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Lighten Up 11 October 2002 Edition
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Readers Say
(updated irregularly)
  • Mags and the Net... - Shane
  • Magazines... - Charlie
  • Magazine vs Net... - Steven

    From yesterday...

  • Linux in Business... - Peter
  • OSS Support... - Peter
  • newzealand.biz... - Patrick
  • Answers to Linux Questions... - Peter H
  • disagree with your comments... - Nathan
  • Linux Vs XP hardware... - David
  • Windows XP recommended... - Stan
  • Have Your Say

    Magazines versus The Net
    When I think back to about 15 years ago, I was spending about $30 per week on magazines and those were 1987 dollars -- worth a bit more than today's 2002 dollars.

    I was a regular subscriber to Byte, Dr Dobbs Journal, APC, Bits and Bytes plus a number of other computer-related and non-computer-related titles.

    In the past 12 months I think I've probably bought no more than two or three magazine issues in total.

    I do read NetGuide every month but fortunately, I don't have to actually buy it. Likewise, I used to get a complimentary subscription to PC World -- but they don't seem to love me anymore so that's off my reading list. The funny thing is that because I don't get a pulp edition of PC World, I find that I seldom visit their website (I forget it even exists without the monthly printed reminder I guess)

    The reason I no longer need to spend large amounts of money on magazines is obvious -- virtually all the information, enlightenment and topical opinion that used to come stained into the flattened corpses of dead trees is now delivered via modem.

    I'd like to know how many other Aardvark readers have slashed their magazine purchasing since (say) 1995 when the Net really started to make an impact?

    Obviously some magazine publishers such as Ziff Davis have been hurt by the numbers of readers who have switched from pulp to electrons -- but what of the future?

    The demise of Arts & Letters Daily this week is just another datapoint indicating the fact that online publishing remains a difficult area in which to spin a profit.

    Aardvark's own brush with death earlier this year (have you visited the sponsor today? :-) further evidence of the problem facing publishers.

    Whether online publications can actually turn a profit is not what I want to discuss today (the NZ Herald claims that it's online operation is already profitable) -- but rather, the issue of whether this trend away from print will eventually restrict our choice of reading material.

    How have your magazine buying/reading patterns changed? Are you spending less on ink-stained pulp?

    If you want to have your say on the contents of today's column then please do so. Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the readers' comments section.

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    Security Alerts
    Microsoft posts four new security alerts (CNet - 3/10/2002)

    Flaw in Word can allow file theft (TheAge - 13/09/2002)

    File-name flaw threatens PGP users (ZDNet - 06/09/2002)

    Microsoft reveals security hole (NewsFactor - 02/09/2002)

    Microsoft plugs critical Office holes
    (ITWorld - 22/08/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    Virus pursues your credit card details (ZDNet - 02/10/2002)

    Linux server worm exploits known flaw
    (VNuNet - 13/09/2002)

    Worm spreads through KaZaA network, again (TheReg - 22/08/2002)

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