critics
When the ".us" Internet suffix became available to the public last week, people and companies responded in droves, as more than 200,000 names were registered. But some consumer advocates say...
Washington Post

Looking For More News or Information?

Search WWW Search Aardvark

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

jet engine page