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
End Of File 10 June 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
An Update And Reader's Responses

Aardvark has been published regularly since 1995, making it possibly the longest-running Net-news and commentary site in the Southern Hemisphere.

When I first started it all those years ago as a one-page weekly roundup, it was really little more than an exercise in online publishing designed to further my own knowledge of such matters.

To my surprise, it rapidly gathered a small but loyal band of followers who checked in each Monday to catch the latest news, rumours, and the regular "I can't believe it's true" feature that poked borax at the sillier side of the Net.

After about a year, Aardvark became a daily publication and began covering news in realtime, scoring more than a few international scoops and covering many storylines` that will probably never die.

Take a Wander Back in Time
If you want to take a browse through the Aardvark archives, I've been able to preserve some (but not all) of the stuff that's been published during the past few years. Here are some index pages to help you find it: There's also a lot of other stuff on the server that you can access through the Google search form at the bottom of the page, or by working out the URL yourself (It's the Aardvark IQ test).

A couple of years later, in 1997, I also launched 7am.com which began to take up an increasing amount of my time (about 15-16 hours a day actually) and eventually saw me make some very bad choices. However, despite a raft of other other commitments, illness, plus regular power and phone outages, I have continued to publish Aardvark each and every weekday. In fact it's become a very significant and important part of my daily routine.

Unfortunately it appears that it may be time for this to come to an end.

Despite the very welcome donations made by many readers some months ago, I simply can't afford to go on publishing Aardvark.

Likewise, my efforts at raking up sponsorship for Aardvark have met with only limited success and would not turn it from a loss-maker into a money-maker or even into a revenue-neutral proposition.

Even attempts to get some regular (paid) syndication for this column on other sites or in print media have failed. Perhaps the mainstream media don't want to risk offending important advertisers; or maybe it's just that my market niche is too small.

I guess that ultimately, any publication is only worth what people are prepared to pay for it, and with a few notable exceptions in the form of generous donations from some readers, that isn't a hell of a lot in the case of Aardvark.

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Now, having poured all the money I have (and some I don't have :-) into the development of my X-Jet engine, I'm faced with no alternative but to focus on tasks that generate immediate revenue.

I would love to have kept the X-Jet engine as another great Kiwi development and export-earner but the financial support simply isn't there. I've sunk over $100K of my own money into its development but no other funding (apart from the small technology grant I was eligible for) has been forthcoming.

The most frustrating aspect is that even given the tidy amount spent so far, the results achieved have been widely acknowledged as very impressive and the project requires only a further US$90K-$100K to reach the commercialisation stage.

I'm now so disillusioned that I'm considering releasing all my research into the public domain under a GPL -- however, even that is not without its risks. I don't really want the design for a simple, efficient, low-cost jet engine being handed to those who might choose to misuse it.

Exactly what I do from here isn't totally clear but it may, unless a better opportunity presents itself here, involve relocating overseas (albeit only temporarily I hope) -- not because I want to, but because it simply makes good sense financially.

Doubtless Telecom, a certain number of Aussie-based domain name resellers and a whole heap of others in the industry will be keen to see the end of Aardvark -- so every cloud has a silver lining perhaps ;-)

Which reminds me, I was going to have a good bitch at Telecom today over the way that their IPNet bandwidth seems to be dramatically overcommitted. I've been getting packet losses in excess of 50% within the IPNet network from about 4:30pm through to 10-11pm every evening -- as have a number of others who have emailed me.

This results in regular timeouts on webpage requests, ftp and usenet sessions. It's starting to look as if Telecom will meet the government target of providing 14.4Kbps connects to ninety-something percent of the population -- it's just that the throughput will be about 200 bytes per second due to IPNet congestion.

(Damn... it's going to be hard to give this up :-)

I will continue to update the series I started on Promoting Your Website as promised (part 3 is now online, the rest will go up later this week) but I'm still undecided what will happen to the Daily edition from this point onwards.

If I do continue publishing something while I work out where I'm going, it will likely be on a reduced scale and not to such a rigid schedule.

I'd like to thank all the readers who have made Aardvark such a personally rewarding experience over the past seven years -- especially the "personalities" and characters who have also made it so much fun.

These people include the newsworthy, notorious or just plain nice folks who have directly or indirectly played a part in making Aardvark the popular site it has become.

Names such as: Danny de Hek, John O'Hara, Chris Tyler, Don Sledge, Mike Masters, The Wood Brothers, David Maire, Dave Blyth, Peter Mott, John Wooding, Patrick O'Brien, Alan Brown, Nigel Horrocks, Chris Barton, Russell Brown, Paul Brislen, Michael Foreman,Scott Mathias, Ken Rutkowski, Patty Phillips, and quite literally hundreds of others.

Note that until I decide exactly what's happening, I'll continue to maintain the Javascript and RSS feeds when the site is updated and I'll post an advisory well ahead of time if/when those services are discontinued.

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.

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
Holes Still Linger in Yahoo! Messenger (iNetNews - 06/06/2002)

Experts warn of IE Gopher hole (ZDNet - 05/06/2002)

DoS Hole Has Some DNS Servers In a BIND (iNetNews - 05/06/2002)

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

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

Virus Alerts
Soccer World Cup Virus Detected (iNetNews - 07/06/2002)

Shakira worm rocks the Net (ZDNet - 06/06/2002)

New viruses aim to cross multi platforms (ZDNet - 05/06/2002)

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