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Lighten Up 31 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
Time for your weekly dose of more the wierd, wacky and indescribably stupid stuff from the web.

Spammers are stupid -- we all know that. Just how stupid they are is well illustrated in the case of Tommy Brock who not only a spammer but also a thug and exhibitionist.

Here's a little gem reported to me by a reader and found a lot closer to home than most of the offerings in the Lighten Up section.

If you think you've got what it takes to become a web designer, this site has just the Oppertunity (screenshot) for you! No, it can't be a typo -- it's repeated several times. But look, they seem to have the concept of Design nailed.

Here's a little work of my own -- which isn't so much funny as worrying. Check out just how easy it might be to build a low cost cruise missile using readily available components and materials. Place your order now :-)

Other Recent Columns
If you've just discovered Aardvark, check out some of the earlier editions by viewing the archives or by clicking on one of this small selection:

ING Strike Again
Yes, just when you thought it was safe to open your mail and check your faxes -- ING return!

They've switched from using snail mail to sending faxes in an attempt to dupe unsuspecting victims into parting with their cold hard cash.

I note also that they're no longer requesting payment by credit card but now they want you to deposit the money directly into their bank account. Could this be because too many victims have requested a charge-back from their credit card company once they discover they've been duped?

Based on a conversation I had with the ACCC (the Aussie version of our Commerce Commission) it looks as if ING may have breached an agreement they made with the court last month -- and that could result in their little scammy bottoms being kicked for contempt.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
From Yesterday...
  • Sony... - Mike
  • Sony MD Advertising... - Anon
  • Home Entertainment Centre... - Cam
  • Sony... - Paul
  • Sony... - Anon
  • Copy copy copy... - Donald
  • TiVo... - Patrick
  • Count me in... - Rolly
  • Have Your Say

    That Tivo Idea
    Wow.. I've had a mountain of email following my proposal to build a PC-based Tivo-like home entertainment centre yesterday.

    Obviously there are a lot of people who are just yearning to buy or build such a device as a method of avoiding the endless ads, dross and self-promos that clutter what little good TV viewing remains on our screens.

    The other aspect I hadn't considered but which a couple of readers suggested was that the unit could act as a PC games console, email client and web-surfing tool. That ought to make Sky's Ludi(cris) games and lame (is it available yet?) email service look a bit weak.

    Unfortunately, the offers to help out with suitable hardware have been rather limited -- so I'm prepared to throw in a few months of exclusive and prominent placement on this website for whatever supplier is willing to lend their gear for such evaluation purposes.

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    Security Alerts
    Microsoft Exchange hole "critical" (CNet - 28/04/2002)

    Report: Hole found in Excel (ZDNet - 28/05/2002)

    Yahoo! Messenger! multiple! vulns! (The Reg - 28/05/2002)

    Opera vuln gives up local files (The Reg - 27/05/2002)

    Microsoft warns of new debugger flaw (CNet - 22/05/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    Teddy hoax virus looking to play Down Under (ZDNet - 19/05/2002)

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

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    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window ING switches to fax spam
    Domain name tout Internet Name Group (ING) has surfaced again in New Zealand despite an Australian federal court ruling that should have stopped the company spamming domain name holders...

    Open in New Window Commission talks with Aussie counterpart over registration spam
    The Commerce Commission is taking part in "informal discussions" with its counterpart in Australia, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), over the spamming activities of Australia domain name registration companies...


    Open in New Window News Sites Tackle E-mail 'Subversion' Security Holes
    Security flaws in e-mail features at several popular news sites could have been exploited by "spammers" or used to spread false information, a security specialist cautioned today...

    Open in New Window Chances are, you're a software scofflaw
    The Business Software Alliance, a trade group that represents the major software makers, says that more than half of all Web users have downloaded software they have not paid for...

    Open in New Window For movie pirates, it's full speed ahead
    Viant, a research company tracking Internet piracy, on Wednesday estimated that between 400,000 and 600,000 film copies are illegally downloaded daily on the Internet, up at least 20 percent from last year...

    Open in New Window Low-tech solution to password problem
    A British inventor has come up with a low-tech answer to the problem of having a secure password...

    Open in New Window Critics: ICANN Should Compete For Net Governance Duties
    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) should be forced to compete for the right to continue managing the Internet's global addressing system, a group of influential public interest groups said Wednesday...


    Open in New Window ussie spammer sues anti-spammer in world-first case
    An alleged Australian spammer is suing an anti-spam advocate after being blacklisted by a spam prevention Web site, in what is believed to be a first of its kind case worldwide and one that could end up “bigger than Ben Hur”...

    Open in New Window IT sparks micro business boom
    Once upon a time they were just hobby and cottage industries, but micro businesses are now taking on the big boys. Clever use of IT and good business acumen is enabling many businessmen and women...
    The Age


    Open in New Window Chip price war redux: AMD follows Intel
    Advanced Micro Devices has slashed prices of its desktop and mobile Athlon processors just days after a similar move by rival Intel...

    Open in New Window Con Edison charges up 'electric Ethernet'
    New York businesses can now get Ethernet services through the city's electrical conduits, as Con Edison is moving into the tough business of providing the services in metro areas...

    Open in New Window Fed Up with Spammers
    Unsolicited junk e-mail -- spam -- is driving Americans crazy. That's the response I received from a recent column about my problems with spam...

    Open in New Window AOL Plans Secure AIM Services
    America Online, the online arm of media Goliath AOL Time Warner, is readying a new enterprise-strength version of its immensely popular AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) product. According to sources, the online giant plans to host "Secure AIM Services" for companies that want to implement confidential IM...

    Open in New Window Notorious hacker hits TheNerds.net
    A notorious online extortionist using the name “Zilterio” has struck again. This time, some customers of TheNerds.Net, an electronics retailer, received e-mails from Zilterio@yahoo.com, indicating their credit card data had been stolen from the site...

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