Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
My apologies for the late publication of Aardvark today, some very
basic communications problems threw a spanner in the works
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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