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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Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Flash: Security Hole Found 6 May 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!
Click To See
My apologies for the late publication of Aardvark today, some very basic communications problems threw a spanner in the works

If you've got the Macromedia Flash plug-in installed on your computer and you use Internet Explorer as your web browser then it's time to update.

No, it's not a feature upgrade -- it's yet another security hole. It seems that a smart programmer could exploit the hole to insert some malevolent code into a Flash file such that it could be executed on your computer and do all manner of damage.

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

Maurice Is The Man, Not!
You can tell there's an election coming up but you have to wonder about the sanity of some parties.

According to this story from the Stuff site, National's IT spokesman Maurice Williamson is trying to convince the industry that his party will give the knowledge economy a "kick start."

How come Maurice still has the job of IT spokesman for National?

Has anyone in the party actually checked his references?

John Davy's background might have been questionable -- but we know for sure that Maurice was the most ineffectual IT minister this country has ever seen.

It may be argued that the current administration could have done more to push NZ into the knowledge economy -- but at least they made some effort. Under the guidance of Williamson, the last government simply sat on the sidelines and fed us all a long line of rhetoric.

I doubt anything will have changed.

National -- find yourself an IT spokesman who knows the difference between talk and action please or I suspect you'll find attracting votes from the IT community to be more than a little difficult.

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There Are No Problems On The Xtra Network
As regular readers are likely well aware, I've had some quite significant issues with Telecom Xtra's ISP service of late.

On two separate occasions Xtra users have found this site unreachable -- yet customers of TelstraClear and a number of other ISPs have had no difficulties.

Similarly I can reach the site using FTP and I can traceroute (verify the link) from my PC to the Aardvark server -- yet attempts to display any pages from the site produce an error.

Despite some very creative excuses from Xtra, I've not been given a reasonable explanation as to why this is happening and why other virtual servers I run from the same computer remain accessible while Aardvark is not.

Some readers have suggested that the apparent blocking of access to Aardvark may be related to my recent harsh criticism of Telecom and Xtra -- but I doubt that my opinions carry enough weight to worry them so have discounted this as a possibility.

However, that only leaves "technical problems" -- and, given that the server is working, the route is intact and FTP traffic is being passed, I can only attribute the problem to the lame web proxy I've been complaining about for so long.

The rogue caching web proxy also continues to hold pages from a large number of sites well after they have expired and been replaced on the original server. Examples of sites affected include the Sydney Morning Herald, The Washington Post's NewsBytes site and the NewsLinx site.

I know that at least one of these sites is investigating the copyright implications of Xtra's unauthorised archiving and republication of their content and will keep readers informed as to the status of that investigation.

The biggest problem with Xtra appears to be that they don't know, and often refuse to accept that they have a problem.

Now I know there are some good folks in the technical department over there -- I've spoken with them, however I have a feeling that somewhere along the way there are a few "weak links."

If you need proof -- take a look at the status report that was displayed on the Xtra help page last night.

Can someone please tell Xtra that the rest of us are already in the 21st century.

Have Your Say
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Have your say.

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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)

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